Are you really Catholic?

#1 This wonderful opinion was written by Jennifer Hartline, a Catholic Army wife and stay-at-home mother of three precious kids who writes frequently on topics of Catholic faith and daily living. She is a contributing writer for Catholic Online.

I think it is a very thought provoking and inciteful opinion that all of us should read.

She clearly states this idea:
Either live as a Catholic Christian or don’t, but stop trying to remodel the Church to make it more appealing to the world. Learn your Catholic faith, understand it correctly and LIVE IT out in public without apologizing. Stop compromising the truth. Quit trying to rewrite Church teaching to bring it “up to speed” with modern times. The Church is not out of step with society; society is out of step with the Church. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and thus His Church is timeless, ageless and always perfectly relevant. It is not the Church who needs to change her thinking; it is society that needs to CORRECT its thinking.

I agree with her description 100%. It is a mandate that all baptized Catholics should adhere to! :thumbsup:


Well, I personally am not Catholic. This doesn’t mean I don’t agree with many of Catholicisms policies. There are however, some policies I’d differ on, such as Leviticus’s famous “Homosexuality is an abomination” quote.

I think that to be a good Catholic one should be open-minded. It is ideal that they live with the lessons of being good-natured and that they be kind to others, but a religion should be considered as a large box in my mind. One should use their judgment and take from the box what they consider beneficial for their character and leave the rest behind.


I totally agree with the quoted author. I have a tough time understanding why other people don’t understand the concept that our society needs to be corrected not the Church.


That is a good Catholic from a Buddhist point of view :slight_smile:

From a Catholic perspective that is Cafeteria Catholicism.

Also, welcome to the forums!

[quick off topic question: which school of Buddhism do you follow?]


This is true. I just am in the opinion that complete and total devotion towards a religion could relinquish one’s true opinion on certain matters and adopting those that’ve been expressed already by others.

Thank you very much. :wink:

Theravada. Thanks again for your interest.


This is a question that all Catholics need to ask themsevles. When it comes to politics, there is no party and almost no politician that mets all the requirements.
A real Catholic must respect life. As Pope Benidict reminded us from natural conception to natural death.
This means a good Catholic is not to practice birth control, 80% do and have no moral problems with it, be pro-life, but it goes further. Between birth and death in the respect for human life, including fighting poverty, standing against war, supporting the rights of individuals and of workers including imagrants, propermedical care for all, good housing, clean food, proper education, freedom of religion. They need to be for a just judicial system and be against the death penalty. Don’t forget respect and care for the elderly. Emdrotic stem cell reaserch is out, cloniong is out, artificial insimination is out. Weekly mass attendance is in, recieving the sacraments is in, ecumenicalism is in.
I’m certain I’ve left a number of things out.
My point is that the issues that Catholics need to consider go far beyond just abortion. That doesn’t mean that abortion is a major issue, but a good Catholic, having properly developed thier conscience on all issues, could support a pro abortion canidate, if that is not the reason they are voting for them. this comes out of the Document by the USCCB on Faithful Citizenship.
To be really catholic, at least politically, one cannot just be single issue. this seems to be what to many are trying to do.


Eeh… sorry, but I have mixed thoughts about that. Abortion is an issue I will always absolutely say one big NO to. However, as much as I respect the life of an innocent baby, I cannot say the same for criminals (particularly the outright twisted ones who love their crime).

Look, I know we should all value life. However, I for one don’t believe people should be let off easy. I don’t see any logic in pardoning someone who doesn’t feel sorry.


The Church does say to pardon the offender, it does say it is inmoral to put them to death. The only acception if if the idividual is going to be a continuing threat to society, that is why life without parol is the acceptable option.



Yeah but someone told me its considered cruel and unusual punishment for life without parole for even first degree murder (of one person). That’s the problem I see in alternatives to the death penalty. Criminals (particularly those connected with criminal organizations) will exploit their loopholes to the fullest.


I hope you keep an open mind about the virtue open minds.:wink:

G. K. Chesterton wrote, “The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.”

And I also welcome you to Catholic Answer forums. :tiphat:


The offender is still to be treated humanly. Only extremist would consider life in prison as cruel and unusual.



“If you take what you like from the Gospel and leave what you do not like, you do not believe in the Gospel, you believe in yourself.”

That attitude is well and good for someone who is not a Catholic or a Christian, but because we believe the Bible is all-truth then we cannot pick and choose, or else we are not Christians.


Hey, the person who gave me the info said he worked in law enforcement. Also, I think treating them “humanly” is sketchy. There have been criminals whose minds have been warped way too severely to be considered “human”. :\


The Church lets us make up our own minds regarding the death penalty. Many Catholics are very against it, many Catholics are for it. Neither position is wrong when it comes to this issue.

My personal view on it is that if there is no way of containing the criminal so that they cannot hurt anyone again, then the death penalty is acceptable. For example a tribe in the middle of Africa obviously does not have access to a jail and so the death penalty would be the only option. In North America however I feel there is no excuse. All human life is precious, innocent and guilty. And the only justification in ending any human life is not that “they deserve it” but that it is the only way to keep the innocent safe.

But again as I said before, neither position is wrong in the Church’s eyes.


The Church is very much against the death penalty. Hence the pope’s words to respect life from natural conception to natural death.



PJPII was very against the death penalty, but that was his personal choice, I’m not saying it was the wrong one, but it is Church teaching that the death penalty is allowed:

Here’s a quote from the Catechism:

2267 Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.
If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.

Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm - without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself - the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity “are very rare, if not practically non-existent.”


When did Benedict die and make that woman Pope that she is entitled to say who is and isn’t Catholic?

By ignoring the tenets of Canon Law that defines all those who are Baptised Catholic as Catholic until and unless they formally repudiate Catholicism and join another church, she herself takes a tray in the same “cafeteria” she’s relegating others to.

Presumption thy name is Jennifer Hartline


It’s an opinion piece. I don’t think she says anywhere in there that her authority supersedes that of the pope. She was talking about not being technically Catholic, but spiritually Catholic. She is entitled to her opinion regarding that.


Don’t just read the part that you see justifes your idea. The remainder of the pararaph is what the Church teaches as the preference. In other words, the death penity is used only as the last resort when no other option in open. In all cases in the United States there are other options.

By the way the quote is not from JPII but from Pope Benidict, it’s not a personal position, but the positionof the Church.



The position of the Church is what is outlined in the Catechism. I never said that I thought death penalty was ok in the United States. In fact if you read my posts you’ll see that I said that unless there was no other option that would keep society safe the death penalty was wrong. I was just responding to some posts that said that the Church was against the death penalty entirely. So I didn’t just read the part that justifies my idea thank you very much.

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