Katholisch Leben!

The Jesus Brothers

Kirchenkritik

Jimmy Akin - How to Respectfully Criticize the Church Heirarchy

Reiche Kirche?

Empörte Reaktionen von Menschen, die wahrnehmen oder davon lesen, dass in der Kirche manchmal Geld für Projekte in einer Größenordnung verwendet zu werden scheint, die so gar nicht dem Bild einer armen Kirche entsprechen, sind ja heute nichts Neues.
Ohne jetzt auf Einzelfälle einzugehen, möchte ich dieses Thema mal als Ganzes betrachten.
Ja, wo Menschen sind, werden Fehler gemacht. Menschen sündigen auch. Dies ist natürlich keine Entschuldigung für mögliches Fehlverhalten, lenkt aber doch die Perspektive darauf, dass auch Christen nicht perfekt sind.
Nun ins Detail. Manchmal betrete ich kirchliche Gebäude und sehe mich ganz verwundert um. Wie würde sich hier wohl ein Obdachloser, eine Alkoholikerin oder ein alleinerziehender Vater von mehreren Kindern fühlen? Was empfinden Flüchtlinge, wenn sie die oft doch sehr kostspielige Einrichtung sehen? Entspricht das noch dem, was Jesus ursprünglich von Seiner Kirche wollte und verlangte? Wo ist unser Herz -  bei den Armen und Ausgegrenzten oder bei einem multinationalen, repräsentativ auftretenden Großkonzern? Was denken Menschen, wenn Christen in Führungspositionen in teuren Autos (möglicherweise sogar mit eigenem Chauffeur?) vorfahren?
Die Anschaffung teurer Gebäudekomplexe wird dann oft damit begründet, dass doch nun alles konzentrierter sei und man sich Mietkosten erspare. Wirklich? Wer sagt denn, dass man ins Zentrum einer Großstadt mit einem repräsentativen Großprojekt ziehen muss? Welche Botschaft senden wir damit aus? Wäre es nicht besser, dezentral aufzutreten und bei den Menschen vor Ort zu sein? Mit weniger großspurigen Projekten? Jesus hat uns gesagt, wir sollen Gott und den Nächsten lieben wie uns selbst. Wir sollen weiterhin alles aufgeben, um Ihm nachzufolgen, Wir können nicht Gott und dem Mammon dienen. Schließlich sollen wir auch die Frohe Botschaft – das Evangelium – verbreiten, Menschen taufen und zu Jüngern Jesu machen. Dient alles, was wir tun, errichten, kaufen und an Geld ausgeben wirklich diesem Zweck – oder haben wir nicht manchmal über die Stränge geschlagen? Sind wir noch eine arme Kirche für (spirituell und materiell) arme und verlorene Menschen – oder sind war das eine oder andere Mal vom Weg abgekommen und haben uns von materiellen Begierden (und anderen Früchten des Fleisches) verführen lassen?
Ich denke, jeder von uns kann und muss sich diese Frage stellen und in sich horchen, ob es da etwas gibt, das zu bereuen und vor Gott und die Menschen zu bringen wäre. Etwas, dass zwischen uns und dem Nächsten, zwischen uns und Jesus steht und weg muss. Jetzt.
Robert

As Catholics, do we have to accept everything the Church teaches?

If you want to call yourself Catholic, but you want to pick and choose for yourself which of the Church's teachings to accept and which to reject, you give everyone else who calls themselves Catholic the right to do the same thing.

For example, you believe women should be priests...in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1577 states, "Only a baptized man validly receives ordination...For this reason the ordination of women is not possible!" You don't believe that...well, that's fine...[RIP] just tear that page out of your Catechism...you just made it a Catechism of your Catholic Church...not mine.

But remember, if you can throw doctrines out, so can everyone else who calls themselves Catholic. That gives Joe Parishioner over at St. Doubting Thomas Catholic Church the right to throw out the Church's social justice teachings...he doesn't feel like feeding the hungry, caring for the poor, and all that other "bleeding heart" stuff - Paragraphs 2401 -2463 [RIP]...he just made it a Catechism of his Catholic Church...not mine and not yours.

You believe contraception is okay? Paragraph 2370 says contraception is intrinsically evil! [RIP] Joe Parishioner doesn't like what the Church teaches on the death penalty - Paragraphs 2266-2267[RIP]. You don't like what it teaches on pages 55-60 [RIP]. He doesn't like what it teaches on pages 128-140 [RIP]

Can you see what's happening? I heard it said once that there is a shortage of vocations to the priesthood in the United States, but no shortage of vocations to the Papacy! If we don't believe in all of it, if we each appoint ourselves Pope and throw out a doctrine here or a doctrine there, then our faith is no longer Catholic.

(Source: Bible Christian Society / John Martignoni. http://www.biblechristiansociety.com/apologetics/two_minute#1. Used with permission)

I need some help. Sometimes when I share my Catholic faith with people, they mention to me that Catholics like to drink alcohol and how wrong that is. How do I respond to this?

I would ask them to tell you where in the Scriptures does it say anything about drinking alcohol being wrong? Quick answer: it doesn't. It says getting drunk is wrong, but it doesn't say merely drinking is wrong. In fact, it tells us just the opposite:

1 Tim 3:8, "Deacons likewise must be serious, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine..." Obviously, it is okay for them to drink some wine, they just cannot be addicted to "much" wine. Moderation is the key.

1 Tim 4:4, "For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving." The materials from which alcohol is made are all natural materials made by God.

1 Tim 5:23, "No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments." Timothy is ordered to drink wine. All 3 accounts of the Last Supper in Matthew, Mark, and Luke have Jesus and the Apostles drinking wine (the "fruit of the vine").

Jesus' first miracle was to turn some 120-180 gallons of water into wine (John 2:3-10) for folks to drink. And, it was better wine than any of the wine that had already been served at that particular wedding.

Matthew 15:10-11, "Hear and understand, not what goes into the mouth defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth..." Luke 7:33-34, "For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine; and you say, 'He has a demon.' The Son of Man has come eating and drinking; and you say, 'Behold, a glutton and a drunkard..." Now, what do you think Jesus was drinking that they would have called Him a drunkard? Grape juice? I don't think so.

Now, this is not to say that He was a drunkard - obviously He wasn't. But, the only way someone could even begin to make that case would be if He was known to drink wine. You could not even falsely accuse someone of being a drunkard if they only drank grape juice.

In other words, Scripture gives strong testament to the fact that merely drinking alcohol is not a sin, but getting drunk on alcohol is.

(Source: Bible Christian Society / John Martignoni. http://www.biblechristiansociety.com/apologetics/two_minute. Used with permission)

I heard criticism about the luxuriousness of the Vatican and St. Peter's, while there are so many poor people. Where did the money come from to build these things? How much of parish money goes "to the Pope"?

First of all, if someone is critical of the Vatican, are they also critical of the Temple of Solomon (1 Kings 6)? By all accounts, the Temple of Solomon would have made the Vatican look rather poor by comparison. Should the Israelites not have built the Temple of Solomon? Should they have used all the resources that went into it to feed the poor instead?

John L. Allen, Jr., Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter, mentioned the following in a talk he gave for the “Church in the 21st Century Initiative,” a few years ago:

“Contrary to popular impression, the Vatican is a spartan operation. Its annual operating budget is about $277 million. The University of Notre Dame's annual operating budget, by comparison, is $700 million. The Vatican's endowment is about $770 million. By contrast, the University of Notre Dame's endowment is $3.1 billion. The Holy See is indeed in need of financial support from the Catholic world, and American Catholics usually supply about 25 percent of the annual operating budget.

“What about the artwork—the Pietà, the Raphael frescoes, and so on? These treasures are literally priceless, but they appear on the Vatican books with a value of one euro. According to the [laws] of the Vatican City State, they may never be sold or borrowed against.”

The "wealth" of the Vatican has accumulated over the centuries and is basically art work, historical documents, and buildings. The Vatican views these buildings, historical documents, and works of art as belonging to all peoples - they are merely under the care of the Vatican. They are not for sell because the Vatican doesn't view them as its personal property too sell. Why not sell all the works of art in the Louvre? Or in New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art? Why not sell the Mona Lisa to feed the poor? Why don't museums sell off their Rembrandts and Van Goghs and Picassos to feed the poor?

Again, from John Allen’s essay: “About 20 years ago, Peter Drucker, the management consultant, concluded that the three most efficient organizations in history were General Motors, the 19th-century Prussian Army, and the Catholic Church. He put the Church on his list because it manages to hold a worldwide organization together with an exceptionally small central headquarters. For the 1.1 billion Catholics, there are about 1,700 people working in the [Vatican]. As Drucker pointed out, if the same ratio were applied to our government in Washington, D.C., there would be 500 federal employees working in the capital, as opposed to roughly 500,000.”

Just give people the facts about the Vatican’s “wealth,” and let them decide for themselves. 

(Source: Bible Christian Society / John Martignoni. http://www.biblechristiansociety.com/apologetics/two_minute. Used with permission)

CCH Season 1 Q&A Segments Q2: How do I respond to those who bring up the Church scandals?

Joe McClane

Feed design by pfalzonline.de

How do I answer my father-in-law (a Methodist) when he says he read the Catechism and it says that only those belonging to “The Church” will achieve salvation.

First, ask your father-in-law if he agrees with the statement that one must be a member of the Body of Christ in order to be saved. As a Methodist, he should say that he agrees. Then point out to him that the Bible tells us that “The Church” is the Body of Christ (e.g. Col 1:24). So, when we say that one must be a member of “The Church” in order to be saved, what we are really saying is that one must be a member of the Body of Christ in order to be saved.

So, I think there should be agreement between the two of you on that once “The Church” is identified as the “Body of Christ.” The real question is: Is the Catholic definition of “The Church,” as being the Catholic Church, the correct definition of what the Church is? Or, is the Methodist definition of “The Church,” which is generally along the lines of: All those who have accepted Jesus into their hearts as their personal Lord and Savior regardless of what denomination they belong to, the correct definition? (For an in-depth treatment of this topic, go to: www.biblechristiansociety.com and order the free talk - CD or mp3 download - entitled, “One Church.”)

Regarding what the Catechism teaches about “no salvation outside of the Church,” we need to look at a few paragraphs:

#846: "Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.”

#847: “...Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do His will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation.

#848 says: “Although in ways known to Himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please Him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men."

What do these paragraphs tell us? 1) If you knowingly reject the Church and its teachings as the “ordinary” means of salvation, you cannot be saved. 2) Ignorance of Christ and His Church does not automatically incur damnation, nor does it automatically result in salvation, either. In other words, someone who is not formally a Catholic “may” be saved, if they have lived an extraordinary life, through some “extraordinary” means by which God joins them to the Body of Christ, the Church.

However, as #848 states, we (Catholics) have the “obligation” to evangelize all men. Why? Since Catholicism contains the fullness of revealed truth, it is logical to say that any person’s best chance of getting to Heaven - of obtaining that holiness without which no one will see the Lord (Heb 12:14) - is to be 100% Catholic and thereby have access to all the grace that God provides through the Sacraments, particularly through the Eucharist and Confession, as well as all the other treasures of the Church.

(Source: Bible Christian Society / John Martignoni. http://www.biblechristiansociety.com/apologetics/two_minute. Used with permission)

Doesn't Pope Francis bring necessary changes?


Well, at first glance yes. He is a good and humble man and I am sure he really wants the best for the Catholic Church. But, even in the Vatican necessary changes regarding transparency of all Catholic properties and finances is not being done as it should (we still don't know for example hoe much real estate the Church owns). Moreover, the local churches and dioceses don't seem to care much for what he preaches. Most of the wealth of the Church is still unknown - even to the bishops in charge (at least this is what we get to hear). It is save to say the Catholic Church is unbelievably rich. This is not a good thing at all if this wealth is not being used for the poor and needy - and for them alone! Just for the record: I say this because I love the Catholic Church. It simply is not enough if Pope Francis preaches the messages the media love to hear - and the Church keeps on doing her thing. The Catholic Church is so far away from being a "Church for the poor" it hurts. And sad as it is, in many aspects she also is very far away from the clear message Jesus gave us in the sermon on the mount. Yes, the Church still does many works of love and mercy and lots of individual Catholics do a tremendous job loving others in words and deeds and serving the Lord with all of their hearts, but the Church herself definitely needs very radical changes. It has been flooded with liberal red-tape guys who watered down the Catholic teaching and failed to spiritually nourish the people. Instead, they seem to have focused in many cases on very worldly things. As a fellow Catholic I call my brothers and sisters in Christ to stand up and publicly address anything and everything that is being done contrary to Christ's teaching. We need to bring the Catholic Church back to what she was planned to be - the bride of Christ!


Matthew 19:21New International Version (NIV):

"Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”"

Resources

The Church Under Attack

Diane Moczar (Author)

Paperback: 256 pages

Publisher: Sophia Institute Press (May 1, 2013)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1933184930

ISBN-13: 978-1933184937