As a returned cradle Catholic I have heard this debate a hundred times: Is it better to have a small Church with “true Catholics” or a large Church with “cafeteria Catholics”?
This is a particularly interesting subject for me because I have been given the grace to see my sin. I deal with a great amount of scrupulosity weekly because I see everything that I’ve done wrong. However, I know that grace is not given liberally–Most of my friends in my parish cannot see their sin, go to Confession maybe once a year, and receive the Eucharist regularly even though they are in a state of open mortal sin, (i.e. they are living together before marriage, on birth control, etc.) It’s the secular lifestyle; I get it, but it’s against Church Teaching.
I particularly struggle because my lifestyle choices also lead me into that secular state of mortal sin, and sometimes, I’m just not sorry for it. I understand church teaching, I think it’s ridiculous, and I don’t want to follow it. But it’s one level–one sin–one teaching of the Church I cannot and will not follow. My response is that I just don’t receive the sacraments. I believe in the power of Confession, but my confession is worthless if I am not sorry, so I don’t go. I believe in transubstantiation, but I’m in a state of sin, it’s a mortal sin to receive in that state, so I don’t go.
At this point, what’s the point of remaining Catholic if one teaching undoes the grace that the Church was built for. The Church says it calls sinners, but it calls sinners to repent of their sins. And if we argue on what’s sinful, and both parties remain unmoved…isn’t it just better to have a smaller Church with less people like me? Even though I agree with 98% of Church teaching?
(I tried to keep this generic. The hot topics that seem to be going around these days are cohabitation, contraception, homosexual activity, etc. I think this applies to all of them.)