thoughts on the Catholic perspective

My friend Fran is a devoted Catholic who works in a Catholic church and writes multiple Catholic-themed blogs. She expressed frustration one day on Facebook that some people were calling her too Catholic, while others were calling her not Catholic enough. (Seems to me that means she’s doing something right.) In response to that Fran pointed to a blog by Julia Smucker, a Mennonite who converted to Catholicism. Smucker gives a number of reasons for sticking with the Catholic faith. I commend the whole blog to you, as she has salient comments on each of these points.

  • The very long view
  • The both/and
  • Tradition is a living process
  • So is conversion
  • Held together by ritual
  • Liturgy is plurality

I would say that all of these points apply to the Episcopal Church as well. Certainly there are differences in the interpretation of each of the above, but I belive these are shared values.

There are a lot of reasons why I would never become a Catholic: their positions on birth control, abortion, woman priests and celibacy in the priesthood, and so on. Yet as Clayton, then Associate at All Saints’ Palo Alto, pointed out in our confirmation class, Catholic theology is internally consistent. Their anti-abortion, anti-birth control, anti-death penalty positions all stem from the same belief that we are obligated to preserve life at whatever stage. I’m not sure that I can explain any consistency in my standard, left-leaning, bleeding heart liberal positions of being pro-abortion and anti-death penalty.

Of course I also have to give a shout out to the American nuns who are standing up against the unwarranted criticism by the Vatican.

So I continue to respect and enjoy my Catholic friends and I know that there is much I can learn from them.

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