Tag Archives: Roman Catholic

What Makes A Roman Catholic?

I have enough experience in debating with non-Catholics to be surprised not at all when people start dictating what makes and doesn’t make a Roman Catholic. Most of the time, especially avowed atheists state their illusion that a Roman Catholic is a person that follows the precepts of the Catholic Church, and agrees with anything and everything the Pope says.

Simply, the above is not true.

There is nobody, not even an Archbishop or a Pope, that can declare who is, and who is not a Roman Catholic. The RC Church is not a cultural association, or a political party. There is no membership card, no entry exam, and no expulsion procedure. At most, one can find oneself at one or the other degree of “excommunication”, that by itself is a confirmation that one is of course a Roman Catholic.

Simply, a Roman Catholic is whoever (sincerely…) believes to be a Roman Catholic. And the RC Church is the community of people who (sincerely…) believe to be Roman Catholics.

Of course it could be argued who is and who isn’t a good Roman Catholic. The Pope and most Cardinals will agree on that definition, but at the same time one or more among the Faithful may have a different view on the same topic.  But at the end of the day, the struggle towards being a good person is just that: a struggle. We’re no angels.