This is my first attempt at asking a question. I am not yet an enrolled Roman Catholic. I read the Papal Encyclical, Lumen Fidei. One of the many passages that struck me was the following: “48. Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity. Precisely because all the articles of faith are interconnected, to deny one of them, even of those that seem least important, is tantamount to distorting the whole.” My question is, 'Is there a difference between denying an article of faith and failing to implement it?" For example, does using contraceptives place a person within the category of denying the article of faith? I am not interested in judging others. I ask because there is one article of faith I am pondering at the moment. Thanks for any responses.
If you fail to implement it then you are denying it. This is my opinion.
failing is denying, however using contraceptives is denying and thus failing. Preserving the sacredness of human life is an expression of that one faith in the God of love.
I hope there’s a difference.
I’m curious what you mean by “failing to implement”.
It seems to me that if you haven’t come to a full understanding of the article in question and decide to act in a manner that is contrary to it, that would certainly be sinful, but not necessarily be a denial.
However, if you just decide that you are not going to follow the article and outright reject it because you disagree with its premise, that would seem to constitute a denial, IMHO.
God Bless you in your journey!
Thanks so much for everyone’s comments. Every bit of feedback has been helpful. The Catholic tenet that I am having some difficulty with is the pro-life question. I have been pro-choice until I began exploring the Roman Catholic faith. At the moment, I am sitting in “neutral”. That seems to me to indicate some movement towards the Roman Catholic position. I am thinking that by next spring I will need to be pro-life if I am to sincerely commit to becoming a Roman Catholic. This seems to me to be what is being said in the Lumen Fidei quote.
On the other hand, it seems to me that in North America there are all kinds of practising Catholics who do not strictly adhere to what seem to be basic principles (e.g. my reference to the use of contraceptives or another example would be obtaining an abortion and simply not informing the church you have done so). From the perspective of Lumen Fidei, this would seem to be “distorting the whole” and indicative of Western individualism. Alternatively, it could be an indicator of pressure for change from the body of the believers. Coming from a Protestant background, again I tend to see both sides.
Let’s keep Janseeker in our prayers, that RCIA is providing fulfillment and answers to other questions, even though we pray also for Janseeker’s return to Ccom. Reading Encyclicals is hard work for everyone I know, but I think the five threads here at Ccom on Lumen Fidei have much value in encouraging all of us to read, and think, and learn.
In my view there are basically four levels of response to God’s Word–whether from Scripture, the Church, or other sources. First is hearing, then understanding, then trusting, then complying. It is popular to say that no one is perfect, which obviously implies that none of us are complying fully, despite Jesus’ call for all us to strive for perfection (Mt 5:48). Our failings can occur at each of the four levels, and I suspect the higher the level, the greater the sin. When we try to ignore or excuse our “little” sins like deceit, intemperance, and folly, even though we understand and trust God’s Word, these may be subject to severe judgement. Of those to whom much is given, much is demanded .