Don’t learn about the Catholic faith from former Catholics

I have noticed that former Catholics are generally misinformed about what the Church teaches. It is well known in Catholic circles that there is a “crisis in catechesis,” and it has been going on for a long time. This means that many Catholics are not being taught about the faith. It is a tragedy, but it means that you can’t learn about what the Church actually teaches from former Catholics. I say this because it is only a matter of time before you encounter some.

If you want to learn what the Church teaches, a great way to do it is with the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Here is a PDF version. This version makes it easy to search for any word, such as salvation, justification, baptism, worship, Jesus, Mary, marriage, or anything else that interests you. This is what I did when I responded to the Catholic who was seriously considering leaving the Church for erroneous reasons surrounding marriage and virginity:

Marriage and virginity in Catholic teaching

Reading the Bible is great too, but I think there is a temptation to view the Bible as if it just magically came to us intact. But Bibles don’t grow on trees–they did not just arise, intact and ready to use. None of us wrote it, translated it, or codified it. In one sense it is not ours. It belongs to somebody else on loan to us. There is an important history about how the Bible came into being, and that history means that we do not have the right to interpret it for ourselves.


Author: everybodysdaughter

I'm an adult child of divorce, having been raised in multiple divorce/remarriage situations. I'm writing in order to shed light on the problems of divorce from the perspective of the child. I will also discuss problems with other non-triad family structures, since there is a lot of overlap. People often think that better parenting skills will overcome problems in non-triad arrangements. While I agree that parenting skills are important, they cannot overcome the problems I discuss such as fractured ontology and perpetual liminality. I converted to the Catholic faith in 2012, and will discuss Catholic things from time to time as well.

2 thoughts on “Don’t learn about the Catholic faith from former Catholics”

  1. Is it possible that some former Catholics do know the faith and know what the Church teaches? The Catholic faith attracts people. But, some of the teachings of the Church drive people away. I have defended the Church’s positions that are on solid ground out in the public square. But, I do not defend the positions that are abuses of the Church’s authority. (Study the history of the Catholic Church and its various Councils and become informed.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would say that legitimate abuse of authority can’t be classified as official Church teaching. So if somebody leaves because there has been an abuse of authority over them, I would say to change parishes or if necessary, change dioceses, but I would never say to leave the Catholic church for that reason. To answer your first question, yes in principle it is possible for former Catholics to understand Church teaching correctly. But I still would not regard such a person as good source of information since they have sinned by leaving the Church. If they actually have accurate knowledge of what the church teaches and still have left, then they might be in a state of mortal sin which means that they are not in a state of grace. Such a person can’t be regarded as an accurate source of information in my view. That’s just what makes sense to me. I’ll think about it some more and I might change my mind, but I kind of doubt it.


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