Michael Barberi

Like so many Catholics, I was taught Catholic theology in elementary school (in my case in the 1950s) and it was a moral theory that I had to memorize and then put into practice according to certain moral practices. I really never read the Bible until I was an adult in my 30s. I tried to understand the spirit of the word, not necessarily the word as law. Over the last 5-8 years, I have been studying moral theology and have learned to think differently. God’s law and love is not a series of negative injunctions and legalistic norms.

The habits I enjoy is frequent prayer and education. The education is not limited to a traditionalist orthodox perspective which is a repeat of doctrine and rules, but also of different perspectives on how to determine what is right and wrong actions, and good and evil dispositions, ends and intentions. This has opened me to think about things differently and responsibly question how I was “taught things” and to “do things” while still staying faithful. I can now say that I am more comfortable in my belief that God, his Holy Spirit, leads us to truth in agreement and disagreement, especially if one has an well informed conscience and good reasons for questioning a specific teaching. This is an on-going process.

I look forward to more from Fr. Allison.