Come at me bro...

I don't know about you, but to me, things are getting pretty spicy in the Catholic Church. Don't think so? Just look online. However, look specifically in the comments section if you dare, straight up WWE style. That's wrestling if you didn't catch that!

***CUE WRESTLING ARENA BELL***

Social Media Collage.jpg

All I have to say is the struggle is definitely real and the words said of my past teachers are running rampant in my mind. He would say when people got into an argument, "OK guys, save it for after school, meet at the flag pole, dip your hands in glue then some glass, and we can settle this argument once and for all!" Well, crazy enough online and in our community, I think we as a Church are taking this "sound" advice to the letter.

Interestingly enough, amidst my daily dose of Facebook stalking, the other day I came across a live video featuring Bishop Robert Barron speaking at the Facebook headquarters. His talk was simply "How to Have a Religious Argument?" Now what I thought was interesting was that his talk had five points in the direction of cultivating religious dialogue with others that apply directly to us in the Catholic wrestling arena known as social media.

I won't go into detail of all five, but I was taken aback by #3 that states, "We Have to be Intolerant of Mere Tolerism." He began to speak of the foundation and culture in philosophical thought of notable thinkers such as Hegel, Kant, and Descartes amidst the aftermath of intense religious warfare. This resulted in governments creating systems that would merely tolerate Religion. Therefore, religion became reduced to something of advocacy or a hobby, because if you stepped outside of this system; you became an enemy of the state. You began to make truth claims in private to avoid conflict. 

#3 We Have to be Intolerant of Mere Tolerism
— Bishop Robert Barron

Our little collage is a prime example of the culture of advocacy that, as a Church, we have fallen prey to because we have been programmed to believe that we must make this truth claim particularly on objective moral principles in private. Let's be honest, the only people who see this are the "keyboard warriors" that thrive off trolling hence no public discourse is given to move forward. But can truth claims such as "God exists!" objective moral principles, and universal intent remain in private? Never, so can we say that this "beef" is necessary for us to find the path to peace and truth? Absolutely. 

Now with our "snowflake" culture filled with safe zones, I just declared a major faux pas in their perfect world of tolerance. As Bishop Barron said, "the etiquette of toleration is at odds with the religious claim to objective truth." Therefore, the gloves do need to come off when we believe without a doubt that any of the faithful within the Church is attempting to institute a culture of tolerance. We are after all the Church militant and have an obligation to bring any privatization of moral teaching to the sense of the faithful.

Now how this hits home for us here in Project Illuminate. I am literally writing this blog from Rome, the center stage for all of this drama!

Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.
— G.K. Chesterton

So if you have not been made aware, on September 19th, Pope Francis declared in his Motu Proprio "Summa familiae cura  that the structure and vision for the St. John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family have been abolished. It is to be re-launched as the Pontifical John Paul II Theological Institute for Matrimonial and Family Science

“broadening its field of interest, both in relation to the new dimensions of the pastoral task and of the ecclesial mission, and with reference to developments in the human sciences and in anthropological culture in a field so fundamental for the culture of life.”
— Pope Francis, Motu Proprio (Summa familiae cura)

While this has sparked heavy debate amidst our fellow servants in the vineyard for marriage and family, the question has been asked, "what does this mean for you in Rome?" It means that we will continue to move forward in our studies, and look forward to the renewed desire for religious dialogue. It is precisely that within this dialogue that it means, no matter the cost, we will always uphold to the moral objective teachings that obliterate any form of modern argument against God's vision for Marriage and Family.

Now to all of my young fellow brothers and sisters, be rest assured that you are living in one of the greatest times in our Church to journey on the path to sanctification. Never be afraid to stand for truth in charity, no matter the cost. Modern man is no different in the ability to be overcome by evil resulting in the inadvertent destruction of their own person in the name of righteousness. History proves it over and over again.

Who will yell "crucify him, crucify him" in this generation? Who in this generation will be the reluctant Simon that begrudgingly carries Jesus cross? Who will hold the faithful heart of John the Beloved until the end? The common denominator? They were all at the center of religious dialogue. 

Therefore, we must choose who we follow. We must fight for the freedom of dialogue of the human person in all aspects, but most importantly for marriage and family as the nuptial mystery reveals the key to heroically become one of the future saints in this generation.  Sometimes, the gloves must come off.