For a very long time now the Catholic Church have chosen to go "soft" on the Catholic teachings in the hope it would not to offend anyone; That there was "no right or wrong answers"; that we have to be nice and get along while compromising our faith. Even now we are being told half truths and many fall for it. Like "the Church has the fullness of the truth" while implying it was "ok" to remain outside the Church, they just don't have the full truth; that there is even other paths to Heaven. Christ would not be pleased.
Due to the softness in the teaching of the faith, Catholics had to, or choose to make up their own beliefs and would consider it as being Catholic, since they are Catholics. They would also follow other Church leaders who they themselves do not follow Church teachings. Just take a look at the "Universal Church" today... unfortunately not so much.
How do we fix this, what can we do, or at the very least what can the individual do? When faced with uncertainty or peer pressure, or even if things sound to good to be truth... Please repeat after me: "What does the Church teach?"
Yes, what does the Church teach? We only need to look to the unchanging truth of the Church, it's tradition, what our saints have said and taught us. St Paul even said: "So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter." ~ 2 Thessalonians 2:15
If we claim to be Catholics we must keep on turning to the truth of the Church... we must keep in the back of our minds... "What does the Church teach?"
Al: Catholic, learning and thankful.