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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Emerging Problems in the Church

Two of the main things running through my mind today have to do with problems in the Church that I've encountered over the last couple days--one old and one new.

Christian (Dis)Unity: A week ago our RCIA candidates went through the "Rite of Election", the beginning of the last phase before being fully accepted into the Church. Their names were printed in the bulletin. A couple days later they all received letters in the mail from an anonymous writer. The strongly anti-catholic hate material (from a website) was preceeded with a hand written comment saying "I give this to you because I care". The website (linked here) detailed how obviously corrupt the Catholic Church and displayed a grotesquely ignorant view of a misunderstood Church. Highlighted in the "letter" were lines such as "The Catholic religion is the unrepentant sinners religion", "Catholicism eliminates faith", and "The PROBLEM is that most of the teachings of the Catholic religion are merely traditions, doctrines of devils, NOT found anywhere in the Bible." If you know any truth about Catholicism, you know none of these represent the Truth.

I encourage to read the website to see some of the filth that our Brothers and Sister in Christ publish about the Catholic Church... but only if you can think for yourself and keep a heart of love. There are so many things that break my heart in this website... refuting them would make this post too long.

The sad part is that, at a time when Christians need to stand together, many of us (Catholics included) only tear each other apart and damn each other to Hell...which any informed Christian would realize only GOD can do! This truly breaks my heart, and I can't help but feeling sorry for people so lead astray that they must resort to such methods.

The Growing Diversity of Catholicism in America

This week in our parish we've had a few families ripped apart by the Governments need to deport people. Children who are legal citizens are ripped from their parents and held in cells until they can be sent back to Mexico, where their parents have been sent to because, though they are productive members of society, they aren't "legal".

The problem is that the Church in America as a whole (at least from what I've experienced) has yet to realize how to properly integrate and minister to/with this culture. The Hispanic and Latino culture, being significantly more collective than the Anglo culture, is hard for many of us to understand. Should they be forced to learn our language, or should we learn theirs? Yes, in a few years they will be the majority, but the Catholic Church is basing the new liturgy off the prominence of the English language in the world. Should we have separate Spanish Masses, or should we encourage full integration into "our Church".

Obviously the key lies in balance, helping them to assimilate into the unique culture of the American Catholic Church while allowing them to keep their own Identity and make "our culture" even more beautiful. I obviously don't have all the answers, but I believe our current and future priests and ministers need to be taught how to live in this changing and diversifying culture.

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