I often worry about the continual calls, sadly often by Catholics, for the Church to reconsider its teachings on a variety of subjects, like pre-marital sex, abortion, euthanasia, ordination of women, gay marriage, homosexuality, divorce and contraception, to mention just a few. All the arguments, which I hear in support of these topics, always seem to approach the matter as though these are just man made rules that are being enforced by an archaic man made institution, which is ruled by male chauvinist dictators.
I was therefore so pleased when I was listening to the Presidents Address, by Archbishop Timothy Dolan, at the opening of the “United States Conference of Catholic Bishops”, to hear these words from him:
“The Church we passionately love is hardly some cumbersome, outmoded club of sticklers, with a medieval bureaucracy, silly human rules on fancy letterhead, one more movement rife with squabbles, opinions, and disagreement.
The Church is Jesus -- teaching, healing, saving, serving, inviting; Jesus often "bruised, derided, cursed, defiled."
The Church is a communio, a supernatural family. Most of us, praise God, are born into it, as we are into our human families. So, the Church is in our spiritual DNA. The Church is our home, our family.
In the Power and the Glory, when the young girl asks him why he just doesn’t renounce his Catholic faith, the un-named “Whisky Priest” replies: “That’s impossible! There’s no way! It’s out of my power.” Graham Greene narrates: “The child listened intently. She then said, ‘Oh, I see, like a birthmark’.”
To use a Catholic word, Bingo!
Our Church is like a birthmark. Founded by Christ, the Church had her beginning at Pentecost, but her origin is from the Trinity.”
We should be constantly reminded that the Church is supernatural. She was founded by God and so the Church cannot simply change its teaching in the face of our modern challenges. That is just impossible. It would be contrary to her nature.