Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Catholic Church must change

Below is a column written by James Salt of Catholics United - an organization that has actively backed numerous pro-abortion candidates such as John Kerry and Barack Obama. He has appeared in debate on the program and it is worthwhile to see what those who want the Church to change or "adapt" on the definition of marriage, the dignity of life, women's ordination and more.
- Nick

Posted at 01:14 PM ET, 02/13/2013
Feb 13, 2013 06:14 PM EST
The Washington Post
By James Salt

There is a growing crisis within the leadership of the American Catholic church, and the Catholic faithful are desperate for change. Today, our church is less known for bringing good news to the poor and more for its forays into electoral politics and doctrinal inquisitions. The new pope has an opportunity to right the course of the American bishops and re-inspire a generation of American Catholics.
Take for example some recent Catholic controversies that highlight the crisis of leadership in Catholicism:
A Catholic hospital in Ireland allowed a patient in its care to die rather than terminate her non-viable fetus.
A Catholic high school administrator in Cincinnati was fired this week for expressing a personal opinion about marriage equality on his private blog.
A Catholic teenager was denied the Rite of Confirmation in Minnesota for publicly supporting marriage equality on his Facebook profile.
In this Friday, Sept. 12, 2008 file photo, Pope Benedict XVI waves to wellwishers
 as he leaves the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris, following a vespers service.
 Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, he would resign Feb. 28
because he is simply too old to carry on. (Philippe Wojazer - AP)   
A Catholic hospital in Phoenix was condemned for terminating a pregnancy to save the life of a mother.
The bishop of Peoria, Ill., compared the president of the United States to Hitler and Stalin.
A grieving daughter in Maryland was denied communion at her mother’s funeral Mass because the priest thought she was a lesbian.
Robert Finn, the bishop of Kansas City, Mo., was convicted of protecting a pedophile priest but somehow still remains in charge of the diocese.
The Vatican initiated an inquisition of American nuns for focusing too much on the needs of the poor and not fighting enough against abortion and the rights of gays.
Employees and volunteers in the Diocese of Arlington, Va., are forced to sign a “loyalty oath” to the bishop or face termination.
These examples demonstrate a form of religious leadership that is far removed from the Gospel message of Christ. The Gospel’s call to love one another is the basis for the rich Catholic social teaching that sparked and nourished my love of God and church. It is this love that is absent from too many actions of our leadership. No wonder Catholics like me are despairing. We can’t find Christ in our church.
When I graduated college, I joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and dedicated myself to serving the church through service to others. I did so because of a profound inspiration I found within the actions and teachings of our church leaders. I was inspired by Cardinal Bernardin of Chicago who articulated a seamless respect for all life, from the unborn child, to the victim of a drone strike. I was inspired by Bishop Dingman of Des Moines who sold his mansion as a way to live in greater solidarity with the poor. And I was inspired by Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen of Seattle who embraced the reforms of the Second Vatican Council by fully empowering lay leaders in the ministry of the church. When I look for it, I can still find that inspiration in the humble servants of the church, but more and more, today’s bishops leave me wanting.
And it’s not just me. If you look at the recent data from the Pew Center, younger Catholics are abandoning the faith in record numbers. Many of these fallen-away Catholics leave because they don’t want to be associated with a church that is more known for its opposition to homosexuality than for the work of peace and justice. The proof is in the numbers. Catholics are still the largest set of religious adherents in the United States. The third largest? Former Catholics.
It is for this reason that I hope and pray our new pope has a more inclusive mind and a stronger commitment to the teachings of Jesus. I hope the next pope embraces the truth and necessity of social justice not only because it is inspirational, but also because it is vital if our church is to be relevant in the lives of younger Catholics for generations to come.

Salt is the executive director of Catholics United, a non-profit, non-partisan national lay Catholic advocacy organization. He lives in Washington, D.C.


  1. I listen to EWTN radio network and watch EWTN's televsion network also;never have I heard anyone agree with you on this issues! My Aunt gave her life for her 7 month baby, because she refuse to abort it;She and the child both died and I beleive she is a Saint.She left behind a 1,2 and 3 year old.The doctor told her if she didn't abort the child,they would probably both die.This was the year 1960....she chose life, why is it so different know ? Is it because we have lost faith and trust in the will of God? Our priests hands are tied...they are afraid of being ostrocized or people leaving their parish, for doing the right things and speaking about sin.I love Pope Benedict and all his teachings...the church does not need to change....people need to change!It is the duty of a Priest to deny Communion to anyone whom he beleives is in the state of Mortal sin, if he doesn't he is responsible to leading this person to hell by ignoring this sin.Whats wrong with the church today is, its listening to the people and not God!Its all written in black....the Bible....God's plan for us and our salvation! We have become a roughneck people...we think we have all the isn't suppose to be was meant to be a sacrifice....but so few are willing to answer this call.I do hope I misunderstood your words and if I did, I do apologize!Poor Pope Benedict was being attack from all sides....I am sadden by his stepping down and also dissapointed that he has made this choice; obviously his health is not very good, or he would not have done this.I pray for him and for his follower to have the strength of St. Michael the Archangel,and the wisdom and fortitude of all the Saints that went before us.I do beleive we are living in the last days and I trust in God's mercy that we all will be ready and sinless before God Almighty!May His mercy and goodness follow us all the days of our lives!

    A follower of EWTN

    1. This was an article Al Kresta referred to on the radio I believe and they are not his words. If James Salt has a hard time finding Christ in the Church maybe he should look closer, read the scripture, catechism, read the saints. If his parish is dead, switch to another. Or, if he wants a liberal protestant church maybe he should just go there?

  2. You have it right Anonymous 2. The James Salt piece is certainly not our perspective. I shouild have been more clear about that when we posted it, but I have added an opening context to the post.
    - Nick

    1. Thank you so much Nick,for clearing that up for me...I didn't think that sounded like the Al Kresta I have listen to before.I think I was so upset whenever I read the article that I failed to see who it was from.I agree with the comment above...if your church is dead, then switch to another, or if you are like me,and don't want to leave, because this has been your parish all your life....then speak up and let your voices be heard....the church belongs to us!
      In our parish, I was very upset because we never hear anything about abortion or sin for that matter.Just before the first election of Barrack Obama, I was attacked by a priest in our parish, because I wanted to place a prayer to the Blessed Mother for a pro-life president, on a table in the gathering area.I was hurt and humilated to say the least...he confronted and attacked me in front of everyone coming inside for Mass....I was speechless and hurt that a man of God could attack me that way over a prayer for the election.I ask God to forgive me for what I felt in my heart that day and went to confession to our Pastor; who unfortunately, sided with him and all he could say was that Social justice should be more important than abortion....I was crushed!He said if that was my thing, then go do it,he wouldn't stand in my way.I left the confessional booth and cried...I felt let down by my priests and my heart ached.You see I am very passionate about defending life;my daughter made the horrible mistake to abort our first grandchild and for the last twenty three years, I have prayed for her to forgive herself, because God had already forgiven her.She and my oldest grandchild Brennen, who is now a sophomore in college do speaking engagements and just recently stood on the steps of our Louisisana State Capitol and told their story; he being a sibling survivor and she being a mother of an aborted child. Since her abortion, I write Pro-life editorials and have sent many letters to our representatives, Senators,the deceased Dr. Tiller and many more.I was even given the chance to speak at mass against abortion, in my own parish (which came as a surprise to me),I received hugs from everyone,including my priest who chose to challenge me on this issue!
      Sadly,These priest are no longer a part of my parish, the one who humillated me has been sent away because of homosexual rumors and our Pastor was shot and killed in Mississippi at their camp given to them.It was a very difficult time in our parish...we felt like sheep without a shepherd!We went fron three priests down to one; but God has since blessed us with a very conservative priest and I feel like I am home again....home in a church that I never gave up on and home because our prayers were answered.I pray for my two priests that have since been gone, one for his soul, and the other for his conversion.
      God has been so very good to me since I lost my grandbaby...he has blesse us with 12 beautiful grandchildren whom I love with all my heart and can't imagine life without them.
      I pray everyday for all of our conservative leaders in our church, I enjoy being consoled and comforted by our EWTN's talk and televison shows when I feel the world is against the Churches true teachings and the in-name only Catholics who defy and go against the Magesterium of the Catholic Church.
      Thank you for listening to my story. May God bless you and all who love and respect the Catholic Church and her teachings!

  3. The strategies might change but the teachings of the Church will not change. They are the same today asthey were yesterday and will be the same tomorrow and forever. The Church is the family of people who are in Holy Communion with Jesus and has our Lord's Holy Sprit guiding and protecting it. It does not bown down to secualr teachings and to man's whims and fancies.

  4. Poor journalism such as indicated here is one reason the "news"paper is going down.