Eh, a Catholic is minimally someone who was baptized a Catholic. Just because an adult was baptized Catholic as an infant doesn’t mean that there was much further religious education. And yes, this could be through absolutely no fault of their own.
Invincible ignorance does not mean someone else failed to instruct the ignorant individual. It means the ignorant individual fails to make the effort. The onus is always on the individual.
And this concept of invincible ignorance applies to everyone, not just Catholics.
In this millennium, with modern communications and media, the effort required to inform oneself of the basics of Christ’s and Christ’s Church’s teachings is increasingly reduced.
A big problem with this is that you don’t know what you don’t know.
So, yes, if you know that you don’t know what the regulations are, then you can look it up, but if you don’t know that you don’t know, you won’t realize that you need to.
When you don’t know that you don’t know that you don’t know – that’s still called ignorance. The number of “don’t knows” isn’t what makes it invincible or not. The Catechism states,
This ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility. This is the case when a man "takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin."59 In such cases, the person is culpable for the evil he commits. [Emphasis added]
My problem is not that you’re saying it could be invincible ignorance, it’s that your comment reads as though invincible ignorance is the default and that the onus of overcoming vincible ignorance is on those who failed to teach/reach out to you.
I wasn’t really thinking of it in terms of invincible ignorance (that’s more like if the person has something explained to them and is pigheadedly obstinant, but not culpable). I was thinking more that ignorance is the default, and that we can’t expect that people are going to bootstrap themselves into a thorough knowledge of the Catholic faith from a position of almost no catechesis or home religious education. Or else, what is RCIA and CCD for?
Yes, in reality we have slightly more than one billion Catholics. Looking at the state of Catholics today, where many of our churches and cathedrals are quite empty even on Sundays, obviously show large proportion of them are not practicing, probably which could stretch back to a few generations.
Invincible ignorance among them, unlike CAF posters, are not uncommon. We have to be realistic that people’s situations are not always ideal or even reasonable as how we like them to be as Catholics.
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