What would Christ do?
Particularly in this Year of Evangelization, would Christ be dogmatic or tolerant? Everything we know about Christ would suggest the latter. Would he disown someone who led a good life but did not agree with Him on a particular issue? Would He want his religion to be “take it all or get out” or one that would celebrate event the smallest positive influence? Would He respect only the lives of just those who agree with Him or would He respect the lives of all sincere people?
The Lord gave individuals free will. The Catholic Church should give people the faith the moral foundation for exercising it. Free will cannot be exercised in a vacuum. Individuals have the responsibility to study moral issues, understand various points of view and make decisions consistent with their conscience. They should be steadfast in their beliefs, but tolerant of other responsible people who have different beliefs.
If St. Luke’s Church banned those who do not agree with every single Catholic rule, it would be a very small parish with very little impact. Thankfully it does not take that position and is a positive influence on many people’s lives. St. Luke’s should continue to promote forums where people can engage in a respectful dialog about complex moral issues. Tolerance will bring more people into the church; dogmatism will drive them away.
Peter & Adelaide Clifford