Thanks so much for joining me for a roundup of this week’s news.
- With Auschwitz visit, pope faces complex Polish-Jewish story
- Pope makes a statement with visit to fabled Polish monastery
- On first trip to Poland, Pope Francis will find a divided Church
- Pilgrims head for Polish city but six-day event could raise tensions between liberal pontiff and country’s conservative church
- Francis has an excellent chance to heal his rift with followers of St John Paul II
Geopolitical pressures (better known as Germany and Russia in this case) turned Poland into the most Catholic nation on the planet. The Polish Catholic church follows the rigid doctrinalism of its beloved Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II and resents Francis, the liberal reformer. Francis is hoping to make a few friends with this visit but the Polish hierarchy, like other conservative factions, is holding its breath until the triple tiara passes to another JPII or Benedict.
While the pope attempts to mend some fences in Poland, reasons for his unpopularity among traditionalists and conservatives continue to make the headlines.
- Catholic priest to Tim Kaine: ‘Don’t show up in my communion line’
- Mass Attendance Causes Immoral Voting
Democratic vice-presidential candidate, Tim Kaine, attempted to draw support from Catholic voters at the DNC this week by referring to his Catholic faith, Jesuit education, and experience as a volunteer with Jesuit missionaries in Honduras. But he was also outspoken in his support of abortion. I’m mystified by “faithful” Catholics like Kaine who can justify the murder of the unborn. The second article blames some of the politically-correct immorality on liberal priests.
- Mike Pence’s Spiritual Wanderings Should Be a Wake-Up Call to Catholics
- Innovative New Book Helps to Evangelize Non-Catholics
Switching to the other political party, Republican vice-presidential candidate, Mike Pence, is an ex-Catholic who says he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior and is now an evangelical Christian. This obviously doesn’t sit well with Catholics. They are unnerved by the many folks, represented by Pence, who have left Catholicism for a “more meaningful worship experience” or a “personal relationship” with Jesus Christ at an evangelical fellowship. Catholics are desperately trying to understand the “problem” and to “fix” it. They’re even attempting to reach out to non-Catholics (see second article). What they don’t see is that it’s not about “meaningful worship experiences,” it’s about the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. People are responding to God’s Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit and accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior and coming out of Catholicism, which teaches salvation by sacramental grace and merit.
This traditionalist Catholic article criticizes ecumenical events like the recent ‘Together 2016’ which blur the doctrinal lines between Catholicism and evangelical Christianity. I agree with the author that overlooking doctrine helps no one. Salvation is either by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone as the Bible teaches or it’s by sacramental grace and merit as Catholicism teaches. One way leads to heaven, the other way leads to hell. Woe to those who blur the Gospel.
- Detroit churches to host iconic Our Lady of Fatima statue
- International Pilgrim Virgin Statue is on special tour in U.S.
Catholicism regularly sponsors “tours” of relics or “holy” objects. In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the alleged appearance of Mary at Fatima, Portugal, the statue that normally stands at the Fatima grotto is stopping at 100 U.S. dioceses in 100 weeks. Once again, this is a case where Catholics put their faith in the created rather than in the Creator.
This is an informative, thoughtful article on the decline of the Catholic church in the U.S. as exemplified by the Diocese of Chicago. Religious institutions rise and fall. Jesus Christ is the solid Rock Who never fails.
Thanks for visiting my weekly roundup of news and commentary. Enjoy your weekend!