Catholic, Connecting the Dots

Catholic, Connecting the Dots

In most areas of our lives, the correct usage of terminology is critical for proper understanding. This is especially true with the word catholic. If you are using the term “Catholic” in reference to the Church, there is no better definition than that used by St. Vincent of Lenin’s. Churches that don’t hold to what the ancient church had believed and practiced have rejected the concept of Catholicity.

In one of my previous posts (Catholic–Definition), I stated a very common secular definition of “Catholic” referring to being “out of the whole.” For St. Vincent, the concept of the term in his usage revolves around the ancient faith of the “whole” undivided Church — every individual parish church, diocese, and patriarchy holding to the same tenets of faith, not just at one point in time, but throughout the history of the Church.

Without connecting the dots and linking the term to the Catholic Church, the definition gets diluted. As such many Protestant denominations that continue to hold to the ancient Nicene Creed substitute the word Christian for Catholic, emphasizing that they no longer truly hold to the tenets of the ancient faith. In a similar line of reasoning, liberal so-called Catholic Churches are abandoning traditional Church teachings, substituting them with modern, politically correct ideals, yet still insists that they are truly Catholic. For many who self-identify as Catholic, there is a huge cognitive and moral dissonance in their understanding of Catholic theology.

I encourage each of you to become students of the historic deposit of faith — rightly dividing truth from fiction in the politically correct battle for the heart and soul of the Church. It will only be through our diligence, supported by God’s Grace that we will truly remain Catholic, and pass on this legacy to future generations.

Authentic Faith, Radical Transformation, and Contemplative Prayer

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