Saturday, August 21, 2004

Independent Catholics

I ran across the term "Independent Catholic" on the web today. It seems to be a generic term used to describe lay and former religious people who believe almost entirely in Catholicism. In the early Church, these people would have been called heretics. Years later (historically speaking) they were called protestants. Now the nomenclature seems to have evolved yet again. Personally, I'd place these folks in the "Cafeteria Catholic" category.

Think about this: What exactly is an "Independent Catholic" is seeking to be independent from?

The Catholic church receives it's authority from Jesus (Matt. 16:18-19). To buck the authority of the Pope is to reject the instruction of Christ. Ergo, a church that seeks to be independent of Papal authority is one that seeks to be independent of Christ's authority.

I understand that some Catholic teachings are not in line with some of today's PC social standards. The disagreement I have with the independent Catholics is that they have allowed their culture to influence their faith when it should be faith that dictates their culture.

3 comments:

Julie M. said...

Yes, how convenient to pick and choose what you like from each religion and make your own (please note the sarcasm).

Matt from New England said...

Please remove the apostrophe from it's. You will find it in the sentenced on where the Roman church receives its authority from. It's is a contraction and should not be used to indicate ownership.

But leaving behind nitty gritty stuff...

You write:
The disagreement I have with the independent Catholics is that they have allowed their culture to influence their faith when it should be faith that dictates their culture.

Wow. That's a bold statement. I'm not exactly sure how exactly you can be so confident in the motivating factors behind the faith journeys of thousands of individuals. This must mean that it is not possible that people indeed have a faith that holds a different understanding of justice from your own or Rome's. But since certainly some people will claim that they do, you do well to use the term "today's PC social standards." I miss the pejorative phrasing from the late nineties.

The fact of the matter is that there are individuals who approach the contemporary debates of our day with a sincere faith that is based upon sincere prayer, authentic academic pursuit and genuine experiences which lead them to philosophical and theological opinions that are different from your own.

I think you could call Independent Catholics and Old Catholics "Cafeteria Catholics" if they stayed under the authority of Rome. Clearly, these groups have not.

I can't help but to wonder, when the Church permitted slavery and killing heretics, would you call those voices of opposition to such teachings "Cafeteria Catholics" like you do today?

Peace to you. Let us pray for each other.

Matt from New England said...

P.S.

Sorry about the typo on the word "sentence."