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Many Catholics Today Reject the Humanity of Christ

When we look back at the early Church, we find that almost all of the battles centered around the person of Christ. Was He God? Was He man? Was He God and man? How was he so?

Today, these questions appear to be settled–but they’re not.

The same heretical ideas that the bishops fought to root out of the Church are present today, but the Catholics aren’t philosophical and don’t communicate in philosophical terms.

Those, for example, who cannot accept the reality of a weak, messy visible Church really despise the humanity of Christ. They reject the foul-ness of the Incarnation. They are vexed by the idea of a perfect divine Spirit mingling with corrupt matter to actually do things in human history. They celebrate the Nativity of Christ, but would be repulsed by it if they had to actually visit a child in a wooden food trough surrounded by smelly shepherds and had to call the child “God” while avoiding the manure on the ground. They celebrate the Virgin Birth, but would they have bought the story that this unmarried girl who’s 6 months pregnant was made so by, uh, God? They celebrate the Crucifixion, but would they have supported Jesus when Pontius Pilate allowed the Roman soldiers to humiliate and beat beat him, and He quietly accepted the results of the vote of His peers?

When faced with the implications of the humanity of Jesus today, they refuse.

Both Protestants and the “Trad” Catholics struggle with the Incarnation. Their desire is that religion be something perfect and pure–but invisible. They are not comfortable with the actual, living Church and her ministers on earth. They prefer to think of an invisible, perfect Church, which they claim existed in history.

What they believe in is a Platonic “form” of a Church that does not actually exist in the flesh.

They speak of the pure historical Church not because there ever actually was one, but it is a way to deny the humanity of Christ without appearing to do so.

If they lived with Christ, they would be offended, as the Jews were, by His human weakness, humility, death, etc. They would be urging him like the Jews to become king and overthrow the Romans. They would be urging him like Peter to avoid humiliating circumstances and remain in a place where He is safe and comfortable. They would be offended, as Simeon the Jew was, when He spoke to a sinful woman–as if he did not understand what kind of woman she was. They would be unhappy when Christ was found speaking with a Samaritan woman or praising a Roman for his faith. There would be so many issues that didn’t fit into their desire for an exclusive and undisturbed religion. Like Judas, they would ultimately lose confidence in this weak Jesus and seek the benefits they desire elsewhere–at His expense.

All of this relates to the doctrine of the humanity of Christ.

Protestants can’t submit to a Pope because…he’s a man. Man is evil. They see the imperfections of the Pope and can’t believe that an imperfect man (like them) could be given authority to stand as Christ’s representative on earth. The Jesus they imagine is an infinitely powerful, wise and holy Spirit–not a weak man. Yet, Jesus was a weak man.

This they are not willing to accept, as men in Jesus’ day were not willing to accept it. They won’t admit that they share in the error of those men, but they do.

They are, therefore, scandalized by what they consider an “imperfect” or “changing” celebration of the Mass. They are scandalized by a Church humbled by the sins of its members.

They want to separate themselves from these inconvenient and vexing problems–while pretending that these same problems are present in themselves. They excuse their own faults saying “I’m only human” or “Nobody’s perfect”, but they refuse to actually grant other men this same leniency.

This is why Jesus condemned those who will not forgive others. They deny the foundation of His religion, which is that God alone is good and that He came into the world to save sinners, taking upon Himself their human weakness, and administering the graces of His redemption through a human Church made up of weak men. This is not a problem with the Church, this is actually the proof and glory of the Church–and many, hypocritically, refuse to accept it.

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