The persecuted church around the world is giving us clues on how Christians can survive, and in some cases thrive, in the face of danger. In those lessons, we can find inspiration to deepen our own faith — which might come in handy as persecution comes to the West.
Yet the leadership of the American church, with its superpastors and megachurches, is whistling through the graveyard. The beast that we have created, which relies on upbeat music and positivity to attract donors to sustain large budgets, leaves little room for pastors to talk about the suffering of global Christians. Like most of the culture, the American church is more concerned about college entrance scandals and “Game of Thrones” than persecution. Inoculated by entertainment and self-absorption, they are completely detached from the experience of the global church. The American church is feeding itself to death while the worldwide church is being murdered.
Opinion by David Curry.
According to the Catholic Multimedia Center (CCM), violence against priests is not a direct expression of hatred of faith, but a desire for “social destabilization”. The local Church is, in fact, “a reality that helps people, in direct competition with organized crime”, which knows that eliminating a priest is much more than eliminating a person, because it destabilizes an entire community.
According to what has been gathered in about nine years of journalistic investigations, which have earned Father Sotelo the 2017 National Journalism Award, the phenomenon is growing, hand in hand with the increase in violence in the country.
The intimidation is so frequent that in Mexico 26 churches per month are desecrated. “In the usual modus operandi, attacks on priests begin with extortion, then kidnapping, torture, and ultimately murder, with a particularly brutal violence”, explains Fr. Sotelo Aguilar. Furthermore, post mortem slander of slain priests is common, to “divert attention” in the investigation. Thanks to the work carried out by the CCM team, “anomalies” by investigators were reported and made public and the authorities had to reopen the files already archived. CCM research has led to the intervention of Parliament’s Human Rights Commission and the action of the US State Department and international organizations.
Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School says the Archdiocese of Indianapolis is no longer going to recognize them as a Catholic school, likely because of their refusal to fire a teacher who in a same-sex marriage.
“To our knowledge, the Archdiocese of Indianapolis’ direct insertion into an employment matter of a school governed by a religious order is unprecedented; this is a unique action among the more than 80 Jesuit secondary/pre-secondary schools which operate in dioceses throughout North America, along with the countless Catholic schools operated by other religious orders such as the Christian Brothers, Dominicans, and Xaverian Brothers.”
Brebeuf says the Archdiocese’s decision will not change their identity and they plan to continue to serve as a Catholic school in the Indianapolis community.