#457 JUNE 2015 ... TODAY'S JUDAS

AMERICAN BYZANTINE CATHOLIC RESEARCH CENTER

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                                                                                 #457 JUNE 2015 … TODAY’S JUDAS’

 

                                                 TODAY’S JUDAS’

 

The life of Judas is very revealing. First, we know that Our Lord “called” all Twelve Apostles and knowingly He had an objective for each of them. Even though they were of free will, Our Lord knew what they would accomplish individually in their future. As a member of the faithful, I can recognize that Our Lord knew that Judas would fill a special task of betrayal that would lead to Holy Week and Easter Sunday. We also know that Judas hung himself as a result of understanding his wrong. Judas today identifies what we should not do even though his wrong served a purpose, an illustration of wrong-doing that could be explained further.

 

We all believe that God is all-forgiving. We know that to be forgiven we must ask for forgiveness. Our sins are forgiven through a priest. We partake in the Holy Eucharist which requires a priest. The strength of the One Church founded by Jesus through the Twelve Apostles is measured by our belief in the power of confession and communion. Part of our teaching is based upon our ability to confess our sins, venial and mortal, and receive absolution. Therefore, today’s growth in the One Church is measured by the number of faithful and the number of priests to forgive and the teachings of the One Church founded by the instructions of Jesus to the Twelve Apostles, including Judas. 

 

Today, the number of faithful increases numerically but not percentage-wise. The number of priests decline markedly both numerically and percentage wise. The problem is revealed in the inability to increase the number of priests. In the first millennium we had constant growth in the number and percentage of priests because we acknowledged their callings to both vocations marriage and priesthood.  Then in 1054, the One Church was fractured into several disjointed pieces and in 1139, one Apostolic Particular Church of the One Church mandated celibacy and that portion has been extremely short of priests to follow Our Lord’s instructions to “go forth and make disciples of all nations.” It is as if Judas reappeared and did wrong once again. We have betrayed our Lord’s instructions. Is there a purpose?  Yes, it is our test on earth.

 

Our sins are confessed and absolved through a priest. This is obtained by seeking confession and receiving Holy Eucharist. Today, very few go to confession and the priest shortage increases the problem. When one priest serves three parishes, the faithful are the prime losers and church attendance decreases. An overabundance of priests is the first step in correcting the wrong. Yet, our apostles, our bishops, continue their manmade rule and betray our One Church from going forth and making disciples of all nations in favor of their self-inflicted wound. Our brothers of the East are not short of priests and Church Unity is stifled by the West and their path of mandating celibacy as recently noted in Anglicanorum coetibus when a group of Anglicans reunited. Do the Latin bishops who represent one of Twelve Apostles betray their Church by adhering to their wrong of a priest shortage? Are the 24 Apostolic Particular Churches less in their apostolic standing because Peter is in the West, although he is originally from the East? Who is betraying our Lord’s instructions to go forth and make disciples of all?

 

As members of the faithful, we treasure the Holy Eucharist. We need to confess. I remember my younger days when confession was a monthly desire and today it is a semi-annual ritual. Why? Have we lost the instructions from Jesus or is the priest shortage a cause of our laxity? The numbers of Catholics increase and the number of priests decrease. Are we the faithful at fault? Is the One Church in the West stifled by being only one Apostolic Particular Church or have they lost the instructions from Jesus? Is the One Church in the West in fear of losing power when in Church Unity with 24 other Apostolic Churches or are they content in their numbers of faithful and low attendance at church?

 

There are many questions and there is one overriding solution, an oversupply of priests, sisters, brothers, and deacons.  There is one major obstacle, the man made mandate of celibacy. The fault lies in the concept of a celibate priest appearing idealistic but the fact that our Lord, as noted in the calling of Peter, continues to call married men as noted in 23 of the Apostolic Particular Churches. Who is playing the role of Judas as the One Church remains stagnant in growth, percentagewise. To remain stagnant percentagewise is a betrayal. To have but 17.5% of the world’s population after nearly 2,000 years is a betrayal of Our Lord’s instructions.

 

The correction is simple but the task is difficult and maybe that is the cause of inaction by the Latin bishops. God Is With Us and that should erase all fears. But we are humans and today’s Judas is amongst us. The West does not “choose” those He “calls” and the East cannot empower the West to follow their example.

Together, we are today’s Judas and of equal guilt. The East must get more persuasive and the West must get less idealistic and seek an oversupply of priests, sisters, brothers, and deacons to fulfill the Lord’s instructions to go forth.

 

The world is troubled and we are not united and therein lay the complexity. We are the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church from our beginning when we were of Twelve Apostles and solidified by Peter. Today, we are separated and we must seek confession for our sins and the Holy Eucharist for the Body and Blood of Jesus, together, for our One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church of Twelve Apostles.  

 

      GOD IS WITH US

                                                       Joseph P. Bonchonsky

                                                       www.abcrc.us   

 

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457 JUNE 2015___ TODAYS JUDAS.eml
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Joseph Bonchonsky,
Sep 4, 2015, 8:40 AM
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