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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sunday Meditation: Will Parents Being Non-Judgmental Lead their Children to Hell?

I was reading Fr. Jerry Pokorsky's article at The Catholic Thing this morning about non-judgmental clergy, a real indictment against priests who refuse to be shepherds warning their sheep. Instead, they let them run headlong into spiritual danger. But the paragraphs that really struck me had to do with parents:
Someone recently told me about a Catholic religion teacher who was called by a concerned parent. The teacher was presenting the Catholic faith in a methodical fashion. An upcoming topic was to be love and marriage. The parent wanted assurances that his young daughter would not be taught that the lesbian lifestyle of her older sister is immoral. 
If the younger sister came home with a crisp understanding of Christian marriage, she would become hopelessly “judgmental” – a truly horrible person – at least in Dad’s judgment. And she might even find herself denied entry to one or more colleges on the basis of her “intolerance.” You see, believing and living the Catholic faith is “judgmental” and it ruins education – and careers.
Parents, just like clergy have authority for souls -- not as many souls as do priests, but very specific souls whom God has entrusted to them. And this parent obviously had a problem since he was more concerned with being "non-judgmental" than the very real possibility that his older daughter was in danger of hell and also leading her little sister there by scandal.

I was a master catechist and taught religious education for years at various levels. If that parent had called me, what could or would I have said to him? Would anything have made a difference? I don't know, but here's my imaginary conversation:
Mr. Jones has just finished asking me not to teach that the lesbian lifestyle is immoral. 
Me:  Mr. Jones, I want you to know how much I enjoy teaching your daughter. She clearly loves Jesus and Mary. Yesterday she asked to lead prayers and prayed that people would stop hurting Jesus by their sins.  
Mr. Jones: Yes, I'm proud of her, and I don't want anything to damage the relationship she has with her older sister. 
Me: May I ask you a question? 
Mr. Jones: Of course. 
Me: Would you have called me if I were doing a lesson on the 5th Commandment and planned to talk about our obligation to respect our bodies and not do anything to hurt them and your daughter was a drug addict with a cocaine habit? Would you want me to be silent about that for fear it would damage the girls' relationship? 
Mr. Jones: (Silent for a moment)...That's not the same thing. 
Me: No? Don't you think living the lesbian lifestyle is dangerous to your daughter's health physical or spiritual?   
Mr. Jones: I just want her to be happy. 
Me: But you haven't answered my question. Do you believe the Church teaching that engaging in sex outside marriage is a mortal sin whether it's opposite sex or same sex? 
Mr. Jones: (Getting agitated)...I just want to know whether that's what you're planning to teach? 
Me: (Gently)...Of course. We need to teach children the fullness of the truth. Do you think your older daughter is really happy? 
Mr. Jones: She seems to be. (Pause)...Really, I don't know.  
Me: I'm a parent too, Mr. Jones. I've had situations where my children wanted me to approve their bad decisions. But when we do that we bless them in their sin. What's more important? To get along with them by giving them the idea we approve of their sins or to love them enough to tell them the truth even when we know they may reject us along with the truth?  
Mr. Jones: How can I alienate my daughter? I love her! 
Me: Of course you do! Tell her that. Do you pray for her? 
Mr. Jones: Sunday Mass. 
Me: May I suggest that you and your wife pray the rosary together for her and your other children. Our Lady is a powerful intercessor. And I'll pray too. God promises if we lead our children in the way of the Lord, when they're old they won't depart from it. I believe if we are faithful in praying and sacrificing for our children, they will ultimately find God.
I suspect my imaginary conversation is wishful thinking. More likely, Mr. Jones would refuse to accept that there is a possibility his daughter's lifestyle could lead to hell. He would hang up on me and pull his younger daughter out of my class for fear she might be influenced by my rigid and intolerant views. Sad to say, many parents today are more worried about alienating their children than alienating A
lmighty God. Read Fr. Pokorsky's paragraphs below substituting the word parents for priests and clergymen and children for sheep:
Increasingly the non-judgmental “ideal” is used to silence the proclamation of the Gospel, betraying the diabolical root of the term. When a person is described as “non-judgmental” the term may evoke an attribute of kindness in general. Such a person “affirms people where they are at” regardless of behavior. 
But below the surface of a so-called “non-judgmental” person are indulgence and apathy, an inability to see evil, personal narcissism, the pathological desire to be liked, going along to get along, as long as everyone is comfortable. This is why there are so many “non-judgmental” priests, despite the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent by the People of God on each of them during their seminary education, an education that should have included solid courses on logic and Catholic moral theology. To describe Jesus Himself as “non-judgmental” is not only inaccurate, it is exceedingly shallow and insulting.... 
“Non-judgmental” clergymen do not concern themselves with lost sheep. “Non-judgmental” clerics have made their peace with evil and are comfortable with the adulation of their sheep. They are hirelings, evil shepherds and anti-Christs. (I hope I’m not missing nuances.)
Are you a parent who feels uncomfortable reading this? I confess it makes me squirm. But I don't want to be an "anti-Christ" to my children enabling them to be comfortable in their sins. That doesn't mean I continually rail at them. It does mean I make some serious decisions -- like fasting and serious prayer. Pro-life icon Joe Scheidler went to two Masses every Sunday for seven years. Once for himself and once for his son who abandoned the faith. Now that is sacrificial love! And God rewarded him with that son's return.

What are you willing to do to save your children from damnation? I can't even imagine spending eternity separated from those I love the best. Pray for families. We live in such hard times today. St. Joseph, Father of the Holy Family, pray for parents and for all our children that they will one day experience a happy death in union with the Blessed Trinity. Our Lady, Mother of the Church, pray for us.

out a CCD teacher who received a call from a parent  

1 comment:

umblepie said...

Thanks for this post.