My Long Form Answer Dreher’s & Henneberger on “Leaving the Church”

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My Long Form Answer Dreher's & Henneberger on "Leaving the Church"

Rod Dreher has been on a roll about the church scan­dals and reports on Melinda Hen­neberger who has left the church over it:

No one can accuse me of being hasty. But after a life­time of stub­born adher­ence on my part and crim­i­nal behav­ior on yours, your excel­len­cies, you seem to have finally suc­ceeded in dri­ving me away. I’m not even sure there’s such a thing as a for­mer Catholic, but I’m about to find out.

My hopes for this Bal­ti­more con­fab weren’t ever high, because fool me 6,000 times, shame on you. But that 6,001st time, well, I’m just all out of will­ing­ness to be conned into believ­ing you — who’ve so long seen the dev­as­ta­tion of inno­cents prin­ci­pally as a PR prob­lem — are ever going to change.

Like oth­ers who’ve had more than enough of your betray­als and arro­gance and per­pet­ual sur­prise about hav­ing cod­dled child rapists, I haven’t been back to Mass since June.

Dreher

You may cut your ties with your dys­func­tional fam­ily, and move away from them, but you don’t for­get them. You can’t for­get them. You mourn for them, maybe, and you want to see Dad get treat­ment and every­thing to work out. But you know you have to get out of that mael­strom before it sucks you under.

Read­ers, I don’t want to have a thread on whether or not some­one should leave the Catholic Church. What I would like to hear are sto­ries from Catholics who did leave, and Catholics who thought seri­ously about leav­ing, but who chose to stay.

No argu­ments, just sto­ries. Got it? No argu­ments, no hos­tile judg­ments on those who left or those who stayed. Just tell your story. I won’t pub­lish argu­men­ta­tive statements.

It’s a pretty inter­est­ing piece but as he didn’t want argu­ment in com­ments I fig­ured I’d respect his request and make my case here and it’s a sim­ple one that I’ve made before

There is one pri­mary rea­son to be a Chris­t­ian in gen­eral and a Catholic in par­tic­u­lar: BECAUSE IT’S TRUE!

If the Doc­trines of the Faith are false. If there is no such thing as God the father who cre­ated heaven and earth. If Jesus Christ wasn’t con­ceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Vir­gin Mary, didn’t suf­fer under Pon­tius Pilate, wasn’t cru­ci­fied, died and was buried. If he didn’t descend into hell;
and on the third day rise again from the dead. If he didn’t ascended into heaven, and isn’t seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty and thus will not come to judge the liv­ing and the dead…

…then it the end doesn’t mat­ter if the Catholic Church has a Saintly Pope who gives great advice on how to live in peace with your fel­low man, or devout nuns giv­ing shin­ing exam­ples of ser­vice and scan­dal free priests coun­sel­ing peo­ple do to fine things and pro­vid­ing pub­lic role mod­els for youth. In the end the Catholic Church would just be an Elk’s club that meets on Sat­ur­day After­noons or Sun­day morn­ings and has no more eter­nal sig­nif­i­cance to your life and soul as any than any other club full of nice peo­ple who do good things.

If how­ever the Doc­trines of the church ARE true. If God the Father Almighty IS the Cre­ator of heaven and earth. IF Jesus Christ IS His only Son and our Lord. If he WAS con­ceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Vir­gin Mary,
suf­fered under Pon­tius Pilate, was cru­ci­fied, died and was buried. If he DID descend into hell and on the third day He rose again from the dead. If he ascended into heaven, and IS seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty and WILL will come to judge the liv­ing and the dead…

…Then it doesn’t mat­ter if at this par­tic­u­lar time in the Catholic Church’s long his­tory we have a bad pope, nuns more inter­ested mother earth than the blessed mother, some clergy and bish­ops who have abused their posi­tions sex­u­ally and other bish­ops and Car­di­nals too cow­ardly and or cor­rupt to stop them. The doc­trines and the Sacra­ments and the Scrip­ture are still the true path to eter­nal life and worth stick­ing with even if those cur­rently over­see­ing them aren’t.

Peter had it right when he answered Christ’s question:

“Do you also want to leave?”

Simon Peter answered him, “Mas­ter, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eter­nal life.

John 6:67b-68

I can’t think of any­thing more pleas­ing to Satan than the idea that it’s an accept­able response for a good faith­ful Catholic to Clergy com­mit­ting or cov­er­ing up heinous mor­tal sin is to give up the mass the Sacra­ments, the Eucharist due to a jus­ti­fied out­rage at these actions.…

.…and thus put one­self into mor­tal sins of a more sub­tle and less heinous but are just as deadly to the soul.

I’ll say it one more time, the best way for a faith­ful prayer­ful Catholic to deal with the cur­rent cri­sis in the church is to con­tinue to be a faith­ful prayer­ful Catholic

Rod Dreher has been on a roll about the church scandals and reports on Melinda Henneberger who has left the church over it:

No one can accuse me of being hasty. But after a lifetime of stubborn adherence on my part and criminal behavior on yours, your excellencies, you seem to have finally succeeded in driving me away. I’m not even sure there’s such a thing as a former Catholic, but I’m about to find out.

My hopes for this Baltimore confab weren’t ever high, because fool me 6,000 times, shame on you. But that 6,001st time, well, I’m just all out of willingness to be conned into believing you — who’ve so long seen the devastation of innocents principally as a PR problem — are ever going to change.

Like others who’ve had more than enough of your betrayals and arrogance and perpetual surprise about having coddled child rapists, I haven’t been back to Mass since June. 

Dreher 

You may cut your ties with your dysfunctional family, and move away from them, but you don’t forget them. You can’t forget them. You mourn for them, maybe, and you want to see Dad get treatment and everything to work out. But you know you have to get out of that maelstrom before it sucks you under.

Readers, I don’t want to have a thread on whether or not someone should leave the Catholic Church. What I would like to hear are stories from Catholics who did leave, and Catholics who thought seriously about leaving, but who chose to stay. 

No arguments, just stories. Got it? No arguments, no hostile judgments on those who left or those who stayed. Just tell your story. I won’t publish argumentative statements.

It’s a pretty interesting piece but as he didn’t want argument in comments I figured I’d respect his request and make my case here and it’s a simple one that I’ve made before

There is one primary reason to be a Christian in general and a Catholic in particular: BECAUSE IT’S TRUE!

If the Doctrines of the Faith are false. If there is no such thing as God the father who created heaven and earth. If Jesus Christ wasn’t conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, didn’t suffer under Pontius Pilate, wasn’t crucified, died and was buried. If he didn’t descend into hell;
and on the third day rise again from the dead. If he didn’t ascended into heaven, and isn’t seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty and thus will not come to judge the living and the dead…

…then it the end doesn’t matter if the Catholic Church has a Saintly Pope who gives great advice on how to live in peace with your fellow man, or devout nuns giving shining examples of service and scandal free priests counseling people do to fine things and providing public role models for youth. In the end the Catholic Church would just be an Elk’s club that meets on Saturday Afternoons or Sunday mornings and has no more eternal significance to your life and soul as any than any other club full of nice people who do good things.

If however the Doctrines of the church ARE true. If God the Father Almighty IS the Creator of heaven and earth. IF Jesus Christ IS His only Son and our Lord. If he WAS conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. If he DID descend into hell and on the third day He rose again from the dead. If he ascended into heaven, and IS seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty and WILL will come to judge the living and the dead…

…Then it doesn’t matter if at this particular time in the Catholic Church’s long history we have a bad pope, nuns more interested mother earth than the blessed mother, some clergy and bishops who have abused their positions sexually and other bishops and Cardinals too cowardly and or corrupt to stop them. The doctrines and the Sacraments and the Scripture are still the true path to eternal life and worth sticking with even if those currently overseeing them aren’t.

Peter had it right when he answered Christ’s question:

“Do you also want to leave?”

Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

John 6:67b-68

I can’t think of anything more pleasing to Satan than the idea that it’s an acceptable response for a good faithful Catholic to Clergy committing or covering up heinous mortal sin is to give up the mass the Sacraments, the Eucharist due to a justified outrage at these actions….

….and thus put oneself into mortal sins of a more subtle and less heinous but are just as deadly to the soul.

I’ll say it one more time, the best way for a faithful prayerful Catholic to deal with the current crisis in the church is to continue to be a faithful prayerful Catholic