Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Catholic Church: Controversies Shape Bishop's Fall Meeting.
WASHINGTON - The nation's Roman Catholic bishops are holding their fall meeting this week during troubled times for the U.S. church.
Two dioceses have declared bankruptcy in the face of millions of dollars in clergy sex abuse claims, and a third plans to file at the end of this month. More dioceses are expected to follow.
The presidential election exposed deep divisions among bishops over how they should respond to Catholic politicians -- and to all Catholics -- who are at odds with church teaching on abortion and other issues.
The Catholic Church has hard teachings on divorce, contraception, homosexuality... teachings that fly directly in the face of the rush of our culture. Teachings so hard, indeed, that people may fall away from the Catholic Church and go to some other church, some other church more willing to respond to the people.
Read John 6:53 to see how Jesus handled his own hard teachings:
Jhn 6:53 So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; Jhn 6:54 he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. Jhn 6:55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. Jhn 6:56 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. Jhn 6:57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. Jhn 6:58 This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever." Jhn 6:59 This he said in the synagogue, as he taught at Caper'na-um. Jhn 6:60 Many of his disciples, when they heard it, said, "This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?" Jhn 6:61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at it, said to them, "Do you take offense at this? Jhn 6:62 Then what if you were to see the Son of man ascending where he was before? Jhn 6:63 It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. Jhn 6:64 But there are some of you that do not believe." For Jesus knew from the first who those were that did not believe, and who it was that would betray him. Jhn 6:65 And he said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father." Jhn 6:66 After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him.
Jesus went on to ask his apostles... "Do you wish to go away also?" and Peter says, "Where would we go? You have the words of eternal life." So isn't this how we still are today? And if hard teachings make some fall away, where will they go?