Letter from Longinus Dismas
As a Roman Catholic, I have never doubted about the Catholic teachings and doctrines when she speaks about any of her teachings which is handed down to us through the apostles under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. But it puzzles me when I see fellow Catholics start to deny the authority of the pope, the sinlessness of Virgin Mary, the need to confess one's sin to the priest, etc. I wonder, are they still in union with the church? If not, how could they possibly receive Holy Communion as there is no union between them and the church if they do not accept these teachings as truths.
What made me sad was when I was asked to attend a certain Christian unity service, was that a fellow Catholic told me not to talk too much about differences between we Catholics and Protestants, because that is not important. What is important is that, we all believe in Jesus. If that is the spirit of Christian unity, then I think we really need to reflect we mean by "unity". Does unity mean that since you do not like to listen to the truth, then let's avoid the issue? If telling my son not to play with fire is to prevent him from being burnt, do I stop telling him just because that will make him unhappy? I think a person with a right mindset will certainly not say that "oh since my son likes to play with fire let him continue because I do not want my son to feel sad or unhappy". Did not our Lord tell us he is the Way, the Truth and the Life. If he is the truth, how can I compromise the truth, if I compromise the truth, then I am compromising Jesus, how could we who say that we love him compromise the truth that he revealed to us? That is certainly an injustice to our Lord.
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Isn't it our duty to uphold the truth (the so called differences such as: Mary assumed into heaven, the real presence of Christ, the importance of infant baptism, the infallibility of the pope, etc.) that our Lord had revealed to us through the ministry of the church? How can I engage in ecumenical dialogue without knowing my own faith deeper and better? What if any of my separated brethren were to ask me why I believe that the Eucharist is the real presence and I could not even explain to them why it is important and the basis that I believe such teachings? Is that a right spirit of ecumenism? Does ecumenism mean "ok lets avoid talking about such controversial issues since what I believe is something which will upset you"?
When Jesus prayed to the Father, "Father I pray that they may be one just as you and I are one," do you think Jesus means that because of unity we can disregard or ignore or avoid the truth? If that is the case he does not need to die because he came to the world to die to the truth, the truth that the Jews could not accept. Do we, as Catholics, want our ecumenism to be "cheap" by avoiding talking about the truth?
Recall the life of our Saviour, how he taught the truth that he is the Son of God, and because of this truth the Jews wanted to kill him, but he did not compromise, even on the cross he did not give in. It would have been so easy for him to say "since you don't like the truth then I shall avoid talking about it, or tell you later". No, he boldly proclaimed and taught his disciples about his true identity even though this was to cost him his life.
How can I as a Catholic who claim that I love him be afraid or avoid speaking about the truth?