Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Role playing

I am a sometimes Role Playing Gamer and RPG author. That is one of the roles I play in real life, pun intended. But what role do I play in Christ's body, the body of the Church, and what role does this blog play?
I am not a theologian. I leave that role to those who have studied for it. Ex Corde Ecclesiae(from the Heart of the Church) requires that:
those who teach theological disciplines..have mandate from the competent ecclesiastical authority.
Now the mandate particularly applies to teachers in Catholic Universities, but anyone who presents himself as a theologian publicly should, in my opinion, tread carefully unless he or she has an ecclesiastic patron, because theology is not a subject like history or math. There are Truths embodied in Church teachings, and while some teachings are open to dialog and discussion other are not and a professional theologian should be able to tell one from the other, but needs a shepherd when they've gone astray.
I am not an apologist. Apologetics is the branch of theology which deals with defense of the faith. A Catholic apologist defends the faith against non-Catholic Christians, pagans and non-believers, as well as our Jewish and Islamic brothers and sisters. Some deal almost exclusively with Protestants, others primarily with non-believers. I write primarily for members of the Catholic faith so I am not an apologist.
If I have a role at all in the Church it is primarily as a catechist. A catechist role is that of a teacher-companion. He or she is to be the voice of the Church, in that they teach what the Church directs. The catechist must be careful to differentiate opinion from Church teaching, and never support deviation from the norms required by the Church. Opinions contrary to Church teachings have no business passing the catechists lips. That does not mean not struggling with any aspect of Church teaching but it does mean leaving it outside the classroom.
It also means lots a prayer. A catechist must pray constantly and study, especially the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

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