In the past 24 hours, I’ve heard from two separate people who said that if they were in RCIA today, instead of during Pope Benedict XVI’s pontificate, they’re not sure they would have gone through with it. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this. It won’t be the last. But it raises an important question:
Why are you Catholic?
Why, when the Church is so obviously riddled with corruption, when the hierarchy is overrun with compromised and complacent men, when the very papacy itself has fallen into the hands of a man under the sway of The Enemy, are we still here?
In his famous letter to his flock, St. Athanasius of Alexandria answered this question over a millennium-and-a-half ago:
May God console you! …What saddens you …is the fact that others have occupied the churches by violence, while during this time you are on the outside. It is a fact that they have the premises─but you have the apostolic Faith. They can occupy our churches, but they are outside the true Faith. You remain outside the places of worship, but the Faith dwells within you. Let us consider: what is more important, the place or the Faith? The true Faith, obviously. Who has lost and who has won in this struggle-the one who keeps the premises or the one who keeps the Faith?
True, the premises are good when the apostolic Faith is preached there; they are holy if everything takes place there in a holy way …You are the ones who are happy: you who remain within the church by your faith, who hold firmly to the foundations of the Faith which has come down to you from apostolic Tradition. And if an execrable jealousy has tried to shake it on a number of occasions, it has not succeeded. They are the ones who have broken away from it in the present crisis.
No one, ever, will prevail against your faith, beloved brothers. And we believe that God will give us our churches back some day.
Thus, the more violently they try to occupy the places of worship, the more they separate themselves from the Church. They claim that they represent the Church; but in reality, they are the ones who are expelling themselves from it and going astray.
Even if Catholics faithful to Tradition are reduced to a handful, they are the ones who are the true Church of Jesus Christ.
We remain because, as St. Peter once said to Our Blessed Lord at a particularly challenging moment: “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.”(Jn. 6:69)
OnePeterFive exists because we have a vision for the Church. It is a vision not of our own making, but one that has been inherited from our forebears in the Faith. We look back over the continuity of 20 centuries. We observe the struggles, the heartache, even the martyrdom — but also the accomplishments, the civilization-building prowess, the glory and honor of Christendom. Our motto here seems simple, but it entails a great deal. How do we “rebuild Catholic Culture and restore Catholic Tradition?”
One painstaking day at a time.
We confront what is happening in the Church because we know this is not how it should be. We know, by reviewing times past, what the Church could be again. Catholicism is the greatest thing that has ever happened to the world — first and foremost, through the unique and exclusive salvific graces Our Holy Mother Church provides to mankind — but also through her influences on art, music, law, governance, science, education, and everything that makes civilization possible. And we know that the Church can be — that it will be — the guiding force of the world again.
Every day, we get up and ask God for help and guidance in this overwhelming task. We brace ourselves as we survey the devastated visage of this crowning achievement of human history. We look for the evil lurking in the shadows, and we shine the light. We look for the good that is, or was, and we begin the process of restoration and recovery.
We do this work because we love the Catholic Church, and we want to see it made great again. Because we believe that nothing is more important than returning the Church’s focus to her most important mission: the salvation of souls — knowing that all these other things will flow naturally from the first.
We’re pretty sure that’s why you’re here, too.
We need your help to keep going. This is hard work. Work that demands a tireless dedication and a great deal of time. If you benefit from what we do here and have not yet supported us financially, would you please consider doing so today? We’re over half way through the month, but we’re at less than 25% of our fundraising goal.
We don’t sell a product or service. We give away our content — thousands of article and dozens of podcasts — completely free of charge. We simply ask that if you find it worthwhile, you help us to keep doing this, keep building this, keep expanding the influence we hope to exert for the good of us all.
If you can give $5,000, it would be fantastic and even game-changing – but if you can only give $5, don’t feel that it’s not enough. Yesterday, over ten thousand people visited this website. Just yesterday. If each of them gave $5, what a difference it would make.
Thank you to all of our existing supporters, and to all of you who will support us now and in the future. We are building this together. We are taking our Church back one day at a time.
Publisher & Executive Director
Steve Skojec is the Founding Publisher and Executive Director of OnePeterFive.com. He received his BA in Communications and Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2001. His commentary has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Crisis Magazine, EWTN, Huffington Post Live, The Fox News Channel, Foreign Policy, and the BBC. Steve and his wife Jamie have seven children.