MONDAY
March 27, 2000
volume 11, no. 61

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Pat Ludwa's VIEW FROM THE PEW         INTRODUCTION

    Pat Ludwa, a committed lay Catholic from Cleveland, has been asked to contribute, on a regular basis, a lay person's point of view on the Church today. We have been impressed with his insight and the clear logic he brings to the table from his "view from the pew." In all humility, by his own admission, he feels he has very little to offer, but we're sure you'll agree with us that his viewpoint is exactly what millions of the silent majority of Catholics believe and have been trying to say as well. Pat puts it in words that help all of us better understand and convey to others what the Church teaches and we must believe.

    Today Pat takes on the dissenters within the Church who insist on foisting their own pantheistic, relativistic beliefs on other Catholics in an effort to justify their freedom of conscience campaign which, in effect, is binding them to satan for rather than eschewing freedom and a democratic church as is their goal, they are separating themselves from Christ and His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church for they cry out, through their actions, the clarion of lucifer: "Non serviam." "I will not serve." Pat shows how the Nicene Creed, established by the Church in 325 at the Council of Nicaea, has served the Church and her children well for it has stood as a barometer of all Catholics must believe. Yet many parishes today insist on foregoing the Nicene Creed for a fabricated creed that forges dissenting thoughts into the liturgy. We must realize that any diversion from the Nicene Creed creates heresy and consequently is not in union with Church teaching. The faster all Catholics realize that, especially the blind sheep being so hoodwinked by these "Dr. Dissento" types, the faster the dissenters will fade away simply from non support. That is the gist of his column today, Some, who call themselves 'Catholic,' believe in anything but...

    For past columns by Pat Ludwa, click on VIEW FROM THE PEW Archives   If you want to send him ideas or feedback, you can reach him at ludwa@corel.com


Some, who call themselves 'Catholic,' believe in anything but...

       It is the creed we live by...
      "We Believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of Heaven and earth, and of all that is seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father. Through Him all things were made.

          For us men and our salvation He came down from Heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit He was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate; He suffered, died, and was buried. On the third day He rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures; He ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and His kingdom will have no end.

          We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son He is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the prophets.

          We believe in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen."

    ...the prayer we say, in most churches, every Sunday. A simple expression of faith. Almost all of Catholic teaching can be derived from this relatively simple prayer. Belief in the teachings of the Church stems from our belief in God. Not that we so much trust the people IN the Church, but we trust God Who guides His Church. But some churches haven't said the Creed in years, and when some theologians were asked to swear by the Creed as a profession of their faith, they balked saying it was an unfair and oppressive hampering of their freedom of thought.

        Well, that's fine, but if they can't join us in saying "We Believe..." can they truly say they're still Catholic?

        What passes as dissent today is often nothing more than an expression of a loss of faith. And they express themselves often in a hodgepodge of various beliefs whose only commonality is their opposition to the Church. If we could find one person to speak for the dissenters he might sound something like this. For the sake of this we'll call him Dr. Dissento.

        "We Believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of Heaven and earth, and of all that is seen and unseen..." Do you accept this phrase of the Creed?

    Dr. Dissento: "Of course not! First of all, this is a very narrow minded expression. One God? What of the other faiths? Buddhist, Hindu, even pagan? Surely there is not just one God, one path to God? It's also patriarchal. The arrogance of calling God a father? Whose to say she's a father? What of those who have abusive fathers? Can they come in trust to a male figure of God? And it isn't so clear that God made Heaven and earth. He IS Heaven and earth."

        That sounds strangely like the definition of pantheism: "Reality is a unitary being; individual things have no absolute independence-they have existence in the All-One, the ens realissimum et et perfectissimum of which they are the more or less independent members; The All-One manifests itself to us, so far as it has any manifestations, in the two sides of reality-nature and history; The universal interaction that goes on in the physical world is the showing forth of the inner aesthetic theleological necessity with which the All-One unfolds his essential being in a multitude of harmonious modifications, a cosmos of concrete ideas (monads, entelechies). This internal necessity is at the same time absolute freedom or self-realization."

        Yet "the First Vatican Council anathematizes those who assert that the substance or essence of God and of all things is one and the same, or that all things evolve from God's essence"?

    Dr. Dissento: "That only shows the narrow minded, patriarchal mindset of the Church. I'm god, you're god, the tree is god, etc. How can there therefore be only one god? "to think that the God of one's own religion is the only one is simply fanaticism. "God" is a cosmic reality, vague and omnipresent;" (ref. NOTIFICATION CONCERNING THE WRITINGS OF FR. ANTHONY DE MELLO, SJ; June 24, 1998)

        Ok, what about: "We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father. Through Him all things were made?"

    Dr. Dissento: "Well, again, Jesus was not the ONLY son of God, rather He was perfectly awakened person."

        This echoes Father DeMello, who was condemned by the Vatican in his stance that Jesus is not recognized as the Son of God, but simply as the One Who teaches us that all people are children of God )

        But, if we're god, how can we also be His, her(?) child? Never mind, let's move on. What about the next part of the Nicene Creed? "For us men and our salvation He came down from Heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit He was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate; He suffered, died, and was buried. On the third day He rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures; He ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father."

    Dr. Dissento: "Oh come now. You don't believe this fantasy do you? Firstly, it's very sexist. Jesus came just for men? Secondly that He was born of a virgin? This is nothing more than a fable passing as history."

        So, you don't believe it?

    Dr. Dissento: "Of course not!"

        There's no sense in going on then is there?

    Dr. Dissento: "I don't see any reason to. The entire thing is garbage."

    Dr. Dissento, you consider yourself a devout Catholic do you not?

    Dr. Dissento: "Of course. I just don't believe this."

        Needless to say, Dr. Dissento is only a fictional character. In fact, if one spoke to any number of dissident theologians, one would hear just as many diverse theologies. THIS, they say is true Catholicism, meaning universal. In that all is good and acceptable. Even diverse and contradictory theories and theologies, just as long as they aren't CATHOLIC theologies.

        Of course, true Catholic theology stems from the definition of Catholic given us by St. Ignatius of Antioch, that we are one Church, with one belief, and universal in that it's for all mankind, for all time.

        But just as they distort the meaning of Catholic to fit their needs, they distort other terms as well. Freedom of Conscience: Freedom of Conscience is a term that dissenters twist from its true meaning as described in Vatican II. They would have you believe that freedom of conscience means that a person can choose to do anything they want. Essentially, freedom of conscience is a means to practice pluralism. Although some dissenters also add the qualifier of "without harm to the other person," that is clearly false. For example, abortionists and women who choose abortion purportedly claim their right as enabled by freedom of conscience but it is obvious that an innocent unborn baby is killed." (From Vocabulary of Terms Commonly Used by Dissenters by Bruce Sabalaskey)

        Essentially, when looked at objectively, their 'agenda' has little to do with authentic spirituality, but rather politics. A secular, humanistic politics. The replacing of a 'perceived' authoritarian, patriarchal Church with an actual authoritarian 'matriarchal (used in the same derogatory way as they use patriarchal) church. Coming from a false sense of compassion and fairness.

        So, rather than the very spiritual Creed which confirms our belief in God, they recreate it to reflect an image of themselves:

      "We believe that Creation is a gift of God, an expression of Our Creator's goodness. We believe that as human beings we are part of this creation and that we share in a special way in the creative power of God. We believe that the resources of our lands and waters and air are precious gifts from our Creator, to be used and looked after with loving care. We believe that there is a rhythm to God's creation, like a drumbeat; when we lose the beat or the drum is damaged, the music is out of tune. We believe that in order to be good members of creation, we have the responsibility to seek information on important concerns of our people and our region, and to share information in our communities. We believe that we are called to work not in isolation, but in community, linked with women and men in our local situation, in our region and internationally. We believe that we can rely on the strength and support of each other, to build on the common concerns we share, to go beyond the boundaries which separate and divide us; united we stand. We believe that as Christians we are called to be peacemakers, in the true peace God promises us. We believe that this may sometimes mean "disturbing the peace" as Jesus did, for a purpose--to restore the purpose of God in societies of peace and justice. We express these beliefs, reminded of the love of God, the grace of Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. So be it!"
      (The Creed from a Call To Action "Missalette" passed out to the participants at the 1993 Call to Action Catholic conference for their Saturday evening liturgy.)

        This is a creed of a man centered, politically motivated, 'church'. It totally rejects the 'rock' which is the Church, standing solidly for the truth, and prefers the 'water' of a formless, pliable church. (WATER is the name of one of their dissident organizations)

        How can one, who openly and consistently, rejects the Creed and the teachings of the Catholic say they're still Catholic? The fact is, they can't. The Church hasn't 'kicked' them out, or driven them out. No, they left of their own volition.

        They're like a spoiled child who, constantly fighting their parents over what they can do (have sex at home, take drugs, shoot the neighbor, whatever), leave home and tell people that they're still members of that family.

        The Church, like a loving mother, waits for her wayward children to come to their senses and return home. But she cannot accept lies and distortions for the truth. Their loss of faith in God translates, not into a belief in nothing, but, as G.K. Chesterton pointed out, into a belief in anything.

    Pax Christi, Pat

          

March 27, 2000
volume 11, no. 61
VIEW FROM THE PEW

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