FARGO, NORTH DAKOTA, USA, Dec. 17, 2004 (CNA) - In a pastoral letter to be released on Saturday, Most Rev. Samuel J. Aquila, Bishop of Fargo, addresses the roots of dissent among Catholics, highlighted during the recent elections in the U.S., and picks out five main areas of concern.Where have we heard this before? It is abundantly clear that those who have been properly and authentically catechized do not engage in opposing the teachings of the Church, generally speaking. Ther are, of course, some who think they have been properly catechized, yet fight the Church daily - they are misguided and have been deceived.
He suggests that though there are exceptions, catechetical formation for the last 30 years has failed to hand on the faith. He says it was clear during the media discussion of Catholic teachings and voting during the elections that “many of the faithful have not read the Catechism, the encyclicals of Pope John Paul II, or the documents of Vatican II.”
The first area of concern is that many people who call themselves Catholic “even reject the principle that we must accept what the Church believes and teaches, and think they can pick and choose what to believe,” writes the bishop.Paraphrasing St. Ignatius, even though it may seem to me that the something is black - if the Church tells me it is white, I will abandon my inclination that it is black and accept fully that it is, in fact, white - and I will not engage in promoting discord or dissent.
“We must never forget that certain Church teachings,” - those revealed in Scripture and Apostolic Tradition and upheld by the Magisterium – “can never change,” he said, “regardless of whether or not people accept them or are faithful to them.”
Imagine the blessed unity that would exist among Catholics if all professed Catholics would adopt this attitude of humility...