Jul 30, 2006

Long-ago Advice for the Future Church

In the early 50s, we heard a lot of Sunday sermons on the seriousness of Communist takeovers of different countries. The latest victim had been China, the most populous country in the world, and Fr. P. seemed to believe the march of Communism would eventually reach the U.S.

Senator Joseph McCarthy
was investigating and publicizing Communist infiltration into the U.S. His investigation of undercover Communists in the State Department led to his book, America's Retreat from Victory, which describes how the U.S. facilitated the turn-over of European and Asian countries to the Soviet Union. [Don't students of today ever wonder how all those countries were "conquered" by the Communists when the U.S. was by far the most powerful country in the world following WWII?]

The later chapters in McCarthy's book's detail how the anti-communists of China were undermined by the U.S. government so that Mao Tse-tung (Mao Zedong) could defeat the Kuomintang and install a Communist regime that has lasted almost 60 years. The Cardinal Kung Foundation monitors the current sufferings of Chinese Catholics who cannot practice their Faith.

Back to the early 50s. Fr. P. preached hard and long against Communism because many priests were being arrested and either killed or imprisoned in country after country. I was very disturbed, especially because a few priests in these countries acquiesced to Communism to save their own lives. The "patriotic" churches were established around these unfaithful priests and were under the control of Communists to serve communist ends.

Naturally, the subject of Communism came up in the classroom. I asked my grade school teacher, a Benedictine nun, what should a Catholic do if Communists came to the U.S. and took over our parishes.

I've held on to Sr's answers as the very best advice on preserving the Faith in the face of the internal enemies of the Church. She said to keep the Faith as I was taught it before the enemies took over, that to accept changes to church teachings would be to follow the enemies of the Church. She added that it might be years that a person would have to stay steady in keeping the Faith of our Fathers. But that I must not budge and make compromises. I've always been very thankful for Sr.'s advice that allowed me to keep my Faith during the past forty years of trouble in the Church.

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