Anyone who follows this blog, knows that I grew up in a protestant church and converted to the Catholic faith as an adult. I had more than 30 years of protestantism in my life- and I was not someone who never attended a church. I grew up in church, joined everything they had...youth groups, Sunday school for children and adults, bible studies, Christian book clubs and on and on.
I heard over and over again, that as a Christian I could discover God anywhere at any time because every believer was a "priest" (in the "universal priesthood" theology from dear ol' heretic Martin Luther). That my personal relationship with God was my own to explore in whatever manner worked for me. I didn't need a specific church or a minister/priest because ALL believers and followers of Christ were themselves members of the "universal priesthood"-there was no royal priesthood and still isn't for Protestants and their theology. As the saying goes "Protestants are their own popes!" - its true. Each Protestant gets to decide everything for themselves.
For some people, that means never setting foot in a church building. This is why so many people tune in to watch televangelists- they are taught they can find their "personal relationship with God" anywhere so there is no need to attend or belong to a church community. They can instead tune in to Christian televangelists to occasionally "be fed the Word of God" and to "grow in their Bible knowledge".
This is protestant theology for many Christians.
Today when I heard it (via Rome Reports) coming from the Vatican my heart sank.
Quote from Rome Reports:
"”It was the plenary meeting of the . The Pope asked them to continue questioning without fear about what exactly is "the most coherent place to find Christ and follow Him.”
Knowingly or unknowingly, people at the Vatican (including our current pope) are promoting Protestantism and telling people (people who hear the words of televangelists on TV and other protestant leaders will recognize this in a heartbeat) that they DO NOT NEED THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. That the "great change" in the Catholic Church is suddenly Protestant theology. It's not, but that is how it sounds to people who have heard this sort of teaching before. This isn't new to protestants, this is the foundation of their theology.
When people hear the Pope telling anyone (yes, I realize this is spoken to the PCNE) to "continue questioning without fear about what exactly is the most coherent place to find Christ and follow Him" what they will get out of that is exactly what Protestants have been teaching for centuries "You don't need the Catholic Church to have a personal relationship with God. You can find that anywhere all on your own."
That IS the message being heard here.
If the Church doesn't make the message loud and CLEAR (something this Pope has a problem with) that the Holy Catholic Church IS "the most coherent place to find Christ and follow Him" then the Church is COMPLETELY failing in Her mission.
There should be NO question here.
Jesus Christ created ONE Church and that Church is the best place to "find Christ and follow Him".
Why is the Catholic Church ENCOURAGING anyone to "question" this?
Why is the Catholic Church telling anyone to question these beliefs "without fear"?
Its almost as if they have forgotten the existence of the Eucharist to hear such talk.
They are knowingly or unknowingly making the Church irrelevant to many people when such messaging comes out.
The Church must BOLDLY proclaim that She has always been and always will be "the most coherent place to find Christ and follow Him" because She is the ONLY place He is found Body, Soul, Blood and Divinity. Period.
I wish Pope Francis would understand that.
In Christ & praying for the Church,
Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner
Rome Reports: http://www.romereports.com/pg161627-pope-invites-christians-to-rethink-their-method-of-catechesis-en
Related link: http://connecticutcatholiccorner.blogspot.com/2013/08/catholics-to-begin-commemorating.html