The Catholic Church: Never Changing and Ever Changing

Tu es Petrus - The Dome of St Peter's
Tu es Petrus – The Dome of St Peter’s

As the synod meets in Rome there is much talk about the Catholic Church changing.

The reason the Catholic Church is still here after 2,000 years is that she has not changed according to every fashion that comes along.

The Catholic Church’s role is not to adapt to the fashions and ideologies of the world, but to challenge the fashions and ideologies of the world.

That’s why, although she has remained for 2,000 years she has also been persecuted for those 2,000 years.

The ideologues of the world would love to have the Catholic Church on board supporting their misguided ambitions to make the world according to their political, social or economic theories, but the Catholic Church steps back from them all and criticizes them all where they are wrong and affirms them where they are right.

The ideologues cherish the idea that that the Catholic Church might validate their ideologies and pull their bandwagon. This is because they know that the only global organization that transcends languages, tribes, nationalities, economics, politics and culture is the Catholic Church.

Think about it–the Catholic Church commands the loyalties of over a billion people worldwide and her influence is growing. Think of the crowds that turn out to see the Pope. There is nothing like this. It is a huge, huge human phenomenon and no political or economic or cultural movement can ever hope to even come close to matching it.

This is why ideologues both love and hate the Catholic Church–because she is above their petty schemes and plans. She has been around longer than them and she will be around after they are gone.

On the other hand, the Catholic Church changes where she needs to. Better to say she does not change, but she does adapt.

If a detail of devotion or worship or discipline is able to be adapted to cultural or historical or pastoral demands, it can be adapted and furthermore it can be adapted quite quickly.

That which can be adapted is adapted. That which cannot be changed remains. Continue Reading 

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