Describing **** Catholics?


#1

I am in discussions with my uncle who might be described as “liberal” or “left wing” or “cafeteria” in his approach to Catholic practice. He is active (Eucharistic Minister, RCIA instructor, Lector etc.) but picks and chooses what he wants to believe and follow. How might one describe such individuals without using polarizing terms (above) which can be thought of as political?

I am a conservative evangelical, but close to converting to Catholicism. However I would prefer, for the sake of discussion, to NOT use “conservative, right wing, traditionalist etc.”

Thoughts?


#2

Why don’t you put a big smile on, and call him one who is not following the teachings of the Church while handing him a copy of the CCC gift-wrapped?

:smiley:

my point - the only categorization of a person as you described is one who is not following the Church. That’s much different than someone who has preferences within the valid teachings of the Church, like whether I like Latin or English Mass better, etc…


#3

Orthodox.

Magisterial.

Faithful to the Magisterium. (learn to spell that!)

We Converts have it easy because we have no choice. We have to accept the whole enchilada: no exclusions, no “ifs,” no “buts.” I usually state it this way:

I’m a Convert. Nobody held a gun to my head to join the Church. All they did was say:

Church: This is it. Do you accept it?
Me: You mean everything?
Church: Yup.
Me OK.


#4

[quote=Almost Catholic]I am in discussions with my uncle who might be described as “liberal” or “left wing” or “cafeteria” in his approach to Catholic practice. He is active (Eucharistic Minister, RCIA instructor, Lector etc.) but picks and chooses what he wants to believe and follow. How might one describe such individuals without using polarizing terms (above) which can be thought of as political?

I am a conservative evangelical, but close to converting to Catholicism. However I would prefer, for the sake of discussion, to NOT use “conservative, right wing, traditionalist etc.”

Thoughts?
[/quote]

Orthodox is the word you want. He would be heterodox.


#5

[quote=awalt]Why don’t you put a big smile on, and call him one who is not following the teachings of the Church while handing him a copy of the CCC gift-wrapped?

:smiley:

my point - the only categorization of a person as you described is one who is not following the Church. That’s much different than someone who has preferences within the valid teachings of the Church, like whether I like Latin or English Mass better, etc…
[/quote]

Well said I personal believe that everyone needs to own the Caticism(sp).


#6

Hey Almost,

I just want to say my prayers are with you along your journey.

God Bless.

And yes… the person you are describing would be heterodox. Someone who is orthodox would follow all the teachings.


#7

Almost Catholic,

I think it was Chesterton who said something to the effect that the last stumbling block to converting to Catholicism was…Catholics. I’m afraid that many Catholics are unaware of their own faith—it’s just a fact. Don’t let that discourage you too much, though–truth is truth, regardless of whether the guy next to you in the pews knows that or not. Perhaps you will be the instrument for fanning the fires of faith in those lukewarm and cold Catholics.

The term for a “pick-and-choose” Catholic is heterdox. There’s no way to sugar-coat it. Now, they may be heterodox because they have been poorly taught: they may simply not realize that their attitudes are inconsistent with Catholicism. They may be heterodox out of pride, spiritual laziness, etc.—in which case, they need our prayers and our witness.


#8

[quote=Almost Catholic]I am in discussions with my uncle who might be described as “liberal” or “left wing” or “cafeteria” in his approach to Catholic practice. He is active (Eucharistic Minister, RCIA instructor, Lector etc.) but picks and chooses what he wants to believe and follow. How might one describe such individuals without using polarizing terms (above) which can be thought of as political?

I am a conservative evangelical, but close to converting to Catholicism. However I would prefer, for the sake of discussion, to NOT use “conservative, right wing, traditionalist etc.”

Thoughts?
[/quote]

I would just call him a “practicing” Catholic. We are all on a faith journey. Your uncle is just at a different stage in his. Only God can truly judge how “good” a Catholic we are.

In my life I have only really known 3 types of Roman Catholics.

  1. Devout
  2. Practicing
  3. Non-Practicing

#9

[quote=cove]I would just call him a “practicing” Catholic. We are all on a faith journey. Your uncle is just at a different stage in his. Only God can truly judge how “good” a Catholic we are.

In my life I have only really known 3 types of Roman Catholics.

  1. Devout
  2. Practicing
  3. Non-Practicing
    [/quote]

You can use such labels if you like but they are, in the end useless. If one is devout one is orthodox. If one is not orthodox one is heterodox. There is no middle ground. In other words, you are either a good Catholic or a bad one, which covers all your definitions.

Any sincere person who simply doesn’t understand the teachings of the Church can easily look them up in the Catechism and/or talk to his priest about them. There is no reason for any Catholic to “pick and chose” what he will and will not believe.

And to add to that, this person is involved in teaching others (even if he is only a sponsor) in RCIA. Of all people, he should be an orthodox Catholic. I would think that would be obvious.


#10

Almost Catholic,

I forgot to mention that your uncle is one reason why so many Catholics continue to go off track—you mention that he teaches RCIA, thereby spreading his heterodoxy to those who don’t know any better. Aaaaarrghh!!! Is there any way you could politely and respectfully suggest that he not do that?


#11

[quote=Della]You can use such labels if you like but they are, in the end useless. If one is devout one is orthodox. If one is not orthodox one is heterodox. There is no middle ground. In other words, you are either a good Catholic or a bad one, which covers all your definitions.

Any sincere person who simply doesn’t understand the teachings of the Church can easily look them up in the Catechism and/or talk to his priest about them. There is no reason for any Catholic to “pick and chose” what he will and will not believe.

And to add to that, this person is involved in teaching others (even if he is only a sponsor) in RCIA. Of all people, he should be an orthodox Catholic. I would think that would be obvious.
[/quote]

:amen:

I just wanted to add that your uncle is acting as Pope when he does this…and that’s just plain wrong.


#12

[quote=Della]You can use such labels if you like but they are, in the end useless. If one is devout one is orthodox. If one is not orthodox one is heterodox. There is no middle ground. In other words, you are either a good Catholic or a bad one, which covers all your definitions.

Any sincere person who simply doesn’t understand the teachings of the Church can easily look them up in the Catechism and/or talk to his priest about them. There is no reason for any Catholic to “pick and chose” what he will and will not believe.

And to add to that, this person is involved in teaching others (even if he is only a sponsor) in RCIA. Of all people, he should be an orthodox Catholic. I would think that would be obvious.
[/quote]

The original poster asked for a non-political and, as I read into it, non-judgmental way to describe her uncle. Her uncle is a “practicing” Catholic. How good a Catholic he is, only God can judge. We know not what is in this man’s heart. Her uncle just may not have come to totally accept or truly understand certain teachings. That is why he is a “practicing” Catholic. Remember “practice makes perfect”.

I stand by my terms to describe Catholics except I will add one more–exCatholic.

Orthodox is not a term I am used to using to decribe a Roman Catholic. “Devout” is the term I grew up with and I will stick with.

The best way for Almost Catholic to handle this is to become Catholic and live her faith in a devout way and hope that she can make a differnce in her uncle’s life.


#13

[quote=Almost Catholic]I am in discussions with my uncle who might be described as “liberal” or “left wing” or “cafeteria” in his approach to Catholic practice. He is active (Eucharistic Minister, RCIA instructor, Lector etc.) but picks and chooses what he wants to believe and follow. How might one describe such individuals without using polarizing terms (above) which can be thought of as political?
Thoughts?
[/quote]

My first thought is, ‘HE IS TEACHING RCIA’???

This makes me want to join our RCIA team next time around, even though I’m brand new at all this.

This is also why, when I am able to receive communion I am only going to the priest or deacon. I don’t want to receive from a Eucharistic minister. I want to keep it a holy experience, and if I’m before someone who I know doesn’t truly believe or follow the church it would bug me. I know that I’m not perfect, nor do I expect every one else to be, but ifyou are going to publicly be a church leader, you need to rise above and teach what the church teaches.


#14

I just wanted to add that your uncle is acting as Pope when he does this…and that’s just plain wrong.
[/quote]

No quite. Even Popes have said there are somethings they can’t change.


#15

[quote=mommy]This is also why, when I am able to receive communion I am only going to the priest or deacon. I don’t want to receive from a Eucharistic minister. I want to keep it a holy experience, and if I’m before someone who I know doesn’t truly believe or follow the church it would bug me.
[/quote]

Well this is a little off the topic of the thread, but I’m sure you are aware that there are priests and deacons out there that are heterodox in their teaching and beliefs, and decidedly unholy in their actions. Likewise there are extraodinary ministers who are very devout and holy people. Would you rather receive Communion from a priest who is a practicing homosexual, or has secretly had sexual relations with young people, or from a lay person who is doing their best to lead a holy life? I know the examples I raised are both extreme and rare, but these things do happen, and it is possible that you have received Communion from a priest who has committed these or other sins (as I was surprised to find out myself).

My answer is that it’s best not to think about it, or to try to judge the interior disposition based on the state in life (lay or ordained). One never really knows when they are receiving Holy Communion about the personal holiness of the minister, ordinary or extraordinary. Fortunately the grace and holiness of the Sacrament comes from God, and is not dependent upon the holiness of the individual who distributes it, or even the priest who consecrates it.


#16

Interesting that this came up as I have been fretting all week. I ran into a woman I knew from my former extremely liberal parish. (which is why it’s my former parish) She is an R.C.I.A. sponser again this year - fourth time in a row.
She went on about how the priests should, and will eventually be able to, marry. How The Church is heading for a split equal to 1054 over women in the priesthood and homosexuality. Needless to say, she was supportive of all these issues.
The entire time she was speaking I was in horror that some innocent catechumen was being led down this path of heretical thinking.
I have considered calling the Religious in charge of this class but know from past experience with her, it would make no difference. She also thinks along these lines.
Pray for those coming into The Church under these awful circumstances.


#17

[quote=cove]The original poster asked for a non-political and, as I read into it, non-judgmental way to describe her uncle. Her uncle is a “practicing” Catholic. How good a Catholic he is, only God can judge. We know not what is in this man’s heart. Her uncle just may not have come to totally accept or truly understand certain teachings. That is why he is a “practicing” Catholic. Remember “practice makes perfect”.

I stand by my terms to describe Catholics except I will add one more–exCatholic.

Orthodox is not a term I am used to using to decribe a Roman Catholic. “Devout” is the term I grew up with and I will stick with.

The best way for Almost Catholic to handle this is to become Catholic and live her faith in a devout way and hope that she can make a differnce in her uncle’s life.
[/quote]

She can tell him he is heterodox without being unkind about it. It’s just a definition–a correct one for the way her uncle thinks and talks (the talking part being the most troubling part).

Everyone wants to be “non-judgmental” these days out of the desire to be merciful. But, we have to make judgments about what people are teaching others to protect all concerned.

We are to tell the truth with gentleness, kindness, and love, but we are to tell the truth. Softpeddling it doesn’t help anyone in the long run. It only reinforces the idea that everyone can believe whatever wants, and teach others that too, and still call himself a good Catholic. It just doesn’t work that way.


#18

[quote=Bobby Jim]Well this is a little off the topic of the thread, but I’m sure you are aware that there are priests and deacons out there that are heterodox in their teaching and beliefs, and decidedly unholy in their actions. Likewise there are extraodinary ministers who are very devout and holy people.
[/quote]

I understand it could go both ways on this, but I know both our Priest and Deacon pretty well, and they are both very orthodox in their teachings, and beliefs. So that is why I’m making the choice I am. As well, I just prefer going to a priest, and not a layman.


#19

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