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An evangelical looks at Catholicism…. February 9, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, sadness, Society.

……and finds evangelicalism wanting?  More total gold from Msgr. Pope at the Archdiocese of Washington blog.  I must say, way to go Cardinal Wuerhl, this blog is superior.   Msgr. Pope has a post with an evangelical criticizing the evangelical’s lack of engagement on cultural issue, and it is followed by a video, which I will include, which blew me away, because except for one huge point, it is exactly what I have been trying to clumsily convey here for a long time.  Msgr. Pope’s post is long, so I’ll give an excerpt, you can read the rest there.  First, the evangelical’s comments in bold, then Msgr. Pope’s:

Why are Catholics and Mormons increasingly bold when so many evangelicals are increasingly timid? Why are Catholics so often leading on life and Mormons so often leading on marriage? The answer, I think, is theological and cultural, two words that expose profound weaknesses in American evangelicalism. [I would like to say I think Catholics are also showing something of a lead on marriage issues, but in an incomplete way. It is clear we are against Gay “marriage.” But how well do we really uphold true marriage in our lives? Our doctrine is clear enough, but in practice we have high numbers of divorce and annulments. Whereas the Mormans have large, strong,  and stable families, our witness in the actual way we live is sore comprimised. Hence,  our author does not see us as the strong witnesses to marriage we ought to be].  

First, theology. One cannot spend five minutes with thoughtful Catholics without understanding how the defense of life is a fundamental and integral part of the DNA of the church. Since the defense of life is theologically-grounded, it is functionally and practically independent of any secular ideology. Nuns who one day attend a sit-in for immigrant rights may the next day do sidewalk counseling outside of Planned Parenthood. Bishops, “progressive” or conservative, defend life in Catholic hospitals. Catholics who study church doctrine, who immerse themselves in the teachings of the church, understand that to defend life is to imitate Christ. Life is not just an “issue,” for a Catholic; it is at the core of the Gospel. [Well, I wish what he said here was wholly true. There are unfortunately some aspects of  politics that separate Catholics out into two wings as we have discussed elsewhere on this blog. On one wing are Catholics who are pro-life and focused on the great moral issues of our time: Abortion, Euthanasia, Embryonic Stem cell research, sex education and so forth. On the other wing are Catholics  focused on the social issues: poverty, immigrant rights, capital  punishment, health care and so forth.  

Our author’s picture of the nun sitting in for immigrant rights and protesting later in front of the PP “clinic” is beautiful but rarer than I would like. Not all Catholics easily stride back and forth between the two wings. I know many who do and would like to think I am one who does, but the truth is there ARE secular ideologies that negatively impact our ability to be truly prophetic. But pay attention fellow Catholics, someone sees us as strong in this area. Why don’t we strive to live up to the powerful image our Evangelical brother sees?  

Thank God, too our theology IS very clear on life, seeing it not merely as an issue but as deeply rooted in the Gospel and the Tradition going all the way back to the Didache. Recall the strong reaction to Nancy Pelosi by ALL the bishops when she said it was something less than settled doctrine and only of recent origin. But it is long standing doctrine.  Abortion is an intrinsic moral evil without exception (ex toto genere suo). The doors are quickly closing on any Catholic who would hold otherwise].  

Tons more at Msgr. Pope’s site – go hit him up! I agree that the evangelical has an overly sanguine view of Catholicism – sort of the outsider’s grass is always greener view.  If all Catholics accepted all Doctrine and practiced it to the best of our abilities, his comments would be very true.  Now, the video, which, well, you check it out:

Hearing this from an evangelical is incredibly refreshing.  It’s all very accurate, except for the huge point of contention between Catholics and protestants – the evangelical claims we are justified by faith alone, whereas Catholics know we are justified by Faith and works.  In fact, the evangelical knows, it too……he claims we are saved by ‘faith,’ but then says we must have repentance to be saved.  REPENTANCE IS A WORK!  He’s contradicting himself, but pray for him, he’s very much on the right path.  James 2:20-22! 

The number one thing that led me to reject protestantism (aside from the total moral-theological collapse of ‘mainline’ protestantism) is the failure of ‘faith alone,’ and the notions of ‘once saved always saved’ that come from it as well as the idea that “if I accept Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior, I get a get into heaven free card.”  Sorry…..that isn’t supported by Scripture, or the Church fathers, or the example of the Saints, or any classical theologian.  When you go through Scripture and start connecting the dots of theology, they lead one place – The Catholic Church.  There was only ever meant to be one Church, and I pray that this very spirited, very moved protestant will cross the Tiber and become one with the Body of Christ, warts and all.   What a great speaker, and boy, do I worry about the same thing – the primary reason I rant on this blog is because I SO fear for the state of the souls of so many people, including a huge number of Catholics.  I agree with this evangelical Paul Washer – I fear we may be very surprised (Phil 2:12).

I would remind our evangelical (and Catholic) friends of a few other things God hates, probably even more than TV shows (and I have no TV): contraception, divorce and remarriage, porn, adultery, drunkeness, licentiousness, immodesty……..


1. thewhitelilyblog - February 9, 2011

Well, I’m in both wings, and it’s where we belong.

Wing one: SSPX, baby; I kayak in a skirt. Veils are FUN and I thank ladies in burquas. (I heard there’s some mountain climbers who wear skirts because they’re superior garments for mobility. I always knew it.)

Wing two: oh yeah. I keep looking for that third party that will make a political alliance with the prots and every other last remaining soul that believes in God at all, and organize around making the ten commandments part of the constitution (according to a Gallup poll, 70% of Americans would vote for that), that will start breaking up the “too big to fail” conglomerates in a nicely distributist way, that doesn’t care about equalizing income, but does promote equalizing ownership, that says what’s wrong with capitalism is there’s too few of them, and fix that, that will regulate where it’s needed to get the flock to heaven well-fed. That’s on the gold standard. Man, we own NOTHING. We are so much poorer than our forebears! Our money isn’t real! We’re slaves! I think this third, religious, party should ally with fundamental islam, not keep kicking them for wanting essentially what we want, a moral structure, marriage, freedom from porn, freedom from alcoholism, a prayerful society, no celebration of homosexuality–let them have the religious states they so rightly desire,where they are the majority, and let us have ours, with tolerance in each for religious minorites (notice I don’t say “rights?” ‘Cause muslims’ll shoot my liberal behind, and they SHOULD.”Religious freedom” is where we got where we are today in the US.)They permit divorce and still in some places polygamy, but look what we live with now and tell me you couldn’t live under sharia law, I mean if you lived in a place where they were the majority, and just not get divorced easier than you can raise those little girls here. Tantum, we’re dying in foreign places to make them be just like us. Pretty — what? I find it hard to understand.

We could start with one state–say, Indiana. It would scare the snot out of liberals. They’d reinstitute DADT.

Secularism is our enemy. Liberalism is our enemy. It’s all one thing.

tantamergo - February 10, 2011

Secularism is our enemy. Liberalism is our enemy. It’s all one thing.”

I agree with that! I just friended FSSPX on Facebook!

So, Voris floated the idea of a Catholic monarchy being the optimal form of government. Did you see how that was received? Even by nominally orthodox Catholics, let alone the seculars? We have so very much work to do. I scoff at that Gallup poll – they may like that idea in concept, but then why don’t they conduct their lives just a little bit by those 10 Commandments and stop contracepting, divorcing, etc? I’ve actually been thinking about the Catholic party thing, however…..it may have some merit – in 8 or 10 years.

2. Voris on the ‘secret agreement,’ and I rant « A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics - February 10, 2011

[…] to state clearly and unequivocally where this mush mouthed indifferent lukewarm faith leads, and I even posted a video of a goofy evangelical yesterday who is well on the road to orthodox Catholicism if he could get […]

3. Raulito - February 11, 2011

Looking for the rise of the Catholic monarchy in the United States…as long as I get to be the monarch!

tantamergo - February 11, 2011

heh heh…..we’ll have to see about that! But I do wonder if a political party centered on the Catholic faith as it’s ‘planks’ wouldn’t be a good idea. I don’t know if such a thing has ever existed in the US. They have been very common in Europe.

Raulito - February 11, 2011

I have often considered that same proposition. I would like to create one if given the tools and materials needed and, of course, support from our blessed Lord. Am still in the process of naming such an organization…it’d have to be a pretty clever one, methinks…

4. Karl - February 12, 2011

Do not like Msgr. Pope based upon his blogging regarding
divorce and nullity. Reading him is thus a waste of time.

tantamergo - February 13, 2011

Hadnt seen that. He’s done a couple other goofy things lately – almost like a different person talking.

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