I shook my head, “How I wish it were a matter of opinion. If it were a matter of opinion then I would perhaps admit you to communion, but what I have told you may be many things, but it is most certainly NOT a matter of opinion.”
“What do you mean?”
“It is church teaching and church discipline. You see, as a Catholic priest I really don’t have anything else to give you but the Catholic faith in its fullness.
This isn’t my own idea. In fact, that’s why I became a Catholic, because I was tired of all the different forms of Christianity which were just somebody’s good idea.
See, I didn’t make this up. It’s not my opinion. In fact it’s not the bishops opinion. It’s not even the pope’s opinion. It’s not even, for goodness sake, Jesus’ opinion. It is the church’s discipline based in 2,000 years of teaching rooted in God’s revelation in the natural order itself. Even Jesus didn’t make it up. That’s why, in his teaching on marriage, he referred back to Adam and Eve. So no. This is not a matter of opinion. Furthermore, did you think that somehow I could simply change the discipline and the teaching that it comes from just for you? Is that what you thought?”
I then encouraged her that if she called herself a Catholic to have the courage and faith to live out that religion in unity with the church and I promised her that if she did take just this one little step of obedience and faith she would find great graces and a huge boost to her spiritual life and that I was there as her pastor to help her on that great adventure.
She decided to go to another parish where another priest was more “pastoral.”