A friend writes

I found the following post on the Catholic Outlook message board. I’m taking a poll of the Catholics I know. Do you find these sentiments improbable for a graduate of the RCIA programs with which you’re familiar:

I am a Roman Catholic, but I am a free thinking one as well. I was previously kicked off a forum for not accepting every teaching that comes from Rome. I was told that every Catholic MUST believe everything Rome says and teaches or I am not considered a Catholic.

Does this sound very much like what Jehovah Witnesses are told concerning their religion? That they must believe everything the Watchtower organization prints and states to be a good JW? To me this takes away the human right of individual thought and freedom that we as Americans enjoy.Isn’t this why our forefathers came to this country, but to escape religious tyranny? So that we could worship God in freedom of expression?

Now I am told that because I have become a Catholic I must believe all that Rome says, whether it’s Marion apparitions, wearing a brown scapular on a said day to gain instant access to heaven, beseeching Mary in prayer, rather than coming to Jesus directly, believing in a mini hell fire confinement called purgatory for Christians, who aren’t quite perfect when they die. To me there is nothing wrong with church tradition as long as it finds clear evidence of that tradition from the bible itself. Are we to practice and accept what Christ and his apostles never said or wrote of? Shouldn’t we compare what men are telling us with the word of God to see if what they’re saying is true?

If we accept a traditional teaching that is NOT found in scripture at all, then are we not making our traditional authority equal and an ADDITION to what is already found in scripture? I would like your opinions. Are there any Catholics on this forum who are not afraid to express their opinion? Thanks.

Depends on the RCIA program. At my current parish, I don’t think anybody this ignorant would be allowed to enter the Church in the first place. At my previous parish: yeah, I can easily see somebody this clueless about the Faith being treated to “outcome based graduation” and allowed in. That was the RCIA program where everybody wrote their own creed and we were all affirmed in our okayness.