Liberal or Conservative?

People in the Church are often confronted with the question of whether they are liberal or conservative.  The same labels are given to people within the Church for one reason or another.  “He is a liberal priest.”  “He is a conservative bishop.”  “Boy, are those nuns liberal.”  I have been given both labels when I was in the seminary.  Because I wore a cassock, I was a conservative and because I played guitar at the seminary Mass, I was a liberal.  It was really funny in some senses, because neither of those who labeled me, truly knew who I was.  A friend of mine who was a political science major was angered by the labels.  He said that those terms are political and have no place within the Church.  At the time, I felt he was dead wrong.  Today, I will admit that I was wrong.  There is no such thing as a liberal or conservative Catholic.  You are either Catholic or you are not.  You either accept the full moral and dogmatic teaching of the Church or you don’t.  The reality is, they were wrong in the seminary when they told us that nothing is black and white, every issue has gray areas.  The truth of the matter is, the Truth IS the Truth, no matter how you look at it.  How you approach a soul in the pastoral sense is a who different matter.  We never compromise on the truth, yet, we have to lead souls to the Lord with kindness and love.  As Pope Benedict stated in his homily in Porto: “We impose nothing, yet we propose ceaselessly.”  So don’t think of yourself as a liberal or conservative.  The question is, Are you Catholic?


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