You are either Catholic or you aren’t. No, this isn’t an attempt to convert everyone out there to Catholicism, but rather it is directed to those who claim to be Catholic, yet don’t follow the teachings of the church. They pick and choose which tenets of the faith to follow and decide the others aren’t right.
This is especially a problem when it is very public figures who claim they are devout Catholics yet believe in things such as abortion or same-sex marriage. Of course at the top of this list for me is Nancy Pelosi the House Minority Leader from the San Francisco area. Why Nancy even believes she is more catholic than San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. She recently sent him a letter asking him not attend the March for Marriage event.
“We share our love of the Catholic faith and our city of San Francisco,” Pelosi wrote to Cordileone, who, as head of the 560,000-member Archdiocese of San Francisco, has become the Catholic bishops’ point man against gay marriage. She urged him to abandon an event in which some of the participants show “disdain and hate towards LGBT persons.” – SFGate.com
I’ll make one point on this then move on from my minor rant about Pelosi and go onto my main idea. The debate about same-sex marriage as far as the Catholic Church goes has nothing to do with “disdain and hate towards LGBT persons” but the fact that the Catholic Church believes it is against the teachings of our Savior Jesus Christ. They have always taught this and they aren’t going to change it now. Catholics, and any one else for that matter especially Christians, don’t “hate” anyone, rather they hate the sin and love the sinner. But enough of my political rant against another democratic politician who thinks she has all the answers and is smarter than the rest of us.
The problem is this: If you claim to be Catholic, then you should be following all the teachings of the Church, not just the ones you agree with. And for the record, I used to be one of those who claimed to be Catholic, who picked and chose the teachings I would follow.
The Catholic Church has taught the same things since its inception after the death and resurrection of Jesus. Whether the Catholic Church is the “true” church of Jesus can, and has been debated, but the fact remains Catholics haven’t changed their beliefs since that time. They have never succumbed to changes in public opinion, they have never changed due to pressure from the media and certainly not because of any politician. One only needs to look at the history and beginnings of Protestantism for evidence of this. Sir Thomas More, now a saint, was beheaded because he refused to bow to the political pressure put on him by King Henry VIII and agree that the King’s divorce was okay in the Catholic Church.
If you don’t want to follow Catholic teaching, then you can leave the Catholic Church. The church should not and will not change to fit you, you can either change to fit the church or join the over 20,000 other Christian denominations out there. In fact you can even start your own if you would like.
Again, I am not claiming that Catholicism is the one true faith and all the others are wrong. What I am saying is if you don’t like what it teaches, then you should leave, not call yourself a Catholic and get on with your own life. For too long we have let groups with their own political agendas change the way we think and act, they continue to take away our religious freedoms and our right to believe what we wish to believe. This is true whether you are Catholic, Protestant, Mormon or Muslim.
So forgive my rant but at least give it some thought.
Here are some resources you might be interested in:
Catechism of the Catholic Church
History of the Catholic Church: From the Apostolic Age to the Third Millennium
5 thoughts on “Either You Are Catholic or You Are Not”
You have just whittled the Catholic church down to *maybe* 10% of its current size. I just wonder if that’s really what you want to do?
I agree with you, however. I am not a Catholic but have always wondered a bit why the majority of Catholics whose beliefs are more aligned with Episcopalianism (or sometimes even Unitarianism) don’t just up and switch churches. I do realize there are cultural ties, a love of long tradition, and the belief that the church will change, but living with a system in such disharmony with one’s own beliefs is just something difficult for me, personally, to imagine. I also think that for those who want he church to change a mass exodus is really one of the more likely motivators to the church.
Thanks for your comment. It isn’t that I want to whittle the church down, although I do agree this would, but I would like to see those who claim to be Catholic actually know what and why the church teaches what it does. And I am the first to admit, I don’t know or understand it all myself, but I am taking the time to learn.
What I believe has always set the Catholic Church aside from others is the fact is doesn’t change because people think it should, instead it sticks to what it has always believed in. Why are there over 20,000 Protestant denominations? Because many of them were begun so the members could pick and choose what they believed.
Yes. Totally agree. “Cafeteria Catholics” are really not Catholics. I mean you are Catholic because you believe in the Church and all of her teachings. Not all but one or two. Great post, keep up the good work. 🙂
Thank you for your comment, I hope to hear from you again.
Pingback: The Catholic War on Women | The Wayward Catholic