Author says prayer is most powerful weapon to fight Church crisis

Maggie McCarron
Staff Writer

All of the crises in the Church are happening because God is permitting them, a professor of theology said at a talk Tuesday evening in the Gentile Gallery.

Ralph Martin, professor of theology at Sacred Heart University in Michigan, came to Franciscan University of Steubenville to discuss his book, “A Church in Crisis.”

Martin, who has a doctorate in theology, said he wrote this book because there is so much unease and uncertainty going on in people’s lives, the world, and the Church and he wanted to remind people that God is in control.

Martin said, “God is only permitting terrible things to happen because he’s got a plan to bring good out of it … the judgment of unrepentant sinners, the purification of the Church, the revelation of the lordship of Jesus Christ in a clearer way.”

Martin said, “We’re talking about salvation history continuing to go on.”

He said these things are not just academic, but they are real and concrete things that can affect everyone’s lives.

It was not until recently that the world has developed an anti-Church culture, Martin said. He said Christ and this new culture are both fighting for us.

Martin said many modern people, schools and governments have turned to a completely cult-like worship of liberal views, losing all respect for Christianity.

He said we have tried fighting this anti-Christ, but we are forgetting our most powerful weapon: prayer.

Martin said Pope Benedict XVI is the first pope to really address the fact that what we are dealing with could be the anti-Christ. This is a controversial topic, but it does seem to be more applicable today than before, he said.

Martin said, “Jesus is an obstacle to world government” and his rule over the truth combats the government’s attempts to claim the truth.

The Catholic Church is not attempting to rule the world, but Catholics have started to align everything they say with worldly efforts, Martin said. Instead, we should focus on spreading the good news and getting people to heaven.

Martin said we have to spread the Gospel with the reminder that we were not created for no reason, but because God wanted us to be with him.

Junior Mercedes Murray said, “It was very eye-opening to learn about how Catholics are able to so easily fall to false modern ideas. It just emphasizes that we need to stand up for what we believe in.”