Skip to comments.Pope Francis on 10 Reasons Why People Reject the Church
Posted on 08/17/2013 2:06:44 AM PDT by NYer
The Church's most prominent outreach today, the New Evangelization, aims at reviving the spiritual lives of those who have drifted from Christ. While these people may have been baptized and perhaps catechized, while they may attend Church semi-regularly, they have never been truly evangelized. They have never experienced a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ or real transformation through his Church.
A couple weeks ago, Pope Francis delivered a powerful message to the Brazilian bishops in the midst of his World Youth Day celebrations. Unfortunately, it didn't get nearly the attention it deserved.
Speaking on the New Evangelization, and using the Emmaus Journey as a framework, the Pope encouraged his listeners to reflect on why people reject the Church today—why, like the Emmaus disciples, they decide to walk the other way. To bring people back to Christ and his Church, we must understand why they leave in the first place.
To that end, Pope Francis offered ten specific reasons:
1. The Church no longer offers anything meaningful or important.
2. The Church appears too weak.
3. The Church appears too distant from their needs.
4. The Church appears too poor to respond to their concerns.
5. The Church appears too cold.
6. The Church appears too caught up with itself.
7. The Church appears to be a prisoner of its own rigid formulas.
8. The world seems to have made the Church a relic of the past.
9. The Church appears unfit to answer the world's new questions.
10. The Church speaks to people in their infancy but not when they come of age.
Read the excerpt below for more context:
"The two disciples have left Jerusalem. They are leaving behind the 'nakedness' of God. They are scandalized by the failure of the Messiah in whom they had hoped and who now appeared utterly vanquished, humiliated, even after the third day.
Here we have to face the difficult mystery of those people who leave the Church, who, under the illusion of alternative ideas, now think that the Church—their Jerusalem—can no longer offer them anything meaningful and important. So they set off on the road alone, with their disappointment. Perhaps the Church appeared too weak, perhaps too distant from their needs, perhaps too poor to respond to their concerns, perhaps too cold, perhaps too caught up with itself, perhaps a prisoner of its own rigid formulas, perhaps the world seems to have made the Church a relic of the past, unfit for new questions; perhaps the Church could speak to people in their infancy but not to those come of age.
It is a fact that nowadays there are many people like the two disciples of Emmaus; not only those looking for answers in the new religious groups that are sprouting up, but also those who already seem godless, both in theory and in practice.
Faced with this situation, what are we to do?
We need a Church unafraid of going forth into their night. We need a Church capable of meeting them on their way. We need a Church capable of entering into their conversation. We need a Church able to dialogue with those disciples who, having left Jerusalem behind, are wandering aimlessly, alone, with their own disappointment, disillusioned by a Christianity now considered barren, fruitless soil, incapable of generating meaning.
(HT: Thomas Doran at Catholic World Report)
That's what sola scriptura is right?
Christ founded the Catholic Church and is the head of the Catholic Church. Were you unaware of that? Reading too many lies in those pamplets?
**what then is the meaning and role of Priests in the Catholic Church?**
You would not receive several sacraments if it weren’t for the priests.
When I think of the Protestants, I think of an anything goes sort of place, except there'll be no talk of Jesus' Mother Mary except at Christmas, or spiritual miracles such as Mary appearing to many around the world, or even Jesus, for that matter. They're more open to anyone and some even open to any lifestyle, but not so open to the various reported spiritual manifestations around the world, or modern prophecies or warnings.
When I think of the orthodox, I really don't know much about them, but they seem more ritualistic like the Catholics than the Protestants. I have heard that they observe the correct date for Easter.
As I watch the various factions shooting poison arrows at each other from their positions of superiority, I've come to feel somewhat blessed to have not been born into a religious family. I've not had much indoctrination of faith to overcome while looking everywhere to find my own answers.
As a friend used to say of the world's religions: "They all have a piece of the Truth."
I recently read the book "Shocked by the Bible" and have wondered what else we have wrong.
In the messages recorded in "True Life in God" Jesus speaks about putting His Body back together after we have ripped His Body apart.
He has His Work to do! We rebellious humans are going to fight Him and not let Him put His Church back together.
Apparently, He has a surprise for us that will make many see things His way who don't now. He hasn't stopped loving each of us, not even for a microsecond. (Just don't make Dad put His Judge hat on.)
**Note what doesn’t appear in the list. The Catholic Church uses Jesus Christ and the Bible as afterthoughts.**
The Catholic Church uses the Bible everyday with the Liturgy of the Word read during Mass. It’s been posted for how many years, now, alex? Did you even notice?
Jesus Christ is the center of the Mass in the second half — the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Have you ever attended a Catholic Mass and really followed along?
Incorrect. Show me where in the New Testament that we cannot commune together and take communion without a Priest being present.
Anything beyond two or more people agreeing to take communion together in the Lord's name is nothing more than institutionalized ritual. Nothing wrong with institutionalized ritual, however it does not by itself or in conjunction with whatever Catholic doctrine says, prevent two or more people coming together in Christ's name and taking communion.
Are you saying only Catholic Priests can anoint the sick? Really? Where's that in the Bible? Not Catholic Doctrine, the Bible.
Yes only priests can consecrate the Holy Eucharist, administer the Sacrament of Penance, administer the Sacrament of the Sick.
What do you know about these sacraments?
For instance, do you realize that the forgiveness of sins, (Penance) is included in the last rites (now called the Anointing of the Sick.)
**But what really takes the cake for me is when Conservatives turn on each other unnecessarily.**
From your homepage. So why do you not believe Catholics and turn on them?
I think he is spot on about not only the Roman denomination, but every Church of every kind.
Christ "founded" the universal Church and is the head of the universal Church. Church = called out ones.
“The conflict is very simple. You see yourself as an individual going at it alone with Christ. We see ourselves as a community. “
Those of us who know Christ and are a part of His gathering understand that salvation happens one soul at a time, but we are then placed into the Body of Christ by the Holy Spirit. We are now part of His gathering of people for His own possession. Community is crucial. We are commanded not to forsake the gathering of ourselves regularly.
You've cited what is oft quoted as being the reason the Catholic Church is the "one true church" and I think it's important to examine exactly what Christ meant when he said to Peter, "on this rock I will build my church."
Was Peter, the man what Christ intended when he said "on this rock I will build my church?
Or what it really the TRUTH that Peter spoke upon which Christ said "on this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. ."??
Jesus asked him, "Who do you say I am?" to which Peter replied "You are the Christ" (Messiah.) Jesus often used parables to make his point, as I believe he did in this case also. Assuming Jesus used a parable, Peter's response to Jesus was the Truth, and therefore the Truth upon which His church is built.
We could also take a logical approach in coming to a conclusion. Therefore, in this case what makes the most sense? Was Jesus saying to Peter He was building His church around the man, Peter, or was he saying He was building His church upon the Truth Peter spoke? If the Church were to be built on Peter (as Catholics claim due to Peter being the first Pope) then that would mean Jesus rebuked the 11 other Disciples and their teaching from that moment forward was invalid. If that were true, we'd have a completely different Bible, would we not?
The only logical conclusion therefore is that Jesus followed his method of teaching using parables and examples. Of course Jesus didn't say the other eleven Disciples teaching was wrong. Jesus was simply stating (IMO) this His church would be built upon the Truth that Peter spoke, that Jesus Christ is our Messiah.
The proof of that Truth and the conclusion I draw is contained throughout Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. All of which tell the exact same story of Christ.
None of the above is to say that the Catholic Church is the only church, nor is it intended as a slam against the Catholic Church either. First and foremost in any Church is "Who is Jesus? He is the way, the truth and the life. None shall enter heaven except through him. He is our Lord and Savior. He suffered and died for our Sins. He was buried, and on the third day he was Resurrected, defeating death so that we may live. He is our Lord and Savior."
Any church with this as their core message has built their church upon the Rock, the Truth that Peter spoke. (IMHO.)
Plenty, I was born, raised, received my first communion, was confirmed, attended pre-cana and was married in the Catholic Church.
Now that my credentials have been established, let's have yours.
You assume meaning in my posts that I (a) did not write or (b) intend.
Stop playing the victim of some unknown slight whenever someone has a differing opinion than yours and engage in the conversation (or not.)
Jesus is The Word and the final authority!
Wrong. There is no misunderstanding their man made teachings which oppose God's Word.
You have no idea how lame your comment is to anyone born into it and spend 2/3 of their life 'in it'.
Now I am 'in Christ' something you have no idea about and won't until you give up man-made doctrines/teachings for HIS WORD ALONE.