If we build it, they will come!
Normally, this space would be reserved for Father John Hampsch's article, but having finished his series "Faith: Key to the Heart of God" last week, his column will be on sabbatical for a few weeks. In its place we will provide an editorial rather than on Tuesdays, at least until September when we resume with all new articles in all features. Yesterday we commemorated the 500th day in the countdown to the new millennium and Jubilee 2000. That's still a lot of time left, and yet so little in the scope of things for within the next 500 days many events both natural and supernatural will occur that will truly change the face of the earth. This includes disasters, economical collapse and other omens that do not bode well, but don't be discouraged by that doom and gloom prediction. Rather, look beyond it for we must pass through the kiln of suffering in order to achieve the mold God intends. These "bad things" must happen in order for the good to occur - the long-awaited Triumph of the Immaculate Heart which Our Lady has constantly prophesied would come before we reach the millennium. What exactly the Triumph will be no one, and we repeat no one, knows for sure except that it will be glorious and cause countless souls to return to the One, True Church. Are we ready for them?
This is a time of preparation for loyal Catholics. The Holy Father calls all of us to be evangelists, to reach out to others in spreading the Word of God and inviting them to be a part of His Church. If we are to be ready when the mass invasion back to the Mass comes, then we need to prepare now to be ready for the influx. And souls will flock to Catholic churches the world over, not because the Church is so lenient or looks the other way regarding sin as so many Protestant sects do now, but rather because they will realize it is the strictness of the Church that they need in order to achieve salvation - something every soul in the world will think more seriously of once the Warning, prophesied specifically at Garabandal and corroborated by so many messengers since then, is upon us. It will be a time of illumination - of the soul. And it will be then that the majority will realize the error of their ways in turning their back on Christ's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Even those within the Church will realize there is no room for dissent or veering from doctrine and the Magisterium as so many modernists are wont to do.
The controversy last year over the modernists' manipulation vehicle of "Nothing Sacred" comes to mind on how NOT to run a parish. But this was fiction, or so we thought, until recently when we discovered life imitates art - if you want to call that trash and trashed series on ABC art!. You see in Rochester, New York there is a carbon copy of the liberal priest in the TV series - a pastor at an urban parish in the inner city where poverty, homelessness, prostitution, crime and drug addicts abound. This priest Father James Callan has tried to emulate the radical philosophy of the fictional Father Ray from his liberal policies of ignoring Church doctrine and liturgical laws to even employing a liberal woman Mary Ramerman as pastoral associate just like the liberal none (sic) Sister Mo from the short-lived (thank God) television program. He has allowed her to wear a stole in assisting him in priestlike participation at Mass. He has given Holy Communion to Catholics and non-Catholics alike, openly condoned homosexuality, and - well the list goes on and on. So, you ask, why hasn't his bishop had him removed? Good question. Maybe it's because his bishop is Matthew Clark - yes, you guessed it, that same Matthew Clark who is notorious for spurning what the Holy Father promotes and pushing his own agenda of gay Masses in his diocese. So what's a parish to do? Well, some went straight to Rome and, yes, they got results. The Vatican issued a decree removing Callan as pastor of Corpus Christi parish with a direct letter to Clark. Clark, under penalty of being removed himself, had to follow through on the strong "recommendation." He had no choice. Let's hope the vice grip of morality, obedience and strictness to all the Church teaches will clamp ever tighter on the modernists who are forging their own agendas in lieu of what the Magisterium teaches. Let's hope they, too, will have no choice but to comply with the Pope's teaching or take a hike. No church wants to lose souls, but, as the saying goes "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink." Their presence within the Mystical Body of Christ is, as we have emphasized before, like a worm in a barrel of apples: one rotten apple can spoil the rest. With all the problems the Church and her faithful encounter in these difficult times, they don't need more confusion. Ergo, like Martin Luther and that ilk, if they do not obey - it's sayonarra. We cannot compromise; the Church cannot compromise; his Holiness John Paul II has never compromised and therein lies the strength of this papacy. Unlike our country's leader - and I use that term loosely especially in light of the "wag the dog" fiasco he has been perpetrating - who waffles on almost every issue, the Holy Father is solid on every issue, forgoing any political agenda whatsoever in favor of the welfare of his flocks' souls.
Therefore, rather than dreading what lies ahead, we should eagerly look forward to what will occur within the next 500 days and concentrate on the task at hand - to build a base of knowledgable Catholics who will be able to assist the priests in ministering to the countless souls who will flock back to Holy Mother Church as safe refuge against the wiles of the devil. To do this we need to know our faith, to know the catechism, to know apologetics and, most importantly, to know the power of prayer and take the time to pray for through prayer all things are possible. And it is through prayer that the faithful can build the foundation for a solid base of catechists who will not teach the liberalism found in so many RCIA courses, but rather a return to the traditional teaching and moral values always held so dear to the Church. Through prayer and dedication in each parish this foundation will take shape to accommodate the many who will seek the truth. In other words, with the help of the Blessed Trinity and in obedience to the Magisterium, if we build it, they will come!