What are Roman Catholics Required to Believe?
Question from on 07-05-2007:
Dear Father Levis,
I am a Roman Catholic who strayed from the Church for 23 years. In that time, I attended about 6 different Protestant denominations. I experienced Protestantism from one extreme (Pentecostal) to the other (Calvinism). Last year, 2006, the Holy Spirit led me back home. My wife, Diane, and I both returned home to the same parish we left over 24 years ago. Our four children, ages 25, 23, 16 and 13, all went through the RCIA program and all of them came home at the Easter Vigil, 2007. Diane and I have truly been blessed. I consider it nothing short of a miracle. Since returning home, I have been disturbed by certain practices that go on in the Church. It seems that some Catholics are not any different than Protestants. They believe and practice whatever they want and they aren‘t shy about it. Ironically, this is part of the reason why I left Protestantism in the first place. Protestants don’t accept Papal authority because each Protestant is, actually, his (or her) own Pope. You can do, or believe, whatever you want as long as it doesn't conflict with Sacred Scripture or “your interpretation of it“. I believe the real problem is that we don't accept Sacred Scripture or Sacred Tradition anymore. We don’t want anyone telling us what to do. This way of believing frightens me. Doesn’t anyone in this age tremble before Almighty God? The angels declare Him as Holy, Holy, Holy! Have we lost our minds? Do we think when we leave this life and stand before Him it’s going to be like sitting on our grandmothers lap? Not the way many of us are living today. A deacon tells his RCIA class that he doesn't believe everything the Catholic Church teaches. This same deacon teaches the class that they have to decide for themselves if they will accept natural family planning, as the Church teaches, or use some form of birth control. A priest tells a couple that is engaged that it’s okay for them to have sex. Some Catholics live together for a while and then get married later on, in the Church. An ex-employer of mine (Roman Catholic) told his two son's to live with their girlfriends to try it out for a while. My oldest son's RCIA class has a couple that are living together outside the sacrament of marriage. I'm very troubled over these things. Is there no fear of God in the Roman Catholic Church today? A Catholic High School teacher told my daughter that he doesn't accept the Catechism of the Catholic Church because it was voted on and was accepted by a very slim margin. Is there any truth to that statement? This man wants to go on and teach at the seminary level.
Why doesn't the Church make infallible decrees on issues such as birth control, sex before marriage and men and women living together before marriage? I fear for priests that don't teach their people right from wrong and let them swim and drown in the muddy waters of immorality. Do we not think we will stand before an Infinitely Almighty and Holy God and give an account for all of our actions? What are we to believe as Catholics? Is the catechism infallible or not? If it is not, are we bound under its teaching and why? Why can't the Church declare it infallible? Or, why won’t the Church declare it infallible? Thank you for your help.
Grace and peace, Joe
Answer by Fr. Robert J. Levis on 07-06-2007:
Dear Joe, Welcome home!!!!!!!! Congratulations!!!!! But I know how shocked you must be in reattending your parish church. Best thing I can recommend is reading the new Catechism of the Catholic Church.The essentials of Catholicism remain the same, only some of the visible properties were changed in the hope of attracting the young so enamored with modernity. God bless. Fr Bob Levis
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