Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Church a Great Mystery

Korea is a small country, divided now into the North and South. The organizational abilities of South Korea are well known, and this ability also appears within Christianity. Korea is a fertile area for home grown religions, and Christianity has many. They have charismatic leaders and organizational ability and as off-shoots of Christianity use the Bible to spread their particular ideas. This is the tragedy that Christianity has faced from the beginning and time has only made it worse.

Almost  half of the Korean population has no religious belief and the other half would be divided among Protestants, Buddhists, Catholics and Confucianists, and many other smaller sects. Protestants have a strong aversion to the cults and pseudo religions. Catholics are more laid back, but are conscious of the harm that is being done and alert Catholics in their religious press of the dangers of these groups that often seek out Catholics and work to bring them into their fold.

Many Catholics do not have trust in the Church, a knowledge of the history of Christianity, and a solid foundation in Scripture. Many  of the cults use the Book of Revelations as their text book, and many Catholics lack even a rudimentary knowledge of the   book. Often in the Catholic press we hear reported  the large number of Catholics who have difficulty with the teaching of the Church and do not have a loving attachment to the Church, which would make them an easy prey for these fringe groups.

Catholics realize that the culture of life is disregarded in society, but in their lives not even half  follow the teaching of the Church. The survey made in preparation for the Synod in 2015,  84 percent of the respondents think the disregard for life has got worse. And 94 percent think that something should be done. There was not a big difference between believers and non believers. However, only 52 percent of the Catholics felt that life began at conception. 73.6 percent have no difficulty with abortion, 74.3 percent accept euthanasia, and 52.1 percent, capital punishment. Only 25.5 percent accept all the teachings of the Church.

A professor at the Catholic University says the results of the  survey shows the separation of life and belief. We see a red light that has to be addressed, he says, in the  programs to educate our Catholics, not only to do what the Church teaches, but to know the reasons why, and to understand them. 

The failure of many of the Catholics to understand the teaching of the Church makes them open to the enticements of the these small charismatic fringe groups.The editorial in the Peace Weekly mentions the warmth of these small sects and the concern shown to the newcomers. The lack of Scriptural knowledge makes many of the Catholics receptive to the invitations, in many cases they do not even know it is a cult, but once they are involved they find something they did not experience in the large impersonal communities to which they belonged.   The estrangement they already have from the Church's teaching prepares the way.

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