In doing my morning rounds in the blogosphere, Fr. Z brings our attention to the bulletin of Fr. George Welzbacher, now of the Church of St. John of St. Paul (in St. Paul, Minneapolis). It is from May 4, 2008. I encourage you to read the entire pastor's column. Here is just an excerpt (with my emphases in bold):
In his First Letter to Timothy St. Paul refers to a certain Hymenacus and Alexander, two Christians about whom we otherwise know nothing, who "by rejecting conscience … have made shipwreck of their faith." (1 Timothy 1:19). In that same first chapter of 1 Timothy St. Paul gives examples of the kinds of sinners whose sins will cause them to suffer shipwreck in the faith: "manslayers, immoral persons, sodomites, kidnappers, liars, perjurers, and whatsoever else is contrary to sound doctrine." (1 Timothy 1:10). In effect St. Paul is telling us that if we fail to shape our behavior in accord with our faith, we will very soon shape our faith to accord with our behavior. That formula fits the so-called "progressive" Catholic quite well. As St. John tells us in his Second Letter: "Anyone who goes ahead and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God; he who abides in the doctrine has both the Father and the Son" (2 John :9). There is a kind of "progress" that means turning our backs on God.
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