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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hush Money

In the early days of the Church, Christians were persecuted horribly. Our Church Fathers had no problem with speaking out and condemning heresies and their founding heretics, and they suffered mightily for their courage and forthright manner of speaking the Truth.

Fast forward 2,000 years, to a fledgling nation that has only recently celebrated her 200th anniversary. A country founded by Protestants, with a history of persecuting Catholics, now finds herself in a quandry; very few Christians of any faith are able to speak the Truth.

And its our own darn fault.


Because the government is giving us money to hush up and not be a thorn in their side. Because it's essentially hush money, the 501K tax-exempt status that we "enjoy". The very status that forces bishops and priest to tiptoe around the true moral issues, and avoid denouncing mightily the greatest heresies and moral dangers of our day, and the perpetrators and leaders of those great highways to Hell.

I say....let the tax exempt status go! Let it go! Yes, we'll suffer, parishes will close, and "Catholics" will get ticked off and actually leave the church building when they finally are able to hear that it's not possible to vote for Obama and remain a Catholic in good standing. One Bishop has taken the step to speak out, and he's "put the Church at risk of losing their tax-exempt status".


I fail to see the risk! Do we worsip the almighty dollar, or the Almighty God? Are we putting our faith in the IRS, or do we have a Faith we are willing to die for?

There is no middle ground. We NEED to speak up. And if we hadn't given in to this hush money from the government a long time ago, well, we'd be in a much better place now, morally speaking.

The Church Fathers wouldn't have accepted tax-exempt status, for they would have recognized it for what it was. In our country, we haven't, and now we're paying a much higher penalty. Souls are literally being lost because the Bishops have been effectively muzzled by the IRS.

It's long past time to wake up and make a decision; bury our heads and sell our souls to the IRS....or speak out and state the plain Truth?

Let's face it; we have to suffer for what we love. We have to suffer for our Faith, and we're going to be doing so anyway in the coming years. The war has already been declared and we're all wandering around, oblivious. We are a country that has forgotten the face of God, and we strut around in enlightened arrogance as we systematically slaughter our children and enter into relationships that can never support life...not physical, not spiritual.

Things aren't getting any better, and as long as we're completely muzzled, they won't get any better.

I'm quite certain that our politicians would be of much higher quality if the churches were allowed to criticize them by name.

And that's all I have to say about that. I'm going to bed. It's God's Church, and His country...He can deal with it. But we better be praying...all of us, or we're going to wake up to paying for "freedom of religion" just as we're now being paid to keep silent.


Joe of St. Thérèse said...

I agree 100%

Anonymous said...

I disagree. The tax exempt status was not hush money - all government agencies are also tax exempt - as are charitable agencies.

The reason why we are where we are is because not only the Church (Priests, Bishops, etc) but also the laity refused to speak out. We refused to make 'waves'...not because of money, but because we refused (and still do) to evangelize and increase our knowledge in apologetics and what the Church teaches.

Anonymous said...

anon ~ Thanks for your comment. Yet you cannot deny that we NEED to be able to denounce public people by name...and this tax exempt status prevents it. Thus, what seemed to be a good thing is now handcuffing us.

And please do not think I am suggesting the Church get involved in politics. Far from it!

You're right in that people have refused to speak out, so there is more to the issue than this, but I don't think the tax exempt status has been helpful. It's just another link in the chain.

Maggie said...

I've often thought that we American Catholics have if far, far too easy. When compared to believers of the early Church who were commonly eaten by lions for their beliefs or many fledging parishes in the third world today- especially in Muslim or communist countries - where Christians are under constant threat of real persecutions to the point of death, we've got ourselves a cakewalk over here.

Were we persecuted more, there would be a dramatic drop in cafeteria/nominal Catholics who are Catholic because their parents are or because they go to Mass at Christmas and Easter....

but faithful Catholics wouldn't mind. Jesus flat-out told us we'd have persecution for His sake; this isn't exactly news.

Bring it on!

Re: the tax-exempt status- not sure if that's the culprit or rather a *symptom*. The Church has been relegated to the same status as any other charitable organization like a food pantry or fundraising agency. While being a 501(c)3 has its perks, it might be a tad too easy to forget that we're not just another charity but the holy Bride of Christ. The Church does more than help the poor; she's responsible for spreading the Gospel and fighting against Satan.

However, Anon. is right that we've fallen into a situation of our own making- for far too long the Bishops **as well as the laity** were loathe to stand up for the truth and so we've gotten to the point where the "average" Catholic has no problem with contraception, voting pro-abortion, or other intrinsic evils.

My, what work we have ahead of us!

Anonymous said...

I think complacency is a good word to use with regard to some parts of the Church in our country. I think that we have forgotten how much struggle it took for Archbishop Carroll and the other missionaries to build a Catholic hierarchy in a country that was full of Protestants. It's simply astounding how far we have moved away from this.

Also, the Catholic Church in other countries is not so lucky to have tax exempt status. In Russia, where Russian Orthodoxy is the official religion, Catholic missionaries and their parishioners live very meager lives because the government does not recognize them. Everything comes from the hands of the parishioners and, sometimes, it could very well be their last pennies.

Anyway, I'm just thinking out loud.

God bless,

Brother Juniper

uncle jim said...

She's back ... and in good form, I say.
Hack away at complacency.
The blood of the martyrs grew the church.
We may yet see a resurgence of that right here in the U S of A.

Now, let's see here ... where did I put that 501c3 application...

Adoro said...

All ~ You're right in that this is also a problem of our own making, and Maggie, maybe it is more a symptom, but I also think it's a cause.

Just this weekend I attended a conference in which we learned in depth the problems faced by Catholics in Protestant America. Bishop Carroll...God bless him, he really dealt with a LOT! And we are very educated now, so technically, have no excuse to vote for people like Obama who happens to have NO FOUNDATION of morality under him. In fact, he undercuts morality as much as he can, and to a demonic level of it!

So this is what we face.

Yes, we have a lot of cleanup to do, and yes, if we were persecuted like those in other countries, there would be no Cafeteria Catholicism.

Here's the bottom line; it DOESN'T MATTER if we're not recognized by the government, or if Catholics in other countries are recognized by the government. We aren't a social organization. We are CATHOLICS, we have a SUPERNATURAL foundation and hierarchy, and no matter where we are, we are not home.

We are in the world, but not of it.

The reality is that the Church is not here in order to be recognized by the State; many Protestants make the mistake of using civil authority to determine legitimacy, but we were around LONG before any government recognized us. So be it. WE don't get our definition from the State, but from God.

Let the status go; it's not what we are about. And if we are defining ourselves by worldly standards, well, then we aren't Catholic. Period.

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Adoro, you rock :)