Unity with so much dissention?


#1

We have to face that there is NO lack of people who profess themselves Catholic, yet are not orthodox faithful. They are in the Church.

These people are not in complete communion with Catholic teachings and don’t know it. Or they feel it’s okay to disagree on anything when there are some things that it’s NOT okay to disagree on. Take a look at forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=53618. One response was

[quote=Penny Plain]I am not a fully obedient Catholic by your definition, FF. I use birth control, and I think gays should be allowed to marry (civilly only, not in the church).

But I’m still Catholic. I still belong to your church. My disagreements with Catholic teaching are between me and God, and I will take my chances when I meet Him face to face.

I am Catholic. I am in your church. And I’m not leaving.
[/quote]

I read this thread and wonder how we can profess UNITY and yet are witness to so much dissention. So we (through the Magisterium) are ONE church in doctrine and hold the standard, yet so many members don’t really worry about not believing the standard to be relevant.

So, on one hand we have people who say either you are in or you are out. On the other we have people saying you can disagree all you want but it’s private “between me and God” so butt out.

It’s schizophrenic.

What can we do to promote true unity?


#2

Teach them what is required of being Catholic with prayerfulness, gentleness, and love:

If a Catholic comes to believe the Church is in error in some essential, officially defined doctrine, it is a mortal sin against conscience, a sin of hypocrisy, for him to remain in the Church and call himself a Catholic, but only a venial sin against knowledge for him to leave the Church in honest but partly culpable error.

If he doesn’t see how something is a sin, but recognizes the Church’s authority, then he has a difficulty, not a doubt, and he must take pains to inform his conscience, yet avoid the sin while he is investigating.


#3

Unfortunately, there are a lot of cafeteria catholics, those who pick and choose what to believe and what not to believe. Definitely, they hurt the Catholic Church and weaken themselves as witnesses others could learn from and before God.

Penny Plain even states that she is disobedient so she is aware that she is doing wrong by using birth control. Romans 1:26 gives reason why contraception, like homosexuality is sinful. They change “the natural use into that which is against nature”.

We can only pray for those who cause dissention by their lack of unity.

“Oh God, through Your Beloved Son Jesus and His Holy Face I ask that you please convert all sinners especially those in our Holy Catholic Church.”


#4

Here’s how to promote unity.

Do not worry, and do not judge.

Many very “orthodox” Catholics used to be “cafeteria” Catholics.

For the past few years, I have had a number of very extraordinary experiences that can only be described as intensive spiritual warfare along with severe bipolar illness. Luckily I am stabilizing, but I went through times of holding steadfast to Catholic faith because that’s all I had to make it through some days, and at times wishing the entire Church would collapse. This was partly due to some very unfortunate experiences I had with certain Church officials which actually contributed to my spiritual and mental illness. It was only through the Holy Spirit and good spiritual direction that I was healed – I’d say 99% at this point, and feel better than ever most of the time.

My point in bringing all this up is that sometimes people go through phases of different understanding of the whole concept of reality, and by consequence, the meaning of the Church, her teachings, and her actions. Many of the times when I was most harshly accused of dissenting against the Church, it was really just the opposite in my heart. In my heart I was defending her against the ignorance of her own leaders. Orthodox Catholics called me every name in the book, right here on this very forum. They were talking to a manic-depressive trying to get a grip on reality and his role in the Church. I was called non-Catholic, anti-Catholic, evil, doomed to eternal fire, and I forgot what all else by you loving Catholics who were only trying to educate me and perform spiritual acts of mercy.

Well guess what? Something finally snapped. I recognized that I have to not care whatsoever about the guilt trip and scare tactics that were being laid on me in order to lay aside the shackles that were keeping me down. I finally decided I don’t really care what any other Catholic, even if he’s the Pope, thinkgs about a matter; I was going to get a grip on my own version of reality and then go from there.

I can probably look at the forums and see how I have healed all along, and I can assure you the condemnation I got in the name of “charible education” was very painful.

If you want someone to come over to your side, go over to where they are and walk with them as a friend. Call to them from your side. Don’t, however sling mudballs at them and call them dirty names and tell them how unfit they are or they will never come your way.

You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

You can gain respect of more cafeteria Catholics by listening than by lecturing. Many of them have real issues that could possibly be worked if people were non-judgmental in hearing their pain, and helping them. I know we have it in us on this forum because I’ve seen it.

Speak to a brother in anger, or tell him he is less of a Catholic than you because believes this or that or does this or that, and you, my friend, are sinning just as much as he and you will be judged by your own measure.

Peace,
Alan


#5

Those who fail to believe or follow do not invalidate the truth or the unity of the truth that binds us together. We know where they stand because there is one voice of truth that they say they dissent from. We love them and share with them and pray for and with them, but in the end, if they reject the truth, then they have made their choice and Penny’s very attitude is the type that will have to admit that her eternal destiny is her own choice and doing. I don’t want her to leave or lose her soul, I want her to run this race with me and fight the battles alongside me, but if she doesn’t…someone else will, and when I get to heaven, if she is not there with me then there will be tears, but Jesus made us a promise. Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes: and death shall be no more, nor mourning, nor crying, nor sorrow shall be any more, for the former things are passed away.
Pax vobiscum,


#6

[quote=Kyenta]Unfortunately, there are a lot of cafeteria catholics, those who pick and choose what to believe and what not to believe. Definitely, they hurt the Catholic Church and weaken themselves as witnesses others could learn from and before God.

[/quote]

I am one of those about whom you speak, because there are one or two issues that I have not completely accepted in my own mind, and at this point they don’t weigh on me enough that I’m particularly concerned. I don’t say the Church is wrong, just that I can’t accept certain things at the surface level.

Some such things I’ve learned more about and bought into, or at least for all intents and purposes, such as some of the teachings on Mary.

That said, I vigorously defend the Church – with loving, gentle words – to outsiders, and do a lot of problem solving for other Catholics. I love striking up discussions with strangers based on practically any trigger, and probably have a fairly in-depth discussion with a new Protestant about Catholicism at least once a week. Today I wore a T-shirt all day that contained “10 reasons to remain Roman Catholic” into a number of stores, two schools, and on other errands. Everywhere I went people were reading my shirt and smiling about Catholicism – cashiers, teachers, and even children.

I am very obedient to the Church teachings, at least as far as anybody knows (so as not to cause scandal), and I play organ in Church at two parishes at the times nobody else wants to – at St. Anthony at 4 pm Saturday and All Saints at 8 am Sunday in Wichita (come up and see me after Mass if you can make it) and have done so for years.

My six children have racked up a cumulative 49 years so far in Catholic schools, and six are still in it after the second graduates from high school this weekend. They are all A or A-B students, and my ninth and seventh grader blow away kids from other schools in diocesan Catholic bowls, which tests their very detailed knowledge (which is admittedly much greater than my own) of Catholic doctrine. They score on tests and are loved by faculty and staff.

Call me faithless, but judge me by my works. Bad witness, indeed.

Penny Plain even states that she is disobedient so she is aware that she is doing wrong by using birth control. Romans 1:26 gives reason why contraception, like homosexuality is sinful. They change “the natural use into that which is against nature”.

We can only pray for those who cause dissention by their lack of unity.

You can also talk to them like they are not contaminated with something and you have to keep a certain amount of condescention to avoid catching it. Not that you are doing that, but you can do more than pray. Do you think Jesus went into where the sinners were drinking and insisted that they all listen to Him as he told them they were going to hell because they were fools? It seems to me it was usually those who claimed to know the faith and who looked down on others who didn’t measure up that really got Jesus riled up and calling names and everything.

Alan


#7

[quote=Church Militant]Those who fail to believe or follow do not invalidate the truth or the unity of the truth that binds us together. We know where they stand because there is one voice of truth that they say they dissent from. We love them and share with them and pray for and with them, but in the end, if they reject the truth, then they have made their choice and Penny’s very attitude is the type that will have to admit that her eternal destiny is her own choice and doing. I don’t want her to leave or lose her soul, I want her to run this race with me and fight the battles alongside me, but if she doesn’t…someone else will, and when I get to heaven, if she is not there with me then there will be tears, but Jesus made us a promise. Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes: and death shall be no more, nor mourning, nor crying, nor sorrow shall be any more, for the former things are passed away.
Pax vobiscum,
[/quote]

:amen:

This is what I’m talking about. Don’t give up on your beliefs, but also don’t get all worked up if someone doesn’t listen to you. Our job is to be truthful, not judgmental, toward those who are lacking in understanding, but no condemnation and guilt on them. To look at this from a slightly different angle, their destiny is in the hands of God and if He doesn’t use me to convert them He will use somebody else.

My own gradual returning to the Church after quite a haitus time was over a long period, and I got good little tidbits from many different people along the way. Others I learned from them but felt sorry for them because even though they were knowledgeable they were miserable and anxious. All along the way, though, human interaction of all types proves over and over the Truth of the Gospels and the teachings of Christ, if you know enough of the Word to see how it fits together. Eventually, maybe I’ll get it right before I die. In the meanwhile, I will support the underdog and the accused, even if the underdog is a sinner and the accuser is orthodox Catholic and completely right theologically.

There are two types of theology; the “regular” kind about the teachings and rules, and then mystical theology, which is the science of love. There are people who have enormous love that I can learn from, but who live a lifestyle I find repugnant.

As Queen says in The Prophet’s Song, “still I dare not laugh at the madman.”

Sorry I’ve jumped topics a little. I think I need to go do a few minutes of contemplative prayer, and possibly take an extra lithium. :stuck_out_tongue: This thread has been so freeing and so exciting to me that I need to get away from it for a while.

Alan


#8

On the subject of unity, we don’t need to create unity, we just need to see the unity we already have. It’s God’s job to create.

We are all members of the Church.

We are all sinners.

We all wish to be judged favorably.

We all have gifts we can give each other. Some of the biggest cafeteria Catholics I know of, that put me to shame, give a great deal of their time to the parish doing very difficult work at times, cooking, cleaning, repairing, etc. My 17 year old son has a lot of questions (issues) with the Church yet spent the last two days helping the maintenance man at the Catholic grade school do hard work he couldn’t do alone.

Here is a lesson on unity:

13 For in one Spirit we we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit. 14 Now the body is not a single part, but many. 15 If a foot should say, “Because I am not a hand I do not belong to the body,” it does not for this reason belong any less to the body. 16 Or if an ear should say, “Because I am not an eye I do not belong to the body,” it does not for this reason belong any less to the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But as it is, God placed the parts, each one of them, in the body as he intended. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 But as it is, there are many parts, yet one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I do not need you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I do not need you.” 22 Indeed, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are all the more necessary, 23 ** and those parts of the body that we consider less honorable we surround with greater honor, and our less presentable parts are treated with greater propriety,** 24 whereas our more presentable parts do not need this. But God has so constructed the body as to give greater honor to a part that is without it, 25 so that there may be no division in the body, but that the parts may have the same concern for one another.

Considering verse 27, cafeteria Catholics, the scourge of the faith, should be surrounded with greater honor. The perfect people don’t need this.

I know it’s backwards thinking. We have been taught by society to cast out the marginal, or at least tell them to shape up or ship out. That is a contraceptive mentality. That is why we have to listen to the Good News to get the Truth.

Most cafeteria Catholics do not judge perfect Catholics for thinking differently. I personally have a difficult time not judging them because they seem so unloving at times, but then I become like them.

You never know when you will need help and an atheist or agnostic is going to minister to your needs. Maybe it will even be a Samaritan. It could even be a cafeteria Catholic.

Alan


#9

Guess which body part I am? I should be treated with a great deal of propriety! :smiley:

OK, that’s it. I’m cutting myself off this thing for at least 15 minutes this time…

Alan


#10

[quote=jpusateri]We have to face that there is NO lack of people who profess themselves Catholic, yet are not orthodox faithful. They are in the Church.

These people are not in complete communion with Catholic teachings and don’t know it. Or they feel it’s okay to disagree on anything when there are some things that it’s NOT okay to disagree on. Take a look at forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=53618. One response was

I read this thread and wonder how we can profess UNITY and yet are witness to so much dissention. So we (through the Magisterium) are ONE church in doctrine and hold the standard, yet so many members don’t really worry about not believing the standard to be relevant.

So, on one hand we have people who say either you are in or you are out. On the other we have people saying you can disagree all you want but it’s private “between me and God” so butt out.

It’s schizophrenic.

What can we do to promote true unity?
[/quote]

The true principle of the unity of the Church is Christ Himself - Him, His acts, His Spirit, His Love: not ours. What we do to maintain the Church’s unity, is a sharing in, and response to, the Love of Christ (that is how our activity maintains this unity) - but our activity is always a response to Christ’s unity-giving Love & Life; never the cause of it, so never the main cause of the unity of the Church.

The source of this unity is the Life of the Trinity - Christ prayed that the unity of His disciples might resemble the unity of Father & Son (John 17).

As the unity of Father, Son, & Spirit is their Life and Love, this is what the Church (which is a sort of Sacrament of God’s Presence among men) should also show. The unity of the Church flows from the unity of the Divine Persons - so the unity of the Church should both be based on this unity, and show it.

As we know, and as you point out, things are different: the Church can often be and seem far from loving, let alone Christlike. However, although there is genuine disunity, it is not as basic to the Church’s nature, not as fundamental, as Christ Who mediates the unity of the Trinity to the Church. That is why the Church has an “unconquered stability” (in the words of Vatican I): her unity is a sharing in the unity of God. Nothing less. There are real flaws, real wounds, in the Church: they aren’t illusions, and they aren’t trifling - but they no more take away from the fundamental reality of the Living Presence of Christ in and with His Church, than His wounds on the Cross took away from the reality of His Divinity.

Communion in the Church, is not primarily with other Christians, even with our fellow-Catholics; and certainly not primarily with doctrines. Before all else, it is communion with Christ - He is the One through Whom we have communion with the Father and the Spirit, He is the One through Whom we are at peace with our neighbours, and it is by the Life of Christ that all Christians live. So, the encounter with Christ opens the way to life with others - but that life, in the Church, is the result of our encounter with Christ; not the cause of it: His holy people is not over Him - rather, He is over & within His holy people. As in everything else, Christ always takes the primacy.

Since we are designed by God for Life in God, it follows that we are not designed to live in isolation - “it is not good for man to be alone” whether in relation to God or to man. If solitide was not good for Adam - why should it be good for us ? This means that the Church is a social unity - and it means that the Christian lives in unity with others: IOW, they live the Life mediated by Christ together, not as isolated, atomised, units. Maybe this is a reason the Church is a Body, and not a mere heap of body-parts.

There are many modes of communion in the Church - not just one. An orthodox Catholic in mortal sin is in the Church - but what sort of life is that ? Love is more important than dogma - so it is possible to be unorthodox and yet to be in communion with Christ: the Life of Christ is not confined to the visible Church. Even the Saints, who have no life for ever but that of the Trinity, cannot convey the total richness and profundity and livingness of the Church: only Christ, from Whom the Church takes its origin, fully and comprehensively and totally personalises the Church. ##


#11

I think you are making a good point.

Love is more important than dogma - so it is possible to be unorthodox and yet to be in communion with Christ: the Life of Christ is not confined to the visible Church. Even the Saints, who have no life for ever but that of the Trinity, cannot convey the total richness and profundity and livingness of the Church: only Christ, from Whom the Church takes its origin, fully and comprehensively and totally personalises the Church. ##

Another good point.

So then the Church is unified through Christ, and does not depend on perfect unity between any given two of her members in order for the inherent unity Christ brings to be with her?

Alan


#12

MAtt 13

28: He said to them, An enemy has done this.' The servants said to him,Then do you want us to go and gather them?‘
29: But he said, `No; lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them.
30: Let both grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’"


#13

I seem to recall some years ago that the idea of The Church being One(one of the four marks) was that everyone was in lockstep like Hitler’ marching soldiers. In step, uniform appearance and behavior, and so forth. It was a Oneness in externals that counted. It seems to me today that the oneness has more to do with the fact that we are in relationship with Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and through this in relationship with one another. The fact that the Mass is offered in many languages, and that the old mentality that Father knows best appears to be passe are in my opinion steps in the right direction. The old saying that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing still holds of course, but today is applicable to some of our pew mates rather than to the good Sisters. No doubt as more and more of the laity increase their knowledge and devotion we can expect that they will take their rightful place in the body of Christ. Places which many of them could not have handled in the early half of the last century.


#14

[quote=jpusateri]We have to face that there is NO lack of people who profess themselves Catholic, yet are not orthodox faithful. They are in the Church.

These people are not in complete communion with Catholic teachings and don’t know it. Or they feel it’s okay to disagree on anything when there are some things that it’s NOT okay to disagree on. Take a look at forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=53618. One response was

I read this thread and wonder how we can profess UNITY and yet are witness to so much dissention. So we (through the Magisterium) are ONE church in doctrine and hold the standard, yet so many members don’t really worry about not believing the standard to be relevant.

So, on one hand we have people who say either you are in or you are out. On the other we have people saying you can disagree all you want but it’s private “between me and God” so butt out.

It’s schizophrenic.

What can we do to promote true unity?
[/quote]

I posted this response to her on another thread:

What I don’t understand is why people who dissent stay in the Church in the first place.

The issues of homosexuality and ABC pale in comparison to the teaching that the Church is infallible in regards to faith and morals.

It is this belief that binds all Catholics to assent with Church teaching, for if the Church were not infallible than we could dissent and be correct in doing do.

The real problem is not what the Church should do with these people, but what these people should do with the Church.

If people acted consistently with their convictions there would be no dissent, for they would follow those convictions and find a place that suited them better.

For me dissent goes deeper than just a “disagreement,” it hits at the heart of what the Church says about itself.

I have a Protestant friend who cannot understand Catholic dissent given what the Church teaches about itself. He feels that these people should be honest with themselves and find a place that suits them better… and I think I agree.

Peace


#15

I didn’t answer on that other thread because I was still confused. The main reason is that the Church is a hospital for us sinners. What I don’t understand is why people who aren’t sick keep hanging around the hospital. Maybe we sick people would like to experience healing through the Church without healthy people around telling us how sick we are.

For myself, I was born into a Catholic family and was baptized at a young age, and eventually received all the lay sacraments.

I found myself at odds with the Church due to certain fellow local leaders that had a grip on the workings of the parish, because they would not even consider consulting the teachings of Christ for guidance in fiscal and other issues. They treated me like I was a crazy person, and eventually I became one. All this while I was VP of parish council. I eventually realized that I was at fault for being condescending and judgmental of people who were doing what they thought was right. Gee, I thought I was trying to gently educate them.
(continued)


#16

(continued)

Now that I’ve calmed down from that, I got on this forum last year and found myself in exactly the opposite situation, where others are claiming that I am scum and goofing things up by not being as good a Catholic intellectually as they are. Now I see how obnoxious I must have seemed to them. From my prior experience, I suppose I can guess how obnoxious people like me are to the “true blue” Catholics.

The issues of homosexuality and ABC pale in comparison to the teaching that the Church is infallible in regards to faith and morals.
Whatever. She has a poor track record of instilling those morals in young people. Why should non-Catholics want to join us because of our wonderful faith and morals when virgins are in the minority among our Catholic high school seniors (I don’t know the exact numbers, but I get some pretty good recon reports from my kids.)

Maybe she is infallible in that she has books with stuff written in it that is God’s honest Truth. My real concern with my lifetime on earth is how do we get young people to quit fornicating and doing other things. The girls in Catholic high schools are perhaps only marginally less promiscuous than in a very “diverse” public high school one of my sons went to for two years. What good are faith and morals if they are all just intellectual exercise?

Let me give you some inside information about Catholic high school students. They find their many of their religion teachers encourage openly asking questions, but then they treat them in a condescending or dismissive way that they don’t ask any more questions. They roll their eyes and just talk among themselves and quit listening to authority. This teaches young people to lose respect more than some person who says they are struggling with some of the Church’s hard teachings but who is helpful to them and who will listen to their issues.

By their fruits shall ye know them, not by an analysis of their DNA. It is great that there are people who dedicate their lives to studying and preserving Church teachings. Somebody has to get out the front lines and feeding the fruit trees, and it sometimes pays to take some guidance from people who seem to be full of fertilizer. Remember the dishonest servant was praised by his master for being wise in worldly ways.

I suppose there’s a place for everybody.

The real problem is not what the Church should do with these people, but what these people should do with the Church.

Now “these people” pay for Church property and buildings, maintain and improve those buildings, perform social justice activities, run various parish organizations, bring in converts through RCIA, run the Knights organization, and many other things.

They do all these things with an imperfect knowledge of the teachings of the Church, and quite a few of them it really doesn’t bother that they don’t know all that stuff.

What would you have “those people” do?

If people acted consistently with their convictions there would be no dissent, for they would follow those convictions and find a place that suited them better.

For me dissent goes deeper than just a “disagreement,” it hits at the heart of what the Church says about itself.

Yes, it is the mission of the Church to nurture sinners along and help them heal. If they ever got perfected, then they don’t really need the Church anymore.

[quote]
I have a Protestant friend who cannot understand Catholic dissent given what the Church teaches about itself. He feels that these people should be honest with themselves and find a place that suits them better… and I think I agree.

I have news for you. If we chased out everybody who was not in 100% Communion with the Church, there wouldn’t be any Church buildings anymore. It is all of us “marginal” Catholics, or shall I say heretics, who provide all the trappings for the “virtually perfect” Catholics to have their rituals.

If it makes you feel good, go ahead and praise God that you are like you and not like me. You would be sinning by doing so, in my opinion, but I’m sure you would know better than I would. I know I’m scum and a sinner and not a good Catholic, and sometimes I am more sorry about it than other times. I am finally strong enough in my own belief that I am just as precious to God as anyone else, no more and no less, that it doesn’t hurt me a bit. Now I will turn both cheeks to you and attempt to graciously and with open heart accept a probably much-needed rebuttal.

Maybe it sounds like I’m saying I’m better than you. If it does, then go ahead and humble me. I’ll be listening and loving it.

Alan
[/quote]


#17

Oh, also I’d like to mention that I’m glad you are able to learn so much about the Catholic Church from your Protestant friend. Perhaps he has more suggestions about whom we should kick out of the Church. Where do you suppose these people should go? His/her church? Is that where they will get straightened out?

That is like kicking a patient right out the hospital room window because he is not only sick, but has some could-have-been “friendly” disagreements with hospital staff. Get these obnoxious people out of the way. They are always moaning and groaning, and they make our lives so difficult.

That said, I’m insincerely sorry that I embarrassed you by not living up to your friend’s ideal of a good Catholic. Perhaps you should invite him to RCIA so he can become a model Catholic, unless of course he’d like to stay outside the Church while preaching to her.

Luckily, the Holy Roman Catholic Church has baptized me when I was still in the cradle, and she says that I am still a member no matter how those without sin would have it.

Moderators, any time you think I’m crossing the charity line let me know and I’ll back off.

Alan

Alan


#18

quote=AlanFromWichita

Now that I’ve calmed down from that, I got on this forum last year and found myself in exactly the opposite situation, where others are claiming that I am scum and goofing things up by not being as good a Catholic intellectually as they are. Now I see how obnoxious I must have seemed to them. From my prior experience, I suppose I can guess how obnoxious people like me are to the “true blue” Catholics.

Whatever. She has a poor track record of instilling those morals in young people. Why should non-Catholics want to join us because of our wonderful faith and morals when virgins are in the minority among our Catholic high school seniors (I don’t know the exact numbers, but I get some pretty good recon reports from my kids.)

Maybe she is infallible in that she has books with stuff written in it that is God’s honest Truth. My real concern with my lifetime on earth is how do we get young people to quit fornicating and doing other things. The girls in Catholic high schools are perhaps only marginally less promiscuous than in a very “diverse” public high school one of my sons went to for two years. What good are faith and morals if they are all just intellectual exercise?

Let me give you some inside information about Catholic high school students. They find their many of their religion teachers encourage openly asking questions, but then they treat them in a condescending or dismissive way that they don’t ask any more questions. They roll their eyes and just talk among themselves and quit listening to authority. This teaches young people to lose respect more than some person who says they are struggling with some of the Church’s hard teachings but who is helpful to them and who will listen to their issues.

By their fruits shall ye know them, not by an analysis of their DNA. It is great that there are people who dedicate their lives to studying and preserving Church teachings. Somebody has to get out the front lines and feeding the fruit trees, and it sometimes pays to take some guidance from people who seem to be full of fertilizer. Remember the dishonest servant was praised by his master for being wise in worldly ways.

I suppose there’s a place for everybody.

Now “these people” pay for Church property and buildings, maintain and improve those buildings, perform social justice activities, run various parish organizations, bring in converts through RCIA, run the Knights organization, and many other things.

They do all these things with an imperfect knowledge of the teachings of the Church, and quite a few of them it really doesn’t bother that they don’t know all that stuff.

What would you have “those people” do?

Yes, it is the mission of the Church to nurture sinners along and help them heal. If they ever got perfected, then they don’t really need the Church anymore.

I have news for you. If we chased out everybody who was not in 100% Communion with the Church, there wouldn’t be any Church buildings anymore. It is all of us “marginal” Catholics, or shall I say heretics, who provide all the trappings for the “virtually perfect” Catholics to have their rituals.

If it makes you feel good, go ahead and praise God that you are like you and not like me. You would be sinning by doing so, in my opinion, but I’m sure you would know better than I would. I know I’m scum and a sinner and not a good Catholic, and sometimes I am more sorry about it than other times. I am finally strong enough in my own belief that I am just as precious to God as anyone else, no more and no less, that it doesn’t hurt me a bit.

Maybe it sounds like I’m saying I’m better than you. If it does, then go ahead and humble me. I’ll be listening and loving it.

Alan
[/quote]

Should it not be the goal of all who claim the name of Christian to align themselves with the truth?

The Church is a hospital and all who are sick should seek refuge in her care. But what of the medicine in this hospital?

If people refuse treatment what are we to do?

If people actively seek to subplant the medicine what do we do?

We are all sinners in need of repentance, and I am the greatest in need.

I am not saying that I or others who hold to the Church’s teaching are better than those who dissent, but that those who do dissent need to be honest with themselves as to why they dissent.

Ultimately, the issue is not about me or you or whoever. Ultimately, the issue is about authority and our willingness to accept it or reject it.

If one rejects it than one needs to be honest about it and not go about like nothings going on.

I am all for proper catechesis, but some will not even accept the truth after being instructed in it. In this case they need to be honest and follow their convictions.

The Church is voluntary. No one is forced to belong to her. If the call to fidelity cost us numbers, so be it. The truth is not about numbers, the truth stands on its own even if no one believes.

Peace


#19

[quote=AlanFromWichita]Oh, also I’d like to mention that I’m glad you are able to learn so much about the Catholic Church from your Protestant friend. Perhaps he has more suggestions about whom we should kick out of the Church. Where do you suppose these people should go? His/her church? Is that where they will get straightened out?

That is like kicking a patient right out the hospital room window because he is not only sick, but has some could-have-been “friendly” disagreements with hospital staff. Get these obnoxious people out of the way. They are always moaning and groaning, and they make our lives so difficult.

That said, I’m insincerely sorry that I embarrassed you by not living up to your friend’s ideal of a good Catholic. Perhaps you should invite him to RCIA so he can become a model Catholic, unless of course he’d like to stay outside the Church while preaching to her.

Luckily, the Holy Roman Catholic Church has baptized me when I was still in the cradle, and she says that I am still a member no matter how those without sin would have it.

Moderators, any time you think I’m crossing the charity line let me know and I’ll back off.

Alan

Alan
[/quote]

My friend is very familar with what the Church teaches, even I might add more than most Catholics. That being said, he is not Catholic because he does not agree with the Church regarding some key issues. In this case he is being consistant with his convictions by not being Catholic.

I wish this can be said for some who claim the name of Catholic and yet dissent. If my friend were to become Catholic (and I am always praying he will) he will do so because he believes it to be the truth. He will accept her teachings and try to conform his life to them. Is this not what all people of conviction ought to do?

This is not a “holier than thou” attitude, but a call to honesty. I struggle with sin, I lack faith, but by God’s grace I will conquer it. It is hard enough overcoming sin, why refuse the medicine?

Peace


#20

[quote=dennisknapp]Should it not be the goal of all who claim the name of Christian to align themselves with the truth?

[/quote]

Sure. Some chug the whole thing at once, some nibble and digest a little at a time. Inevitably, humans take a few wrong paths in seeking the right ones. This applies to emotions and attitudes, as well as intellectual processes.

Without even knowing anything about you, for example, I would challenge you to a math contest. Just because I could beat 99% of the people high school age and above in math, doesn’t mean I’m better than them. Nor if I am a great theologian does it mean anything at all, unless I have love.

Telling people to leave the Church because they aren’t Catholic enough is not love. Saying you can’t understand how they think may be entirely honest, but it definitely crosses the line when people start going around saying things that come across to us overly defensive types as, “ooh, I’d prefer these vulgar people who don’t believe in papal infallibility or who use contraception would just go away.”

Good luck paying the electric bill without the help of sinners.

The Church is a hospital and all who are sick should seek refuge in her care. But what of the medicine in this hospital?

What of it?

If people refuse treatment what are we to do?

Greet them with a smile every morning. Keep them warm and well fed. If they are thirsty give them to drink. Comfort them when they are sad. Pray for them and with them, at whatever level they are comfortable with. If they are unwilling or unable to do a whole Rosary with you, then just pray a couple Our Fathers, Hail Mary’s, and Glory Be’s with them and call it good.

People are wounded in many ways, and only God knows the rate at which they will heal, and how long they will be in the Church until they become a perfected saint.

How else would you treat us, the very, very least of Christ’s brothers? Like Christ Himself, thank you. I tell you this not as an expectation or even a request on my own behalf, but for your own salvation. This is the Good News of Christ. The greatest among us is the one who serves.

This is how he treated the marginal, and the people who weren’t “moral” enough to be seen with the “good” religious leaders. He accepted their gifts, and let them wipe his feet with her hair. Who was justified before Christ? Those who harrumphed at the tramp and tried to get rid of her?

There seems to have been a pattern of this abortive thinking even back then. Keep the children away from Him. Protect Him from having to get near a leper. Doesn’t he know what kind of woman is touching him? If they aren’t sufficiently orthodox, throw them overboard. The Bible says we need to get rid of those who don’t agree with us in three attempts. Three strikes and they are out.

Did Mother Teresa comfort only orthodox Catholics?

If people actively seek to subplant the medicine what do we do?

What, like gay rights activists who are trying to change the Church teachings? You hold steadfast to your faith, and the Church remains true to what she believes has been revealed by the Holy Spirit. I hope we can agree on that. :wink:

We are all sinners in need of repentance, and I am the greatest in need.

Join the club, bro. We’re all trying to get through this life and hopefully do some good. Together with Christ’s help, we can.

I am not saying that I or others who hold to the Church’s teaching are better than those who dissent, but that those who do dissent need to be honest with themselves as to why they dissent.

This is really a very good idea. I find a lot of people who dissent with Church teachings for various really strange reasons, often emotionally based. Some sound selfish to me, but the people seem convinced they have good reason.
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