The word “Catholic” is defined as “including a wide variety of things” or “all-embracing,” and it could almost be said that that could define the Roman Catholic Church. It spread across the territories of the Roman Empire and Catholics can be found almost everywhere in the world, all unified under one centralized faith. However, as all embracing the church is said to be, it is true that not all people who are raised in the faith will stay there. Some may simply shift into another interpretation of the teachings of Jesus Christ, but others may find new faiths or, even more radically, throw away the ideas of religion itself. In order to realize why someone might leave the path of Christ, they must consider certain questions.
With So Many Different Faiths, How Can This Be The Only Way?
In the contemporary era, exposure to other cultures and ideas has never been so easy. The ease and perhaps even necessity of transportation and migration can almost assure a diversity of cultural groups just within a city, and with the Age of the Internet at hand, finding out about cultures one has never even experienced has never been easier. This can create such brand new opportunities to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people who had no easy way to accept the good news otherwise; however, this also makes other ideas easier to spread as well. With one lecture, one article, one comment, a door can be opened to a new worldview, one that can perhaps be more favorable to one’s own desires. One might not like the idea of Hell or Purgatory and that Jesus is the one path to heaven, and instead like the idea of reincarnation or the multiple paths to salvation offered in Hinduism. One might not like the law given by both God and the Church and instead identify with the core pillars of Islam. Alternatively, someone might reject the communal attitude of the faith and instead pursue a faith of individuality such as Satanism. Whatever the reasons, people look at the world and do not see Christ, but the other philosophies of the world. For some reason, the Catholic faith never gave them the direct connection to God that they needed.
With Such Hypocrisy, How Can This Be A Way At All?
The Catholic Church has been no stranger to controversy. The past is stained with events such as the Crusades, which not only killed Muslims but also Jews and non-European Christians, and even the Reformation, where they killed even more Christians who questioned the way the Church structured itself in accordance with the word. The Church also had questionable views on science, jailing Galileo for heresy when he actually helped advance the truth of the known universe. Even more recently the leaders within the Church have been found out to either be abusing children or hiding those who did such terrible things; some members of the clergy have even been found out to be living homosexual and rich lifestyles when they claim that gays are an abomination and that the poor should be helped. With all of this hypocrisy within the Church, it could be enough to turn someone away from the faith for good, questioning if an institution can represent God if they clearly don’t represent him truly.
Despite all of these questions about the faith and legitimate reasons to no longer believe in the Church, this article serves not to turn people away from accepting a relationship with Christ. What this article does is the desire to grant them one aspect that the world seems to lack sometimes: hope. With acknowledgment of these problems within the body of Church, we can let the Spirit be a doctor and act in healthier ways to strengthen the Kingdom of God once again to its peak physical condition. Every once in a while, a Pope rises up with the intentions of reform, like Pope Francis, and seek out to address the issues of the church. It should not be his effort alone, however, as all are called by Christ to remedy these issues. All are called to share his gospel. All are required to make disciples of all nations and be set apart from the world. It is inevitably up to the members of the Body to fix this Church and fix this world.