30 October 2010

The Traditional Old Anglo-Catholic Church - Thank God We're Behind the Times


"If I were not a Catholic, and were looking for the true Church in the world today, I would look for the one Church which did not get along well with the world; in other words, I would look for the Church which the world hates.    My reason for doing this would be, that if Christ is in any one of the churches of the world today, He must still be hated as He was when He was on earth in the flesh.    If you would find Christ today, then find the Church that does not get along with the world.   Look for the Church that is hated by the world, as Christ was hated by the world.   Look for the Church which is accused of being behind the times, as Our Lord was accused of being ignorant and never having learned.   Look for the Church which men sneer at as socially inferior, as they sneered at Our Lord because He came from Nazareth.    Look for the Church which is accused of having a devil, as Our Lord was accused of being possessed by Beelzebub, the Prince of Devils. Look for the Church which the world rejects because it claims it is infallible, as Pilate rejected Christ because he called Himself the Truth.    Look for the Church which amid the confusion of conflicting opinions, its members love as they love Christ, and respect its voice as the very voice of its Founder, and the suspicion will grow, that if the Church is unpopular with the spirit of the world, then it is unworldly, and if it is unworldly, it is other-worldly.    Since it is other-worldly, it is infinitely loved and infinitely hated as was Christ Himself.…”
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

My favorite bishop of the modern era does it again! The above words of Fulton Sheen were sent to me this morning, and they not only rang true, but they got me thinking of the See entrusted to me, the Archdiocese of the Southwest. We have certainly been called "behind the times." I'm not sure we get along with the world at all. We have been accused of essentially all that +Sheen mentions above. We rightly claim to represent the Truth of Christ, and many reject us. Indeed, we are in this world, but not of this world. But what about love?

Even when there are disagreements and varying opinions internally, as inevitably will happen with humans, I have always observed in our little archdiocese a sense of Christian love towards one another. How many divisions of Christ's Church do not practice this? From my experience, quite a few. This is what we want in the Archdiocese of the Southwest; Christ's unfiltered and unapologetic religion of Truth and Love. This is what we have. Christ's love for the Church is infinite, and this is what we reflect.