I've never broken down another Catholic blogger's entire post before, but today I am going to for two reasons.
First, my response would never fit in this blogger's comment area.
Secondly, besides responding to what she says, I want to share with her why I blog as I do and why I feel the way I do about my Catholic faith, Francis and progressive clergy.
A Catholic blogger from New York, writes (highlights/bold/underscore added by me):
Why Do So Many Converts Reject Pope Francis?Me: For someone who doesn't visit these Catholic websites, she sure has a lot to say about what she claims is to be found on these Catholic websites.
In the same way I don't visit porn sites, racist sites, etc., I now stay away from almost all "Catholic" web sites. These sites do nothing to build my spirituality and bring me closer to God. They literally poison my mind and destroy the presence of the Holy Spirit by driving out the Spirit of love, mercy and compassion and replacing it with a spirit of accusation, condemnation and hate.
An amazing aspect of these sites is that they are basically clones of one another, writing about the same subjects from the same point of view with no original thought. As I have stated previously, it is almost like they were all written by the same person. There is certainly no doubt that they are all driven by the same spirit.Me: I am guessing she's not speaking about the Holy Spirit here.
I don't think these "catholic" bloggers actually consult each other, and yet they all manage to come to the same conclusion: the Catholic Church is dying and Pope Francis and his "henchman" bishops are actively participating in that destruction.Me: I haven't seen ANY Catholic bloggers conclude "the Catholic Church is dying". Myself and the Catholic websites I follow all generally cling to Christ's words "the gates of hell will not prevail". While we may agree that the Church will become smaller, I don't think I've ever seen any Catholic blogger say the Catholic Church is "dying". I do see (and believe myself) that "Francis and his henchmen" are destroying the FAITH OF PEOPLE with chaos, confusion and down right heresy.
Example, Address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences10, Oct 27, 2014: Pope Francis-“When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so.”
Catholic teaching: “And Jesus beholding, said to them: With men this is impossible: but with God all things are possible” Matt 19:26
“Behold I am the Lord the God of all flesh: shall any thing be hard for me?” Jer 32:27I'll stick with the God of Sacred Scripture rather than Francis' OPINIONS of God.
These bloggers and those who follow them believe they are the only true Catholics left on earth, and it is they who will save the Church and, by extension, the world. We have not seen this much rebellion and rejection of authority in the Church since the Reformation.Me: Nope. I don't believe we are the only "true Catholics left on earth", nor have I ever seen any other Catholic blogger make such a claim. Perhaps this Catholic NY blogger will share exactly who made such a claim? I believe that most of the Catholics in the United States are CEO's- Christmas and Easter only Catholics as that is when the pews are suddenly packed.
As for the weekly Catholics or even those attending monthly- many of them are confused and don't know the faith. I know this from experience. I know Catholics who claim birth control and abortion are "between them and God"- this is in direct opposition to Catholic teaching. I know Catholics who believe women will be priests and that there is nothing wrong with gay "marriage" or unions. Again, direct opposition to Catholic teaching. The list goes on.
Just how did these bloggers end up with their decidedly non-Catholic world view? How have they become so confident in their own sanctity and their right to label all others, including the Vicar of Christ, as evil? Why is it happening now?
Me: What part of my views are "non-Catholic"? When Catholic bloggers like myself, point out what the Church teaches- as opposed to the OPINIONS of Francis or any clergy, how is it WE are the ones with the "non-Catholic" views? 😕
For example, Francis stated in an interview there is no Hell. Clearly this is a "non-Catholic" view.
Interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica25, Mar 28, 2018: When asked where bad souls are punished, Francis replied: “They are not punished, those who repent obtain the forgiveness of God and enter the rank of souls who contemplate him, but those who do not repent and cannot therefore be forgiven disappear. There is no hell, there is the disappearance of sinful souls.”
Catholic teaching: Catechism #1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, "eternal fire." 617 The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.
Some said, Francis was misquoted, yet neither Francis, nor anyone at the Vatican denied the quote or issued any sort of correction for it. So we know, Francis does not believe in Hell a clear "non-Catholic" view.
Another example, Francis' view on couples shacking up together outside of marriage.
Address to the Diocese of Rome’s Pastoral Congress, Q&A Session14, Jun 16, 2016: “They prefer to cohabitate, and this is a challenge, a task. Not to ask ‘why don’t you marry?’ No, to accompany, to wait, and to help them to mature, help fidelity to mature.”........ “I’ve seen a lot of fidelity in these cohabitations, and I am sure that this is a real marriage, they have the grace of a real marriage because of their fidelity.”
Catholic teaching: "The scandal of concubinage is removed by marriage, which should be made known to those who were scandalized, either by the pastor or by the parties themselves." Canon Law 1043
"Hence if both parties intended and expressed the intention in some way or other to enter upon a mere Concubinage, there would be no marriage." Canon Law 1082
"If a marriage is found invalid, as, for instance, among the Gallas, where slaves contract a contubernium or legalized concubinage, the parties must be separated until they are lawfully married" Canon Law 1084
"Therefore concubinage must be given up because incompatible with Christian morals" Canon Law 1124
Me: Again, I point out it is Francis who has the "non-Catholic" view, not the Catholic bloggers who cling to the authentic teachings of the Church.
One common factor among these self-righteous bloggers is that many, although not all, are Protestant converts. Here are just a few prominent converts who have publicly rejected Pope Francis: John Zuhlsdorf, Dwight Longenecker, George Rutler, Taylor Marshall, John Hunwicke, Steve Ray, Scott Hahn, Mary Ann Kreitzer. There are many more.
In reading the stories of their conversions, it is interesting to note that their attraction to the Catholic Church did not arise from an awareness of their personal sin but from dissatisfaction with their Protestant churches. They were basically in a good spot with God, but they were not getting what they felt they needed or wanted from their churches. Their conversions were of the intellect and not of the spirit. Not one of them has a "road to Damascus" story.
By this, I mean not one of them had a moment of clarity about their own sinfulness and need for the mercy, compassion and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. This was not the driving force in their lives in any sense. Their stories are all about identifying the "right" Church.Me: What this blogger does not understand is that evangelical Christians believe they are ALREADY saved. They are taught and believe that they are "washed" already the moment they claim Jesus as their Savior. That Jesus did the work. This is why they don't have confession and reject the priesthood. Most believe baptism is just an outward sign of proclaiming Jesus as your Lord.
Speaking as a convert to the Catholic Church it NEVER occurred to me to seek out another way to be forgiven from my sins because I believed God had already done that. I never questioned that part of my Protestant faith. Protestants don't think the way Catholics do about sin. There is no "mortal" or "venial" sin for evangelical Christians. Sin is sin and Jesus loves us so he forgives us our sins if we love him and believe him to be the Messiah. That is the attitude. They do not believe baptism washes away original sin- rather they believe merely believing in Jesus washes sins away (some don't even believe in original sin).
NY blogger says "not one of them had a moment of clarity about their own sinfulness and need for the mercy, compassion and forgiveness of Jesus Christ" - she has it all backwards. That is all Protestantism is about- that Jesus is all forgiving so no priest is needed for Confession. I came out of Protestantism that taught me Jesus is all "mercy, compassion and forgiveness" with no need to confess or worry about things like birth control, abortion, remarriage, divorce. In Protestantism you can divorce and remarry over and over and over again precisely because "Jesus is so forgiving and merciful". This is NOT right, yet it is believed inside of Protestantism.
I am not going to quote the examples NYblogger gives on Catholic's she points out as not having authentic Saul to Paul moments in their conversions, you can see them for yourselves on her blog. She turns up her nose at these people because in her opinion they aren't like Saint Augustine so they are lacking. Talk about being judgmental!
None of the contemporary "converts" listed above displays the humble spirit of the publican. They all stand with the Pharisee. In fact, they pat themselves on the back on their ability to identify the "right" Church.Me: Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. We do not "pat ourselves on the back" for becoming Catholic, we thank Jesus everyday for leading us Home. We were the lost sheep following false shepherds yet we were able with the help of the Holy Spirit to hear the voice of The Shepherd and come Home. We are joyful, thankful and down right giddy to have found our way Home after being lost in the desert for years. This is not "self-righteousness" at all. Perhaps cradle Catholics can't wrap their minds around it, but I know other converts know exactly what I am speaking of. And we are NOT rejecting the authority of the Catholic Magisterium or the Pope or the Bishops when they are teaching the Faith. We do NOT have to accept their OPINIONS on situations, events, people or places. What Catholics must do is accept the authentic teachings of the Church- if we reject a teaching we are heretics. (Remember it is Francis who rejects the Church's teachings on Hell, unmarried couples living together etc.)
And just as they felt free to reject the authority of their Protestant churches, they feel that same freedom to reject the authority of the Catholic Magisterium, i.e., Pope Francis and the bishops.
This same spirit of self righteousness and rebellion is seen among cradle Catholic bloggers as well. These bloggers never discuss their own sinfulness and need for God. There is never any emphasis on mercy, compassion and forgiveness. These sites name their enemies and denounce them with a ferocity worthy of any Pharisee denouncing Jesus Christ.
A good example of this is our old friend, Michael Voris. Voris hid his sinful homosexual life for as long as he could, feeling it was a "private" matter. During all that time, instead of showing compassion for others trapped in that same lifestyle, he condemned them to hell, showing no mercy whatseover. Even now after he has been "outed", he continues to condemn without mercy.Me: Wrong again NYblogger. First, Jesus' time for judging and condemning us hasn't come yet (John 16:8). Secondly, Jesus did point out sin, tell people they must repent and warn them about sinning again. When was the last time you heard Francis warn someone their sins would land them an eternity in Hell?
This spirit of self righteousness and condemnation is the spirit of Protestantism. It is completely antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Never once did Our Lord condemn sinners. Jesus Christ always showed mercy, compassion and forgiveness.
John 5:14 "Later Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you have been made well! Do not sin any more, so that nothing worse happens to you.”
Our Lord refused to condemn a woman who was caught in the actual act of adultery. He did not even condemn the criminal on the cross who taunted him. At the same time, he immediately forgave the criminal who merely said, "Remember me when you come into your Kingdom."Me: Jesus told ALL sinners to REPENT. Again, Christ's time to condemn people hasn't come yet. It will. That is what Judgement Day is.
The spirit of rebellion and rejection of authority exhibited by these "catholic" bloggers is the same spirit which infected the ancient Israelites when they went to the Prophet Samuel and asked for a human king. As The Lord told Samuel, "it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king." (I Sam 8:7).
This was echoed by Jesus Christ when He told the apostles, "Anyone who accepts your message is also accepting me. And anyone who rejects you is rejecting me. And anyone who rejects me is rejecting God, who sent me." (Luke 10:16).
Those More Catholic Than the Pope hate Pope Francis because he preaches a message of mercy and forgiveness of sinners. Look at their arguments. They are angry because the Pope wants to extend mercy to divorced and remarried, to homosexuals, to non Catholics, to Islamic refugees, etc. etc. They claim that the mercy of Pope Francis is really a disguise for his endorsement of sin, and that therefore he is really a child of the devil, an evil heretic who must be resisted.
Sounds a whole lot like the condemnation leveled against Jesus Christ by the Pharisees of His time.Me: Stop the bus! "They are angry because the Pope wants to extend mercy to divorced and remarried, to homosexuals, to non Catholics, to Islamic refugees, etc. etc", again myself and the Catholic bloggers I see are angry because Francis is teaching OPPOSITE of Catholic teaching.
It is NOT mercy to give Holy Communion to adulterers, or active homosexuals, non-Catholics etc. That is sacrilege. When Catholic bloggers point out Catholic teaching about homosexual relationships...
...we are not being mean, we are being Catholics! Christ said we are to rebuke those in sin [Luke 17:3 "Take heed to yourselves; if your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him;"] and the Catholic Church requires us to share our Faith, not keep it to ourselves. If we see someone in mortal sin and remain silent allowing them to be eternally damned we WILL have to answer for it- we ARE our brothers keepers.
Those More Catholic Than the Pope deal in a world of black and white. Either you are righteous like they are and are going to heaven, or you are a sinner headed to hell. They feel their job is to tell people they are sinners, and then it is up to the people to "get right" with God or go to hell.
Francis says we must meet people where they are and walk with them on the path to salvation. This message is completely rejected by the Protestant converts and far too many cradle Catholics who think like Protestants. I can't judge their hearts, but their actions are not Catholic, They are Protestants in every sense of the word, right down to their rejection of the Papacy.Me: Wrong again. First, no one is rejecting "the Papacy". Ridiculous. And the issue isn't "walking with people on the path to salvation" it is walking with them on the path to Hell. If the path led to salvation it would be wonderful. But that isn't what is happening.
Example, Francis appointed Fr. James Martin as consultor to the Vatican's Secretariat for Communications and invited Martin to be a speaker at the World Meeting of Families in Ireland last August to speak about homosexual Catholics. Yet Martin promotes pro-gay books which encourage gay "marriage" and gay couples which is in direct opposition to Catholic teaching.
He writes a book about "meeting LGBTQ people where they are" and crossing a "bridge" together. A bridge to where? Repentance? Does Martin tell LGBTQ people that gay "marriage" is a mortal sin that leads to eternal damnation? Nope. This is in direct opposition to Jesus who met the sinner, pointed out the sinner's sin and told the sinner to repent. This is what is wrong with "meeting people where they are"- Francis and clergy like Martin LEAVE them in their sins. They meet them where they are and abandon them to their sins. This is NOT Catholic.
What are the signs of true conversion? It is much more than changing your religious affiliation and registering as a member of a Catholic parish.
A true convert is one who realizes that he cannot take credit for "finding" God. God is the one who sought out and found him. His repentance does not come from himself but is a gift from God.
A true convert realizes that he has nothing to give God, but that everything he has comes from God.
A true convert is not drawn to the Church because it looks spiritual. A true convert is not converted to the physical trappings of the Church, whether it is the "right" architecture, the size of the altar, the quality of the music, the kind of vestments worn by the priest, the use of Latin, or which direction the priest is facing.
A true convert is drawn to the Catholic Church because Jesus Christ is in the tabernacle. Jesus Christ is present in the Holy Eucharist. Jesus Christ is present in the confessional. Jesus Christ with His Mother, His angels and His saints are present at the Holy Mass. A true convert realizes that the Holy Spirit is working in the Church whether we understand it or not, and that faith does not depend on how much we do or do not understand.
A true follower of Jesus Christ is one who deeply and profoundly recognizes his own sinfulness and his complete and total need for the mercy and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. A true convert realizes that he deserves hell and it is only through the love of God that he can escape hell.Me: The irony of NYblogger stating "One who has truly experienced the mercy and forgiveness of Jesus Christ will never stand in judgment of others."😂
In short, a true convert is a sinner in need of forgiveness.
All saints speak of their own sinfulness. Even St. Therese of Lisieux, who never committed even one mortal sin in her 24 years on earth, felt the great heaviness of her sin and the great mercy of Jesus Christ:Like the publican, I felt I was a great sinner. I found God to be so merciful! I found it so touching to address oneself to the whole heavenly court to obtain God’s pardon through its intercession. Ah! I could hardly keep from crying, and when the Sacred Host touched my lips, I was really moved.One who has truly experienced the mercy and forgiveness of Jesus Christ will never stand in judgment of others. A true convert will realize that he is no better than the one he is judging. Pope Francis showed this understanding when, asked who Jorge Bergoglio is, he replied, "I am a sinner."
Unless and until we can identify as a sinner in need of forgiveness, we will never be true converts. I hope and pray that the "catholic" blogosphere will experience true conversion and stop pushing their false version of Catholicism.[end NYblogger quote]
Her entire diatribe was one long judgment of Catholic converts she judged as not "true converts" because we have failed HER litmus test. The hypocrisy!
In true sincerity, I hope this clarifies for the NYblogger (and others who share her opinions) why I and Catholic bloggers like myself feel as we do and blog as we do. We are weighing everything our clergy says and does-be it pope or parish priest- against the authentic teachings of the Catholic Church. We aren't basing our views on emotions or unsubstantiated opinions. We've got Catholic teachings (catechism, canon law etc) to backup our views.
Catholic converts usually do years of studying and digging around Catholic teachings before we are willing to admit Protestantism is a false man-made religion and that we must reject it and enter the Catholic Church. This is not an easy journey for most of us. On the journey we fall more and more in love with Catholicism (remember we already loved Jesus). Because of that love for Christ's Church we are willing to defend Her and Her teachings against anyone who would lie about Her or try to harm Her - especially wayward clergy because they do the most damage (ie Martin Luther).
Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner
**A bit of my story being a Catholic convert can be read in my 2014 post HERE.