Monday, March 2, 2015

Change and Belief

Banned from Catholic Answers Again is the most read and commented-on post in this forum.  As you can see, I haven't posted here in quite a while.  But people keep commenting in that thread. The comments section of the previous  very simple template didn't allow for replying to individual posts and made exchange of ideas quite difficult. I felt like I needed to update things a bit, so here is the new, simplified version of the blog. I hope everyone finds it easier to comment and connect.

I am a proponent of Truth. I'm not sure I always know what that is, when written with a capital "T."  I am also, however,  proponent of facts and freedom.

The Corporate Roman Catholic Church, that is, the physical hierarchical set of persons that take it upon themselves to make rules for the rest of humanity is corrupt. Power corrupts. That's inevitable. Some Popes have been great villains, committed heinous, despicable acts. True for all ranks of persons in the cRCC.  Bishops, having so much power, are especially vulnerable. Which is not to deny the presence of great spiritual warriors in the cRCC. There has also always been Light.

This is no attack on the Church.  It's just a statement of fact.  What is also factual, IMO, is that each of us is responsible for our own salvation. If you are not following Christ, not feeding the hungry and clothing the naked, refraining from judgement and praying in a closet and taking the last seat at the table, you cannot expect to be excused by God because some corporate body, a Bishop, a self-appointed expert on Christianity, said it was okay.

It's not okay. Not because I say it's not okay, but because Christ did. Our Savior didn't tell us to go to Mass every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation. He didn't tell us to confess or not masturbate or say a Rosary.

He told us to love one another.  Serve one another. Feed, clothe, visit the imprisoned. Pray. Pray. Pray. He gave us the Eucharist.  He didn't say it was the exclusive province of anyone. He didn't say who should and shouldn't receive.

It seems quite simple and anyone or anything that represses the simple message of Christ is just another in that nest of vipers blocking access to the fullness of life in God forever.

This is what I believe. I wanted to make it perfectly clear. 


  1. I wish you well, and hope to encourage you to keep posting.

  2. Reading this again, I must admit that my joy in your continuing to post overwhelmed my concern about what you said. I think all of us who have concern about the insistence upon infallibility have the feeling we should speak out on issues when it seems to us that the Church is wrong. But St Benedict's Rule seemed wise in saying to express our conscience (concern about Church) only to our superior, and only once, and then leave it to God.
    I believe Christianity is the best religion, and Catholicism the best Church, but I think we are all humans following our Lord imperfectly and need improvement.

  3. But St Benedict's Rule seemed wise in saying to express our conscience (concern about Church) only to our superior, and only once, and then leave it to God.

    If we followed that "rule," (and many did) re: the sexual assault on children by priests, how many more victims would there be? The flaw in this thinking, IMO, is the idea that someone else is the Church besides all of us. Some sub-group of Catholics. YOU are the Church. As am I. WE are responsible. Jesus never told us to not spread the Gospel, He told us to spread it to all the world. That includes one another. Priests and Bishops and Popes are here to serve us, not the other way around.

  4. Also, I hope that since you are a "proponent of facts and freedom" that you will permit others to offer thoughts/insights/comments which disagree with the name of...freedom. Yes?

    1. You mean you want me to behave differently than the moderators of CAF? Now you know what people have experienced there. You may post a differing opinion if I decide to let you based entirely on my subjective opinion. Just like CAF does. I suggest, if you want to be heard at all, you post about topics. Neither I nor anyone else who comments here is a topic. Posts with personal comments (ad hom) will be deleted.

  5. I appreciate your post and agree with it.

    I want to share some thoughts on the comment above. I've pray long and hard about "expressing my conscience only to my superior" I have at times practiced it. However, I've seen marriages be damaged by legalistic teaching regarding married sexuality. I can no longer be silent about it. It bothered my conscience too much to continue to keep silent. At CAF any hint of questioning or dissent is met with enormous backlash. I was sincere. I was honest. I searched and I read and I prayed. This infuriated a couple of posters in particular who I am sure we're going to make sure I was banned. I was intrigued by the way they followed me around on this issue and how I infuriated they got by my honesty and questioning.

    I am not willing to do silence anymore. Not after I have seen the damage legalism does.

    Again, I felt relief when I was banned. I needed to stop drinking at toxic wells.

    1. This infuriated a couple of posters in particular who I am sure we're going to make sure I was banned. I was intrigued by the way they followed me around on this issue...

      Yes, this is the pattern that's been in place for years. Certain opinions and posters are repressed and hounded off the forum. These posters are like "unofficial moderators" and the mods count on them to report people who need to "have an eye kept on them." When I was active there, I had an offline friendship with one of them.

      Once you are targeted, you either tow the company line or you will be banned.

  6. Yes this is so true. I initially thought "forum elders" went through some kind of training to be wise and compassionate guides. Then I realized they just posted 1000s of times and it was no reflection of virtue.

    I was reading over James Fowler's Stages of Faith today. Most people get stuck at Stage III, Synthetic Conventional. CAF is definitely stuck here. Here is the description: Most people move on to this stage as teenagers. At this point, their life has grown to include several different social circles and there is a need to pull it all together. When this happens, a person usually adopts some sort of all-encompassing belief system. However, at this stage, people tend to have a hard time seeing outside their box and don't recognize that they are "inside" a belief system. At this stage, authority is usually placed in individuals or groups that represent one's beliefs. [This is the stage in which many people remain.] this stage people rely on some sort of institution (such as a church) to give them stability. They become attached to the forms of their religion and get extremely upset when these are called into question.

    The dynamics at CAF are an interesting sociological, psychological study.