"We've Had Enough"

by Father Paul Crane, S.J.

Taken from Christian Order, June/July, 1993 
Published in London, England.

Spoken or unspoken, these words are in the minds of a growing number of Catholics in the Church today. Not a few are near breaking point. How much longer can they take what far too many of them are forced to take at the hands of today's "New Churchman", both high and low?

The steady erosion of all we Catholics hold dear has been going on now for years. And, so far as we can see, it has been going on largely without redress. That is the bitterness of it. The Shepherds are silent at the very time they should be standing up in defence of their flocks, lending their support fearlessly to so many lay men and women who are doing precisely that with courage and without thought for themselves. It is because for some time I had witnessed the growth of this mood amidst the Catholic laity that I wrote as I did last month of the tide having turned in favor of the increasing number of Catholics in this country and elsewhere who were making clear by word and by deed, often at great cost to themselves, their support for the true and traditional doctrines of the Catholic Church, not only in this country, but elsewhere. It is these splendidly courageous lay men and women who are saving the day for the Faith, not only in this country, but elsewhere in the Church Universal. For their courage I salute them.

Let these never be discouraged no matter how heavy the burdens they have been constrained to bear - not merely the virtual disintegration of churches they have known and loved since childhood but, far worse, the destruction in so many cases of the Faith of their children at the hands of so-called "Catholic" teachers in so-called "Catholic" schools. Only today, I received news from an anguished mother that one of her children, victimized by what passes for Religious Instruction in so many Catholic Schools, had lost the Faith. She concluded our phone conversation with the words, "They have driven Our Lady out." She never specified who "they" were. Presumably the ruling authority of the Catholic school or parish relevant to this tragic situation. Let that Authority realize that it will have to answer to God for its action. It is important to recall here the words of St. Paul when he found his own faith on edge, battered as it was by temptation from right, left and center to the point of despair. It was not the "soft" Christ of too many supposed Catholic teachers and would-be theologians who came to St. Paul on this occasion, suggesting compromise as the best way out of the mess he was in. No, it was the strong Christ who went to His death for the sins of the world, Who gave St. Paul, when very near the end of his tether, the only true message that could be given him under the pressure loaded on him at the time: "My grace is sufficient for thee." Simply that. That is the message that we should make our own today. It is for us to stand firm now in the Faith for which our Fathers, the English and Welsh Martyrs, died. Conveniently forgotten by today's New Churchmen, we should hold to them more tightly than ever, constantly making it our own prayer that they should give us the strength in these dark days to hold fast to the Catholic Faith for which they died. This way the Faith will triumph. Under God and only under God, shall we win in the end. Let this be the silver lining that underlies the dark clouds of oppression that over hang the Catholic Church in this country, and indeed elsewhere in this increasingly pagan world.

The present is no time for manipulation, for the kind of compromise that skips the Truth in the hope of ultimate advantage. This is the road that leads not to Heaven, but to Hell. It can never be our road. Indeed, it is true that the one way we choose - that of faithfulness to Christ Our Lord and His Truth, may prove a veritable way of the cross. So be it: the servant is not above his Master. The way trod by Christ brought Redemption to mankind. As Catholics, we can want no less than His way at no matter what cost to ourselves.