Catholic polls prompt call to educate on beauty of marriage [CNA]

Washington D.C., Mar 10, 2014 / 05:03 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Although recent polls on Catholics supporting same-sex “marriage” are viewed as less disheartening than they appear, the results sparked a call for education on the beauty and truth of Church teaching.

Tim Roder, associate director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, said that Catholic belief in marriage is about “remaining faithful to Jesus and his teaching.”

He cited Christ’s words about married couples in the Gospel of Mark, chapter 10: “from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

“We cannot be driven by polls,” Roder told CNA March 7.

Surveys indicating some Catholics’ rejection of Catholic teaching show “there is still much work to be done, particularly in educating the faithful on the beauty of marriage as the unique union of one man and one woman.”

Two recent polls suggest that some Catholics approve of same-sex “marriages” not only in U.S. law, but even in Catholic churches.

“We cannot be driven by polls,” Roder told CNA March 7.

Amen to that! Western Civilization has gone bonkers.

I am starting to think that more and more, basic catechizing and defense of Church teaching on these controversial issues is going to fall onto each of us. The laity out in the world are going to have to present the Church’s case as we go through our lives. We’d better figure out how to be compassionate, accurate and personable about it. :slight_smile: We can’t hide in foxholes and hope the Pope and Church hierarchy will save us. They’re clearly as divided as we are. These divisions will only intensify leading up to the October family synod.

A strange side effect of this is the fact that the Church’s teachings on things like divorce, contraception, homosexuality, really unpopular stuff (I think we all know that), are being discussed so much on such a large scale right now, more than any time in years. This could be a real opportunity and renaissance for the Church. People need to understand why this stuff (or “the truth” if you prefer) matters in a real way, not just because it’s in the CCC. The example, openness and authenticity of the laity will be very important in keeping the Church healthy and strong. (rather than taking the option of compromise)

The Truth is important.

The church can no longer Command. The Inquisition has retired.

We must convince and persuade or we will change noone.

If we take the divorced and communion or contraception, the faithful as observed by the polls of the Synod on the Family (mostly Catholics to go to Mass at least weekly) no longer agree with the teaching of the hierarchy.

They no longer leave the church or the churches would be empty since the difference is not small.

How are we going to rebuild a consensus about the Truth

Christopher R

Why is there always an assumption that any disagreement with Church teaching must stem from ignorance? The fact is that there are many millions of people that understand the Church’s teaching and nonetheless disagree with the Church. The problem is not ignorance - its a good faith and fundamental disagreement.

so how do you see us rebuilding consensus around the truth.

The disagreements are clear. They are held by active faithful Catholics.

We need to find a true path

Peace and Hope

This is what I asserted in my survey responses. The Church needs to start moving away from Ivory Tower theology and assertions of ‘natural law’ and give us practical, real life reasons why its teachings are good for individuals as well as society at large. Why not start a media campaign about marriage, chastity, or fatherhood (like the Mormons do)? Right now, our leaders are really falling down on the job.

Polls don’t give a complete picture on what’s going on. There are so many more reasons people are not getting married (or getting married too soon) these days, such as the economy. I’ve heard of some people marrying their friends and roommates just to get tax breaks from the government. Others who genuinely want to be married choose to wait because they can’t find good jobs to support a family.

That’s fine if you’re not a religious person. I went through over 10 years of agnosticism and even atheism before returning to the Catholic Church. Before I came back (I mean even walking through the door to Mass) I spent about another 5 years examining my conscience - do I accept the authority and teaching of the Church? How do I make sense of the scandals? It was a struggle, but I got there. (Church is saints and sinners.) As revelation increased, it became easier and easier. Through conversion I changed as a person. Reading the Bible helped more than anything. The teachings of the Church reflect the Bible. It’s a matter of faith. I don’t attend Jewish services or Islam services or Mormon services, because I don’t believe in them. I can never truly unite with those communities of believers because I don’t accept their teachings. I don’t go there and then starting asking them to modify what they’re doing because I find it oppressive…

So from my perspective, it’s really hard to understand people who are in the Church trying to argue about the truth as revealed in the Bible, traditions and teaching of the Church. If I felt like that, I would leave. I am not being flippant - I genuinely, genuinely don’t understand it.

correct. It is about ignorance. Maybe some do understand the teaching but fail at the most important thing: obedience. I think it’s possible to struggle with a teaching yet decide because you love Jesus so much that you are going to surrender your will to His. I think it’s either ignorance of the specific issue or ignorance of the authority. Either way, it’s an Ignorance problem.



The Church is a 2000 year old institution, that is here to guide us to the everlasting reality of God.

I think phrases such as ‘finding a path together’ and the separate designation of ‘church heirachy’ are terms which are divisive and belong to last century. They tend to overlook the fact that the Church is a supernatural path and a community and not a populist show of hands.

The Church proposes a path. We can decide how far down it we want to walk.

…and I remind you that the Spanish inquisition (you alluded to) was set up by the Church under duress from civil authorities.

It was those civil authorities who chose to disregard the safeguards put on the inquisition by the Church. Choosing to follow their own populist path if you like.

Ok, but, just curious, what’s your take on the German bishops who are stepping up publicly to alter Church teachings on divorce and remarriage? How do you explain pedophilia and other more prevalent consensual homosexual activity from priests in the Church? Whole dioceses going bankrupt from child abuse class action suits?

Discernment is a gift of the Holy Spirit - we have a responsibility to follow it - not blindly or individually, but rationally, in view of a common standing consensus found in Scripture, traditions and teachings of the Church. The laity must recognize that divisions potentially exist within the Church at all levels regarding current social issues and, when necessary, vocalize and act in her defense.

You might just be in a more conservative area than I am, but it’s naïve not to see this train coming, no matter where you live. I completely agree that the last thing we need is individual radicalism, but I equally don’t want to endure another “spirit of Vatican II” zeitgeist for the next 20 or 30 years. The first round never would have happened without the laity’s acquiescence - that’s not obedience. We all have to take some of the responsibility for the condition of the Church, past, present and future.

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