To the editor:
This concerns the Catholic News Service article, "What does it mean to leave ‘the church’?" (Catholic Courier, November 2013). According to the article, somehow, people who leave the Church are still in the Church. The writer of the article stated: "I still see some folks who no longer partake in the sacramental life the church offers, but they still do all the things that are pleasing to God." It is ludicrous to say that they are doing all the things that are pleasing to God while in such a state — they emphatically are not!
The marks of baptism remain on one’s soul, but who is "in" the Church? The Catechism of the Catholic Church gives the answer: "Fully incorporated into the society of the Church are those who, possessing the Spirit of Christ, accept all the means of salvation given to the Church together with her entire organization, and who – by the bonds constituted by the profession of faith, the sacraments, ecclesiastical government, and communion – are joined in the visible structure of the Church of Christ…" #834.
Pope Francis and the New Evangelization were referred to in the article. Let us not be deceived in thinking that he is an "anything-goes" pope. He has already ordered the excommunication of several Catholics, and if one were to read everything that he says, one would realize that he appears to be far more demanding of Catholics then his recent predecessors. An example: "The Church exists to proclaim this Word until martyrdom." And regarding the article at hand "You cannot find Jesus outside the Church." (Follow up with "Outside the Church there is no Salvation." in the Catechism #846.) This article and any such mindsets are dangerous to and undermining of the New Evangelization and the intentions of Pope Francis.
Robert Martino Sr.