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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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Are All Churches the Same?

Notes from the Pastor [77]

(Please note this is an archival post that is decades old.  Msgr. Awalt passed away a number of years ago.)

Recently in speaking to theologians through the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Holy Father (Pope John Paul II), underscored the unique role of Christ and the Church in human salvation.  Given this age’s emphasis upon diversity, relativism and ecumenism, an old error may be creeping into our thinking that religious profession does not really make any difference  as we all worship the same God.  The Unitarians deny the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Others deny the divinity of Christ.  How can it make no difference?  Our supreme teacher, Pope John Paul II, said that Christ’s Church is the universal sacrament of salvation.  In saying this, he was only emphasizing what Vatican II taught, that the fullness of revelation is found in the Catholic Church.  Christ’s unique role in salvation is the Church’s own uniqueness.  “The Church is the sole means of salvation because it is Christ’s body, by means of which (Christ) himself works salvation throughout history.” Those in the Church have the fullness of salvific means.  The Second Vatican Council’s document on ecumenism explicitly spoke of unity “which we believe subsists in the Catholic Church as something she can never lose.

Does this mean as Catholics we are better than others?  That is for God to judge according to the grace He gives. Does it mean we are more correct than others?  Yes.  Does this mean we have to conscientiously look for the one true Church?  Yes.  Does the phrase “as long as you are happy” become an excuse for not following the teachings of Christ as prescribed by the Catholic Church?  Of course not!

Let us be grateful to God for the undeserved grace we have been given to be faithful members of our Church.  Let us pray that others may find the light of truth and work towards unity in the Church.

Msgr. William J. Awalt