Monday, February 24, 2003

The relevancy of Organized Religion - a sobering warning

Foreword from Russian Catholic friend:

Here is a sobering comment on the pending war, and the situation of the Churches in relation to it, from a Catholic mystic in Portugal.

You may find his analysis hard to accept. But ... consider:

1. The US is openly discussing first use of nuclear weapons in the coming war, and Israel promises nuclear retaliation if it is hit with chemical or biological weapons. Meanwhile, the North Koreans have the bomb already.
2. The sex abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church has greatly reduced the credibility of the church leaders - now, even if they say something truthful and prophetic, they are not likely to be heeded. (Case in point: the RC bishop who made a strong antiwar statement for the National Conference of Catholic Bishops last November was ... Cardinal Law.) And the abuse problem, and the coverup, is global. The truth is coming out.
3. In the West, the mainline Protestant and Catholic churches are shells of what they were 50+ years ago. Decades of stupid and faithless leadership have squandered the moral capital that the churches once had. Their leaders may warn (rightly, I believe) against war and imperialism ... but who listens anymore? And how many of their flocks are still in the fold, and still believe? How many of the shepherds believe?

Even if you accept only a part of what the mystic from Portugal is saying, use what he says as a reminder of the gravity of the peril we all face.

It is too late for politics. Prayer is our last, and best recourse ....
including prayer for the conversion and salvation of our enemies, whoever
and wherever they may be.



Below is the typical quandary in which organized religion finds itself today.

An excerpt from the news...

statement was signed by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, archbishop of Westminster, and Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury after a private meeting a few days ago. (ZENIT Catholic news service, 19th February, 2003)

What moral grounds or, shall we say, stature have either O'Connor or Williams to make that pronouncement or, for that matter, any pronouncement worthy of respect in light of what has been revealed about their behavior and ideas/philosophies in recent months.

Only when organized religion has been bathed in, and purified by, its
own blood it will be able to serve as a vehicle that leads to God and a beacon of Justice and Peace. In the meantime it does not even deserve our passing attention.

We must not forget for one moment why the world is in the situation it finds itself in today.... and should anyone forget.... we are here to remind them:

If anyone think of us being harsh... they should wait and see how harsh will be the One Who sent us ahead of Himself. We will sound like wimps...


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