At 5:30 AM my intention was to tackle this blog after a few minutes of study and review. Twelve hours later, I am thinking it is time to re-up at my local university.
Philosophy, Comparative Religions and Relativism are beckoning. In those twelve hours, give or take, I have read enough to know very little— and that I need to know so much more.
As disclaimer, I mean no disrespect nor do I intend any respect not earned.
My computer search of Relativism was as confusing as enlightening. So much of what I read is word-play, twisting the language relative to the desired end.
John Paul II and Benedict XVI see relativism as a significant problem in the understanding of faith and morals. They see relativism as a denial of the capacity of the human mind and reason to arrive at truth.
Much of the supporting material focused on time, place and culture when determining truth and morality. A negative perspective of relativism gave a definition as not recognizing anything as certain and which has the goal of one’s own ego and one’s own desires.
What? How does that work again?
How does recognizing that early Christianity is very different from Catholicism of today serve either ego or desire? How does understanding that religious practices vary by country and culture tie into one’s own ego and one’s own desires. Why is there any doubt that human mind and human reason can search for and eventually arrive at the obvious in the current time and culture? Why is a church the only bastion of truth?
Catholics assume that priests are celibate. Greek Orthodox priests marry and have families.
The Catholic Sacrament of Reconciliation makes the distinction between mortal and venial sin, relative to the person and the situation. Many of us remember when confession was a weekly sacrament. Today, in many churches, it is largely ignored.
In the 1950’s I was not allowed to attend weddings of friend marrying in non-Catholic churches. Today Catholic priests share officiating duties at weddings in non-Catholic churches.
For decades, birth control was the hot-button issue of control of the private and intimate lives of Catholics. Today many, if not most, Catholics would scoff at the idea of a priest declaring that the ultimate end of marital sex is pro-creation.
Small examples? Maybe, but relevent.
I honor your beliefs formed by your culture, your place in time and your personal world view. How does that detract from my own beliefs?