Thursday, April 2, 2009

More on Notre Dame

Hopefully you've been following (and praying for) this whole mess about President Obama giving the commencement speech at Notre Dame. I believe that this is a pivotal moment for the Church in America. Think about it, America's preeminent Catholic school has not only invited the most pro-choice president in history but are also going to award him an honorary degree!
After reading an article about Cardinal George and his reaction to this problem, I happened to glance at the comments that readers left. Most of them were not from Catholics but I noticed a trend among them. They seemed to be shocked that a President that Catholics got elected is now being criticized by (apparently) those same Catholics for speaking at Notre Dame. It seems a little hypocritical to them. The problem is that Catholics elected Obama, not the Catholic Church. There are among every denomination, most certainly Catholicism included, people who carry the label of their church without adhering to all of its beliefs. Though it is sad, there are many Catholics who simply do not represent the teachings of the Church. Catholics who support abortion obviously do not reflect the Church's teaching. Again, the problem here is this confusion between the people and the Church itself.

Speaking of full membership in the Church, Pius XII, in his Encyclical on the Mystical Body, said it is the society of those who have been baptized, and who profess the faith of Christ, and who are governed by their bishops under the visible head, the Pope, the Bishop of Rome.

Yes, as Catholics we are members of Christ's Mystical Body, but we are directed by Christ, who is the head. The people do not make the rules, though we are required to follow them. In almost every argument I've had with Protestant friends their main problem with Catholicism is not with what the Church actually believes or teaches but with mistake its members have made.
This is why we have to recover our Catholic Identity. How can the world take us seriously when we are as divided as the 40,000 Protestant denominations?


Laura said...

And chances are that the Catholics who are "complaining" are NOT the ones who got him elected!
God Bless.

Sara said...

Marcus, I've been reading Pope Leo XIII, specifically the encyclical "True and False Americanism in Religion" (1899) Quote: We cannot approve the opinions which some comprise under the head of Americanism. For it raises the suspicion that there are some among you who conceive of and desire a church in America different from that which is in the rest of the world.

It amazes me that he wrote that in 1899 and then to look at the liberal church today.

Marcus Toft said...

I haven't read all of Leo's "Rerum Novarum" but what you say about "True and False Americanism in Religion" doesn't surprise me. I think even in the 1890s he was really able to see the path that America was going down or was going to go down. I'll have to check that encyclical out, thanks Sara!