Its moral prescriptions are summed up in the Ten Commandments. Even if I were to maintain a “personal relationship” with God (I know, that’s a Protestant term that is sometimes ridiculed by Catholics), I would be concerned that my children would view the Church as a mountain of rules and eventually fade into apostasy. Of all the bishops and archbishops in the world he is the leader. Bill, I was born about the same time as you were, 1946. 1. The Catholic Church claims seven sacraments, the Lutheran Church only two: baptism and the Lord's Supper. Pope Paul VI, in his monumental encyclical Humane Vitae (July 1968), made some startling predictions about what would happen if contraception became widely accepted. I will concentrate on three specific examples from Sacred Scripture that prove this point. The Catholic Church does likewise. As someone considering conversion to Catholicism once said to me: Should I ever make the move to Catholicism, I would hate for my perception of God to recede from a God who created me and continually directs my footsteps to a God who stands behind a gray wall of do’s and don’ts. While there is indeed room for legitimate diversity of opinion in how Church documents should be understood, Catholics should be wary of falling into a quasi-Protestant. And since man is called to be in relationship with God and neighbor, one important way man learns the shape and application of rules is through personal relationship with teachers. It is a necessary foundation for the erection of moral rules and civil law. Because Catholics believe that God created human beings in his own image and likeness and that he found everything he created to be "very good", the Church teaches that the human body and sex must likewise be good. I can honestly say that living by the rules never hurt me and not living by them did. The Catholic Church disguises its pagan beliefs under layers of complicated theology and church tradition. The Church will always be attacked by those, determined to undermine (and question) her authority. I met my future wife. The declaration must be binding on the whole Church III. Thanks for cooperating. He is the Vicar of Christ in that he guides the Church in faith and morals. Telling the Church they need to be more lenient, more modern, or more progressive is like trying to persuade the residents of Mackinac Island that they need a full service gas station. VATICAN CITY (CNS) — God’s laws are meant to lead all people to Christ and his glory, and if they do not, then they are obsolete, Pope Francis said in a morning homily. We find countless examples where God gives us freedom before He institutes rules. That is a metaphysical concept for which there is no supporting evidence. 314. I see where you stand. Jesus says the one without sin may throw the first stone, and as He begins to write on the ground, each man leaves the area. Now let’s examine the New Testament. The level of value placed on the opinion of a fellow Catholic should increase based on that person’s fidelity to the Church, his education and spiritual maturity in the faith, and (if applicable) on the reception of the sacrament of holy orders. What is the role of the Pope in relation to the Bishops (and previous Popes)? Or a football game where there was no out of bounds. Even becoming a nun doesn’t get you the boon of the sacrament of Holy Orders — only men can be ordained. When I was teaching at previous high school, I would often run into this issue about rules (especially when it came to moral theology). Roman Catholics believe that, under certain circumstances, the pope is infallible (that is, he can not make a mistake). Yes, the Catholic Church is radical, but in a good way. What does this have to do with rules? He remains close to them as Pharaoh pursues. Throughout its long history, the Catholic Church has been rocked by scandals ranging from the dissolution of the Knights Templar to Galileo’s trial to Mother Theresa’s questionable donors.Over the course of the 20th century, many more scandals have come to light—no matter how much the Church would like to keep them secret. Nonetheless, now that I am approaching senior citizenship, I feel I don’t need too many rules anymore. He earned his M.A. Bill, it is another life in her body. He wants to help us remain truly free. The sexual revolution began. In accordance with the structure of each church and legitimate local customs, the Most Blessed Sacrament should be reserved in a tabernacle in a part of the church that is truly noble, prominent, conspicuous, worthily decorated, and suitable for prayer. Every created being, even creation itself, is subject to the rules (whether they be scientific or moral) that shape its being. (Exodus 20: 1-17)  Again, they were given freedom first, then rules. We put a man on the moon. Abortion and killing a pregnant woman both usually involve taking the life of a fetus. It is illegal to kill a 2 year old. Q: What are the rules for being Catholic? 861, part 2. A Catholic apologist should also be open to admitting when he is in error, to being willing to accept and consider carefully constructive criticism, and to continue to learn and grow in his own knowledge of the Faith. The Pope must be making a decree on matters of faith or morals II. Is the mother the only one who can kill her fetus? Catholic ministers may licitly administer the sacraments to Catholic members of the Christian faithful only and, likewise, the latter may licitly receive the sacraments only from Catholic ministers with due regard for parts 2, 3, and 4 of this canon, and can. We can only aid discernment and help to inform consciences; we cannot be anyone’s conscience. First among equals. In the end, it is just Jesus and the woman. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! The Catholic Church is ruled by an entirely dysfunctional hierarchy. That is why He instituted rules. Therefore, Catholics always stand in good company. http://abitadeacon.blogspot.com/2013/02/wow-washington-post-article-that-gets.html. My girlfriend had an abortion after I stopped seeing her. We divide time between BC and AD, but I could easily divide it between pre and post 1972. Though we are sinners, we are still called to persevere in righteousness. This caricature has long been the model of everything contrary to popular culture; and the Catholic Church seems to be its poster child. My response to this dilemma was informing my students about the Bible. Pingback: This Week's Best in Catholic Apologetics | DavidLGray.INFO, Pingback: Martyrs Read Joel Osteen Tweets - BigPulpit.com. He provides for their safety and their needs. Oftentimes, people want to know, “What does the Church say about this?” or “Does the Church forbid me to do that?”—and are disappointed that there is no “official document” allowing or proscribing certain actions, only general guidelines that they must use their best judgment to apply to the action in question. Bill answers that question in a new set of videos in the CATHOLIC BASICS series. (John 8:11 NAB) Jesus shows compassion. We are a fallen people. The Catholic Church wants you to be happy and only by being in the state of Grace a.k.a being baptized in the Catholic Church can make you truly happy. WWII had just ended and the nuclear age had begun. The Catholic Church teaches that human life and human sexuality are inseparable. In the last few decades, new rules have emerged that broaden the options for burials, including where Catholics can be buried and when it's acceptable to be cremated. Another example is found in Exodus, when God leads the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. 1981 The Law of Moses contains many truths naturally accessible to reason. So. But they were there to protect me and not spoil all the fun, as I once thought. We in the USA live according to rules (laws) too. God knew we would misuse our freedom. Looking back, I see critical turning points. Required fields are marked *. Many Catholic teenagers struggle today with this idea of going against the culture. As for DNA, I fail to see the concern. I don’t believe in the soul. Those are two entirely different worlds to me. (Look it up if you’re confused! All of the Precepts of the Church are binding under pain of mortal sin, but since they seem so obviously man-made rules, … I understand the sense of loyalty. 2180 The precept of the Church specifies the law of the Lord more precisely: "On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass." Many seem to forget that second part. The Catholic Church defines three conditions under which the Pope is infallible: I. Take, for instance, the Precepts of the Church, which cover a number of things that many people regard as man-made rules: the Sunday Duty; yearly Confession; the Easter Duty; fasting and abstinence; and supporting the Church materially (through gifts of money and/or time). (John 8:1-11 NAB) This crime was punishable by death (stoning). Knowing what you should do (and not do) provides for an enjoyable experience. What is the significance of that? A: Love God. Instead, Catholics are called to live in radical service to our God. in Theology from Catholic Distance University (Thank you, St. Joseph of Cupertino). The reason women can’t be priests goes to the establishment of … If Catholic Online has given you $5.00 worth of knowledge this year, take a minute to donate. (Exodus 14:21-31 NAB)  It is later on that God presents Moses with the 10 Commandments. (It is interesting that His compassion was counter-cultural. We didn’t start the fire. One of the common complaints about the Catholic Church, which can be heard from Catholics and non-Catholics alike, is that the Church is chockablock with rules, rules, rules. The Catholic Church teaches that marriage between two baptized persons is a sacrament. Those Catholics would be in ignorance of the many saints who stressed the. The pope is the head of the Church on earth. (The pope emeritus acknowledged in, That said, it is also incumbent on those Catholics who are seeking to grow in their own faith to also be open to admitting when they are in error, to being willing to accept and consider carefully constructive criticism, and to continue to learn and grow in their own knowledge of the Faith. He knows that if freedom is not properly understood and applied in the correct manner, it will leads to corruption, chaos and destruction. Fr. Isn’t it?) But I do support death with dignity. (They just can’t explain where.) All the rites of the Catholic Church are of equal dignity and equally valid. The main rule of the Catholic Church forbids anythings that goes against happiness. We need to have a point where a person cannot be killed such as when the fetus is capable of living on its own. It is a shame that many in society do not. People have become immune to the dangers of questioning rules, and the media capitalizes on this ignorance. Todd was born and raised outside Philadelphia, PA (Go Phillies!) At times, admittedly, the altar looks like it’s been attacked by a rioting mob of florists. If a person is terminally and wants assistance in dying, it should not be denied. Analogously, the Church lays out the principles of faith and morals; Catholic Answers, among other Catholic apostolates that provide similar outreaches (e.g., EWTN), demonstrates how to apply those principles to some of the problems our supporters ask us about; it is now up to you to use the knowledge you gain from Church documentation and the examples demonstrated for you by our apostolate to solve the problems you and your family face in your everyday life. Canon 844 (c.671 in the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches). In so doing, the Vatican has created a non-spirit based religion that offers faithless heathens a structured system of religion from the cradle to the casket. I must start off by acknowledging that the personal opinions of Catholic apologists are not binding in conscience on any Catholic, and conscientious apologists will do their best to distinguish for inquirers between what the Church teaches and what is their personal opinion. The rules that express it remain substantially valid. It’s been always burning since the world’s been turning. Worship - As to the manner of worship, Luther chose to retain altars and vestments and prepare an order of liturgical service, but with the understanding that … The “rules and regulations” of Catholicism no more stifle an individual’s personal relationship with God than the “rules and regulations” of a car’s owner’s manual stifle a driver’s personal freedom to drive his car. “If you love me, you would let me live my life my way!” Heard that before? What you or I think is morally acceptable or not is irrelevant. Catholicism was, and has always been, about structure built by faith and for faith. Pius XII was pope and the Catholic Church provided the moral compass for what seemed to be the whole world. So, the DNA is all there for a human being. Everything in our world needs to be regulated, especially our behavior (and for good reason). The difference is that, in most civilized societies, the abortion is legal but the killing of the fetus against the will of the mother, including by killing the mother, is illegal. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. The Church will always be attacked by those, determined to undermine (and question) her authority. The Roman Catholic Church is a BIG HOAX because it teaches the TRADITIONS of men instead of the commandments of God. Show the volunteers who bring you reliable, Catholic … He has served in Catholic education, youth ministry, the Chastity/Pro-Life movement, and other areas of the Church. Is the mother the only one who can kill her fetus? (Genesis 2:16 NAB)  After this, however, He establishes a rule, “…except from the tree of knowledge of good and bad”. Jesus freed her from a death sentence and instituted a rule to keep her safe from any and all forms of death; sin. During the last World Youth Day Pope Francis told the youth of our world: “…be revolutionaries” and “swim against the tide”. 2. Copyright © A.D. 2018 Catholic Stand | Powered by Astra. The level of value placed on the opinion of a fellow Catholic should increase based on that person’s fidelity to the Church, his education and spiritual maturity in the faith, and (if applicable) on the reception of the sacrament of holy orders. (3) The Catholic Doctrine Touching the Church as the Rule of Faith. To those who do not need to ask why the Catholic Church follows a path, contrary to the world, no answer will ever be necessary; and for those who do no answer will ever suffice. Let’s begin with Genesis. (Genesis 1:28-30 NAB)  He even tells them, “You are free to eat from any of the trees in the garden…”. Actually, this regulation merely reflects an ancient tradition in our Church, which is even rooted in Judaism. Ultimately, rules give shape to a given thing. Still, Catholicism isn't averse to changing with the times. Meditate especially on the four last things; the Life and Passion of our Blessed Lord; the virtues, privileges, and sorrows of our Blessed Lady; and on feast days, on the mystery or Saint of the day. http://lifeteen.com/epic-pope-francis-quotes-world-youth-day-rio-2013/, This Week's Best in Catholic Apologetics | DavidLGray.INFO, Martyrs Read Joel Osteen Tweets - BigPulpit.com, The Ongoing Incarnation: A Christmas Meditation, Answering a World of Lies with the Fifth Advent Candle, Eugenics in America: The Legacy of Sanger and Gates, A Countercultural View About Women in the Church, Religious Life – A Gift to the Church and Society. Roman Catholicism - Roman Catholicism - Beliefs and practices: The idea of faith shared by all Christian churches is rooted in the New Testament. In fact, just as knowing the owner’s manual can help a driver keep his car in top condition and thereby free him from worry about breakdowns, knowing “the rules of the road” in Catholicism can free a Catholic from worry about spiritual “breakdowns” so that he can more fully participate in his personal relationship with God. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. As a teacher, I became aware of this underlying sense of loyalty early on. Our secular culture enjoys portraying Catholics as those radical ‘kill-joys’, who lie in wait, as you express your means to happiness and the pleasures of this world, so they can rebuke you with, “NO! We believe in a God who lived among us, died for us, and showed us the way to live lives of courage and conviction–whatever our culture. As a Catholic, basically you’re required to live a Christian life, pray daily, participate in the sacraments, obey the moral law, and accept the teachings of Christ and his Church. Her response is, “No one, sir”, to which Jesus exclaims, “Neither do I condemn you. Secondly, if a pregnant woman is murdered, the murderer is charged with a double homicide. Does the Catholic Church have "too many rules"? Accept and believe all that the Catholic Church definitively and authoritatively teaches. In fact, the scholars of the law in Jesus’ day were so wrapped up in doctrine as an end in itself, they were unable to see that Jesus was leading people down a new and surprising path toward his glory, the pope said Oct. 13 during his morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where he lives. But the New Testament idea of faith is not simple; indeed, it possesses a breadth of meaning that has led to varying understandings, even within a single Christian communion. Whenever I hear people talk about the lack of love in our world, I am quick to remind that love is indeed, everywhere, however it mostly exists in a misconstrued form.”. This includes loving our neighbor as ourselves. A lot, actually. Being counter-cultural “includes letting go of pleasures as the path to happiness.” Rules also build self-control. Learn how your comment data is processed. They're quite lengthy. She is indeed (and unapologetically) counter-cultural. Most people donate because Catholic Online is useful. Actually, although it may not appear so, the Church is remarkably quiet on a great many issues that face people in daily life. John Lennon boasted (or many people took it that way) that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ. Your email address will not be published. Texas set it at 20 weeks. But, just as Jesus once said of the Sabbath, rules are for man, not man for rules. Making prostitution illegal is based on what the state considers to be in the public interest not sexual morality. Imagine a baseball game where no foul balls or strikes were ever called. We need rules so our lives can correspond with God’s original plan for us. At the beginning, God gives Adam and Eve dominion over all the earth; the plants, animals, all living things. They are constantly inundated with so much ‘pleasure’, they fear ridicule if they question any of it, or hesitate to participate. He is a proud family man and has a passion for all things Catholic. If you happen to be a Catholic, you might be surprised that even you don't know all the traditions and rules of the church. Maybe we should kill people who are bedridden who can’t live on their own. This is a good example that also includes compassion and love. Instead, they see rules as an infringement upon freedom (No rules = true freedom). Are my arguments for atheism so unconvincing that they increase your faith? It has been over 45 years since this document was written and people still believe he was wrong. Or that, or that, or even that, too…”  (And of course they stand 10 feet tall, hold a ruler in one hand, and admonish you with the other; extending that incredibly long forefinger.). The Church sets out the parameters in such documents as the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Code of Canon Law (not to mention Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition) and then leaves it to individuals to apply what they know about the Faith to the situations they face. (Genesis 2:17 NAB) God offers freedom to human beings (free-will) knowing we will misuse it. The Church has specific rules on what constitutes a proper Catholic burial that date back thousands of years. Damaged lives when love goes wrong remind us why the Church has such stringent standards when it comes to sexual sin. My faith left, returned, left, returned and left for good. 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