Properly disposed


#1

If someone disagrees with a teaching of the Church–say, gay marriage or abortion or something-- does that mean they can be denied a sacrament? So if I am for civil unions, can a priest tell me I can’t receive the Eucharist, or become confirmed? Even if I haven’t ‘done’ anything…because my beliefs contradict the teaching of the Church, I am not in a state of grace, and therefore not properly disposed.

Is this true? In other words, is it a sin to disagree? Is it a sin so grave that I should be denied—or on my own not receive–the sacraments?

Thanks.

Michael


#2

The deliberate murder of innocent children and homosexual sodomy are both considered grave sins by Christ and his Church, although the first is much worse than the second. If you do not accept God’s teachings, then you are separated from Him. A person who does not accept the Gospel should, of course, not be baptized, confirmed, or given the Eucharist.

Use this as an opportunity to pray for greater faith in a spirit of repentance. God will welcome you with open arms.


#3

The thing with Catholicism is that you are either Catholic, or you are not. So if you disagree with doctrine, then you aren't Catholic, and so you couldn't be confirmed because in Confirmation you are saying that you agree with everything the Church teaches. Now, if you have doubts, but choose to follow Church teaching, despite your doubts, then you can be confirmed because you are still accepting the authority of the Church.


#4

So disagreement is a sin, and it is a sin so grave that one could be--or should be--denied the sacraments. That is my take-away here? Could someone point to Canon law or something so I can see it in writing? There seems to be a great deal of confusion about this.

Thanks again.


#5

If you are Catholic, you have to follow the teachings of the Church, otherwise you are being a heretic. Not understanding Church teaching is one thing, but disagreeing with Church teaching is something else.

Here's a question: If you disagree with Church teaching, why would you want to be Catholic? Why not start your own church and believe what you want to believe? If you believe the Catholic Church to be the one True Church established by Christ, then you are saying that the Catholic Church's teachings are correct. And if the Catholic Church's teachings are correct, why would you disagree with it?


#6

Could you please provide the article in Canon Law that states this?

One is Catholic by virtue of a valid baptism. A sacrament cannot be undone.

One can be in imperfect communion or in a state of sin, but that does not mean one ceases to be Catholic.


#7

Fair question. I think the Church is right about some things and wrong about others. To be a Republican (just for an example) I don't have to agree with every plank in the Republican platform, or with every Republican politician. I can look at the party as a whole and say that, for the most part, they represent my political views.

Same with Catholicism: for the most part, I agree with the Church. There are a few areas where I do not.

My question is, is disagreeing a sin? Or, is disagreeing sufficient to be improperly disposed and therefore not in a state of grace to such an extent that a priest can deny you a sacrament, or you should deny it to yourself (like don't go to communion).


#8

[quote="OraLabora, post:6, topic:305619"]
Could you please provide the article in Canon Law that states this?

One is Catholic by virtue of a valid baptism. A sacrament cannot be undone.

One can be in imperfect communion or in a state of sin, but that does not mean one ceases to be Catholic.

[/quote]

That is more what I meant. I meant living life as a Catholic. You can be spiritually a Catholic, by nature of your baptism, but not live your life as a Catholic. Anyone who sins is technically not living life as a Catholic, but if they are seeking forgiveness in confession then they are, in fact, living life as a Catholic because they recognize their faults and sins and try to reconcile them. If you know something is a sin, but you want to continue living in the sin, then you are not living life as a Catholic, because you are not seeking to reconcile yourself.

Thank you for forcing my clarification (if this in fact clarifies).

[quote="Michaeljc4, post:7, topic:305619"]
Fair question. I think the Church is right about some things and wrong about others. To be a Republican (just for an example) I don't have to agree with every plank in the Republican platform, or with every Republican politician. I can look at the party as a whole and say that, for the most part, they represent my political views.

Same with Catholicism: for the most part, I agree with the Church. There are a few areas where I do not.

My question is, is disagreeing a sin? Or, is disagreeing sufficient to be improperly disposed and therefore not in a state of grace to such an extent that a priest can deny you a sacrament, or you should deny it to yourself (like don't go to communion).

[/quote]

Disagreeing is a sin in that it puts you into the near occasion of sin. If you disagree with the Church on abortion, then what is to keep you from having an abortion and sinning further?

The sacraments are meant for those in communion with the Church. If you disagree with Church teaching, then you are not in communion. However, if you see the error of your ways, and again agree with the Church, then after a trip to confession you can once again receive the sacraments.

Again, if you disagree with what the Church teaches, then why be Catholic?

Your relation to the republican party is an invalid comparison. One is a fallible political party, whose views can change, the other teaches objective morality whose views cannot change because they are true.


#9

The above posts are incorrect. Having trouble with Church teaching is not a mortal sin to bar you from Communion. St. Thomas doubted Jesus’ Resurrection – surely a core teaching of the Church, yes? – but was not denied Communion on Jesus’ return.

Your OP states that you haven’t “done” anything. I take it you mean that you haven’t attempted to sway others to your point of view, teach people that the Church is wrong, and so forth. Then you haven’t sinned, because you haven’t taken affirmative action to support the sinful beliefs (in other words, you have not materially cooperated in the evil in question).

Let’s say that the Church taught “Teaching A;” but that I disagreed, on the ground that I knew from my superior intellect that “Teaching B” was correct. I would still be able to receive Communion (all things being equal, I mean). But, if I taught CCD classes, I would have to teach the kids Teaching A, even though I disagreed with that teaching. Assuming I did so, I would still be able to receive Communion, notwithstanding my disagreement with the Church’s teaching. But, once I started teaching the kids Teaching B, I would be in a state of sin and could not receive Communion.

The Church Herself teaches that Christians are subject to doubt and disagreement; and it outlines how we should handle ourselves in such situations.

2087 Our moral life has its source in faith in God who reveals his love to us. St. Paul speaks of the "obedience of faith"9 as our first obligation. He shows that “ignorance of God” is the principle and explanation of all moral deviations.10 Our duty toward God is to believe in him and to bear witness to him.

2088 The first commandment requires us to nourish and protect our faith with prudence and vigilance, and to reject everything that is opposed to it. There are various ways of sinning against faith:

Voluntary doubt about the faith disregards or refuses to hold as true what God has revealed and the Church proposes for belief. Involuntary doubt refers to hesitation in believing, difficulty in overcoming objections connected with the faith, or also anxiety aroused by its obscurity. If deliberately cultivated doubt can lead to spiritual blindness.

2089 Incredulity is the neglect of revealed truth or the willful refusal to assent to it. “Heresy is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.”

Catechism of the Catholic Church ¶¶ 2087-89.

Sin is an act (or omission under the right circumstances). Merely disagreeing with what the Church teaches is not a sin – and certainly not a mortal sin.

Whatever it is you disagree with the Church about, you are called on as a Catholic to examine your conscience and try to understand why the Church teaches what it does. If you are unable to bring your mind into agreement with the Church, then you are called on to obey its teaching notwithstanding your internal dissent. It is only by acting against the Church’s teaching that you sin.


#10

[quote="bzkoss236, post:5, topic:305619"]
If you are Catholic, you have to follow the teachings of the Church, otherwise you are being a heretic. Not understanding Church teaching is one thing, but disagreeing with Church teaching is something else.

[/quote]

Not true. Heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith. That requires obstinacy. A Catholic is perfectly able to doubt the Church's teaching without being obstinate about it. Some of the teachings are quite difficult to understand. Mere disagreement with the Church is neither heresy nor a sin.

[quote="bzkoss236, post:5, topic:305619"]
Here's a question: If you disagree with Church teaching, why would you want to be Catholic? Why not start your own church and believe what you want to believe? If you believe the Catholic Church to be the one True Church established by Christ, then you are saying that the Catholic Church's teachings are correct. And if the Catholic Church's teachings are correct, why would you disagree with it?

[/quote]

They're probably in the Church because that's where they belong. It is, after all, God's Church.

I get offended when people say "You don't believe such-and-such a doctrine; get out!" That's improper catechesis, to say the least. If I were to find myself in disagreement with the Catholic Church on every major issue of the day, I would still go to Mass and remain in the Church, because it is God's Church -- the one Jesus founded when He told Peter "Feed My lambs; feed My lambs; feed My sheep."

And, so long as I didn't act on my disagreements (materially cooperating in evil in some way, or what have you), I would receive Communion licitly under the laws of the Church.


#11

And, so long as I didn't act on my disagreements (materially cooperating in evil in some way, or what have you), I would receive Communion licitly under the laws of the Church.

That's what I am trying to get at: disagreement isn't the same as *acting *on disagreement. It's one thing to, in my head, believe that civil unions are okay. It's a totally different thing to actually enter into a civil union with some one!

I understand the frustration many conservative Catholics experience when people like me show up and act like 'cafeteria Catholics.' I wasn't sure if, according to Church teachings and canon law, one could be denied a sacrament over a disagreement with this or that doctrine. Not an ACT (like getting an abortion) but mentally thinking that abortion--or gay marriage, or euthanasia, or whatever--is okay.

Thanks.


#12

[quote="Michaeljc4, post:11, topic:305619"]
That's what I am trying to get at: disagreement isn't the same as *acting *on disagreement. It's one thing to, in my head, believe that civil unions are okay. It's a totally different thing to actually enter into a civil union with some one!

I understand the frustration many conservative Catholics experience when people like me show up and act like 'cafeteria Catholics.' I wasn't sure if, according to Church teachings and canon law, one could be denied a sacrament over a disagreement with this or that doctrine. Not an ACT (like getting an abortion) but mentally thinking that abortion--or gay marriage, or euthanasia, or whatever--is okay.

Thanks.

[/quote]

The Church has a responsibility to give the sacraments to any Catholic that is properly disposed and not prohibited by canon law.

CIC

Can. 915 Those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to holy communion.

Can. 1007 The anointing of the sick is not to be conferred upon those who obstinately persist in a manifestly grave sin.

Can. 843 §1 Sacred ministers may not deny the sacraments to those who opportunely ask for them, are properly disposed and are not prohibited by law from receiving them.

Can. 844 §3 Catholic ministers may lawfully administer the sacraments of penance, the Eucharist and anointing of the sick to members of the eastern Churches not in full communion with the catholic Church, if they spontaneously ask for them and are properly disposed. The same applies to members of other Churches which the Apostolic See judges to be in the same position as the aforesaid eastern Churches so far as the sacraments are concerned.


#13

[quote="Michaeljc4, post:7, topic:305619"]
Fair question.** I think the Church is right about some things and wrong about others. **

[/quote]

To be Catholic requires you to believe that the Church cannot err in it's teachings on matters of Faith and Morals.

When one becomes, or is, Catholic, one accepts that as part of the Faith.

My question is, is disagreeing a sin? Or, is disagreeing sufficient to be improperly disposed and therefore not in a state of grace to such an extent that a priest can deny you a sacrament, or you should deny it to yourself (like don't go to communion).

It can be sinful, or it can be actions out of ignorance. If you recognize that you do not understand the Church's teachings and seek to conform yourself, even if not immediately, to the teachings, there is no sin.

If one, out of stubborness and pride, holds yourself to be more knowledgeable than the Church on matters of Morals, and hold, with deliberate thought, that the Church is in error on such matters, then yes, it is sinful.

The infallibilty of the Church on matters of Faith and Morals is de fide, so rejection of such teachings is grave matter. The mortality of the sin therefore depends on how much one freely accepts rejecting the teachings and the fullness of knowledge that rejection of the Moral teachings of the Church are wrong.


#14

This might give you some insights into the matter.

It is from Cardinal Raymond Burke, who is the Prefect of the Roman Rota, kind of like the Church's equivent of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

therealpresence.org/eucharst/holycom/denial.htm


#15

[quote="Brendan, post:13, topic:305619"]
To be Catholic requires you to believe that the Church cannot err in it's teachings on matters of Faith and Morals.

When one becomes, or is, Catholic, one accepts that as part of the Faith.

It can be sinful, or it can be actions out of ignorance. If you recognize that you do not understand the Church's teachings and seek to conform yourself, even if not immediately, to the teachings, there is no sin.

If one, out of stubborness and pride, holds yourself to be more knowledgeable than the Church on matters of Morals, and hold, with deliberate thought, that the Church is in error on such matters, then yes, it is sinful.

The infallibilty of the Church on matters of Faith and Morals is de fide, so rejection of such teachings is grave matter. The mortality of the sin therefore depends on how much one freely accepts rejecting the teachings and the fullness of knowledge that rejection of the Moral teachings of the Church are wrong.

[/quote]

[quote="Brendan, post:14, topic:305619"]
This might give you some insights into the matter.

It is from Cardinal Raymond Burke, who is the Prefect of the Roman Rota, kind of like the Church's equivent of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

therealpresence.org/eucharst/holycom/denial.htm

[/quote]

I'm sorry, but you're mistaken. One does not sin by believing or not believing. One sins by acting or not acting. Intent is only relevant as it relates to an action or omission.

Examples:

[LIST]
]Dropping a nuclear bomb on an Afghan city to wipe out a Taliban stronghold: **sinful*. Assuming full knowledge and full consent (and given that killing innocent people in the city is obviously grave matter), it's a mortal sin.

]Privately thinking that dropping a nuclear bomb on an Afghan city to wipe out a Taliban stronghold would be a good idea: **not sinful*. It's just a thought or opinion. It is not a sin.
[/LIST]
Read through the document you posted from Cardinal Burke. It's fairly clear in discussing sin. It doesn't condemn those who harbor private disagreements with Church teaching.

Check out what Scripture has to say on the subject:

And one of the multitude, answering, said: Master, I have brought my son to thee, having a dumb spirit. Who, wheresoever he taketh him, dasheth him, and he foameth, and gnasheth with the teeth, and pineth away; and I spoke to thy disciples to cast him out, and they could not. Who answering them, said: O incredulous generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me. And they brought him. And when he had seen him, immediately the spirit troubled him; and being thrown down upon the ground, he rolled about foaming. And he asked his father: How long time is it since this hath happened unto him? But he said: From his infancy:

And oftentimes hath he cast him into the fire and into waters to destroy him. But if thou canst do any thing, help us, having compassion on us. And Jesus saith to him: If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And immediately the father of the boy crying out, with tears said: I do believe, Lord: help my unbelief. And when Jesus saw the multitude running together, he threatened the unclean spirit, saying to him: Deaf and dumb spirit, I command thee, go out of him; and enter not any more into him. And crying out, and greatly tearing him, he went out of him, and he became as dead, so that many said: He is dead. But Jesus taking him by the hand, lifted him up; and he arose.

Mark 9:16-26.

Jesus said all things are possible if you believe. The father's response made clear that he did not believe everything (else he wouldn't need help with his unbelief); yet Jesus healed his son anyway.

A Catholic who stays with the Church despite an inner inability to agree with some of the Church's teaching is saying "I do believe, Lord: help my unbelief." That's good enough for Jesus; it should be good enough for us.


#16

[quote="Godfollower, post:15, topic:305619"]
I'm sorry, but you're mistaken. One does not sin by believing or not believing. One sins by acting or not acting. Intent is only relevant as it relates to an action or omission.

Examples:

[LIST]
]Dropping a nuclear bomb on an Afghan city to wipe out a Taliban stronghold: **sinful*. Assuming full knowledge and full consent (and given that killing innocent people in the city is obviously grave matter), it's a mortal sin.

]Privately thinking that dropping a nuclear bomb on an Afghan city to wipe out a Taliban stronghold would be a good idea: **not sinful*. It's just a thought or opinion. It is not a sin.
[/LIST]
Read through the document you posted from Cardinal Burke. It's fairly clear in discussing sin. It doesn't condemn those who harbor private disagreements with Church teaching.

Check out what Scripture has to say on the subject:

Mark 9:16-26.

Jesus said all things are possible if you believe. The father's response made clear that he did not believe everything (else he wouldn't need help with his unbelief); yet Jesus healed his son anyway.

A Catholic who stays with the Church despite an inner inability to agree with some of the Church's teaching is saying "I do believe, Lord: help my unbelief." That's good enough for Jesus; it should be good enough for us.

[/quote]

What about Matthew 5:28?

"But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

^No actions there.


#17

[quote="KellyPalmer, post:16, topic:305619"]
What about Matthew 5:28?

"But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

^No actions there.

[/quote]

Hmm. Are you sure it's a sin?

You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not commit adultery. But I say to you, that whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Matthew 5:27-28.

"He hath already committed adultery with her in his heart." Is that the same as a guy who actually slept with her? I wouldn't think so. It sounds to me like Jesus was warning us about indulging in wrongful fantasies (because they lead inexorably to actual sin), rather than saying you've already committed the mortal sin.

But the issue on this thread isn't even that bad. It's just an issue of a person who feels, internally, that some of the Church's teachings are incorrect. There's no sin there. It would be different if the individual were proselytizing that disagreement; but that isn't the question here. Without an outward act, there is no sin for doubting.


#18

When we "disagree" with the Catholic Church, we nonetheless submit ourselves to her teachings. When I disagree, it is because in comparison to his infinite wisdom, my understanding is minuscule.

The grave sin would be in sharing with others what you know to be contrary to the Faith. You risk their souls.

After a very liberal religious education from mid-childhood to age 30-ish, I spent years and years on my knees asking God to forgive my disbelief and teach me. Mostly because I wanted to give my children a chance to believe, I didn't broadcast my errors.

With common secular culture presenting abortion and homosexuality reasonable while portraying those who disagree as rigidly unloving, sometimes what we should firmly believe becomes blurred.

Pray! Expose yourself to good books & discussions. Add a heartfelt plea to your prayers after Communion. We here at CAF will pray for you as well.


#19

[quote="KellyPalmer, post:16, topic:305619"]
What about Matthew 5:28?

"But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

^No actions there.

[/quote]

Thought, word, act, and omission may be sinful: "I confess to almighty Godand to you, my brothers and sisters,that I have greatly sinned,in my thoughts and in my words,in what I have done and in what I have failed to do, ..."


#20

[quote="Vico, post:19, topic:305619"]
Thought, word, act, and omission may be sinful: "I confess to almighty Godand to you, my brothers and sisters,that I have greatly sinned,in my thoughts and in my words,in what I have done and in what I have failed to do, ..."

[/quote]

Okay, we seem to be missing the point here.

Yes, if you sit around reading Playboy and thinking about the things you would like to do with the models in it, that's sinful, even if you don't actually, you know, commit any outward acts. But the reason that it's sinful is that you are committing the act of lust, which (while entirely internal) is in fact an act. On the contrary, however, if you accidentally walked into one of Playboy's photo shoots and experienced a moment of desire while you hastily backed out of the room, that would not be a sin, because you did not commit the act of lust. The difference lies in the intent of the person: indulging in the lust is sinful, while being human is not.

Thus, being angry at someone who cut you off in traffic is not sinful, while trying to cut in front of him in retaliation is (even if your attempt has no outward manifestation due to the circumstances). Hearing about your neighbor winning the lottery and wishing it had been you is not sinful; sitting around for days on end crying about how it's not fair and you really deserved to win instead of him is a sin. Noticing that your neighbor's wife is pretty is not sinful; fantasizing about sleeping with her is. It's the (in this case internal) act of seeking evil instead of good that constitutes the sin.

Now, if the Church teaches definitively -- let's just say through a papal pronouncement made ex cathedra -- that the reaption of cocharrammons in the presence of two or more afforgative armicres is a mortal sin unless an aneasens convolic agrees to recinginath the bisquestinters, and you just can't bring yourself to agree with that statement because it doesn't seem logical to you, and try as you might you just can't bring yourself to agree that it's a sin (especially because all of your worldly friends are reapting cocharrammons all the time, with and without afforgative armicres, and none of them ever bothers to get an aneasens convolic to recinginath the bisquestinters), you are not committing a sin.

... unless, of course, you reapt some cocharrammons in the presence of two or more afforgative armicres without an aneasens convolic agreeing to recinginath the bisquestinters.

But, in that case, it's the reaption of cocharrammons in the presence of two or more afforgative armicres that's a mortal sin. It is not the inability of your mind to agree with the Church's teaching.

The OP on this thread has asked whether it's a sin to hear the teaching of the Church and say -- internally only -- "But that doesn't make any sense!" He has made clear that he is not acting on the disagreement; rather, he simply cannot bring himself to agree that a particular Church teaching is correct.

And you would deny him the sacraments? That is not the Church of Christ. He is bowing to the teaching of the Church despite his internal disagreement with it. That is most emphatically not a sin.


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