RCIA and priest teaching not entirely orthodox topics

I would like to consider myself a catholic who has a firm grip on my faith. I know what I believe and why I believe it. I may not know the fine details of everything. But I know enough to walk my way through the Bible when talking to my protestant friends.

I started attending the RCIA classes with my gf, who is learning the faith to become Catholic. I am starting to see where the priests stands on some things, which would explain some events that happened in the past. Tonight he mentioned that its ok to call God: Mother. And the Catholics do not take the Bible literally. (Initially thinking about when Jesus says “this is my body” and how we take it literally.) He also mentioned the possibility of women becoming priests and possibility of having married priests again. He stated that we dont have to believe the Marian doctrines. And that because of the Dead Sea scrolls we have greater understand of what was taught back then.

I know that God revealed himself to us in the masculine form. I also know that Catholics believe that the authors of the Bible used literary styles when writing. 1. Literal 2. Figuratively. and I forget the other 2 off hand.

Since I can easily jump of the deep end with apologetics, it would be information overload for those that are inquiring about the faith. I also do not want to disrespect the priest and don’t want to start a confrontation. How do I bring up these items and any future items that I know that are wrong or even shades of grey?

He’s right about the “Mother” thing (“God is not a man” is scripture). He’s right about the “literalism” thing–there is literal truth in the Bible, but not all passages are literally true. That’s solid Catholic teaching.

As the RCIA priest told my particular group, Marian traditions (like the Rosary) could potentially disappear from the life of the church (not likely), and certain Marian teachings have changed dramatically over the course of the last 100 years, but I’d like to talk to this priest about what he was referring to specifically.

Priestly celibacy wasn’t required until roughly 1000 AD, and Pope Francis indicated that he is not particularly attached to this requirement.

A lot of traditional Catholics would challenge the assertion that there could be female priests hypothetically in the future, BUT the Magisterium does reserve the right to change Tradition if it sees fit.

Your priest sounds like a well-educated person–the Dead Sea Scrolls have changed the way scholars perceive the New Testament. It’s a big deal in the academy.

I know that priestly celibacy could change. I also recognize that female priests could be a possibility. I get that. From a 3000 foot high view the statement about the dead sea scrolls I could agree .

I dont agree the statement about calling God mother nor I believe that Catholics don’t take certain parts of the bible literally. What part of “this is my body” shouldn’t be literal? I recognize that the authors used different literary styles.

Also to state that the Marian doctrines could change as par as being infallible statements would be wrong. Infallible teaching can’t change

In regards to whether God can be called mother, this link will help you. It is an answer from Fr. Vincent Serpa:

In regards to whether women can be ordained, I recommend these links. One is answered by Jim Blackburn, and the other is Ordinatio Sacerdotalis by Saint John Paul II. The third link is from the CDF. The Church does not have the authority to authorize the ordination of women.

Also, I don’t think that the Church can change teaching. Now, at this moment, I probably should be showering and doing my homework, so I ask that someone else please help Xpiatio.

Also, to Xpiatio, you could use Ask An Apologist and explain your dilemma to an apologist.

Ofcourse one must study scripture within it’s context…utilizing text criticism…if thine eye offend thee, then pluck it out…and ofcourse trying to affix some gender to God, Who is incomprehensible…as Iearned at a Catholic College as an undergrad…hence Jesus…God incarnate…I believe Js was a man…the other Marian banter confuses me…why would a Priest teaching RCIA want to spout out such stuff to indviduals wanting to learn about the faith…It ranks right up there with did Adam and Eve exists…It would be my fervent desire to have an RCIA class that actually taught the Catholic faith…I attended RCIA years ago in my parish just to see what I could learn…admittedly I was interested to see what was taking place…myself and another very well versed devout Catholic man sat in the back and woule pose questions when necessary…my only issue was that they had a Nun come and talk about her vocation…she was wearing street clothes and frankly speaking I would have not known she was a religious were she not introduced as such… my question was why not have a one of the cloisered nuns from the monastery come and speak as well…my priest friend agreed and it happened with the next class…

  1. New Age gobbledygook.
  2. He should explain further. Some parts are literal and some are not.
  3. No possibility unless the world runs out of men.
  4. It’s always possible
  5. If it’s a declared dogma, we believe it. It’s not open for debate.
  6. The Dead Sea Scrolls don’t affirm any of his heterodox beliefs.

I don’t know how you could approach him. Is there another RCIA you could attend? I don’t think your wife should be exposed to his teachings.

I’m in a catch 22 about finding another class. Her sponsor is my mom and my mom swears up and down about how she loves the parish. I chatted with my mom about my concerns right after class. I’m trying not to jump too deep so the new students wouldnt get lost. And if it gets confrontational , it would leave a bad taste in some mouths. I could write a letter to the bishop since the bishop over sees the education in the diocese, but I think its too early for that.

When will this women becoming Priest thing actually go away? Saint Pope John Paul II put this thing to bed once and for all. The church has no authority to make it happen. Why do people still think this is even remotely possible? I just don’t understand it at all.

Your girlfriend should be in an RCIA program elsewhere. The priest isn’t really teaching her Catholic beliefs. RCIA should be a means of learning about the Catholic faith, not about what the teacher happens to believe or not believe. Instead of simply writing the bishop, or simply confronting the priest, you ought to do something that definitely will work, and ask your girlfriend to be taught elsewhere.
Your girlfriend’s faith as a Catholic should be your first consideration.
I have heard too about people thinking about becoming a Catholic, deciding not to because the teacher dissented from Catholic beliefs. They knew what they were hearing wasn’t Catholic, so they quit the RCIA course and stopped wanting to becoming a Catholic then as well too.

It sounds like you have a very rigid view of things and this priest is pushing you a bit to open up.

God as mother? Well…Jesus did teach us to pray “Our Father…” On the other hand, we have biblical images like the one in Isaiah 49: Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you. That’s beautiful…and that’s God as mother.

One thing to be aware of with people in RCIA is that they come from all sorts of backgrounds. A good catechist is aware that some people might not have had good relationships with their fathers and might not relate to God as father. If dad was always yelling at you and hitting you, why would you want to compare God to your father? An image of God as mother might make all the difference.

The priest says we’re not biblical literalists and you say “Yeah, what about ‘this is my body’?” And he might say “what about the whale swallowing up Jonah?” We don’t take every word literally and we have the Church to guide us on when things are meant literally and when they’re not. Someone above mentioned the line about plucking out your eye. I haven’t seen too many one-eyed people around which says to me that people aren’t taking that verse literally either.

It sounds like this might be a good opportunity for you to broaden your own horizons a bit.

Let me expound on the Bible Literal. I understand that as Catholics we take certain parts of the bible as literal. By the way this priest was explaining it, I understood him to mean that he was expressing that Catholics do not take the whole bible, in its entirety, to be literal. I was going to ask him about “This is my body” and his previous statement about how Jesus gave the apostles the ability to forgive sins.

I think it’s fine to ask him to explain further. Hopefully he’ll explain to the group that we have 2000 years of Church teaching to guide us in these matters. Hopefully, too, the sessions will include more information on the bible and not just the one comment about it.

I got me thinking. Good for you ^_^. But the way God chooses the way He has revealed himself to us in the manner that He chooses. God’s existence is not dependent upon my existence. God becomes man in Jesus, not female. As well, Jesus tells us how to speak of God as “Our Father”. God’s interaction to the human race is not permitted how I will it. God moves outside of my faculty. In as much as my father will still be my father regardless if I want to call him my mother. He still remains my father.

But you might say I am putting limits on God. All I’m saying is that God has revealed himself in the masculine. I don’t know of a single Christian who public starts the Our Father as “Our mother which art in heaven”. As well, it goes against the teaching of the trinity: Father, Son and holy spirit. So where does “mother” fit into the definition of the Trinity? We only know about God as how much as He has revealed himself to his creation.

In terms of the Trinity, perhaps it would help to think of God as Creator.

The bottom line, really, is that God is neither male nor female. As humans we can’t relate to pure spirit so we give God human characteristics, but in some ways, everything we say about God also limits our understanding of who God really is.

I think the first reading for this upcoming Sunday kind of sums things up:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
As high as the heavens are above the earth,
so high are my ways above your ways
and my thoughts above your thoughts.

Don’t know if this helps the discussion any.

Very good reply. I’m also thinking about men’s roles in the world. I believe that men need to feel as though they are the head of the family. When we use emasculated theology (Mother God, women priests) we are taking men’s roles away from them. Pretty soon we don’t need men for anything except sperm donor. This is actually happening today!

Many men don’t take responsibility for their families. And why should they? We’ve done everything possible to remove men from their leadership roles that God gave them. This has deleterious effects on family cohesion. And when the family goes, so does civilization and so does religious belief. Studies have shown that when there is a religious father in the family, the children will stay in the religion. When there is no father, or the father is not religious, the children will not stay in the religion when they grow up. We cannot underestimate the roles of men in the family.

This push for gender-neutral or feminine religious terminology, which will lead directly or indirectly to women priests is just more work of the Wicked Ones in my humble opinion.

The parts that shouldn’t be taken literally are particularly acute in the Old Testament, where God creates the world in seven days; the Catholic Church teaches that these may not have been seven literal 24-hour days, but could represent long periods of time. That’s just one example.

Also to state that the Marian doctrines could change as par as being infallible statements would be wrong. Infallible teaching can’t change

Marian doctrines shift in emphasis over time–what Catholic theologians are writing as a group today about Mary and what Catholic theologians were writing as a group seventy years ago is quite different in tone, content, and purpose.

I’m not sure I would use the word “infallible” as casually as you seem to be using it. Saying that the content of church teaching never changes is tantamount to saying God can never teach you anything new, or reveal deeper meanings in old content.

“If we don’t let men run things, everything will fall apart.” :rolleyes:


Can someone please PM Father David and ask that he come to this thread? I’d do it myself, but I’m a minor, and I don’t know if I’d be violating his diocese’s safe environment policy with that. I’ve attached a link to his profile.

Except for all the wars, killings, lawlessness, perversions and corruption I think men have done a darn good job! :smiley:

Yeah. Except for all of those things. :thumbsup:

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