Catholics using Evangelical tactics!


#1

Hi,

I don’t post here all that often but recently I had a “discussion” (that’s being kind) with some people about moral theology. We differed. We all used the Bible, Catechism, priests, all the best efforts—and then our consciences differed. Some said “the Church says that and if you do not agree you are leading people to mortal sin!” At first I thought it was one overly judgmental individual but I found there was a pattern.

When I was a Baptist I saw the Bible used to judge others. They had “key questions” to “prove” whether someone was saved. They knew that only those who believed in eternal security, faith alone, and scripture alone could be saved. They knew it and you’d never tell them there were other views that were not of the devil!

What I found here were people who used the Catechism the same way. They took this paragraph and that paragraph the way Evangelicals Bible verse hop. And you could not disagree without being told you were leading people into grave error by even suggesting your views were possibly true. I was told about the narrow road the same way a Baptist did—when telling me Catholics were going down the wide one!

Folks! Catechism thumping is not what we’re about! And judgments of others are wrong. Even with the Catechism to guide us there is a lot of room for conscience. There is a big difference between reading the Bible or Catechism not liking what you see and rejecting it and reading it with a different conclusion and acting in good conscience.

I absolutely hated having my fellow Baptists tell my Catholic husband he was unsaved for “praying to Mary” There was no clear teaching that told them that. Some had that view and if they felt it that strongly they shouldn’t pray to her. We should never violate our consciences. But they had no right to declare him unsaved.

When it comes down to what your conscience is saying when you read the Bible, Catechism, and writings of respected leaders (such as the many writings of our current Holy Father), go to your priest/confessor. If he does not violate your conscience by too liberal a view you may find it is safe to go with that. Follow along with much prayer. Conscience without prayer is a mind without the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Advice—never let Catechism thumpers turn you scrupulous! :thumbsup:

Gloria


#2

You left out the most important part of conscience-- it must be well formed.

Yes, people must follow their conscience, but only after it is well formed. And the Church’s teaching is normative for that formation of conscience.

While there are some gray areas, there are many more that are not gray. Most of the gravely immoral actions are clearly defined as such in the Catechism or other Church documents.

One does not become a “catechism thumper” merely by pointing out what the Catechism (or other Church document) says on a topic. That is not being “judgmental”. That word is misused far too often. Of course we make judgments, and that is not wrong. We are actually called to fraternal correction. We can judge an action as a right or wrong action. We cannot judge sin because sin requires full knowledge and consent.


#3

I agree…the conscience must be well formed. Following a “well formed” conscience is NOT a declaration that we should react based on our feelings. In a basic sense, as best I can explain it, God’s plan is to take what objective knowledge he has given us of Him through Divine Revelation (that means through Scripture, Tradition, and Magisterial Teaching) and apply that knowledge to help shape our thought process. If we can form our thought process to conform to our knowledge of God through Divine Revelation, then our thoughts will be in line with His intentions and will, and will naturally (as even any psychologist will confirm) help control and form our emotions. By this logic, a “well formed conscience” can not be in opposition to the Church; if your “conscience” is in oppositon to Church Teaching, it is not “well formed” but simply a reaction to your base emotions, which change unpredictably.

That being said, I will concede that there are some in ALL faith traditions who are less than humble and charitable in expressing what they know to be True (whether correct or not). Might I suggest that perhaps your real problem is not with Catechism thumping so much as the lack of charity and practical application to Scriptural principles in their evangelization ? The second reading at Mass last Sunday really seems to apply in your case, when speaks of “being all things to all people”. I myself think all too many people overlook this principle in their zeal.


#4

Ike,
Is the definition of Sin " An offence against God, in thought word and deed? In order for a Sin to be considered Mortal one must have as you say…in your post.


#5

I offer these relevent citations from the CCC:

1781 Conscience enables one to assume responsibility for the acts performed.

1783 Conscience must be informed and moral judgment enlightened. A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator. The education of conscience is indispensable for human beings who are subjected to negative influences and tempted by sin to prefer their own judgment and to reject authoritative teachings.

1784 The education of the conscience is a lifelong task.

1860 *Unintentional ignorance * can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offense. But no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, which are written in the conscience of every man.

1801 Conscience can remain in ignorance or make erroneous judgments. Such ignorance and errors are not always free of guilt.

1791 This ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility. This is the case when a man “takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin.” In such cases, the person is culpable for the evil he commits.

2089 Incredulity is the neglect of revealed truth or the willful refusal to assent to it.

2106 “Nobody may be forced to act against his convictions, nor is anyone to be restrained from acting in accordance with his conscience in religious matters in private or in public, alone or in association with others, within due limits.” This right is based on the very nature of the human person, whose dignity enables him freely to assent to the divine truth which transcends the temporal order. For this reason it “continues to exist even in those who do not live up to their obligation of seeking the truth and adhering to it.”


#6

If you disagreed with what the Catholic Church teaches about morality, and if you were to convince someone else to agree with your dissenting opinions, then you would indeed be leading another person into error. You would be leading a person into grave error if the moral teaching that you disputed involved grave matter.

For example, if you convinced another person that practicing artificial contraception was not sinful, you would be leading a person into grave error.

If your conscience disagrees with the moral teaching of the Catholic Church, that only proves one thing, and one thing only – it proves that you have a malformed conscience that is need of correction. It does not prove that you are right and the Catholic Church is wrong.


#7

[quote=gloryb]… Folks! Catechism thumping is not what we’re about! And judgments of others are wrong. Even with the Catechism to guide us there is a lot of room for conscience. There is a big difference between reading the Bible or Catechism not liking what you see and rejecting it and reading it with a different conclusion and acting in good conscience…
[/quote]

:thumbsup:

[quote=gloryb]…, go to your priest/confessor. If he does not violate your conscience by too liberal a view you may find it is safe to go with that.
[/quote]

Why “too liberal”? :confused:
Couldn’t it violate your conscience by just being plain old different?

or “too conservative” :wink:

[quote=gloryb]…Advice—never let Catechism thumpers turn you scrupulous! …
[/quote]

Amen

[quote=Matt16_18]…If your conscience disagrees with the moral teaching of the Catholic Church, that only proves one thing, and one thing only – it proves that you have a malformed conscience that is need of correction. ……….
[/quote]

That sort of sounds like begging the question. :confused:

(and it also sounds like what gloryb is accusing the Baptists of)


#8

[quote=gloryb]Hi,

I don’t post here all that often but recently I had a “discussion” (that’s being kind) with some people about moral theology. We differed.
[/quote]

How about giving an example. Otherwise I think your comments are too vague to really benefit anybody.


#9

In my opinion the fatal flaw in the arguement that one can follow only a “well formed” conscience; well formed being defined as being in agreement with the Catholic church’s teaching, is that someone outside the Church could not follow his conscience because obviously there would be divergence between his conscience and some Catholic teachings. :confused:


#10

[quote=gloryb]Hi,

I don’t post here all that often but recently I had a “discussion” (that’s being kind) with some people about moral theology. We differed. We all used the Bible, Catechism, priests, all the best efforts—and then our consciences differed. Some said “the Church says that and if you do not agree you are leading people to mortal sin!” At first I thought it was one overly judgmental individual but I found there was a pattern.

When I was a Baptist I saw the Bible used to judge others. They had “key questions” to “prove” whether someone was saved. They knew that only those who believed in eternal security, faith alone, and scripture alone could be saved. They knew it and you’d never tell them there were other views that were not of the devil!

What I found here were people who used the Catechism the same way. They took this paragraph and that paragraph the way Evangelicals Bible verse hop. And you could not disagree without being told you were leading people into grave error by even suggesting your views were possibly true. I was told about the narrow road the same way a Baptist did—when telling me Catholics were going down the wide one!

Folks! Catechism thumping is not what we’re about! And judgments of others are wrong. Even with the Catechism to guide us there is a lot of room for conscience. There is a big difference between reading the Bible or Catechism not liking what you see and rejecting it and reading it with a different conclusion and acting in good conscience.

I absolutely hated having my fellow Baptists tell my Catholic husband he was unsaved for “praying to Mary” There was no clear teaching that told them that. Some had that view and if they felt it that strongly they shouldn’t pray to her. We should never violate our consciences. But they had no right to declare him unsaved.

When it comes down to what your conscience is saying when you read the Bible, Catechism, and writings of respected leaders (such as the many writings of our current Holy Father), go to your priest/confessor. If he does not violate your conscience by too liberal a view you may find it is safe to go with that. Follow along with much prayer. Conscience without prayer is a mind without the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Advice—never let Catechism thumpers turn you scrupulous! :thumbsup:

Gloria
[/quote]

I completely agree with you! It is not our job to condemn–that is God’s job. But we must make sure that we don’t allow for the modern concept of “relativism”–meaning that everyone is perfectly fine in believing what ever they feel like because it doesn’t really matter. Relativism is wrong–just as wrong as being judgemental.

We should try to gently persuade others of the Truth–not scare them by promises of the fire and brimstone we can’t call down.


#11

[quote=steveandersen] :

That sort of sounds like begging the question.
[/quote]

Why do you say that? The Holy Spirit protects the Magisterium of the Catholic Church from teaching error in matters of morality.CCC 890 The mission of the Magisterium is linked to the definitive nature of the covenant established by God with his people in Christ. It is this Magisterium’s task to preserve God’s people from deviations and defections and to guarantee them the objective possibility of professing the true faith without error. Thus, the pastoral duty of the Magisterium is aimed at seeing to it that the People of God abides in the truth that liberates. To fulfill this service, Christ endowed the Church’s shepherds with the charism of infallibility in matters of faith and morals. …If an individual disagrees with the moral teaching of the Catholic Church, it is the individual that needs to change their way of thinking, not the Catholic Church. Of course, if one doesn’t believe that the Magisterium is infallible in matters of faith and morals, one would, at best, be a Protestant, and not a Catholic. Protestant teaching about morality is all over the map with no agreement at all among the Protestants about what constitutes moral behavior. This is exactly what one would expect when the moral authority of the Church is rejected for the “mistaken notion of autonomy of conscience” (CCC 1792). This mistaken notion is the foundation of straw upon which Protestantism is built.

Gloryb is making a mistake in comparing the moral judgement of Baptists with the authoritative moral teaching of the Catholic Church. “Baptists” are fragmented into hundreds of different sects, and none of these sects teach the same morality. Baptists often teach moral error, as can be seen in their acceptance of divorce and artificial contraception.

No one is saying that one can’t follow a conscience that is not well formed. That happens all the time among pagans that have never heard the Gospel. The reality is that everyone is born with defective consciences that are in need of formation.
CCC 1792 Ignorance of Christ and his Gospel, bad example given by others, enslavement to one’s passions, assertion of a mistaken notion of autonomy of conscience, rejection of the Church’s authority and her teaching, lack of conversion and of charity: these can be at the source of errors of judgment in moral conduct.


#12

What specifically do you mean when you refer to “Catechism thumping”? Are you talking about a case where someone claimed the Catechism implied something it didn’t explicitly state, or to someone simply quoting some clear statement on morals from the Catechism? The distinction is crucial. Are you talking about orthodoxy, or a “more Catholic than the Pope” attitude?


#13

[quote=gloryb]Hi,

When I was a Baptist I saw the Bible used to judge others.

What I found here were people who used the Catechism the same way.

Folks! Catechism thumping is not what we’re about! And judgments of others are wrong. Even with the Catechism to guide us there is a lot of room for conscience.

Advice—never let Catechism thumpers turn you scrupulous! :thumbsup:

Gloria
[/quote]

Where has the originator of this thread gone? Maybe on vacation or illness or …I hope that all is well. I hope that the OP does return to tend to her thread and address the feedback regarding the apparent limitations with her original presentation.


#14

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