LIBERA ME, Domine, Iesu Christe, ab omnibus iniquitatis meis et universis malis,
fac me tuis semper inhærere mandatis et a te numquam separari permittas. Amen.

Friday, 10 September 2010

So . . . start praying ?

One of the young people in the Radio 4 broadcast yesterday morning said that the great thing about being a Catholic is that you can pick and choose what you want to believe.

That’s not only utterly wrong, but it provides frightening evidence that there has been some terrifyingly bad catechesis somewhere.

The great thing about being a Catholic – and certainly the ultimate reason why I swam the Tiber and came home – is that you know exactly what you believe : in the happy certainty that if you don’t believe it, you aren’t a Catholic.

The horrible truth, though, is that at least in the public eye, the girl’s opinion is more correct – and thus more important – than mine.

Given that she’s wrong, and I’m right, but that so many have the contrary view, I – and those who agree with me – had better start praying; hadn’t we ?


  1. Dominic Mary,

    We have to be a little careful in claiming that we know "exactly" what we believe, do we not?

  2. You are right about this, and we had better pray.

    I think that maybe an open letter is called for, or a petition to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, from faithful Catholics, about the scandal of false catechesis in England, or the UK over the last 25-30 years. Perhaps we could call for the removal of certain clergy and hierarchs, who are leading people astray.

  3. Gregory;
    with all due respect, I think that true Catholics do know what they believe : they believe what Holy Mother Church teaches, because Holy Mother Church teaches it.
    That doesn't mean that they know - or even claim to know - every detail of every doctrine; I doubt if even the greatest theologians would claim to do that.
    What it means is that they accept that the Church knows them; and that they believe them on that basis.
    Sorry if I wasn't very clear first time round.

  4. Dominic Mary,

    Do you ever consider that you might be wrong and that the co-religionists that you treat with so much disdain may be representing a more substantial view of Christianity than your own?

    It seems that your swim across the Tiber was motivated by the appearance of a representation of a certain 'brand' of Catholicism that is without any depth and is uncertain to survive beyond the lifetime of the current Pope.

  5. BJR,

    I’m sure that Dominic Mary can speak for himself, but as another convert to the Catholic faith, I’d like to offer my own perspective on what you have written.

    My swim was motivated by a lengthy study of the history of Christianity and of its doctrinal expressions, the conclusion of which was that the claims made by the Roman Church are true; the Church of Christ truly subsists in the Roman Catholic Church and that where other Churches and ecclesial communities differ in doctrinal substance from the Roman Church, they are in error. Having arrived at this conclusion, the personal consequences and obligations were then obvious.

    However, a secondary consequence of having studied the history of doctrine and its development in such detail was the development of an awareness of the doctrinal and ecclesiological shambles gripping much of the Western Church during the last half century or so. My own journey to the faith was made despite my trepidation about the mess that the Church is in – and the same is true of many of the converts that I know. In many cases, converts leave behind situations where correct doctrine receives orthodox expression for a situation of random doctrinal noise. The motivation to convert is not comfort or political opportunism; the motivation to convert is the truth of the claims of the Church.

    As to whether Dominic Mary is expressing “disdain” for his co-religionists – I think that you are mistaking disdain for a deep pastoral concern expressed in urgent and sometimes provocative terms: after all, we’re talking about people’s eternal fate here. Those who spread error in the Church are putting both their souls at risk and the souls of those others who are misled by them. The loss of the souls of either class of people is a tragedy against which we are obliged to fight.