"Believe it or get out"

I was raised in a Catholic family, and went to a Jesuit university, so I have attended a fair number of Catholic masses, and though I do not consider myself a Catholic (for reasons to be discussed momentarily), I’ve known a great many people who do.

One of the things I find interesting about Catholosism is the central authority figure. Instead of letting each priest/bishop decide what he views divine policy to be, there is a set standard that all must adhere to.
What this means is, as you all obviously know, there are a list of things that you must believe to be a Catholic.

The problem I have is that many people who claim to be Catholic don’t believe 100% of church doctorine, and that that is permitted in an attempt to get a wider following. For myself, I agree with most of it, but even if I were 99.99% in agreement, that still means I disagree on one point, which means I think the Papacy is wrong (or, to be more accurate, not essentially right), which means that I am not a Catholic.

But I have never heard a sermon by a priest in which he called out these people, and I’ve wondered if anyone else has?

Shouldn’t a priest get up and say to the congregation “If you don’t believe that saints grant miracles, then get out now. If you don’t believe that condoms are sinful, get out now. If you don’t believe that every person you know, who follows any other faith is going to suffer eternally while you live in bliss, then get out. We don’t want your money, and we don’t want your moral relativism. Leave.”

So my question is twofold:
1: Has anyone heard a sermon in which the priest was intentionally beligerant to confront people that they have to believe 100% of the doctorine or they aren’t Catholic?

2: Would anyone actually want such a sermon, if it led to smaller congregations that actually believed the doctorine instead of larger congregations that pick and choose what they follow, diluting the faith?

I’m sorry if it sounds like I’m trolling; I don’t intend to. I am simply irked by the apathetic aproach my generation takes toward religion, adopting a title and a group identity, but without knowing what they actually believe.

So, tell me, what do you believe the purpose of the Church to be? It’s mission?

I would certainly hope no one has heard such a sermon.

Is that the mission of the Church?

No, I’ve never heard a homily like that. I’m glad I haven’t. You’re right about people not understanding the faith they claim to be part of, but I would disagree with your methods.

The point should be to lead people to God and His church, not away from them.

I used to be a cafeteria Catholic. I haven’t been for years. But if priests had encouraged me to “get out” back then, it’s very possible I never would’ve learned where the fullness of truth is.

The homilies that are most effective for me are those that show those things in my everyday life that get between me and God. It is in changing those things that I draw closer to God and get rid of sin in my life that I had not even thought about before, things that are so obvious now.

I’ve known many good priests. I’m grateful that they were happy to have me even when I thought I knew better than the Church.

Also, I think you are ascribing motives falsely.

The Church does not “permit” dissent in an attempt o “get a wider following.”

We don’t want people to ‘get out’. We want them to return to the practice of the fullness of their faith.

Homilies may propound a fuller explanation of the Church’s teaching or offer ways to apply these teachings in our daily lives. Homily subjects are supposed to be taken from the readings so you will not find one ‘beligerantly’ addressing the failure of so many Catholics to fully believe their faith. Many Catholics, due to poor catechism, do not even know all of what they are supposed to believe. They still receive grace when they receive Communion and we hope that this will lead them all to salvation.

Better options would be to introduce adult classes in the teachings of the Church than to chide them for their ignorance or lack of faith from the ambo. Homilies do call us back to the faithful practice of our faith without being belligerant. In fact, being beligerant about Christ’s message of Love is rather contradictory. The only time Christ acted ‘beligerantly’ was to evict the money-changers from the Temple.

imho, it would be very counter-productive. As I said, we don’t want them to get out. We want them to remain in the fold and attacking them beligerantly from the ambo would make them feel unwanted and unloved, which is not the case.

Good point. I’m glad you caught that.

That, and those who pick and choose don’t actually “dilute the faith.” They may confuse others, but Church teachings don’t change because of them.

The purpose of a hospital is to bring people into health and wholeness. One way is to minister to the unhealthy and support them in their recovery of health. Another way to reduce the number of the sick in the hospital is to turn them out onto the street. Both approaches will reduce the number of sick people in the hospital. Only the first will do so by making them whole.

I like your analogy.

Since that is not a teaching of the Church, I certainly hope nobody would put it in a homily. We are to hope in God’s mercy.

I agree with those who have said they never heard such a homily, and never wish to hear it. I have heard homilies that present the truth unequivocally, to teach the faithful, which is what homilies are for. I have never heard a priest tell anyone that they should get out. We don’t want them to get out, we want them to learn and come to believe the truth.

I do wish that they (esp. politicians) would quit saying in public that they are “good Catholics,” despite disagreeing with the Church on non-negotiable issues, though. But when I pray for them, I never pray that they would leave the Church, but that God would help them open their hearts to the truth.

The primary purpose of the Church is not to be “pure.” We would like it to be pure, but never at the expense of the primary purpose, which is to help as many people as possible to get to Heaven.

As for the papacy, that was actually one of the issues that brought me back to the Church. Without authority, there is no unity. Jesus prayed for unity, and He gave us an authority on Earth.


I would love to hear a homily that says if you dont believe X "study it ! " and here is the material … if you dont like Y , see me after mass and I will explain the reasons behind it …

I do not believe your way would work . I DO however appreciate your sentiment . I sorrow other Catholics who choose even after understanding and knowing to reject things the Church teaches because they are inconvenient …

Question for the OP Have you ever studied the things you disagree with to see what they are based on ?

But, this assumes that the ill actually want to recover; that they will do whatever is necessary to get well. As well, hospital patients do not try to change hospital practices while they stay.

As to the homily, I think we occasionally need to hear a little more of it. No one is calling Father a liar, huh? Demands on our priests are at an all-time high. He was simply spelling out the truth to a congregation (like all congregations) polluted by relativism.

But, what would Jesus do? Jesus whipped and chased Jews from the Temple. He watched in silence as many of His followers walked away. Considering oneself as part of the Body of Christ requires repentance. Where there is none, they are simply running interference for the evil one.

I have never heard a priest be beligerent in his sermon. I have, however, heard many sermons where the priest calls a “spade” a “spade”. Have you never listened to Fr. Corapi?
Or attended a Mass celebrated by an FSSP priest? Most of them will “lay it on the line”.

And most SSPX priests are good homilists.

Listening right now.

I certainly hope to. Where do they preach in the Seattle area?

In a schismatic kind of way. Too bad the SSPX are in schism. It will be a blessing to have them back in union.

I wish Sundays at Catholic churches were like Sundays at LDS meeting houses where they have classes for different age groups that taught them about life, the Bible, and how to live in Bizarro World without succumbing to its horribleness. Being in your 20s while trying to live a relatively moral life is tough.

We are called to holiness, which means “set apart”. The wide road leads to hell. Yes, it is tough to follow the narrow path, however we do not live for this life - but for the next, which never ends. The more you disengage from pop culture, the easier it will be. Easier, but still not easy. Our Lord tells us “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome this world” (John 16:33). This is our comfort amidst the trials and tribulations of life.

I can’t even relate to people my age anymore. It’s lonely and I’d like to get married without getting divorced. I don’t believe in dating for the sake of dating, so society treats me as if there’s something wrong with me, that I have “emotional problems that need to be addressed with a psychologist” because I’ve never dated before. Seriously?! At work people think I’m odd because I don’t have any kids. I didn’t realize I’m supposed to be single with kids. People think I’m a prude 'cause I don’t want to dress in a manner that would leave me to a likely wardrobe malfunction, or because I find it offensive and disrespectful when guys talk crude around me. Apparently I’m supposed to be flexible and be “one of the guys.” :shrug:

You are trying hard to dress and act in a manner that is pleasing to God. He knows your heart and will provide for your life, like a thief in the night - when you least expect it. Be patient and pray first.

There is a legal term, “silence implies consent.” If you watch someone commit a crime and do nothing to stop them, you are being an accomplice. So here, if it’s not’ mentioned, it’s being permitted.

Even aside from the homily, if you are talking to another person who claims to be a Catholic, and they tell you that they hold beliefs that are contrary to church teachings, and they believe their ideals to be superior to catechism, what do you do? You could try to convince them of the church’s reasoning on a specific point, but even then it’s fighting the wrong battle.

This is why I was saying I had to stop calling myself a Catholic. As I was thinking about what I believed, the question I was asking myself was not “how can I better understand what I believe, and why the church teaches what it does?” Rather I was asking “Do I believe as the church teaches? Does that agree with my own ideas?” Essentially, I realized, I was acting as though I was a peer to the church, justified in disagreeing with God, should my own logic tell me to.

Regarding the “Get Out.” I’m not saying to physically kick them out of the building where they can no longer be taught, but simply reminding people that the title “Catholic” has a lot of strings attatched, and that, if you are picking and choosing which ones you want, you don’t belong under that title.

I work in a hospital. I disagree with your assumptions

Many people come to the hospital who are not willing to do what is required to recover from their illness. We call them “non-compliant.”

I can’t begin to tell you how many diabetics do not take their insulin, monitor their blood glucose levels, eat the foods that will help them keep their blood glucose under control, or exercise. It’s sad, but I have to admit that if I were diabetic, I would have a very difficult time with the discipline required to remain compliant and be healthy. It’s tough.

And there are many patients who have to be wheeled outside to “have a smoke.”

And there are so many patients who are told what they need to do to keep their surgical wounds infection-free, but a week later, they’re back in the hospital with MRSA infections

It’s really, really difficult for many of us to actually do those things that keep us healthy. The doctor us that we must lose weight. We nod in agreement while the doctor’s in the room, but we actually have no intention of actually obeying. We have a million excuses why we don’t comply. Again, I’ll admit that I have a very hard time obeying doctor’s orders.

As for your assumption that people don’t want to change policies–have you ever heard the fire alarm go off in the hospital? I hear it several times a week. Usually the reason is a patient smoking in their bedroom. Yes, patients and their families often try to change hospital policies, and sometimes, they’re right (e.g., allowing parents to room in with children). But many times, they refuse to do certain things; e.g., many patients will refuse to have their blood drawn. Many patients insist on getting out of bed or not getting out of bed, leaving the floor to wander around, smoking, eating certain foods, drinking certain drinks, etc. in clear violation of hospital policy.

What do we do? We work with the patient as best we can. If the patient becomes a danger to others, we may have to ask them to leave or go to another facility. But for the most part, we work to bring the patient into compliance by helping them to see why we ask them to adhere to various disciplines and policies. And we put up with those patients who continue to be non-compliant or combative about the hospital policies.

As for the OP’s post, I think it is appropriate for priests to teach the truth. It is not up to them to convict people to believe it. That is the job of the Holy Spirit–to convict people of sin, righteousness, and judgement (John 16: 8)

I do think it’s appropriate for priests and religious teachers to remind Catholics that they are in danger of losing their soul if they continue to believe or practice sinful things.

But there is a provision in the Catechism for “conscience.” If a person cannot believe in a teaching of the Church, they are encouraged to keep an open mind and continue to study so that eventually, they will be able to reconcile their conscience with the teachings of the Church. This is not an open invitation to practice sin or teach heresy, but it is an explanation of why the Church allows people who don’t believe to remain in the Church.

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