What a compliment.
People love to say that the Church is “behind the times,” “clueless,” and “traditional to a fault.” People complain that the Church never changes anything. Sometimes they even get pretty mad, as if the Church is holding them back from happiness. Heck, sometimes it’s even someone like Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini who voices these opinions. Now, his quotes might have been taken out of context, but I have a few thoughts..
Dear non-Christians, we are only “behind the times” because we believe in Jesus Christ and what He taught and we will continue to follow his teachings.
Dear Christians, beware the temptation to adhere to the norms of the world. Check out the words of our Lord:
“If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. Remember the word that I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” – Jesus in John 15:18-20
Is the goal of the Church to do whatever popular culture thinks is appropriate? Is the goal of the Church to give humanity the most freedom and pleasure in this world?
The goal of the Church is call humanity to lives of holiness, to be all that God created us to be. The Church’s job is to protect the teachings of Jesus, to warn the world when they are straying from the ways of the Lord. The Church has the end of all things in mind, so sometimes Her decisions might not make sense right here, right now, but in the eyes of eternity, the Church -guided by the Holy Spirit- will continue to be a light in the world for all to see.
Cardinal Napier of Durban, South Africa: “The Church is behind the times because the world is so far ahead in terms of shutting out God & his law. Only surprise is number of “years behind the times”. Like Jesus, Catholic Church has always been behind the times. 2000 years more like it!”