Himes Examines the Roles of a Catholic
Published: Sunday, October 6, 2013
Updated: Sunday, October 6, 2013 20:10
After concluding his lecture, Himes opened the event to discussion, answering questions on chaos theory compared to Christian understanding, the nature of heaven and hell, and the significance of the Pope’s remarks on space.
The evening’s final question was the only one asked by an undergraduate.
“I struggle personally a lot with the way I feel when I go out into the world, and then that versus a lot of different church doctrine that when I follow it,” she said. “I don’t feel necessarily like I’m doing the most loving thing. I wonder how the Catholic is supposed to navigate those two things—or if I was living the Catholic doctrine properly, would I feel like I was doing the most loving thing?”
“Well, I hope that what you understand as Catholic doctrine properly, it would be like enhancing and enriching, and not something that is restrictive and impoverishing,” Himes said, then referencing the Pope’s warning not to view church teaching as a “monolith to defend.”
“If you do find it confining, then you’ve got some discerning to do—see, that’s why I think discernment is so important,” Himes said. “If we thought that all we had to do was to say, well here are the rules, it’s canon law, it’s the catechism, there’s the bishop, over there’s the Holy Father and you just stick with them and you’re all right—you don’t have to think about it or worry about it at all, the Pope would say you are in grave danger, ending up with a God that fits your measure.”