This Bad Catholic, not that Bad Catholic. I mean come on, if you really want to spout heterodoxy, you could at least be original. But they can’t. Originality is Catholic. Just like all heresies, heterodoxy is imitation. My philosophy is “Why eat Spam when you can have the filet mignon?”
There is a difference between “faith seeking understanding” and “complacency in error.” The former says, “I don’t completely understand, but I am willing to try, listen, and consider the Church’s teaching; She has been given the keys to the kingdom and a promise to not teach error.” The latter says, “I hold the keys of the kingdom, I know better than Jesus, and Jesus can established a Church that gets it wrong in the places I want to get it right by me.”
In all my adult years of practicing our Faith there has never been a shortage of “I am a Catholic and choose to disbelieve some of Her core teachings; it is good for you, too, to be as complacent and mediocre as possible.”
Of course, it is easy to be Catholic in those times that we agree with the Church. But I want a Church to be right when I am wrong. It has been when I am wrong that I have gotten it dead wrong and I desire life to the fullest.
Here is something I do not understand. It is not like the Church has this physical force that compels people to be Catholic. It is not like the Holy Father has some kind of special wand that takes over our mind and makes us practice our Faith. Rather, the Church is the beacon of freedom. There is not a government or military leader in the world that is not jealous of Her. The Church is the largest free association on the face of the planet. With Her freedom, she saved Western Civilization from barbarians, originated universities, started hospitals (yes, like the first ones), opened schools all over the world, raised orphans, and helped widows. That list is only the corporeal works of mercy. There are still the spiritual works that She has in Her treasury, sanctifying souls. She does all this on a global scale with free people. There is no compulsion, in fact it is a sin to force a person convert.
What causes someone that was baptized Catholic to revolt against the Church and demand She change when the Church only desires that a person freely practice their Faith? I know, the Nicole Pandolfo’s of our culture are the missionary field, but it does get frustrating to read an article by a person that openly rejects the Church and continues to bask in her misinformed choice by even dropping the logical fallacy of “Appeal to a Misleading Authority” when she writes “I happen to live in close vicinity to a church where the priest in charge shares many of my unorthodox views, to the dismay of some in his congregation.”
What are your thoughts? How to we reach out to the Catholics that are fine with consciously violating Church teaching and their own person? How do you deal with these kinds of situations? Surely you handle them with much more charity and grace than I, so please share your thoughts.