The pope cannot change fundamental Catholic Church doctrine – so why does he go out of his way to make it look and sound like he’s going to?

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St. Peter and St. John at the Beautiful Gate

by Doug Lawrence

Vatican II has already fundamentally changed Catholic Church doctrine, so those who claim the Pope cannot or will not do so are being somewhat disingenuous. Our present pope is the biggest “cheerleader” for Vatican II that the world has ever seen.

A “New Evangelization” is necessary in part, because in the wake of Vatican II, the people who ran (and still run) the Catholic Church led many of the faithful (and most of the known world) into ignorance, confusion and apostasy.

Top Church management is not much better enlightened today, so it’s necessary to question precisely what the “New Evangelizers” are asking faithful Catholics to do, that they haven’t been doing all along.

If they’re asking us to spread a “new” gospel that’s based on “freebies alone” (that’s what it sounds like) then we have a big problem, since the secular governments of the world have learned to inflate their tax rolls and and leverage their currencies in ways that allow them to finance massive wealth transfer/social programs which dwarf anything in that regard that individual Catholics (or Catholic parishes, or national bishops councils, or the Vatican) might be able to offer.

So, in a contest based solely on temporal goodies and give-aways, the New Catholic Evangelization is not only bound to fail – it will fail miserably! The sad record of The Catholic Campaign for Human Development and other high-profile Catholic Charities already provides ample evidence of this. When the Church takes government money, supposedly in order to accomplish charitable things, it invariably becomes subject to that very same secular government and the result is almost always something much less than truly charitable – and also something much, much less than authentically Catholic.

True charity, as it’s faithfully described in the authentic Gospels, is freely sharing the grace and love of God with others – not just by providing a modicum of necessary PHYSICAL GOODS – but also – and principally – making freely available those SPIRITUAL GOODS which ONLY the Catholic Church is capable of providing in UNLIMITED, SUPERNATURAL ABUNDANCE.

Now Peter and John went up into the temple at the ninth hour of prayer. And a certain man who was lame from his mother’s womb was carried: whom they laid every day at the gate of the temple, which is called Beautiful, that he might ask alms of them that went into the temple. He, when he had seen Peter and John, about to go into the temple, asked to receive an alms. But Peter with John, fastening his eyes upon him, said:

Look upon us. But he looked earnestly upon them, hoping that he should receive something of them. But Peter said: Silver and gold I have none; but what I have, I give thee. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, arise and walk. And taking him by the right hand, he lifted him up: and forthwith his feet and soles received strength. And he leaping up, stood and walked and went in with them into the temple, walking and leaping and praising God.

And all the people saw him walking and praising God. And they knew him, that it was he who sat begging alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened to him. And as he held Peter and John, all the people ran to them, to the porch which is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering.

But Peter seeing, made answer to the people: Ye men of Israel, why wonder you at this? Or why look you upon us, as if by our strength or power we had made this man to walk? The God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus, whom you indeed delivered up and denied before the face of Pilate, when he judged he should be released. But you denied the Holy One and the Just: and desired a murderer to be granted unto you. But the author of life you killed, whom God hath raised from the dead: of which we are witnesses. And in the faith of his name, this man, whom you have seen and known, hath his name strengthened. And the faith which is by him hath given this perfect soundness in the sight of you all.

And now, brethren, I know that you did it through ignorance: as did also your rulers. But those things which God before had shewed by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. Be penitent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out. That when the times of refreshment shall come from the presence of the Lord, and he shall send him who hath been preached unto you, Jesus Christ. Whom heaven indeed must receive, until the times of the restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of his holy prophets, from the beginning of the world. For Moses said: A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me: him you shall hear according to all things whatsoever he shall speak to you. And it shall be, that every soul which will not hear that prophet shall be destroyed from among the people. And all the prophets, from Samuel and afterwards, who have spoken, have told of these days.

You are the children of the prophets and of the testament which God made to our fathers, saying to Abraham: And in thy seed shall all the kindred of the earth be blessed. To you first, God, raising up his Son, hath sent him to bless you: that every one may convert himself from his wickedness. (Acts 3:1-26)

We Catholics have no need of any other model or paradigm.  Hence, our reliance on the “Great Commission of Jesus Christ” which explicitly charges Catholics with the duty of continuously, clearly, charitably and unambiguously preaching the divine truth of the authentic Gospels to everyone, without exception – day in and day out – all around the world – as we pray without ceasing!

And the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And seeing him they adored: but some doubted. And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world. (Matthew 28:16-20)

The post-Vatican II Catholic Church leadership has already reasoned, preached and politically negotiated their way around these explicit commands of Jesus Christ, cleverly inferring that some people have no need of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and his Holy Catholic Church. Now, as part of this “New Evangelization” they want us to do the same. That’s certainly new and novel, but it’s also material heresy – and that’s not something that any Catholic should be preaching!

Pope Francis’ attempt at projecting an image of a kinder, gentler, “big tent” modern Catholic Church is something that would be laudable if such had not already been the case since the very beginning, courtesy of its’ divine founder and finisher, Jesus Christ.

If things have gone off the track in recent times, the hierarchy might consider going back to and once again learning to rely on what God has already provided, that which the Catholic Church has always possessed in unlimited, supernatural abundance and which – in every age except perhaps, this present, wicked one – has always proved to be sufficient.

The New Evangelization is a lot like New Coke – an abject failure due to a flawed premise, along with bad taste.

You see, it is the very ethos of the “New Evangelization” to view the non-Catholic world, not so much as that which stands in need of conversion (i.e., through the lens of the Church’s mission as it was given by Jesus Christ), but as a marketplace for religious interaction wherein, according to Pope John Paul II, “dialogue is not simply an exchange of ideas; in some way it is always an exchange of gifts.” (Ut Unum Sint 28)

In light of this particular vision, we must admit that the “New Evangelization,” although the Apostles and Martyrs wouldn’t recognize it as particularly “evangelical,” is properly named inasmuch as it is indeed rather new.

Once again, let us turn to Pope John Paul II, the man who coined the phrase “New Evangelization” in the first place:

Entrusting myself fully to the Spirit of truth, therefore, I am entering into the rich inheritance of the recent pontificates. This inheritance has struck deep roots in the awareness of the Church in an utterly new way, quite unknown previously, thanks to the Second Vatican Council, which John XXIII convened and opened and which was later successfully concluded and perseveringly put into effect by Paul VI, whose activity I was myself able to watch from close at hand. (The inaugural Encyclical of the Pontificate of John Paul II, Redemptor Hominis 3)

Yes, an awareness that is utterly new and quite unknown to the Catholic Church indeed!

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Ecumenism gone wild: Former Catholic explains “How Catholic Bishops Led Me to Islam.”

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It’s like they put that phony “signing guy” from Nelson Mandela’s funeral
in charge of writing official Catholic Church documents.
A huge scandal, all around!

I was born to devout Catholic parents and attended a Catholic school taught by devout priests and nuns.

We learned thoroughly our religious knowledge by means of the question and answer method called “catechism”. It consisted of 499 questions to which we memorized the 499 well-thought-out answers, word for word.

Our catechism dealt with all aspects of faith, morality and prayer. We attended Mass every Sunday and on seven other special yearly holidays.

Every day at home we prayed the Rosary, a meditation on the 15 most important events in the life of Jesus and his mother, Mary. We dearly loved our parents, our teachers, and our religion. We had a happy childhood.

When I was a teenager, there was a meeting of all the Catholic bishops of the world, about 2500 of them, in Rome. After the meeting, they published a book which said, among other things…

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Editor’s note: This is just one of the many reasons that Muslims all around the world scoff at Catholic “New Evangelization” efforts. The referenced document “Nostre Aetate” was released on October 28, 1965 by Pope Pail VI. Like most Vatican II documents, it is poorly written, and it makes certain gratuitous, erroneous and even dangerous assumptions about a number of ethnic and religious groups.

In the case of Muslims, the writers of  Nostre Aetate assume that the pagan moon god of the Muslims is the one, true God that Christians worship, when the preponderance of the evidence clearly shows the opposite to be true.

The scariest part of all this is the fact that Pope Paul VI apparently intended Nostre Aetate to be an infallible statement of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. If that’s true, the only thing any sensible person can ask is “which Catholic Church might that be – the old one or the new one – since the real Catholic Church would never – ever – publish poor quality documents of this nature?

This is precisely the kind of nonsense you get when the liberals take over. It’s like they put that phony “signing guy” from Nelson Mandela’s funeral in charge of writing official Catholic Church documents.

A huge scandal, all around!

How can the Church think and act in a missionary way when she does not believe any more in her own identity and mission?

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During the past fifty years nothing has been more harmful to the safeguarding and the transmission of the Faith than this escalating ecumenism which is nothing other than the religious “dictatorship of relativism.”(Cardinal Ratzinger) This evil has changed the way in which the Church sees Herself.

She no longer comprehends herself as the Mystical Body of Christ, as the sole Bride of the Lamb that was slain, as the unique way of salvation. It is exactly this ecumenism which transformed the missionary Church into one ecumenical community of dialogue amongst others.

Against this background of ecumenism, it is a tragi-comedy in the making to summon the Church to joy in the Gospel and to attempt her into change her into a missionary Church.

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Do they call it the “New Evangelization” because the post-Vatican II church is really a new and much different church?

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Monsignor Charles Pope obviously doesn’t think so:

Of course some wonder at the title “new” in the New Evangelization. On the one hand it is new in the sense that we are having now to reach back to once Christian cultures and people and repropose the gospel. The is a “new” (and unfortunate) development that is in a way harder than opening new “virginal” territory for the Kingdom.

The ancient Western world was as a virgin awaiting her husband. But the modern West is more an angry divorcee. And this requires new approaches rooted in healing past hurts and overcoming a kind of spiritual boredom and sloth that has overtaken the modern West.

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Unexpected resistance to “The New Evangelization”

Once upon a time on a sunny Saturday afternoon during the New Springtime following the Second Vatican Council, a well-meaning Catholic man worked up the courage to invite his Methodist neighbor to join him for Holy Mass.

After Mass the following morning, while enjoying coffee and donuts in the multi-purpose room (sponsored by the Knights of Columbus), the Methodist talked about how at home he felt and how comfortable the entire “service” was for him.

The Catholic wasted little time in seizing the opportunity to suggest that perhaps his neighbor might wish to avail himself of the unity for which Our Lord prayed by converting to the Holy Roman Catholic Church.

The Methodist, unfazed, wiped a dollop of Bavarian cream from his chin and replied, “Thanks for the offer, friend, but as you know, I am validly baptized. In other words, I received the Holy Spirit just as you did in your baptism, and it’s the Spirit that brings us into intimate union with Christ, so that He is the principle of the Church’s unity. Clearly I am not lacking in unity!”

Disarmed but not discouraged, the new evangelist laid hold of the big guns, firing back, “Yes, but the Catholic Church is the solitary means of salvation established by Christ.”

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Father Robert Barron: Six tips for the new evangelization.

NUMBER 4) Tell the great story of salvation history. Father Barron emphasized the importance of the entire story. Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Old Testament. The story begins with creation, then the fall and the formation of people after God’s own heart. It is a story of “temple, covenant, law and prophecy.” It climaxes with the coming of Christ.

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