Who Teaches You the Catholic Faith?

Jesus taught in Nazareth, where He was raised. At first, the people welcomed His teaching, because it pleased them. He said that the prophecy of Isaiah was being fulfilled in their hearing, in their sight, in their very town. They welcomed this message.

Then Jesus criticized them, saying that a prophet is not accepted in his own country. He was rebuking them for not accepting Him as a prophet (and much more than a prophet). So they rose up in anger against Him, and tried to kill Him.

[Luke]
{4:16} And he went to Nazareth, where he had been raised. And he entered into the synagogue, according to his custom, on the Sabbath day. And he rose up to read.
{4:17} And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. And as he unrolled the book, he found the place where it was written:
{4:18} “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; because of this, he has anointed me. He has sent me to evangelize the poor, to heal the contrite of heart,
{4:19} to preach forgiveness to captives and sight to the blind, to release the broken into forgiveness, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord and the day of retribution.”
{4:20} And when he had rolled up the book, he returned it to the minister, and he sat down. And the eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on him.
{4:21} Then he began to say to them, “On this day, this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
{4:22} And everyone gave testimony to him. And they wondered at the words of grace that proceeded from his mouth. And they said, “Is this not the son of Joseph?”
{4:23} And he said to them: “Certainly, you will recite to me this saying, ‘Physician, heal yourself.’ The many great things that we have heard were done in Capernaum, do here also in your own country.”
{4:24} Then he said: “Amen I say to you, that no prophet is accepted in his own country.
{4:25} In truth, I say to you, there were many widows in the days of Elijah in Israel, when the heavens were closed for three years and six months, when a great famine had occurred throughout the entire land.
{4:26} And to none of these was Elijah sent, except to Zarephath of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.
{4:27} And there were many lepers in Israel under the prophet Elisha. And none of these was cleansed, except Naaman the Syrian.”
{4:28} And all those in the synagogue, upon hearing these things, were filled with anger.
{4:29} And they rose up and drove him beyond the city. And they brought him all the way to the edge of the mount, upon which their city had been built, so that they might throw him down violently.
{4:30} But passing through their midst, he went away.

So it is with many Catholics today. They praise any teacher who tells them what they want to hear. The conservative Catholics praise any speaker or writer who “teaches” them what they already think is true, whether it is true or not. The traditionalist Catholics will praise anyone who promotes their point of view. But if anyone points out their errors, or teaches anything contrary to the traditionalist point of view, they reject him. Liberal Catholics behave the same way, rejecting every teacher who might correct an error or support a more conservative theological answer.

Most Catholics today do not accept correction from any teacher, not even from the Pope, or the Bible, or past Ecumenical Councils. They believe whatever they wish to believe. They ignore or radically reinterpret any Church teaching they dislike. And they accept correction from no one. Teach them what they wish to hear, and they will accept it and praise you. Teach them anything contrary to their own understanding, and you will be ignored. Offer correction, and you will be rejected. Point out their grave sins, and you will be despised. Most Catholics today are not very Christian.

[2 Timothy]
{4:1} I testify before God, and before Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead through his return and his kingdom:
{4:2} that you should preach the word urgently, in season and out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke, with all patience and doctrine.
{4:3} For there shall be a time when they will not endure sound doctrine, but instead, according to their own desires, they will gather to themselves teachers, with itching ears,
{4:4} and certainly, they will turn their hearing away from the truth, and they will be turned toward fables.

So it is today, for the start of the tribulation is near. So it is today, for the great apostasy is about to unfold.

Most Catholics today do not endure sound doctrine. They choose any teacher who will teach according to their own desires. The teachers are said to have “itching ears” because they listen to what their audience is saying, in order to decide what to teach. They alter their teaching to please their listeners, and so that others will speak well of them. They do not teach “out of season”, nor do they reprove or rebuke. And the result is that their teachings are empty fables.

The Catholic “faithful” today are poorly catechized. And they do not wish to be catechized. They do not want to be taught or corrected. Ignorance is their chosen bliss.

Most Catholic teachers today, including priests, deacons, religious, theologians, apologists, and various other authors and commentators are poorly catechized. They teach without first having learned. Their teaching is thoroughly incompetent. They cannot explain even the basic teachings of the Church on any subject without error. They do not understand the three fonts of morality and the moral object. They do not understand basic teachings on the Trinity, the human nature of Christ, the Immaculate Conception, transubstantiation, and other topics. And their interpretations of Sacred Scripture are at best superficial and at worst gravely erroneous.

But when a teacher comes along who, like Christ teaching at Nazareth, preaches the truth in season and out of season, they do not accept him or his teachings. They are like sheep without a shepherd — because they have rejected every shepherd. They are sheep who have deliberately fled from the sheepfold. And if any shepherd tries to bring them back, they bite and kick and cry out.

What can be done to correct this situation? Nothing. They will not accept any good teacher. They will not accept the teaching of any Pope, if it is contrary to their own understanding. If an Ecumenical Council were held today, and if all the Bishops, Cardinals, and the Pope agreed and taught a doctrine, infallibly, under penalty of excommunication for failure to believe, it would carry no weight at all with most Catholics. They have already departed from the sheepfold in heart and mind. They do not really accept Tradition or Scripture or Ecumenical Councils or Popes or anyone else as their teacher.

What will happen next? Pope Francis will make decisions on doctrine and discipline, and a large number of conservatives will depart from the Church. His conservative successor will make decisions on doctrine and discipline, and a larger number of liberals will depart from the Church. In just a few years — note this well!! — in just a few years, most Catholics will formally depart from the Church. They will no longer call themselves Catholic. They will not attend Mass, nor give money to the parishes and dioceses. Many churches will be forced to close for lack of attendance and lack of money. It will seem as if the Catholic Church is passing away. How is this not obvious to everyone!

But the Church will never pass away. The new Church will be smaller and holier. She will make great advances in wisdom and knowledge, in love and mercy; She will clarify Her teaching as never before. And soon many of those who departed will return with repentance to the one true Church.

It would be better for you never to depart, but to remain faithful during the approaching schism and apostasy. To do so, you must be humble, repent from your sins, and go to Confession frequently. The loss of the sense of sin is one of the root causes of the great apostasy.

by
Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and
translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

Please take a look at this list of my books and booklets, and see if any topic interests you.

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