Starting a Catholic Club and there is opposition


#1

I hope I am asking this question in the right place. I am a second year medical student. At our school there is a Christian Medical Association. A good enough group but not at all in tune with the Catholic teachings. A friend of mine, a Catholic, joined and they asked everyone to sign a Protestant Creed (not sure what that is because they are so divided). She rufused and she said for a while she felt very unwelcomed by some at CMA. Another thing that I was not happy with is that they give out a list of churches at the beginning and I don’t think any of the churches were Catholic.

However, I found out most of the above after my husband (a first year) and I decided to start the Catholic Club. There is a national Catholic Medical Association that our Student chapter will be a part of (the only other one is in Chicago). The reason that we started looking into starting this Catholic Club was because during our ethics classes we found that the Catholic point of view was almost admonished. Also, we are from a part of the US where there are many immigrants many of them Catholic and we feel that as future physicians our faith should be understood so that our Catholic patients can be helped in a way that respects their culture and faith.

Another negative about the CMA is that in the 2 years that I have been there, they have never had a Catholic priest or nun come talk at their meetings.

I sent out a school e-mail asking all who are interested to respond. I have 20 people that are very interested. Even a CMA officer e-mailed me and wanted to work jointly with us on future projects and asked if I needed any help. Very Christian of him I though. However, I got one e-mail from 4th year asking why is this club needed. He said the following:

“[font=Arial]How will this club differ in its purpose and philosophy than the Christian Medical Association? I am curious why there is a need/desire to have a separate club when the catholic and protestant students have been working
together in the same club for years.” [/font]
I would like to respond in a way that will not make the CMA think that we are attacking them. However, I want to give an answer that will let him know that there is a need for a seperate club. Thank you for all your help.


#2

Tell them that the creedal statement your friend was asked to sign may not have been representative of the Catholic faith and could he provide a copy. Also, ask why priest, nuns, even bishops, haven’t been invited to speak. I would go to the diocese where the school is located and ask if they have any resources. You may even land the bishop as a sponsor or patron or whatever.


#3

Eliza,

Congratulations on your new venture.

This 4th year seems like just the kind of person who really needs a Catholic perspective.

I would respond along the lines of “one of the key goals of our club is for all members to gain an in-depth understanding of Catholic Church teaching regarding various medical and ethical issues. We will be examining Catholic Church documents thoroughly and provide a forum for questions regarding Church teaching. While the CMA and our club will have many of the same long-term goals, we have the magesterium of the Church as a primary resource. This resource is not one that is accessed by the CMA and would even, possibly, cause friction within the CMA. We certainly would not be working against the CMA but rather using the large body of existing Catholic documents as our primary starting point.”

BTW, the Creed that your friend was probably asked to sign was likely a document that said that she agreed that the Bible was the ONLY teaching authority. Here in the Bible Belt, they call them “statements of faith” and require them for everything from volunteering at the Crisis Pregnancy Center to joining the local Christian Womens club. Of course, Catholics can’t sign that and it is the main reason that your new organization is so greatly needed. The CMA would likely not even be able to discuss important Church documents because of its own self-imposed limitation of what is authoritative.

Good luck and I hope you keep us all posted on your progress.


#4

KmkTX thank you so much… do you mind if I use your statement. It is so well written.

By the way, our school is in Texas, so you are aware of the schism that exists. We have many Catholics that are here but many of them are poor immigrants that do not speak English. Then, we have the Bible Belt people, many of them with money are resources that are able to establish their own groups that are exclusionary to others. In a way I feel like CMA is just that sort of group. They had a house donated by someone to the club, called the CMA house where they hold socials and Bible study.

I am not worried. We will have God with us and that is what matters. I already contacted the diocese. I was a little disappointed with them. They gave me the name of a wonderful nun. Sister Teresa, that is helping us, but beyond that he didn’t offer any other help. Maybe when we get established they will work with us a little more.

My mother in law says that the Holy Spirit is working through me to get this club started. I just feel like I am sick of getting just the Bible Belt point of view.

Please keep your responses coming. I will really need all the ideas I can get to get this club through the administration for approval. I am worried that they will say that the CMA is enough and there is no need for the Catholic Club. Are there any lawyers out there? Can they keep one Religious club in and keep another one out?


#5

PM you my response … CFC-Youth can help!


#6

Thank you ElizaE! This may be a little off-topic, but a big complaint I hear is that far too many medical professionals are woefully uneducated about Natural Family Planning.

I hope your group is a big success!:clapping:


#7

[quote=DeFide]Thank you ElizaE! This may be a little off-topic, but a big complaint I hear is that far too many medical professionals are woefully uneducated about Natural Family Planning.

I hope your group is a big success!:clapping:
[/quote]

I’d like to echo what DeFide just said about medical professionals and NFP. Also his hope that your group is a big success.

  • Liberian

#8

[quote=ElizaE]Please keep your responses coming. I will really need all the ideas I can get to get this club through the administration for approval. I am worried that they will say that the CMA is enough and there is no need for the Catholic Club. Are there any lawyers out there? Can they keep one Religious club in and keep another one out?
[/quote]

Would it help to give the administration a lists of differences between Catholic and Protestant beliefs? I was think in line of Sola Scriptura-bible alone; once saved, always saved; veneeration of Mary and the Saints etc. This would have to be worded tactfully; after all you aren’t criticizing Protestant beliefs, just stating fact.


#9

Thank you for the advice. I am studying for the Boards and will start the process to get this club going in about 3 weeks. I hope that there will not be any problems. I talked to our student liason person (very sweet) and she said to make sure our constitution is different from theirs. I had the CMA constitution somewhere but I have to find it again. I will post what is says and we could brainstorm to show how ours will be different.

Please pray fro me in the next 3 weeks. I am trying to study all this Anatomy and nothing is going into my head so please keep me in your prayers.


#10

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