I posted this in the “Ask an Apologist” section - but I would like to hear your opinions as well, if you are willing to give them…
How do I respond to the below argument?
“I read that, when the Pope was ‘elected’, he said in a speech… people aren’t Catholic unless they adhere to all of the church’s beliefs. Meaning if you used any type of birth control, for example, you weren’t Catholic. If you attended mass only every now and then, you weren’t Catholic. That didn’t sit right with me. I was brought up believing that you can worship God anywhere, any time, and if you didn’t attend church every week, that was ok.”
I don’t see how this can be true, because we’re all sinners, and if this were true, none of us would be Catholic, right? But I can’t find any official sources that specifically refute this point or any references to what, exactly, the Pope may have said about it. It seems like the point is that we should believe and try our best to always follow the beliefs of the Church - not that we are expected to always be perfect in living up to them under threat of being kicked out. Is this correct? If so, how do I get this across in a loving way?