As we head into Advent this season we see a very popular "Catholic" app for prayer and meditation being infiltrated by abortion and LGBTQ promoting celebrities. It is so unfortunate, but really not surprising. These days we are bombarded with initiatives from YouTube and other media personalities, privately run "Catholic" retail businesses, as well as "Catholic" service organizations trying to jump on the bandwagon and turn a profit from exploiting the Faith in the name of evangelization and catechesis. Many, are taking note of the success seen with such podcasts and business exploits and are, as well, trying to cash in on the opportunity provided by such endeavors. Film and movie industries are also cashing in on these lucrative productions and enterprises, and I am sure most have nothing but the best of intentions.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
The problem becomes when these initiatives lose focus and begin to veer off on paths that lead to a focus of increased profits and engagement at the expense of Truth, accuracy and adherence to the basic and foundational teachings and doctrines of the Faith. This is happening everywhere on social media, and the fact that so many have been so poorly catechized for decades has provided a harvest rich for deception and false witness to the Truth of our Faith.
The most recent example of this is with the Hallow app. This app is very popular, and seems like such a great resource and aid for those trying to jump start or initiate a good and devout prayer and spiritual life and regimen. There are many apps that can help with this, many are free, and truly devoted to providing the Faithful with authentic and True avenues to spiritual progress, and many of these apps are very good. Hallow does charge for the service to their programming and so there can be a danger with endeavors such as these to attract as many people as possible, as an avenue to bigger profits and revenue streams, at the expense of the Truth. Hallow has many celebrities on their app reading Bible passages and telling stories from Scripture, yet, Hallow doesn't seem to vet these celebrities and verify their beliefs and practices, ensuring they are truly in line with the teaching and practices of the Catholic Faith. The recently hired celebrity Liam Neeson is a prime example of this. There has been an outcry from the Catholic Faithful about his very outspoken supporter of abortion, same sex marriage, and transgenderism in his country. His advocacy of laws to advance abortion rights and availability have been very public and visible. So, when a business like Hallow, who claims to be Catholic and yet hires someone who is very public and has visibly demonstrated activity supporting such grave sin as abortion, homosexual acts, and the transgender movement, they become a cause of scandal to the faithful. They themselves become an instrument of facilitating the promotion of grave sin. The support of such a person, will lead many astray and cause confusion about the Truth of these teachings of the Church. Unfortunately, it will be defended away, yet the scandal remains, and many will be lead astray because of this confusion.
Hopefully, reputable individuals who have associated themselves with the app will wage a protest and offer their concerns. Hopefully they will begin to distance themselves, but when big profits are at stake, this can become very difficult. It is why the Lord warns us about the love of money, it truly is the root of all evil.
There is a multitude of problematic programing on YouTube and other media venues these days. Spewing venom and hatred against just about everything. You have Catholic liberals, Catholic Radical Traditionalists among others, warring it out, each spewing their own perverted renditions of Catholic news with a spin that serves their own agendas and appeals to their own audiences with click bait titles and headlines, and unflattering images that serve to inflame the audiences served for even more clicks, likes and shares. It really has become a free for all.
The above paragraph just outlines those opposing Catholic radical sides of a fence. Unfortunately, they are a small component of bad information out there on the internet. There are the Catholic haters and bashers as well, those who incorrectly pronounce false teaching and initiatives in an effort to bring the whole of the faith into question and a state of unreliability and non credibility. Then you have those who have just relinquished all semblance of rationality and have become so deluded by popularity and celebrity that they have just veered off the rails totally. It really would be laughable if it wasn't so desperately sad and dangerous. So many of us are being led astray, in so many different ways.
Mathew 24:24 - For false christs and false profits will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.
We are living in a time of unprecedented communication. It is immediate and it is not always true. With so many having access to the means of these types of communication and no way to really vet and confirm the accuracy of such information, it has never been more important for the faithful to be careful, and thoughtful about what is consumed. It is very easy to be led astray, even with the best of intentions. Satan manipulates us in this way, because he is a created being with much more power and intellect than us. It is very important to confirm sources are actually feeding Truth and not distorted information to serve and further agendas that are not furthering the Kingdom of God and Christ's Church. There is some very convincing stuff out there. We must make sure whatever we consume or follow is actually Church approved. If it isn't stop consuming it. Be patient and wait, if it is legit, it will be approved, but in God's time and with His Church's approval and authority. God is in control, and he does allow evil, because he can bring Truth and goodness from it.
The bigger question we must ask ourselves is, what are we consuming and why, and how do we reconcile it with advancing God Kingdom here on Earth. It's difficult for us, because of our human nature. to distinguish between good and evil at times, so Trust the Church and Her authority, don't be lead astray. Be suspicious and do judicious homework and research. Dig in, and figure things out. Make sure you know the Faith, if you don't, it is so easy to get off track and soon be embroiled in nonsense. We might not be lost because of this bad information, but our journey may be impeded and our ultimate glory diminished. Satan certainly is all about thwarting our spiritual progress toward unity with God. Don't let him.
1 Peter 5:8
Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour.