The Problem with the Church today


#1

The biggest problem today in the Catholic Church is the ignoring by theologians and scholars, even orthodox Catholics, even holy and saintly Catholics, of the leadership of the Popes in matters they don’t understand. This ignoring by even orthodox or “conservative” Catholics in the teachings of the Popes on subjects they don’t understant is why Catholics don’t go to mass, why they don’t practice their faith, why they divorce and remarry and why they are generally ignorant on the basic teachings of God.

 Popes Paul VI and John Paul II have taught over and over that Jesus is the center of everything, that Jesus handed down all saving truth in His Gospel.  They emphasize this Gospel over and over. Not only is all saving truth contained in this Gospel, and NOT the bible, but they teach the fullness of what God wanted to reveal about Himself is handed down in this Gospel.  Notice it is NOT in the  bible, but in the Gospel that God has revealed the fullness of truth about Himself. And the apostles were  appointed to continue the proclamation of this Gospel, which contains "all saving truth" till the end of time. 

The problem today, is even saintly Catholics don’t know what the Popes mean by the word Gospel. They don’t know what the content of this Gospel is. They don’t
what the meaning of the central point of the Gospel is.

They don’t know because Catholic scholars in this country for at least a hundred years have limited the meaning of the word Gospel to the “written words and deeds of Jesus” as the Catholic Encyclopedia falsely taught. Even saintly Father Hardon taught the Gospel was simply the four written Gospels, in his dictionary.

Therefore when the Popes teach that the primary duty of bishops and priests is the proclamation of the Gospel to all, the bishops and priests are lost to that meaning, since they have been trained to learn from theologians and scripture scholars, who teach that the Gospel is primarly the written words and deeds of Jesus in the four gospels.
And since the bible is not clear about any teaching, then everyone’s thinking is not clear, thus confusion.

The only way to understand what the Popes mean by the word “Gospel” is to study how they use the word in their encyclicals and in the documents they authorize, and to totally ignore the Catholic scholars and theologians in this country on this subject, since they are the cause of the problem.

Starting with the present, it is Pope Paul VI’s “Evangelization in the modern world” and continued by Pope John Paul II in his encyclicals and in the General Directory for Catechesis, which He authorized and promoted and in the new Catechism that we can overcome the false idea that the Gospel is primarily what is written.
In all these teachings of the Popes they define how to proclaim the Gospel and the content of the Gospel.
It is clearly evident that by the word Gospel they mean what Jesus taught to the apostles and what these apostles taught and preached. No where do the Popes limit the meaning of the Gospel to primarily what is written. In fact, they teach that the Gospel is contained fully in what the apostles taught and preached and only certain elements of the Gospel were written in the four gospels.

And since no where does the bible claim to be a summary of this Gospel the apostles taught and preached, then we cannot rely on the bible for the answer. Also, the basic reasons Protestants can’t agree on the anything, is because they look for the Gospel that the apostles taught and preached and no where does the bible claim to present it, or even a summary of it.


#2

Well even dumb old me can eventually learn from these documents of the Popes, especially “The General Directory for Catechesis” they they have trying over and over to get Catholics to read and understand, that by Gospel, the Popes mean the whole Catholic Faith, centered on the good news that out of love for us Jesus came down from heaven to liberate us from everything that oppresses us, but especially from the slavery of sin and of the devil. There are many aspects of salvation, but this part they emphasize over and over, that Jesus came to liberate us from the slavery of sin. Jesus came to free us from the inclination to sin. This is the central point of good news, the Gospel that Jesus came to take away our inclination to sin, sin which causes so much misery in the world.
Jesus came to ransom us from being prisoners to sin. Jesus came to set us free from the inclination to sin. As one of the prayers of the mass says, “by Your cross and resurrection You have set us free, You are the Savior of the world.”

Savior means one who has set us free. One who has set us free from the slavery of sin, one who has liberated us from the desires and passions that almost compel us to sin.

The whole Catholic faith is centered on this aspect of the Good News, the good news of liberation from sin that oppresses us. From the teachings on the articles of the Creed, which explain about God and salvation history, to the sacraments, by which we receive the grace to free us, to liberate us from the opppression of sin, to the commandments which guide us on how to live a life free from the slavery of sin, to prayer, which is how we ask for this grace, the whole Catholic faith is oriented to this aspect of the Good News.

When the apostles proclaimed the Gospel, they did NOT do so by reading the four Gospels then by giving an explanation of the readings. They did NOT do so by reading scripture then by giving an exegesis of scripture.
They proclaimed the Gospel by giving the intial proclamation, that out of love for us, God sent His son Jesus to free us from the slavery of sin. And if the recipient was interested, then the apostles taught (catechized), the Catholic faith, which they learned directly from Jesus Christ Himself, so that the recipient could learn more and learn how to obtain this grace that frees him from his compulsion to sin and how to live a life freed from sin.
And, as the Popes teach, people will only learn from holy teachers, from those who are living the teachings of the Catholic faith.

Thus the** Good News, the Gospel,** the source of all saving truth and moral discipline, the fullness of what God wanted to reveal about Himself, is handed down from Jesus, to the apostles, to their successors, the bishops in union with the Pope as
** the Catholic faith, centered on cental point that out of love for us Jesus came to free us from all that oppresses us, especially sin and the devil. **

To proclaim the Gospel means to proclaim the whole Catholic faith, centered on point that out of love for us, Jesus came to free us from the compulsion or slavery to sin.

This is what the Popes mean, this is what they have been trying to get us to understand. This is what Vatican II was called to teach. There are more explanations of why Jesus came, of how He liberates us, of how He reveals man to man himself, how these teachings can change society, for the better, etc. in these teachings of the Popes

From these teachings we can begin to understand what Catechesis is. It is teaching the Gospel, the Catholic faith so that we can live it and receive the graces that free us. That is why the Church says the Catechism presents the living Gospel. Now we can understand why the Catechism teaches the liturgy is the priviledged place for catechizing the people of God. Because catechizing is a primary means of proclaiming the Gospel.
Thus, the homily should be primarily catechesis, proclamation of the Gospel, and only a little on commentary on the scriptures.


closed #3

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