Senator Kaine, Please Don’t Call Yourself A Good Catholic!

How can you claim to be a traditional Catholic yet contradict the teachings of the Catholic Church. You may argue that you only disagree with the Church on one issue so you are still a “good Catholic”. By that argument Henry VIII was a good Catholic. He only disagreed with the Church on the issue of his divorce from Catherine of Aragon.
You can’t call yourself a good Muslim if you reject one of the pillars of Islam. If you disagree with the teaching of the Sunni branch of Islam you might join the Shiite branch or another branch but you wouldn’t claim to be a cafeteria Sunni. If you disagreed with the Southern Baptists you might join another branch of Baptists or another denomination but you wouldn’t call yourself a cafeteria Baptist. How can you claim to be a traditional Catholic when your beliefs are actually closer to one of the Protestant Churches?
In Matthew 18:6 Jesus said” But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better if a millstone was hung around his neck and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” This scripture makes this an extremely serious issue. How can parents and teachers teach children to obey their faith when the children see a senator running for vice-president claiming he doesn’t have to listen to the Church. Kids are sharp nowadays. They may not follow all of the news and understand all of the economics but they know the vice-president claims to be a good Catholic but doesn’t agree with the Pope and bishops.
They are sure to question. If Maria Shriver can pick which commandments and teachings she believes in why can’t I? If Joe Biden can pick and choose why can’t I? If Nancy Pelosi can refuse to listen to the bishops why do I have to listen to a priest? Why should I obey the Sixth Commandment? Why should I follow the Church’s teaching on sex and marriage? Why should any child feel he has to listen to the Church’s teachings when so many of our leaders say you don’t have to?
Democrats seem to believe that we can choose what we believe in, that we can make up our own mind regardless of the teaching of the Church and stay in the Church? My question is why would you stay in a Church you disagree with? Haven’t you heard of the Protestant Reformation? The leaders of the Reformation disagreed with the teachings of the Church but they didn’t stay in the Church and claim to be cafeteria Catholics they went out of the Church and started their own denominations. The process is still going on. People get new ideas and disagree with the church of their birth so they leave that church and either join or start another. That is why there are so many different denominations.
It seems that people have mixed up the Church with a political party. I can join either the Democratic Party or the Republican Party and disagree with many of its positions. If enough people join the party with a certain belief that party will change its position. That is obvious looking at the history of the two parties. The Democratic Party was at one time the party to which slaveholders belonged and it was the Republican Party responsible for freeing the slaves. Now the parties are very different.
It is good for a political party to change with the times and people’s opinions but the Church is radically different. It has only one person to please, God. It is called to be faithful to the teachings of Jesus and to lead people to God. Jesus didn’t tell the Apostles to take a poll to see what people thought. He told them to preach the Gospel and part of that Gospel says in Matthew 7:14 “narrow is the way that leads to life.” What the majority of people think isn’t going to get people to heaven which is the primary role of the Church.
It doesn’t matter what people think; the Ten Commandments are still the Ten Commandments; the Bible is still the word of God. God’s opinion on what is right or wrong hasn’t changed only what we want to hear. The Church has preached the same message for two thousand years and will continue to preach the same message. We haven’t always heard that message.
The Church is guided by the Holy Spirit not the polls or elections. The Church is created to serve God and lead people to God. The Church has to speak out for the helpless. The Church has to speak out against sin and falsehood. Throughout its history there have been those who felt and claimed they knew better than the Church. The result has been heresies, schisms and the formation of new denominations.
The Church cannot change the truth to fit the times. It is to proclaim the truth in every generation come what may. It may be rejected or persecuted but that is nothing new. Every century has had its martyrs. We are called to stand for the truth and risk all if necessary. There are far worse things than being out of office. Look at what happened to St. Thomas More, the patron saint of politicians.
Being Catholic has never meant changing the truth to fit in. It has never meant that we let the world change us. Rather we are called to change the world by our example and courage.

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Author: ronquinlan

To me the message is what is important. Feel free to copy and use anything on this blog. Some pieces were originally published by Catholic Lane so please give them credit. I am a charismatic Roman Catholic and former Social Studies teacher in Catholic Schools. Pieces I've written have been published on Catholi Lane, Catholic Exchange and the Women of Grace blog.

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