What kind of Catholics are we? In his homily recently, Pope Francis challenged us to ask ourselves if we may be a Catholic with only one foot in the Church? “Many people say they belong to the Church,” but the Holy Father said they, “have only one foot inside…for these people, the Church is not home.”
Listing three types of “one foot” Catholics he called them “uniformists,” “alternativists” and “businessists.”
Uniformists believe that everyone should be like them. Their doctrine is uniformity. In the words of the Pope, “They are rigid! They do not have that freedom the Holy Spirit gives.” He continued by saying that they “call themselves Catholics, but their rigid attitude distances them from the Church.”
In the second group, the alternatists, have “a partial belonging to the Church. These, too, have one foot outside the Church,” they fail to recognize that their alternative teachings and doctrines are not based on the Gospel of Jesus and apostolic tradition.
Businessists, the Pope said, “call themselves Christians but don’t enter into the heart of the Church.” For them belonging to the Church is good business. “We have all seen them in parish or diocesan communities and religious congregations; they are some of the benefactors of the Church,” the Pope said.
What motivates us to be a Catholic Christian? If it is less than what St. Paul professes, “The love of Christ motivates me,” (2 Cor 5:14), then we are neither hot nor cold and are courting the fate of the lukewarm in Rev. 3:16, “…because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”
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