Catholic Identity: Balancing Reason, Faith, and Power by Michele Dillon

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By Michele Dillon

It's been good documented that American Catholics are usually Catholics on their lonesome phrases, or decide to stay Catholic whereas selectively embracing reputable Church doctrine. yet why do Catholics who disagree with reliable Church teachings on significant matters reminiscent of homosexuality, women's ordination, or abortion, and are therefore institutionally marginalized, decide to stay Catholic? Why do they remain, while the price of staying and being stigmatized would appear to be more than the advantages they could achieve from switching to non secular teams whose doctrines might validate their ideals on those matters? Michele Dillon, drawing upon in-depth interviews with Catholics who're overtly homosexual or lesbian, advocates of women's ordination, and pro-choice, investigates why and the way pro-change Catholics proceed to stay actively concerned with the Church, regardless of their rejection of the Vatican's instructing on sexuality and gender.

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It is very hard for a historian to see the emergence of the doctrine of papal infallibility as the slow unfolding of a truth that the church has always held" (ibid. 863). This chapter's illustrative overview will underscore the fact that Catholic doctrine is not scripturally predetermined or the expression of some reified Tradition but is formulated and modified by the church hierarchy in response to the press of changing social and cultural conditions. A social constructionist perspective toward Catholic doctrine suggests that the official interpretations used to validate doctrine and institutional practices in part derive from, and are contingent on, the historical, political, and cultural context in which the church operates.

863). This chapter's illustrative overview will underscore the fact that Catholic doctrine is not scripturally predetermined or the expression of some reified Tradition but is formulated and modified by the church hierarchy in response to the press of changing social and cultural conditions. A social constructionist perspective toward Catholic doctrine suggests that the official interpretations used to validate doctrine and institutional practices in part derive from, and are contingent on, the historical, political, and cultural context in which the church operates.

1996; Stark and McCann 1993) emphasize the salience of doctrinal content for believers, they nonetheless takes a one-sided view of who produces doctrine. Doctrine is produced by the supplier firms. The relative autonomy of consumers to produce their own interpretations of doctrine independent of the "objective" content of the producing firm or religious organization is not considered. For Finke and Stark (1992), the mediation of religion seems to constitute a clear-cut transaction rather than a dynamic interpretive process in which the meanings of doctrine are diversely understood, negotiated, and frequently contested.

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