[quote="in_servitude, post:9, topic:289820"]
I'm learning as much as I can as fast as I can. The "more fully Catholic" I become, the more I see Christ working in every corner of this world. So, no problem for me there.
This is coming about due to a protestant friend of mine asking me to be his sponsor. I've never done this before, so this is new ground to cover. This "protestant evangelical" has come to the conclusion to join the Church after learning about the early Church fathers. However, his wife seems to be reacting very strongly to this and is somewhat "anti-Catholic" and is challenging him on many different "fronts."
A recent meeting at our parish was for those considering RCIA - and the idea was to bring the tough questions. His questions came mostly from his wife, and some of the information that was pulled off of "New Advent" site. My priest (who is about as scholarly and theological versed as I've known any to be) said that the New Advent errs on its handling of dogma and doctrine.
So, this is a problem. If a person is going to join the Church - and they promise to believe all dogma - there needs to be a way to know what they are signing up for. I don't mind working hard to figure this out. But, it doesn't make sense to have this be a fuzzy thing, does it?
When, at our Profession of Faith, we make the promise to "believe and do all that the Catholic Church teaches me to believe and do," we are not talking about a minimum set of obligations - we are talking about everything. We're also not saying that we understand it all - these things come with time, but what we are promising is that we will be open to everything that the Church has to offer us, without getting stuck on whether it is "obligatory" or not.
We are not promising to "believe all dogma, but nothing else, especially anything that I'm hoping is optional, because if Jesus is making me believe that, then I am all nanny boo boo, and I just won't." :dts:
Our attitude needs to be, "I know that I love Jesus, and I know that He gave me a Church for my benefit, and I will believe and obey His Church, because I want to believe and obey Him, because I love Him." :love:
The problem is not that the Church hasn't defined the minimum standard; the problem is that people are looking for a minimum standard; they don't want to commit themselves 100%.
In terms of the content of the teachings of the Church, we find these in the Catechism. The essential rules that we all have to follow are there, as well. Individual circumstances vary, and there are cases where some people are exempted from some rules; these are pastoral matters for your parish priest to deal with.
Do you "have to" believe everything that is in the Catechism? The question itself assumes that there might be something in the Catechism that we shouldn't believe, which speaks to a lack of trust. Without that trust, you can't really be a very good Catholic - even if you find a list of minimum things to believe, and assent to those things.