In light of a recent discussion about what it means to be Catholic, the following is from the letter's page of yesterday's issue of the Rapid City Journal.
- Live your faith
In Mary Garrigan's (Oct. 23) column on declining vocations, she claims that mandatory celibacy is a major reason for our shortage of priests. In truth, there are fewer vocations because there's a shortage of holy Catholics who understand and live their faith.
If I call myself a vegetarian, but I eat meat, does that mean I'm an unorthodox vegetarian? If I proclaim there'd be more vegetarians if we all just ate meat, does that mean I'm more open-minded and progressive than traditional vegetarians? No. It means I'm not a vegetarian.
So it is with spurious Catholics. If you don't practice the teachings of your faith, you aren't Catholic. If you don't understand your faith, but think you know more than the collective wisdom of our 2,000-year-old church, then you're a prideful, ignorant, spurious Catholic.
There are many pro-abort, contracepting, priestess-promoting, pro-homosexual marriage, anti-annulment, "Holy Eucharist is just bread" parishioners who think like Garrigan, but they aren't living their faith either.
If you don't like Catholicism, there are plenty other denominations to choose from. Just stop professing to be something you aren't.
Vocations come from good Catholic families and good Catholic families come from holy Catholics understanding and living their faith.