Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Roman Catholic Church isn't a Democracy

Or: Why I became a Catholic.

Even if most American Catholics ardently support abortion rights, contraception, gay marriage, and whatever else is fashionable this year, it doesn't matter. The Roman Catholic Church isn't a democracy, and it certainly isn't a consumer-driven religion service.

Catholics aren't in a "roll-your-own doctrines" church. What the church believes and teaches is based on The Magisterium interprets the deposit of faith in its written form, and in Tradition. But there are rules. "...this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant." (86) And the Church gets its authority from Jesus, who gave it to Peter and his successors. (67, 75, 83, 84-90, 105, 555)

If someone doesn't like what the Church teaches, the door is open. Anyone who wants to leave, may do so. Just as anyone who accepts the Word of God, rejects sin, and is baptized, can become a Catholic. (1229) And, yes: I'm simplifying the process a bit.

Being perfect, by the way, is not a requirement. Let's put it this way: they let me in.

I Don't Like Authority - So I Converted to Catholicism?!

I may have gotten my general attitude toward authority from growing up in the sixties, or from my Irish roots.

Which makes my decision to become Catholic seem odd. Maybe even a little crazy.

It makes sense, though.

I tend to be dubious about people who say this or that is so, or that I should do one thing, and not do another, just because they've got some alphabet soup after their name, or have a fancy title.

If they can back up their claims, that's another matter.

When it comes to God, I've learned to give Him the benefit of the doubt. He's earned titles like Omnipotent, Omniscient, and quite a litany of others. In short, He's large, and in charge.

And, when I found out that He (his Son, specifically) had given authority to Peter, who passed it down the centuries to the current Pope, becoming Catholic was something of a no-brainer.

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What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.