Solving the Modernist Crisis of the Church
by Griff Ruby
No one should have to tell you that many portions of the Roman Catholic Church are experiencing trouble. As I write this, I make assumption that you, dear reader, are concerned about this sad and sobering fact, and furthermore, that you one who prefers to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. That of course is the first and foremost issue.
Do you believe ALL that the Catholic Church teaches? Does that include such controversial areas as their teachings against birth control, abortion, homosexual marriages, priestesses, liturgical irreverence and abuses, and a married clergy (except as long tolerated in the Eastern Rites)? Do you believe in the infallibility of the Pope as defined in the Ecumenical Council Vatican I and the necessity of being in union with him and subject to him as one who has direct and immediate jurisdiction?
Unless you can answer yes to those questions above, I dare say that you are part of the problem, not the solution. Until or unless you get your own act together on these basic issues there is no point in your proceeding any further with the reading of this book. In fact, if you oppose the Church on anything, donít even buy this book. I donít want your money. So long as you have a problem with those issues taught by the Church (or with any other official teachings), you really have no right to the title of Catholic. This is a book for real Catholics only. If you are not, then since your own act is such a mess, you are in no position to be of any help, even should you wish to help. Get the beam out of your own eye before attempting to be of any help in getting the mote out of the Churchís eye!
That is not the same as being uncomfortable with certain Church teachings on account of the way some of them have been used, misused, or even abused by certain Church prelates. As long as you understand and accept the rule, however uncomfortable it may make you feel, you are within the pale and worthy of my respect. Indeed, it is most of all to you that I dedicate this book.
Since you continue reading, I shall take it for granted from this point on that you do embrace all of the Catholic Churchís teachings, and that you are therefore in a position to notice, as I said at the opening, that all is not well with the Church. You see this, and want to help. Perhaps in some small ways you do help, for God certainly grants considerable grace to good and sincere intentions. All the same, it seems hopeless as you look at the growing trouble around you and increasingly wonder where Godís grace is operating. No doubt it must seem as if the current trouble would tax the mind and logic of St. Thomas Aquinas himself.
Furthermore, it must seem to you as if it is hopelessly daunting. After all, you are just one person, and what can one person do in the face of millions or even billions who are merrily spinning down the path to ruin? However, let us suppose for a moment that you were the one and only person who actually KNOWS what direction to take and who begins working tirelessly in that direction. Picture a tug-of-war in which you alone pull on one end of the rope and countless millions or billions pull on the other, but they are all on the most slippery surface while you stand on solid ground. One person who KNOWS is infinitely stronger than many billions who do not.
Or again, picture a raft with many people on it with their oars who are all attempting to row this raft in all different directions at once. Many have their oars in the air and push against nothing. Others hang their oars listlessly in the water, not concerned with making the raft move in any direction at all. The rest are all rowing, some this way and some that way, and many frequently switching direction.
As long as no one on the raft has any idea which way they should be rowing or why, it is easy to see that the raft must move about randomly in what mathematicians call a "random walk," which always brings it back to the same point and ultimately goes nowhere. All of the rowing of the random rowers is canceled out by the rowing of other random rowers. Put just ONE person on that raft who KNOWS the direction to row and who proceeds to do so persistently and tirelessly, and that raft will ultimately move in the direction taken by that one person, no matter how big it is and no matter how many other rowers there are.
If God has burdened your heart with the troubles of the Church, then perhaps He is calling you to be that "one person" who KNOWS and who is rowing the raft safely to the shore. It matters little how successful you might be in this task in your lifetime, how far the raft actually moves in the right direction. To be found doing anything else at your judgement hour is the ultimate shame and could cost you your soul. Not to be found doing your utmost to help can only be cheating yourself and God. You MUST care; otherwise you are doomed to be just another one of those random rowers accomplishing nothing for the Kingdom.
But the other aspect of it is understanding what is going on and therefore precisely WHAT needs to be done and HOW to proceed, WHAT direction to row and HOW to continue in that direction regardless of whatever ways the raft may turn or shift. For this, you must get close to God, and I particularly recommend meditative prayer. In any event, these are times calling for wisdom and God has promised that to whoever asks for it (James 1:5). Having asked for wisdom, take the time alone with God in meditative prayer so that God may in that time convey to you the answer to your prayer for wisdom.
Do not confuse wisdom with revelation. The Mormon "prophet" Joseph Smith made that mistake, so that by asking for "wisdom" what he was really asking for was "revelation." If we go by his own account, "God" gave him one, a false and heretical one, to be precise. Although much of this is vastly more revealing than anything spoken in any "revelation" given since the death of the last Apostle, there is nothing here which is not solidly rooted in and based on the General and Public Divine Revelation, the Sacred Deposit of Faith as given by Jesus and entrusted to the original New Testament Apostles, as preserved in sacred Scripture and the Tradition of the Church, and as defined and clarified authoritatively down through the years by the Universal and Historic Magisterium of the Church, the infallible teachings of the popes and councils.
To be informed of what actually is going on and what is to be done about it is to be entrusted with a sacred duty to pursue it aggressively. Many hide their confusion and feeling of powerlessness behind a façade of claiming that they donít care, or that it doesnít really matter. Whatís the point? It is something quite different to KNOW what has happened and HOW to solve it, regardless of oneís place in society, or in the Church, regardless of oneís popularity, fame, wealth, position, influence, status, or any other worldly or ecclesiastical asset. When it comes to doing anything truly good for the Church, all that truly matters is oneís sanctity. One sanctified lay soul in solitary confinement can do more good with this knowledge and wisdom than the greatest, most powerful, rich, famous, and popular Pope could ever do without it. To KNOW is to CARE, to be able to act from a position of strength, and to have peace.
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