Friday, 05 June 2009
Question 142 - Are there a variety of views in the Catholic Church?
I have only recently become a reader of Catholic literature & a listener to Catholic radio. I listen from time to time as I drive my truck around Oregon & Washington & make the necessary deliveries. My contacts with Catholics (& with Catholic "scholarship" in particular) has been very, very limited. But even in this short time, I have sensed that there is a wide spectrum & a wide variety of beliefs within the Catholic Church. Little comments that I have heard on Catholic radio from time to time have led me to that conclusion. In the past, I have assumed--because of papal authority--that the beliefs of the Catholic Church were very much "ONE" & very, very "monolithic"--to say the least. But after a year of listening to various programs on Catholic radio & hearing various comments that were made, my "impression" is that Catholics almost have as wide of a spectrum as Protestants do--from very, very liberal "scholars" to very, very "conservative" ones. If that is true (& I really don't know if it is), where do you fit on this "spectrum"? I don't even know if the term "conservative" is a meaningful qualifier or is even appropriate within a Catholic framework. But in reading a few sections on your website, I would "guess" that you are on the conservative side of things. If I could order your book on Genesis & the 2 volumes on Galileo at this time, that would probably answer this question rather quickly. But because of the cost, I will have to wait on that & "save up" for those volumes at a later time. Your quick "email answer" would definitely be cheaper! Reading your "biography" on the website didn't really give any information that would help me answer that question.
R. Sungenis: Yes, there is quite a variety of views in the Catholic Church, but that is to be expected. There is everything from the ultra conservative to the ultra liberal, just as in most intellectual and political issues of life. But the good thing about the Catholic Church is that it has a central body that can determine the correct answer if a controversy erupts, which is the way the RCC has established its doctrines for the last 2000 years. In the end, it is what the Church OFFICIALLY teaches that is important, while the views of its liberals and conservatives may only act as an impetus for the church to study the issue more deeply in order to come to a firm and official answer. For what it's worth, I am considered a "conservative," although I would not classify myself in that way. Sometimes I'm traditional, sometimes conservative, and even sometimes I favor liberal ideas. For me the criterion is truth and not party affiliation.