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Saturday, November 27, 2004

"Coming to terms" with your "Difference of Opinion."

Mayor Gavin Newsom claims to be a Catholic. Not a Catholic in "good standing" mind you, but still, a Catholic. As fellow blogster Matteo of Cartago Delenda Est (see Link) pointed out in his account of the mayor's visit to St. Vincent's Catholic Church on Monday evening, "Just replace 'Catholic' with 'Irish' and that's probably all it means to him."

Newsom further clarified his exact stance on his faith when asked how he could have such fundamental disagreements with the Church, and still call himself a Catholic. His answer was a resounding gong in the whats-gone-wrong-in-the-Church category: "I eventually just came to terms with my difference of opinion."

What, exactly, does that mean? A woman in the audience put it quite nicely, "That's like saying you're a vegetarian but you eat meat!"

Today's average Sunday Catholic considers their faith similar to a cultural vice. It is something they were born into--like being Irish--not something they chose. I've met plenty of people in my life that have told me they were Catholic, but were no more Christian in their behavior than the typical agnostic--sometimes, less so.

I think what we've lost in our society are two major things: a shared sense of common decency, and a belief in objective truth. Without either of these things, it is now up to each individual to decide for themself what is right and good, for them--AND NO ONE CAN TELL ME WHAT TO SAY OR THINK OR DO!

Ahem.....including the Church.

With that said, being a Catholic in today's progressive society means it's up to me to decide which teachings I am going to accept or reject. No more of this "accepting the authority of the Church." If I believe a woman should have the right to kill her unborn child, surely my 20-some odd years of wisdom and experience outweighs the 2,000 years of the Church's. After all, God gave me the gift of freedom of choice--shouldn't I exercise it?

Of course, if I'm exercising my will, and my next-door-neighbor is exercising his will, and Gavin Newsom is exercising another will all together, where does that leave us?

What does it mean to be Catholic? To put it simply, I suppose it is something similar to what is means to be a vegetarian: that there are a set of beliefs and standars of living that one adheres to. Period. If there are a million different contradicting beliefs that one group of people subscribe to, what is the commonality that binds them together? If there is no central standard, what is Catholicism?

Mayor Newsom can call himself whatever he wants, but "[coming] to terms with [his] difference of opinion" with the Church does not change the state of his soul or the teachings of the Church. It simply gives him a way to sleep at night, and perhaps a way to keep his mother happy.

To be Catholic--to REALLY be Catholic--means understanding and accepting the teachings of the Church; not because you are a brainless lemming, but because you understand that the authority of the Church comes directly from Christ. It means that when you fail, you ask for forgiveness and try again--you don't try and disguise your failure as an ultimate success.

You can't be a vegetarian, and still eat meat. You can't be a pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage Mayor of San Francisco (or anyone else for that matter), and still be a Catholic.


At November 30, 2004 at 11:56 AM, Blogger Penelope said...

Thanks Leilani. I thought the woman who made that comment about vegetarians eating meat was really brilliant;)
One thing that was odd I thought was when Gavin Newsom said he never claimed to be a Catholic in good standing he then turned to the crowd and said, "How many of you support abortion?" Some people raised their hands. Then he asked, "Don't you think you're in good standing?" They clapped. So it seemed that although he said he's not in good standing, he thinks you can be for abortion and a good Catholic. (Note: I'm not judging anyone's soul. I'm just wondering about the concept of supporting abortion and being a Catholic when the Church says you cannot support abortion. It is a contradiction kind of a like a meat eating "vegetarian".)

At September 9, 2012 at 1:20 PM, Blogger Saint Augustine was right said...

Gavin is a false Catholic. A true catholic agrees with what scripture says, and not redefine what a catholic in good standing should be. Gavin is just like most hypocrite Catholics that atheist attack.

At September 9, 2012 at 1:26 PM, Blogger Saint Augustine was right said...

He supports abortion and male and female homosexuality. Gavin is a false catholic, going to a catholic church and following their rituals does not save anyone. Scripture is clear by their fruits you will know them. Unless Gavin and those who hold his view don't repent of false teachings they will perish like every non believer. It does not do them any good to believe that God exist if they don't agree with God. The Demons believe in God and will perish in hell for eternity. Scripture tells us to judge righteously, so there is no wrong in judging. We all do it in every aspect of life. We judge.


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