For Every Distressed Catholic, the Question is: Will I Pursue Holiness, or Not?

By Jennifer Hartline Published on August 31, 2018

The shepherds of the Catholic Church are the center of attention for unholy, despicable reasons right now. The Church is truly being shaken to the core. The faithful are rightly alarmed, appalled and furious.

Guess what? It would be foolish of us, the laity, to think this shaking and cleansing doesn’t involve us as well.

You see, even as we justifiably rail against the corruption within all ranks of clergy in the Church, we are still accountable before God for our own lives and our own souls.

This is not an attempt to deflect attention away from scandalous priests or minimize their crimes.

I’m asking, do you — do I — really want to be a saint?

That’s the bottom line here. You and I are not called to mere decency or tolerance or benignity. We are called to holiness. Every bit as much as our shepherds are, we are called to be about the business of becoming a saint.

A Ruthless Self-Examination

Be brutally honest with yourself for a moment. Start here:

I am the Lord thy God. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.

Jesus called this the First and Greatest Commandment: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.

It’s a commandment, not a suggestion or one of many options.

When the commandments of God conflict with the commands of the culture, whom do you obey?

Is that how you love the Lord your God? To have no other gods before Him leaves no wiggle room at all. Do you choose other things, other loves, ahead of the Lord your God?

Do the commandments of God sometimes take a backseat to the laws of this world or the dictates of our culture? Do you ever forsake the law of God in order to serve another law?

When the commandments of God conflict with the commands of the culture, whom do you obey?

The Spiritual Rot Within

Do you expect a regular Sunday diet of platitudes and milquetoast sermons that make you feel good and confirm you in your personal views?

Are you the sort of pew-sitter who would grumble if the good reverend had the nerve to preach the actual Word of God? Including the parts that mention some very specific sins, the very sins you want to dismiss or ignore altogether? Aren’t we all susceptible to some favorite pet sins, habits or indulgences in our lives we don’t want to give up?

If your pastor stood up on Sunday and delivered a rousing call to abandon whatever entangles you, no matter what it is, so that you are free to run after the Lord, how would you respond?

What’s your take, for instance, on Humanae Vitae? Ever read it? If Father got up and reminded everyone that contraception is immoral, would you have him run out of town?

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If your priest had the nerve to say out loud that the many sexual sins we embrace as positive goods in our culture will take a lot of souls to hell in a handbasket, would you get defensive and call him judgmental and intolerant? I mean, you’re not molesting anyone, right?

And c’mon, it shouldn’t be a sin to have sex with your boyfriend/girlfriend/fiancé anyway. And at least looking at pornography doesn’t get some girl pregnant. Never mind what Paul said way back then. His times were different, and we know better now — there’s nothing sinful about homosexual sex. Stop judging.

Any of that ring true for you?

If your pastor looked everyone in the eyes and said without apology that those who wish to enter the Kingdom of Heaven must love purity, chastity, humility, obedience, generosity, sacrifice, and suffering, would you thank him or scold him? Do you hunger to hear more of that, or would you want his head on a platter?

In other words, do you really want your priest to be a holy man who then stands up and calls you to be holy?

What’s It Gonna Be?

“Choose ye this day,” Catholics recently heard at Mass. Joshua put it to the Israelites directly. The choice is yours and mine, just as it was theirs. “Choose ye this day whom you will serve.”

Are we content to conform to what secular society says is just and right, even regarding our sexual behavior? Or will we actually live what our Church teaches? Father Fabulous or Father B-flat or Father Monstrous cannot choose for you.

Fr. Mike Schmitz said it simply and beautifully: Don’t leave the Church in the midst of scandal. Lead the Church. How do you and I lead? By becoming a saint. By getting serious about holiness in our own lives.

We need to hear the call to repentance, conversion, and embracing the Cross. If you despise that message, then why are you Catholic?

Each of us must choose. Be a saint or not. Holiness or not. There is nothing in between.



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  • Paul

    “…we are still accountable before God for our own lives and our own souls.”

    Amen to that!

    “If your priest had the nerve to say out loud that the many sexual sins we embrace as positive goods in our culture will take a lot of souls to hell in a handbasket, would you get defensive and call him judgmental and intolerant? I mean, you’re not molesting anyone, right?”

    That would be a refreshing change.

    “Don’t leave the Church in the midst of scandal. Lead the Church. ”

    As the saying goes, the tail doesn’t wag the dog.

  • Patmos

    God is the vine dresser, and every branch that beareth fruit he purges, so it can bring forth more fruit.

    If the body of Christ could only FULLY get a hold of this wonderful transaction of salvation, the trading of sins for righteousness, what glory would burst onto the scene!

    The dunamis power of God is where the word “dynamite” comes from, it’s the power embedded in The Holy Spirit, and it’s promised to all who are called (Acts 2:39).

    Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
    Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
    Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

    The purpose therefore of the exposure of sin is not condemnation, but cleansing, and glory. It’s God lifting us up for crying out loud! And if God be for you who can be against you?

    • Kathy

      Good to see the “old” Patmos back.

  • tz1

    What I find providential is this juxtaposition where Trump – not the Church – called out CNN and Bernstine for breaking Thou Shall Not Bear False Witness. And the response in the other post was it was very bad for TRUMP to be so nasty and rude.

    If there were a priest (and there are some, but it takes effort) to actually condemn Contraception and the rest I would go to that church immediately. The priest would probably be moved and replaced.

    Why haven’t the priests and bishops who have encouraged, ignored, or even supported the coverup of sexual sins not being driven out? You ask if someone would drive out a priest talking about Humanae Vitae. St. Phlip Damien wrote the Book of Gomorrah and gave the solution which we can either become militant saints to implement – and it is “Offense” (and offensive) not defense.

    Part of our personal holiness and sainthood is attacking evil. First in our own house.

    • But first in yourself, then your house, then the world.

  • Andrew Mason

    This article perhaps lightly touches upon the fundamental problem affecting Christianity in the West, albeit with an exclusive focus on Roman Catholicism. Where saints are called to be holy, and to “… love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength” all too many are mere pewsitters – or worse not interested in even getting caught in a pew! Oh clearly the latter aren’t saints at all, but the World contends that Christians are those who claim the label rather than those who genuinely follow Christ. How then can they distinguish between those who preach the Word, and those who preach the World? Sorry slight tangent there. The point about whether we live by the Word or the World is however a valid point.

    • They aren’t Saints, no. As Saints are people who are in Heaven. No, your ego assuming yourself into Heaven is not valid.

      • David Quelle

        Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus:
        Ephesians 1:1 NASB

        Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons:
        Philippians 1:1 NASB

        Paul is calling all men that are saved “saints” in both the above passages

        • In that passage, “saint” means the literal translation which is “messenger” and “set apart.”

          Saints, in the sense that people who don’t use subversively bad english translation, means those who are in Heaven.

          Assuming salvation precludes it as no man deserves salvation.

          • Chip Crawford

            Christ died for the ungodly. That included you.

          • Assuming you have automatic salvation or forgiveness is blasphemy. calumny is the mortal sin where you lie to insult others to defame.

          • Chip Crawford

            I called on the Lord for salvation and forgiveness per his inspired by the Holy Spirit word, which lives and abides forever. You have claimed it as your group’s writing and purview, but again, you demagogue faith like a despot. This intrudes on God’s authority and domain. You do not stand in his place and your threats and accusations are in line with the tactics of an overbearing devil, not the gentle Master. I speak to the devilish element of your statements that condemns those who don’t agree with you. May the Lord rebuke you.

          • My “group” is the One, Holy, Apostolic, and Catholic Church.

            Pretending one’s ego is God is not validx

          • Chip Crawford

            Pretending your assertions are valid is bogus. Repent; come to God.

          • Once more, pretending your ego has usurped God is blasphemous.

          • Chip Crawford

            Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine
            heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

            Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in
            you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

            Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be

          • We have the Sacrament of Penance. Confessing to your own ego is not valid, no matter how much you want to think your ego is equitable to God.

          • Chip Crawford

            1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

            John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
            17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

            John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

          • And how does one get to Jesus? It isn’t through your ego and wishful thinking.

          • Chip Crawford

            Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine
            heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

            Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be

            Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

          • Sacraments are the Graces of God

          • Chip Crawford

            Biblical reference please

          • Andrew Mason

            Sadly NigelTeapot refuses to reference Scripture but instead preaches what I can only conclude is Roman Catholic dogma, and possibly fringe at that.

            While WWJD is a good question to ask oneself, I’m honestly not sure the answer provides a way to share the Truth with him. Then again Jesus condemned the Pharisees because they knew the Truth and rejected it. Perhaps, like Him, it’s more productive to move on to other people?

          • Chip Crawford

            As led; when someone comes along, perhaps so. He is fortunately more fringe. I genuinely believe most Catholics these day have a live relationship with the Lord and his word.

          • It is a basic definition. They are the Graces of God established by Christ during His mission and given over to His Apostles.

          • Chip Crawford

            When it comes to your opinion and the Word of the Living God which Jesus said:
            Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
            I will go with the word of God. I highly recommend you will come to know and love it and do the same.

          • you go with it only because it cannot correct you when you misuse it. The Church that wrote the Word of Gid can correct you when you misuse it and your ego is too big to allow for correction.

          • Chip Crawford

            Not only is the Holy Spirit our guide, he corrects us. I love the Lord. He has won my heart. I want his correction, his reproof, even his rebuke if needed. One can ignore that long enough until one doesn’t hear it anymore. Sadly that has happened with your group, but they can still turn and yield to the Lord. God is good; he loves you. His inner presence is life’s chiefest comfort and joy. He wishes to know you and for you to stop fighting him and come to him.

          • Once more, if you cared about what you claim to, you would be Catholic.

          • Chip Crawford

            Leave the living God for a sin-riddled Catholic Church in need of major repentance and restoration? No thank you. I am a missionary to you, and you are too proud to hear the truth. I come to you in the name of Jesus on behalf of God and you threaten me with a sick church. God is love; God is holy – the opposite of your leprous church, which preys on the young and vulnerable and condemns those who do not fall in with them. Pompous hierarchy who live in luxury and arrogance, forming and ignoring networks of perversion, refusing to take responsibility or help the evil on their watch. Wake up!

            Matthew 23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourself.

          • No, leave your persistent blasphemy and courting of damnation for the real thing.

            I don’t believe you have the strength to abandon your ego and follow God as He actually is instead of what your ego wants. you can prove me wrong, but I don’t care as I have said my peace to you.

          • Chip Crawford

            I gave you what God says — that is what scripture is – about these things, which I humble myself to believe. How in the world does that have to do with ego? You don’t like God’s word, it seems, and make excuses not to acknowledge it as his. It is hurtful to find your church has departed from and is not working according to God’s word. But don’t side with the church system when you find that out. Side with the living God and go with him. Don’t be afraid. He will help you make the transition. It is your eternal soul Jesus died for. He made a way for man to come to him personally. Then he will show them which church he wants them in. But the Catholic Church is not God. God created the church for man’s blessing, place of service, growth and development in him, safe place and all those things. He does not yield his person to man’s ideas as you have in your rigid and falsified church system. God’s word is how God really is. YOUR ego would keep you out of acknowledging that after having realized what you are following, depending on for your salvation, does not line up with God’s word. You don’t have to tell people where you came from. God will lead you to a place he wants you to be and help you every step of the way. The FIRST and most important thing is to make him your lord and savior, trusting him and him alone for your eternal salvation. He’s worthy of your trust for this life as well. He has plans for you, answers, a way forward.

          • It has to do with ego because you honestly think that following your feelings and whims are equatable to the Divine Will of God.

          • Chip Crawford

            You do not know what I think and feel. That repeated statement is false and you know it. I present God’s word to be his divine will. If you just lie and deny and twist, you are very dishonest. You have presented only your own and other men’s assignments as to the exclusive Godliness of your church without solid Biblical reference. I have set aside many former beliefs when the word showed them wrong, since making Jesus my lord. I brag on God, not on myself. Without him I would be nothing he says, but he also says that I am not without him. I am of course growing, but definitely part of God’s family. That is available to all who will avail themselves of the offer to come to him and it is essential for salvation. Nowhere does the Bible equate any church or church membership with salvation. He takes care of that personally as his word clearly reveals.

          • I have an idea what you think and feel. That is what communication is for, I can read your messages.

            One cannot validly “personally interpret” scripture because it cannot correct you when you are wrong.

          • Chip Crawford

            The Holy Spirit corrects one using scripture as one means. When you receive the Lord as your savior, his spirit comes in and the word opens to you. Even lost people have a conscience, which convicts them of wrong. The word of God, the scriptures are taught with anointing where I am, and my Bible reading, word studies and other verse comparisons teach continually. Saved people have a RELATIONSHIP with God, hearing from him as well as talking with him. It’s not a running stream, but impressions, having scripture come to life, hearing what you need to hear at the right time in a sermon, the still small voice inside. GOD IS REAL, A PERSON, A KNOWABLE PERSON. The word most definitely can correct a believer.

          • No, books cannot correct you.

            The Church who wrote those books can correct you.

            This is why you hate the Church so much as it gets in the way of your “gnosis.”

          • Chip Crawford

            The Bible is not an ordinary book. The Holy Spirit wrote it and interprets it. As has been said, it is the only book whose author is with you as you read it. How could your version of church get in my way on anything as I am too absorbed with the real. The errant and wrong is in need of correction, so your church is in no place to administer from God, who is the true corrector. The real church is God’s agent. You deliberately ignore the Holy Spirit. He is the missing link of life and connection. Your church uncoupled from its Holy Spirit connection thousands of years ago. Reformation has come in part, but obviously not your part.

            Your church’s sin: Hebrews 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
            You needn’t stay in its snare. You just talk to Jesus, to God from your heart. The heart is very big with God, its condition. He knows where our hearts are. An open heart to him is precious and what draws his response.

          • Let me rephrase that as “ink on paper”

            your “personal interpretation” is an attempt to scapegoat God so you can claim that Scripture justifies whatever your ego wants at that moment.

          • Chip Crawford

            The word is clear as stated. There is nothing to fear from the Holy Spirit. I pray you hunger and thirst for God and are filled.

          • No, you don’t even know the 4 senses of Scripture or the context and history. you fly exclusively by the seat pants and blaspheme to excuse that.

          • Chip Crawford

            God is a knowable person, calling out to all who will come to him, to raise them up. There have always been men and women too proud, independent or stubborn to come. Instead, they attempt to build a tower of babel trying to ascend without him. They are influenced, deluded by the devil who lies in wait to deceive, to actually bring them down with him. Don’t be one of them.

          • I will not be like you, no. I have the One True Faith.

          • Chip Crawford

            I have the one true God. Your repeated attempts to make this about me are ineffectual. It is facing God directly that is a challenge. You cannot control him. But the lies and fears the devil is speaking to you are just that. Set them aside and just start speaking to God, drawing near. James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. …

          • Once more, projection won’t help.

          • Chip Crawford

            It’s obvious reading down through this, all your little trite inanities in response to substance. I wonder you don’t just stop from embarrassment over having nothing to say. Guess it’s the old – got to have the last word thing from grade school.

          • I am rebuking you when you do it.

          • Chip Crawford

            One must be under authority to exercise it. Since you are arguing with God’s word, setting it aside for what does not agree with it, you are outside his will and his authority, in defiance of it. Though you rail against his messengers, it is God and his word you oppose.

            GOD IS HOLY

            If your Eucharist and confession and the sacraments you claim are endowed of themselves and offices of the church magical on their own, then why are an enormous amount of its ministers not righteously affected, or not partaking at all? Why is there so much unholiness and unGodliness in your ranks? Either way, your willingness to pass that off and abuse others who present God, his word and his spirit to you in sharp contrast to all of it is obvious and indefensible.

          • I am not arguing with God’s word. I am rebuking a very strange blaspheming gnostic that has desperately convinced himself that God is equitable to his ego and that scripture justifies this and every other thing they desire.

            Sacraments are the Graces of God, and the only Graces of God that humanity needs.

            The Offices established by Holy Orders are Sacramental, and therefore established and empowered by God. The Priest or Bishop has no power of his own, God gives them His power so they may act In the Person of Christ. Nothing a Priest or Biahop can do can affect their office, as there is not hung man can do to affect God. Also, because Priest and Bishops are linked to their Offices by God, you attack God and their Offices every time you attack any one or all of them as you are doing in a panic.

            you protestations of “magic” and blaspheming against God’s Church by calumniating against it has earned you something you do not want. despair (the type of projection you are doing to try to distract front our own evil) is a mortal sin, calumny (lying to defame) is a mortal sin, and blamsphemy cries to Heaven for vengeance.

            you will keep despairing, calumniating, and blaspheming to try to protect your ego, and I will keep pointing it out. Eventually you will realize this, and then you will realize just how many times you have done it just for combox trolling. The result will not be pretty when you realize that.

          • Chip Crawford

            God’s word does not support your premises. God’s word is right.

            It is pretty clear that it’s your ego that suffers from contradiction you cannot defend against.

          • The Bible was written by the Church.

            This projection won’t help you.

          • Chip Crawford

            Your “Church” does not follow the Bible in many of its matters
            We all go back to the words of the men used by God to write the words inspired by the Holy Spirit
            Some men set aside the scriptures the faithful ones penned and began to set up their own system of belief.

            You are still following that group and evolving system.
            Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.

            True believers still follow the original writers and have not departed the faith, adding and subtracting from God’s word.

            You cannot claim the writers of the Bible as your source as you have long ago rejected their words.

          • This is for you from Chesterton:

            “What is any man who has been in the real outer world, for instance, to make of the everlasting cry that Catholic traditions are condemned by the Bible? It indicates a jumble of topsy-turvy tests and tail-foremost arguments, of which I never could at any time see the sense. The ordinary sensible sceptic or pagan is standing in the street (in the supreme character of the man in the street) and he sees a procession go by of the priests of some strange cult, carrying their object of worship under a canopy, some of them wearing high head-dresses and carrying symbolical staffs, others carrying scrolls and sacred records, others carrying sacred images and lighted candles before them, others sacred relics in caskets or cases, and so on. I can understand the spectator saying, “This is all hocus-pocus”; I can even understand him, in moments of irritation, breaking up the procession, throwing down the images, tearing up the scrolls, dancing on the priests and anything else that might express that general view. I can understand his saying, “Your croziers are bosh, your candles are bosh, your statues and scrolls and relics and all the rest of it are bosh.” But in what conceivable frame of mind does he rush in to select one particular scroll of the scriptures of this one particular group (a scroll which had always belonged to them and been a part of their hocus-pocus, if it was hocus-pocus); why in the world should the man in the street say that one particular scroll was not bosh, but was the one and only truth by which all the other things were to be condemned? Why should it not be as superstitious to worship the scrolls as the statues, of that one particular procession? Why should it not be as reasonable to preserve the statues as the scrolls, by the tenets of that particular creed? To say to the priests, “Your statues and scrolls are condemned by our common sense,” is sensible. To say, “Your statues are condemned by your scrolls, and we are going to worship one part of your procession and wreck the rest,” is not sensible from any standpoint, least of all that of the man in the street.”

          • Chip Crawford

            This is for you from God:
            Rev 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

          • Projecting ones sickness onto the healthy is the mortal sin of despair.

          • Chip Crawford

            1 Cor 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom
            of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor
            adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10
            Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor
            extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

            Matthew 12:33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else
            make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by
            his fruit.

          • As I said, projection of this kind is a mortal sin. It will not absolve you.

          • Chip Crawford

            We know how invalid is what you say and how unsubstantiated

          • referring to yourself in the plural like demons do?

          • Chip Crawford

            I’m not conversant with demons, so I’ll have to take your word for that.

          • I don’t assume you ever question them, so there isn’t a conversation.

          • Chip Crawford

            Conversant means familiar with or knowledgeable about something, not relating to conversation.

          • I mean conversing in the sense of talking to and communing with.

          • Kathy

            When you have been in bondage for so many years, I imagine it’s a very disconcerting prospect to consider leaving that prison to be set free from that perceived security. “Men will choose religion over a relationship with Christ”

          • Chip Crawford

            to whom do you address the need to leave a prison? It is not clear as stated, subject to gratuitous assingment.

          • Kathy

            Sorry, I mean Nigel living in a “prison” all these years, the RCC. I decided after an extended debate with him like you are having that I would no longer communicate with him directly.

          • Because you have no arguments. It is especially painful to slander God Himself in service of your ego and then have that pointed out.

          • God is at the head of the Church, and blaspheming to protect your ego will not protect you from the truth.

          • Kathy

            You’ve tried your best to share the great and freeing news of the gospel, that Christ took our place and paid the full debt for our sins…it’s the UTMOST INSULT to Him to insist we mere creatures can and must add anything to that free gift. I always say why would God send His beloved Son to suffer so horrendously if He could have just told us to “do penance” etc. instead. Would have saved Him a lot of grief. Just common sense.

            I find he just further discredits his church and helps the clergy to bring about it’s downfall. That could be a blessing to all those in that church that may be true followers of our RISEN Lord. Another disturbing aspect of the church…Christ is still hanging on the cross. He was said to be almost unrecognizable and naked on the cross, yet he’s just got a few scratches here and there on those ornate, sanitized crucifixes (forbidden graven image) I better stop, my rant could go on and on.

          • Chip Crawford

            Yes. Jesus isn’t still on that cross. HE IS RISEN !

            It’s all about Jesus whom you never hear glorified in all the church rhetoric spewed here. He claims it has all been turned over to his group, so they now have the absolute say and exclusive access. Forget the word, what God through the Holy Spirit has to say. He’s got all kinds of names for you if you dare bring that up … Sad

          • Kathy

            Very well said. It is all about the church, who inserts itself between God and man. The temple veil being torn by God when Christ died meant we now have full access to the Father through Jesus, no longer a need for a priest or anyone else to act as a go-between.

            In the many references to our egos, I would think it is actually just the opposite. God is drawn not to the proud, but to the humble and contrite who realize their desperate need and come to Him in repentance. Actually, my ego was totally shattered at that point.

            As you know, we must depend on God continually for His help, not something we can or want to do with an inflated ego. All of the worldly distractions get in the way, doesn’t help when a church insists on getting in the way as well.

  • Ray

    Where are these people going to go, if there is no real system put in place that is in accordance with the teachings of Christ, in a very real, practical, living way? I’m not talking about it just being written in some hidden papers, or papers that though not necessarily hidden, are tucked away somewhere, or just put on display. I’m talking about a real, practical, living way, a way that is preached from the pulpits. If they will not do that, will they stay, and if not, where are they going to go? Will the other churches be ready to receive those whose trust has been shattered? Will they have put in place a real, living, practiced, preached and effective system that deals with offenses that happen between people?

    How many sermons have we heard preached on, about what Jesus taught his disciples to do when a brother sins against them, and how to actually do this, or when one person has a matter against his brother? This would take one through the whole word of God, wouldn’t it? It certainly could, and isn’t that what we need as well as the Holy Spirit?

    If the proper systems were put in place, and practiced, preached openly on, and people were taught on, made disciples in, then this article would not even be on my computer screen and neither would this post be here, either.

    • There are no Sacraments and there is no Salvation outside of the Church. People do not go to real Churches to hear men talk about how to be middle class government-worshipers.

      The Church is also Universal, Eternal, Indivisible, and Indestructible. There is no reason to leave other than God testing people who cannot handle simple conflict.

      • Ray

        If the organized church will not hear a man who comes with the truth, shouldn’t he just leave? If they will not hear him, why should he stay? He might stay until they throw him out, but maybe it would be just as well for some people to just leave, do you suppose?

        • Because the Church is the One True Faith. The ego of a person is meaningless.

          They may leave the Church to please their ego, but they do so at the expense of their soul.

          • Chip Crawford

            What if the Holy Spirit leads them out? Are you above him? Do you place your church above God? Be careful of YOUR ego. I’ve seen you claim rights to the scriptures and appear to reference anyone using them as somehow usurpers. I’m just curious as to the extent of your delusion, placing yourself above God. The claims you make are unfounded, so likely your answer to this will be also, along with the judgmental aspect. You don’t actually glorify or appear to love God in your statements. It’s all condemnation of others like the wicked Pharisees, which is not the Holy Spirit’s way at all.

            Beware though, someone else took on what you are:
            Isaiah 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
            13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
            14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
            15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

            You’ve eaten the fruit of the poisonous tree Repent, believe and submit yourself to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ as does a true follower.

          • So the Holy Spirit would lead them out of the One True Faith? No.

            This is the problem with your heresy. you blasphemously call your ego the “Holy Spirit.”

            What do you think God thinks of you insulting His Church and insulting Him by assuming your ego is equitable to God? Clearly you realize the punishment for blaoshemy is bad if you are trying to accuse me of what you are guilty of by projection.

          • Chip Crawford

            No, you are wrong and you dishonor the truth and genuine believers in God. You cannot exclude anyone from God’s outreach and inclusion to them by your mean and hateful rules. It is not in your power to do so. You are only being used of wrong spirits which deceive you. Stand down.

          • It is not genuine to pretend your ego is equitable to God. There is no salvation outside of the Church, and that applies to you as well

          • Chip Crawford

            My ego is not involved. I am saved by God, who is outside your church. I am in his church, thank you very much. The real question is: are you in God’s church or just that made up space you’ve imagined for yourself. Prove your claims, God’s word validates mine; and it’s not your ownership. I’ve found out you don’t really know the word, just a lot of tin horn bellicose ranting. Get saved.

          • The only way to Go is through the Church that God created for that specific purpose.

            your ego is not a substitute for God or the Church.

          • Chip Crawford

            Matthew 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of
            the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

            John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

          • The Church is the Bride of Christ and the Body of Christ.

          • Chip Crawford

            Jesus Christ is the bridegroom and the Head of his Body.

          • Exactly. There is no way to Christ except through His Bride and Mystical Body.

          • Chip Crawford

            1 Tim. 2:5 For there is one God, and ONE MEDIATOR between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
            [emphasis added]

          • Only one place to find Christ: the Church.

          • Chip Crawford

            Scripture reference please

          • Christ is at the head of the Chuech and God is in control of the Church.

            you fixate on scripture because you can misrepresent it and edit it without protest. you cannot do that to the Church.

          • Chip Crawford

            God’s word sets forth his will and desire. I set it forth as written. It is the claims of men through councils and meetings determining these things that change and fluctuate for personal motive. So it is the opposite of what you state. You complain because you are indeed at a disadvantage because factions of your church have changed things so much, there is nothing in God’s word close enough to reference. In fact many of your current practices and assertions are directly contradicted in God’s word. You do not really know it, because you have chosen something else for your allegiance. I hope your heart will be turned to the Lord and that you will come to celebrate and love his word and know his personal love and hear from his good Spirit.

            Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

          • The Church cannot contradict itself. The Church is Universal (that is what Catholic means) so everything is accounted for and nothing is left out.

            What you are doing is projecting by the mortal sin of despair.

          • Chip Crawford

            God loves you Nigel, very, very much.It is so good that he is real, can be trusted and communicates with us. Each person is valuable and known by him in every detail. He longs for fellowship with us.

        • Lisa

          Even though my mega church has been rocked by scandal (sexual sin), my husband and I choose to stay and fight for reform. We have hope.

          The church is a body of believers. I don’t want to leave my Christian community just because church leadership screwed up.

          • Kathy

            That certainly makes sense unless the scandal or whatever the questionable issue may be is not addressed and continues, or becomes even worse. Didn’t concern sexual sin, but I left a church because I knew I couldn’t change it’s clearly unbiblical teachings.

  • Ray

    I’m thinking a lot of people might speak up and not be heard, and if so, where are they going to go?

  • Ray

    This should be a wake up call for the Church.

  • Helen Weir

    Exactly! So glad somebody finally, courageously pointed out the need to focus on ourselves rather than the situation all around us. It’s high time we took full responsibility for the sins of abusive prelates we have no control over, focusing on our need to become saints rather than on what’s going on all around us. Let’s start following in the footsteps of heroes like Athanasius, who in great humility and awareness of his own shortcomings refused to confront the Arian heretics; of Justin Martyr, who prudently saved himself by muttering, “Who am I to judge?” when asked by a Roman prefect if Catholicism is the one true faith; of Joan of Arc, who dutifully laid down her sword rather than becoming needlessly embroiled in the military wranglings of her day; of Thomas More, whose brave testimonial, “I am God’s good servant, but Jorge Bergoglio’s first,” has reechoed down through the ages. Yes, we will surely be doing what’s best by bowing out of this sexual abuse crisis fight on the grounds that we, as sinners, have no standing to do anything else.

    I think I am supposed to write (sarc) now.

    After decades and decades of never hearing the word “sin” at all, it is truly wonderful to witness its revival in homily after homily, article after article this week. Indeed, those of us who are demanding justice for the victims and punishment for the enablers/perpetrators are being inundated by reminders of our sins. But that reminder seems to come with an unChristian caveat–that we curl up and go away, where the Vigano testimony is concerned.


    It is because repented sins must be atoned for that we need to keep speaking out. It is because we have failed Our Lord in the past that we fully intend, by His grace, never to fail Him again. And to stand down now that Archbishop Vigano has stood up would be to fail Him most grievously indeed.

    (You may say that what I have denounced in this comment is not to be found in the article itself. What is not to be found in the article itself is a clear-cut call to back up Archbishop Vignano to the hilt, demanding that his allegations be investigated and determined to be credible or not. This article’s rhetorical question, “Do you really want your priest to be holy?” implies that we don’t—surreptitiously shifting the blame onto the congregation rather than placing it squarely on the shoulders of the enablers/perpetrators themselves. And for all that is right about the article, this kind of gaslighting is just wrong.)

    • Ray

      Do you suppose many a wayward clergy will be saved by watching the example of purity from the pews? So far, that has been tried, has it not, and yet look at the mess we are in today. Individual sanctification is a requirement, but what happens next? Something more has got to happen. If not, shouldn’t we ask ourselves if sanctification really happened at all?

      • Helen Weir

        Whether sanctification has happened, God will determine in the end, and I–most miserable of sinners–would never disagree that for each of us and for the Church, sanctification comes first. What I reject is the sudden implication that sanctifying ourselves means letting Pope Francis and Company off the hook. How does that follow?

        There is the internal forum, and there is the external. In the external, we hold people accountable for what they have done wrong even though, except for Our Lord and the Blessed Mother, we have all surely sinned. Do we refuse to prosecute bank robbery because we may have coveted something ourselves? The coveting isn’t right and must be corrected; but bank robbers are to be prosecuted and imprisoned all the same. Why doesn’t the “Look to Your Own Sins” crowd emphasize that those who have perpetrated and enabled abuse are as accountable for their actions as we are for ours?

        This “Look To Your Own Sins” jeremiad, so widely parroted all week, rings awfully hollow when all it comes down to is: “And add to them a grave sin of omission, by not speaking out about the necessity of fully investigating the Vigano testimony when God expected you to.”

  • Ray

    If leadership isn’t going to walk right, should a congregant eat with him?

    I’m thinking maybe only during Holy Communion, because isn’t that a time to examine ourselves, only?

  • Ray

    I look at that picture and I have to wonder, What is she doing in a dark place like that? Maybe she is in the light, but if those in the darkness will not hear her, should she stay? Shouldn’t she leave?….that is, if she is not ordained of God as an overseer of those who are in the darkness, right?

  • Stephen D

    Reformation, anybody?

    • James

      Given the record that Protestants have, that really didn’t solve the sex abuse problem.

  • James

    Why are all the sins you mention sexual? Are there not other sins?

    • Jennifer Hartline

      Well, James, it might have something to do with the fact that the sex abuse scandal in the Church is, well, because of sexual sin. It’s not a glutton scandal, or a grand theft auto scandal.

  • ArthurMcGowan

    Sorry. At a time like this, it is impossible to preach like this to the laity without appearing to be trying to change the subject. Or to virtue-signal. Save it for some other time.

    Every Catholic’s FIRST priority at this time is to bring to bear as much pressure as possible for Bergoglio and his corrupt bishops to resign.

    • Jennifer Hartline

      I disagree.

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