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August 11, 2010 at 1:01 am #2041
Hi. This is my first post, so I’ll do my best to be clear and concise. I had been discussing a myriad of issues with non catholics, from everything to Mary as the Mother of God, to infallibility of the Pope. But, I did have an issue where I know that the Magisterium/Church in general teaches that homosexuality in itself is wrong, but that homosexuals are to be treated with respect as you would any person. While I completely agree with that statement, a part of me has felt that there isn’t anything really “wrong” with homosexuality. But the thing that has scared me was when I was told that if I doubt or reject Magisterium teaching (by an agnostic/athiest whose brother is in the Seminary) then I would technically be deemed a heretic. I’m afraid because I love the faith, the Church and God most of all, and I don’t want to be cast away, but at the same time just feel that I don’t mean to reject the teaching of the church, but I have this thought that homosexuality isn’t that big of a deal. Ultimately, (I’m sorry I’m not getting to the point sooner, I just need to write what I think) is it wrong to have your opinion on certain things? What I mean, is that although I don’t wish to put my opinion above the Church, I still want to have it and be able to understand. I’m confused. Can anyone help me on this matter?August 11, 2010 at 2:12 am #10028
Having doubts and questioning aspects of the Faith are not in and of themselves sinful. Nor do they make one a Formal or Material heretic. However in the position you find yourself in, I would say finding a good Spiritual Director and reading why the Church takes the position it does would be a good step for you.
You are correct that as Catholics, we are bidden to love the sinner and hate the sin. In the arena of Morals, this would include Homosexual or Heterosexual abuses of sexual expression.August 11, 2010 at 7:58 pm #10029
Alright, thank you very much.August 13, 2010 at 5:16 am #10031
I’ll see if I can find a copy online, but there are two very good articles one on Private Judgement and Authority writtend by Fr. W Norris Clarke S.J. and another on the Interpretation of Sacred Scripture by Fr. Robert W. Gleason S.J. (both articles were published in the book “In the Eyes of Others”, (edited by Fr. Gleason) If you can find a copy, it is well worth the read.
Fr. Gleason covers many of the misconceptions of Protestants, and Catholics about Catholics and Sacred Scipture, as well as the place an informed Consience and room for Private Judgement vs. Blind Obedience, which the Church has condemned.
Fr. Clarke, a brilliant Thomast wrote on St. Thomas Aquinas’ multiple comments on the dangers of Blind Obedience,
The subject does not have to judge about the command of the superior, but only about its fulfillment, which is his concern. For each is bound to examine his actions according to the knowledge he has from God, whether natural, acquired, or infused. For every man should act according to reason. [i:2kq8f0tc]Aquinas, Ve Veritate, Q17 Art V
St. Thomas also wrote,
A spiritual bond is stronger than a physical bond, and an intrinsic bond stronger than an extrinsic bond. But conscience is an intrinsic spiritual bond, whereas the office of the superior is physical and extrinsic, as it seems, because all his authority is based on a dispensation which is limited to time. Hence, when we reach eternity, it will cease, as the Gloss indicates.Therefore, it seems that one should obey his conscience rather than a superior.
To be balanced it is important to seek learn the truth, and form ones conscience in the mind of the Church. That is to say to learn not just the facts of the Faith, ie; God is Just, and Perfect. but the reason why the Church teaches He is Just and Perfect.
A traditional example given is that of a priest who becomes so caught up in the frenzy of his sermon that he makes a statement like, “The Virgin Mother of God has such a profound influence on God that She can bring into heaven someone who has been unjustly condemned to Hell.” Now while the priest is a person of authority in the Parish, and is the “superior” in the religious heiarchy, a Catholic who knows his faith would realize that the priest’s comments, and authority in this case must be rejected, as Catholic Theology teaches that God is Perfect and Just, and would not unjustly condemn someone to Hell.
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