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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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What Makes Catholicism So Special?

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MARTA:  How long has Catholicism been around?  Why confess sin to a priest? How does Catholicism differ from Christianity?

FATHER JOE:

The Catholic Church is the “church” established by Jesus. All the bishops and priests are direct successors of the original apostles.  Jesus gave the Church and his apostles the power to forgive sins. Since priests cannot read minds and hearts, people confess to them so that the priests can give proper counsel and penance along with their absolution.  Catholicism is the original and most complete form of Christianity. East and West were one for a thousand years. Protestant churches only go back four or five centuries.

LILIANA:  With respect, I think what you say is contradictory; we should address God “directly” in prayer in the name of Jesus. The Bible doesn’t say we need saints.  God doesn’t need secretaries.  Everything is possible for him and he can listen to millions of people anytime.

FATHER JOE:

There is nothing contradictory about it. Such comes from an understanding of the Church as the new People of God and our relationship with one another and Christ. Those who discount the sacramental meaning of the Church and our corporate faith tend to make religion overly individualistic. We pray together, and for each other, as Jesus admonished; but we do not exclude the communion of the saints from our prayer. The Queen of the saints is Mary.

You really miss the point. It has nothing to do with what God needs, but about what we need as human beings and as a social people.