The Catholic Church and Gay Marriage (What is the Catholic position?)

The Catholic Church and Gay Marriage

What is the Catholic Church’s position on gay marriage? Is there a such thing as gay marriage? After all, if two people truly love each other, then why shouldn’t they be allow allow to marry?

This is probably the most popular question that people ask me by far (along with questions of transgender). And, it is a good question.

Why doesn’t the Catholic Church allow gay marriage? What is their reasoning?

If you would like to watch the full video of this instead, check out my YouTube video on this topic here….

No Gay Marriage?

The truth is that the Catholic Church is not against gay people at all. Jesus taught us to love everyone, and the Catholic Church has come out with authoritative letters saying that we must love and respect people who have same-sex attraction. The Church was firm that we cannot not bully them or harm them, or treat them unjustly, etc. (You can read that letter here).

However, while the Catholic Church loves and respects everyone, one thing is true, the fact that marriage is between a man and a woman. Remember, marriage is not man’s design but God’s, and that is the way it has been from the beginning.

On that note, we have to realize that marriage is not whatever we want it to be. It is actually an institution designed by God with meaning and purpose. However, some people today want to redefine marriage, to strip it of its purpose, and to portray it simply as something between two people who “love each other.”

The problem in trying to redefine marriage in the eyes of the Catholic Church, and Christianity as a whole, is that it is impossible to redefine something that God has already permanently defined. In addition, if we change the meaning of marriage to include “two people who love each other,” then what is to prevent us from redefining it for three people, six people, or even ten people? If we can arbitrarily just redefine marriage, then the possibilities could be endless and marriage is no longer marriage.

Take three people who “truly love each other” and who wish to get married, or six people, or even 10. This is known as polygamy, or a polyamorous relationship. In other words, a man can marry as many wives as he chooses. You may not be aware, but there are hundreds of thousands of people in the United States working hard to get polygamy legalized, to have marriage redefined again to include them.

In addition, there are actually people who want to legalize incest marriage (meaning two people of the same family or extended family can get married).  Now, someone may remark how “messed up” that is, but they respond by saying, “Why can’t people of the same family who truly love each other get married? My love life has nothing to do with you.”

Still worse, there are there are actual people in this world (sadly) who want animal marriage legalized. Animal marriage? That’s right, animal marriage.  A person can marry their animal. And since homosexuality is making strides with their cause, polygamists, incestual relationships, and animal lovers are all working hard to try to redefine marriage again.

At this point, people might cringe and say, “Animal marriage, that’s going too far though! That’s disgusting!” However, just like the polygamist, incest, and homosexual groups, they respond the same way; “Hey, love is love! Who are you to tell me that I can’t marry my animal that I love? Who are you to tell me what I can and cannot do in my own life and under my own roof?”

So, we have many different groups trying to redefine what marriage is and to expand the definition of marriage to include just about anything. However, The Catholic Church states that this is not possible. None of their sincere desires change the truth that marriage has always been between one man and one woman forever. That’s what marriage is.  It’s not whatever we want it to be.

Therefore, it is nothing personal against homosexual people or polygamists or anyone else, but the Catholic Church is not for changing marriage in any case at all, whether it’s homosexuality, polygamy, incest, bestiality (animal marriage), or anything else. And in fact, we cannot. I reemphasize that we cannot redefine what God has already defined indelibly.

After all, if we make an exception for one group and Pandora’s Box opens, then anything is permissible. When marriage ceases to be marriage, it will destroy what marriage actually is (and there are people in our country who actually want that).

So to be clear, the Catholic Church is not against homosexual people and is not discriminating in any way. It’s that the Church is against gay marriage, polygamist marriage, incest, marriage, animal marriage, and any other type of a “marriage” that is not, in fact, actually marriage or that would change what marriage truly is. Even if the Church wanted to change it, She cannot. Because the law comes from God and we cannot, and do not, have the authority to change God’s commands.

With that being said, the Catholic Church has said that everyone on earth was made by God for love, in other words, to love and to be loved in return. And that includes people with same-sex attraction. Everyone was made to be loved. Everyone. This is good. However, marriage is a special institution for a man and a woman who have the ability to pro-create and keep life going on the planet, which is the ultimate purpose of sex and marriage.

Gay marriage and catholic church

Think about it. If the first two people on earth were both men, human beings would immediately go extinct. Because they cannot procreate. Likewise if it was two women, we would be extinct. Procreation is impossible. However, a man and a woman have the necessary and complimentary body parts, per God’s design, to create life and keep this life going on the planet. God could have made  a lot of people, but He chose humans to have a part in it, which is what marriage is primarily about and something homosexuals are not capable, no offense to them.

Of course, this does not mean that homosexual people cannot or should not love or be loved. It is just in a different way. (If you would like more information on this, check out my video here.

The bottom line is that we were all made for love. First and foremost, this means a loving relationship with God Himself, our true Father. If you as someone who struggles with your relationship with God or your homosexual identity, there are resources for you that I’d love to share below. (You can also check out this video which will give you more information for help and support). Also, feel free to check out Daniel Mattson who is a Catholic man of same-sex attraction who has found complete happiness and freedom in God and in His faith. Check that out below.

The ultimate love in all the universe is Jesus Christ Himself. If you want to be truly happy, then that begins with a relationship with Jesus. God is our Creator, and no human relationship can compare to His. After all, God is love, and He wants you to be completely and infinitely fulfilled in Hi!

CHECK IT OUT! Thanks for reading! I highly encourage you to check out the videos and resources below for more information and for help in this. If you have any thoughts or comments, feel free to leave them below. If you find this information helpful and informative, then please share it with others. Thanks, and God bless you!

 

**RESOURCES**

1. Resources, help and support for those struggling with same-sex attraction……

 

2. Live chastity with Same Sex attraction? Video and resources here…

 

3. Book by Daniel Mattson mentioned above. Mattson has found peace and happiness, and you can too. That can be found here…

4. “The Third Way:” A video following the lives of Catholics who struggle with same-sex attraction but have found peace with God and in their faith. Find that here.

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Does God Love Gays?

Does God love gays? Does He love people with same-sex attraction? This is a heavy but important question. Anyone God-loving person who struggles with a homosexual attraction wants to know the answer to this question. It is foundational to our relationship with God and with ourselves.

The answer is obviously yes! We cannot even address this topic or converse about it unless we understand this principle first. God loves everyone! For God doesn’t have love, He is Love, as it says in the Bible.

(If you would rather watch the YouTube Video of this, click here)

I recall one time where one of my inner city students asked me to pray for her. The conversation went a something like this.

“Yo, mista, can ya pray for me?”

“Sure! But, why don’t you pray for yourself too?

“‘Cuz God hates me.”

“What? Why would God hate you?”

“‘Cuz I’m gay.”

I immediately became angry, (of course, not at her) but because this poor girl had been lied to her whole life. She had been living with the false notion that God hated her. The conversation continued, and I responded, “Somebody has clearly lied to you. God loves you.He loves you as much as he loves Mother Teresa, the pope, or anyone else. You are His daughter and He loves you.

She thanked me and told me that she was going to go home and pray to God that night. Awesome! It does not matter if we are gay or straight in the sense that God desires a personal and intimate relationship with all of us, every one of us.

See persons with same sex attraction often see themselves wrongly or in the wrong light. They most often label themselves as “gay,” and define themselves by their sexuality. However, they are not gay. Gay is not who they are. Straight is not who I am. Our sexuality is only a small part of is. The truth is that we are persons. That is who we are. Even more, we are sons and daughters of God. That is our identity! We may have a homosexual or heterosexual orientation but that is not who we are and it does not define us. I’m also French, German, tall and skinny. Those are traits, aspects of me. They are not who I am thought and they do not define me. Likewise, our sexuality does not define us either. It is a small part of us among other things. Some people reduce their entire person down to their sexuality, and that is a disservice. God doesn’t look at us and gay or straight–He looks at as His son or daughter. See, we’re the ones who make divisions on sexual orientation. But the reality is we’re all simply human.

Many people that I’ve met who are homosexual often have a love-hate relationship with God. They wrestle and struggle with how God sees them, and they often feel like God is gazing down on them with disappointment or anger. They wrestle with how to live a life as a homosexual and how that fits into being a Christian. This is a completely understandable struggle, which is why whole organizations have been formed, like Courage International, to help Christians, or anyone, struggling with this question. They are kind, compassionate, real, and have helped many.

The beginning of our relationship with God starts with the truth that we are loved by Him and He wants a deep relationship with us.

I once had another conversation. One of my students came up to me and asked me a similar question. She was curious about whether I hated gays, or if the Catholic Church did. Of course, I let her know that Jesus taught us to love everybody, and so I too loved everyone. Likewise, the Catholic Church loved everyone too, including homosexuals. In fact, the last couple of popes have put out documents on how to deal with this question, and were firm in respecting homosexuals, affirming their dignity, and speaking out against them being bullied or maligned. (For example, see document here).

Of course, there are some individual Christians who may dislike gays, but they are wrong to do so. Jesus taught us to love all, and there were no exceptions in His teachings on love. It is not right to persecute anyone, for any reason, at any time.

As a substitute teacher, I hear everything. One day, two boys came up to me and said, “Hey Mister, look at that kid over there; he is so gay!” I responded, “So what?” They were like, “Wait, what?” Then, they asked me if I was gay. I told them “No,” and went on to say, “But I don’t think it’s right to  belittle, look down, or judge other people just because they’re different than us.”

Their only response was to shrug their shoulders and walk away.

You may not know this, but the Catholic Church faced a lot of persecution in her early years. Catholics were persecuted to the point of being tortured and killed by the thousands. So, believe it or not, the Catholic Church understands the need to be compassionate and loving, even if we do not always see eye to eye on all subjects.

So, with that being said, just because we are infinitely loved by God does not mean we can do whatever we want or that everything is acceptable or permitted. I am loved by Jesus, yes, but that does not mean I can cheat on my wife, look at porn, use contraception, or many other things that are against His plan for love and sexuality. However, it does mean that at a basic foundational level, the truth is that God is Love, and that He has a purpose for our life and for our happiness IF we follow Him and His will. Whether gay, straight, male, female, black, white, slave or free, God desires a relationship with each one of us. He created us, and He wishes to be close to us in an intimate way.

Be encouraged, and know that you are loved and you are lovable.

God loves you and invites you to start loving Him and finding Him deeper. Moreover, God made us to love and be loved.

At this point, some wonder why people of same-sex attraction cannot be married if God wants us to love and be loved. They wonder why there is no gay marriage. This is a great question and the subject of the next blog.

What are your thoughts on being loved by God? Do you feel it? Do you struggle with it or find it difficult? Do you struggle loving and accepting yourself? Leave a comment below and God bless you.

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Why Can’t Protestants Receive Communion in a Catholic Church

Why can’t Protestants receive the Holy Communion in a Catholic Church? Why can Catholics receive the Lord’s Supper at Protestant services but not the other way around? That is a great question!

Protestants and Catholics! They have been at odds for over 500 years, yet they growing ever closer together and more tolerant toward each other. A good thing! In fact, many Protestant non-denominational churches welcome Catholics and even allow them to take part fully in their services, including communion. Catholics also allow other religions to participate in their worship service; however, only Catholics can receive Holy Communion, or the Lord’s Supper. And, there are some good reasons for this.

First, we need to understand that there are differences between the religions. Most Protestants accept that the body and blood of Jesus in Communion is only a symbol while Catholics believe that the wafer (“the Eucharist”) is really and truly the body and blood of Christ (John 6:51-67; Mt. 26:26).

Lutherans are closer to Catholics and accept Consubstantiation, which means they believe God’s presence is there but in a spiritual sort of way. Whereas Catholics and Orthodox believe in Transubstantiation – meaning Jesus is actually (literally and physically) present. We receive Him into us in a real way. God is everywhere, but He was present in a special way in the person of Jesus Christ on earth, so God is everywhere but present in a very special way in Catholic Holy Communion.

Here’s the rub. Upon reception of Catholic Communion, everyone must say “Amen.”  If a Protestant were to attend a Catholic Mass, the priest would hold up the Communion host in front of their face and say, “The body of Christ,” to which the Protestant would respond, “Amen.” The word Amen means: “So be it, I believe.”

However, Protestants do not believe it’s the true body of Christ, but only a symbol. Thus, they could not receive Catholic communion in good conscience without being dishonest before God. It is just that we have different beliefs. In addition, every time Catholics say Amen, we are saying amen to everything we believe and adhering to the Catholic faith. So again, Protestants could not honestly say amen for they do not accept all the Catholic teachings. Otherwise, they would be Catholic.

For most Protestants, attending a service anywhere is fine. There usually are no huge differences in the Communion Rite. However, there is a real difference between Protestant belief and Catholic belief on this matter, and it’s a big difference. The Eucharist is the Pinnacle of the Catholic faith. It truly is Jesus communing with us and helping us to become one body with Him and each other.

A second reason: while Catholics see Protestants as brothers and Sisters in Christ, they are separated brothers and sisters. We have to remember that they left the Church Jesus started over 500 years ago in rebellion. Martin Luther separated himself and his followers from the fullness of the truth and the fullness of the New Covenant. Thus, just as in the Old Testament, a person had to be part of the Covenant in order to partake in the blessings, so in the New Testament times, one must still be a full part of the Christ’s Church and covenant to receive all the blessings. This always serves as an invitation for our Protestant brothers to come home to the fullness of the faith, to the one banquet table.

Many people do not understand these reasons and accuse the Catholic Church of being elitist or mean. However, this is Biblical. Unless you were circumcised and became part of the Covenant in the Old Testament, no person could receive the covenant blessings. Nor were they saved. God is serious about people following Him, and it’s on His terms, not ours. So, likewise, unless you are part of Christ’s true Church and are a full part of the covenant, you cannot receive the blessings. In the Bible, the only time that the words ‘New Covenant’ are mentioned are in relation to the Eucharist (For example, Mt. 26:26). Jesus says, “This is my body, this is my blood, the blood of the new and eternal Covenant” established in and through the Catholic Church He started. So the New Covenant comes together at its Pinnacle in the Eucharist, and the Eucharist symbolizes our unity!

That is what we believe as Catholics. And remember, that as wonderful as Protestants are, they have broken the Christian unity and do not share in the fullness of the covenant. Of course, more than anything, we would love to invite them home to this oneness that Christianity enjoyed for over 1000 years.

If Protestants do not accept Catholic teaching and authority, they should not even desire to receive the Eucharist and everything Catholic that it represents. However, if they do believe it is truly the body and blood of Christ (Jn. 6:51-67; Mt. 26:26; 1 Cor. 5:7) who is our new Passover lamb given for the life of the world, then I would to invite them to come home and join the Catholic Church and take part in the greatest gift they will ever receive on earth.

Soccer Standards!

This is not to be demeaning in any way, but growing up, I played soccer. Anyone at any time could join our team because we were awful. However, in order to be on a travel team or an elite team, a person must try out and be picked. These elite teams have standards and don’t just let anyone join. In the same way, Christ has standards and the Catholic Church has standards. It has the full truth. And people must accept that truth to join the banquet table. As Catholics, we pray that all Christians will come back to full unity of the Lord’s table as it once was and as Christ desired.

Come check out a Catholic Mass, even a Latin Mass, where you can experience the mystery and awe of God. As for receiving the Eucharist, you must first believe in everything the Catholic Church teaches and become part of the one Church of Jesus Christ. Then, you can receive the greatest gift of all. You are welcome anytime!

If you have any questions, thoughts, or comments, please put them below. If you would like to understand more about the Catholic Church’s teaching on the Eucharist, you can watch the 2 minute version here, or the 6 minute version here.

Posted in Apologetics, Catholic | Leave a comment

Living Your Faith (How to live your faith anywhere!)

“What are you? Some sort of Jesus freak?”  “What, are you too good for us now?” “You actually believe in God?” “The Catholic Church is evil!”

Several people have asked me the question, “How do you live your faith in the world; like as a student, a scientist, a computer programmer or in another secular career? This is a great question!  How do we live our faith daily without being too overbearing, too fearful, or just plain compromising?” Here are just 5 pro-tips you need to live your faith anywhere.

If you would like to watch the YouTube video of this blog instead, click here.

#1. PRAY

The first thing you need to do every day is pray! People who do not pray everyday or keep God close to them are like soldiers going off to war without a weapon. They won’t make it. And, how can they defend themselves? Now, I’m not talking praying for a couple minutes before bed each night if you have time. I’m talking real prayer. Focused prayer. Praying with renewed fervor for at least 20-30 minutes a day. (Maybe 10-15 in the morning and again at night?)

Set aside intentional time for God each day is a must if we have any hope of living holy in an unholy world. So, carve out a good prayer time each day, or night, (or both) and beg God to help you to live your faith, to be holy, joyful, kind, and a good example.  Similarly, read the Bible, the New Testament especially. Take time to reflect on what you read (or another spiritual book). Pray the Rosary. Use this time too to reflect on your life too and areas you can improve in. This is key to keeping your faith in non-faith environments.

#2. Be a Good Example

Strive to live like Jesus all the time, and not just on Sundays. We do not want to be a good example of Jesus but a great example, and that includes being an example of: love, kindness, peace, patience, understanding, obedience; honesty, being trustworthy, and being a hard worker, etc. Since we represent our Lord, we do not want to be lazy or involved in things we should not be doing. (You never know who is watching.)

#3.  Do Not Act Like Everyone Else

If everyone else at your job curses, says the F word, gossips, tells dirty jokes, is dishonest, you have nothing to do with it. Now, you don’t need to judge them, look down on them, or be all awkward about it, but as we said above, strive hard to be a great example in every area of your life.

What merit is there in acting like everyone else does, and how is that living your faith and being set apart? It’s like what Jesus says in the book of Matthew, “If you greet those who greet you, and if you’re nice to those who are nice to you, what profit is that? Even pagans and tax collectors do the same.” So if you swear like everyone else, what makes you a Christian? If you gossip, are dishonest, look at dirty magazines, get drunk, or many other things, what makes you different? What says Christian to those around you?

The fact is we must not only talk the talk, but we must walk the walk. Then people will see that you are different and say things like; “Hey, what’s different about you?” Or,  “Why do you act like this?”  “I’ve never heard you swear or tell a dirty joke. You don’t even gossip.”

In past jobs, I have had people come up to me and ask, “Hey, are you a Christian because you do X, Y, or Z?” It is because I live my faith and try to be a good example that people ask me this question. Later on, they may ask more about it, and I can then share my faith if they are open. However, the major component here striving to be a good example and working on the areas you need improvement on. If you gossip, clean that up. If you complain all the time, start offering it all up to God in love. If you cheat on tests, start studying or getting extra help. If you are crabby or lethargic at work or school, begin serving others intentionally and work on being more joyful.

How can you be a better example and witness?

#4. Be Strong!  

To follow Christ and love Him in secular environments is difficult! No doubt. After all, who wants to feel like the odd man out? Think of it as living outside your natural habitat in an unfriendly environment with dangerous animals who don’t always like what you say or what you stand for. Question for consideration: Do we care about the opinion of God or the opinion of others more?

This too is difficult which is why we need to pray often to be strong and courageous! Don’t be afraid to live your faith. Don’t be afraid to be different. Don’t be afraid to be labeled as a Jesus freak, as a Christian, because it means you’re right, and that you are on the right track. If everyone else is driving with flat tires, don’t be embarrassed that yours are inflated! Jesus said, if people made fun of Him, they will make fun of us too. However, He also promised to give us the strength to overcome. Pro-Tip: If you are extra nice, kind, loving, and joyful, people will like you even if they strongly disagree with your views. Remember that.

If people make call you out on your faith, say something like: “Hey, I love my faith; I’ll live it every day of the week. You can make fun of it, but I love God and my faith a lot.” They may respond with “What? You like being Catholic?” And you can boldly say, “Yeah, I do, it’s awesome.” [Insert big smile]. This will make people think. After all, they are looking for something that is good, true, and beautiful.

They may push back saying something like, “But there are so many rules! Who needs that?” You could respond by saying, “We have rules everywhere in society and in marriages. We can’t go kill anyone we want. Likewise, we can’t go get drunk and beat someone up. Rules make society orderly and civilized. They are a good thing.” They may retort, “True, but the Catholic Church has too many rules.” Just respond, “Really, how many do they have in all, and how many is too many? Also, how many would you say our country has in all? There are a ton there too. Again, it’s a good thing.” [Insert friendly smile]

Now I’ve worked in many of these difficult environments where some people swear the F-word like 6 times in one sentence. They take God’s name in vain, talk endlessly about sexual grossness, and more. Sometimes, it was difficult to be around it all. So, I would eat lunch elsewhere from time to time and read my Bible. You know, that was so much more inspiring! And doing so gave me more peace, joy, and courage to go back to work and be a good example.

I have been made fun of for my faith and it’s expected. It comes with the territory. Just realize that. At a restaurant once, I slipped on a piece of ice and almost killed myself. Instead of saying, “holy sh..” like I would have in my old days, I cried out “Holy Moses!”

One of the big, psycho looking cooks was surprised. Turning to me, he said, “Did you just say Moses?”

Me: Um, yeah.

Him: “What are you? Some sort of religious freak or something?”

Me: Um, yeah, something like that. [Friendly smile]

He not only told all the other cooks, but he then nicknamed me Moses. Thanks only to the Holy Spirit, I did not back down or become embarrassed by this. God helped me to be strong and to own it. Every once in a while, I’d hear this same guy take God’s name in vain, and I would walk up to him and say super nicely but firmly, “Hey! I love God!” Then, I would give a big smile. He would almost always reply saying, “I don’t care church boy, get the F out of my face!”

This went on for a couple weeks until one say he almost broke down and cried right in front of me. We were prep-cooking in the back one day, and he opened to me some of his life story telling me that his dad never wanted him, and that he never had a dad since two years old. Because I was real and true and never backed down, He respected me and trusted me. A year later, this same person came to believe in God; he even bought a Jesus clock to hang in his kitchen! Even though he made fun of me, he confessed to me that I became one of only two people in the whole world that he respected… all because I was loving and never backed down in my faith. So you never know who’s life you will touch.

I was firm, loving, and never a jerk. I never shoved my faith down anyone’s throat nor was I arrogant or preachy. It all starts with prayer and having that relationship with Jesus and having Christ first in your life. Likewise, it is important to keep friends nearby who are faithful and live for God. They can be a source of strength and comfort too.

#6. Learn Your Faith

In order to do live our faith anywhere and survive being different, we must know how to explain our beliefs which presumes we know them well in the first place. So, pick up one book, or watch some of my YouTube videos here. Second, practice on your own what you will say if certain topics come up — or come up again. Practice a back and forth in your mind as to what they might say and what you will say in return. This is KEY! This will help you to be more prepared and not as nervous.

We also need to know how to listen to the Holy Spirit and pick our battles. Not everything needs to be said or commented on, but we should also not hide our faith in the closet for fear of being different. Get God. Get His strength. Be His light to the world always. Remember: if you’re living for the world, you can’t live for Jesus. If you live for Jesus, you’re going to come into conflict with the world. So be prepared, pray, be persistent in your faith, and  live for Jesus in your thoughts, words, and actions. Pray to the Holy Spirit for what to say and when, and let Him empower you more and more each day!

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Catholic Idolatry? (Do Catholics Worship Statues?)

Do Catholics worship Saints, statues, images– or Mary? Is it Catholic idolatry? I have this image to the left in my house painted on a piece of wood. Anti-Catholics think I pray to this piece of wood and worship it like it’s God. So, do Catholics worship statues?

(If you would like to watch the YouTube video on this same topic, click here).

The answer is of course not! Of course Catholics do not worship statues. Statues cannot hear us or talk to us… The fact that some Protestants and other religious persons assert that Catholics are idolaters and worship these images is pretty nonsensical, and utterly false. If you have read the catechism of the Catholic church which gives the beliefs of Catholics, (then you know we don’t worship statues and you need to be accurate about what you are speaking on. It clearly states that we worship God alone. Moreover, statues are made out of wood, plaster, and marble. In other words, they are dead, and no Catholic believes that some plaster or marble could hear them.

(See great resources at the bottom to help you defend and explain your faith)

As soon as you walk into my office, this is what you see: the St. Francis icon pictured above. It’s on my desk. This image is not for worship: it’s purpose is to recall to mind the life of Saint Francis. In a similar way,the first words of the national anthem “Oh say can you see”, immediately recall the rest of that song and its meaning to mind. So when I see this saint’s image on my desk, it reminds me of his story in the same way: that he was a rich Noble who God called to rebuild His church–how he left everything, exchanged his riches for rags, began preaching the word of Christ to others, and how he changed the world and reformed the church. The image is just a reminder of his life of holiness and how I’m also called to be holy and to follow Jesus in a similar way.

When we have a representation of Jesus, we know it’s not actually Jesus–including that it may not be an accurate reflection of Him, neither skin, hair, or eye color, etc. However, it is a reminder nonetheless. Looking at an image of the Divine Mercy (above); the red streak and white streak symbolize his unending Love and mercy of our Savior. So, every time I see the Divine Mercy image, its a visual reminder of Jesus’ Love & Mercy. I don’t need the images to know this of course, but they are a beautiful and helpful visual prompts. Every time I see the words that often come with this picture, “Jesus, I trust in You,” I am reminded to trust in Him alone..

Back in the day before the Bible was around, Bibles were extremely rare until the Printing Press, and people could not read. About 9 out of 10 people in the Roman Empire were illiterate. Since almost everyone was illiterate for well over a thousand years, do you really think that Jesus would start a Bible church? It wouldn’t make any sense. No. The images in the churches and in the stained glass windows recounted the stories of the Bible and the stories of Jesus for people who were illiterate. They were the stories of the Bible in picture form, so to speak, because most people could not read at the time or not crazy rich in order to afford a Bible which took three years to copy just one Bible. So, when we can gaze on an image, it’s only purpose is to encourage us to call to mind the whole story of the Bible and the stories of our Holy brothers and sisters who went before us and followed Jesus so faithfully.

Here’s one we all love as Christians: The Nativity. As Christians, we do not worship the statues of the Nativity, they’re just reminders of the Christmas story. Like pictures in our wallet or on our wall at home. You’re not worshiping the images, even if you take it out, hold it in your hands or kiss it. After all, if a husband takes a picture of his wife out of his wallet and kisses it, is he worshiping her? The kissing and a physical expression and symbolic gesture toward the person who it represents who is not around in person.

Some will quote Scripture saying, “There are no idols or graven images to be made,” as it states Exodus 20. True, but context is key! God was talking to the Israelites because they were around Pagan lands who all worshipped many gods and created false idols for the purpose of doing so. These pagans thought that trees and cows and many other things were all gods, and they build statues to represent that. The Israelites even fell into their pagan idolatry building a golden calf to worship.

Of course, God is a jealous God, and warned the Israelites that there is only one God and not to build idols and worship them! That was the catch. It’s not that statues could never be made, after all, five chapters later in Exodus chapter 25, God commanded that two huge statues be built and placed on the Ark of the Covenant. As we can see here, it’s possible that when used in the right way, statues can be used for the purposes of God. There were also many other carved images throughout the temple that God commanded for holy purposes. Likewise, in Numbers chapter 21, God commanded to have the golden serpent on the staff (a graven image) made in order to help the Israelites remove their diseases.

Throughout the Old Testament, God had images made for holy purposes. Likewise with the saints, these images are the pictures and representations of our friends and family who have gone before us and are alive in Heaven. People like St. Francis are models of holiness for us. The people in these images did extraordinary things and followed Christ passionately and unreservedly. And it is our hope to follow Christ just as passionately as they did.

They’re not Idols. They are examples for us.

Check out the links below for great books on defending the Catholic faith or just answering your questions. They will inspire you can help you in many ways as they have in my life.

Feel free to leave a comment below. Also feel free to let me know who your favorite saints are and why? Why do they inspire you and push you on to holiness? (If you would like to watch the YouTube video on this same topic, click here).

RESOURCES:

“Where is That in the Bible?” by Patrick Madrid (Where all major Catholic beliefs are found in Scripture) – https://goo.gl/auZ6bH

“Where is That in Tradition?” by Patrick Madrid (Catholic beliefs found in history and tradition) – https://goo.gl/HfGJgF

“Behold your Mother,” by Tim Staples: https://goo.gl/yTHxfs

5 CDs: “The Gospel Truth About Mary” (Part 1): https://goo.gl/s6edwk  This 5 CD set explains everything about the Blessed Virgin Mary from the Bible.

5 CDS: Catholic Tim Staples Debate vs. Protestant Steve Gregg. It’s a must listen to debate for any Catholic serious about defending the faith or learning more. https://goo.gl/ntJZj1

The Case for Catholicism – Answers to classic and contemporary objections. (This is the most up-to-date, comprehensive, and thorough defense of the Catholic Church against Protestant objections in print). – https://goo.gl/RwtpWy

Catholicism and Fundamentalism: Attacks on “Romanism” by “Bible Christians.” (One of the BEST books on defending the Catholic faith against Protestants and anti-Catholics. A classic and must read). – https://goo.gl/fNxXuB

 

 

Disclaimer: This description contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. It helps me support my YouTube videos and ministry, and I never post things I don’t believe 100% in (98% of which I have in my own library). Thank you for the support!

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Catholic Church Sexual Abuse (Exposing the Lies, Defending our Priests)

With the retirement of Pope Benedict XVI from the papacy, CNN and other news media outlets raged with stories about corruption, the papacy, the problem of priestly celibacy, and countless conspiracy theories.  “The Catholic Church needs to change!”

News stations and social media outlets are still ripe with gross charges that priests are rapists, that all priests are pedophiles, that Pope Benedict XVI was involved in the whole thing and tried to cover it up, etc. Others continually repeat the myth that priestly celibacy is the main cause for the sex abuse scandals in the Catholic Church. If the old men in Rome would just get up with the times and allow priests to get married, then the numbers would surge along with a drastic decrease in the number of children being abused.  It sounds pretty simple, no?

All of the above lies and accusations are, of course, false! This is what we will be addressing in this article.

***If you would like to watch my Youtube Video here on this topic with even more information, click the link.

The REAL TRUTH!

Sexual abuse is not an issue of celibacy, but a lack of it!Pedophilia itself is also not an issue of celibacy but a psychological disorder, a mental illness.  This goes for anyone, religious or secular.

While the media would have us believe differently – statistically and otherwise – the Catholic Church has been one of the least perpetrators of any institution in the world regarding sexual abuse.  What the media usually fails to announce is that 99% of the abuse cases they report are old cases that they have rehashed – most of them from 30-50 years ago.  Even though they are being presented today as if they were current, most of these cases took place nearly a half century ago.

Don’t believe me?  Check out the “John Jay College of Criminal Justice” who has rigorously performed all the major research on this issue.  Their latest reports from 2008 until at least 2014 onward show that there have been only about six or seven credible allegations each year involving minors.  Not seven-hundred.  Not seventy.  Seven.  And, this is six out of the forty thousand priests and tens of thousands of workers employed in the Catholic Church.   Obviously, one case is too many anywhere, but the charge that the Church still has a huge problem, or that priests are pedophiles, is a biased and unsubstantiated assertion.

MORE FACTS:

Let’s push the envelope a little more and blow open the dirty little secrets that either people don’t know or wants to talk about:

– It is a fact that the majority of all sexual abuse takes place in the family!  Studies reveal that about 85% of sexual abuse takes place in the family.  The highest abuse rate comes from family members, then babysitters, then neighbors and friends.

– After families, the next highest perpetrator of sexual abuse is the public school system. These make up about 15% of all abuse cases.

– Toward the bottom of the abuse list comes religious institutions. And, within that category, non-Catholic faiths have an equal or higher rate of abuse than the Catholic Church. And this takes into account that the Catholic Church has more than 10 times or more the amount of people these much smaller churches do.  If celibacy, not allowing men to marry, leads to so many problems including sexual abuse, then how does one explain families being the biggest perpetrators. Spouses get married.  They have sex.  Yet the child abuse rate is extraordinarily lower among celibates.  The proof is in the facts.

Again, one case is too many, and the Catholic Church should be held to the highest standard more than secular institutions. However, it is a fabrication to state that the Church is the biggest perpetrator of abuse. That is not credible or honest. For all the people who yell, scream, protest, and complain that we need to crack down on the evil, corrupt Catholic Church in order to protect children, they ought to stop turning a blind eye to families and public schools where the abuse rate is 100 times higher and more than the Church. 100 times!  If these same people were really concerned about protecting children wherever the abuse happens (and not just hating the Catholic Church), they would work to crack down on all areas where the problem is truly rampant. Instead, they reveal their apparent anti-Catholic bias.

Remember, that nearly all priests are good, holy and faithful, and have been for the majority of church history. People like Jesus, St. Paul, Mother Teresa, and Pope John Paul II, to name a few, were all celibate and lived holy lives. Jesus himself (and also St. Paul) taught celibacy, also found in the Bible (Mt. 19:12; 1 Cor. 7:7-8). So, it’s not like the Catholic Church just made it up one day. People who have problems with the Catholic Church’s teaching on celibacy; do they  have a problem with Jesus and the Bible too?

 

RESOURCES FOR YOU TO READ:

If you are a Catholic, or for anyone interested in this subject, check out the links below. Be informed!

1. Priests and Pedophiles – https://goo.gl/ujHSD8 (This is one of the best books on the subject by one of the foremost authorities. He’s a non-Catholic and is un-biased. A must read.)

2. Sexual Sabotage: How One Mad Scientist Unleashed a Plague of Corruption and Contagion on America – https://goo.gl/oZZdXD (This book, like the one below, give you all the dirt on one Alfred Kinsey and his disgusting legacy. If you want to understand the sex scandals more and a lot of the issues, check out this book or the one below).

3. The Kinsey Corruption – https://goo.gl/yH13MW (“According to his own personal correspondence, Kinsey was a homosexual with a marked preference for young boys. He was also an atheist and a confirmed bigot who refused to hire Jews, Blacks, Christians, and anyone who embraced traditional moral values.” Pg. 24)

4. Shaken By Scandals – https://goo.gl/QrQcXi (A great all-around book on the actual facts regarding the scandals, how to deal with them, and how to minister to others.)

5. GoodBye Good Men – https://goo.gl/4QQuSz (Want to know where the bad priests, corruption, and scandals in the Church came from? Read this book!! It’s shocking though.)

6. The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America – https://goo.gl/DXvAhv (This does not talk about the sex scandals per say, but it’s a history book detailing the downfall of the Church in America and where all the problems came from. Very interesting, enlightening, and in depth.)

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Disclaimer: This video and description contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support the channel and allows us to continue to make videos like this. Thank you for the support!

 

Related topics: Catholic sex abuse, priest sex abuse

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Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust

  • Did Pope Pius XII do nothing to help the Jewish people in World War II?
  • Did the most powerful man in the world sit back idly while watching millions of Jews die needlessly?
  • Did Pius XII make deals with Hitler just to save his own skin?
  • Did the Catholic Church really side with Hitler and stab the Jewish people in the back?

Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust

Injustice! There is an injustice being spread around America and different parts of the world today. It’s in the form of a great lie! The myth states that Pope Pius XII, the man who did more for the Jewish people than anyone else, in fact did nothing at all. Rather, he stood by idly and watched them die when he was in a position of power to help them. It is stated that he even made pacts with Hitler to keep himself off the hit list. But this is so far from true, it’s amazing anyone ever believed it.

On the contrary, we will see that the Jewish people of the day praised the pope, celebrated all he did, and credited him with saving over 800,000 Jewish lives! So then, where did this revisionist emerge from? Where did these lies about a good and noble man develop?

It all began in 1963 with a theater production. That’s right, a theater play! In 1963, a show opened called “The Deputy,” which was written by a Protestant who accused the pope of complying with the Nazis through silence and doing nothing to help the Jewish people in their plight. Though just a play, after this on-stage accusation, severe criticism of the pope and the Vatican ensued. It eventually grew into a firestorm resulting in anti-Catholic and anti-pope sentiments along with the revisionist history we know today. This is the modern understanding of the pope we have, when in fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

So, let’s set the record straight. What is the real story regarding Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust?

As stated, Pope Pius XII did more to help the Jewish people during World War II than any other person including organizations and political governments. Even when he was Cardinal named Eugene Pacelli, he spoke out loudly against the Nazi’s. Then, when Pacelli became Pope Pius XII, he continued to speak boldly which created a stir.  It is no secret that the Nazis hated the pope and wanted to do away with him. There are many letters which verify this fact and reveal their disdain for him.

Eventually, the Nazis warned the pope and all Catholics to cease from speaking out or face the impending consequences. And Hitler was always true to his word. One famous example was in Holland.  The Catholic church there refused to stop speaking out against the Nazis. As a result, not only did the Jews die (including Ann Frank), but thousands of Catholics died along side them (including Edith Stein, a convert to Catholicism).  The Nazis made true to their promises for anyone speaking out against their regime.

Seeing many innocent Catholics dying, Pope Pius XII stopped speaking out publicly and developed a new, much more effective strategy instead. In fact, it saved almost a million Jewish lives. Even the Jewish people of the day liked this strategy and believed that speaking out would endanger them and the Catholics and only make things worse. So, what was the pope’s new approach? How did he save so many lives and become a hero in his day?

The Pius Truth:

  • Pope Pius XII secretly opened the monasteries and convents around Europe (France, Spain, Germany, Italy, etc).  Even people’s private homes were opened, not to mention cloisters of nuns were opened (even though they had taken vows to not let the world in). In all of these places, the Catholic Church safely hid thousands upon thousands of Jews.  The pope himself opened up the Vatican to the Jews and thousands more took refuge there.
  • Working around the clock, the pope was also actively involved in secretive negotiations to help save Jews from being killed or deported. For example, through these negotiation deals, the pope helped save 20,000 Jews from some Italian prison camps, 8,000 Jews from Holland, and many thousands more of Jews in other countries.
  • The Catholic Church employed many avenues to save the lives of countless Jewish people, and the efforts absolutely did not go unnoticed.
  • As the book, Pope Fiction relays: The head Rabbi of Rome, Abraham Zolli, was so inspired by the example and work of the Pope that he ended up researching Catholicism and converting to the Catholic Church after the war ended.
  • Likewise, the chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, Isaac Herzog, praised the efforts of the pope and didn’t hesitate to proclaim him and all the good he did.
  • After the death of Pius XII, there were many prominent Jewish leaders and laymen who praised his efforts and successes, and he was highly honored.  Even Golda Meir, Israel’s delegate to the UN and future Prime Minister of Israel, gave Pius XII strong praise for his outstanding work in helping the Jews and for his efforts in speaking out.
  • Most people don’t realize that shortly after the war, the World Jewish Congress gave Pius XII two million Lira as a gift of thanksgiving for all he did to help the Jewish people.
  • Even the Jewish scientist, Albert Einstein, published an article in Time Magazine praising the efforts of the Church in helping Jewish people everywhere.  He said, “I looked to newspapers and editorials, but they, like the universities were silenced in a few short weeks. Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler’s campaign for surprising truth. I had never any special interest in the [Catholic] Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration because the Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom…” (Pope Fiction, pg. 304).
  • Perhaps one of the clearest signs is that after World War II ended, the government of Israel estimated that Pope Pius XII saved about 800,000 Jewish lives during the Holocaust, more than all other religious organizations combined. In the pope’s honor, the Israeli government planted 800,000 trees to represent all the lives he saved through his untiring effort and hard work.

The myth that the pope turned a blind eye to the suffering and death of the Jewish people is the furthest thing from the truth.  To the contrary, the pope himself was in the trenches, on the front lines, and doing the undercover work needed to save as many Jews as possible. Thus, Pope Pius XII  should not honored as a hero. We should honor him in the highest for his efforts just as the Jewish people themselves did in his day. Let us follow their example!

For some more information on this interesting topic, check out the following resources:

Pius the XII and the Holocaust, by Robert Graham

Pope Fiction, by Patrick Madrid (Addresses this myth and 19 other myths regarding the papacy. I love this book).

Thanks for reading!

 

 

DISCLAIMER: This description links contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a very small commission. This helps support the my channel and blog and allows me to continue writing blogs like this. Thank you for the support!

 

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