As my blogging colleague at Tenth Crusade points out, there has been much heated discussion about Father Robert Barron's critique of Ralph Martin's book, "Will Many Be Saved?". Father Barron seems to hold the very dangerous notion that hell is not an imminent danger for folks today. I join my friend, Dr. Martin and many, many saints (including Our Lady of Fatima) who hold that indeed hell will most likely be a very crowded place. We might recall, by the way, during the deliberations about the new Mass translations, how the phrase "pro multis" was changed from "for all" to "for many"; that caused quite a stir.
I'm going to post a Vortex below, but first I'll say a few things about indifferentism and how some good people seem to be seduced by it. At Mass during September, there was a homily on "purity of heart". The priest held up as an example of such "purity" - Mahatma Gandhi. Mind you, I have no way of knowing his state - one way or the other (yes, non-judgmentalism is a door that swings both ways). I do know, however, that he was invited to examine Christianity but declined to do so. One such overture to Gandhi was related during that homily. Father related that a friend of Gandhi approached him and invited him to become Christian. To that invitation, Gandhi replied, "Why don't you?". Father then called that "a good challenge". I beg to differ. It seems that in addition to snubbing that Christian's invitation, Gandhi was holding himself as a competent judge of that Christian's virtue. That was not "a good challenge" but plain old snarkiness - for which I hope he repented. The troubling aspect of this homily was that Gandhi was being held as a model for Christian purity of heart - without being a Christian. That homily left a wide opening for the heresy of indifferentism to take hold in the minds of the congregation that day.
In addition to such teaching, indifferentism has found another avenue into the hearts and minds of many sincere Catholics. That insidious avenue has a name - Medjugorje. In the early '80s, when word of the apparitions reached the US, I believed them and started to take my Catholic faith more seriously. However, because I took my faith seriously, I read much traditional literature - and realized that some underlying themes of the apparitions didn't measure up to tradition. I cannot say there was a subtle undercurrent of indifferentism in the "messages" coming from the apparition - for there was nothing subtle about it. For a taste of the indifferentism, read this piece from someone who still believes the apparition's claims that it is the Blessed Mother. Note that it says "you must respect each man's beliefs". Wrong. We must respect each man as being created in the image and likeness of God. But that's very different from saying we must respect the beliefs of each man - for these very same beliefs may lead one to damnation. (What?? We should "respect" the beliefs of jihadists, satanists, human sacrificers, etc?) Then it holds out as an example of holiness a Muslim woman who lived in the village at the time. Now perhaps this lady was a good kind lady - but without sanctifying grace (that comes from the sacraments) I don't see how she'd fit the definition of "holy". Furthermore, I have difficulty believing that there was no decent Catholic woman in the village who might have been holy. This evidence of indifferentism has made me realize that the apparition is not what it claims to be.
Now here's the Vortex. Click here if you can't see embedded video.
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