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Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Who Is a Real Catholic?

Someone said that I'm somewhat anti-Catholic in my posts. I don't think I'm anti-Catholic, but I'll admit I'm not a typical Catholic .... I was raised in no religion, didn't go to Catholic schools or church, didn't have any Catholic friends (unless you count two lapsed-Catholic boyfriends), studied philosophy in college to the point that I didn't believe in anything anymore. Yet now I'm a baptised and reborn Catholic thanks to an historical appreciation of Catholicism and a conversion experience during an online Jesuit retreat. I don't agree with everything in Church teaching, but I'm not alone - guys as diverse as Cardinal Newman and James Alison have dissented and they still remain Catholics. Having said all this, I'm not trying to convince anyone of my Cathlicness, and it means less to me than trying to be a good Christian, but it leads to mentioning an interesting article in The Washington Post by David Gibson - Who Is a Real Catholic?. Here's a quote from it ......

A century ago, the church was deeply divided over Pope Pius X's campaign against "Modernism," which was a catchall for anything Rome deemed suspicious. When Pius died, the conclave of 1914 elected Benedict XV, who immediately issued an encyclical calling on Catholics "to appease dissension and strife" so that "no one should consider himself entitled to affix on those who merely do not agree with his ideas the stigma of disloyalty to faith."

"There is no need of adding any qualifying terms to the profession of Catholicism," Benedict XV concluded. "It is quite enough for each one to proclaim 'Christian is my name and Catholic my surname.'"



7 Comments:

Blogger Michael said...

Who is a real Catholic? Do you mean legally, spiritually, practically, or what :)? I believe the Catholic Church considers anyone that was ever baptized to be a real Catholic. I don't think even excommunication can remove that mark from them! You can have fun with all the rest of the categories.

One can find many examples of people that dissented from Church teachings, even to being excommunicated that were later vindicated by being canonized as Saints, so I don't think that dissent or lack of is any criterion.

One can love someone or something and still recognize faults. If one does not see faults in this imperfect world, they are blind, or totally indifferent. Or maybe dead.

I do not believe that those who dissent with the nations laws allowing abortion are un-American. Nor are those that propose that each person be allowed to make their own choice anti-Catholic, so far God seems to have allowed it, and I would really, really hesitate to call Him anti-Catholic :).

Dissent, argument, debate, study - they are all good things. Demonizing, and ad hominem attacks are not, they avoid the issue and only cause anger and hatred as we have seen in the past few weeks. Such tactics can be exciting, interesting, and even temporarily satisfying, but in the long run, they solve nothing, and in fact make the solution more difficult.

One think that I have admired about B16, he sticks with reason and avoids such attacks. I may not always agree with his conclusions, but he has never called me a name, never made fun of me, never insulted me. He attracts, he does not attack.

Hugs,

Mike L

4:53 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Who is a real Catholic? Do you mean legally, spiritually, practically, or what :)? I believe the Catholic Church considers anyone that was ever baptized to be a real Catholic. I don't think even excommunication can remove that mark from them! You can have fun with all the rest of the categories.

One can find many examples of people that dissented from Church teachings, even to being excommunicated that were later vindicated by being canonized as Saints, so I don't think that dissent or lack of is any criterion.

One can love someone or something and still recognize faults. If one does not see faults in this imperfect world, they are blind, or totally indifferent. Or maybe dead.

I do not believe that those who dissent with the nations laws allowing abortion are un-American. Nor are those that propose that each person be allowed to make their own choice anti-Catholic, so far God seems to have allowed it, and I would really, really hesitate to call Him anti-Catholic :).

Dissent, argument, debate, study - they are all good things. Demonizing, and ad hominem attacks are not, they avoid the issue and only cause anger and hatred as we have seen in the past few weeks. Such tactics can be exciting, interesting, and even temporarily satisfying, but in the long run, they solve nothing, and in fact make the solution more difficult.

One think that I have admired about B16, he sticks with reason and avoids such attacks. I may not always agree with his conclusions, but he has never called me a name, never made fun of me, never insulted me. He attracts, he does not attack.

Hugs,

Mike L

4:53 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Mike,

Thanks for the comment(s) :) It's good to know fellowship is not too exclusive here in blogdom and that there's room under the bigCatholic tent for people who diverge a little.

Yeah, about B16 - think I read that the Vatican newspaper was actually positive about Obama's speech at ND :)

6:11 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

It's always warm and fuzzy to act like insulting others is just a difference of opinion. Unfortunately, calling your fellow citizens supporters of baby killing is not really that 'warm and fuzzy.' Another quote. The equality of unequals is inequaliity.To say pro-choice rhetoric equals 'pro-life' shouts of baby killers is misplaced 'fairness.' Jack

6:25 PM  
Blogger SusieQ said...

Father Andrew Greely is another Catholic who has disagreed with the church on certain issues. He said that there is no place outside the church for Catholics like him to go though. Anyway, dissenting Catholics do not want to leave the church.

My daughter (she's in her forties and divorced with children) is dating a very devout Catholic. Now my daughter is a devout Catholic, too, but not to the same extent as her boyfriend. They have had their religious disagreements. She, like you Crystal, told her boyfriend recently that she was first a Christian and then a Catholic.

6:31 PM  
Blogger victor said...

The way I see it is that God Our Heavenly Father Loves each and everyone of us so much that it only takes one spiritual DNA CELL instilled in us at Baptism to make "IT" back to paradise.

We could talk about this forever and a day and still not probably agree as to what God really thinks but there's one thing I'm sure of and that is that The Good Lord will never abandon His Children but because of "Free Will" some may chose to look the other way where the grass appears to be greener.

I hear ya Crystal! Victor you're back to your old tricks again! :)

God Bless

6:45 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Thanks for the comments, you guys :)

8:22 PM  

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