Thursday, July 17, 2008

Roman Catholic Discipline

The politicians in Massachusetts, a heavily Roman Catholic (RC) state, have gone against the clear and unambiguous teaching of the RC Church and has given gays certain “marriage” rights. Some of the most liberal politicians (think Ted Kennedy and John Kerry to name a few) are RC, yet their views on abortion and gay rights are not at all consistent with their Church.

This makes me wonder, why is it that the RC Church, which has very definite views on just about everything, doesn’t seem to influence the politicians that come out of that tradition? Is it that the Church has lost all credibility? Is it that that Church’s position on those issues is ignored, just as the ban on “artificial birth control” is widely disregarded? Is it that many of these politicians are really fallen-away Catholics, and claim to be RC only for political expediency?

I believe the answer is probably all three of the above to one degree or another. One of the reasons why the Church’s teachings on some issues are widely ignored may be that the RC Church has taken too many positions on too many issues. The ban on “artificial birth control” is a good example of the Church getting involved in something that should be a matter of individual conscience. So RCs just throw up their hands in frustration, and pick and choose which teachings they will follow and which ones they will ignore. Like the Old Testament Law from which Christians are supposed to be liberated, following all of the RC Church’s “laws” is just about impossible.

My view is that if you are an RC, then you should strive, with God’s help, to live according to the Church’s teachings. If you don’t like some things about the RC Church, don’t just pretend to be an RC and go through the motions, or drop out of church completely. By dropping out, you’re saying that God isn’t important to you. Instead, attend a different church that is more to your liking. There is such a variety of churches out there that you are bound to find one that suits you.

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