An apology for Catholicism

I know that I do not know you as well as I know Terra. I can only remember one really good conversation that we had sitting at the picnic table, and I can’t even remember what we talked about. I didn’t want to use that as an excuse to avoid this interaction, as I thought it could be good for us both.

Every religion is different, and I can only speak well for Catholics. I am Catholic myself and I was also trained as a Sunday School teacher by the Diocese of Lansing and taught the Catholic Faith to teenage students for five years.

One common issue among Catholics (even myself to some degree,) is a lack of education about what it means to be “Catholic” and to adhere to the Church’s teaching authority (referred to as the “Magisterium”). Many students in my classes would have comments like “That’s not what my family believes”, etc.

I found it helpful to my class to separate what we believe (as individuals with free will,) from what the Catholic Church actually teaches. Many other Christian religions use the Bible (one of the many, many versions,) as their prime teaching text and allow their members, some even instruct/guide, their members to interpret its meaning for themselves (and or listen to their pastor’s own personal interpretations.)

One thing that I like about the Catholic Church is that does specify our exact Catholic beliefs in what is called the Catechism of the Catholic Church. If it helps you draw a parallel, this would be similar to the SIM for skydivers.

According to the CCC (the authoritative source for what the Catholic Church DOES teach,) I’ll share a few points- not to indoctrinate you, but to allow you a defense against false Catholic teachings.

1) membership in the Catholic Church is voluntary and may not be forced upon anyone.
2) the entirety of our teaching is directed inwards to the individual member.
3) the story of Jesus Christ, is modeled as the entire human story, and we (members of the Catholic Church,) are instructed to treat every other human person as if they might be Jesus, Himself, and to love even our enemies and pray for the world around us.

As a previous teacher of the Catholic Church, I can tell you that the vast majority of people that call themselves “Catholic” do not even know the definition of that word according to the CCC. The Catholic Church is not a democracy and Catholic members do not get to “vote” on what the Catholic Church teaches, this leads many, many people in the world to announce themselves as “Catholic”, yet then give their own personal opinion on a topic, rather than the actual “Catholic” answer.

Sorry, I’m so longwinded, all that is to set up this:

Terra’s meme was correct (if we’re talking about Catholics,) as the Catholic Church “does not” prohibit or even apply to non-members. Even for members, the Church “does not” prohibit us from sin (as our Church defines that word for our members,) we are merely taught what sin is in the world and how to avoid it for our own good.

To close, I feel that you, Terra, and I all may agree on two things:

1) We all wanna love one another, be kind and receive kindness in return.
2) We all want people to learn more about their religion if they choose to have one.

Be well!

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