Catholic and Liberal?

Hey all,

I grew up in the church and as an adult I have flirted with it, attending mass for periods of time and then not for periods of time. I’m a pretty liberal guy, I believe that gay marriage is a civil right (I also believe that churches shouldn’t be forced to perform same sex ceremonies), I believe in birth control (but not abortion). Also, I didn’t get married in the church.

I guess what I’m wondering is if there is room in the Catholic Church for a guy like me. While I disagree with the church on some points, I have to admit that there is no other church that feels like home. I want to attend mass but I wonder if I really belong there because of my beliefs and ideas.

Thanks in advance for your replies,

Paul

There is nothing to stop you from attending Mass, however, to receive communion means just that. One must be in communion with the Catholic Church (that would mean accepting all of it’s teachings) in order to receive communion.

Insofar as your beliefs are concerned, you might want to discuss them with a priest,

You must be a non-practicing Catholic citizen of the state of New York :smiley:

but seriously, take RastaPasta’s advice - talk to a priest, and attend Mass as often as you can.

Lent is coming up - it is a perfect time to re-explore your Catholic heritage.

This is true. OP, from your post it looks like most of your disagreements are with respect to the teachings of sexual morality. If your understanding of the church’s teaching is simply that the church lays out what is and isn’t allowed I suggest that you research the theology and philosophy behind the church’s moral restrictions. If you feel at home with the catholic church then it is possible that the teachings of the church on sexual morality could be more appealing when you understand their full context. “Love and Responsibility” by Blessed John Paul II is somewhere you could start if you are interested. :slight_smile:

I’m not a theologian, but I would say the worst thing you could do is be content with what you believe and do nothing. God has given you a conscience that may not be able to understand but is able to judge (yourself). Judge yourself: have I made any steps to learn why these are the Church’s teachings? Have I done everything in my power? Am I truly open to Jesus Christ through His Holy Church? Obedience is far more noble than understanding; take the response of St. Peter at the end of the 6th chapter of St. John’s Gospel as an example. When compared to God almighty, nobody and most certainly their opinions amount to anything, whether they be right or wrong. Ultimately it comes down to what are you willing to let go of for the sake of your salvation.

To become Catholic and to accept Jesus Christ fully, you must realize that there is a great deal of yourself, far beyond your opinions, that you will have to renounce and change. Nobody is excluded from this. You probably won’t hear this in most RCIA classes, but there isn’t a Saint you won’t hear this from. The Lord is meek and humble of heart. If you give him the same, all else will be taken care of.

Keep in mind that almost all oral contraceptives can be abortive. The egg can fertilize, and of course will not survive if it does.

Funny, about ten years ago I was pretty much where you are now! But as I began to re-explore my Catholic heritage, my ideas of what was right and what was wrong changed and grew closer and closer to the teachings of the Church. It took time, but it was a very clear process. There are still a few things that I have a hard time with, and I tell myself that I will accept these teachings as Truth now, and I will come to understand them in time. Where I used to think:“The Church is wrong about this.” I now think:“I do not understand this doctrine/dogma/discipline, I need to learn more about it.”
I am thrilled that I found my way back Home after twenty-some years of absence, and I thank the Holy Spirit for guiding me back!

I agree on the “speak with a priest” part. I disagree that one must accept all of its teachings to receive communion. One must be free of mortal sin. I would suggest that the OP receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation first.

We all start out on our faith walks at different points. Once he has come home, and receives the Blessed Sacrament, he will begin a process of transformation.

He does not have to accept all its teachings at the moment of his return to receive. That’s an unrealistic expectation; it took a while for me when I returned, to accept everything; and I’m still not 100% there. However with the Blessed Sacrament I was fortified and helped along the way. What he should do though is avoid promoting positions that are not in agreement with its teachings and praying for greater understanding, in humble obedience.

When I returned a wise old priest said that I didn’t have to be 100% perfect in everything, but that I should be trying and striving in the direction of what the Church teaches. And using the sacrament of reconciliation regularly on those occasions when I’d walk backwards.

The important thing is to walk forwards even if at first they are baby steps, and get help when we fall back. There’s no more wonderful help for that than the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

There is nothing to stop you from attending Mass, however, to receive communion means just that. One must be in communion with the Catholic Church (that would mean accepting all of it’s teachings) in order to receive communion.

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Exactly what did you mean by that?

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