Beliefs, Practices, Perspectives
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Various topics (see menu sidebar to the left)
I wrote these series of articles (see menu sidebar to the left) as a Catholic for Catholics, but I no longer accept Catholic teaching as the authoritative source of truth.I have not attempted to align these articles with my current views.
Catholic view of the Church
The Catholic Church is a human and divine institution in which Catholics...
- learn God's truth and the gospel
- worship God
- receive blessings from God
The Catholic Church has many aspects...
- Leaders: The Pope, councils, bishops, and priests who teach.
- Rulers and subjects: Pope and bishops rule over Catholics.
- Christians: The congregation of Christians who are governed by their pastors under the pope.Those who believe the gospel,who believe in Christ,who are united in Christ.Supposedly Protestants are members of the Church but they are not united under the pope.
- The Kingdom of God: Now present in mystery.
- A Visible Institutionthat Christians must be members of.The way Jesus blesses Christians.Christians belong to the Church.
- The community of faith, hope, and charity.
- The local body of believers governed by pastors.
- The Old Testament nation of Israel was the Church also.
The Church is about truth, justice, righteousness, holiness.
When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth. (John 16:13)
The institutional flaws and serious sins of Church leaders cannot be ignored since they result in Christ's holy Church being unholy.
What does the Catholic Church really teach?
It is hard for Catholics to know what the Church claims to teach infallibly. In this collection of articles I discuss how we can know.
Possible sources of "official" Church teaching:
- The Catechism of the Catholic Church
- Catholic apologists and Catholic defenders on EWTN and catholic.com
- Homilies from your local priest during mass
- Statements from your bishop or the from the USCCB
- Retreats promoted by your local diocese
- Vatican II documents
- Other church documents
- RCIA teachers
- Special guest teachers at your local parish
As I demonstrate in my articles, each of these sources is woefully inadequate.
Certainly the Church infallibly teaches the Christian faith; such topics as:
- That there is a God who is a Trinity
- That Jesus is deity, the Son of God
- That humans require salvation from sin
- That Jesus' sacrificial death provides for our salvation for those who receive it in faith
- That the Bible is inspired, inerrant, infallible
- That the Eucharist is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus and we can worship him in the Eucharist
- That our sins are remitted during baptism in faith
- That the true faith is passed-downfrom generation to generation by the Catholic bishops (but how to weed out the error that is mixed in?)
Sources of Catholic Teaching
The sources of Catholic teaching are:
- Sacred Scriptures
- Fathers of the Church
- Church's Magisterium
Regarding the liturgy: It seems wrong-headed to me to state that the modern liturgy represents the apostolic teaching passed-down by the apostles.Certainly the liturgy of the very early church represented apostolic teaching but the details of this are for the most part lost to history. Certainly the modern liturgy is loosely based on the early liturgy, especially in its broad structure. Some of the wording is verbatim from the writings of the Early Church Fathers. But to leap from this scanty knowledge to claiming Church can modify the liturgy as it desires and that this is apostolic teaching is wrong-headed.