Why Discussing Church Problems is Difficult

Such discussions often become heated and unproductive for three basic reasons:

1. Are there really any “doubtful matters” concerning which we may disagree? Yes. One need only to spend time with the Eastern churches that are in full communion with Rome to see that there is lots of room for legitimate differences within orthodox belief and practices. And yet, in discussions one can routinely see de facto denial of that.

2. When the discussion turns from what is Catholic to who is Catholic: this is the turning point when anger and bitterness arise–and nothing positive is accomplished.

3. The implications of the involvement of the Holy Ghost (and Satan) in the Church are too enormous for us to handle well. (Spiritus Sanctus was routinely translated as “Holy Ghost” during Fr. Dudley’s time, but now it is usually translated as “Holy Spirit”–either is correct.) Implying–even without intending to do so–that you are on the side of God, and your discussion partner is on the side of Satan, often leads to strong emotional reactions.

4. Disagreements over our obligations–and their nature–as Catholics concerning loyalty and obedience towards authority. It is easy to say that God is truth, and all truth is God’s truth: but do we really believe that? For example, do we believe that we should tell the truth about our bishop or the Pope? We are told that the truth will set us free, but what of humility? Detraction? How to balance this all?

No website can be all things to all people–or even all Catholics. If you believe that, although there have always been problems within the human element of the Church, somehow there are none now, then this part of the discussion is not for you. If you believe that there are current problems, but we should dissemble, prevaricate, and deflect concerning them, then this is not the section for you.

If you suspect that there really are problems within the Church Militant (as there always are), but do not know what they might be: perhaps you have chose the better part, but the problems will be referenced but not detailed here–but such discussions are easy enough to find elsewhere.

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