Voting on Jesus' Teachings?
What did Jesus teach about that? Let's take a vote! Much is often made about poll results showing a sometimes staggering percentage of Catholics who disagree with the Church's teaching on human sexuality. Frequently, we are told that because significant numbers of Catholics strongly disagree with the Church's stance on issues like contraception, same-sex marriage, and abortion, the solution can only be for the Church to "tone it down a bit" if not completely change its position and "get with the times."
The more I think and pray about this phenomenon and the more I study it intently, the more I have to scratch my head. At the end of the day, you cannot possibly understand the Catholic Church without understanding that we firmly believe Christ established the Church to proclaim the KINGDOM of God. Christ is the King of Kings. The Church is not a democracy. Now you can certainly make up your mind to reject all of that if you so choose, but what you cannot reasonably do is try to force the Church to completely change its 2,000 year old, well-developed and established understanding of the nature of the mission it received from Christ himself. "Divine Revelation" is just that - it has been revealed to us. We have absolutely no authority whatsoever to change reality. This is at the core of everything we believe. Confusions happen, difficulties arise to be sure. But to think that the Catholic Church should (or even CAN for that matter) change one iota of the content of the faith left to it by Jesus Christ because members of that Church take issue with particular teachings is just plain absurd. If the God who created everything tells me to my face that a tree is a tree or that a sexual sin is a sin and I sincerely disagree, that doesn't change reality. He's right and I'm wrong. Now even if we agree that these teachings are difficult and hard to follow, we also should be reasonable enough to admit that the Lord has also given us unbounded mercy through the Church's ministry. There are no sins that Christ will not instantly wipe away if we are truly repentant and turn to him. The problem is that most of us are not humble enough to do so and we never stop looking for ways to justify our sins. Maybe this Lent we'll take a minute and try to give Christ a little more room in our crowded hearts, minds, and wills. Bishop Robert Barron has an absolutely fantastic take on some of this in the video below wherein he uses a very strong analogy. Check it out!