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Is it time to move on?

Discussion in 'One Bread, One Body - Catholic' started by GNJ, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. GNJ

    GNJ Picker 'n' Chooser

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    Perhaps the wrong place for it, but;

    I have often been called a "Pick and Choose Catholic", because there are certain views of the Church that I just don't agree with regarding homosexuality, abortion, the place of women and sex. We can all agree that the human race has moved forward tremendously since its dawn, both biologically and culturally, and with this progression more and more people have become accepting of homosexuality and abortion, and we now realize that women are equal to men and that sex is not just an act to procreate, but also a method of physically connecting with the the person you love.

    And I was thinking today; if anyone were to acknowledge and accept these progressions, wouldn't it be God Himself? The being we spend our lives walking under the guidance of. I mean, this guy has been keeping an eye on us for thousands of years. You'd think that He would be the first one to get onto this stuff. I think that the Catholic Church may be a little behind the times with their policies (for lack of a better word) on this stuff.

    Does any one agree with me? Or is this just wishful thinking on my part?
     
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  2. Imperiuz

    Imperiuz Liberty will prevail

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    These aren't "progressions", these were the spirit of the time during the 60's and 70's. We have moved on since then hopefully. At least in Europe we see the rise of nationalism everywere. A tidal wave of ordinary peoples righteous wrath on the oppression of the PC-radical cultural elite that has the power to deliver us from the decadence and filth of the 60's. I guess that the tea party is some kind of equivalent in the US. And while America is in decline, there is a new western Christian great power to consider, a nation were the intangible values of values, culture and identity are placed over consumerism and hedonism, one with a leader that is truly a man and makes Rick Santorum looks like some social liberal.

    And what is this fuss about women? Women are equal to men. We are no muslims, are we? I can agree that some people who talk about women are to be submissive all the time and should only work as housewifes (something that wasn't a tradition before the 50's) are just giving ammunition to the P.C.-liberals though. I can also criticise those who equal humility to not being proud of once achievements and such, after all the rules are here to make life better for us. Though I respect that humiliation might be a good practice for those who have problems with pride, that we all have different ways to God.

    To answer your questions though, no I don't want the Church to surrender to the ideals of 1789 and 1968. The natural law isn't "democratic", it doesn't adapt to any temporary changes in the general opinion. You cannot judge other ages by modern standards, that we for example do not torture mentally ill people nowadays isn't because of liberalism, it's because of scientific progress. There is no point in being catholic without the teachings of sexual purity. This is the Church of Christ, the Church of Virgin Mary and all the Saints, the Church of the mighty Roman Empire, those who want an egalitarian hedonistic P.C.-sect can find one somewhere else.
     
  3. AvilaSurfer

    AvilaSurfer Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The Church does not need to "keep up with the times", rather it's the faithful who need to "stay true to Church teachings." Right and wrong doesn't change. Truth doesn't change.
     
  4. GNJ

    GNJ Picker 'n' Chooser

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    Apart from how the Church has changed its official views many times. For example, the Church now accepts Evolution.
     
  5. FullyMT

    FullyMT Veni Sancte Spiritus

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    I really would recommend talking about these things to a priest or minister in person about whether or not stance.
    I will say, however, that the Church had never really made an official stance on the Creation story. St. Augustine himself considered it possible that the creation narratives weren't literal (how could they be, there are two competing stories!).
    (Now, if we wanted to talk about things like usury, slavery, definition of adultery, understanding of religious freedom, those (moral) teachings have changed).

    You're right, sex is not just about procreation, but the Church holds that the possibility for procreation during sex is still an integral part of it.
    The Church holds that direct and willful abortion is always wrong because we cannot know when the soul enters the body. It is clear that the genetic make-up and potentiality is present for a living person at the moment of conception. We are constantly moving towards our full potential, so why not kill us at any moment we are not useful or desired by our parents, government, etc? This is one of a few reasons why the Church will not (nor should it) budge on the issue.

    But, the fact that you are asking these questions is okay. I think struggling with belief is a normal part of development as a person. But, you should talk with some folk in the real world (like a priest or minister) about your questions. People on the internet tend to get judgy.
    A good question to consider is: Do I still accept the Creed? What reasons do I have for remaining in the Church, what draws me?
    It is okay to question and struggle with it, our faith wavers (look at the apostles, they weren't always the best followers). Bring these questions to God.
     
  6. steve_bakr

    steve_bakr Christian

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    If you really decided you HAD to move on, the Episcopal (Anglican?) Church might be the natural place to go.

    But we need the full spectrum of diversity in the Catholic Church. I was at Mass one morning; a woman that brought the wine up to the priest was wearing a large button that said, "I love my gay son." That was interesting.

    I have read some history of the Christian Church. Looking back on that history, I am absolutely convinced that the Church of fifty or a hundred years from now will not have all of the same "positions" it holds today.

    I cannot speculate what will change, but change will happen through force of history. The important thing is that the Creed will remain the same, and we will still have the sacraments.

    But the Church thinks in terms of centuries, and changes are almost always made belatedly. For example, it wasn't until JPII that the Church apologized for its treatment of Galileo, and for not recognizing the scientific advancement of man's view of the cosmos.

    All this makes some of the documents of Vatican II so amazing. Although we are in a kind of pseudo-reactionary period against it, Vatican II will always remain a part of our history. Regardless of what spin the neo-traditionalists may be putting on it now, Vatican II has yet to be fully assimilated into the Church.

    If you seriously cannot remain within the Catholic Church, there are other options, including the Episcopal Church. But I was an Episcopalian for several years, and it just didn't seem to offer as much as the Catholic Church does. Perhaps you will feel differently, but for now it is good to have you in the Catholic Church.
     
  7. steve_bakr

    steve_bakr Christian

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    It's hard to wade through the rhetoric! But it is interesting that you mention natural law, because I am currently reading Summa Theologica. What a monumental work that is!

    It is my understanding that Aquinas acquired the notion of natural law from the Greeks. Of particular influence, of course, is Aristotle. It has been said that Aquinas baptized Aristotle. One must call the Summa a presentation of Catholic Christianity through an Aristotelian lense.

    Natural law is a valuable paradigm that the Church has been using for centuries. But I think it is fair to ask whether the natural law paradigm is as useful in the 21st century as it was in the 13th.

    Aquinas said that going against the natural law was a sin. But he did not see how much civilization, by its very existence, thwarts natural law all the time.

    In terms of today, it seems as though the field of medicine goes against natural law quite frequently. But we don't consider it sinful to take anti-biotics or have surgery in order to go against the natural law. This is where applying natural law to moral theology seems not only arbitrary but factually inaccurate.

    I suggest that another Aquinas may come along--or is already here!--who will help us find a newer paradigm than that of the Greek philosophers to apply to moral theology. As much as I admire Aquinas and Aristotle, it seems the time has come for an advancement in the understanding of moral theology.
     
  8. Fantine

    Fantine Dona Quixote Supporter

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    GNJ, if you want to understand today's Church, you need to read "The Next Christianity" by Philip Jenkins.

    A caveat--you will need to drink lots of kava-kava tea or other natural anti-depressants while reading, because it is a really depressing book.

    I first saw Jenkins' article in "The Atlantic" (referenced here)

    The Next Christianity - Philip Jenkins - The Atlantic

    and, glutton for punishment that I am, bought the book.

    Jenkins' well-researched theory is that Catholicism (and Christianity) is going to be more and more ruled by the priorities and needs of what he calls "the global South" rather than Western Europe, North America, and the Pacific Rim countries.

    Oh, this doomsday scenario is so depressing--hard to revisit it again. But it provides the most comprehensive explanation of why your logical and compelling desire won't be met, GNJ.
     
  9. catholicbybirth

    catholicbybirth St. Louis, pray for me.

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    Are you under the impression that sinning is relative to the era in which one lives? God is beyond time. God's Truth doesn't change. In the OT homosexuality was condemned (see Sodom). In the NT, Jesus described marriage as between a man and a woman. It wasn't just a couple of hundred years that separated the two.

    Also, what happens in another hundred years when people start pushing for incest being accepted, especially when both participants do so willingly and as over 16.

    You may not think this would ever happen, but in the early 1900's no one would ever have thought that homosexuals could get married, now it is being forced on us.

    God's Truth doesn't change. Why should God expect His followers to start following the society in which they live and then He decided to change the definition of some sins.

    Nah, if God did that, He wouldn't be God. He'd be Satan.

    Janice
     
  10. steve_bakr

    steve_bakr Christian

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    Just tell me if I'm going to have to learn Latin, and whether I should start right now.

    I agree for the most part with the quotations you have provided. But I think that the Catholicism in South America might be different than in Africa. Also, I think the Northern Hemisphere will still be relevant on account of the concentration of wealth.
     
  11. MikeK

    MikeK Traditionalist Catholic

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    God will not change His mind simply because the information that is available to you seems to indicate that it's time for a new set of rules. You are on the ground, and what is apparent to you may well be a distortion or a very incomplete story. Everything you know, God knows better. Everything you see, God sees with more clarity. Every question you've ever had, God knows the answer to.

    We do not make the rules. We are not competent enough to make the rules. God makes the rules and hands them down through His Church.

    If you have a set of beliefs and you're looking for a system that you can fit them into, I'd suggest that you're going about it backwards, and probably incompatible with a belief in an all-powerful God. Search for Truth, and then conform your beliefs to it.

    God Bless you.

     
  12. ivebeenshown

    ivebeenshown Expert invisible poster and thread killer

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    The Church does not take a stance either way on evolution, because she is only infallible in matters of faith and morals. She proposes that all humans have a common ancestor, but she does not propose how that ancestor came to being, other than that God was the cause of his formation.
     
  13. judechild

    judechild Catholic Socratic

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    You will not find an official Catholic teaching that has ever stated that evolution is contrary to the faith. You will find certain philosophies associated with evolution which are repudiated by the Church (such as that humanity is only a more-advanced animal and simply that, or that the soul evolved). You are confusing certain Protestant sects with the Catholic Church.

    The Church has not changed its "official views" many times. When a doctrine is established, it is believed to be revealed. For example, society for a time was really into eugenics; the Church said no, the dignity of human life cannot allow for that. Society at the time had said that the Church is "behind the times," while today you won't find many who publically advocate that view.

    On marriage, the Church's crime is that she is logical and consistent, while other people are satisfied with being inconsistent. The first point to consider is that "restrictions" on the definition of marriage are not wrong in themselves. Exempli gratia: a twenty-year-old may not marry an eleven-year-old. This is a restriction on the definition of marriage, but I'd be worried if anyone here advocated taking that restriction away. If there are legitamit restrictions on marriage, then the only way that these restrictions can be non-arbitrary is if they are consumate with the ontological reality of marriage and sexuality. Since the obvious end of sexuality is procreation and union, and marriage is linked to sexuality, it follows then that marriage's end is procreation and union. Every marital act, then, must be ipso facto open to life (as a continent heterosexual relationship is). Since this is the case, it would be inconsistent for the Church to accept gay marriage, considering that would be contrary to what she sees as the purpose of marriage and the meaning of sexuality.

    Since the Church is consistent, then, she advocates for what she believes is the true definition of marriage, and she is perfectly free to do this. After all, the homosexual activist is not really on neutral ground like he or she likes to believe. The homosexual activist believes in a certain ontological definition of marriage (that is, he or she believes in certain restrictions on the definition of marriage as well). The homosexual activist will not necessarily advocate bestiality, pedastry, and pedophilia. This means that the homosexual activist is presenting an actual definition of marriage; well, the Church has a different and more consistent definition of marriage which is based in the natural law and the nature of sexuality.

    Because the family is the nucleus for raising children, the Church also believes in the complementarity of father and mother in the raising of the child (id est, it is normal and best for a child to be raised by a father and mother). Since this is the case, it would also be inconsistent for the Church to accept gay marriage because if she did, that would mean that she advocates for something that she thinks is ontologically flawed.

    As to abortion, the only important question is "is that embryo a human being?" If the embryo is a human being, then it has human dignity. It is contrary to human dignity to be killed by another human being. Therefore, abortion is wrong if the embryo is a human being. The Church does believe that the embryo is a human being. Therefore the Church advoates against abortion just like she advocated against eugenics.

    The Church has not and cannot change her doctrine, and she will continue to hold unpopular positions (until they become popular again).
     
  14. steve_bakr

    steve_bakr Christian

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    I think part of your post displays the quasi-hysterical moral domino theory of, "What's next? Incest, bestiality, etc.?"

    You are right that civil gay marriages will be a fact of life. But I don't see exactly what's being "forced upon us." What are you being forced to do?

    And, yes, sometimes the era we live in does make a difference on SOME issues. For example, usury, slavery, and democracy. But I agree that there are certain unchanging fundamentals.
     
  15. GNJ

    GNJ Picker 'n' Chooser

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    Oh, oh I suppose I should have been more clear: I'M not planning on going anywhere, I was just putting my thoughts that the Catholic Church itself maybe should ~move on from some of their, in my opinion, outdated views. I still love the Church, my parish and my role within the church and I wouldn't dream of leaving (despite the fact that some may see me as more of a burden).
     
  16. catholicbybirth

    catholicbybirth St. Louis, pray for me.

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    Steve, the thing is, homosexuals have started to sue business for not doing things like photographing or providing flowers for the weddings. Who is to say how long it will be before they sue the Catholic Church for refusing to perform the wedding celebration?

    In the attitude of this society, it is not so far fetched. And as far as the federal courts are concerned, but the time it reaches the Supreme Court, if Obama get re-elected, I would venture to dread that the it will be packed by ultra right wing liberal judges. I know, I know, the Congress gets a voice in it, but.....

    Gay couple sues Asian restaurant that canceled wedding reception over bad ‘feng shui’ | The Raw Story

    Gay couple sue caterer for canceling - UPI.com

    Gay couple sues bed and breakfast owner for discrimination | Gay Star News

    Janice
     
  17. GNJ

    GNJ Picker 'n' Chooser

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    Catholicbybirth, I really don't want to get into this because it would probably result in me being banned but can you please not refer to homosexuals as if they are an entirely different species and a burden on society? You obviously are not a fan of the LGBT community but maybe put some of that tolerance for other people's lifestyles into action.
     
  18. catholicbybirth

    catholicbybirth St. Louis, pray for me.

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    Oh, so in other words, I should say homosexuality is just a lifestyle and not a sin?

    Does that go for prostitution, too?

    How about adultery? Is every sexual sin that is no longer "taboo" not to be considered a sin?

    Oh, and by tolerant you mean what exactly. I have a sister and a brother who are homosexual. I love them both. I treat them no different than I treat my 5 sisters and 2 brothers who are straight.

    Actually, I may treat them better because they are fantastic people. However, I don't condone their sins. Just as I hope some one would tell me that I am committing a mortal sin if and when they see me committing a mortal sin.

    Janice
     
  19. MikeK

    MikeK Traditionalist Catholic

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    Judging by the liberal voting records of Justices appointed by Reagan and other Republicans, you might not be far off.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012
  20. catholicbybirth

    catholicbybirth St. Louis, pray for me.

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    Well, at least we agree on something.

    Janice
     
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