12 Myths Every Catholic Should Be Able To Answer
by Deal Hudson
#7. “Dissent is actually a positive thing, since we should all keep our minds open to new ideas.”
You might hear this argument a lot today, especially in the wake of the abuse scandal in the Church. Everyone wants to find a solution to the problem, and in doing so some people are advocating ideas that are outside the pale of our Catholic faith (i.e., women priests, being open to homosexuality, etc). A lot of people blame the Church for being too rigid in its beliefs and not wanting to try anything new.
The truth is, a lot of the ideas for reform that are floating around today aren’t new. They’ve been around for a while, and the Church has already considered them. In fact, the Church has spent its entire life carefully examining ideas and determining which ones are in line with God’s law and which aren’t. It has discarded heresy after heresy while carefully building up the tenets of the Faith. It should come as no surprise that there are thousands of other Christian churches in existence today — all of them had “new ideas” at one point that the Church had decided were outside the deposit of faith.
The Church has an important responsibility in protecting the integrity of our Faith. It never rejects ideas out of hand, as some dissenters would claim, but has two thousand years of prayer and study behind the beliefs it holds to be true.
This doesn’t mean that we can never disagree on anything. There’s always room to discuss how best to deepen our understanding of the truth — for example, how we can improve our seminaries or clergy/lay interactions — all within the guidelines of our Faith.
Next: Myth 8
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