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The husband deserves respect, as the head of the family: that is the truth shown out in Sacred Scripture and the constant teaching of the Church. A wife has an equal dignity, in God's sight, and deserves respect, love, and genuine care; yet she is not the head, and has a different role.
We can talk, and help people outside the Church. Someone who is convinced that the Catholic Church is wrong about the sinfulness of abortion or any other major topic has built a great wall which obscures from view the Church and its entire, coherent body of teachings about faith and morals handed on since Christ and the Apostles.
No theologian is right, who claims that it is all right for a man and woman to make their union sterile, not fertile, and who works to overturn the constant teaching of the Church on marriage, and the transmission of life. Christ looks on with gladness whenever a faithful Catholic speaks out to defend the truths taught by the Church.
A teacher or theologian who freely fixes a curtain between herself and the Papacy, so that she need not put into practice the constant teaching of the Church, will be in danger, when called home to God at death. She will be entangled in the 'curtain' of dissent and heresy which she herself erected, and will risk being unable to rise up to glory, and risk going down to Hell.
When we surrender to the plans and wishes of our Heavenly Father, as made known to us through the Church, and through Providential meetings and conversations, it's as though we allow God to carry us along on a river of grace, wherever the current takes us; in this way we give joy to Christ, who also did His Father's Will.
The Lord chooses all sorts of men, to serve as priests. They bring their own weaknesses with them. The sacraments they confer are valid, despite their sins; yet priests are sometimes mistaken in their personal opinions. The best priests are those who believe in all that the Church teaches, lead humble and chaste lives, fervent in love for the Saviour and His Church, and charitable towards everyone, though unafraid to speak the truth, in charity.
Some people accuse the Church of speaking far too often and too forcefully about sexual immorality. Yet Christ wants everyone to know what is sinful, and to abandon sinful behaviour. Christ is pleased with Clergy and parents who speak truthfully about morals.
Many prominent Catholics encourage dissent and spread confusion by their public expression of their doubts about Church teaching. Priests should be honoured for their sacred office, whatever they say or do; but those who mislead the faithful by their stance, and cast doubt on Church teachings on marriage, giving the impression that contraceptive use is of no great significance, betray their calling and horrify their Saviour.
The Lord asks: "Who are these Catholics who dare to declare to the Father in Heaven: No, I know better than those you have placed in authority over us in the Church. I will not obey Your Laws which, in my view, are foolish!" We offend God if we are careless in our attitude and decisions about sexual morality and other matters.
The eternal truths expressed in the writings of generations of Popes are for all people. The Lord has enlightened the Popes ever since St. Peter. Two great works that the Lord wants people to examine are the Catechism of the Council of Trent, and 'Of Human Life' by Pope Paul VI - and then, in recent days, the 'Catechism of the Catholic Church'.
St Peter, like Pope Paul VI, was fearless in teaching the truth. Christ chose Saint Peter to be the first leader of the Apostles: the first Pope. Christ intended the Church always to have a leader; and all through the ages, the teaching of the Popes had been of paramount importance - including the 1968 Encyclical entitled 'Humanae Vitae', about the wrongness of contraceptive use.
Some people trust in their own opinions instead of the Church's teachings. In God's eyes, Pope Paul VI is a great hero of the Church who re-stated, in 'Humanae Vitae', long standing truths and principles about married love and sexuality. Catholics who oppose his teaching are opposing the teachings of generations of Popes - and, indeed, the Will of God, Who teaches us through those in authority in the Church.
Christ spoke about 'a city, set on a hill' which cannot be hid. That city is the Papacy. It is the Pope who, in fulfilment of Christ's plan, guides and steers the Church, and with the other Catholic Bishops hands on the faith. If the whole world accepted the teachings offered by the Pope it would be a better place. Catholics who reject the Pope and his authoritive teachings are opposing Christ.
It is to the Pope and the other Catholic Bishops that we look for an authentic interpretation of Sacred Scripture. The Church gave us the Bible. The Church guards and opens it. There are thousands of other people who, sad to say, prefer their personal interpretations.
We have the Pope to guide us on modern problems as well as well-known evils. Society is being damaged, as abortion becomes more and more commonplace, just as scientists are confirming what God has told the world through His prophets, His Son, and His Church, for millennia, that each human being, however tiny, is a unique individual. Each deserves to live all the life that has been given, from conception, in the manner decreed by Almighty God.
Just as a man's pride can prevent him forgiving his wife her sins, if he asks: "Why should I forgive her when she has betrayed me?" - so a person's pride can prevent acceptance of the Pope's teaching on marriage, handed on since Christ and the Apostles, if she asks: "Why should I accept the Pope's teaching, when he has never been married?"
It is Christ Who has given the Church Popes to guide us, and has confirmed through Pope John Paul II that only men are called to be Sacred Ministers in the Church. There are only male priests; and this can never change.
Just as a person with a computer but no instruction manual presses various buttons but has no help from the computer until the booklet arrives, so many persons baptised outside the visible Communion of the Catholic Church have received a valuable gift, and try to live according to the various theories of various Christian leaders, who argue about faith and morals; but only when they are received into full Communion do they receive clear instruction about holy living, and receive the power from God in the Sacraments.
Christ teaches us, through His Church; so Catholics who refuse to believe in the teachings of the Church and even lead others astray by promoting their opposing views will arrive, at death, at the same place as the unbelievers, which is to say, at the edge of the Abyss, at some distance from the only crossing, which is Christ Himself, our bridge to Heaven. Unless they repent, and run to Him, they are doomed, because of their own freely-made choices and decisions.
We are right to help the poor; but Christianity is more than good deeds. In Christ's sight, modernism flourishes where people do not have sufficient awe of God. Many good hearted Catholics, through poor instruction, have a faith that revolves around what humans need, rather than what the Father requests and deserves. They have a too-exalted view of man, in relation to God, which distorts the whole picture; whereas Catholics really grateful to God for Jesus Christ accept the Church's teaching without constant grumbling, shoulder the Cross, and strive for holiness like the Saints, out of love for their Saviour.
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