The Gates of Hell Shall Not Prevail

Does the news today make you mad? It should.

What I’m talking about here is a righteous anger. Our Church is under attack. Literally. Just look what angry mobs or individuals have done in the past couple months.

  • A statue of our Blessed Mother was vandalized in New York.
  • A California mission church fell victim to arson.
  • The statue of Junipero Serra was torn down by an angry mob.
  • A Florida man crashed his car into a Catholic church and set it on fire.
  • A statue of Mary was burned outside a Boston church.
  • AOC said that the presence of a statue of St. Damien in the Hawaiian capitol building is an example of white supremacy.

These events should make your blood boil. An attack on the Church should feel like a personal attack. For faithful Catholics, we ARE the Church. She is so much a part of us that when statues or churches are set on fire, we feel the burn. When a statue is toppled, we feel the blows. When nasty words are painted onto a statue, we feel as if those words have been carved into our souls. Yet these events barely make the news.

We are thankful for the few clergy who speak out. And we’re proud when they stand up for our faith. But for the most part, these crimes of hatred are not spoken of. They’re not “newsworthy.”

Hatred against a race of people dominates the news. But hatred against the Church that Christ founded gets reported on the back pages or even dismissed.

All hatred is intolerable!

People today laugh at the Church and all she teaches. They mock her. They say she isn’t necessary. They say we should do whatever we want, whatever feels good, and that we don’t need Christ. But they couldn’t be more wrong.

And what do we do? Do we defend her? Do we stand up and proclaim loudly on social media, in letters to the editor, in community meetings: Stop burning our churches! Stop tearing down our statues! Stop demeaning our faith!

If you do these things, great! Keep doing them. Be respectful, but be loud! If you don’t do them, then you must start, because events today are getting out of hand. We must stand up for the Church; we must defend her in battle. The gates of hell shall not prevail!

Not only must we stand up for the Church, but we must stop tearing her down from the inside. We are Catholics; let us live like Catholics. Let us live like Christ taught and commanded. Let us adhere to His teachings and go forth and proclaim the good news. That means we teach Christ’s truths faithfully and compassionately. We go to Confession, Mass, and Communion. We believe Christ is truly present in the Eucharist. We teach the sanctity of all human life—born and preborn. We vote for those who vow to protect life in all stages. We compassionately care for the sick, the disabled, and the elderly, and we never take steps to end their lives prematurely. And we don’t apologize for any of this, for this is our faith.

So, let us shout from the rooftops what we believe. Let us make our beliefs heard. Let us stand up for the Church just as we would if Christ were standing right beside us guiding us. Because that is exactly where He is! He is right here beside us. His words, the teachings of the Church, the Catechism, the Bible, and all the clergy who faithfully preach Christ’s words form the roadmap we must use on our path to heaven.

When we build up our Church from the inside, maybe others will stop tearing it down from the outside.


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About the author

Susan Ciancio

Susan Ciancio is the editor of Celebrate Life Magazine and executive editor for the Culture of Life Studies Program.