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He Cannot Deny Himself

I generally distrust polls because, like the statistics that generate them, they can be manipulated to lie. But I believe EWTN’s recent poll [1] is correct when it claims that “most Catholics don’t want Biden to run for another term.” Who could want a man that claims to be Catholic but works against the Church protecting the unborn? Yet the poll goes on to show that 14% of Catholics “strongly approve” of the way Biden is handling his job as president. How can Catholics approve of Biden’s presidency which is probably most marked by its pro-abortion crusade?

An even more revealing statistic reveals that a majority of Catholic voters (48% against 46%) want abortion to be a federally protected right. How can Catholics approve of a federally mandated right to abortion? I don’t know! And the clincher stats: only 24% of these polled Catholics say they attend mass once a week, and nearly twice that amount, 40%, no longer believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Ah, now I am getting the picture, and it is very disheartening; many who profess to be Catholic no longer believe as Catholics. So, are they really Catholics?

People who identify with a particular group usually do so with a creed, a formal statement of beliefs which defines and distinguishes them from other groups. We Catholics have a single Creed in varying forms: the Apostles Creed, essentially formulated by the Apostles after Pentecost and before leaving Jerusalem to preach. St. Ambrose referred to it in his writings around the year 390 and formally incorporated into the liturgy of Rome in the early 9th century.[2] The Nicene Creed, an enhanced or enlarged form of what Catholics believe, was authorized in the first two ecumenical councils, Nicea and Constantinople.[3] These Creeds (from the Latin, Credo¸ “I believe”) are the skeletal structure that identifies a Catholic as such.

In its earliest formulation, the Old Roman Creed from the Apostles went as follows:

I believe in God the Father almighty;

and in Christ Jesus His only Son, our Lord,

Who was born from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary,

Who under Pontius Pilate was crucified and buried,

on the third day rose again from the dead,

ascended into heaven,

sits at the right hand of the Father,

whence he will come to judge the living and the dead;

and in the Holy Spirit,

the holy Church,

the remission of sins,

the resurrection of the flesh,

[life everlasting].

Catholics hold these beliefs. One who does not believe in all these pledges of faith is not a Catholic. Note one of these professions: (I believe) “the holy Church.” From the first celebration of the mass, when Our Lord proclaimed “this is my body, this is my blood,” and throughout earliest Church teaching, the Real Presence was accepted by the faithful and worshiped as such. Somewhere between then and now, a large percentage of Catholics no longer recognize this as dogma, the official Catholic teaching. In some way, they have become apostates, abandoning the faith that the Church teaches.

If the faithful no longer believe, can they still be called faithful? I can’t rightly say because only God knows our hearts, and stats don't tell the whole truth. But what is clear is that to be a faithful Catholic, one must ultimately pledge allegiance and faith to the cause. And there can be no other cause than Christ, the Son of God, incarnate as man and mystically present in the Eucharist, faithfully guiding His Church as God led the Israelites in pillars of cloud by day and fire by night through the desert to the promised land. Without this clear profession of faith, the faithful will continue to stumble and fall over important moral issues that confuse and weaken the Church. Yesterday I noted from Scriptures that God will deny those who deny Him. Today, I’d like to finish St. Paul’s quote on a note of hope: “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Tim. 2:12)




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