All Are Welcome…to What Exactly?

I have not been paying much attention to the Youth Synod because it comes across to me as a carefully crafted PR exercise to promote the current trendy agenda at the Vatican, but the few bits I have seen have confirmed my prejudice.

Chilean Youth Silvia Teresa Retamales Morales says many non-Catholics asked for a “more open Church” being a “multicultural Church open to all, not judgmental, not discriminate against minorities, or people with different sexual orientations, or the poor”

That sounds more like the United Nations than a church.

I was reminded of this piece Patrick Reardon contributed to the National Catholic Reporter some years ago:

It’s called “A Church Refreshed: A dispatch from an American Catholic Future.”

Here are a few extracts from Reardon’s American Catholic Never Never Land:

Song leader Sophia Santiago stood to the right of the altar of St. Gertrude Church in Chicago and invited those in the crowded pews and in folding chairs to greet their neighbors. “All are welcome,” she proclaimed.

To the simple notes of a single piano, the parish choir and the congregation sang a sweet, lilting version of “Come to the Water” as liturgical dancers, altar servers, ministers of the word, parish chancellor Emma Okere and pastor Fr. Antonio Fitzgerald processed up the center aisle. The song filled the soaring interior of the 131-year-old structure. On a banner high behind the altar, in large, easily readable lettering, was a quotation from Pope Francis: “Who am I to judge?”

This was one of thousands of celebrations across the globe marking 50 years of rejuvenation and renewal dating from the election of Pope Francis in 2013, popularly called “refreshment of the faith.”

Reardon sees a Chicago Catholic church that has kept a few of those fusty old buildings with ” their stained-glass windows, gold ornamentation and other finery”,  but they’re supplemented by store front congregations with a preacher a piano and a soup kitchen.

In a strip mall a mile and a half to the south, another celebration was being held in a simple storefront. On the large glass window, hand-painted in red and blue, were the words “Lazarus Pastoral Center.”

“For I was hungry and you gave me food.”

Deacon Liam Saranof was reading the Gospel of Matthew to 27 men, women and children seated on folding chairs in the long, narrow space, the former home of an Ethiopian restaurant.

This strip mall was also the home to a bedding showroom, a Subway sandwich deli, a $10 store and a bicycle repair shop, all of them open on this early Tuesday evening.

A short time later, Saranof’s teenage son Karim opened up a small folding table in the center of the space, then carried over a small, brightly painted plastic box containing consecrated hosts that, a few hours earlier, had been delivered by one of the parishioners from St. Gertrude.

“Some of us here think of ourselves also as members of St. Gertrude,” machinist Chloe Pardo explained. “But others are only affiliated with the community here. They like the community work we do; they like how close we become.”

Reardon’s future church is complete with female “chancellors” who really run the show, Popes named “Martin” (after dePorres) and Oscar (after St Romero) and the two big slogans are “All Are Welcome” and “Who Am I to Judge?”

This article is a breath taking display of liberal insanity which I commented on here. This kind of feel good, fuzzy wuzzy Christianity has virtually wiped out Catholicism in America, so the obvious remedy is “We clearly didn’t have ENOUGH feel good, fuzzy wuzzy Christianity. So let’s destroy more old churches, write more banal hymns, put up more felt banners, hire more social workers and do more left wing posturing…”

I could vent a very long time about this, but first grumble about this silly nonsense from the Youth Synod is the straw man set up that somehow the Catholic Church is not “multicultural” and not “open to all”. What? The Catholic Church is the most diverse and multicultural institution on earth. It’s been seeking to welcome diverse peoples ever since the great missionary movements of the counter reformation and the nineteenth century. That’s what we’ve done since the Great Commission: reach out to the marginalized, the dispossessed, the poor, those in moral and spiritual darkness and those who are lost.

The Catholic Church is more global and multi racial than any other group. Catholic means universal for goodness’ sake.

Consider: I am pastor in an admittedly conservative town and an unapologetically conservative Catholic parish, but when I look around on any particular Sunday my congregation is amazingly multicultural and diverse. A heart surgeon or an international business executive might be sitting next to a body shop worker who I know belongs to AA. Behind them is a family of refugees from El Salvador and next to them an African American-Indian family or a Mexican laborer. Up front some converts are next to cradle Catholics.  We have the whole range of ages, nationalities, races and people: Nigerians and Indians, Italians, English, French, Polish, Philippino, Vietnamese, Chinese, Colombian and Mexican.

All are welcome and all belong to our parish family.

All are indeed welcome….but to what exactly?

The obsession with inclusivity is something mouthed by Cardinal Marx who said, ““Nobody is excluded [from the church],” he said. “Nobody is superfluous. Exclusion is not in the language of the church.”

Total inclusivity can only be proposed by a church that is used to being a wealthy establishment institution. “All Are Welcome” is the slogan of Christian leaders who know they are on the top of the social heap and feel guilty about it. They live in their palaces: (BTW did you know that Cardinal Marx also spent $13m refurbishing his palace and another $11m on a guesthouse in Rome. Go here.) and their middle class rectories but they proclaim “All Are Welcome” to salve their consciences and make themselves feel like good Christian folk.

My question remains, “To what exactly are all welcome?”

Are people welcome to the Catholic Church? Of course all are welcome. All have always been welcome, but what are they welcome to?

What kind of Catholic Church? Why should anyone want to join the Catholic Church anyway? What would a liberal Catholic answer? Is it for their soul’s salvation? Is it to escape the fires of hell? Is it to worship and serve the Lord Jesus Christ King of the Universe? Is it to learn how to love God and his Son Jesus Christ, to venerate and love his Blessed Mother and worship in the communion of all the saints and angels?

Probably not.

Instead all we hear is the mantra, “All Are Welcome”

The fact is, from the very beginning all have been welcome. The only people who can’t be Catholic are the ones who don’t want to be Catholic.

I’m reminded of a gay activist who was interviewed about the church. He was yelling that he wanted the church to be more inclusive, then the interviewer said, “So if you felt the church was more inclusive which church would you attend every Sunday?”

The guy looked at the interviewer like he was a martian, “Not me. I’m not really a churchgoer.”

Correct. It seems the liberals who are unlocking the doors to empty churches are the ones crying out, “All are welcome!” but the churches aren’t empty because people are unwelcome, but because they don’t want to go to that kind of church.

The churches that are full, on the other hand, are the ones that actually preach the Christian gospel.

Without a full blooded, historic Catholic faith which preaches the need for repentance and seeking the face of the Lord for eternal salvation what are you welcoming people to? A luncheon club where they sing hymns and carry banners with trite slogans? A soup kitchen and shower facility where they hold Bible studies? A rehab center where they find their inner goddess? People aren’t dumb. They’ll soon ask, “Why bother with all that religious-spiritual stuff? We can do soup kitchens, rehab centers and shower facilities without all those dreary hymns, bad Christian pop music and dull homilies delivered by a fat, middle class half educated minister.

I agree that “All Are Welcome”.

All are welcome to come face to face with the living Lord Jesus Christ in the fullness of the Catholic faith. All are welcome to fall on their knees in Eucharistic Adoration. All are welcome to be received into the Catholic Church, learn how to make a good confession and share the work and worship of Christ’s one flock under one shepherd. All are welcome to walk in the path of perfection, to learn how to emulate the saints, love the Sacred Scriptures and share the gospel of life with others, ministering Christ’s peace and justice to a starving world.

All Are Welcome to leave everything to follow Christ. All Are Welcome to repent of their sins, confess their faith and be baptized. All Are Welcome.

But some future church in which “All Are Welcome” is the only creed?

You’re welcome to it.

2018-10-15T17:59:40+00:00October 15th, 2018|Categories: Blog|7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Richard Burke October 15, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    Bravo Fr. , glad to be in a church where we get the true gospel. Had enough of that liberal nonsense when living in the Peoples Republic of Illinois (emphasis on nois).

  2. Georgia skorczyk October 16, 2018 at 6:05 am

    In the diocese of Cardinal Marx, his general vicar Beer stated recently: “Der Gott der Geschichte, wenn es ihn denn gibt, hat uns kräftig in den Hintern getreten” (the God of History, if he exists, gave us a kick in the butt); obviously, you don’t even have to believe in God to be welcomed as functionary in the church.

  3. Donald Campbell October 16, 2018 at 11:18 am

    Here are just a few of the NT verses that refute the idea that “all are welcome” in the sense of total inclusiveness without conditions.

    Jesus – MT 10:14-15 “Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words—go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet. Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.”

    Jesus – MT 18:15-17 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

    Jesus – LK 10:10-12 “Whatever town you enter and they do not receive you, go out into the streets and say, ‘The dust of your town that clings to our feet, even that we shake off against you.’ Yet know this: the kingdom of God is at hand. I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day than for that town.”

    Jesus – REV 2:5-6 “Realize how far you have fallen. Repent, and do the works you did at first. Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. But you have this in your favor: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.”

    Jesus – REV 2:14-16 “Yet I have a few things against you. You have some people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who instructed Balak to put a stumbling block before the Israelites: to eat food sacrificed to idols and to play the harlot. Likewise, you also have some people who hold to the teaching of [the] Nicolaitans. Therefore, repent. Otherwise, I will come to you quickly and wage war against them with the sword of my mouth.

    Jesus – REV 2:19-21 ” Yet I hold this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, who teaches and misleads my servants to play the harlot and to eat food sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her harlotry. So I will cast her on a sickbed and plunge those who commit adultery with her into intense suffering unless they repent of her works.

    St. Paul – ROM 16:17-18 I appeal to you, brethren, to take note of those who create dissensions and difficulties, in opposition to the doctrine which you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by fair and flattering words they deceive the hearts of the simple-minded.

    St. Paul – 1 COR 5:1-2 It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and of a kind that is not found even among pagans; for a man is living with his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.

    St. Paul – 1 COR 5 11-13 But I now write to you not to associate with anyone named a brother, if he is immoral, greedy, an idolater, a slanderer, a drunkard, or a robber, not even to eat with such a person. For why should I be judging outsiders? Is it not your business to judge those within? God will judge those outside. “Purge the evil person from your midst.”

    St. Paul – EPH 5:6-8 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for it is because of these things that the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not associate with them, for once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.

    St. Paul – 2 THES 3:14 If anyone does not obey our word as expressed in this letter, take note of this person not to associate with him, that he may be put to shame.

    St. Paul – 2 TIM 3:1-5 But understand this: there will be terrifying times in the last days. People will be self-centered and lovers of money, proud, haughty, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, irreligious, callous, implacable, slanderous, licentious, brutal, hating what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, as they make a pretense of religion but deny its power. Reject them.

    St. Paul – TITUS 3: 10-11 After a first and second warning, break off contact with a heretic, realizing that such a person is perverted and sinful and stands self-condemned.

    St. John – 2 JN 9-11 Anyone who is so “progressive” as not to remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God; whoever remains in the teaching has the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him in your house or even greet him; for whoever greets him shares in his evil works.

    • Dwight Longenecker October 16, 2018 at 11:52 am

      Thanks for this. Of course your comment assumes that these people 1. read the Bible 2. have any kind of respect for the Bible 3. regard the Bible as an authority 4. think their decisions and actions should be governed by such an authority. I fear this cannot be assumed either in our society in general, nor in the Christian churches–including the Catholic Church.

  4. Donald Campbell October 16, 2018 at 11:56 am

    And this:

    St. Jude – JUDE 17-23 But you, beloved, remember the words spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, for they told you, “In [the] last time there will be scoffers who will live according to their own godless desires.” These are the ones who cause divisions; they live on the natural plane, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, build yourselves up in your most holy faith; pray in the holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in the love of God and wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. On those who waver, have mercy; save others by snatching them out of the fire; on others have mercy with fear, abhorring even the outer garment stained by the flesh.

  5. SATVRDAY EDITION – Big Pulpit October 20, 2018 at 1:02 am

    […] Flower 3 Hierarchies of Angels & What They Do for Humanity – Philip Kosloski, Aleteia All are Welcome. . .to What Exactly? – Fr. Dwight Longenecker Chinese Catholics Outside Mainland Divided Over Sino-Vatican […]

  6. Dontex October 20, 2018 at 8:29 am

    Very insightful Father.

    Do the “All are Welcome Here” crowd want everyone to wear a name tag – “Hi – I’m … Young, Old, Convert … or whatever group you want to be part of” when coming to church?

    While it’s important to be friendly, there are many occasions to be gushingly friendly outside of liturgical worship. Just because I don’t drop my rosary and jump up and hug you when you come in doesn’t mean I don’t want you in the church with me.

    Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Leave A Comment