In contribution to Amy’s discussion about “Catholic without Qualifiers”

I would say that this guy here is a Catholic–a bad Catholic. That is, he is a member of the Catholic communion who holds false ideas and is, to that degree, out of communion with the mystical Body of Christ. Ain’t nobody in heaven who agrees with him about abortion. Sooner or later, he will have to either shed the belief (and the actions that accompany it) or opt out of heaven. I have no idea how, whether or when he will do so. Not my pay grade. So I continue to call him “Catholic” because he does and the Church doesn’t say he can’t. But I don’t pretend he’s a good Catholic. He’s either intellectually bad (i.e. too stupid to know what the Church teaches and why) or morally bad (too willfully set on some earthly end like political power to listen to the voice of Christ when He speaks about abortion). I hope for him that the grace of the sacraments will enlighten his mind and or soften his heart. But I don’t pretend he’s not part of the family. That’s not something for me to determine. Only Protestants get to play the “Oh, he’s not *really* a Christian” game when faced with some Christian who says or does things repugnant to Christ. We Catholics are pretty much stuck with our family.


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