The Sole Reason They Leave the Church

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“Why are they leaving?” That’s what you’re wondering?! You’re perplexed about why the men, the women, the gen-Xers, the millenials, and whatever other irrelevantly categorized group you can name is walking out of the Church? No! No, you can’t be wondering that. Not today. Not less than a week after we just listened to the sixth chapter of John’s Gospel for the fifth consecutive week.

Unless… Unless, maybe you missed Mass for some legitimate reason. Or maybe you just couldn’t hear the proclamation of the Gospel over the sound of the child you were consoling — I’ve had that experience often enough.

I know why they leave. I’ll tell you why they leave. Everyone who has left the Catholic Church for a non-apostolic faith did so because they were one of the deserters in John 6. They left because they did not believe Christ’s words about the Eucharist, about his Real Presence.

Was the pastor at such-and-such parish a jerk? Were the parishioners rude? Did somebody get convicted of child molestation? Was the abuse scandal upsetting? Were the homilies uninspiring? Were you upset that women cannot be ordained?

Jesus. Doesn’t. Care.

Oh, sure, he cares about sin, because he cares about us, his creatures. But what Jesus doesn’t care about is whatever reason one clings to for not following him. Can’t sell all your possessions? Your loss (Mt 19:21-22). Want to bury your father? Oh well (Lk 9:59-62).

Objectively, we can’t prevent priests from behaving badly, erase the history of abuse, or change infallible Church teaching. The teaching is constant, and abuses come-and-go. So, there will always be reasons why someone or another wants to distance themselves from the Catholic Church. But what each of those people need is a reason to stay despite what they abhor (even when what they abhor is objectively good doctrine). Fortunately, the Church has that in spades.

The Church has Christ. “Oh, but the [insert Protestant denomination here] believe in Jesus.” No, the Church has Christ in a way that the short-in-the-tooth schismatics don’t have him. The Church has him in the truest and fullest sense of the word, ministering to her members in every single sacrament as the Great High Priest, especially and abundantly in the Eucharist. The Catholic Church feeds his sheep with the flesh and blood of God himself!

And nobody, absolutely nobody, abandons the Eucharist who believes it be what it is, *who it is*! “Oh, but I know somebody…” Just stop. Listen to the parables of the pearl of great price and the treasure hidden in the field. When we know what lies before us, we give up everything to have it. Nothing detracts from the value of the object before them. “Well, that treasure is great, but I’d have to listen to crap homilies.” No. No!

If you want to know why people are leaving the Church, here’s the reason: They don’t recognize the treasure before them. They don’t recognize Christ. Remedy this one thing, and not only will the other faults not matter, but they’ll all improve. When people see who it is they consume, they will echo the words of Peter: “To whom would we go? You have the words of eternal life…”

Laudato Si ePub Download (.mobi for Kindle too)

Laudato Si'
Laudato Si epub cover

Cover image for Laudato Si ebook

Here is Pope Francis’ new encyclical Laudato Si’ in ePub format.  Now in Kindle format too.  Get it for your Kindle, Nook, tablet, e-reader, and smartphone.

Laudato Si’ is freely available on the Vatican website, only in html format and a poorly formatted pdf file, but you may also download the encyclical in a variety of formats below. So, whether you want to download Laudato Si’ ( Praise Be To You ) for your Kindle, Nook, tablet, smartphone, pc, or anything else, you can get it here.  Download the Laudato Si epub or Kindle format below.

This is nothing more than the publicly available content repacked in additional formats (plus a decent cover image).  Download Laudato Si’ in a format compatible with your e-reader now.  Read the Holy Father’s encyclical on the environment and care for our common home.  Please, disseminate the Pope’s encyclical; share it on Twitter and Facebook.

#TheWordisFree

Download Laudato Si epub and mobi for your e-reader ( Kindle, Nook, tablet, smartphone, etc. ).

Laudato Si
Laudato Si
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Laudato Si
Laudato Si
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Laudato Si
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^^^ Praise Be To You for Kindle and other ereaders ^^^

For some insight into Pope Francis’ encyclical, I recommend checking out EpicPew.com.  In particular, Ryan Mayer has a great piece up now about 10 Things in Laudato Si You Won’t Hear About From the Media.

Please, inform me if there are any other formats you would like to see.  It is my hope that the Pope’s words will reach the large audience for which his words are intended, and I believe that the ability to read his encyclical in ebook formats will greatly advance the mission of reaching the whole world with this message.  Pray that the world heeds Pope Francis’ exhortations to care for the earth in order to care for the people of the world.

If you are looking for Pope Francis’ earlier documents, Lumen Fidei and Evangelii Gaudium, you can find them here too.


Laudato Si’ is also available in hardcover and paperback, from Ignatius Press and Our Sunday Visitor, respectively.

Please note that there are no advertisements on this page.  I do not profit from traffic to this page.

What Makes Me Catholic is Why I’m Catholic

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Because I want to be sure that my meaning is understood, allow me to restate the title of this article in more explicit terms. The characteristic that defines me as a member of the Catholic Church is also the definitive reason for why I will forever remain a member of the Catholic Church. What is it that defines me as a member of the Church that Christ established? Well, it is the same thing that defines the Catholic Church. And what defines this One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church is nothing less than the unique and irrevocable authority of the Magisterium of this Church.

If you venture far from the Petrine house, you will find people who will not affirm the divinity of Christ or the Trinity we adore. Not so far out as that are houses innumerable that are filled with people pulled in every direction, unsure of what they believe. Their only anchor is an unflinching resolution that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are One. They have faith in Jesus as the Christ, but they have only a couple sacraments — and not all of them even have that.

Step outside of the Petrine house only a short distance and you will find neighboring homes where the Trinity is adored, where Christ’s divinity and humanity are absolutely affirmed, and where each sacrament is validly celebrated for the salvation of its inhabitants. These brother and sisters are so incredibly close, that it is hard to believe that they reside under a different roof.

Yet what all of those people have in common, what none of those groups recognize, what none of their members will affirm, is the thing that I affirmed on Saturday, 22 March 2008, when I received into the Catholic Church. Every one of them is unwilling to declare, “I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God.”

Might I jump ship and still find authentic faith in the hypostatic union? Without a doubt. Might I find belief in the Trinity and salvation through the Incarnate Son of God and his perfect sacrifice on Calvary? Again, yes. Is it even possible for me to find the sacrament of Holy Orders so that I could still avail myself of Reconciliation and receive the Most Blessed Sacrament, our Lord Himself? Yes, this is so. But what neither you nor I will ever find outside the Catholic Church is the authority granted to Peter and the Apostles that safeguards those who recognize and obey it against the deceits of Satan.

I came here for authority; it’s why I’m Catholic. I will remain for authority. Everything, for me, hinges on who holds the Keys to the Kingdom.

The Truth About Voting on Supposed Probability

This is quick and easy, a syllogism for voting:

Each moral decision ought to be based on the natural law.
Each moral decision ought to be unaffected by the trends of how other people make the same moral decision.
Voting is a moral act.

Therefore, the act of voting ought to be based on the natural law and be unaffected by the trends of how other people vote.

So, if you actually care that your act of voting be good rather than sinful, then you must not weigh probability of candidate victory in your choice about for whom to cast your ballot.  Simply: Using “electability” to help determine your vote is evil.

No Catholic Teachers, No Catholic School

I’m tired of hearing about how “we need faithful Catholic schools.” One, the term Catholic needs neither qualifiers nor modifiers. But more than that, I cannot stand half-baked ideas. If you want more butterflies, you cannot have them without first having more caterpillars. There are precursors without which certain things cannot be accomplished. You want more priests, you need more Catholic parents raising Catholic boys, who actually understand and value the priesthood. [Side note: we currently have one of the best ever priest : parishioner ratios in the U.S.]

Similarly, you don’t have Catholic schools without Catholic faculty. So, if we “need faithful Catholic schools,” then what we are really saying is that we need Catholic teachers, because they are the constitutive elements that make for a school which is Catholic. You know what’s not helping anyone, neglecting to correct the idea that one can be Catholic while disbelieving and not professing “all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God.”

And this situation is remarkably bad because countless children and parents are exposed to a caricature of Catholicism in these schools, but they are under the impression that, since they’re parochial schools, “this is Catholicism.” The result is anti-evangelization. Few things are presently so damaging to the Church and her evangelical mission as the misrepresentation of Catholicism by faculty at nominally Catholic schools, under the implicit approval of Catholic dioceses.