[quote="CMatt25, post:4, topic:276434"]
I've been told by a bishop, albeit not the bishop of Rome, but another bishop, that the Church teaches if a person was made a member of the CC thru Baptism, that they are Catholic, albeit perhaps non practicing. Or I presume lapsed, unfaithful, unorthodox, or whatever other simliar adjective might be used here. Why wouldn't the bishop of Rome and laity then apply this theology to the RC who went to UU too?
The difference is; Baptism in the Catholic Church is a sacrament. This seal From God not man, can never be removed. The Church never has the power to "put asunder what God has joined together.
A Baptized Catholic who leaves his communion with the body of Christ, to join another such as the UU is a whole other matter that deals with the disposition of the prodigal member.
If he rejects Catholic doctrine, he excommunicates himself.
If he likes the other community and is ignorant of his catholic faith? by virtue of his baptism the graces of God will always be calling him home. From this grace he will find joy and contentment for a while apart from his Catholic communion, and will find himself always thirsting and changing communities of believers as time goes on, until he returns.
We are all prodigal sons in one way or another. If his heart continues to seek "Truth" and not be moved by self, The Father will always be looking out for him to return home.
The only begotten Son of God, Jesus himself prayed "Let this cup pass from me, but not my will, but the Father's will be done". When one surrenders his own will to the will of the Father's will, can make his way back home, but pride and ignorance of the Catholic faith will keep him searching.
We pray for members such as these, who of their own freewill leave the Catholic Church from their misunderstandings and lack of faith or disgruntles.
In any case the baptized remain in the body of Christ, even if they excommunicate themselves unofficially.
Now this same Catholic UU can approach his Catholic Bishop and make it formal to be excommunicated, but it still does not remove his baptism as a Catholic. If the Catholic UU is serious about addressing the bishop officially, he may learn a few things and get his misunderstandings corrected.
But most fallen away Catholics do not make the official excommunication through their bishop, thus they become Prodigal Sons.