Do I belong in the Catholic Church?

I’ve done some intense soul searching over the past year. My religion is one area that I’ve thought about very deeply. I was raised Catholic from birth, but I am very out of touch with the Church. I’m 24 years old, the son of immigrant parents who came to the US (divorced), a pragmatist/utilitarian, and a democratic socialist. I’m questioning if I even belong in the Church. On one hand, I support certain teachings like:

-opposition to abortion/death penalty/euthanasia/etc
-opposition to the LGBT movement
-saving your virginity for marriage
-helping the poor/anti-materialism

On the other hand, there are aspects of the Church that I don’t accept:

-Lack of social/emotional support for the younger cohorts
-Mandate for a civil marriage contract in order to get married
-Economic egalitarianism is not emphasized and the Church is too friendly/content with capitalism
-Mass is just too low-energy/ritualistic for me (I attend sporadically)
-Too many teachings aren’t rooted in black and white scripture
-Lack of a coherent socio-economic model by which people should live

I’m not starting this thread to troll or mock the Church. I’m just trying to figure out if I belong given my views. I’m willing to elaborate on the points I made if needed. But I don’t want the thread to get derailed and turned into an argument over why I am the way I am.

Did any of that soul searching including reading the Bible or the Catechism?

If you are a cradle Catholic then you were baptized and are a member of the Catholic Church. Now it falls to you to study your faith and become spiritually formed.

This is a practice matter, not a matter of doctrine. Some parishes have great youth support, many do not. Perhaps the fact that it bothers you is a sign that you are being called to serve in this ministry?

You are not alone in this complaint, a lot of us see this same problem.

I am not sure what this means. It is different in different countries, I am sure. In the US, marriage is considered a legal as well as a spiritual contract so one requires a license.
The teaching of the Church is to follow the laws of the land unless they contradict Christ.

This complaint will take some more investigation. I think it would be difficult for you to show any support for this position. Especially in the teachings of our present Holy Father. :wink:

This is difficult for many of us. I grieve that Catholics seem to be so univested in Mass, and don’t sing. Sometimes I miss the years I sojourned among my separated brethren, who sang with all their heart, mind, soul and strength. That being said, we are not at Mass for entertainment, but to joing Jesus at the foot of His cross.

Perhaps you would benefit from other spiritual practices outside of Mass.

This is quite true. Catholics are not “people of the book”. Our faith does not come extracted from the pages of scripture, but from the Apostles. there is much that was handed down to us that is not written explicitly.

This is not a task of the Church. The Church exists to get people to heaven. There are many teachings on socioeconomic principles. I hope you would study these before you say there is a lack of a model of how people should live. I am surprised that anyone would say this, really, since so much of Scripture addresses these things.

Here is the thing, pragmatist. You belong because you were baptized. You have been united to Christ in his death and resurrection,a nd are a member of HIs one Body, the Church. Whether you wish to grow in your faith is the issue. Are you willing to learn about the faith into which you were baptized?

The other question is, if Jesus really founded the Catholic Church, who are we to decide based on our personal “views”? Is it not our place to conform our views to His Kingdom? I understand where you are, I was there once myself. I spent three years in a Protestant seminary trying to figure out a church to which I could “belong given my views”. I came out more catholic than ever, realizing that it is not up to my views, but His.

I am glad that you are coming with an open mind. Welcome to CAF.

A lot of your issues with the church may just be issues with your particular parish, such as the way Mass is celebrated. Better to go to a different parish than leave the church altogether.

Quote:

-Too many teachings aren’t rooted in black and white scripture-

I would say rather that Catholics don’t know their Scripture. Many I know make up their own ‘Teachings’. That is a problem. My husband is a new convert. Actually he helped me back in. He already is working with a ministry (an apostolate) to help bring the church back to Orthodoxy. Ignoring Scripture does not help Catholics. The church was left the word of God, the traditions and the majesterium. Without it all it will be destroyed from without and within.

Come join the fight to save the church. Scott Hahn heard the battle cry, many protestants have, like my husband. God is also calling back fallen away Catholics like me and you.

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTB8c-FJQ3cxDBjN5y0_ozaRKYj3li8-10JHiPh1wiw6Qdo9HUj

Our doctrines are not rooted in black and white scripture because we are not people of the Book. Our faith comes directly from Jesus, he orally taught doctrines and Traditions to the Apostles and they to the masses. The Catholic Church existed before they compiled the Bible and it would still exist if there was no Bible compiled.

When I attended RCIA I thought "right all I gotta do is attend Mass weekly (40minutes…easy), attend Reconciliation at least once a month and learn up on the Doctrines! Sounds easy.:wink: Nope, far from it.

I find the more I learn about the actual Teachings of the Church, the more I grow spiritually in all aspects of my life especially the Mass had a more “real” and “true” purpose for me. The hungrier I got to know the Church and there is so much to learn.

I realise now that I am responsible for feeding my spiritual health. I have to tend and care for my spirit. It is my responsibility and mine alone. I have to work through my own salvation with fear and trembling.

Volunteering for parish activities and groups also nourishes my spiritual health, I am surrounded by spiritual warriors and I feed off their energy and knowledge.

I even learn things about the faith from this forum. :stuck_out_tongue:

Varies from parish to parish

-Mandate for a civil marriage contract in order to get married

In the US, priests act as ministers if the state in this regard and must be in accord with the appropriate laws.

In other nations, I understand it is required that a civil marriage occur before the Catholic ceremony can happen. This is to prevent the Church from being accomplice to fraud.

-Economic egalitarianism is not emphasized and the Church is too friendly/content with capitalism

—see below re socio-economic model

-Mass is just too low-energy/ritualistic for me (I attend sporadically)

We go to Mass to worship God, not to please ourselves. I appreciate the low-key ritualism because it helps focus my attention on God, and because it is suitable for all people.

I used ti go to a church where there was a lot of enthusiastic singing, etc., and I felt emotionally manipulated. I also thought that if I were in mourning, it would be horrible to go there and be expected to be like that. I don’t want to have an externally-imposed emotional “high” when I meet my Lord’s real Presence in the Eucharist.

-Too many teachings aren’t rooted in black and white scripture

I tell people that the Catholic Church is not a Bible-based Church, the Bible is a Catholic-Church–based book. The Bible is not meant to be a textbook; the source of our teachings is the Church, “the pillar and ground of truth,” as the Bible says.

-Lack of a coherent socio-economic model by which people should live

The answer to this objection and the one ahove is the same: The Church teaches us the moral boundaries of behavior, and it is up to us to sort out our socio-economic policies according to the situations in which we find ourselves. How could anyone suggest a socio-economic system that would work under the many different environments in which we find ourselves? The Inuit in the north, South Sea Islanders, Londoners, Argentinian gauchos… one system that would fit that great variety of circumstance?

Instead, the Church tells us communism is evil, and that unbridled capitalism is also as both fall outside the boundaries of morality.

I’m not starting this thread to troll or mock the Church. I’m just trying to figure out if I belong given my views. I’m willing to elaborate on the points I made if needed. But I don’t want the thread to get derailed and turned into an argument over why I am the way I am.

I think you have thought about important questions and have not yet found the answers. Happens to the best of us :slight_smile: which is why some people set up a place called Catholic Answers, no?

You belong. We all do. I have fallen in and out of the church so many times since 2009, I’ve lost count and while not proud of it at all, it seems like when I do swallow my pride, and with me that’s basically all it is coupled with abusive habits I’ve not taken the time to rid myself of, enter a parish, pull out the kneeler and pray that I feel better.

I do have to make Confession next week but just being at Mass today has made this Sunday so much better. Ready to make 2016, with God’s help, my best year ever, especially in the Catholic Church. Peace to you!

Yes, you do.

Remember, the Church is there to carry the message of salvation to the lost and lead people into a life which will result in them winding up in heaven.

Good luck with your journey.

pragmatist91
aspects of the Church that I don’t accept:

-Lack of social/emotional support for the younger cohorts

This varies from great to poor – dependant on human virtues or failings.

-Mandate for a civil marriage contract in order to get married

This follows reasonable country laws

-Economic egalitarianism is not emphasized and the Church is too friendly/content with capitalism

False. You need to study Her social teaching.
The very term “capitalism” is not necessarily definitive as none other than St John Paul II has taken the trouble to point out.
In Centesimus Annus #42, 1991, St John Paul II stresses:
‘If by “capitalism” is meant an economic system which recognizes the fundamental and positive role of business, the market, private property and the resulting responsibility for the means of production, as well as free human creativity in the economic sector, then the answer is certainly in the affirmative, even though it would perhaps be more appropriate to speak of a “business economy”, “market economy” or simply “free economy”.’
The very term “capitalism” is a derogatory term coined by Karl Marx, and that’s perhaps why St John Paul II dislikes it, as he makes clear as he emphatically affirms free enterprise in Centesimus Annus.

Since here capitalism = free economy, and reaffirmed by St John Paul II is the ‘fundamental human “right to freedom of economic initiative.” ’ (*Sollicitudo Rei Socialis *(On Human Concerns), Encyclical, 1987, #42), and initiative = enterprise, it is clear what the pope means.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI also emphasizes:
“Society does not have to protect itself from the market, as if the development of the latter were ipso facto to entail the death of authentically human relations…Therefore it is not the instrument that must be called to account, but individuals, their moral conscience and their personal and social responsibility.” (Caritas et Veritate, Benedict XVI, 2009, #36).

-Mass is just too low-energy/ritualistic for me (I attend sporadically)

You seem to know little about Christ’s institution of the sacrifice if His Body and Blood.

-Too many teachings aren’t rooted in black and white scripture

You don’t seem to know that it is not Christ directly, but Christ’s Church which gave us the Bible, and that She develops doctrine as Christ gave Her so to do – “whatever you bind on earth is bound in heaven.” (Mt 16:19)

-Lack of a coherent socio-economic model by which people should live

False. You need to study Her social teaching which is all-embracing (comprehensive).

While I am not Catholic, I would just remind you that our “views” do and will change. When I was your age (long time ago) I was looking for a spirituality that was real and had things that applied to life now, not just in the sweet by and by. I flirted with a lot of occult beliefs and practices. Years later I got to know someone who at the time was also clueless about spiritual things, but open to the truth. One day he explained that he was saved. I didn’t really understand, but he just said that a guy explained for him that he was a lost sinner and destined for hell and that you need to trust Jesus. So he actually believed it and did it and said he found real forgiveness. Of course I was sceptical, but my friend was really serious about it and went the rest of the way. Got baptised in the HS, started speaking in tongues, and received a gift for healing. So then I knew it was the real thing, not just religion. God really did amazing things through this man. I think he was just unlearned enough to take God seriously. I was privileged to know him before and after. I could not deny it was the real deal.

Shalom,
Jerry

I am going to be blunt, you are not going to find many progressive allies within the Church (or at least that reflects my personal life). Perhaps, perhaps, you could “fit in” because you are only a mere “democratic socialist” or “egalitarian”.

Regarding, Mass being too low energy or too ritualist. I could see some benefits to it because I often have a subdued personality, preferring introverted contemplation over interactive and expressing participation (and I do think that environment is conducive to pondering the mystery of the Eucharist). But I do feel that I have no friends or confidants when I go to Mass, and such contemplation is ultimately devoted into organizing my thoughts. I feel that I have no one to sympathize with me or to share my thoughts and concerns. I even feel that the parishioners do not sympathize with me. Such loneliness is enervating that I no longer try to try to go to Mass.

I was much more stronger leftist (to the point of believing the Soviet Union’s existence was beneficial to the world and to the point of admiring Stalin) than you claim to be before my conversation (during 2012). During 2012, my political zeal has waned, but I never renounced my political commitments, and I embraced the myth that the Church was “apolitical” as it focused on the “kingdom of God” as opposed to some mundane geopolitical regime (and of course, as you said, this myth is facilitated by what you mention as the “lack of a coherent socio-economic model” that the Church endorses). This myth, much to my consternation, has been sundered. I realized that the Church has never been progressive, and supported reactionary regimes such as the Salazar regime in Portugal. But what really was disconsolate was my failure to find a firm denunciation of the Contras by the Vatican or Pope John Paul II. (To the Church’s credit it is able to modify it rhetoric when the political environment suits it, as it would no longer endorses something such as Salazar’s regime, unlike many Muslim sects such as the Salafis). But all I see from the Church’s pontifications on “social justice” is magniloquent rhetoric devoid of any substance.

Instead, the Church tells us communism is evil, and that unbridled capitalism is also as both fall outside the boundaries of morality.

Thanks for confirming that someone with my positions is not welcomed in the Church. That, even if one is not a “communist”, one cannot believe that East Germany or the Soviet Union is a benign place that provided most of its citizens with lives of peace and dignity (and the Church also fails to condemn the injustices carried out in the name of anti-communism).

My reply mostly reflects my concerns, but I hope that we could both sympathize with each other in our moments of despair and time of need. I do not see the Church as a friend, or anyone in it able to help me.

I’ll just comment specifically on one of your points (since it’s a disappointment that I share): I fixed the corpse-like, apathetic atmosphere of the parish by joining the choir, so that I’m not sensually exposed to it. I also think I’ve improved on worrying less and less about the general atmosphere, which is something that comes with time. I have a guitar on either side of me and the small band of us all sing loud.

After another year I was in my home state and town again for the holidays and briefly exposed to my old Christian Church at the late night Christmas Eve service, where I was with my grandma (late 80s with dementia), and yes, there’s a pretty noticeable difference in terms of visible life signs.

The Church body on Earth is a body of fallen human beings and there are things it can improve on, and as long as it remains in this world, there always will be. The perfect Church you dream of does not exist except in Heaven. It’s maybe not the most inspiring reason in the world, but if you take all of your grievances and put them together, where does that leave you when comparing those grievances to the ones you would have anywhere else?

I also think you need to spend more time growing as a person. I’m a little older than you (29), and I can tell there is some idealistic rigidity to you that will likely shed within a few years. You want the Church to be more concrete when it comes to providing socioeconomic models, but the Church is only ever truly concrete on doctrine. I think you’ll discover that attempting to define things further is by far more of a prison than it is liberating. Humans make mistakes, both in practice and in judgment, and there is no guarantee from Christ whatsoever that the Church is immune to these failings in judgment, except in those few matters of doctrine. It is primarily the job of lawmakers and sociologists and activists and anybody else (in short: the laity) to carve the future and establish a just society. The Church is a lens that provides some focus to this, but it is a religious body and not a political or economic think tank.

Your limited profile on your ideas seems to say that you limit yourself to what you accept by your own logic. So the question is … why do you need a church or a bible if all it is is to confirm what you want to believe. The church and the bible tells us the truth in all we need to believe whether we like it or not. It isn’t up to us to tell the sources of our faith to change, but rather we are the ones that need changing. So your problem is confusion in not knowing that you are to follow God’s truth and not the other way around.

Now that is not to say that we need not use our understanding to help us with the truth. We certainly should pursue understanding our faith by using logic, but not make the truth to fit the way we understand.

So it is very helpful to examine our approach to the faith. First we say our faith is the truth. Then we try to understand why.

Our logic and reason should not be our God whom we worship first. God comes first in all matters.

So the very first thing is to approach the faith differently.

The short answer is yes. Everyone belongs in Christ’s Church. Yours or my personal opinions or dis-satisfactions do not change that.

Hi, I just read through the replies. Thanks for all of the responses. I wanted to clarify a few things and respond to some of the points made.

When I did a lot of soul-searching, it was basically me trying to decide whether or not I want to do all of the extra work that being a true, practicing Catholic entails. This issue is still up in the air for me. But for the time being, I’ve decided to stick with it for the time being and see if the benefits outweigh the costs.

I agree that it would be a good idea to check some nearby parishes to see what they have to offer.

When it comes to marriage, I won’t make any friends with what I’m about to say. When I first joined this forum, I said that my family’s house is going into foreclosure (in a prayer request). The foreclosure was caused by my parents’ disastrous divorce. I have no desire to make the same mistake again and I’ve become pretty anti-marriage over the past few years. I read up on the Church’s teachings on marriage and frankly, I’m not in line with some of them. For the most part, I do think that marriage is a scam so that the woman can continue leeching off of a man if the marriage ends. The only way I would even consider getting married is if the girl I’m with is an absolutely AMAZING human being. I also believe that in this day and age, people should take legal precautions against divorce (ie, separate finances, prenups discussing property division, etc).

On the issue of egalitarianism, there is plenty of evidence that the Catholic Church isn’t what it’s made out to be. Plenty of parishioners at my local church drive premium/luxury cars and live in houses that are much larger than what is required to sustain human life. I don’t think that’s right. If the Church was really adamant about egalitarianism, they would tell the rich parishioners they have to provide evidence of major charitable works or not be able to receive communion.

On the issue of Mass, I don’t expect it to be entertainment. I don’t think that simply having a choir and a youth group will solve the problem. People need to remember that for the majority of Catholics, their only interaction with the faith might be that 1 hour when they sporadically attend Mass. People are struggling with all sorts of problems, many of which can throw them off course. I think mass should place greater emphasis on making sure the people attending are living pure lives outside of church, as opposed to a ritualistic form of worship.

I still stand by my statement that the present Church lacks a coherent socio-economic model. Essentially, here is what the Church is telling young people in the West to delay sexual relations untils their late 20s/early 30s. It should be no wonder that so many people are disillusioned with the faith or have abandoned it altogether. Humans were not meant to wait until the age of 30 to get married. Other sects like the Amish have gone in the direction of a planned community, although their opposition to technology is far too extreme.

The people who are saying that you are going to change are correct, to what degree you’ll have to wait and see. It’s not a conscious thing and you can’t control it. You’ll find out when someday you meet someone who is younger than yourself and has drastically different views than yourself that make you look at them lIke they grew another head. Also as you go along in life you’ll aquire things perhaps a career, a family, etc. and at that point wanting to hang on to these things you’ll tend to develop a more conservative attitude. It just happens and it doesn’t make YOU any less YOU.

Stick around if you can. PRAY the mass, meditate, your not there for politics or for other people. I’ve been where you are. You’re much better in the Faith than out of it. As much as each of us have elements of our parents we’re not our parents and their errors and tragedies do not have to be yours. Try to put off leaving for as long as you can. God bless you.

Imagine an 8th-grader saying this about school. School is a lot of work, and the benefits do not necessarily show up anytime soon! But the benefits most certainly do exist…

I agree that it would be a good idea to check some nearby parishes to see what they have to offer.

Oh, yes, parishes can vary so much; however, I noticed a remarkable “picking-up” among all the parishes of our diocese when our bishop moved on, so sometimes there is an atmosphere throughout the diocese. Pray for your priest(s) and bishop!

When it comes to marriage, I won’t make any friends with what I’m about to say. When I first joined this forum, I said that my family’s house is going into foreclosure (in a prayer request). The foreclosure was caused by my parents’ disastrous divorce. I have no desire to make the same mistake again and I’ve become pretty anti-marriage over the past few years. I read up on the Church’s teachings on marriage and frankly, I’m not in line with some of them. For the most part, I do think that marriage is a scam so that the woman can continue leeching off of a man if the marriage ends. The only way I would even consider getting married is if the girl I’m with is an absolutely AMAZING human being. I also believe that in this day and age, people should take legal precautions against divorce (ie, separate finances, prenups discussing property division, etc).

The Church does not require that people marry :slight_smile: However, the Church does teach that certain acts are reserved for marriage, but if a person can live without and focus more on God, foregoing marriage is actually somewhat recommended.

On the issue of egalitarianism, there is plenty of evidence that the Catholic Church isn’t what it’s made out to be. Plenty of parishioners at my local church drive premium/luxury cars and live in houses that are much larger than what is required to sustain human life. I don’t think that’s right. If the Church was really adamant about egalitarianism, they would tell the rich parishioners they have to provide evidence of major charitable works or not be able to receive communion.

The Church does not want to intrude on people’s privacy… do you think they should ask single people to prove they are not sinning sexually in order to receive? Should we check whether students are overly interested in earning too much money?

On the issue of Mass, I don’t expect it to be entertainment. I don’t think that simply having a choir and a youth group will solve the problem. People need to remember that for the majority of Catholics, their only interaction with the faith might be that 1 hour when they sporadically attend Mass. People are struggling with all sorts of problems, many of which can throw them off course. I think mass should place greater emphasis on making sure the people attending are living pure lives outside of church, as opposed to a ritualistic form of worship.

And how is the Church to police the lives of those who attend Mass only sporadically? How will the Church enforce purity on their lives?

I still stand by my statement that the present Church lacks a coherent socio-economic model.

You are correct.

Essentially, here is what the Church is telling young people in the West to delay sexual relations untils their late 20s/early 30s. It should be no wonder that so many people are disillusioned with the faith or have abandoned it altogether. Humans were not meant to wait until the age of 30 to get married. Other sects like the Amish have gone in the direction of a planned community, although their opposition to technology is far too extreme.

Who is saying that people should wait until their late 20s/early30s to marry? Certainly not the Church! The Church says to wait until marriage to engage in sexual relations. It is society which says that people should wait until some state of financial readiness to marry, no? And the only reason that society can suggest this is that society accepts the use of birth control and consequent lack of connection between sex and babies.

  1. This may be how things work in practice but that does not determine whether the teachings of the Church are true.
  2. I think this is just a Church law which could be dispensed with if a particular state unjustly refused to grant a civil marriage contract. It does not relate to the teachings of the Church.
  3. Not relevant to the teachings of the Church.
  4. Mass is about rendering justice to God by offering the sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ to the Father and offering ourselves with Him.
  5. The Church existed before the New Testament.
  6. The Church tells us most importantly what we should do as individuals and this means practising justice and charity by paying fair wages, using our money in accordance with God’s will etc.

Please come back to the Church. I did, by God’s grace.

pragmatist91
On the issue of egalitarianism, there is plenty of evidence that the Catholic Church isn’t what it’s made out to be. Plenty of parishioners at my local church drive premium/luxury cars and live in houses that are much larger than what is required to sustain human life. I don’t think that’s right. If the Church was really adamant about egalitarianism, they would tell the rich parishioners they have to provide evidence of major charitable works or not be able to receive communion.

Such a view distorts Christ’s teaching.

“The parable of the Talents ‘primarily teaches that God’s gifts, of nature and especially of grace, are held in stewardship and must not be allowed to lie idle. They are to be used to further His kingdom. It emerges, secondarily, that the standard of God’s judgment is relative to the opportunities offered: ‘the greater the gifts, the greater the account demanded’ (Gregory the Great).” A Catholic Commentary On Holy Scripture, ed. Dom Bernard Orchard, Thomas Nelson, 1953].

The secondary meaning is beautifully explained by Fr Percy:

  1. “There is the emphasis on the ‘talent’, which is a measure of value.
  2. “The trading activity of the two stewards is important. Christ praises them for the energy, alertness, and perseverance they demonstrate in making a truly significant profit (they have doubled the original sum). There is a reference to accountability which is crucial to any business.
  3. “Then the nuanced criticism of fear: ‘I was afraid, and I went off and hid your talent in the ground.’ This fear leads the lazy steward to avoid the risks and obstacles that are a key part of entrepreneurial work.
  4. “There is the clear reference to the financial system. The lazy steward at least could have placed the ‘money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest.’ ”

“We can this affirm unambiguously that Jesus Christ ‘looks with love on upon human work’ and that the work of the merchant – the businessman or the entrepreneur – is one of the ‘different forms’ of work that is affirmed. The parable of the talents makes this clear by its reference to money, trading, risk taking and banking.”
Entrepreneurship in the Catholic Tradition, Fr Anthony G Percy, Lexington Books, 2010, p 48-49].

I still stand by my statement that the present Church lacks a coherent socio-economic model. Essentially, here is what the Church is telling young people in the West to delay sexual relations untils their late 20s/early 30s.

False.
The Church’s teaching on social/economic questions is the only coherent teaching for mankind of all religions or groups. See Post #9 for St John Paul II’s summation of that truth.

Not only has free enterprise raised the welfare of untold millions out of poverty, but is emphatically affirmed by Bl John Paul II in Centesimus Annus, 42, 1991. How does free enterprise raise welfare? As welfare = something that aids or promotes well-being/a contented state of being happy and healthy and prosperous, the answer is obvious. That untold millions have benefited is unchallengeable.

Free enterprise has, with the development of the economic laws of cause and effect by the Catholic Late Scholastics based on faith and reason, from the 14th to the 17th century, enabled the enrichment of untold millions from the poverty existing before the enterprises that came with the “Industrial Revolution”. Without the great contribution of the Industrial Revolution, sparked by Catholic economic and social thought and action in the West, we would still be eking out an existence as before that development. Catholic teaching, especially social teaching outlines the morality of this interaction.

Free enterprise is not a world of its own, it is a set of principles based on cause and effect and developed by the Catholic Late Scholastics for the common good.

Why ignore the great Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI?
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI felt it necessary to teach that **“Society does not have to protect itself from the market, as if the development of the latter were ipso facto to entail the death of authentically human relations…Therefore it is not the instrument that must be called to account, but individuals, their moral conscience and their personal and social responsibility.” **(Caritas et Veritate, Benedict XVI, 2009, #36). [My emphases].

This is admirable. Counting the cost is important.

How will this be determined.

Wouldn’t the solution to this be just not to get a divorce?

This is certainly a cynical view of marriage. But have not illusions, this knife cuts both ways. Though historically the man had been the greater source of income, increasingly women are put into the position of paying the matrimony to the man.

Of course I hope you feel this way for your betrothed, and she for you. But the best way to take precautions against divorce is to grow deeply in your faith. A sacramental marriage is maintained by grace, through faith. The reason that there is so much divorce is that people have forgotten how to love their spouse into the doors of heaven.

This is what the Church teaches. You seem to believe that you are in the best position to judge the hearts of the parishioners, and whether they are walking in accordance with what Jesus taught.

I think you have identified the root of the problem. Mass should be the icing on the cake for the week, instead of the only religious practice a person has. It is the lack of daily practice that causes problems during the Mass.

I am curious. How would you go about “making sure the people attending are living pure lives outside the Church”?

I agree that this is the critical element on the quality of Mass.

As to the form of the Mass, it was designed by God as a ritualistic form of worship. It was born out of the Passover.

Have you read the catechism?

Do you have any church documents that can support this idea?

I agree, humans were not meant to wait till the age of 30 to get married. If that were so, then puberty would happen a lot later. :wink:

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