I was talking with my girlfriend yesterday who is Protestant. I had worked out a very strong (or what I thought was a very strong) argument in favour of Apostolic Tradition. I was ready to take on any verse that was flung at me, I knew it all I thought. But she brought up a very good hypothetical situation that involves priests to which I had no answer to. I would appreciate some help in explaining this, not just because she wants to know, but I do as well.
For the sake of argument, let me suggest that there is a Catholic church in a town. Let’s also assume that there is a priest there who has his own agenda. He might teach a few things that the Catholic Church believes, but there are times when he (either privately or in mass) states things that are not in line with the Church’s views, either scripturally or Traditionally. Basically he is a heretic in priest’s clothing. How are those people in the Church, supposed to know what the difference is between the truth the priest gives and his own interpretation or psudo-truth?
The reason I find this to be interesting is because it has actually happened to me. I went through RCIA and the priest who helped us had many things to say that…well…didn’t line up with Catholic beliefs, and I wouldn’t have known any better unless I questioned it and went online here and found out the truth. But assuming that I can’t go online…how, if the Church is supposed to be the pillar of truth, can someone do such a thing?
I know the arguments that say the one or many priests will never bring the Church down, but if I am attending a mass by a priest that is in error, how am I supposed to know that what he is telling me is in error? Is it my job as a Catholic to constantly question everything a priest says and to verify it?
I’m not sure if I am explaining this question right…I guess a simpler way to sum it up would be, why should we put so much faith in something where there is a chance that (even though it won’t bring down the church) what someone is saying will be wrong because they have their own personal agendas? And what happens if we believe it?
I probably totally failed to ask this correctly…but any help thus far would be great!