NEW CASTLE —
Editor, The News:
Father Frank Almade mentioned attendance, at the local parishes, has now fallen between 20 and 30 percent, and petitioned the congregants to encourage those who have fallen away to return to the church.
I encourage others to give reasons for church attendance; I mention a few below, with a few pre-emptive caveats.
1. Priests, like most humans, are prone to error and misunderstanding.
2. What ought to be clearly delineated by the church, rarely is; this has led to a near-universal confusion between moral principle and sentiment, which abets apostasy (thus, dwindling church attendance). Principle should limit/frame sentiment, not the opposite.
Reasons for church attendance:
1. Each human, at birth, is called to war; Armageddon (battle of “good” vs. “evil”) is assuredly within each individual soul. (We may be long dead when the Biblical apocalypse — final conflict of good and evil — occurs.) Sitting this battle out is not an option, try and you unwittingly choose wickedness.
2. Eternal life was sought by our ancestors. If we desire to join them in eternity, perhaps we should ply the path — which is Jesus Christ — that they followed. Jesus established a church; His church provided the Bible. Accepting Scripture requires accepting the church.
3. Salvation requires more than John 3:16. Belief is accord.
4. Moral instruction, although often sentimentally confused, assists one in gaining virtue. Jesus cares about our relationships: “ ... What you did, or did not do, to the least of my brethren ...” Matthew 25.
5. The sacraments are conveyed by the church. “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you,” John 6:53.
Thomas J. Donegan
NEW CASTLE —
Editor, The News:
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