All Roads Lead to Rome
This is part of an article in the new look Catholic Herald this weekend entitles "Why Catholicism matters", which I thought was very well said:
All roads lead to Rome: that age old saying is as true today as it always was when pilgrims walked in droves from Canterbury to the Eternal City. Next time you watch a news bulletin or browse headlines online, try counting how many of the stories touch on the Catholic Church. Ebola? Yes, countless Catholic doctors and nurses are fighting the epidemic in West Africa. Protests in Hong Kong? Absolutely: Catholics are leading figures in he pro-democracy movement. ISIS? Of course: their leader boasts that his ragged troop will one day march on Rome.
What accounts for the Church's wide influence? Simply its size, critics say. It's true that the numbers are staggering. There are an estimated 1,228 billion Catholics worldwide, served by 414,313 priests, 42,104 permanent deacons, 55,314 religious brothers and 702,529 female religious. All these figures (except the last) are growing. In 2012, the last year on record, the Church gained 14 million new members—disproving the surprisingly widespread notion that Catholicism is in decline.
But Catholicism's secret is not its scale. The Church, founded by Christ on the rock of St. Peter, is a rich repository of 2,000 years of prayer, thought and action. Catholics have already encountered, in analogous form, most of the moral dilemmas that we face today. Our minds have pondered the complexities and offered striking conclusions that often challenge the status quo.
That is why, all over the world, Catholics stand at the forefront of debates about bioethics, marriage, poverty, and immigration. Wherever human dignity is being trampled on, you are likely to find a Catholic protesting about it, sometimes at considerable risk to their lives.—From The Catholic Herald last week. I'm looking forward to reading this week's edition! I think this sums up some of the realities we take for granted in the western world. We are so used to enjoying the benefits of a society built on Christian principles, our default position is to moan about it. Still, when you look at the direction Islam has taken countries who have adopted that ideology, or Atheism (Communism, etc) how many of us would chose to live there?
Anyone who wishes to understand our world today needs at least a basic knowledge of Catholicism.
Yes we have issues and problems, yes there are challenges still to face, but when one takes a broad view, there is clearly a benefit to Christian civilisation. This video from Catholics Come Home sums it up in emotive terms: