I really don’t know if this always existed but I’ve never looked at it in a good light. When among some people who saw my interest in the Orthodox Church increase, they began little attempts to keep me in the Catholic Church.
They’re kind people and I love them dearly but they’d often employ little tactics like asking me to come do photographs for them. I knew my photographs were rubbish and I am not a good photographer but they’d invite me to photograph their events.
The idea was to try and get me involved in a Catholic community and make friends. Nicely done and it’s true that if you spend long enough time in a Community either Orthodox or Catholic there’s a stronger chance you’ll stay or convert depending upon your existing situation.
Another one this local guy tried was to get me to go to cursillo. I don’t know how Cursillo is celebrated in other countries but here it’s full of old people (not that there’s anything wrong with old people they’re wiser than most of us and have my respect). They sing Christian pop songs from the 1980s and I just….no. I’d never do it.
So he tried a different angle and tried to get me onto the parish council. I was brought along one night where they all vote you into the council and you’re supposed to feel now that you’re one of the gang and special now that you’re part of a solution to make the parish stronger.
I actually went along to this one because I was curious what went on in the council and what type of people attended it. It was all lay people and a lot of women. The women out numbered the men.
My first parish council meeting I came in and sat down and the lady said ”Now we will pray before we start the council. I’d like to start with the cd of this guy *she names him* who is pretty good.” So she hits play on the button and on comes this guy singing pure country music with a steel guitar behind him singing ”Jesus I lurrrvvveeeee youuuuuuuu”
I’m not joking you my heart sunk within me and I cringed for these people. I found myself looking around the room for a quick exit but I couldn’t show any disrespect to them all the same because I loved them so I endured the meeting for that alone.
I suddenly realised you know what? Even though that show Father Ted is a horrible anti Catholic show, it kinda has the roman Catholic church down to a T. They are right, it’s full of buffoons and for every character in Father Ted you’re guaranteed a real life replica in the church.
The priest beside me shows me a Cross a local guy made and he laughed and said ”Do you want one of these, they’re terrible”. Keeping silent I took the cross and blessed myself with it and that was enough to let him know he was being arrogant. This man made this cross, it may not look great but he did it out of love and heres this guy making fun of it and trying to act the cool dude around me. Dear me I just wanted to get out of there.
Parish councils are not great simply because they’re full of people from the world. It’s not good to have a worldly mindset running the church because that’s where you get communion in the hand, rubbish protestant gospel choirs and the easter bunny sitting on the altar beside Jesus from.
They may love the church but they’re not supposed to be running it. I hear you saying ”ah but stephen Jesus calls everyone to follow him” that is true yet he chose only twelve and one person to run the church for him. Ok so these apostles all had a past but they were the closest to Christ more so than the man on the ground. By the end of their Journey with Christ they were spiritually tuned in.
Opening up the Church to the laity and for them to run it is a bad idea. It is especially bad when they’re women as they tend to be the most liberal and they’ve feminised everything that it is no longer a church for men anymore but extremely feminine.
This is why I don’t go to Catholic bible studies, meetings, parish councils, retreats because they’re actually doing the opposite of what they’re trying to achieve which is to convert. I just go to my Mass once a week, pray, go on my own retreats and read my theology at home. Right now if anything is keeping me in the church and has me hanging on by the fingernails it’s that.