Church AuthorityBirth Control in the Catholic Church

November 11, 2002, 03:02 PM
Church Authority
At what point when we dissent from Church teaching are we no longer Catholic? We can disagree with the Church's teaching on Artificial Birth Control, on abortion, on the ordination of women, on priestly celibacy, etc. But in doing so, at some point we are Protestants and no longer Catholic. What is that point?

November 11, 2002, 05:26 PM
This is a really good question, Dad, and I'm glad you asked it.

Actually, I don't know that there is a clear answer anwhwere. Also, one must distinguish between disagreeing with a teaching and discussing it while continuing to insist that it IS the teaching and so must be considered in conscience formation, Church policy, etc. I don't see where that sort of thing should ever disqualify one from being a Catholic.

The large, separating issues between Catholics and Protestants usually have to do with recognizing Papal authority and Tradition. No one here is really disputing the importance of Papal authority, nor the place of the Pope in the Church. No one is suggesting, either, that Tradition has nothing to say about the birth control teaching.

I will go on record, here, as stating that one's views on birth control shouldn't be regarded as a defining issue concerning whether or not one is a REAL Catholic. Same goes for some of the other teachings you listed. REAL Catholics can discuss these issues and even disagree with the present teaching, in my view. When they start questioning the validity of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the Assumption of Mary, and other infallible teachings, they're moving outside Catholic religion.

What do others think?
November 11, 2002, 07:19 PM
Well, for starters, I believe in God, the Father the Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth and in Jesus ... etc

I believe that the celebration of a sacrament can effect precisely what it brings to mind and that, often, we bring to mind in our celebrations what has already been effected ...

I believe the Magisterium, as broadly conceived, should be seriously engaged and consulted in all matters of conscience and in conscience formation and should be given the presumption of being correct ...

I believe that one can live the good and moral life and discover the natural law without the benefit of divine revelation ...

I believe that Jesus' incarnation changed everything --- ontologically, eschatologically, soteriologically ad Infinitum (no pun intended) ...

Gosh, I could go on and on ...

Oh, the ban on ABC --- I respectfully dissent

Catholically yours,
November 12, 2002, 06:57 AM
Excellent point Momz,
All Lutherans and Anglicans would reply the same, The Nicene and Apostles Creed are common to at least these two Protestant denominations, but they certainly are NOT Catholic. As for the ban on ABC they would agree, on a broad interpretation of the Magisterium, they agree with that also, on the Incarnation, yep, they are on board. I don't see the difference, they follow their conscience and do what they please, maybe they ARE Catholic?
November 12, 2002, 08:37 AM
Dad, did you read my post, or was it just easier to reply to Momz?

Catholics' understanding of truth rests on the three-legged stool of Scripture, Tradition, and Magisterial teaching. As no one has denied any of the above on this forum nor on the birth control web site, it would seem that we're nowhere near Protestantism, which frequently goes by Scripture only.

Now how about you replying to your own question. When do you think one falls outside of the Catholic family?
November 12, 2002, 02:40 PM
and on and on and on
of course Scripture and Tradition and a Magisterium (including the Pope) ... and let us not forget that implicitly included in the above are the Catholic analogical imagination, our inclusivistic Christocentrism, our Thomistic metaphysics, our anthropological and transcendental theological methods, our belief in the Real Presence in the Eucharist, and so many other elements that are diagnostically, unambiguously and unequivocably Roman Catholic big grin

Dad, perhaps you could benefit from a refresher Catechism Lesson (even the Baltimore version could help you) or an RCIA Class or two insofar as your view of Catholicism versus Protestantism is not sufficiently nuanced confused