Faith

Why Now Is the Time to Convert to Catholicism

(L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)

Whatever you’ve read about the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, it’s far worse than you can imagine. To clarify, this is not a hit piece on the Catholic Church by a smug Protestant (who should know better than to point fingers when it is sure to be happening right under their noses too). I am a Catholic and a new convert. I entered the church two Easters ago knowing full well that the devil resides in the Vatican. Why did I do it? What could possibly lead a person who knew about the rampant abuse of minors and corruption by priests and bishops to enter the church willingly? Believe me, lots of people have asked. It wasn’t any priest, bishop or pope. It was Jesus. I came to understand the nature of the Church, the truth of its foundation, sacraments, saints, and the real presence of Christ in the eucharist. Nothing could have prevented me from coming home to the Catholic Church after I had studied its history and the truth and beauty of what I found there. (There isn’t enough space here to give you every detail. Maybe I’ll write a book one day, but if you want to know more start with anything written by Scott Hahn.)

For years before my conversion I had witnessed Catholic people of great faith fighting battles very few in the rest of the Christian world wanted to fight. If you want to know who is on the front lines in the abortion fight, against euthanasia, and standing firm on gay marriage and the nature of sin, one only need read the catechism of the Catholic Church. The other great faiths are falling one by one into heresy, especially when it comes to “LGBTQ” issues. Where is there left to go with a biblical view on human sexuality? Not the Episcopalians, Anglicans, some Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists and more. A list as long as my arm and growing every day of Christian faiths that now ignore the Bible can be found on Wikipedia. (I expect the Calvinist Reformed Church of America to fall any day considering that at every synod the pro-gay lobby is getting stronger and louder, refusing to even allow their leaders to affirm what the Bible says.) Further, most major Christian churches have stopped speaking out against abortion if they don’t outright affirm it. The most prominent church still standing in doctrinal opposition to the cultural confusion of the day is the Catholic Church.

We also know now that there is a sexually active homosexual network of bishops and priests who have broken their vows and have been preying on seminarians, youths, children, and/or covering for clerics who have done the same. Eighty-one percent of victims were post-pubescent males.

The “2015 Annual Report – Findings and Recommendations,” published last week by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB), reported on clerical sex abuse using statistics gathered from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015. Page 38 of the report shows that of the 314 alleged victims who came forward during this one year period, 81 percent were male and roughly 16 percent were under the age of ten.

Referring to the problem as pedophilia is incorrect, as Newsweek noted in 2002: “The great majority of cases now before the Church involve not pedophilia but ‘ephebophilia,’ an attraction to post-pubescent youths.”

This is not anything else but an LGBTQWTF infiltration of the seminaries (which sure looks intentional) to bring down the greatest institution on earth (but the gates of Hell itself shall not prevail, in case you were wondering how this ends). This is a story as old as humanity. Jesus spent most of his time upbraiding the Pharisees of his time for preaching what they would not practice themselves. Snakes in the grass, all of them. The Pennsylvania grand jury report didn’t surprise me at all. I knew the rot was bad years ago, but the fact that it is being exposed with such severity makes my heart glad. The justice of the Lord is coming. Psalm 37 should be read over and over in these times. “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.” And the scythe is swinging.

But do not be surprised when the guilty parties start screeching about a “right-wing plot!” to bring down this pope. It’s true that Pope Francis is not beloved by conservative Catholics but many of us have defended him when he was taken out of context many times in the media’s effort to water down his message or make it sound like heresy when it wasn’t. This is not a war between political factions. Everyone should be on the side of getting rid of abusers and those who covered it up. If you hear excuses about “tolerance” and “inclusivity” now, you know who the problem is. There can be no tolerance of sexual immorality and abuse (whether homosexual or heterosexual) by the clerics in the Church. This is Christianity 101. If you can’t pass this class, you’ll never make it all the way through. Two of the Ten Commandments deal with the importance of sexual ethics. It’s basic stuff.

How many times have the laity in the Catholic Church prayed for such a day that the wicked among us would be cast out? That the wolves preying on the sheep would be put down? It’s not like no one knew what was going on. There are thousands of families all over the world suffering the consequences of priest abuse and Church cover-up. It’s just that until now, the deceivers were able to hide and obscure and strangle the voices of the aggrieved with promises of reform and new “policies” and punishments with no teeth. Not anymore. The crimes are too great and it’s clear the hierarchy had no intention of stopping it. Change is coming. IT’S HAPPENING!

“But it all looks like the same old same old”, you say? Hardly. Around the same time I was converting I became aware of others in my immediate circle who were also being called to the Church. These are some of the most influential voices I know. The building is on fire and God is calling the fearless, those who will run in, to put it out! This is no time to run in the other direction if you have skills and equipment that can be used to defeat this systematic filth. How often have we longed to overturn tables and scatter the evildoers with a whip? Now is the time! Now is the time for the laity to flex its power. I do not believe for one moment that we have no authority here. We not only have it, but we have a holy obligation to use it. The Lord’s house needs to burn with holy fire and purge this wickedness from her leadership. You are blessed to live in such a time as this when there is so much good work to do!

So what can we do?

  1. Call your state prosecutor and ask for a grand jury investigation into the Catholic Church in your state. Sound harsh? It is. But it’s way past time to do it. The Church will never and should never investigate itself. Why anyone thought it was a good idea to let them handle criminal matters internally is mind boggling. Child and teen rape is a crime and should be dealt with by the civil authorities. We need 49 more grand jury investigations to name and shame the offenders and get rid of those who covered it up. Missouri has already decided to go ahead and do it and when their findings come out we should stand with the victims and demand action against the guilty. 
  2. Lobby to get rid of the statute of limitations for crimes involving child rape. This should be a no-brainer. We all know children don’t come forward for many, many years. Time should not stand in the way of getting justice.
  3. Demand resignation and laicization (a life of penance and prayer isn’t good enough! Let them pray and be sorry in a new profession!). Every cardinal involved in covering up the abuse of minors or promoting abusers, even if it leads to the pope himself (which it might), must resign and be punted back to the pews to seek forgiveness. Real penance is not continuing to live off the offerings of the victimized laity, but in seeking to repair the damage by finding another calling out of leadership. Let the axe fall on the recently retired (but still living in the Washington D.C. diocese) known abuser Theodore McCarrick, on Archbishop of Washington Donald Wuerl (whose own notes and letters showed he moved pedophile priests around and even paid one child rapist to be quiet about the others involved, and on Archbishop of Newark Joseph Tobin (also named in the PA report). Read the entire PA report if you can stomach it. People need to understand the depth of the problem. I would like to see all the American bishops resign in a show of support for the victims like the Chilean bishops did, forcing the pope to act quickly. Now is the time for action, not words.
  4. Become involved in a real way in your parish. Sign up to catechize the young. Volunteer in the nursery. Make sure your parish is adhering to the regulations put in place to protect children (which have been working for over a decade now). Most of the worst scandals are from many years ago before rules were in place to make sure children were not targets of predatory people. And make sure that if you hear of any abuse it is reported to the police and not the diocese. (This is now what the Church recommends.)
  5. Pray for your priests. Over 90% of priests are some of the best men you’ll ever meet. They are under such scrutiny and hardship and prejudice because of the predators among them. It is unfair and tragic that these men who have pure hearts are being tarnished by the dregs of their profession. Support the priests you know who are working hard every day to care for their flock as good shepherds do. If you don’t know any priests, get to know one. This homily by Father Robert Altier should not be missed. If there is any doubt that there are good priests fighting the good fight, this should clear it up.
  6. If you’re not a Catholic, it’s the right time to become one. Now is the time to come home and clean house, Christian. If you left because of scandal or said you could never be a Catholic because of it, get in here and help us get rid of the filth. We need you. If you, as a Protestant, think your faith will continue to stand if the Catholic Church falls you are dead wrong. The Church is standing at the edge of a precipice from which all other churches are tied into the foundation. If it falls, so will you. You cannot survive the onslaught of this wicked culture alone. So many of the great churches of Christianity have already gone over the progressive edge into what can only be described as secular coffee clubs with a little Jesus music on the side. Now is the time for unity and for the righteous to put on the armor and fight for the soul of the universal Church. So quit pointing fingers and get in here and help.