Hi. This is my first post. I would like to, to the best of my creative capacities, ascertain the general sentiments about he role of the Church changing its salient role as society progresses into a more advanced stage of modernity. Many recognize that the kind of liberal/conservative dichotomy that applies to essential politic leanings also applies to faith. The conservative stance is generally characterized by a static, rigid, and literal interpretation of hierarchy and words of religious icons whose authority on matters of faith is well established. Therefore, “progress” is a misnomer and is moreover inimical to the Church and Jesus’ message. In contrast, the liberal standpoint would hold that there is an essential undertone (typically of love & compassion) underlying religious scripture. This would seem to conform to a historical view of the Church and its progress socially – that the Church has made mistakes in its decrees and actions and has had to apologize on numerous occasions for them (for example, many of John Paul II’s apologetic statements for Crusades, Inquisition, etc.). The underlying assumption is therefore that human rationality must serve as a check on and competition against human fallibility.
W/out further ado, I will make a few statements about beliefs about the philosophy of the Church. Please select in the poll the number of the proposition with which you most agree.
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1) The Word of God can by human fallibility exist to us only as we interpret it. This is not necessarily to say the God’s Word is subjective; on the contrary, we cannot ever claim to know it. As such, we must take what our good nature and rationality indicate to us as being the positive and essential meaning of Jesus’ message and apply that to a social context. We should be more progressive as a society; the Church should alter its stance on homosexuality and (perhaps) its stance on abortion. If you fall in this category, you’re more likely (though of course not necessarily) to accept the notion of universal salvation.
2) Though our Church leaders have been wrong in the past, their judgment is still more qualified that ours. The have more of a claim to a direct nexus between them and God. We should disagree with Church leaders when it is self-evident that they err, but we should, on the whole, defer to them on matters of judgment. If you are in this category, you might be sympathetic with a changing of the Church’s stance on homosexuality but are less likely to feel the same about abortion. You probably believe that only Christians who follow God and those of other faiths who are of exceptional moral character will attain salvation.
3) That the Church has in the past erred is actually illusory. Every bit of Church law has necessarily remained unchanged through Church history, and any apparent alterations are merely the fulfillment of the meaning of previous and veritable teachings. The Church has a direct and infallible nexus via its papacy to Peter, apostle of Jesus. If you fall in this category, you believe wholly that homosexuality and abortion are mortal sins and therefore should not be condoned by the Church on any level. You are likely to be sympathetic with the current pope’s opposition to so-called “progress” in Church teaching. Salvation is afforded to the righteous only: Catholics who follow the Church and (perhaps) non-Catholics who do the same.
4) You are a traditionalist Catholic. Vatican II is invalid and its baptisms, rituals, etc. are also invalid. It is necessary to keep a so-called “antipope” as the successor of Peter. Homosexuality and abortion are intrinsically wrong and evil. Only Catholics may be admitted into Heaven, and the path for doing so is indeed an onerous one.