Society Magazine

Why Do People Self-identify as Catholics While Decrying Catholic Doctrine?

Posted on the 21 November 2013 by Brutallyhonest @Ricksteroni

Simcha Fisher has an answer, an answer in response to a woman lamenting the lack of women priests in the Catholic Church:

This attitude is the antithesis of the priesthood, or of any other kind of vocation:  we are called to serve in various ways, according to our abilities and our nature.  Demanding the right to serve is like demanding that all paratroopers have the right to carry anvils.  Doesn't sound like you understand what we're trying to achieve!

In other words, you are completely clueless how great our Church is.  Why stay?

Two things strike me about this woman's lament:  one is her poor grasp on theology.  She refers to the EucharistEucharist as "bread," or sometimes "transformed bread."  (She even refers to the "yeast" in the Host, which suggests that she not only misses the symbolic significance of unleavened bread, she also missed Home Ec 101 in junior high.)  She appears, in short, to think that the Eucharist is mostly about inclusiveness, and that a lack of female priests demonstrates a failure of inclusiveness.  Does she believe that the consecrated Host is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ, offered up for any man, woman, or child who dares to receive Him?  She doesn't say.

And her lack of understanding makes my second observation all the more striking:  she stays anyway.  Even though she doesn't like what she's experienced -- even though she apparently doesn't have the first clue about what she's experienced -- she stays.  She furtively tries out other churches, with female priests; but she keeps coming back, and she keeps identifying herself as Catholic.

What does this tell us?

There is a reason why people stay.  There is a reason why even former Catholics keep on identifying themselves as "lapsed Catholics" or "recovering Catholics," and it's not about brainwashing our emotional scars.  People stay because God, in the most holy sacrament of the altar, is there.  Unmistakably there.  God is appealing.  God is attractive, in the least superficial way possible.  Once you receive God you will never stop wanting Him, even if that want is transformed by sin or ignorance into something bitter or resentful.

Yes, there's more.  Yes, you should read the whole thing.

There's a There there in the Catholic Church.  A Magnet that draws one in.  A Substance that fills. 

The Person of Christ.

Is He drawing you?

He is.

Trust me.

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