Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Time to Get Fired Up!

Hey y'all, I'm Brother Christian LeBlanc at Council 13112, St. Mary's in Greenville, SC. Welcome to the South Carolina Knights of Columbus Clearinghouse for All Things for the Good of the Order. I anticipate this blog will be a collaborative effort among the Lectors of the Knights of Columbus of South Carolina (and beyond!) to share and improve our 'For the Good of the Order' presentations given at our monthly business meetings. To that end we'll be posting texts, notes, or outlines of our FGOs, plus links to mp3 recordings of them as well.

To kick things off, here's the text of one of Brother Jason Rhoad's (Council 8123 in Hartsville) recent FGOs:


"A friend of mine I went to high school with, grew up to become a Baptist preacher. Recently he stepped down as pastor of his church and it got me to thinking about the notion of being sent. You see, his old church will now go through the same process it went through before he got there. They will go about searching for acceptable candidates and will eventually hire someone to be their new preacher. There has always been something not quite right to me about the sheep choosing their shepherd. How is it supposed to work? Let’s take a look.

Romans 10:14-15

“But how are men to call upon him in who they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher? And how can men preach unless they are sent?”

From the beginning, the Church has always understood the necessity of being sent. In fact, the term “Apostle” means, “one who is sent”. Christ came and chose twelve Apostles. He sent them forth with His mission. They in turn sent others. To this day, the Catholic faithful worldwide are sent priests by their bishops.

All Catholic priests and bishops trace their ordination back to the Apostles. To make sure that the Apostles’ teachings would be passed down after their deaths, Paul told Timothy, “What you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:2). Here, Paul refers to the first three generations of apostolic succession – his own generation, Timothy’s generation, and the generation Timothy will teach.

Why is all this important? Well, if followed to its logical conclusion, it leads to some very uncomfortable realities for non-Catholic clergy. What makes an ordination valid? We have already seen that preachers must be “sent” (Rom 10:14-15). In the Catholic Church, we can see an unbroken line of succession, through the laying on of hands, from Christ, to the Apostles, to their successors, down to the present day. What happens if someone outside of this chain of authority decides to send himself? Is it valid? By what authority does he send himself?

The answer usually given is, “God sent me”. While I cannot be the judge of claims of those who profess such, I can see how simply making such a claim can be made by anyone to justify almost anything. In the Catholic Church, we don’t have to rely on someone’s subjective “feeling” that they have been sent. A feeling that may or may not be from a valid encounter with God.  We can see objectively that a priest has indeed been validly sent. How? Let’s go back to the question of what makes an ordination valid. Only someone validly ordained can validly ordain someone else. Christ ordained the Apostles. They ordained others, who ordained others, etc. etc. down to the present day. In all Protestant faiths, if a minister were to trace his or her ordination, he would eventually have to admit that at some point, their denomination was started by someone who broke away from the authority of the Apostles and ordained himself. By what authority could that be done? Who “sent” that person?

This really goes to the heart of discovering the one true faith of the Catholic Church. Some Protestant ministers may be able to trace their ordination back 500 years to the Reformation. Some may only be able to trace their ordination back a much shorter time when they ordained themselves. But only in the Catholic (and Orthodox) Church can we see the lineage all the way back to the Apostles – those who were the original ones sent by Christ, and given His authority to send others.

I’m sure my friend’s old church will hire themselves a new preacher soon and will continue on without much thought of valid ordinations, apostolic succession, or the consideration that the sheep just hired a new shepherd."


Y'all feel free to borrow from what we post here; if you do, please post a comment, ask a constructive question, let us know how an FGO was received in your council, etc. Let us know your name and council while you're at it. Help us to prepare our Brother Knights to vigorously participate in the New Evangelization. I ain't kiddin'!  Get fired up! 

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