Little sister theory

I have developed a theory about a factor that keeps people away from the Catholic Church that I call the little sister theory.

Perhaps when you were a child you may have had a younger sibling who you did not, at the time, have much respect for. In fact you thought they were annoying, awful and worthless. It probably happened at least occasionally that your parents would send your younger sibling to tell you to do something. This would be too much to take! This worthless stupid person telling you what to do! Now you probably understood it when your parents told you what to do. You may have not liked it; you may not have obeyed it. Still you knew that the parents had proper authority to direct you. But when this younger sibling told you what to do, and you knew they had the authority to tell you, this was just too much. You might well have said, “I’ll obey my parents, but no way I’m going to obey this pitiful creature.” You knew that the order was genuinely from your parents, and you should obey, but you were just very resistant to the means of delivery.

I think a similar thing occurs when some hear men with the authority of the Church telling them what to do. They just can’t take that. They say, "I’ll listen to and obey Christ, but not any man. Especially not a man that I knoooow to be sinful, and not nearly as smart or with as sound a judgement as mine."
But when Jesus sent out the 72, He told them that those who heard them heard Him, and those who didn’t hear them didn’t hear Him. I think it is likely that at least some of these 72 folks were not stalwart respected members of Jewish society. Knowing human nature, some who heard the message may have rejected it because they knew the messenger, and did not respect him. Still that messenger had teaching authority, and the proper response was to hear and obey.
For us today, the Church has this role. When the magisterium speaks, we listen, not because of respect for their scholarly achievement or because we know they are particularly holy people, but because Jesus sent them to give us that message.

Just my own humble thoughts.

Keath Wade

[quote=Keath Wade]I have developed a theory about a factor that keeps people away from the Catholic Church …us that message.

Just my own humble thoughts.

Keath Wade


It is just the sin of Pride. Many people seemingly have a tendency to show contempt for what we may call the “horizontal” diffusion of authority, where a private (even under instructions from a higher authority) tells another private what to do, unlike the more usual top to bottom diffusion, wherein a general orders and the private obeys.

Gerry :slight_smile:

I think there is a big problem of our local “authoritative figures” i. e. some local priests worrying too much about not offending the “big money” people of the parish or just trying to be the “cool” priest in the parish hanging out at the picnic beer stand, rather than sternly teaching the faith. I do find it hard to follow their authority…mostly because they are not demonstrating their authority.

For instance, one parishioner decided, during Sunday Mass, that he would express his “gayness” during gay pride week. He did this before the concluding song of Mass. He did it publicly…so the priest right then and there…publicly…should have reprimanded him. My kids heard and were waiting for a response from the priest. It was the perfect time for the priest to give a lesson on the sin of homosexuality. But we got NOTHING! I guess the priest was too worried about offending… never mind that the gay guy didn’t bother about who he was offending…especially during Mass!

Yes, I share this same insight. I myself as a Catholic do not trust all men and I struggle with this. There are usually models of holiness but sometimes human error in the Church management. For example, if a Protestant was not attracted to the Catholic Church because of issues of dissent and other issues, who would be more responsible for that, the Protestant or the Bishop/Cardinal involved?

Is it true that when Jesus gave the authority to the Church, He may have also been giving them responsibility and accountability if people do not come to Him because of them?


Its funny becasue I always hear better homilies at youth masses, especally when none of the kids belong to wealthy parents. The pastor is free to say anything he wants. He can even talk about why he feels that way and why the Church wants him to feel that way. its often incredible to note the difference.

My favorite homily, tho, was delivered by a polish priest who was just learning English

“My Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Jesus loves you very much,
Mary loves you very much,
So do I.”

It was a truly hearfelt homily and he wasn’t afriad to tell the people the youth that he loved them. In this politically correct time that would anger some idiot.
The other short homily done at a regular Mass that I like was.

“I have something for you to really think about today.
Ronald Mc Donald said it.
‘have you had your break today?’”

Very profound for those parishoiners itching to leave. Not a single person left after Communion that day.

May God bless our Pastor and bless him with many years to preach the truth as honestly and humbly as he does!

I also have the great pleasure of seeing the priest who celebrated our wedding mass. After 19 years we are participating in litrugies together again! He is awesome – first he did our wedding prep and ceremony, then the week after we returned from our honeymoon, he was the priest who participated at RCIA and gave me some of my sacraments.

We are blessed though with a Holy Father who has stayed true to the Bible and that has increased the esteem of our Church to some honest souls in this world.

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