Faith journey help: I'm not sure where I belong

Hi all,

I chose this forum becasue I thought I would get a good representation of different responses. As long as your respsonse is honest and since, I will respect it.

I have been Catholic all my life, but I am unsure now where I really belong.
What is a Catholic supposed to do who disagrees with a point of doctrine? I do not like the idea of “Cafeteria Catholicism,” even though I know many Catholics (if not most) belong to that category. I sometimes feel like that is my only option, though.

My issue is that this teaching of the Church is something I’m pretty sure I cannot agree with. At least, I cannot see myself agreeing with and accepting this teaching anytime in the near future. It is not some abstract teaching but something that would affect how I spend my life. This post is not really about the specifics of the teaching, though.

I find myself agreeing with the vast majority of Catholic teaching, though. But this one issue is a big deal to me.

Do I

  1. Remain Catholic but continuing to disagree with this teaching?
  2. Join a church similar to Catholicism but is less dogmatic and perhaps more open?
  3. Become non-denominational, or a church that does not have a creed, like Disciples of Christ, but continue to have Catholic leanings in various theological issues?
  4. What else?

Which teaching is it that you disagree with?

I don’t want this thread to be debating the issue, so I didn’t mention it.
But if it helps with the answer, the CC’s teaching that all homosexual acts are sins and that homosexual orientation is a disordered condition.

You don’t have to agree with it; you just have to do it.

Can’t tell if you’re being serious or not.
It does not seem sane or right to do something you do not believe to be true.

You don’t just leave the Church and join in with Protestant heretics because you find something hard to believe in or agree with. When Jesus told His disciples that He was giving them His Flesh as food and His Blood as drink, they said, “This saying is hard. Who can accept it?” Jesus simply repeated that “My Flesh is true food and My Blood is true drink” and many of His disciples left Him, except the Twelve Apostles. They said, Lord, to whom shall we go?"

This still holds true today. Where can you go? The only place of Truth, Grace, Life, and Peace is in the Catholic Church…if you disagree with a teaching, you first submit yourself to the teaching authority of the Church given by Jesus _“what you bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven and what you loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.” Then, you try to work it out through knowledgable discussion with other Catholics and especially apologetics, who explain and defend the Faith to those (like yourself) who are wavering.

Don’t be like the thousands of unfortunate souls who found Jesus’ teaching to be too hard and just went to a another denomination where they do whatever they feel is right…

May God bless you and keep you in the Light of His Truth in the Catholic Church! :slight_smile:

All orthodox Christian churches will have these hard teachings that don’t fit with how we as individuals would like to life our own lives. As for me as a heterosexual man, I’d like to fool around for example. But Christ and the church teach differently.

I’m greedy, but I’m told to be generous.
I’m selfish, but I’m told to love my neighbor.

Your particular difficulty with Catholic (and Christian) teaching is your thorn in your side. In my opinion, running to an easier church would only temporary feel good.

In the long term, our souls need real food.

In what way are you “doing?”

At the end of the day, it’s our own actions we will be judged on.
Not whether or not we judge others to be righteous.
Obedience can be difficult at times for many reasons.
If you don’t like the term cafeteria catholic, then don’t be one.
Our generation tells us that we have the capacity to understand all things at all times. I think history proves that this is simply not the case.

God bless you on the journey.

I don’t want to debate the issue at hand. Of course anyone will call his/her own church’s views “orthodox.”
But I do find the mandate to save oneself for marriage to be a different sort than saying a person can never marry in the first place. “It is better to marry than burn with passion,” as Paul says, yet homosexual persons have to remain celibate their whole lives.

[quote=catholic1seeks;13083574t]the CC’s teaching that all homosexual acts are sins and that homosexual orientation is a disordered condition.

I don’t know if words like “orientation” and “disordered” are necessarily an integral part of Catholic teaching. However, the teaching against homosexual activity has always been the consistent Judeo-Christian teaching and can never change. Whatever our personal temptations may be, we must accept it.

Are people with SSA the only people called to chastity?
No. Lots of people are.
Single people.
Priests and religious.
Do you feel sorry for them? Why? Do you believe that marriage or sexual expression is the only way to express love? I know many gay persons who love deeply. But they do not engage in sexual activity. They say they don’t feel “less” of a person because of their decision to remain chaste.

Our society places a really high value on sexual “fun”.
Sometimes to great disappointment.
A good person is a good person. That’s what the church teaches.

Many homosexuals can marry a person of the opposite sex. The reason this argument is so widespread (it is not new to you) is that the modernist secular himanists *do not like being told what to do, even by God. *

When they can see the problem–they wouldn’t like to have their things stolen so they can see why theft is wrong–they’re ok with it. But what this means is that everything they believe becomes an opinion. The person who has little or does not care aboutt what he has might say, Hey, theft is not that bad!

But these people like having sex, so they think it is perfectly all right for everyone to have sex! They cannot see beyond the ends of their noses. Aside from the physical problems both types of homosexual activity increase the likelihood of, which they ignore, there is the spiritual damage, which they deny.

Yes, homosexuals are not to “marry” or have sex with people of the same sex. Many other people in this world are “doomed” to never have sex or marry: they may be disabled in a way which they realize will cause them not to be able to marry, they may have mental problems or deficiencies–what are they to do?

Everyone has crosses to bear. We are to help others bear their crosses. Telling them lies is not the way to do that.

I’m not great at advice, but since some of what you have said is how I have been in the last two years, I’d say stay with the church. We all question, and what has helped me some is keeping on questioning. I wanted to just run away from it all, give up on the faith I have believed in for many years, but I stuck with it, and through time, my thoughts have altered. It’s been moments of two steps forward, three steps back. And I’m still learning much about life. I’m still learning about our God. I think we never stop learning!


Thanks to all who are replying with the original question in mind, and not the specific issue. Like I already pointed out, I don’t see myself changing my thoughts on this subject in the near future, so there is no need to debate, etc. the homosexuality issue on this thread.

Right. It would be foolish to walk away from the Church that Christ Himself instituted, and the great gift of the Real Presence in the Eucharist and all the Sacraments and graces therein…just beucase one didn’t really understand one teaching.
Many Catholics struggle. It should not be a deal-breaker for anyone. The truth of the faith is bigger than any one issue.

But I’m sure you know this.

I would agree that it would be harder, especially because the situation would seem like it would never resolve itself in due course.

This particular issue is especially hard because in modern eyes it seems like church teaching isn’t acknowledging the love that same-sex partners can have by encouraging them mimic the marital act - and the question becomes “How can a god that IS love not desire His adopted-chilren to love is such a fashion as best as they are able.”

For myself, I can’t give you an easy answer, only to remark that if we begin to pull away from what Christ has taught us then the whole structure of God’s promise to us falls down.

There’s another aspect of this issues that needs to be addressed frankly - members my church has made the mistake of discounting entirely the humanity of same-sex attracted members. When we say - “we are making a call to be chaste” - it may ring hollow as we have in the past (again speaking only for my church) have abused same-sex attracted people.

Lord, please help us repent!

If you are not in a prohibited relationship, how about just maintaining the status quo while wrestling with things.

If you are in a relationship of some kind, you have a more immediate need to wrestle things out. Have you spoken to your priest? Be honest about sverything when you go to confession, that you don’t accept something sinful. If you have done such an act, be willing to accept the consequence of being denied absolution if it happens.

Good luck with everything. If you do decide to loom elsewhere, please do your homework first. Many other denominations take a much harsher view of your issue than the Catholic Church does. I hope things go as best they can for you, no matter where your path leads.

On what authority do you base your view, the Church is wrong on this issue?

I think most of us come to places like this in our faith, where we have to take a look at what we believe, why…etc.

Here is my suggestion, to really be drop dead honest with yourself about the issues you are having problems with. Where are the problems coming from.

Are they coming from your sensibility on the particular issues?

Are they coming from a lack of belief in the source of the teaching?

Are they coming from doubts you have about the validity of the teachings of the Church?

Are they coming from a belief that the teaching is not true to the source…that something has been misrepresented.

Many of us find teachings in our faith uncomfortable. But that doesn’t mean they are not true. This is where honesty comes in…do I really believe the teaching is untrue, or do I just wish it was untrue…because it’s so hard to follow, believe or tell others about.

With Christianity, you can go right to the source, the Bible itself, and take a look at where the teachings come from. There are many resources that can help you understand why things are understood and interpreted the way they are.

If, after prayer and study you believe that the teachings are in and of themselves false, incorrect, or misrepresented and you truly do not accept the authority of the church…then you have in a sense already cut yourself off from full communion with the Church.

If you are unsure, you can stay in communion, follow the teachings, and accept that doubt and discomfort alone don’t dictate truth, and that with prayer and the sacraments you can follow the teachings of the Church.

If you find the teachings hard, but not untrue, stay in the Church and again, avail yourself of prayer, sacraments and study so that you may grow in understanding and faith.

I’m not Catholic, I don’t think these suggestions apply only to Catholicism. Not all faiths have the same teachings, or a holy book like the Bible to follow, but I do believe they all have things that are hard for believers to accept emotionally, even when we do believe that they are ultimately true. Not everything makes sense, is fair or comfortable according to our human sensibilities. You are not alone in having this struggle with your faith.

Right now, you cannot agree with Church teaching. That might be ok, depending on why you don’t agree. Do you disagree because you do not understand, do not grasp the teaching? Or do you disagree because you do not believe that the Church has the authority to teach? (I gather the first, given what you have said.)

If overall you believe Church teaching, and therefore want to remain Catholic, then stay in the Church and grapple with the doubt you have. Live a Catholic life, discuss the problem with your priest to see if you can receive Communion, and ask God to illuminate your mind.

Now, by living a Catholic life, you have to do more than just show up at required times. You should be praying (morning, evening, meditation, and Rosary), examining your conscience, and learning more about Catholicism, every single day. (That is an almost too brief description…). Living as a Catholic brings us closer to God, which allows us to see more clearly, and to hear Him more clearly. If you are not moving closer to God, then these things are harder.

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