Catholic support for Care Net Centers

This is an informational page for Catholics who work or volunteer at Care Net pregnancy centers or their affiliates. The information will be most helpful, also, for pastors, and for Catholics who contemplate working or volunteering at Care Net pregnancy centers, or their affiliates.

Care Net has a Christian “Statement of Faith” written up to go with its mission. Every Care Net affiliate must make an affirmation of this statement of faith, and require its employees to affirm it, to be an affiliate. Both the statement of faith, and a clarification written in consideration of Catholics who work at Care Net centers, can be found here.

Read these here: https://www.priestsforlife.org/plgroups/carenetstmt.htm

The Statement of Faith in full says,

1. We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.

2. We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

3. We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.

4. We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful man, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential, and that this salvation is received through faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and not as a result of good works.

5. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life and to perform good works.

6. We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.

7. We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Do note the attached statement from the Care Net board of directors and the Rev. Harold O.J. Brown.

A knowledgeable Catholic would have areas of concern, for which I think it appropriate to make just a few brief comments.

The statement uses the word “infallible” to describe the Bible. If the choice of the word infallible had been made explicitly as a contrast-and-comparison to Catholic doctrine, then this would indeed be problematic. However the belief that the Word of God written in the Scriptures is “infallible” was not expressed with such terms. Very simply, this can be read to say that a Christian would believe that the Word of God is infallibly present in the 66 books that Protestants (or evangelical Christians) hold to be biblical. In this affirmation, every Catholic must be in full agreement.

We, as Catholics, truly believe that there are sources of divine revelation beyond this consideration: 7 more books we hold to be inspired, and more sources of infallible authority we hold to be passed on in Apostolic Succession. The point of the Statement of Faith is not to open up these arguments about Christian Tradition. Rather, it is to state that which is absolutely held in common Biblically speaking; and the result is that these 66 books contain more than enough divine words of Revelation to unite us in a worthy and dignified Christian mission!

As for the rest of the statement, a similar application is made. The representatives of Care Net disapprove of engaging in anti-Catholic polemics, or any sectarian polemics, by advancements of more detailed interpretations of the seven points in the Statement, in the direction of Catholicism or Protestantism. This is acceptable. Theological arguments to explicate the nature of the church or of salvation need not apply in this context, for an ecumenical work where the dignity of human life and practical strategies are equally affirmed on both sides.

Again, those 66 books which we hold in common teach us, with a divine authority, plenty enough to unite in practical missions of supporting life. It is therefore the counsel of various priests and pastors that, knowing all the above, Catholics may in good faith sign the statement of faith, understanding it as we do in a Catholic sense, and work with and for the ecumenical Christian vision of Care Net.

Let us pray, and work, encouraging each other to greater devotion and service for our Lord Jesus Christ.

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