"Just a Catholic"

A reader responds to the Washington post testimonial I linked to yesterday:

I agree Andrew, that letter does speak to many American Catholics and I think that's unfortunate. It is frustrating. It, the tribalism it reveals, is dangerous. There is only one reason that I remain a Catholic and it ain't for the lively sermons. I believe what the Church claims to be, that it is THE Church founded by Christ, that the Eucharist really is the body and blood of Christ, that we - Catholics - are united as family because we share this blood.  What the Church claims is radical, but after much research, thought, and discussion I am left with no alternative. I am not a conservative Catholic or a liberal Catholic ... just a Catholic.

I understand, on one level anyway, what that letter writer means. I have met many people like her. There are throngs. Catholicism is very sensual. You hear the prayers of consecration, you smell the incense, you feel the holy water, you see the advent wreath, you hold the palms on Passion Sunday. It, the faith, becomes part of you. However, I could not raise my children - and I have five - in any denomination that taught things about which I had grave reservations.

Well, of course, it depends on the nature of the reservations. Humans being humans, we have thoughts and doubts and questions and consciences. many Catholics may conscientiously differ from the Church hierarchy on less fundamental matters and still remain within the Church, as far as I'm concerned. My basic rule is the creed we recite at the Mass. If you can say that with no reservations, and seek a good conscience on all the rest, you're a Catholic as far as I'm concerned.