Reviews - What do customers think about Why You Can Disagree and Remain a Faithful Catholic?
Scholarly look at how 'the rules' came to be Feb 11, 2008
Vatican II confirms that every Christian should listen to what God says to them directly. This book will help you see how church leaders were affected by polictial and other forces to make some of the church rules. When people say don't follow blindly, that doesn't mean you can't open your eyes and still follow. Read the book. Listen to God. Agree or disagree, but live your beliefs with conviction!
A gutsy and very important book Aug 22, 2003
This is a courageous topic to write about, and I applaud Kaufman for tackling it. I'm always amazed by the Catholics who are deeply threatened by the fact that a person may inform her conscience and end up with a response that is different from what the Church teaches(when I say "Church" in this case I mean the magisterium, as there is no question that the people of God are also the Church, a fact that Vatican II made joyfully clear).
Some Catholics -- including, apparently, many reviewers of this book -- would have you believe that the Church has never modifed its teaching on any issue, that the "Truth" is complete and unwavering, and that the Church has possessed the Truth since the very first day. I suppose you can believe that if you can overlook slavery, Galileo, usury, the fact that the Church no longer teaches (as it once did!) that married sex is sinful for older people whose reproductive years have passed, etc. With a careful look at Church history, though, it becomes clear that over the years the Church has come closer to the fullness of God's truth in many different areas of morality and human behavior. Growing scientific knowledge and the witness of informed Catholics (sensus fidelium) is a key part of this process. That is why Kaufman's book is so critical. It recognizes that our informed consciences and our lived experience are key parts of our faith, and that we have a responsibility to be thoughtful in our approach to that faith. After all, "catholic" means "universal, wide-reaching." Some dictionaries define it as "broad-minded." If the Catholic Church is going to truly live up to its name, it needs to recognize the witness of informed consciences and to actively listen to its people. And yes -- I do love the Church. That's why I am writing this.
You Must Follow Your Conscience May 2, 2001
Kaufman does not say that we (Catholics, humans, etc.) can simplt disregard papal teachings. What he stresses is that one must follow his or her conscience. This teaching comes straight out of Vatican II. It does not mean that we can do what we feel like, rather, we must take time to inform our consciences through study and prayer. If a person finds that her conscience tells her that, for example, the not-infallible papal teaching on birth control is not morally correct, then she *must* -- not should, not can, but *must* -- follow her conscience. Straight out of Vatican II -- I'm not making this up.
One hears so little about conscience in the Church. God gave us minds and consciences so that we can use them. (Hopefully, we use them wisely, but that's beyond the scope of this review.) Kaufman's book stresses conscience, and also informs the reader of the history behind some controversial Church decisions, including papal infallibilty.
I found this book to be very interesting and helpful in my spiritual journey.
Having not seen the reviews for this book in some time Aug 15, 2000
I was suprised to see that they have suddenly turned negative! Could it be that someone who was particularly offended by this work decided to post his/her views repeatedly--therby "flushing" the reviews that went before?
By the way, the writer of this work does NOT misrepresent Papal infallibility. I went through RCIA a couple of years ago and his description is exactly what we were taught.
Being Catholic: the best package deal you'll find Jun 19, 2000
As humans, we like to make up our own minds, rather than acting like "sheep" or "little children". But those words are just how Jesus describes us in the Gospels. He makes it clear that we need guidance from a moral and spiritual authority to live a Christian life.
Where does the authority come from, here on earth? Protestants believe that it comes from the Bible alone, as interpreted by each individual. Eastern Orthodox believe that it comes from their assembly of bishops. As Catholics, though, we believe that Jesus left us with a spiritual leader, our "shepherd" or "holy father", the pope. And he's the highest human authority in our "fold" or "family", the Church.
This is the package we buy into when we call ourselves Catholic. It's what makes us distinctive, and it's what our Catholic brothers and sisters have believed since the earliest days of the Church. Like sheep, or little children, we're called upon to submit our will and intellect to papal teachings. This is true even when the teachings aren't defined as infallible. (Canon Law #752 - look it up.)
The author has based a large part of this book on the misleading suggestion that only infallible teachings need to be followed. (Aside from being incorrect, this inclines us toward the rebellious teenager's question, "how much can I get away with?" rather than the spiritual seeker's question, "how can I come to know God?") Another half-truth surfaces in the author's treatment of conscience. As Catholics, we have the right and the obligation to follow our conscience. We also have the responsibility to form our conscience in line with Church teachings. If those teachings don't make sense to us, it's a sign that our conscience is malformed or immature. In that case, we need to study, ask, and pray for help in understanding. (Cf. Catechism, esp. #1790-1793)
Of course, it's up to God to decide who's a faithful Catholic -- not me, or you, or Phillip S. Kaufman. With that in mind, it makes sense for us to follow the guideposts that Jesus left for us: Sacred Scripture, Church Tradition, and the teaching authority of the Magisterium. It's a big package, and well worth the price.
(To the reviewer below: Yes, Jesus dissented from religious authorities on many occasions. In case you didn't notice, though, he's GOD. Can you say the same thing?)