Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Fall of the Catholic Church and its Effect on The Gospel of Jesus Christ

Washington Post has an article in today's paper about yet another man sexually abused by a priest in the 70s. In the article, the man, who was 25 at the time of the abuse (and not young) became a priest himself, because he felt he could try to do some good afterwards. Apparently it was not helping, and he has come out now in criticism of the Catholic Church. In return, he has been removed from position of priest. This makes me think about the corruption in the Catholic Church. The church as a whole has done much good throughout history and today. There is a book called How The Catholic Church Built Western Civilization that shows the many ways the Catholic Church helped create the world that surrounds us today. It was the repository for Christian thought through the Dark Ages and the Medieval Period. No one should fool themselves though, as the Catholic Church also gave rise to some pernicious things, such as indulgences, The Spanish Inquisition, The Crusades, corruption of scripture at the Council of Nice wherein God was changed from a knowable God to a mysterious, incomprehensible God. John 17:3 says:

3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
This is in the Nicene Creed:
The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible : and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible. The Father eternal, the Son eternal : and the Holy Ghost eternal. And yet they are not three eternals : but one eternal. As also there are not three incomprehensibles, nor three uncreated : but one uncreated, and one incomprehensible.
More recently, the Catholic Church has had major problems, probably the most serious problems it has ever had, or will ever have, with respect to the sex abuse. Think of it, The Catholic Church proclaims that priests represent God in the eyes of the lay member. When a priest therefore sexually abuses a person, whether a boy, or a young man, or a woman, normally that priest would be tried in two ways. 1. for breaking civil/criminal law, and 2. in the church for breaking the confidence and trust between God and the lay member. So why was the Catholic Church silent from the 50s to the present regarding the sexual abuse? Do the leaders of the church not realize the message being sent? The message is that a representative of God can sexually abuse another, that God Himself can sexually abuse another, seeing that, according to Catholic belief, the priest represents God. Why did the Catholic Church remain silent? It seems the only real concern it had was with its image, and its stature, rather than representing the individuals who were victimized. I have no qualms with regular Catholics. I know many, and they are good people. But the leadership should be ashamed at themselves for their lust for power and position. They are more concerned about their standing than about the truth. This will be the downfall of the Catholic Church and will mar Christianity worse than anything else could possibly have done. Europe Europe has been slowly turning away from Catholicism. It is a sad thing. Catholicism preached the strength of family well over the centuries. It brought a good structure, though flawed, to a nation. I wonder just how badly sexual abuse has been in Europe. If anybody thinks this is simply an American phenomenon, they don't understand humanity. Europeans, especially European men, are not going to be as forthcoming about sexual abuse as Americans. This is a global problem. Does the Pope know? Most likely. Is he trying to keep it under wraps as much as possible? Also most likely. The Gospel of Jesus Christ As a Mormon, I don't believe in Catholicism. As I said earlier though, most Catholics I know are good people. That book about what Catholicism has done for Western Civilization is pretty accurate. However, I am more concerned about what this does for the message about our Savior, Jesus Christ. Is it going to make it harder to bring people to the gospel? Will more people say, "Priests of Jesus are sexual abusers!" and walk away to Islam or Hinduism? The Gospel of Jesus Christ changes people's lives for the better. I know this as my own life has changed dramatically over the past 19 years since I've joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I know this is where God's truth is found. The Book of Mormon does bring people to Christ, as it teaches of Christ. Joseph Smith taught, "If men do not comprehend the character of God, they do not comprehend themselves" (TPJS, p. 343)More Joseph Smith quotes. Joseph Smith knows this because he saw Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ in the First Vision. The Gospel of Jesus Christ brings peace into the lives of every human being who comes to Christ and follows his commandments.

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