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Hello everyone.   I hope you are enjoying this beautiful July summer day.   Today I thought I would share with you some “food for thought” of my own along with a Catholic speaker named Ken Yasinski.    Many Catholics faith may be shaken recently by what we see reported in the national news regarding the church’s involvement in the Canadian residential schools.   This is a very difficult topic and it is emotionally charged, rightly so.  Before I get started with the main message, Ken offers 4 additional sources of information you might want to check out.
1) Fr Cristino Bouvette’s interview with Global news
2) Bishop Henry’s Open Letter to Justin Trudeau (former bishop of the Calgary diocese)
3) Brian Holdsworth’s video on You Tube
4) Canadian Catholic Conference of Bishops response on their website, particularly the section that highlights the many apologies issued by priests, bishops and archbishops over the last 2 decades
So the question I want to pose to you is this: “How are we to be Catholic in the midst of scandal”?

We feel betrayed, angry, hurt and disillusioned.  But did this scandal shake my Catholic faith?  Absolutely not.  Why?  Because my Catholic faith doesn’t rest upon someone else’s ability to live it.  Why would I give someone else that authority over my Catholic faith?  So often in the midst of scandal, I think what we do is let those fallen from Grace, take that Grace of God from us.  Why would we give them that power?  My Catholic faith doesn’t rest on my priests ability to pastor.  My Catholic faith doesn’t rest on a bishops ability to teach.  My Catholic faith doesn’t rest in a Pope’s ability to lead the church.  Now many priests and nuns do amazing virtuous jobs in the roles that God has given them.  But sometimes people fail because we are all imperfect, all of us and we are all sinners.  If our Catholic faith is resting on people, when people fail then our faith will fall with them.

My Catholic faith rests upon the person of Jesus Christ and His teachings, promises and guidance.  Our church began as a small group of humble and persecuted people who were saved by the goodness that Jesus helped them find in themselves and in others.  Jesus founded the church that I believe in and sends us out on a mission with only our faith in His goodness to help not harm those we meet.  The vast majority of who we are as Christians and what we do reflects the love and mercy that God has bestowed upon us. Most try their best, some struggle with it, but a few – even one is too much have caused us all a lot of pain.

Jesus promised Peter and the apostles that he would build His church.  He promised them that the gates of hell would not prevail.  He promised them that he would lead them all to truth.  When it comes to faith and morals, I don ’t believe something to be true based upon someone else’s ability to live it.  I believe it to be true based upon God who revealed it to me.  That’s what faith is.  It’s the theological virtue by which we believe in God, believe in all he’s said and revealed and that the Holy Catholic church proposes for our belief because it’s truth itself.  (CCC paragraph 18:14).  Faith is a gift from God.  We need to nurture it and protect it.
We should not turn away from our faith or the church, but stay close to it and help to make it better.  The one thing we should not do is throw it away because someone else has thrown away their faith.  This doesn’t make sense.  Should we leave the church because of scandals within the church?  Ken Yasinski says “I don’t buy that”.  There is only one reason to be Catholic and that is because it’s true.  If the teachings aren’t truth, then there’s no reason to be Catholic.  If what the church teaches is true, then there’s every reason too be Catholic.
Does it discredit the Catholic church when things of the past are brought up like the church’s reputation?  Of course it does.  But far more important than the church’s reputation are the people that were entrusted into the church’s care whose lives were destroyed and whose families were torn apart.  This is not good and it appears like we are reaping right now what a previous generation has sown.  Will this change how Canadians see the Catholic church?  Time will tell.  I’m not worried about what culture sees.  I’m more concerned about what you see.  Right now I’m not reaching out to the world.  I’m reaching out to you.  Right now, I want to encourage you that the next time you see a scandalous headline about the church come across your news feed, remember this:
The promises of Jesus Christ do not change with the passing headlines that are here today and gone tomorrow.  The Catholic Church is being shaken because of the scandals you see.  Consider this food for thought:  Why would you let someone else’s sins keep you from Jesus?  Why would you let a previous generation’s mistakes keep you from God’s blessings today? May Good bless you all today everybody.  See you next month.  Love MJ xo


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A program of spiritual friendship and healing for separated and divorced catholics

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