Originally Posted by lavatea
The Church has evolved, and I think on certain things that's OK. But there are several "hot-button" issues right now about which the Church's stance absolutely should not change because they are moral issues.
The celibate priesthood I could take or leave as I don't see it to be a moral issue. And historically there have been times when the priests were married, so the precedent is there (and of course Eastern Catholics have married priests even today). However, as long as the Vatican is against the practice, we have a duty to obedience.
I'm sure there are proper channels to get a particular thing changed, but to publicly oppose an official teaching creates dissidence among the faithful and confusion in the outside world. We need to remain a strong, united body, even when we privately disagree.
I strongly disagree with the bolded, but this is a SA only forum and I can't debate that.
Originally Posted by la mamita
First, I thought this thread was a continuation of the New Beginnings threads from back in the day, so I don't know if I would have posted initially since it is not, apparently. I am aware of what the orthodox viewpoint is on Catholics like me and I am not asking for that input. I respect people who have completely accepted and follow Church teaching and I recognize that you (speaking generally to anyone who might be reading along) might think I either don't understand the teaching properly/don't belong in the Church/are being willfully defiant and sinful and that you are speaking with the best of intentions, but I really need input from people who don't agree with everything but have made a point to stick around anyway.
Second, if you are one of those "mutinous" Catholics, where do you find support? I have been reading so much about Catholicism online and the vast majority seems to be from an orthodox perspective. I know this isn't the reality of the majority of Catholics--take the church's teachings on birth control and contraceptive rates by Catholics in the US, for example, even though that's not an issue of personal contention for me and I really appreciate the Church teaching on it, it's a good example. I want to know--how come all THOSE Catholics are sticking with the church? are they struggling with the same questions I am? where are their voices? I suppose one could argue that Catholics who aren't orthodox just go through the motions or weren't properly catechized, but I can't believe that is true for all of them! i want to hear from people who are struggling, who are wrestling with the teachings, who question their conscience, who do feel a deep sense of faith...
I'm very fortunate to share my faith with a lot of like-minded Catholics IRL, in a GREAT diocese with a wonderful bishop who fully supports women in ministry and a vibrant, Christ-centered church. I'm also incredibly blessed to be partnered with a like-minded man! We have had 2 years of intensive training to be commissioned by the bishop as lay Catholic ecclesial ministers, and we are currently ministering together as team leaders for a new 3-year evangelization initiative in our diocese, Amazing God. We are working on AG with a fantastic priest, as well.
B is fond of saying that it's time to do away with "The Good Old Boys' Club" in Rome. He is especially fond of the Sisters of St. Joseph (his spiritual director is a CSJ), and thinks that THEY should be running the Church! We are both passionate about sharing our faith and Our Lord's grace & mercy with others. Though we may disagree with some Church teaching, and though we are frustrated and often angry with the Vatican, we love the core essence of our Catholic faith - the grace of the Sacraments, the beauty of the rituals, and especially the mystery and awe of the Eucharist.
I don't necessarily struggle with my disagreement anymore ... I did once, but the education I received in ministry training helped me understand that the Church HAS evolved (albeit slowly), that it's OK to question teaching that comes with limited human thinking/knowledge (and sometimes agenda) attached, that our church's leadership has, does, and will continue to make mistakes.
B and I have been fortunate to have many lively, thought-provoking, and intense discussions regarding faith matters, with lots of interesting people - both Catholic and non-Catholic. We regularly chew on this stuff, and we take all kinds of classes offered by the diocese throughout the year. We are always learning and growing in our faith!
If you are one of the non-traditional Catholics, do you respond to the traditional viewpoint? Is this something that has come up in your daily life, has anyone challenged your faith or your presence in the Church? Or is this just a message board phenomenon? (I may have been reading too many old Catholic threads on the Religious Studies forum
Mostly I am challenged online. Though not all of my Catholic brothers and sisters IRL share my viewpoint (though most in my own faith circle do), we can dialogue about it peacefully and respectfully agree to disagree. The exception is my ex-ILs, who are pretty hard core toe-the-line Catholics. I discovered a long time ago that it was better just to avoid discussion of faith matters altogether with them.
I wrote all of this but didn't post it and then was walking to pick up my kid and realized if I die at this moment and am sitting face to face with God and making a reckoning for all of the things I have done in my life, I could be at peace saying "I knew your Church's teaching on XXX and I disobeyed it in my heart because I believed it to be wrong, not out of a selfish reason because I wanted to justify my own behavior but because I believed your message to be otherwise and because I prayed and reflected on your love and studied the Church's position and could not promote it in good conscience." Do with me what you will, but I do not feel guilt about this from this moment forward.
It seems you have discerned this to the best of your ability, and are at peace with it. It sounds like you have a solid relationship with Our Lord, that you wish to be faithful to Him, and that you rely on Him alone for your salvation. IMO that's just as it should be.
So what exactly are you struggling with? Do you want to leave the Church, try to change what you can, or otherwise?
Originally Posted by lavatea
FWIW, I think a lot of the Catholics that are "non-traditional" have decided for themselves what is or isn't right, and the old fuddy-duddy Church should just get with the program or be left behind. Their thoughts and ideas are the be all and end all, not the Tradition and teaching of the Church (or the teachings of the Father or Jesus, for that matter). It's relativism at its best (or worst). My friend calls them closet Protestants.
That's insulting, and doesn't belong on this thread IMO. Are you even aware of what Jesus really taught? Have you read any good books on Christology, or the complete history of the Catholic Church?