Skip to comments.'It was a sign': Lapsed Catholics lured back by Pope Francis
Posted on 04/10/2013 3:48:20 PM PDT by NYer
Twenty million Americans consider themselves lapsed Catholics, but Pope Francis is convincing many to test the holy waters again with his bold gestures and common touch.
After years of disenchantment with the church's hierarchy and teachings, former members of the flock say they are willing to give the Vatican a second chance under new leadership.
Dallas teacher Marilyn Rosa is one of them.
"It was a sign," Rosa, 57, said of the Argentine Jesuit's election as pontiff last month. "It was like a miracle."
Born and raised Catholic, Rosa attended parochial schools and had a church wedding for her first marriage. Over the years, she drifted away from the religion that had been such an integral part of her Puerto Rican family's life.
She questioned the relevance of church policies in the modern world. As a divorced woman, she felt cast out. The pedophile-priest scandals disgusted her.
Three years ago, she quit going to Mass and joined an evangelical church. But she didn't feel at home and she started to wonder how she could fill the void.
"The day the pope got elected, I turned on the TV and when I learned he was Latin, I went crazy at home," said Rosa.
"When they started to talk about how he lived by himself and didn't move into the archbishop's residence, how he took the bus to work, I said, 'I know God is talking to me. This is the man we needed.'"
On Palm Sunday, she and her second husband "reverted," attending services at Dallas' St. Pius X Catholic Church.
"It was packed. I had to stand up the whole time. But I felt so happy. It was like a revival," she said.She questioned the relevance of church policies in the modern world. As a divorced woman, she felt cast out. The pedophile-priest scandals disgusted her.
(Excerpt) Read more at usnews.nbcnews.com ...
"He's not letting himself be controlled by the rest of the church," Rosa said. "He's his own man."
So, it's all about physical appearances and not about the actual truths taught.
They act like he’s the first pope who’s Catholic.
There is NO SUCH THING as "leaving the Church." Baptism is FOREVER and Rosa CONVENIENTLY forgot that. She ain't foolin' me. She is a Catholic in the DEEP denial of sin. The Evil One sold her a bill of goods.
I find this all very interesting. While some of these folks will return to practicing their religion, many sound to me like their “change of heart” is superficial.
It is nice that they are inspired by Pope Francis’s humble example, but the 2 previous Popes were also humble and holy men. The end result desired is a change of heart and to follow in Jesus’s footseps, converting yourself to be a follower of Jesus, not a person who wants the church to change according to their own values. The gal who went to a Unitarian Church does not sound like a serious Christian believer to me, but that is my own opinion. At least for now we stil have religious freedom in the USA, which is all for the good.
So, is she going to leave her second “husband” and renounce her fornicating ways?
Millions have the same resume, know next to nothing about the faith and are lousy "Catholics". Joe Biden comes to mind.
my mom and another woman, huge obama supporters can barely contain themselves over how much they like this pope so that makes me very suspicious
“So, is she going to leave her second husband and renounce her fornicating ways?”
If divorce (for adultery) and death didn’t end a marriage, God would not have allowed remarriage... and Christ would not have reaffirmed God the Father’s words.
If she did not divorce over adultery - or if her first husband isn’t dead, she has deeper issues to repent from.
People have to start somewhere. Maybe many (even if not this woman) will go from admiring Pope Francis’s “accidentals” to paying attention to what he says.
My pastor is still “recycling” his sermons, as of last Sunday ;-).
WHAT THE HELL DIFFERENCE does it make where the Pope comes from?????????? Whatever.
I’ve been “lapsed” since Vatican II. I’m staying that way until Vatican II is lapsed.
It is nice to see that the new father of the church is attempting to live a simple life. It’s left to be seen if he is as conservative as he is simple.
Church begins when you leave the doors of the Holy Place’s confine and embrace society. Praying for an “hour” then supporting everything against Scripture in order the gain the world’s affection will not cut “It”.
How do you enter deep, deep, deep into Christ's Catholic Church? Honey, sub specie aeternatis, we're all in the kiddie pool here.
I think if I could convert, anybody could.
Hold the door open. God wants them. In their heart of hearts, they probably know they need to be saved, and the comfort-pleasure-ease society around them ain't gonna do it for them.
Lord, save us!
I helped guide a couple of my RCIA students through annulments. It's hard. Sometimes it's REALLY hard. But ---not always, but sometmes --- the annulment process reveals that the firs marriage was so defective that no way was it Sacramental.
And then? Maybe they'll walk off. Or, maybe they'll be shook up but take another look.
Pray for them!
It's a Hispanic thing.
Good point, Tax-chick. People are taking a second look, and a first step? At least they’re going in the right direection.
Well, to some people it makes a difference. I remember the Polish people in Erie, PA going wild when Karol Wojtyla became Pope John Paul II in 1978. For some,just such a detail can be like the hinge on a door: just a very small thing, but it makes he whole thing swing open.
Did Christ lie?
St. Francis de Sales said: thatose who "give" scandal are murderers of souls. But those who "take" scandal are suicides.
If they pay attention (maybe if they go to a church where the priest’s homilies are, “This is what the Pope said over the last few days.”) they will hear things everyone needs ... about taking risks to share God’s love with others ... about making faith the first priority in life ... even about taking a look at yourself and knocking off the gossip. Any small step in the way of holiness and truth is the right step, even if it’s not made from the deepest motives.
God is calling everyone, and people start hearing for different reasons.
We cannot downplay Francis’s humility and being a servant.These are two of the biggest weaknesses of the clergy in my area of the country.The US clergy can learn a lot from the foreign clergy in these areas.
Maybe some of them think he’s going to ‘change the rules’ so that they’ll be OK with the Church, without changing anything about themselves. I think many are going to be terribly disappointed, and angry with their local priests thinking they’re not going along with the Pope, if they continue to support the Church’s teachings.
I think this article is a joke personally. These folks left the Church because of the teachings...you know, the ones THEY have the right answer to as opposed to the Church.
Um, well, the teachings haven’t changed (and won’t) so who are they fooling? Not me.
Eh, consider me skeptical and jaded, but I’m betting that the desire to return to the Church will be short-lived... as soon as the Pope starts pushing orthodoxy they’ll turn on him so fast it will make your head spin.
yeah when he holds the line on abortion he will lose my mom and when he holds the line on homosexuality he will lose my the friend of mine who hates Catholics but likes the new pope
What changed your mind?
“The Catholic Church doesn’t recognize divorce/remarriage in cases of adultery. Annulment (a finding of nullity) can be obtained only if the first marriage was actually for some reason invalid right from the start. For instance if one of the spouses never actually intended a lifelong, faithful, monogamous union.”
Of course, more importantly, God did allow divorce, and Christ and the Apostle Paul affirmed divorce in the case of adultery. All were recorded in the Spirit-breathed, Holy Scriptures.
“I used to be as dingbatty as any dingbat in this article.”
Not possible. You may have been. . . imperfect (aren’t we all anyway), but dingbatty? I doubt you were.
They may reject Pope Francis when he turns out to be (Surprise!) Catholic. But Our Lord knew that some of the seed sown would be lost, choked out, not ell rooted. You are still oliged to sow the seed and hope for the best, right?
I had a huge prejudice against the Church because I thought Catholics (and believers in general) were unthinking, unquestioning, unreflective, not adventurous freethinkers like myself. And the pro-life people were, to my mind, right-wing fanatics, or well-intentioned naive middle-class women who had always led comfortable lives and didn't know the Real World Situations that caused women to have abortions.
In other words, I had swallowed the stereotypes whole. Plus, I couldn't imagine being on the same side as Jesse Helms.
What turned me around was tha I met some of these believers and found them good thinkers, able to ask and answer questions, able to give an account for their faith; as well as realistic, good-hearted, genuinely committed to the well-being of women in crisis pregnancies, etc.
It was the patient good-will and reasonableness of the Capital C Catholics that turned me abound.
Hm. Three paragraphs here. Oh, the stories I could tell! Boy, I do go on...! :o)
Divorce was permitted in the Old Testament for any reason. However, the penalty for adultery (by a wife, not by a husband) was death.
Christ also did not permit divorce for adultery. The passage in Matthew misinterpreted to mean that does not use the Greek word for "adultery", but a different word, porneia (often translated "lewdness"). The implication is that people who are unlawfully married (due to consanguinity, for example) or simply "shacking up" are free to contract a real marriage.
Telling people they can get divorced and remarry if they commit adultery simply tempts them to commit a serious sin to get what they want, something Our Lord was not in the business of doing.
So what does Jesus mean when He says, "except in the cases of porneia"? A better understanding of the Greek is that it means "unlawful sexual union" --- i.e., that the supposed first marriage itself was porneia, unlawful.
That makes sense because (1) it's a more accurate translation, and (2) in the practical sense, Jesus could not have said that anyone who wants to get out of a marriage, just has to commit adultery, and then, voila, divorce is possible. This would positively reward people for adultery, by dissolving their marriage, which is what they wanted in the first place.
Besides, if adultery could dissolve a marriage, it would contradict what Jesus said about marriage being a bond which "no man can put asunder." If you can put it asunder just by going ahead and committing adultery, then every marriage is dissolvable, and rather easily at that.
Oh yes, I was dingbatty. I am just glad there are no videos available. It’s one thing I really dread about the General Judgment.
The "Spirit-filled, God-breathed" Holy Scriptures do, however, say that God "hates" divorce. (Malachi 2:16)
“The man (woman) who is in Christ Jesus is a new creation”, says St. Paul. :-)
Thanks Be To God!!!
In conversions (or reversions), you have to deal with people where they are. It can be a long, slow, frustrating process, and it may not even be successful. But success isn't our job.
Her reversion seems superficial, but... it's a starting point.
Jesus words included all sexual sin that violates the sacred bond of marriage - Clinton wouldn’t like it. That said, actual intercourse outside of one’s marriage is included in the term, as well as many other acts.
“i.e., that the supposed first marriage itself was porneia, unlawful.” - eisogesis that isn’t in the text or context.
Christ doesn’t mention annulment as a result, but divorce, reiterating the instructions God gives in the Hebrew Scriptures. There is no annulment in the Scriptures. God hates divorce, but allows this instance “for the hardness of your hearts”.
Practical terms: divorce is allowed when sexual sin outside your marriage has broken the bonds of one flesh.
Paul elaborates in I Cor 7 to deal with your other concerns.
I hope you’ll come back, Prolixus. I have had all kinds of problems with abuses done in the supposed “spirit Of Vatican II” but don’t find any objectionable liberalism in the actual Vatican II documents themselves.
I understand that the churches who teach this interpretation, hold that every marriage is potentially divorceable. In other words,there's no such thing as a truly binding marriage in the eyes of God. Do you agree with this?
And do you think that an act of sexual infidelity confers the right to divorce one's spouse? (Cheers and high-fives from adulterers all around!) This is the necessary corollary of your "practical terms" which I quoted verbatim, above.
I can't see how this could be Jesus' intent. Christian marriage implies the restoration, by Christ Himself, of marriage to its original indissolubility, so that there can never be a complete, absolute divorce (with the right of re-marriage) after a valid marriage has been consummated, as long as the spouse is still living.
Adultery isn't in the text or context. Read the Greek; it's not there.
Including, what? The husband accessing online porn? The wife reading romance trash? Either one looking at the voluptuous pics that sometimes get posted on Free Republic? Kissing and hugging? Fantasizing about the choir director? Masturbating?--
If any of these can free a spouse from the marriage bond, I daresay there's hardly an intact marriage in America. At least not for anybody who watches TV.
It is an absurdity to suppose that what the Lord meant was, "Yeah, God hates divorce. But, I'll tell you what: you want to get divorced, --- sleep with your girlfriend. Then get the divorce. My new law is, I'm OK with that."
“I understand that the churches who teach this interpretation, hold that every marriage is potentially divorceable. In other words,there’s no such thing as a truly binding marriage in the eyes of God. Do you agree with this?”
God desires believers to stay married. He allowed divorce because of the fallen nature of man. He restricted it to sexual sin that breaks the one flesh nature of marriage. It is not required, but it is permissible.
“And do you think that an act of sexual infidelity confers the right to divorce one’s spouse?”
It confers the open door to end a marriage according to God. It is not required.
“I can’t see how this could be Jesus’ intent.”
Yet His words argue against your position.
If divorce did not end a marriage, Christ and Paul would have said, “Just stay married apart.” They did not.
Porneia is specific.
Paul’s words in Corinthians prohibit a person committing adultery and then getting remarried. It is the injured spouse who is now free.
“Adultery isn’t in the text or context. Read the Greek; it’s not there. “
Adultry IS the topic of conversation between Christ and two groups of Jews. One group assumed God meant you could divorce even for minor issues. The other, only for serious sexual issues. Into that context, Christ speaks. His general word, porneia, is a broader term for sexual infidelity that must include adultery, as the context indicates. It isn’t limited, however, to just intercourse outside marriage.