"Big T" Truth, exclusivity and Love


#1

I have been challenged recently by the way the Pope’s recent clarifications on the Doctrine of the Church has been reported by the press, and how some friends, both Protestants and liberal Catholics, have reacted to it.

vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20070629_responsa-quaestiones_en.html

One thing that occurs to me is that my understanding of the exclusive Truth of the Catholic faith is like the exclusivity I have with my fiancee. I know that she is the only right one for me, and I won’t waste my time entertaining thoughts of whether or not I might be equally happy and equally in love had I found somebody else. Maybe I could have been, and maybe not. Knowing that the woman I love is the only one I’ll ever love isn’t predicated on all other women being unlovable, even if I could have been happy with someone else, deviating from faithfulness to my fiancee now would be damaging to both of us.

Likewise knowing that the Catholic Church is a lifelong and true path to salvation for me, and that deviating from that path would damage my spirituality, doesn’t preclude others finding their way to Christ and to God through some other path. Maybe they can, and maybe not. That won’t stop me trying to share what I know about how great Catholicism is with others.

Does anyone else see it in this way?


#2

That’s a great analogy! :thumbsup:

I have to say I think the way this has been presented by the media is really the problem, not the comments themselves.


#3

[size=]First of all, Im not really to good an apoligetic, so please don’t take anything I’m about to say as officail, because in the end we do have to follow the Popes rule for guidence.

But i would think that reasonably, the Church has to say that the Catholic Church is the only way, because it is the only complete and perfect path to God; otherwise what would be the point of being Catholic? All other paths are imperfect, and do not lead, in all ways, to a perfect understanding or relationship with God. There are different varring degrees of truths in other religions, but they have error; some more then others. By definition, to be apart of any religion is to make a statement that your religion is the right way, especailly if it is a Abrahamic religion. So i don’t understand why people get upset when the pope say’s that there is only one true perfect religion of God. He wouldn’t be the Pope if he thought that the Catholic faith wasn’t the one perfectly true path to God.

Secondly, the claim that your faith is the only true faith, doesn’t automatically mean that anybody who doesn’t agree and fails to see the truth of your statment, is automatically going to hell, but people will be held accountable for how they exercise their knoledge, if in fact they are given a good reason to think that the Catholic faith is the right faith. I suspect that if one does go to heaven, but not as a Catholic, there connection to God may be
affected, and they may experience a heaven that is different from yours. I think there are many mansions in Gods house.
I believe that God is a reasonable God, and for that reason i don’t think that there will be only catholics in heaven. I believe i will see Buddists, Muslims, Hindus and many others; but none of them will be there because of there religion, but by the mercy of God.
In otherwords, If they do get to heaven, it will be because of the Body of Christ; the Catholic Church.

Thats just my opinion.[/size]


#4

No, and neither does the church. There is one faith, one baptism, one Church. Other paths are not equal to the One path. Other paths are lacking. We should encourage people on to the RIGHT path-- and there is only one right path.

Your analogy implies different people can have different paths that are “right” for them. This is false. There is only one right path-- the Catholic Church.

That idea is exactly what the Church’s statement refutes.


#5

I’m a non-Christian, and I agree!

It makes perfect sense to me that the head of a faith would state that faith IS the TRUTH.

I don’t see why others, who don’t believe that faith, or feel under obligation to respect the authority of your Pope, get all upset over what he says concerning his own faith…or theirs for that matter.

I don’t see why they want/need the approval of the Catholic Church of Pope to feel OK in their own faith. A strange phenomenon!

I respect that the pope makes strong statements, rather than mamby pamby, “lets have a group hug” statements, that he doesn’t believe and don’t reflect the teachings of the faith.

Viva la difference!

It makes me think more, not less of Catholicism to see it “do its own thing”.

I can understand some of the angst of Protestants, to hear another Christian Church say they will only get to heaven through the Catholic church. But for non-Christians…not an issue.

cheddar


#6

I don’t think its strange at all. Despite the many who have bought into the "i’m OK, you’re OK, relativism, deep done every knows that there are objective truths. So, when a statement is made that rings true, if accepted, would demand a change in behavior, the statement is rejected out-of hand.


#7

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