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By Chris Sparks, Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception, Sept. 17, 2021

Chris Sparks serves as senior book editor for the Marian Fathers. He is the author of the Marian Press book How Can You Still Be Catholic? 50 Answers to a Good Question.


O Church of God, you are the best mother, you alone can rear a soul and cause it to grow. Oh, how great is my love and respect for the Church, that best of all mothers! (Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, 197)

One thing I’ve been noticing recently is that many Catholics have a bad habit of making claims about the teaching of the Church and being flatly wrong.

Some of our brethren sadly tend to mistake their preferred politics, economic theory, or what they find beautiful for the teaching of the Church on all such matters. They then proceed to declaim at length online and in print about how their brethren are failing to follow the teaching of the Church, which of course so beautifully conforms to the desires of their own heart, when in all actuality, sometimes the Church has never said anything authoritative on the subject at all.

But the teaching of the Church is actually an objective reality. We can dig into it and find out what the Church has said as well as if she’s said anything at all about a particular subject. The key is to know where to look, and whom to listen to. …

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