“I’m a Catholic and I feel that artificial birth control is acceptable…”
“My priest told me that there is no purgatory…”
“I don’t have a problem voting for a pro-abortion candidate…”
“I don’t feel that I need to confess my sins to a priest…”
Sound familiar? It’s an unfortunate fact that many Catholics reinvent the Faith in order to suit their personal beliefs. Sadly, we sometimes see this kind of erroneous teaching even in Catholic schools and churches. In an article originally published in the January 2006 issue of Crisis magazine, Archbishop Charles Chaput addressed this topic with some profound words:
Too many times over the past four decades, people have claimed to be the Church or to speak as the voice of the faithful and then acted or taught in ways that seemed to oppose what the Church actually believes. When people say, “We are the Church,” of course that’s true. We’re all the Church, because the Church is the community of the faithful. But a “community of the faithful” implies that there’s someone and something we have the duty to be faithful to. We don’t invent the Catholic Faith, nor do we own it. We receive it; we live it in community; we witness it to others; and we pass it on fully — if we’re good stewards — to our children. That’s what life in the Church means. And that’s why it’s worth reflecting on the content of Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church.
As Catholics, we are expected to share our Faith with others. However, it is important that we get our facts straight in order to share the true teachings of the Church. As Archbishop Chaput states, “we didn’t invent the Catholic Faith”. It’s better to say, “I don’t know, but I’ll get back to you” than to guess at an answer. A quick Google search or paying a visit to a loyal Catholic website (shameless plug time…like The Catholic Truth!) can prevent errors from being taught. We are blessed with a body of teaching that has been passed down directly from Our Lord to His Apostles and their successors. We have a responsibility to “get it right”!
Read the Archbishop’s full article at: http://insidecatholic.com/Joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6215&Itemid=100