DAILY CATHOLIC    WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY     December 8-9, 1999     vol. 10, no. 233-234
Special Issue for the Solemnity of the IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Pat Ludwa's VIEW FROM THE PEW

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    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 refutes the modernists' claim that they are teaching Catholicism to the youth today for their approach to the teachings of Holy Mother Church differ widely from what the Council Fathers determined at Vatican II. He shows where thirty years of brainwashing the young has desensitized them and, in many cases, not only turned them off to the Catholic Faith but sent them scurrying toward other sects in search of something. That something has always been in the Church. It's just that liberal teachers over the past three decades have camouflaged it and watered it down so that it often is hardly recognizable. Thirty years of damage cannot be corrected overnight, for Rome was not built in a day. Rather, as Pat points out, it probably will take another thirty years to right the ship so that the young will sail confidently again on the Barque of Peter without bailing out or fearing it will capsize. That is the gist of Pat's column today, Disconnecting the young .

    If you want to send him ideas or feedback, you can reach him at KnightsCross@aol.com

Disconnecting the young

        Marcella Bombardieri of the Boston Globe, wrote: "To many young Catholics, the institutional Church looms like a stern disciplinarian, scolding them for straying from church teachings on such hot-button topics as divorce,abortions and birth control."

        She goes on to say that this "disconnection" should act as a wake up call to Church leaders. That's what's at stake is the vitality of the Church in America. A wake up call in deed, but in which regard and for whom?

        Every nation, state, culture, etc., from the beginning of time has known that the children were the keys to their future. Everyone has looked to the children. Hitler had the Hitler Youth, designed to steep them and indoctrinate them in Nazi ideology and the "worship" of Adolf Hitler as the Fuehrer (leader). In the Soviet Union, we saw the Young Pioneers. Again, designed to indoctrinate the young of Russia into the ideologies of Marxist Communism. And yes, even the Church looked to the young. CYO and other organizations, were set up to try and help her children come to a deeper faith.

        "Teach...your children well" was a line from a song by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Who is teaching our children a faith full of vitality and joy? The Church teaches that parents are the main teachers of the young. But reality often hits us where we wish it wouldn't.

        A sixth grade public school class is in rapt attention as their teacher tells them that the world is over-populated and what the consequences of that going to be. He doesn't say we have to support abortion, euthanasia, or forced sterilization. There's no need to. At this point, the "fact" is enough for now. The "seed" is planted. (This actually occurred in my daughter's class) Later on, other "teachers" will give them what they need to make the "logical, reasoned" conclusion.

        In the secular world, it's hard enough for parents to teach their children when other "authority" figures tell them the opposite. But this supposes that the parents aren't themselves the product of this "miseducation." And here we see the real tragedy and the true "roots" of the "disconnection" of Catholic youth.

        It began over 30 years ago. Before the ink was dry on the teachings of Vatican II, people were busy misinterpreting it, looking for loopholes, and re-inventing it. Consider how we care for a new born child. We don't give them a steak dinner at one week old. They receive milk first, then slowly, gradually, we bring them to more solid food. First a little rice cereal, then a bit more, then cereal with mashed up carrots, and on and on. So it is with this. Vatican II wanted us to realize what a loving God we had. Too often before, we saw Him as a big guy with a flowing beard holding a ledger, giving us demerits for every little infraction. However, though some in the Church often portrayed Him such, the Church never did. Yes, we will come before Him as the Divine Judge, but a just and compassionate one. Not a "hanging judge." But this was not what was later taught. First, it was that we have a loving God, but this "truth" was as far as it got. No where would they mention that we have a responsibility to live our lives according to His will and commands.

        They were taught that "we are the Church," and again, this truth was quickly hacked and distorted into something it isn't. Yes, WE are the Church, as members of His Body. However: "For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, 'Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,' that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, 'Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,' that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the organs in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single organ, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, 'I have no need of you,' nor again the head to the feet, 'I have no need of you.' On the contrary, the parts of the body which seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those parts of the body which we think less honorable we invest with the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior part, that there may be no discord in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together" (1 Corinthians 12: 14-26).

        According to a Sister Mary Johnson of Emmanuel College; "The Second Vatican Council told us the church is 'the people of God,' not the church hierarchy." Yet Vatican II actually teaches that the Church IS hierarchical. It even devotes an entire chapter to it in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium. Chapter three has the title "ON THE HIERARCHICAL STRUCTURE OF THE CHURCH." Now if Vatican II says what Sister Johnson says it does, why this chapter? Why state in that chapter; "religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra;....And this infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed His Church to be endowed in defining doctrine of faith and morals, extends as far as the deposit of Revelation extends, which must be religiously guarded and faithfully expounded. And this is the infallibility which the Roman Pontiff, the head of the college of bishops, enjoys in virtue of his office, when, as the supreme shepherd and teacher of all the faithful, who confirms his brethren in their faith, by a definitive act he proclaims a doctrine of faith or morals. And therefore his definitions, of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church, are justly styled irreformable, since they are pronounced with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, promised to him in blessed Peter, and therefore they need no approval of others, nor do they allow an appeal to any other judgment. For then the Roman Pontiff is not pronouncing judgment as a private person, but as the supreme teacher of the universal Church, in whom the charism of infallibility of the Church itself is individually present, he is expounding or defending a doctrine of Catholic faith" (Lumen Gentium, Chap. 3, #25).

        From this basic premise, we, and our children have been taught that the Church is an "institutional church," not the Church promised by God to lead His people in His ways and truths. Why? Because we won't sit idly by and let a lie be given as a truth. Because it won't, it's further portrayed as "a stern disciplinarian, scolding them for straying from church teachings." Instead of a loving mother trying to help her children grow as their Father wishes them to.

        Why do the young feel disconnected? Is it because of the Church as Johnson and Bombardieri (and others) assert? Or is it because they have disconnected them from the Church? Are they like the electrician who says you don't need to plug in your television set to get a picture? Are their "teachings" of dissent and miseducation causing the young to feel disconnected? Is it the cause of the loss of vocations in religious life? If, after all, the religious of no importance, then what do we need them for? After all, "WE" are the Church. And if that is so, then why push for women priests, or more women in places of authority (bishops and cardinals?). After all, these places of authority are of no consequence....right?

        So, many of these "disconnected" youth attend Mass sporadically, don't get involved in their parishes, and even leave the Church for other faiths. After all, as Dean Hoge of Catholic University says, "It's important to convey that it's not a total package where if you don't follow everything, you're not ok." If it isn't, then we are free to make up our own. To pick and choose. Not only what teachings we'll accept, but even which faith best suits our needs. But again, Vatican II didn't teach that, did it?!? "religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra... This is even more clearly verified when, gathered together in an ecumenical council, they (the Magisterium) are teachers and judges of faith and morals for the universal Church, whose definitions must be adhered to with the submission of faith" (Lumen Gentium, Chap 3, #25)

        Recently, the National Council of Catholic Bishops voted to implement the Pope's call that teachers of Catholic children must teach Catholic teaching. This is a first, but the battle is not over. After all, according to Johnson, Hoge, Ruether, Curran, et al, they are teaching Catholic teachings. It took 30 years or us to get were we are now. It may take another 30, and maybe even a schism, before we get back to where we should be.

    Pax Christi, Pat


December 8-9, 1999       volume 10, no. 233-234
VIEW FROM THE PEW

DAILY CATHOLIC

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