The Church vs. Modern Issues

The Catholic Church continues to wrestle with the idea of homosexual unions and the ordination of females. To get a realistic preview of expectations resulting from these proposed changes, one needs to look no further than the nearest (in faith and practice) Western faith, the Church of England and the world Anglican Communion.

Anglicanism is declining faster than any other majority denomination. With the current rate of decline, it would be set to disappear from Britain by 2033. Ordination of women and inclusion of homosexual unions was hyped as the answer to that rapid decline. Despite that, over the period 1983 to 2014 (women first ordained in 1994), the Anglican population of the United Kingdom almost halved, falling from 16.5 million adherents to 8.6 million, from 40% of the British population to 15%. Between 2012 and 2014 alone, the proportion of Britons who described themselves as Anglicans fell from 21 to 17%, a loss of 1.7 million people in two years.

Attendance too has suffered substantially with 1,370,400 people in England being recorded as regular Anglican churchgoers in 1980. In 2015, there were only 660,000. Only 3% of adults under 24, and only 5% of British adults between the ages of 25-34, identify as Anglicans. Anglican Kathy Gyngell commented that a correlation between the rise in female clergy and the drop in Church attendance cannot be ignored.

“Having women bishops has become more important than dealing with declining church attendances – as though ‘gender equality’ was of spiritual significance. It is not. It is purely ideological and political.”

Kathy Gyngell

The American branch of Anglicanism, the Episcopal Church, as of 2018, reported 1,676,349 baptized members in the United States, a drop of 120,602 members from two years prior in 2016. Total average Sunday attendance for 2018 was 533,206 in the U.S., a decrease of 24.7% percent from 2008 (with a decline of 53,237 persons in the pews between 2013 and 2016 alone.).

All of this is important for the members of the Catholic Church (which has shrunk in U.S. membership only 3% in 7 years but had increased in size worldwide to over 72 million while the Anglican communion steadily shrinks) to take note of as they struggle with the ideas of homosexuals unions and female ordination. History has shown, in the closest counterparts to the Roman church, that bowing to these issues does not and will not save the Church. In fact, the numbers strongly indicate that these factors contribute to a quicker decline.

There is no doubt that there remains much work to do in the way the Catholic Church; welcomes, includes, and interacts with genders, with sexual orientations, and with the plethora of colours of mankind in order to fulfill the mandate of extending the pure love of Christ. The proof, however; shows that bowing to political and ideological winds is not the way to move forward, but rather, is a crippling move.

From the Depths of Our Hearts

From the Depths of Our Hearts, a hardback book on Priesthood, Celibacy, and the Crisis of the Catholic Church is an upcoming book set to be released in February of this year. The book is co-authored by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI (recognized as one of the most brilliant theologians and spiritual leaders of our age), and Cardinal Robert Sarah (Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments). It addresses the current state of the Holy Catholic Church, the Priesthood, and a hard and honest look at where to go from here. Below is the description of the book, as written by its publishers. You may pre-order it here.

Product Code: FDOHH Format: Hardback ISBN/UPC: 9781621644149   Pages: 140 Pre-Order Availability: Next Release Date: February 2020 Publication date: February 20, 2020 Weight: 8.1 oz  


The Catholic Church faces a major crisis and the turmoil in priestly ministry is at the heart of it. “The priesthood is going through a dark time,” write Pope Emeritus Benedict and Cardinal Robert Sarah. “Wounded by the revelation of so many scandals, disconcerted by the constant questioning of their consecrated celibacy, many priests are tempted by the thought of giving up and abandoning everything.”

In this book, Pope Emeritus Benedict and Cardinal Robert Sarah give their brother priests and the whole Church a message of hope. They honestly address the spiritual challenges faced by priests today, including struggles of celibacy. They point to deeper conversion to Jesus Christ as the key to faithful and fruitful priestly ministry and church reform. 

From the Depths of Our Hearts is an unprecedented work by the Pope Emeritus and a Cardinal serving in the Vatican. As bishops, they write “in a spirit of filial obedience” to Pope Francis, who has said, “I think that celibacy is a gift for the Church … I don’t agree with allowing optional celibacy, no.” 

Responding to calls for refashioning the priesthood, including proposals from the Amazonian Synod, two wise, spiritually astute pastors explain the biblical and spiritual role of the priesthood, celibacy, and genuine priestly ministry. Drawing on Vatican II, they present priestly celibacy as more than “a mere precept of ecclesiastical law”. They insist that renewal of the Church is bound to a renewed understanding of priestly vocation as sharing in Jesus’ priestly identity as Bridegroom of the Church. 

This is a book whose crucial message is for clergy and laity alike. 

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • An unprecedented book coauthored by a former Pope
  • Looks seriously and unflinchingly at the crisis in the Catholic Church
  • A forthright discussion of priestly celibacy and its role in the Catholic Church
  • A book for clergy and laity alike concerned about the Catholic Church

To Young Women – Does He Really Love You?

An open letter to young women – How to tell if he “loves” you, or if he loves what he thinks he can get from you. This list is by no means exhaustive, but once you read through, you’ll have a pretty good idea of behaviours and speech patterns that represent love, and those that represent lust.

The simplest way, really, is to take 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and replace the word “love” with his name. If you HONESTLY believe he fits this description, he may in fact, be the one.

4 “NAME” is patient, “NAME” is kind and is not jealous; “NAME” does not brag and is not arrogant, “NAME” does not act unbecomingly [a]; “NAME” does not seek his own [b], “NAME” is not easily provoked [c], “NAME” does not take into account a wrong suffered, “NAME” does not rejoice in unrighteousness, rather, “NAME” rejoices with the truth; 7 “NAME” bears all things, “NAME” believes all things, “NAME” hopes all things, “NAME” endures all things. “NAME” never fails…

1 Corinthians 13:4-8, New American Standard Version

[a] Not appropriate, attractive, or flattering. adj. Not in accord with the standards implied by one’s character or position

[b] Love is not self-seeking and love does not insist on its own way. In fact, love seeks to serve the object of its affection, rather than trying to get what it can from them.

[c] Angered, enraged, exasperated, irritated, annoyed, or vexed

But beyond the simplicity of God’s own example of the appropriate behaviour of love towards its object of affection, here are a few suggested items that will tell you where his heart is:

  • If he encourages you to be closer to your family, he likely loves you.
  • If he talks to you about your relationship with God, he likely loves you.
  • If he speaks to you like a gentleman, about where he’d like to take you and what he’d like to show you, he likely loves you.
  • If he treats you like a gentleman – opening doors, pulling out chairs, bringing flowers, he likely loves you.
  • If he speaks to you pleasantly and appropriately, he likely loves you.
  • If he doesn’t push you, and you find yourself WANTING to make him happy, he likely loves you.
  • If he makes you stop and think and evaluate decisions, he likely loves you.
  • If he encourages you to think for yourself, he likely loves you.
  • If he’s open and honest with you, he likely loves you.
  • If he’s open and honest with your parents, he likely loves you.

These are clear signs that his mind is set on being a man, not a child with animal instincts. This is marriage material, and you should hold on to this relationship to see where it leads.

  • If he tries to separate you from your family, he doesn’t love you.
  • If he changes the subject or avoids speaking about your relationship with God, he doesn’t love you.
  • If he talks to you about what he’d like to do to you, including undressing you and “cuddling” (there is no requirement that clothing be removed to cuddle), he doesn’t love you.
  • If he speaks overly sexually, he doesn’t love you.
  • If he pushes you but constantly says he doesn’t want to push you to do something you don’t want to do, he doesn’t love you.
  • If he encourages you to make hasty decisions involving him, he doesn’t love you.
  • If he makes you feel guilty to get you to do things, he doesn’t love you.
  • If he is manipulative and sneaky, he doesn’t love you.
  • If he encourages you to lie to your parents, he doesn’t love you.

Men with bad intentions know that your adult loved ones know the warning signs, and will, therefore; try to separate you from your loved ones or drive a wedge between you, or try to get you to participate in the deceit so that your loved ones won’t see the warning signs and give you notice of what’s going on.

All these negative (lust) items are clear signs that he only wants to get into your pants. If you buy into it, they will take what they want and be long gone before you ever know what’s happening. Who knows – maybe he’ll stay, and maybe you’ll be another check on his bedpost. Why take the chance? You are worth more than that.

Regardless of where he falls in this spectrum, always remember that a negative plus a positive is still a negative. Doing a couple of things from the love list, and several from the lust list means he DOES NOT LOVE YOU and only loves what he can get from you. Don’t fall into this trap. It leads only to heartache.

Lastly, no matter what “medical” issue (such as the so-called “blueballs”) he may present you with, there is no biological need for men to have sex. Within the bonds of marriage, it is an act of love and sharing. Outside of those bonds, it is pure recreation and does not require love. Semen that is not spilled is absorbed into the body and its compounds and nutrients reused. It does not affect his ability to sit, to walk or to function unless his actual brains are present in his scrotum alone. If that’s the case, you don’t want him anyway.

A Purely Biblical Approach to Sexual Sin

A sexual sin is a sexual sin. There are no varying degrees. Sexual sin is a sin against the body, the temple of the holy spirit. Adultery, masturbation, sex with animals, homosexuality, General sexual immorality… all were viewed as an abomination and worthy of death. But Christ, in his forgiving of the adulteress and in His refusal to judge the Samaritan woman, he who was WORTHY to judge nevertheless judged not. He forgave and told all that he forgave; “go, and sin no more.”. Who are we then, sinners one and all, to judge? Nevertheless, there are many incorrect suppositions flying about regarding what the Bible says about sexuality and marriage. So here is the basic rundown.

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” – Genesis 1:27 

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” – Genesis 2:24 

“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination.” – Leviticus 18:22 

“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” – Leviticus 20:13  

“Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” – Matthew 19:4-6

“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’  ‘For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,  and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one.  Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” – Mark 10:6-9 

“But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.” – I Corinthians 7:2 

“For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.” – Ephesians 5:31 

“Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.  Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” – Colossians 3:18-19 

“Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” – Hebrews 13:4 

“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” – I Peter 3:7 

“Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way, the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.” – Romans 1:26-27 

“A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach.” – I Timothy 3:2 

“Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.” – I Timothy 3:12 

For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.” – Titus 1:6