2,680 total views

I am sure you know at least one person who has left the Church due to a hurtful experience within it. This individual, once identifying as Catholic, has abandoned their religion because of disappointment with a priest or with people in the Church. Perhaps they encountered a priest who was unfaithful to his vow of celibacy or was affected by the political stance of a clergy member. Alternatively, they may have become annoyed with their parish priest’s persistent and insistent fundraising tactics, causing them to stop attending Mass altogether.

These people are frustrated by the Church. They have been hurt, and many, if not all, continue to suffer from this pain. They refuse to go to Confession because they no longer believe in priests and will not receive Holy Communion, thinking that all who participate are hypocrites. These are the people who the Church has hurt.

These individuals are represented by Thomas, who was scandalized by the suffering of the Lord. Thomas was hurt and frustrated, in severe pain, and chose to distance himself. In Tagalog, we would call his attitude “nagtampo-malakas na tampo.” He thought he had put all his trust in Jesus, believing him to be the liberator of Israel. However, Thomas felt betrayed after witnessing Jesus’ death and experienced immense emotional pain.

Thomas symbolizes the segment of the Church that is frustrated by its representatives. How did Thomas help himself? How was he healed of this deep hurt? He asked to touch Jesus’ wounds, stating that if he could verify Jesus was alive, he would believe and be healed of his pain and frustrations. The Lord allowed Thomas to do so, and upon touching Jesus’ wounds, Thomas believed.

Now, two thousand years later, there are still people like Thomas— not doubting, but extremely frustrated with the behavior of those within the Church. This includes priests, bishops, cardinals, daily Mass attendees, communicants, active laypeople, and religious sisters.

We have hurt our fellow Christians and frustrated them with our scandalous lives. How can we bring back those who have strayed from the Church or those who no longer go to Confession? They are still hurting, and it is because of us.

What can we do for them? Just as the Lord allowed Thomas to touch His wounds, we must reach out to our former Catholic brethren and let them see our own wounds. Unfortunately, we may not have enough visible wounds to show, so they do not believe in us. We, within the Church, have not experienced enough pain through the love of service and forgiveness.

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Veritas Editorial

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

President of Radio Veritas

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