(quote) Carolina-1069841 said: Dear Ben,
If you are a Catholic, you accept all Church teachings, if not, you are not a Catholic.
Since statements like this are not uncommon in these forums, I am going to address it here rather than remove the post, not to pick on the author, but so (hopefully) others will learn from it as well.
While I understand what the author is trying to say, thie statement above is problematic for several reasons:
(1) It violates CM Forum rule #2 ("You may not question a person's Catholicity. You may only question the
Catholicity of their ideas, so long as it is backed up with approved
Church documentation."). First it is directed at the person, not there ideas; and, second, there is documentation provided to support it. (Note that this rule applies even when the statement is not addressed to a specific person.)
(2) The problem here is more than just a technical violation of a rule. Statements such as this, even if completely precise and accurate (which it is not, but more on this later), are very polarizing and equally ineffective: they resonate well with those who agree and evoke defensive reactions from those who don't. Addressing thoughts rather than people tends to reduce the defensiveness, especially when evidence is provided to support that it is a Church teaching, not a personal opinion. Providing the documentation also helps clear up some of the imprecision and error, as they often become apparent in the process.
(3) The imprecision arises from differing interpretations of "being a Catholic" and "accepting Church teachings." This is a complicated topic that could be the subject of a short (or perhaps not-so-short) paper; it certainly can't be adequately summed up in a sentence or two. I will try to elaborate a bit more below, but time does not permit doing justice to this subject.
It is one thing for an individual to not understand a teaching of the Church or to struggle with accepting it, as long as their are working toward bring themself in conformity with the Chirch and not obstinately rejecting it ("I can believe what I want...")
One who has been baptized a Catholic or formally accepted into the Catholic Church is a Catholic unless they formally declare they are not -- if that is still possible (there used to be a way to do this that was specified in Canon law; however, Pope Benedict XVI removed that a few years ago.) Even those who are formally excommunicated are still Catholic and subject to most of the rules of the Church.
Those who obstinately reject (as opposed to struggling with while trying to reconcile their beliefs) Church teachings are not in union with the Church, which has a variety of implications including whether they should be receiving the sacraments until they return to union. This is something that each individual should discuss with a confessor or spiritual director, not a weapon to beat people over the head with in an Internet forum. They might also reflect on whether they can honestly recite the Creed at Mass: do you believe in the "ONE, holy, catholic and apostolic Church" if you are rejecting her teachings for your own beliefs, even if only on one or two points?
Who belongs to the Catholic Church? (CCC 846-838)
What does 'catholic' mean? (CCC 830-831)
The Church is One (CCC811-812; 813-822)