The Conundrum

There are no easy or simple solutions to the Catholic problem. If there were then we would have seen, heard or read about it a long time ago. The main reason we have not seen any real Church wide actionable solutions to the Catholic problem may be the massive and seemingly impossible conundrum we Catholics and actually all Christians face.

This conundrum is the perceived conflict between-

  1. Our welcoming ALL because of Jesus’ loving, helping and not judging anyone, regardless of race, color, creed or any abnormality people may be afflicted with, versus;
  2. All of the Catholic beliefs contained in the Catechism based on what Jesus preached and the quite natural tendency to judge people based on their compliance with those beliefs.

We believe the answer in all cases is properly separating the behaviors of people from the people themselves. Separate the sin from the sinners. We should not judge, anyone for what they do or what they say or what they stand for. Only God will be their judge. Thus, we should welcome everyone into the Church regardless of who they are or what they say or stand for. However, we cannot be hypocritical and tolerate people who publicly claim to be Catholic but flaunt the teachings of the Church. We should still vigorously preach and defend all of the Church’s teachings and make certain to point out the difference. Now this is not and will not be easy because both we and our audiences are just fallible human beings. It was easy for Jesus because he was infallible. So “Following in Jesus footsteps” is not easy and he never said it would be.

The closest approach to what is needed that we have seen is contained in Matthew Kelly’s “The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic”.[1] However, as good an examination of these issues as it is, it does not really provide any kind of methodology to accomplish the changes needed.  It also does not pinpoint who is responsible for making whatever changes are necessary. It is not enough to say that we need “a new level of thinking” without explaining what that is and how to achieve it. The same is true with saying that we need “a real game changer” without explaining exactly what that might be and how to get it. And finally, it is not enough to ask “Are you ready to let Jesus take you to the next level in your spiritual life?” without explaining exactly what that next level is and how, for a whole Catholic Church, to get there.

[1] Kelly, ibid