Another Bravo to
It was there in a statement made by
the Pope. Speaking during his visit to Germany, Benedict XVI lamented how, if an
African bishop goes to Germany, presenting a plea for a social program, he
receives enormous help. Every door opens.
But, said the Pope, when an African bishop
goes to that same country (or, one might add, any Western nation) with a plan
for evangelization, he meets with "reservations."
"Clearly some people have the idea that social
projects should be urgently undertaken, while anything dealing with God or even
the Catholic faith is of limited and lesser importance," said the Holy Father --
so tellingly, in this land of the Reformation, and speaking about the
In a nutshell there was the root of a current
crisis in the priesthood:
Many of our clerics are more social workers,
or sociologists, than they are evangelists, more comfortable in the board room
of a social agency than in a church where there is the laying on of hands. They
prefer the academic, sociological approach to one that is spiritual.
And thus do we have priests who halt visitors
from healing services, dissuade Bible studies, quash efforts to establish
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, disallow traveling lay ministers, dislike
the Rosary, discourage deliverance, don't know how to bless a home, scoff at the
notion of sacramentals, mock the claim of miracles, or simply ignore all of the
The psychologist has replaced the exorcist --
in many cases, with devastating effects -- and the modus operandi when
there is a claim of the supernormal in our current time is to announce that
there is no proof and will be no investigation. Even alleged Eucharistic
miracles are quickly taken from view to avoid embarrassment.
The same is true all over. Is it not
incredible that priests in such places as Africa and India now consider the
modern nations like the U.S. as "mission" territory?
The Pope was making key links when he said
that Western societies suffer a "hardness of hearing" because the air has been
filled with the complications of science.
"Put simply," he said, "we are no longer able
to hear God -- there are too many different frequencies filling our
More than most realize, science has become
God's chief competitor.
What is said about Our Lord is often
considered "pre-scientific," no longer suited to our age, said the Pope --
speaking at a Mass in the land of Einstein.
Too many priests are ashamed of an unabashedly
mystical approach because of the science the swirls and dominates, that creates
so many frequencies (literally), around us, is what Benedict -- himself an
intellectual -- was saying.
Such is also true of numerous theologians,
deacons, and nuns.
They are afraid of seeming to be
superstitious, when this is certainly nothing that Christ would have
He came down to pull down such strongholds.
He came down to show the actual force of the
Einstein himself believed in miracles and
professed a great fascination with "the Nazarene," as he once put it.
"No one can read the Gospels without feeling
the actual Presence of Jesus," this great scientist, who was educated in a
Catholic school, was quoting as saying. "His personality pulsates in every word.
No myth is filled with such life."
But that is not the attitude of modern science
and it is modern science that has pervaded our education to such an extent that
even our clerics don't really believe in much that cannot be documented in a
bell jar. Evil is treated not as a real force but a social construct.
Too many priests are like social workers in
religious trappings -- tolerating religion only out of the sense that the
public does not want to shed the rituals of tradition.
As a result, the Church has allowed itself to
become deadened in certain areas and this is perhaps why other denominations
remain. Until it livens up, there will be Pentecostals.
In Africa, in India, in Poland, in the
Philippines -- where vocations and the faith is so strong -- there is no such
problem. There are deliverances. There is public discourse on the faith. There
is the belief in apparitions. People don't just get lectured, they get
Teach this in the rest of the world, preach
this, and watch the difference.
Teach the path to miracles.
You don't have to go beyond what Christ did.
Was He superstitious?
Just imitate Him -- and watch both the pews
and seminaries begin to fill.