What if WE are in dissent?

Oh, everyone’s going to hate this one!



  1. A really good post. I find it interesting that the title is “What if We are in dissent” and most of the comments seem to be about how to deal with others’ dissent! The topic of how to deal lovingly in certain situations is obviously one that touches many people. However it doesn’t help us with our own dissent from the church’s teaching.

    The church I was in as a teenager (not Catholic) had a member who made his money by being a slum landlord. He had several, huge houses, all filthy, into which were squeezed many families- one family to one room. The fire exits were mainly locked. If there had been a fire in one of these awful places people would have died. It was never raised by anyone in the church. This man was obviously behaving as a Christian. However, can I get angry (and I did as a teenager) about this without looking at my own life? Where do I exploit others and put them at risk? By participating in the economy of a western country, my lifestyle might often do this and in ways in which I am aware. Just because it is difficult to change and challenge this, doesn’t mean I get ‘let off’?

    Since reading this post I have returned to read St Ignatius’ rules for thinking with the church. Many of them are about our own spiritual life- do I go to confession and mass? Do I pray regularly? Whatever we struggle with in relation to the Church’s teaching, we need to be practicing those sacraments and practices that draw us closer to God.

    Michael Ivens sums up one of the rules by saying:
    “If one holds the church capable, under the guidance of the Spirit, of declaring her belief on a specific point, it follows that assent to such a declaration might require abandonment of a contrary personal opinion”

    In the light of that, what things do I need to let go of, bearing in mind that I believe the Holy Spirit is at work in God’s church?

  2. My parents have been “married” for 38 years. My father was married in the church, obtained a civil divorce and then married my mother (also a catholic) outside of the church. I admit that while intellectually I completely understand that their situation is sinful and they are in a permanent state of adultery, emotionally, it seems ridiculous. They are my parents and I am a result of an unlawful union. Sometimes we just have to trust the church in all her wisdom, especially when we’re struggling with a teaching that touches us on a personal level.

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