Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A World Crammed with God's Presence and the Church's Mission: Five Questions To Ask Today

1. So what happens when the Catholic bishops who tell us that we must cast our votes to combat "intrinsic evils" (which are, curiously, always only abortion and gay marriage) are themselves purveyors of intrinsic evil?

2. If strong research indicates that younger Americans "have turned away from organized religion because they perceive it as deeply entangled with conservative politics and do not want to have any association with it," what's the game plan of Catholic "pastoral" leaders to reach those disaffected younger Catholics?  Or did Jesus say somewhere that the church should be a small, pure enclave of true believers bowing before episcopal thrones and the wealthy men those "pastoral" leaders serve?

3. And if younger folks are leaving the Catholic church and other churches due to the churches' entanglement with right-wing politics, while the world's "crammed with God" (and here), what do the "pastoral" leaders of the Catholic church intend to do to keep the sacramental sense of the church alive today?  A church that vibrantly reflects the all-loving, all-embracing divine presence in the world . . . ?  Do the Cordileones, Nienstedts, Myers, Dolans, Paprockis, Chaputs, Finns, Pells, et al., of the church transparently convey the all-loving, all-embracing divine presence that crams the world?  Or do they obscure that divine presence?

4. And with Archie Bunker sitting on our episcopal thrones, how on earth do we expect to accomplish this?  Is this the answer to our problems--to the astonishing, grievous failure of our current "pastoral" leaders to be transparent sacramental signs of God's all-loving, all-embracing presence in the world?

5. Or was this the answer, and if so, what has happened to it?:

The Vatican II version of the Church is a “communion” of members sharing a common task – to convince all the people of the world that God loves them and that Christ is the example of how to love and serve him.

Just asking.  Questions worth answering, it seems to me.  If one cares about Jesus, the gospels, the church whose mission is to be an effective sacramental sign of God's all-loving, all-embracing presence in the world . . .

(Thanks to Dennis Coday's "Morning Briefing" column at National Catholic Reporter for several of the preceding links.)

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