January 3, 2009 at 1:30 am #1855
Hello! My name is James and I joined aboutcatholics.com to have some questions answered. You see, I’m a Catholic but I am questioning the Church and some of its teachings. I haven’t done this, I thought I would never do this and I feel terrible for doing so ” title=”Sad” /> I haven’t been to confession for a long time because I’m not sure whether or not these thoughts are normal. I was looking around the website and I found someone being quite disrespectful and rude, especially when he posted stuff about the Virgin Mary. I ask you to pray for him and try to be as polite and respectful as possible.
I hope you guys can answer my questions truthfully, honestly and respectfully ” title=”Smile” />
Thank you and God Bless,
JamesJanuary 6, 2009 at 1:15 am #8962
Hi James. Welcome. Questioning the Church is a good thing – I think when someone goes through an honest process of questioning and searching that person’s faith strengthens (assuming he or she is not led astray by the lies about our faith). We’re glad to have you here!January 6, 2009 at 1:59 am #8967
Welcome, nice to meet you. ” title=”Smile” />January 7, 2009 at 4:51 am #8972
It’s kind of sad that my Catholic friends are saying stuff like “I heard you don’t believe in God anymore.” It hurts me to hear my friends not letting me question my Church and strengthen my faith ” title=”Sad” />January 11, 2009 at 11:35 pm #8994
Questioning ones faith can be helpful, and lead to growing in ones faith. Not simply taking it as a given, but finding out why can be helpful.
A pitfall however is that there are many Anti-Catholic writers who have published false allegations about the Church. Finding and reading accurate information among all the false information can be very important. So welcome here hopefully you will find the answers you seek.
In the past, not just here, but in other boards I participate in there have been those who have come not seeking to share or learn, but who come to attack Catholic beliefs, and spread falshoods about the Church that they have read or been told. They attack what they think the Church teaches, and are unwilling or unable to listen to what the Church really teaches.
You will be added to my prayers.February 10, 2009 at 6:10 am #9086
I know this may sound stupid, but are the facts on this website based on personal opinion, the truth of the Catholic Church, or both?February 10, 2009 at 12:05 pm #9090
The facts on this website are based on the truth of the Catholic Church through much study. Was there something specific that triggered your question?February 10, 2009 at 4:31 pm #9094
My own disclaimer is that I am a human, and while I strive to give accurate information about what the Church teaches, I don’t know it all. (An example is the way I am still looking for the books I read a few years ago about demonic possession, which I found very helpful in understanding what the Church teaches. While I could possibly find the information online, there is danger of it being skewed.) My understanding of the Faith may require revision, in order for it to conform to what Jesus taught the Apostles. But unlike Protestantism where everyone is his own final authority about what a passage of the Bible means, or what an individual news item portends, as a Catholic who is trying to remain faithful to Christ, I follow what the Church He founded guides me with. That being said, I don’t do so in a vacuum, but rather read why and how something came to be.February 10, 2009 at 11:14 pm #9095"Jon":24dlaen2 wrote:Was there something specific that triggered your question?[/quote:24dlaen2]
Nope. I was just curious.February 17, 2009 at 4:08 am #9137
I would like to tell you about my journey in faith:
It all started sometime in the summer of 2006. I spent the night at my friends house and he invited me to his church that Sunday. I thought why not and decided to go. (BTW he’s Catholic.) So I went to church with him and I thought “Wow! I really like the Catholic church service!!” and so I went to Catholic mass every other Sunday then it became every Sunday that summer. That fall, I asked the Priest how can I become a Catholic and he told me about the RCIA class and so I went to RCIA classes the spring of 2007.
It was a beautiful Easter service!! The candle lights, the sermons, everything!!! I was waiting for this day after much studying of the Catholic faith in the RCIA classes. I was baptized because after much looking into my previous faith, they thought it was illegitimate. (the reason being is that I used to belong to the Reorganized Church of Latter-day Saints now known as the Community of Christ. Since this Church had ties with the Mormons, they decided to re-baptize me.)
Problem is, I didn’t look for other church doctrines to make a final decision on whether or not i should become a Catholic. I just agreed what the Catholics said about doctrines.
Nevertheless, it was a wonderful ordeal of joining the one,holy, catholic and apostolic church. I decided to get involved in the Church. I went to confession as often as I can (mostly for the same sins, unfortunately,) the Vacation Bible school as a helper, and i helped out with Alter serving. I always enjoyed doing this and I tried every Sunday to do so. After a few months of this, I thought God was trying to tell me to join the ministry; to become a priest. So I thought “hey, that’s pretty neat!”
Then it changed that winter.
I met my girlfriend (before we became boyfriend and girlfriend,) and we started to hang out often and did activities with each other. I told my girlfriend that I was Catholic and she told me that she’s a Lutheran and that her father was the Pastor of the LC-MS Lutheran church she attended. It didn’t bother me that she was a Lutheran. One Sunday, she invited me to her church and I decided to go. (Prior to this, my step father told me that the Lutherans, especially the LC-MS Lutherans, were very close to the Catholics in teachings, etc.) I really enjoyed the service.
That spring of 2008, I was heading back from state journalism with a 3rd place medal for editorial cartooning. I was texting her asking her questions such as “are Lutherans allowed to marry Catholics?” She responded “Yes but they rather have both couples be Lutheran because it’s a little bit easier dealing with stuff” or something of that sort I couldn’t remember. It’s been a year since this reading this text. Then at that moment, I started to think, should I change my religious ideas for her?
She told me that I shouldn’t. I even think I shouldn’t change for her. I should change only for myself. Later, her father had a class called “Introduction to Lutheran Spirituality.” It truly was a wonderful class and I did learn a lot. After a few of these classes, Pastor gave me the Book of Concord as a gift. I asked how could i repay him but he insisted that it’s a gift.
Then it began to get worse for me. I didn’t go to confession thinking that should I be sorry for having thoughts of becoming a Lutheran and leaving the Catholic church? I thought these thoughts of questioning the Church were either sinful and needed to be confessed or normal. I didn’t go to mass because of these thoughts which in return I couldn’t accept communion.
One day, the local priest came to my house, (he doesn’t live too far from me,) and asked me if I can go on a walk with him. We talked about mostly the main doctrines of the Church and discussed the Reformation as well. I thought that this talk was helpful, but also frustrating (since I still had these thoughts of leaving.) I still was confused about some dogmas and I still held on to some Lutheran and Catholics ideas; it was a breaking point for me.
I was looking around on the web and found out about this website. I found the discussions helpful and decided to have some questions answered by joining.
I wanted to have these questions answered before I made any final decision of leaving or staying.
I hope everyone at aboutcatholics.com can help me. I do feel terrible for questioning the Church in the first place and I hope that people won’t look at me like a heretic or a traitor but rather as a friend.
I’m so sorry about my thoughts, words and deeds, and may God bless you all.February 17, 2009 at 6:17 am #9140
Thank you for sharing your story. The first few years after conversion are the hardest, regardless of what religion you convert from and to. At first you have a great zeal, but there is still a learning curve, as well as adjustment. You are still looked upon by many with curiosity, those who have been born into your new found faith will either not see it as a big deal, because they have known only their faith all their lives and don’t know anything different. Others will wait as they are unsure of your sincerity and motives. (This happens everywhere).
For myself I converted from a religion older than the Catholic Faith, (Judaism) but then again I became convinced that the Catholic Faith was the only Church that fit the biblical idea of the Church, and there was Christ’s promise that He would remain with the Church even to the consumation of the earth. I also realized that even among those who Jesus chose Himself to be His Apostles, Judas betrayed Him, Peter denied Him, and Thomas needed to see His wounds, and even feel with his fingers and hands the wounds of our Risen Lord, that not only could Jesus work with those who did not exibit the best choices, or the most steadfast faith in Him, but that He could deal with me, even in my moments of doubt. More than my own personal faith, I could count on Jesus Faithfulness to His promise to stay with His Church and not to abandon it even when the members of His Church did not set the best example.February 17, 2009 at 6:58 pm #9141
I’m afraid that no matter if I stay or leave, that I’ll hurt someone’s feelings ” title=”Sad” />
I’m afraid that I will be frowned upon by my Catholic peers.February 17, 2009 at 9:02 pm #9142
What is most important is that you search your soul, pray, and decide which is most important to you. If in the end you are convinced that the Catholic Faith is the truth, invite your girlfriend to investigate the Faith. She will either accept or reject the offer. If she accepts the offer, she may or may not accept the faith. At the very least, she will have done what you have done for her, and given your chosen faith a fair hearing.February 17, 2009 at 11:39 pm #9143
Another thing I’m afraid of is that you guys at aboutcatholics.com might not be too happy with me and my ideas of leaving… ” title=”Sad” />February 18, 2009 at 12:08 am #9144
If I was God, or your confessor in the confessional, I’d be able to sit in judgement of you. If I was God, I would be able to know all your reasons for possibly leaving the Church. As I am neither, I cannot judge you, but simply pray for you. If you do leave the Church, you can be assured, I will not judge you, but simply pray that you return, and when you do, you bring your girlfriend back with you….
If you do leave the Church, you will still be welcome here, and your questions, as they have always been respectful.February 18, 2009 at 12:15 am #9145
I still haven’t made any final decision. I’ll study more and I’ll pray that it’ll be the correct decision.February 18, 2009 at 12:44 am #9146"James":2pg0vx89 wrote:Another thing I’m afraid of is that you guys at aboutcatholics.com might not be too happy with me and my ideas of leaving… ” title=”Sad” />[/quote:2pg0vx89]
I’m flattered you think well of us, and with anyone we’d be sad to see someone leave the flock of the church Jesus started, but we can’t stop you. The choice is on your conscience. Pray hard.February 18, 2009 at 3:31 am #9147"Jon":1dcqii8o wrote:Pray hard.[/quote:1dcqii8o]
I will ” title=”Smile” />February 19, 2009 at 6:20 am #9150"LARobert":10dpds7g wrote:If you do leave the Church, you will still be welcome here, and your questions, as they have always been respectful.[/quote:10dpds7g]
God bless you all!! ” title=”Smile” />
I was wondering…If I do decide to leave (after much, much more studying and prayer,) maybe we could try to build a Catholic/Protestant relationship. I think it’s worth a shot ” title=”Smile” />February 19, 2009 at 7:56 pm #9153
What you submit is not new, here and elsewhere a genuine attempt at a relationship between Catholics and Protestants. (So your thinking along these lines has good company. Hurrah!!!) What sometimes mucks it up is when issues like some of the now banned posters, (both here and on other boards) make attacks, and unsubstantiated claims. An honest and careful reading of history will show that the Catholic Church has always been open to such union as long as it is held in an honest manner.
We have already discussed the Church offering protection to and from the Council of Trent (and other Councils, and church meetings) to Luther and other Protestants to explain their new teachings. The Catholic Church cannot be condemned because Luther and the others did not take the Church up on the offer. Don’t forget this offer was made publicly, and if the Church had not followed through on the promise, it would have won more sympathy for Luther than for the Church.
As an example, just last month was the Octave of Christian Unity. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity began in 1908 as the Octave of Christian Unity, and focused on prayer for church unity. The dates of the week were proposed by Father Paul Wattson, co founder of the Graymoor Franciscan Friars. He conceived of the week beginning on the Feast of the Confession of Peter, the Protestant variant of the ancient Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, on 18 January, and concluding with the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul on 25 January.
Pope Pius X officially blessed the concept, and Benedict XV “encouraged its observance throughout the entire Roman Catholic Church.” For a while, the observance was re-named the “Chair of Unity Octave” by Wattson, in order to emphasize the relationship between Christian unity and St. Peter and his successors. Fr. Wattson, by the way was a former Episcopalian, who established a Franciscan Order for men and one for women in the Episcopal Church, and later around the turn of the last century, the entire group entered the Catholic Church, and was allowed to continue their order as Catholics, Fr. Wattson and a few of his other converts being ordained as Catholic priests. The Graymoor Fathers still exist and live in the same monastic community in New York.
Protestant leaders following the lead of the Catholic Church established in the mid-1920s an annual octave of prayer for unity amongst Christians, leading up to Pentecost Sunday. Since each Protestant group does not accept the teachings or authority of the next not all of them participate in this practice.
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