40 Myths About the Catholic Church–Liberals vs. Conservatives

“I sure hope this new Pope will be more liberal.  I hope he changes some of the Church’s out-of-date teachings.”

This one drives me crazy.  If there’s a worse myth than conservative Catholics and liberal Catholics, I don’t know what it is.  Once and for all, there is no such thing as a conservative or liberal Catholic!

Let’s look at what these two words mean.  According to Webster’s online dictionary:

Conservative:  tending or disposed to maintain existing views, conditions, or institutions.

Liberal:  not literal or strict.

The Catholic Church was started by Jesus 2,000+ years ago.  He left it so we’d know what we need to do to gain eternal life. He put men in charge and gave them the power to bind and loose.  He said that whoever heard them heard Him.  He left them an advocate, the Holy Spirit, to protect them from error.

The Church is not a political party.   Politics are open to interpretation.   Put in simple terms,  conservatives believe in smaller government and lower taxes.  Liberals believe in higher taxes and bigger government.  There are good people on both sides.  Once upon a time, liberals and conservatives could actually sit down and have a civil debate.  Today, not so much.

But that’s not the Church.  The only interpretation to be done has already been done.  Truth doesn’t change.  What was true even before Jesus’ time is just as true today.  Some would say the Church is old-fashioned.  True Catholics see it the other way around.  What some people see as positive change is actually moving away from the truth.

If God told us that we shall not kill, is abortion really a modern “right” or is it a perversion of the truth.  The same goes for “Thou shall not commit adultery.”  Sexual activity was created by God for the continuation of the human race.  It’s supposed to be between a married man and his wife.  Premarital sex, extramarital sex, sex between two men or two women, or any other perversion you can come up with is a violation of God’s law.

Anyone who thinks we can ignore the Ten Commandments isn’t “liberal”; he or she is a heretic!  Using the political anology, this person isn’t in favor of big government or small government.  (S)he is in favor of no government.  In the political world, that’s called “anarchy”, and that’s not the Catholic Church.  This so-called “liberalism” has led to more than 20,000 protest denominations.  Does anyone really believe that’s what Jesus wanted?

Here’s the thing.  There are two kinds of Catholics.  One group believes in everything the Church teaches, both from the Scriptures and Sacred Tradition.  These people are called “Catholics”.  The other type believe they can pick and choose what teachings to believe.  These people are called fallen-away Catholics.  It’s an injustice to the Church and to faithful, practicing Catholics to soften the image of the heretics by calling them anything other than what they really are.  I repeat, there are no “liberal” Catholics.

In summary, anyone who thinks our new Holy Father, Pope Francis I, is going to change Church teachings, is dreaming.  Doctrine doesn’t change!  There will be no women priests.  There will be no gay marriages.  It just ain’t gonna happen.

 

40 Myths About the Catholic Church–The Church is Irrelevant

“Nobody cares about the Church anymore.  It’s old fashioned and irrelevant in this modern age.”

This one’s so easy it’s like shooting fish in a barrel.  Just this week the Cardinal electors gathered in Rome to select the man to succeed Pope Benedict XVI.  Every secular news agency in the world had reporters on hand.  NBC News had at least three reporters in Vatican City along with camera operators and other support staff.

The US president was in a meeting and was interrupted to be informed that white smoke had come from the chimney in Rome.  Catholics, friends of Catholics, even enemies of Catholics were anxious to hear the news.  Who would be the new Pope?  That doesn’t sound irrelevant to me.

Of course there are a lot of people who are anti-Catholic for one reason or another, many of them fallen-away Catholics.  But even those folks recognize that the Church is important.  Otherwise, why would there be hundreds of anti-Catholic books, magazines, and web sites?  If no one cares, why is anti-Catholicism such a thriving industry?

Here’s the thing, whether you like it or not, the Roman Catholic Church has a huge influence on what goes on in the world.  Here in America, where so many nominal Catholics disagree with some of the Church’s core teachings, it may not be evident.  But, in parts of the world where Catholics still act like Catholics, what comes out of the Vatican has an influence on the way people live their lives.  What the Pope says may not impact all 1.2 million people who call themselves Catholic, it certainly does impact hundreds of thousands of us who still believe what the Church teaches.

Over the next few days, hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people will watch the events televised from the Vatican.  Some will cheer, some will cry, some will scream at their TV screens, but they will watch, making the Church far from irrelevant.