Sunday, September 9, 2012

TFTD: Church Teaching NOT Up for Grabs

"Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”

(Luke 10:16)

I came across an opinion article from a badly misinformed writer on the conflict among Catholics during an Election year.  The annoying part of the article read:

Beyond secular politics, polarization in the church also includes tension about such things as the new Mass language, the ordination of women, the role of nuns, contraception, the nature of the priesthood and the role of laity. The very nature of the reforms of Vatican Council II is up for grabs. Inspiring leaders with vision and courage are sorely lacking.

That would be incorrect.  The nature of the reforms are not "up for grabs."  We need to recognize that the Catholic teaching is not an issue to be debated or voted on.  it is not something that would be changed if only the Church would bring in liberal bishops.  The truth is, faithful Catholics believe the Catholic faith was established by Christ with authority given to the apostles and their successors – the Pope and the Bishops in communion with him (the Magisterium).

Basically, when there is a dispute over the proper interpretation of Catholic teaching, it is the Magisterium which has the authority to determine what is in keeping with the Catholic faith and what is not.  Not some modern theologian.  Not some married couple who decide they don't want to follow the Church teaching on sexual morality.

Not even a deceased cardinal who took positions on morality which were dubious at best has the authority to change the teaching on his own say so.

What we have in America is not a case of  "Inspiring leaders with vision and courage are sorely lacking."  The Bishops who stand with the Holy Father and teach the message of the Church can indeed speak out with authority.  Those members of the Church who contradict the consistent teaching of the Church have no authority whatsoever for their position.  The ex-priest promoting priestly marriage, the liberal politician supporting abortion, the businessman who tries to distort the Catholic position on social justice, they do not.

it is important to recognize these truths.  To be authentically Catholic, one must remember that the doctrinal and moral teachings cannot be reversed and they are not mere opinions of the Pope and bishops.

Like it or not, those people who disagree with the teaching of the Catholic Church are, according to what follows from the Catholic faith, in conflict with God.  If a person accepts the authority of the Church as coming from Christ, they need to be faithful to the teaching of the Church as coming from Christ.  If one rejects that, it is pretty foolish to remain within a Church which claims it as true.

So let's stop the nonsense of the Church teaching as being "up for grabs."  Those who remain faithful to the Church teaching will be faithful to Christ, while those who deny the Church teaching will be denying Christ.  This is not political debate, but recognizing the truth God calls us to live.

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