Ken Trainor’s latest anti-Catholic Church rant provides a teaching moment for orthodox Catholics to find our voice and to speak truth to the power of Trainor’s secular press. [It’s critical that Catholics find their voice, Viewpoints, April 28]
The Catholic Church is not a democratic, human institution designed to govern people in this temporal world. It is a hierarchical, divine institution designed by its founder to preserve the deposit of faith and to save souls for the next. Like the military, the church is mission-driven, and, as in nature, form follows function.
Trainor’s calls for the church to compromise with the world flow from the Heresy of Modernism and the Heresy of Americanism – two heresies defined and condemned over the past 150 years by various popes. The church cannot, and never will, compromise with the world.
Much of what Ken writes falls under the fallacy of appeal to emotion. Ken is stuck in “the spirit of Vatican II,” with a rebellious 1960s mindset that is congruent neither with the facts, nor the actual spirit, of that council. There is no right of dissent against doctrine in the Catholic Church.
The sexual abuse crisis is an abomination. It involves not pedophilia, but ephebophilia, i.e., sex between adults and post-pubescent minors. Eighty-two percent of the abuse involves male homosexual behavior. In justice, the bishops and priests who are responsible should be removed from office and spend the rest of their lives in monasteries doing hard penance in reparation. In the fourth century, while fighting the Heresy of Arianism, which had infected half the church, St. Athanasius spoke prophetically to today’s evildoers: “The floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops.”
But the evil done by its clergy does not negate or lessen one iota the truth of the church’s dogma, the efficacy of the Sacraments for attaining salvation, or the church’s authoritative teaching Magisterium.
The miracle is that the church has thrived and continues to thrive. Nowhere is this magnificent success of the Holy Spirit better recounted than in Triumph: The Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church, by H.W. Crocker III, a convert. The past 2,000 years of growth – as the Church multiplied from 12 frightened apostles hiding in an upper room to today’s 1.2 billion Catholics – belie Trainor’s opinions. In fact, the things that Trainor criticizes are the very truths that are causing Anglicans today to flock to Rome.
Instead of speculating what Christ might say about his church, Ken should ponder his actual words, “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Ken might also listen to his own words, “Life’s too short to beat your head against a brick wall.” Ken’s deep-seated issues with authority, tradition and obedience cannot be resolved by words, but only by a gift of faith from the Holy Spirit. May Ken receive that gift.
A resident of Oak Park since 1983, Joseph Wemhoff describes himself as a “thinking, orthodox, militant, Vatican II Roman Catholic.”