Letter: I’m proud to be part of this beautiful Church
Re “Habemus Papam Franciscum” (Katy Burns, Sunday Monitor Viewpoints, March 17):
My family left the church when I was a child but, after initial skepticism and reluctance, I journeyed back to Catholicism. As I watched the crowds greet their new “Papa” last week, I felt gratitude, pride and joy to once again be part of this beautiful, complicated, rich, historical Mother Church, the origin of every Christian in the world.
When Christ commissioned the first pope, St. Peter, he did not promise a perfect institution filled with perfect people. He did not promise something fun and easy and sexy and popular. He warned of “bad shepherds” within the church, of suffering, divisions and difficulties, and of being misunderstood and at odds with “the wisdom of the world.”
Jesus chose flawed and simple men of his day. Somehow those men who ran away in fear at his death managed to cover the world with Christ’s message of God’s love and salvation, each going boldly to their own deaths to do so.
St. Paul refers to the church as “the pillar and foundation of the truth.” This is the church of the martyrs, the church which determined the sacred scriptures of the Bible, the church which honors a woman as the highest example of Christ-like human life. It is the church with the Sacraments of grace and healing, and the church responsible for the most generous gifts of education, health and charity to the world.
The ideals to which this church remains true are at odds with our selfish culture. Catholicism has always had its detractors. Despite this, I am one of many who have joyfully returned to or newly discovered the Catholic Church.
Katy Burns and her family would be welcome back any time.