What are we to do?

Just a few moments ago, yet another wave of frustration hit me. Recently, I’ve been encountering so much dissent and disruption by people who want the Church to “reform” that it really makes me wonder: What are we to do?

For example, in another thread, I posted about a Cologne initiative to make Bishops subject to the laity’s approval. Then there’s the entire business of the divorced and remarried, which is the single big issue here in Germany among Catholics. Right after that, we have the recent survey about Church teaching on marriage, sexuality and contraception. Our media here (I don’t know about America or other countries than Germany) are going bananas about it. “Reform! Reform! The laity want it! Look at you, Vatican, stuck in the past!”

The comments I encounter on Facebook pages that post German Catholic news are discouraging. The media would probably label them “progressives”. I feel like I am one of perhaps two or three who stand up for Church teaching. The rest will accuse me of being reactionary, a pessimist, non-pastoral, judgemental, conservative and other stuff. Over time, those comments make me doubt whether my understanding of what the Church teaches is correct. I’m close to despairing.

Have you encountered such things? Perhaps we can collect some here, it would be interesting to see what goes on around the globe. Have any of you been close to despair in the face of such opposition, when you feel you’re alone in defending Holy Church? What are we to do?

I just keep praying for the life of the church it’s Priests & Deacons and it’s faithful.

Stop going online and reading those types of stories if the comments are bringing you to despair. Focus on being a saint - that is the end to which everything else in the Church is aiming. Be a saint. Get oft the internet. Come back if/when you feel you won’t be crushed by the stupid nonsense out there.

I can’t beleive people expect us to deviate from the church Jesus started for us and from such rich tradition just because the teachings don’t suit them. The fact that some 2000 years have passed doesent mean the Vatican is stuck in the past, in my opinion only something right and just could have lasted that test of time and still be going strong.

your not alone, just look how many faithful followers there are right here on CAF. I know it can be tough, but what could be more worth defending than our faith. A time is coming where we are all going to have fight for our beleifs, I think it’s going to get a lot bigger than it yet is. Keep up the good work, praying for you to keep the strength to continue defending our beleifs :slight_smile:

Keep faith, friend. In my home country of France, where I used to live, anyone who fully practices the orthodox Catholic faith risks being called “ultra-catholic”, “ultra-traditionalist” or, even worse, “fundamentalist”, as well as the other names you mentioned. This is done by the media, “progressive” cultural Catholics and some non-Catholics. So, I can sympathize with your situation and concern in Germany.

By the way, I would say the biggest issue in France is same-sex marriage, especially since it was legalized just last year. Next would be abortion, of course, as is the case in most, if not all other countries with a Catholic presence.

In the face of all this, what are we to do, you ask? Stand firm. This is a time to deepen your faith, especially when fighting moments of despair (and yes, it is easy to fall into them, I admit). Be ready to face harassment. Don’t let popular views destabilize you in your faith. Also, Facebook comments are rarely, if ever, intelligent so I would just avoid going there unless you feel brave enough to defend the truth amidst cries of reforming the Church.

Finally, I think it’s good for those of us who stick to the real Church teachings to share about these difficulties and current issues in our respective countries. Maybe we should have a motto: “Pray, share, and defend!” :rolleyes:

What I do, aside from praying, is to read history. The Church has almost always been in trouble, and reading that She has had trouble and carried on is very heartening for me :slight_smile:

Remember too that this is a cross, we can offer up our pain, which is a wonderful thing!

Glad to hear from our neighbours! :slight_smile:

Indeed, same-sex “marriage” was a biggie in France, I saw the huge protests (Manif pour tous or so?) about it. It’s not come here yet, but one can already feel it simmering under the surface. There has been the odd court ruling on taxes and so forth, but there is no “marriage equality” yet. Adoption and so forth are the next targets. As for abortion, the numbers are going down and there’s no considerable movement to expand abortion. Euthanasia, though, is another matter.

Facebook… yes, they do tend to be rather ignorant, pardon the harsh wording. I’m glad there is such a thing as CAF, but that Facebook page is really the only place I can talk about German Catholic news.

Stick to your guns brother. Our Lady has promised to secure graces and mercies from Her Divine Son to save Her Church. Like St John we need to stay close to Her at the foot of the cross.

Amen. Actually, this has really helped me in the past too. Yes, things are bad now. There is a major crisis of faith in the Church. But things have never been perfect, and each generation is faced with its’ own set of difficulties. I tend to think, however, that God allows us to come on the Earth at specific times in history to face these problems, and handle them in such a way to make us saints. :slight_smile:

Also, keep in mind that while our Faith is a communal one, and we don’t want to fall into the “me and God is enough” trap, there may be times when we have to…respectfully ignore our fellow lay people and even our clergy and hierarchs. There is nothing wrong with this, insomuch as we are respectful and they are truly in error. During such times, we have the grace of the Rosary, the writings of the Saints, and faith that God will take care of us.

“Men are more likely to dispise the world and amend their lives by witnessing real-life examples than by any barrage of words flowing forth from this world’s wisdom.”

Thomas a Kempis - The Valley of Lilies

I don’t see why something that happens in the media, what happens in a different diocese, what anyone says on facebook or the names anyone calls us should cause one iota of frustration or “near despair.”

None of that has anything to do with our personal prayer lives, fidelity to the Gospel, instructing our children in the faith, or reception of the sacraments. The world is going to do what it has always done and it shouldn’t be a surprise. They haven’t changed the fact that Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to Heaven. They haven’t repealed Pentecost. The Eucharist is still Jesus. The gates of heaven are still open to us and those who persevere courageously will have the last laugh.

It never ceases to amaze me how people get driven into a rage or brought to despair over so many things they see on facebook yet they keep going back. They are frustrated at the media yet they still watch the TV news, listen to talk radio and look at the news sites on the internet. If the names people call us on facebook hurt our feelings then don’t post on facebook. Why even look at the TV or listen to the radio? Why not read an encyclical about the Eucharist or watch NOVA or switch to a music station?

Me? I’m going to heaven to be with Jesus. I don’t presume. I know that isn’t certain. But that is my plan. Nothing the media does or anyone on facebook or anyone else can stop me from trying, and I know that if I give it my best shot, even though I am weak and fall constantly, that the merit of Jesus on the cross and the intercession of his Blessed Mother will get me there, one way or another. Despair and frustration aren’t part of my plan.


Because those people are basically attacking the Church. I want the Church to do well, not be torn apart by disputes, ignorance and heresy. It’s Catholic laity (and sometimes priests) who have not been, or badly, catechised. I want them to have proper catechesis, for their own good and Holy Church’s.

I think that we should accept angry people and go on our way. I don’t think that Church should change. Media wants to write readable articles and they attack Church in order to make mess. There was a great article in Ask Question which said that nowadays the only institution who keeps people moral is Church. People don’t trust anyone and the only thing what left for them is Church.

Sorry for my English :slight_smile:

Likewise! :slight_smile:

Yes, SSM is the main issue in France and you’re correct about the protests last year, including the “Manif pour tous”. In fact, there was one such protest just two days ago, on February 2nd (which, thankfully, was highly successful!). I pray that your country may be spared of SSM for as long as possible…

It’s interesting to hear that the abortion rate is going down and no considerable efforts are being made to further expand the “practice” in Germany. In France, it’s the next big issue after SSM, although like in Germany the rate is pretty stable as of the early 2000’s and maybe even slightly in decline. As for euthanasia, there’s the occasional debate and such, but nothing more.

I understand about Facebook and no worries for your wording. It’s hard to find an outlet to express our views and yet paradoxically we find one in places that are typically unaccepting of such views…I guess we could say that those are the places where we actually need to be heard!

We should, as for every country.

The Pill is only available here on prescription, and that is currently being attacked, although the government and doctors are against liberalising its availability.

As a matter of fact, I’m engaged in another such thing at this very moment. This time, it’s about the Vatican “Survey” for the Extraordinary Synod this year. Apparently, the German Bishops have drawn up some “recommendations”, particularly as regards the divorced and remarried and the Sacraments, which is a huge concern here. Predictably, I am the only one defending the indissolubility of marriage there. Others have decided that actually the Western Church is wrong, since the Eastern Church does what they would like, and therefore Marriage is dissolvable. They say “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder” actually means “You shouldn’t dissolve a marriage, but you could”.

I want individuals to do well too, and the Church to do well, but what happens on facebook or in a diocese 800 miles away from where I live is beyond my control.

I am in control of my own life and my children’s, not what happens in a diocese on another continent or one someone else’s facebook page, and I’m certainly not going to despair over it. If God wanted me to worry about it he would have put me in charge of it.

You can make near despair about what you are not in control over part of your plan if you want. Not me. Yeah it stinks, but lots of other stuff stinks too and I don’t despair over that.


I admire your love of the church and your concern for it and I wish more had that kind of heart.

Mother Teresa was asked by a certain person who had one loaf of bread this question. There are so many starving what good is one loaf of bread. And Mother responded, “At least one person won’t go hungry tonight.”

If you pray for just one person or a few people, at least that many will be put back on the narrow road. It is better to do just a little than do absolutely nothing. Let Jesus take care of the rest.

7.4 billion people. How many can you save? How about one? Just one. And all the angels will dance for joy.

We supposedly have 1 billion church going Catholics. Suppose all of them saved just one. That would mean 2 billion church going Catholics. 30 years later we would have 4 billion. One is all it takes.

May God our Father give you grace and peace.

CutlerB you have received some good advice and to Fred Conty’s “If you pray for just one person or a few people, at least that many will be put back on the narrow road. It is better to do just a little than do absolutely nothing. Let Jesus take care of the rest”, I would add do your bit here and elsewhere to help others to know the truths of Catholicism.

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