18 September 2008

I am an opinionated catholic

Twice this week online I've encountered the argument that 'liberals' like me - and I put that word in scare-quotes for a reason - allegedly believe that 'all opinions are valid' and so, therefore, we do not have the right to disagree strenuously with conservatives. The argument seems to be that if we're going to argue that all opinions are valid that therefore the conservative opinion is valid as one among many.

What's wrong with this picture? First of all, I don't actually consider myself to be a theological 'liberal'. I
don't hold the view that a person can call themself a Christian and believe just anything. For instance, I do not believe that it is orthodox Christianity to deny the divinity of Christ nor orthodox Christianity to deny the Trinity. Of course, an individual may struggle with these concepts, but - in my opinion - the church community may not deny them.

I do not consider myself a 'liberal', I consider myself a 'catholic'. A catholic Christian believes in the universal
offer of God's salvation to all of creation. We believe that there is no person to whom God omits to offer his salvation: 'All shall be invited to the feast of life! Good news!' I do not know who is damned - if anyone - and I'm glad it's not my decision to make; that decision belongs to God.

I can see where some people might think my view is 'liberal', but it's not about 'anything goes'. It's about 'all are invited'.

This is actually a strongly-held conviction. I don't believe that all opinions are valid. When someone tells me that God excludes some people from his offer of salvation and that human beings can identify these individuals by their wrong ideas, I will disagree strenuously. Because I
don't believe that all opinions are valid.

I am an opinionated catholic and I will disagree with you if I think you are wrong. And I'll try to do so in a civil and cordial manner.


Sally said...

We don't always agree, but well said Pam :-)

Rev Paul Martin said...

Now that's the opinionated Catholicism I can go for!

Anonymous said...

I never thought of you as 'liberal', though you may be more liberal than I am on some things.

crystal said...

Yay - you're a liberal Catholic, just like me :) I think there's a difference between being judgemental and being discerning.

Doorman-Priest said...

A point well made.

Teri said...

well said. I've been trying to get a similar point across lately....