Originally Posted by Maryann C
Aside from your assumption about the priest being unwilling to ask a secularly married husband and wife to stop living as husband and wife.
Are you suggesting that a priest should baptize and accept into the Church a person who has no intention of repenting (turning from sin) ? Isn't that what Jesus taught and isn't that what His apostles passed on? They would say repent and be baptized. Is that the legalism you are referring to???
No. That would be rigorous, but worthy of respect. Not legalistic at all. I seem incapable of making myself clear to Catholics on this point. No matter how many times I say "my problem is with priests who are trying to be sensitive and thus never raise the fact that the act of sexual intercourse is the issue," people assume I'm attacking the strictness of the Church's stance.
I was taught as a child that people who were divorced and remarried would have to leave their present spouses in order to live as Christians. Admittedly, my family softened this position a bit later on.
I do not confuse strictness with legalism. I use legalism to mean something quite specific--the use of legal technicalities in order to deal with the difficulties of an ethical/religious position.
For instance, I once knew some Pentecostal/Holiness folks who wouldn't watch TV--but they watched movies on a computer screen. They wouldn't play games involving dice--but they would pull numbers out of a bag. And so on. That's legalism.
Saying "we don't watch TV" period is not legalism. Saying "we don't play games of chance because we think it's morally corrupting" is not legalism.