Is Anybody There?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh Sabaoth" Zach 4:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dio di Signore, nella Sua volontà è nostra pace!" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin 1759

Friday, May 07, 2010

Responding to a NY Times Attack on the Catholic Church With the Truth

As if the Grey Lady hasn't already given Fr. Groeschel enough agita. Fr. Brock is a member of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal that was founded by Fr. Groeschel. & I am sure that Fr. Groeschel is aware of this & it will come up on his EWTN program. He has been very vocal lately in making people aware of how the Times is attacking the Catholic Church.
Meanwhile, this repsonse by Fr. Brock shows once more how the MSM is cherry-picking facts to twist things to suit its anti-Catholic agenda. From reading the "Mary" column, it is clear that Mr. Kristof buys into the DaVinci Code view of the Catholic Church. As Fr. Brock says, he has a seriously flawed view of the Church that is relativistic in nature. Kristof makes it sound like all opinions were treated equaly in the early Church, that gnosticism is just as valid as what is now orthodox Catholicism & that God didn't guide the Catholic Church like Jesus promised. Apparently when Jesus said "But when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will teach you all truth." (John 16:13) He didn't mean it since the gnostic Gospels were rejected. Kristof is making it ound like he knows better than the Holy Spirit what the truth is.
Personally, I think Fr. Brock is showing remarkable charity in how he responds to Kristof. Some of what he says is down right blasphemous. & much of what he says is totally wrong in its depection of the truth about the Catholic Church. Kristof's comments are just another attempt to make it sound like those who are "Catholics in Name Only" & support abortion, gay marriage etc, are just as validly Catholic & that it is only those horrible old men in the Vatican that are preventing the Catholic Church from getting with the times.
Of course the truth is different. the Holy Spirit did & still is guiding the Catholic Church through the Pope. & the Vatican is NOT floundering. It is standing up for the truth & will not give in despite the attacks from within & without.
Nicholas Kristof is a prestigious op-ed columnist for The New York Times who has written extensively on Sudan. He can be credited with helping to focus the attention of the United States and the world on the genocidal conflict in Darfur, for which newly reelected Sudanese president Omar al Bashir has been charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity. He has also written about the difficult and complex situation in South Sudan, often overshadowed by higher profile coverage of Darfur. Twice in the past three weeks (“A Church Mary Can Love” on April 18, and “Who Can Mock This Church” on May 2) though, Kristof has written pieces which express a seriously flawed understanding of the Catholic Church. Since the second one was posted from Juba (the capital of South Sudan) and referred to the Church here, I felt I should offer some kind of response.
Basically, Kristof alleges that there are really two Catholic Churches: “the old boys’ club of the Vatican and the grass-roots network of humble priests, nuns and laity.” Ostensibly he makes this distinction to praise the “side” of the Church he admires and defend it from generalized attacks against Catholics that would lump everyone together, the good, the bad and the ugly. But his assertion really amounts to a torpedo aimed at the unity of the Church, and at least implicitly a wedge to try to divide it.
What saddened me most in Kristof’s second piece was his exploitation of the situation in Sudan to further his hypothesis of "the two Churches." I’ve met some of the people Kristof cites in his article. I know many others who serve in the trenches here, too: the majority are Sudanese and other Africans whose mention was conspicuously missing from the article. That’s probably because if you want a poster-person for a divided church you’d better look for an American or a European. That agenda is not part of the African awareness of the unified reality of the Church; it’s an ideological import, a specimen of theological colonialism. It’s really the whole Church, the one Church, the institutional Church that has been so heroic here through the war years and now in the difficult and uncertain period of rebuilding and self-determination: bishops, priests, sisters, brothers, catechists, lay women and lay men suffering, struggling and working together, united in the love of Christ, the sole source of compassion and mercy we all so desperately need and the one thing that can sustain us through times of unbearable darkness and pain. The enthusiastic response to Pope Benedict’s visit to Cameroon and Angola a year ago, the positive and energizing participation of a variety of delegates in the Special Synod on Africa in Rome last October, and the encouraging encounter of Sudanese bishops with the Holy Father during their ad limina visit in March of this year all attest to the joyful communion with the Successor of Peter the entire Church on this continent has lived from the beginning.
It was inaccurate and inappropriate for Kristof to misuse the experience of the Catholic Church in Sudan – a Church that has lived such an exceptional degree of unity and solidarity in Christ throughout a prolonged period of intense suffering that included religious persecution – to bolster his own questionable claims.

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