Wednesday, March 3, 2010


It is a curious thing how people have such strong emotional attachments concerning what they believe about global warming. There are very angry debates about it. Yet I have not met one person who has ever done any personal research. The most research I have ever done was sticking my head out the window and seeing what the weather is like. In a very hot August I completely buy global warming. In this cold winter with more snow than average not so much.

But you have to believe somebody if we do not do the research ourselves right? So who has researched the scientist they choose to stand by? Do we let the newspapers or a blog or a man in a suit research them for us and tell us who to believe more? How does one decide?

I remember my dad stopping smoking when I was very young. “There is no conclusive proof that there is a direct link between smoking and cancer” was the slogan at the time. But people knew. We did our own experiments then by way of seeing relatives and friends die terrible deaths. Some chose to live the fantasy because they wanted to keep smoking. Now everybody knows that smoking is bad for everyone. Except that it is not. Well, it is for most people. There are those, a very, very small percentage, who can smoke like chimneys and never know cancer. But who wants to risk it? But some people want to believe.

This is not an article on whether global warming is true or not or if I should be able to enjoy my once a week pipe, just interesting how we come to throw our hats into certain, “I believe THIS” rings.

Last week I met with a young lady who was thinking about leaving the Church. (BTW – Good for her for doing some research and taking the bold step of going to see a priest.) When asked why she said that she had problems with certain teachings. “Which ones?” I of course asked. At the top of the list was confession. “What about it?”

“I don’t believe that you should go to a man (priest) and tell him your sins so that God can forgive you.”

For once I kept my big mouth shut. I was too curious to see why she believed as she did. So rather than beginning with a defense of Church teaching I simply asked, “Why?” It was more of an emotional response than anything; a vague notion of it not “seeming right. So we explored some passages in Scripture upon which the Catholic teaching is based. I asked her to interpret them in a way that would support her belief which was unfair somewhat since she was not presented with enough time in advance to work things out.

But such is the case with so many people who disagree with the Church. A lone preacher, a friend with a Bible, an anti-Catholic blog, a television show, or even a feeling will trump 2000+ years of consistent Catholic teaching from Christ to the Apostles, to your local Catholic pulpit with little in depth analysis. This is why it is so important for you to be well versed in your faith. If someone comes to you and says, “I don’t believe that you should go to a priest to confess your sins,” so you have a response? Do you have at least a vague understanding about where it comes from in Scripture? Will you be able to say how that is a break with the first 1,500 years of Christianity or even a break with the pattern going back to Genesis? Do you know that Luther himself practiced confession? Can you say that both Freud and Jung have said that Catholics do not need their services because they have the sacrament of confession? If we do not know our stuff, people will throw their hat into anyone’s ring that sounds plausible and that is better suited to the way in which they wish to live their lives rather than search for truth.

There are a couple of opportunities for us here in the Cleveland Diocese to equip ourselves with knowledge. On March 22nd at 7PM in Zwisler Hall here at St. Sebastian the Emmaus Round Table will be presenting a “Reasons for Belief” study. If it is successful we will have more so please come.

The Diocese of Cleveland Right to Life will be hosting a fantastic conference to help us in matters of the dignity of all life. The lineup of speakers is tremendous. Consider coming – even if from out of state!

March 8th & 9th 2010. Renaissance Hotel, Cleveland.
Tickets: 216 661 3000 x24
See The Full Program :
25% Ticket Discounts for Church & School groups
Bring Your Friends & Parish Groups! Our Speakers include…
Archbishop Chaput: Inspiring words on Faith, Life Issues & Speaking Catholic Truth in the Public Square.( Introduced by Bishop Richard Lennon.)

Raymond Arroyo: EWTN News Director & Author. How the media promotes the Catholic Faith, from the author of Mother Angelica’s biography.

Immaculee Ilibagiza: A Catholic Woman’s life and faith survive genocide in Africa. How she came to forgive those who killed her family in Rwanda.

Dinesh D’Souza: Former White House Policy Adviser and author of ‘What’s so Great about Christianity’ is heralded as ‘ the CS Lewis of the 21st Century.’ He talks on Faith ,Public Policy and American Values.

Paul Wright, MD: An Ohio cardiologist worked with Mother Teresa for many years. He tells how her ‘prescription’ of faith, love and service can add extra strength and meaning to our daily lives, and reinforce our Catholic Faith.

Call 216 661 3000 x.24. Be involved in‘Bringing America Back to Life’


MJ said...

My youngest son feels the same way as the young lady about confession. He argues the penitential rite at Mass is the same thing(I don't believe he really believes this - just the sake of argument). When I try to tell him some of the same things that you are saying, I get no where but then I'm mom!! Maybe a kindly priest should talk to him.

Anonymous said...

Everything we "know" always comes down to the acceptance of authority. Who has time to prove that bacteria exist? Who has time to prove that the earth revolves around the sun???

Kala said...

Raymond Arroyo hosted a torture supporter, here's where the Catholic Church says it's ok, on EWTN Live and Immaculee is said to be supportive of the work of a New Age guru - her book has a dedication to this man.

Robert M Kraus Sr said...

What is the mug shot of George Burns doing here?

r m kraus