Dear friend in Christ, If YOU could change the Catholic Church; what would you change and WHY?
Nothing because I believe Providence has guided the Church exactly where Heaven wants the Church and will continue to the end of time. The Church is for the Holy Spirit to make decisions about, not me.
Define the terms here. Like if I could snap my fingers and something was changed, or if I was somehow named Pope tomorrow? Former, I wouldn’t do anything.
How well I/we live out our Catholic lives! If only!
Let’s assume for a minute that what you share the absolute truth, How then does one explain the division that seems to be creeping in?
God Bless you
Charging people for sacraments.
I would change nothing about the Catholic Church, however some of its leaders need to read the Gospel and to understand that God’s eternal word is eternal and that we don’t tolerate sin.
I think the most important things (to me) would be to have the Church back up what it does.
Back Up Its Interpretations - The Church says with certainty that every part of the Bible is true in one of four senses. Accepting that three of them are not literal, it still needs to show how it concludes which sense to use, what it means, and what are questions arise from such a conclusion. If it can’t do that with any passage in the Bible, then it’s hard to accept the Church’s certainty that said passage is true.
Back Up Its Proclamations - The Church says that the pope is infallible when it comes to matters of faith and morals. The natural follow-up question is what are those statements by popes that are infallible. It’s then that the confusion reaches its apex. Any veteran of CAF will know what happens. Some will say there has been only one such infallible statement. Others will say two. Some will give guidelines to use (such as this article from Catholic.com). A few will say it’s not an important question, but that’s really just a dodge.
Back Up Its Actions - This has come into the foreground recently with Pope Francis talking about the death penalty. There are several CAF threads on the matter, many of which touch on the Church’s role in the death of heretics. The Church seems to think that because they didn’t light the fires under the heretics that absolves it of its part of the blame. This section isn’t just about heresy (whether it be individual heretics or groups of heretics like the Waldensians), but other actions that need a response devoid of rationalization.
I would get the Church to use plain language in its communications so we would know what it is saying.
Was that a joke?
If not that’s a grave sin called simony, which is a form of sacrilege.
Nope. In Australia many parishes will not perform the sacrament of marriage or baptism without being paid a set fee. Good luck trying to negotiate on it, or getting it done for free because of financial difficulties.
Edited to add: We aren’t talking about $50, we are talking about $1,000.
I would clean out some of these seminaries. Get some good catechesis going in them and get Latin to be taught to all the priests. Not the Latin Mass but the language since it is the official language of the Church. I would also kick out a lot of the Curia. Feasible? Maybe not. But it needs to be done.
There’s a perception things get a bit bureaucratic. That might be something to look at.
Then those parishes are committing simony.
It is a grave, potentially mortal sin to charge people money to be baptized or married.
St. Thomas Aquinas writes:
In a case of necessity anyone may baptize. And since nowise ought one to sin, if the priest be unwilling to baptize without being paid, one must act as though there were no priest available for the baptism. Hence the person who is in charge of the child can, in such a case, lawfully baptize it, or cause it to be baptized by anyone else. He could, however, lawfully buy the water from the priest, because it is merely a bodily element. But if it were an adult in danger of death that wished to be baptized, and the priest were unwilling to baptize him without being paid, he ought, if possible, to be baptized by someone else. And if he is unable to have recourse to another, he must by no means pay a price for Baptism, and should rather die without being baptized, because for him the baptism of desire would supply the lack of the sacrament.
From the Catholic Encyclopedia on Simony:
Simony is usually defined “a deliberate intention of buying or selling for a temporal price such things as are spiritual or annexed unto spirituals”. While this definition only speaks of purchase and sale, any exchange of spiritual for temporal things is simoniacal. Nor is the giving of the temporal as the price of the spiritual required for the existence of simony; according to a proposition condemned by Innocent XI (Denzinger-Bannwart, no. 1195) it suffices that the determining motive of the action of one party be the obtaining of compensation from the other.
From Encyclopedia Brittanica:
simony, buying or selling of something spiritual or closely connected with the spiritual. More widely, it is any contract of this kind forbidden by divine or ecclesiastical law. The name is taken from Simon Magus (Acts 8:18), who endeavoured to buy from the Apostles the power of conferring the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Sounds like this parish has fallen to serious heresy.
So you basically mean all parishes?
I have friends who have little savings, which they are putting away for a house. They want to get married but haven’t been able to find a priest who is willing to significantly reduce the fee or do it for free.
The fee covers the use and time of the priest and the church, which without you cannot get married.
I’m not even joking. It is no longer free, and if you can you give a donation envelope to the parish. Nope, it’s a given and they say how much.
If not, bad luck. Even if you are committing a sin by cohabiting and fornicating, and wish to change your ways.
It’s vanity to think that any one of us can or should change what Christ Himself put forth.
The things that men have done in the past to confound people?
Let it go to history and move on.
You really don’t want to hear me answer this question. Anyway, if God had wanted me to change the Church he would have made me Pope. He didn’t, so I’ll defer to the person he did.
Maybe to reform the annulment process so it is shorter, more personal and less bureaucratic and more merciful.
I’m not sure if it’s totally applicable to your question, but I would change two things.
Some of the hymns are beyond awful, I find no joy in them but only irritation. But I find much of Christian music in general to be so bad, that I wonder if even God disapproves? I realize there is a tremendous variance in music in the Church but my preference would be to have more string instruments or the Gregorian chants, or maybe just silence and meditation.
Assignment of Priests
I left one Church simply because I couldn’t hear nor understand the priest. English was not his first language, or maybe even his third. His strength was also not in public speaking. Combine this with a very bad acoustic setup, it was impossible to hear anything. I realize there is a shortage of priests but I wish there is more discernment in assigning priests to certain parishes.