Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Some people criticize the NCW for following the Archbishop. What does the Catholic Church say about it? According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (the bold is mine):
1269 Having become a member of the Church, the person baptized belongs no longer to himself, but to him who died and rose for us. From now on, he is called to be subject to others, to serve them in the communion of the Church, and to "obey and submit" to the Church's leaders, holding them in respect and affection........
The Catechism is extremely clear on this. It emphasized that we are to obey and submit to the Church leaders - the Pope and Bishops. Our Church leader is Archbishop Anthony Apuron. He is the local vicar of Christ. Now, some people will mislead others by saying that the Catechism also says to follow your conscience. The Catechism does not contradict itself. It is not going to clearly instruct one to '"obey and submit" to the Church leaders and then say something contrary to it. Nowhere in the Catechism does it ever say to "disobey" the Church leader. Instead, it instructs the faithful to follow their conscience in not following the directives of civil authorities who make laws that are contrary to the moral order, to the fundamental rights of human beings, and to the teachings of the Gospel (See CCC 2242 and 2256).
Even the Holy Bible clearly tells us to obey and be submissive to the Church leaders. According to the Holy Bible:
Hebrews 13:17-18 Obey your leaders and defer to them, for they keep watch over you and will have to give an account, that they may fulfill their task with joy and not with sorrow, for that would be of no advantage to you. Pray for us, for we are confident that we have a clear conscience, wishing to act rightly in every respect.
Others may deceive you by pointing to Acts 5:29 where the Apostles stated, "We must obey God rather than men". Yet, the Catechism of the Catholic Church interprets this biblical verse as referring to civil authorities (See CCC 2242 and 2256). The Church does not interpret Acts 5:29 to mean the Pope and Bishops. Again, the Catechism of the Catholic Church does not contradict itself when it clearly says to obey the Church leaders.
What about Jesus? What did Jesus say about obedience to the Pharisees who sat in the Chair of Moses? According to the Holy Bible:
Matthew 23:1-3 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.
Jesus was fully aware that the Pharisees were hypocrites; nevertheless, He instructed His disciples to obey them. Obey them, not because they were hypocrites, but because they sat in the chair of Moses. This must have been very difficult for many of Jesus' disciples to do.
Even the Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us to obey and submit to the Popes and Bishops. What if the Pope or Bishop is like the Pharisees, you ask? If Jesus said to listen to the Pharisees, He would also tell you to listen to the Pope and Bishops? Obey them.....not because they are sinners, but because they sit in the chair of the Apostle Peter. Our history shows that the Church had a few bad Popes in the past who did not deserve to sit in the chair of Peter; nevertheless, it was Christ who still guided the Church regardless of who sits in the chair. A few bad Popes in our history did not destroy the Catholic Church nor led her astray. Christ led His Church where He wanted her to go despite those few bad popes. Although Archbishop Apuron is human and can sin like everyone else, he is not destroying the Church by bringing in the NCW. After all, even the Pope allowed the NCW in Rome to exist.
The Holy Bible screams of obedience. Children are to obey their parents, slaves are to obey their masters, wives are to obey their husbands, and the faithful are to obey their Bishops. And when Christ came into the world, He also obeyed and submitted to the authority of His mother and step-father Joseph (Luke 2:51). God puts everyone under the authority of someone so we can learn humility and prepare for God's kingdom. After all, how can one say they follow Christ if they cannot even follow the Archbishop who is the local vicar of Christ?
Have faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord. The Catholic Church can never be lost because Christ is her Head and Spouse who always guides and protects her just as He promised. "The gates of Hell will not prevail against her". For the protesters who say they want their church back.....the church had always been there. The Church was never lost. You were the one who was lost. The Church never left and Christ is waiting for your return. The true teachings of the one holy Catholic and apostolic Church is to obey your church leader.