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Faith/Spirituality Forum: Blind Faith Compatible with Truth?

by Catherine Frakas 02 May 2001

Blind Faith Compatible with Truth? QUESTION from Peter Kuchnicki on December 17, 2002 I am responding in the context of Fr. Charles Curran. If God is Truth and we pursue truth with all our heart, mind, soul, and body, I believe we are pursuing God.
If we had blindly followed the teachings of the Church, whatever they might be over time, and yes, they have changed in form, but also substance, we would believe that the sun revolves around the earth (taught as official church doctrine at one time under the umbrella of the Magisterium); that charging interest for the use of money (usury) is immoral; that the purchasing of indulgences is acceptable in the eyes of God; and that the burning of heretics at the stake via the Inquisition (better known as the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith) makes the world a better and safer place.
It is those truly blind to God's love and adherence to the misguided belief that doctrines is what the crucifixion and Jesus life was all about that encourages such sick closed-mindedness to the truth.
Freedom is not in blind submission of the will to another's doctrine or point of view, but the acceptance of responsibility to search for that which is correct and adhere to it.
signed.... Peter Kuchnicki
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on December 24, 2002 Dear Mr. Kuchnicki:
First of all there is NOTHING blind about Catholic Faith. In fact, the Catholic Faith has the eyes wide open more than any other Christian group.
You are mistaking obedience with blindness which is a common thing among people who do not wish to obey the truth.
As Catholic Christians we are to obey the Truth. Jesus said himself in John that if we love him we WILL obey his teachings.
Secondly, the Catholic Church has NOT changed doctrine. What the Catholic Church teaches as dogma IS THE TEACHING OF GOD.
The items that you mention are NOT doctrine and never were. The sin revolving around the earth issues was what SCIENTISTS said at the time. It was a scientific issue, not a religious one. Dogma was NEVER involved. BEFORE and at the same time that secular scientists were postulating that the earth revolved around the sun Jesuit scientists were postulating the same thing.
At the time, the Church accepted the current scientific explanation until such time as science changed its theory.
The issue was not, never was, and never will be dogma.
The issue of usury is a teaching of the Church. Usury is still a sin because if violates the virtue of charity, the 7th Commandment, and justice.
The DEFINITION of usury has changed, not the doctrine against usury itself.
For further discussion on this see Usury and Interest
The purchasing of indulgences was NEVER a teaching of the Church. It is a SIN to sell indulgences. Those bishops or priests who were selling indulgences did so illegally and sinfully. In any event this is NOT an issue of dogma.
And finally the penalty for heresy has NEVER been execution. The Inquisition did not put anyone to death. The reason that a few were executed, (best estimates that scholars, including secular scholars, give is around 4000), was because they posed a threat to the State, or at least the State perceived them a threat. The executions were performed by the State, not the Church.
Most of the executions were in the Spanish Inquisition which was CONDEMNED by the Pope AT THE TIME.
Bottomline, Mr. Kuchnicki, is that you are spouting a bunch of lies and bigotries about the Church. You obviously do not know squat about the Catholic Church or Church history.
We do have a moral obligation to pursue the truth and when we find that truth to obey it. The Catholic Church has the fullness of the truth of the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles.
Jesus said, 'you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.' He did not say you shall know your opinion and your opinion will make you free. He did not say, you shall know disobedience and disobedience will make you free.
It is truth that makes us free. Those who deny truth are enslaved. Those who refuse to follow truth are blinded.
Catholics have the Truth taught by Jesus and the Apostles. This is proven by documentary evidence going all the way back to the First Century.
We have the truth, we intellectually assent to the truth with open eyes, and with open eyes obey that truth for to do otherwise is to be a fool.
I suggest that you find yourself a seeing-eye-dog.
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