It is intrinsic to the Catholic religion, that before one can become a member, he must satisfy himself that the answers to all questions of faith or morals are contained in a Deposit of Faith which has been revealed by God and entrusted to a Custodian established by God Himself and endowed with infallible protection against any change or error. There are many who consider themselves to be "Catholic" even as they reject the Church's teaching while striving to erect a church in their own image and likeness. One such deluded soul left a comment at this Blog accusing Catholic bloggers who are faithful to the Church's Magisterium of representing "a Puritan sect" anxious to "excommunicate" other Catholics.
This sophomoric soul should reflect very carefully on the words of Pope Paul VI, in a discourse given to a general audience on September 1, 1971: "...He who thinks he can remain a Christian by his own efforts, deserting the institutional bonds of the visible and hierarchical Church, or who imagines he can remain faithful to the mind of Christ by fashioning for himself a Church conceived according to his own ideas, is on the wrong track, and deceives himself. He compromises and perhaps ruptures, and makes others rupture, real communion with the People of God, losing the pledge of its promises."
The Church is a communion of persons with the Living God, brought about by the Lord Jesus in the Holy Spirit. And, as Pope John Paul II teaches in Christifideles Laici, No. 64, "..an awareness of a commonly shared Christian dignity, an ecclesial consciousness brings a sense of belonging to the mystery of the Church as Communion. This is a basic and undeniable aspect of the life and mission of the Church. For one and all, the earnest prayer of Jesus at the Last Supper, 'That all may be one' (Jn 17: 21), ought to become daily a required and undeniable program of life and action."
When we understand what is meant by the Church's communion, the words of Pope Benedict XVI make perfect sense: "..In order to remain in unity with the crucified and risen Lord, the practical sign of juridical unity, 'remaining in the teaching of the apostles' is indispensable." (Pilgrim Fellowship of Faith: The Church as Communion, p. 69, Ignatius Press). But the false prophets of the "new morality," which is neither new nor morality, continue to insist that we are now living in a new era in which men have "come of age." These mental and moral midgets, anxious to baptize abortion, homosexuality, contraception and a host of other evils, argue that there is now before us a new way, an easy way of following God which permits all things in the name of "love."
As these sons and daughters of Hell raise their angry voices against the Church, demanding that she "update" her teaching so that it will be more palatable for "modern man," the Church reminds us all in her authoritative voice that, "They are fully incorporated in the society of the Church who, possessing the Spirit of Christ accept her entire system and all the means of salvation given to her, and are united with her as part of her visible bodily structure and through her with Christ, who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops. The bonds which bind men to the Church in a visible way are profession of faith, the sacraments, and ecclesiastical government and communion. He is not saved, however, who, though part of the body of the Church, does not persevere in charity. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but, as it were, only in a 'bodily' manner and not 'in his heart.' All the Church's children should remember that their exalted status is to be attributed not to their own merits but to the special grace of Christ. If they fail moreover to respond to that grace in thought, word and deed, not only shall they not be saved but they will be the more severely judged." (Lumen Gentium, No. 14).