Cafeteria Catholic Part II
How do I explain the fact that if you openly deny the Church’s teachings, you are not actually Catholic? Is there somewhere in the Catechism I can look? Or does anyone have a well worded explanation? It seems obvious to me, but I don’t know how to explain it. Help?
If you openly deny all the church’s teachings, you’re not a Catholic. But if you question some of the Church’s teachings, you’re still a Catholic. Hope that helps.
You could always point to Canon Law…
1983 Canon Law
§2 Christ’s faithful are at liberty to make known their needs, especially their spiritual needs, and their wishes to the Pastors of the Church.
§3 They have the right, indeed at times the duty, in keeping with their knowledge, competence and position, to manifest to the sacred Pastors their views on matters which concern the good of the Church. They have the right also to make their views known to others of Christ’s faithful, but in doing so they must always respect the integrity of faith and morals, show due reverence to the Pastors and take into account both the common good and the dignity of individuals.
If you have truly tried to understand why the Church teaches something, instead of just assuming that the Church is wrong, and you still can’t in good conscience believe that teaching, you are not wrong in your belief. The Catholic teaching on conscience is pretty straight forward about this. You can also look up the recent sensus fidei document. It isn’t perfect but it does reiterate the laity’s inherent ability to understand the Holy Spirit.
Also, you don’t need to explain yourself to another Catholic who is too closed off to understand that you have the God given ability and right to explore your faith without outside imposition. No one, not even the Pope, can make you stop being a Catholic.
I have wrestled with the need to defend myself for a long time. Now I try to just shrug off any sort of personal attack on my Catholic-ness.