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Friday, April 19, 2013

Catholicism: Upside Down and Backwards

To many non-Catholics the idea that Catholicism is an upside-down backward semblance of reality (as they believe it ought to be: is not far-fetched at all. The Church, rather than simply moving in unison with other
christian denominations, has not “changed with the times.” While some aspect of Catholicism have changed, the recent re-wording of Mass for example, changes to actual doctrine is rare. Even the aforementioned re-wording of mass is only the third such instance of this in the lengthy history of the Church. When the Council of Trent was called in 1545, in response to the protestant reformation, the Church did not soften it's position on subjects that were considered difficult or prohibitive. They reaffirmed them. This was counter to everything that was sweeping the world of Christianity at the time! Ashley McGuire, of The Washington Post, had this to say on the idea of change and the backwardness of the Church:
“Our call to live counter-culturally is as old as the church itself. We believe in a God who lived among us, died for us, and showed us the way to live lives of courage and conviction--whatever our culture. Catholics are called, yes, to engage with the society around them, but not to adapt ourselves to the popular sentiments of our time. Instead, Catholics are called to live in radical service to our God. This includes loving our neighbor as ourselves. This also includes letting go of pleasure as the path to happiness (spoiler: it’s not). There’s nothing modern --or moderate --about that (McGuire).”
In a more metaphorical sense, Catholicism is upside-down in that it acknowledges the fact that our world is just that. It is “upside-down.” That is to say, that the world is upended, dangling, and dependent on the Triune God. Our semblance of normalcy is fragile and wholly contingent on the love of God the Creator. “He who has seen the whole world hanging on a hair of the mercy of God has seen the Truth

Source:

McGuire, Ashley. "The Catholic Church Can't Change." Washington Post [Washington, D.C.]      13 February 2013, n. pag. Web. 14 Mar. 2013.    <http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/guest-voices/post/the-catholic-church-cant-change/2013/02/13/a0b1933a-75fe-11e2-95e4-6148e45d7adb_blog.html>

Monday, April 1, 2013

Reasoning and Faith (Pt. 3): Harmony and Religious Freedom

The harmony of faith and reason in the Catholic Church is an old institution. The knowledge that reason can
serve to illuminate and reinforce the battlements of ones faith is indisputable. It is only through God's authority that we can reason at all.
Since the same God who reveals mysteries and infuses faith has bestowed the light of reason on the human mind, God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever contradict truth (Catholic Church 159)." “The miracles of Christ and the saints, prophecies, the Church's growth and holiness, and her fruitfulness and stability "are the most certain signs of divine Revelation, adapted to the intelligence of all"; they are "motives of credibility" (motiva credibilitatis), which show that the assent of faith is "by no means a blind impulse of the mind (Catholic Church 156).
Man's God given ability to reason is ultimately a search for the truth. This truth can only be found in God. He is the supreme Truth. This search for the truth, however, is not something that can be forced upon somebody. To do so would be an imposition on free will; a gift which God has given us. That being said religious freedom must be allowed. The knowledge of God's Truth through faith and reasoning can be the guide an individual of another faith needs to be led to the Church. The CCC has this to say on the matter:
To be human, "man's response to God by faith must be free, and... therefore nobody is to be forced to embrace the faith against his will. The act of faith is of its very nature a free act." "God calls men to serve him in spirit and in truth. Consequently they are bound to him in conscience, but not coerced. . . Christ invited people to faith and conversion, but never coerced them. "For he bore witness to the truth but refused to use force to impose it on those who spoke against it (Catholic Church 160).