Why do the majority of Catholics not follow their own teachings?


#1

Dr. Janet Smith states in her talk “Contraception Why Not?” that at least 80% of all Catholics are contracepting. I would imagine that with that large of a percentage there are probably a lot of Catholics on this very website who are contracepting? Yet, you sure won’t have a hard time finding information on the “power and glory” of the Catholic Church on this website. Interesting how Catholics pick and choose the teachings they want to follow ah? This ain’t Burger King…you can’t “Have it your way”!:thumbsup:


#2

Because they’re human. Most people in my society believe that it is good to save part of each paycheck and eat healthy food, yet we don’t do it. We know it’s right, but in the daily grind, somehow we don’t get around to it.

It is good to have a high standard to strive for, even when we don’t meet it all the time.

PS…I am not Catholic, but those are the reasons I don’t always do what I know is best


#3

A few weeks ago I listened to Dr. Smith’s CD for the first time. It was given to me to help me understand the church’s position on artificial contraception. In more than 40 years I did not understand or accept the church’s position because it was never properly explained, even thought I attended Catholic school for 13 years. In just one hour listening to this CD, with an open mind, my opinion was changed. I was amazed that I not only understood what Dr. Smith was saying but actually agreed with her. We now live in a society where every Christian church except the Catholic church says that artificial contraception is OK. It’s very easy for Catholics to become confused on this subject. The sexual revolution of the 60’s that Dr. Smith speaks of in her CD changed the mind of society. It’s up to us to seek the truth and decide what is the right thing to do when it’s not the easy thing to do.


#4

That stat is misleading. My understanding is that the 80% is from a survey that asked if was always wrong to use contraceptives and 80% said no. Now, if one is like most people, when they hear an *always, *they hedge their bets in case there is something they haven’t thought of and haven’t given it a full study. Also, just because they say it isn’t always wrong, it doesn’t mean they are actually contracepting.

Now I am willing to grant that far too many Catholics contracept, but I would need to see the 80% stat substantiated better.

The other stat that is baloney is the 50% divorvce rate. This came about when someone looked at *one year, *saw that there were half as many divorces as marriages that year and thus the “half of all marraiges end in divorce” legend was born, spreading despair across the land. The actual stat I recall, put it at about 14% but don’t really remember. Still too many of course, but not as gloomy as the 50% stat.


#5

Bunk. I’ve read that the statistic is much lower AND,
**as for the Burger King analogy - Protestantism is the BEST example of “Cafeteria Christianity”. **
**"Ummm, I’ll have some of this (faith) but none of that (works, obedience to faith)." **

You can’t have it YOUR way. It’s GOD’S way (HIS Church) or the Highway (thousands of assorted offshoots), my friend . . .


#6

I appreciate your post…I didn’t know that.:o


#7

I find this topic really intersting. My parents didn’t use anything and had a ton of kids. They used nfp for a short period of time, but mostly just let go and let God. For this reason ppl looked at my family like a “good Catholic family”. Little do they know my parents have a lot of problems. THey have many vices many sins. Who doesn’t though. It is funny to me though that ppl think if you use contraception you are automatically a “cafeteria catholic”. Let me tell you, there are many many many sins. Everyone in line for confession is guilty of being a cafeteria catholic. Why is it that contraception is the sin that will ‘ostracise’ you- but not alcoholism, cigarette smoking, gossipping, lying, philandering, cheating on taxes, masturbating etc… Why don’t ppl call any catholics that sin “cafeteria catholics”. We all fall short. We all sin, we all disobey the Church.

Funny, A friend of mine also had the same experience in her family. “Big Caholic family” ppl came to her mom for spiritual advice, she was known for her holiness. She wouldn’t even take meds because they med companies made BC pills. Her and her husband were known for their piety etc. All because they ‘had a big family’. Later on my friend said that she found out that her parents were really nothing that everyone thought they were. The dad was a philanderer and had multiple girfriends throughout their marriage, the mom had her own problems.

So I ask this…Why is someone who sins by using ABC a cafteria catholic, but not sins in other ways?? I think EVERY catholic has a vice that they struggle with DAILY, if we didn’t we wouldn’t be human. So why are the contraceptors only stigmatized for the Cafteria Catholic award?


#8

Contrary to popular belief all sins are not equal. If you have not already, I recommend you listen to “Contraception Why Not” by Dr. Janet Smith


#9

And some things are not sins at all:

alcoholism, cigarette smoking


#10

You are obviously showing your ignorance. One of the biggest misconceptions about Protestantism is that protestants are “anti-works”. My father, grandfather, great grandfather, and father in law are or were Protestant ministers and I have never heard any of them teach that. In fact I have never come across a protestant who is alive in their faith that has believed that they can do whatever they want and still get to heaven. Do you realize how many times I have heard “you will know them by their fruits…faith without works is dead…ext…” Your statement is a misinformed accusation by an over zealous Catholic. Do some research before you make an accusation.

By the way your last statement is exactly my point.


#11

A Catholic being true to the faith doesn’t (and CANNOT) pick and choose teachings to follow. Unfortunately, some Catholics are not being true to their faith by choosing to contracept over accepting the grace of God in procreation.

Protestants shold be careful in their accusations against Catholics, and vice versa. The “Burger King” comment is interesting. Is this not how we ended up with tens of thousands of Christian denominations? As a Protestant, you contradict your own statement. Protestant communities formed because of disagreement with the Church’s way, which is sad, because it is also a disagreement with Christ’s Way.

And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.

Matthew 16: 18-19

I pray that you do find your way to the Truth. I also pray that those who are contracepting will reconsider their actions. That they will ask themselves “why am I contracepting?” That they might ask themselves “what if my parents contracepted and I was never born?” That they may come to understand that contraception is the seed of abortion. What would you do if your contraception method “fails”? If you see contraception as an option, what stops you from seeing abortion as an option? Or the morning-after pill as an option? or sterilization as an option?


#12

I completely agree with you! That is exactly my point! You can not pick and choose. I am well aware of the problems with Protestants. I would already be a Catholic if I didn’t have to go through RCIA. It just frustrates me to see people who have the fullness of truth and have always had the fullness of truth not be true to it. I hope you understand.


#13

The percentage thrown around on this website is that 98% of Catholics capable of impregnating or being impregnated are contracepting.

The shocker is that they are probably committing other sins too.

I would imagine that with that large of a percentage there are probably a lot of Catholics on this very website who are contracepting?

I would imagine you are right.

Yet, you sure won’t have a hard time finding information on the “power and glory” of the Catholic Church on this website. Interesting how Catholics pick and choose the teachings they want to follow ah? This ain’t Burger King…you can’t “Have it your way”!:thumbsup:

Maybe the Church could hire you to go out and kick some Catholic butt.

Many, many probably stay because of family obligations. A few less than that probably don’t actually know the teachings about contraception and the reasons for them.

If the Catholic Church forces these people out and they go to find a church to suit their own theology, they may never have the chance to hear the truth.

The Catholic Church is the last major Church to continue bringing the truth about contraception to the world. This wasn’t always the case though. The link below has an interesting article on the early historical Protestant view of contraception.
touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=20-04-020-f


#14

YEah ive heard it. Not sure what that has to do with anything. The term “cafeteria catholic” refers to ppl who pick and choose. IT does not refer to ppl who have 'bigger sins" or “less sins”. So the ONLY group of sinners to be named cafteria catholics are the ones who use contraception. Funny i ve never heard that euphamism used with any other sin. :confused:


#15

Here’s a good sermon by St. Leonard of Port Maurice that explaines this phenomenon and its danger.

trueletterofoursavior.com/stleonard.htm

As he says, however:

“Pious souls, you may leave; this sermon is not for you. Its sole purpose is to contain the pride of libertines who cast the holy fear of God out of their heart and join forces with the devil who, according to the sentiment of Eusebius, damns souls by reassuring them.”


#16

Well, I have never heard anyone but Catholics use that euphamism. However, that’s just my experience.


#17

Everyone in line for confession is guilty of being a cafeteria catholic. Why is it that contraception is the sin that will ‘ostracise’ you- but not alcoholism, cigarette smoking, gossipping, lying, philandering, cheating on taxes, masturbating etc… Why don’t ppl call any catholics that sin “cafeteria catholics”. We all fall short. We all sin, we all disobey the Church.

So I ask this…Why is someone who sins by using ABC a cafteria catholic, but not sins in other ways?? I think EVERY catholic has a vice that they struggle with DAILY, if we didn’t we wouldn’t be human. So why are the contraceptors only stigmatized for the Cafteria Catholic award?

Just to be fair, this is not what the term ‘Cafeteria Catholic’ means. People in line for Confession know that what they did was wrong and are in the process of correcting it. A cafeteria Catholic is one who picks and chooses what doctrines of the CC they believe, as in, they’re not even going to be in line because they don’t see it as wrong. If someone believed that masturbation, or lying, or cheating, weren’t sins, then they would be guilty of being cafeteria Catholics.

In general, where a Catholic stands on birth control can show you how seriously they believe that the CC is Christ’s Church and Her commandments are His commandments, because it is one of the most difficult teachings of The Church. Those who follow this teaching, generally, obey all the other teachings to the best of their ability at all times.


#18

Too many Catholics nowadays are immersed in hardcore classical Liberalism–it is the most basic premise for all modern democracies. Even in the past, the culture remained Christian in many places, but the dream of the Elightenment folks has really been slowly made a reality in the last century and a half, especially the last 50 years.

Basically, what it does is reduce religion to a matter of human opinion. And, rightfully so, no one should have a problem with disagreeing with human opinion. The problem is, the Catholic faith is not human opinion, but the “opinion” of God–and disagreeing with Him would be absurd.

The First Vatican Council dealt exclusively with this issue to combat the Liberals. The Second Vatican Council’s documents Dei Verbum and Lumen Gentium also deal forcefully with this issue. But it does seem to be a losing battle :frowning:


#19

[blockquote]Everyone in line for confession is guilty of being a cafeteria catholic.[/blockquote]

Actually that’s almost the opposite. A “Cafeteria Catholic” is a Catholic who willfully dissents from one or more of the Church’s teachings, not a Catholic who sins, or fails to follow the Church’s teachings.

Example: A Cafeteria Catholic does not believe the Church is correct in disallowing artificial contraception. He/she uses condoms and does not believe he/she is committing a sin, therefore you’re not going to see this person in line for confession (at least not for contracepting).

On the other hand, you may have a Catholic who accepts the Church’s teachings on AC, yet uses AC willingly, knowing he/she is committing a sin. This person is much more likely to be in line to confess that sin, since they DO recognize it as a sin to be repented of.

Being a sinner has nothing to do with Cafeteria Catholicism. Every Catholic is a sinner, not every Catholic is a Cafeteria Catholic.


#20

Unless one has been a Protestant (like our family), it’s hard to get one’s brain around the subtle differences between Protestant denominations and how they each contrast with the Catholic Church. When it comes to works, there seems more confusion than ever. What a lot of it seems to come down to is differences in terminology. A great example is “Do you know Jesus?”. As a great article by Jim Blackburnin* “*This Rock” points out, there is no reason why this question should create confusion, but it sometimes does since Catholics take a different perspective or view on the meaning of this unfamiliar phrase (and it’s often asked in a debate mindset). While our answer should be in the positive given the beauty and meaning surrounding Mass, Catholics often second guess their responses–when they should instead just speak from their hearts.

So, I can agree to a point on what you’re saying… In the Nazarene Church in which I grew up, for example, the Book of James was one of the favorite books of our Sunday School teacher. Speaking about works was no problem,which is a bit mystifying since this seems to be the source of so much confusion between Catholics and Protestants. I suggest, by and large, that we both believe very similar things in regards for the needs of works, but our terminology and “loaded” definitions spark further division and distrust when what we should really be doing is looking for more common ground. We both believe that it is through Christ alone that we are saved, His grace, but that our works are evidence of the new creation within our hearts.

Not to plug something of my own here, but this is one of the reasons I wrote an article last year called “Separated Brothers”, which focuses on the divisions between Catholics and Protestants. It’s just too easy to speak in such generalities and loaded terms (like “fundamentalist”) about each other when often we are saying the same thing to each other–just using different language to do so.

A couple words on our background… My grandfather is also a Protestant minister as was my wife’s great-grandfather, a Free Methodist Circuit Rider in Texas. Our families also include many Sunday School teachers and other well-meaning positions within Protestant churches. We attended a Free Methodist university in Seattle, then converted to the Catholic Church a few years ago. If it’s sometimes hard for us to express the differences between denominations, for instance, it must be even more confusing for Cradle Catholics–as well as for lifelong Protestants who imagine Catholics spending their days praying to statues, conducting ceremonies shrouded in secret and mystery, and assorted other fictions. A great accomplishment of the Forums is getting both sides of Christ’s separated body to begin speaking again.


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