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  #46  
Old Apr 11, '12, 9:13 am
ballin ballin is offline
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Default Re: Is it better to attempt to convert to Protestantism?

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Originally Posted by Rich C View Post
The Church has softened its language toward Protestants, but it cannot change its teaching, and it has not. The work of ecumenism since Vatican II has sometimes overshadowed the need to bring Protestants back into the fold but it hasn't abrogated it, as if a pastoral council could.

From the Baltimore Catechism, #3:
Thank you so much! That post was very helpful. I think it makes a lot of sense to me when thinking that way why it would be bad to preach Protestantism.

But the view that I have met so far in my parish and some posters here is that there is no need anymore or at least an urgent need to bring Protestants back in to the fold. It seems to be more along the lines of of co-existence and maybe we might end up in the same fold in the far future.
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  #47  
Old Apr 11, '12, 9:15 am
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Default Re: Is it better to attempt to convert to Protestantism?

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But isn't it actually much easier as a Protestant?

Because if Protestants can be saved by simply being good Protestants, if they have a minimal set of doctrine, it is easier to adhere to than lets say the whole body of doctrine of the Catholic Church?

And if the end goal is salvation, we really wouldn't be leading anyone astray since by becoming Protestant, they can be saved through the baptism and graces received as a Protestant.
It depend what "easier" means. If "easier means fewer religious obligations and simpler theology, Protestants have the easier way.

If "easier" means having more access to God's grace so that we don't have to rely on our own selves as much, Catholics have the easier way.

And if the end goal is salvation, the Catholic way is the safer way. I'm too much of a sinner to make it to Heaven as a Protestant, but as a Catholic, I have great hope.
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  #48  
Old Apr 11, '12, 9:17 am
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Rich C Rich C is offline
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Default Re: Is it better to attempt to convert to Protestantism?

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So how does that reconcile with current church policies? Because from what I can see, the goal seems to be to co-exist and not emphasize any differences.

At my parish, the pastor posts bulletins for events at the Protestant Churches nearby but there is no effort encouraged to pray or even preach to them to correct their errors. At times, there seems to be warning against such actions though. So are you sure that the church teaches that they need to agree with everything we believe to be saved?
Most parishes I've been to are just like yours. It doesn't make it right. See my catechism post.
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  #49  
Old Apr 11, '12, 9:17 am
ballin ballin is offline
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Default Re: Is it better to attempt to convert to Protestantism?

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It depend what "easier" means. If "easier means fewer religious obligations and simpler theology, Protestants have the easier way.

If "easier" means having more access to God's grace so that we don't have to rely on our own selves as much, Catholics have the easier way.

And if the end goal is salvation, the Catholic way is the safer way. I'm too much of a sinner to make it to Heaven as a Protestant, but as a Catholic, I have great hope.
Well in one sense, one could argue that being Catholic means more obligations and therefore more need for grace. Being protestant requires less obligation and therefore relatively lesser need for grace? So it sort of balances out?

But all of the above is not valid according to that post of yours though since the above assumes that Protestants have no need to be Catholic.
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  #50  
Old Apr 11, '12, 9:20 am
ballin ballin is offline
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Default Re: Is it better to attempt to convert to Protestantism?

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Most parishes I've been to are just like yours. It doesn't make it right. See my catechism post.
Very true! Thanks again for that post.
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  #51  
Old Apr 11, '12, 9:21 am
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Default Re: Is it better to attempt to convert to Protestantism?

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Thank you so much! That post was very helpful. I think it makes a lot of sense to me when thinking that way why it would be bad to preach Protestantism.

But the view that I have met so far in my parish and some posters here is that there is no need anymore or at least an urgent need to bring Protestants back in to the fold. It seems to be more along the lines of of co-existence and maybe we might end up in the same fold in the far future.
That view is widespread. To the Catholic in the pew it comes across as pluralism (all religions are pleasing to God and save people about equally well). That's really unfortunate. What really changed after Vatican II was a recognition that we're not dealing with the arch-heretics of the 16th century and their ex-Catholic followers, but well-intentioned Christians so far removed from the Protestant Revolt that they may not even think of their faith in reference to the Catholic Church anymore. Bringing these people into the Church requires a difference, less aggressive kind of outreach.
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  #52  
Old Apr 11, '12, 9:22 am
newyorkcatholic newyorkcatholic is offline
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Default Re: Is it better to attempt to convert to Protestantism?

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Originally Posted by Rich C View Post
It depend what "easier" means. If "easier means fewer religious obligations and simpler theology, Protestants have the easier way.

If "easier" means having more access to God's grace so that we don't have to rely on our own selves as much, Catholics have the easier way.

And if the end goal is salvation, the Catholic way is the safer way. I'm too much of a sinner to make it to Heaven as a Protestant, but as a Catholic, I have great hope.
Good post.

My answer:

First of all, the idea that we should just pray is not an answer to this question. We do limited things based upon our state in life or our gifts, but the question is more about what we should do as Catholic in general. Should we fund or support Protestant missions, since it's better than being a Satanist?

So I will have the courage to say to you, ballin, that every Catholic you have heard who justified Protestantism or says they are "just" separated brethren or that they are fine and will be saved to is severely mistaken or lying.

There is no salvation outside the Catholic Church. (This is a defined doctrine).

I do think people not officially Catholics could be saved, but only through the Church, only if they accept the Church in some way, and it's probably very very very hard.

The worst sinner or weakest person in the Catholic Church, who dies in the state of grace by making a good confession or finally getting baptized, will be saved.

The most naturally virtuous hardworking God-fearing Protestant will have a damn hard time of being saved without the sacrament of Confession. It would also, I imagine, be harder for that Protestant to be reconciled to the Church on his deathbed after a life as a non-Catholic - and how do they make a perfect act of contrition without the help of being taught what that is?

Everyone, everyone, everyone should be Catholic. Even Jews should be Catholic. God will bring them in as a nation at the end, but that does not lift from us the obligation of bringing Jesus Christ to the ones that are going to die today, tomorrow, this year, and so on. They face their particular judgment, and they need to face it in the state of grace to be saved!

The Catholic Church is our hope.

The ecumenism of "let's get along" is not instrinsically evil because we should get along to an extent, but it is greatly evil if done in such a way to make people think it's not an absolute priority to bring everyone into the Catholic Church.
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  #53  
Old Apr 11, '12, 9:32 am
ballin ballin is offline
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Default Re: Is it better to attempt to convert to Protestantism?

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Originally Posted by Rich C View Post
That view is widespread. To the Catholic in the pew it comes across as pluralism (all religions are pleasing to God and save people about equally well). That's really unfortunate. What really changed after Vatican II was a recognition that we're not dealing with the arch-heretics of the 16th century and their ex-Catholic followers, but well-intentioned Christians so far removed from the Protestant Revolt that they may not even think of their faith in reference to the Catholic Church anymore. Bringing these people into the Church requires a difference, less aggressive kind of outreach.
Yes, that change in outreach is very much understandable.

But as you said, it seems to be used by some to communicate a pluralistic view instead as well. I think I had fallen victim to it too and many others I know.
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  #54  
Old Apr 11, '12, 9:39 am
Diana Catherine Diana Catherine is offline
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Default Re: Is it better to attempt to convert to Protestantism?

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Originally Posted by newyorkcatholic View Post
Good post.

My answer:

First of all, the idea that we should just pray is not an answer to this question. We do limited things based upon our state in life or our gifts, but the question is more about what we should do as Catholic in general. Should we fund or support Protestant missions, since it's better than being a Satanist?

So I will have the courage to say to you, ballin, that every Catholic you have heard who justified Protestantism or says they are "just" separated brethren or that they are fine and will be saved to is severely mistaken or lying.

There is no salvation outside the Catholic Church. (This is a defined doctrine).

I do think people not officially Catholics could be saved, but only through the Church, only if they accept the Church in some way, and it's probably very very very hard.

The worst sinner or weakest person in the Catholic Church, who dies in the state of grace by making a good confession or finally getting baptized, will be saved.

The most naturally virtuous hardworking God-fearing Protestant will have a damn hard time of being saved without the sacrament of Confession. It would also, I imagine, be harder for that Protestant to be reconciled to the Church on his deathbed after a life as a non-Catholic - and how do they make a perfect act of contrition without the help of being taught what that is?

Everyone, everyone, everyone should be Catholic. Even Jews should be Catholic. God will bring them in as a nation at the end, but that does not lift from us the obligation of bringing Jesus Christ to the ones that are going to die today, tomorrow, this year, and so on. They face their particular judgment, and they need to face it in the state of grace to be saved!

The Catholic Church is our hope.

The ecumenism of "let's get along" is not instrinsically evil because we should get along to an extent, but it is greatly evil if done in such a way to make people think it's not an absolute priority to bring everyone into the Catholic Church.
Those are very good points. I agree. I think that sometimes people don't hear the word "possible" or "can" be saved in reference to protestants. It doesn't say they are saved or that they are in a state of grace or they are for sure headed in the right direction. It says it is "only possible."

IMHO we do everyone a disservice by neglecting to witness our faith. If it is not our place to judge how can we judge others and think just because they call themselves a Christian they are on the right track. Since Catholicism holds all the truths it would be wrong not to share it and convert people to the truth, not to protestantism where there are only half truths. Not only that, it would be dishonest because we would be giving the impression we believe or agree with protestant teaching and that is not true.
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Thus saith the Lord: Stand ye on the ways, and see and ask for the old paths which is the good way, and walk ye in it: and you shall find refreshment for your souls. Jeremiah 6:16[/i]
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  #55  
Old Apr 11, '12, 9:52 am
newyorkcatholic newyorkcatholic is offline
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Default Re: Is it better to attempt to convert to Protestantism?

Diana Catherine, that is a good point too.

Catholicism is full of great riches.

Why wouldn't you want to offer that to everyone?

It's like we have the best feast ever in the world but the building we are in looks scary. So we are saying, "well can we toss them some burnt crumbs instead of inviting them into our feast?"

Why would you want to do that? Tell them it's worth getting over their fear of the building because it's awesome in here.
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  #56  
Old Apr 11, '12, 9:58 am
mick321 mick321 is offline
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Default Re: Is it better to attempt to convert to Protestantism?

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Originally Posted by ballin View Post
So how does that reconcile with current church policies?

Because from what I can see, the goal seems to be to co-exist and not emphasize any differences.

At my parish, the pastor posts bulletins for events at the Protestant Churches nearby but there is no effort encouraged to pray or even preach to them to correct their errors. At times, there seems to be warning against such actions though. So are you sure that the church teaches that they need to agree with everything we believe to be saved?
So what?

Priests have accepted the mantle of teachers of the Faith. As such, they will be held to account for themselves on judgement day. They are not allowed to be ignorant of the Faith, nor are they allowed to contribute to the corruption of otherwise faithful souls.

Is your pastor an ordained Catholic priest? How do you know?

Last edited by mick321; Apr 11, '12 at 10:17 am.
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  #57  
Old Apr 11, '12, 5:40 pm
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Linda Marie Linda Marie is offline
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Default Re: Is it better to attempt to convert to Protestantism?

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So what exactly does the church teach on this in our times?

So are the large amount of Lutherans who have embraced same sex marriage in urgent need of conversion by the Church or not? From answers on this forum, it seems to be that we should not convert them since they are just our brethren. Which is it?
From the Catechism -

I. THE CHURCH IS ONE
<...>
"Outside the Church there is no salvation"

846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.336

847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation.337

848 "Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men."338

Mission - a requirement of the Church's catholicity

849 The missionary mandate. "Having been divinely sent to the nations that she might be 'the universal sacrament of salvation,' the Church, in obedience to the command of her founder and because it is demanded by her own essential universality, strives to preach the Gospel to all men":339 "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and Lo, I am with you always, until the close of the age."340

850 The origin and purpose of mission. The Lord's missionary mandate is ultimately grounded in the eternal love of the Most Holy Trinity: "The Church on earth is by her nature missionary since, according to the plan of the Father, she has as her origin the mission of the Son and the Holy Spirit."341 The ultimate purpose of mission is none other than to make men share in the communion between the Father and the Son in their Spirit of love.342

851 Missionary motivation. It is from God's love for all men that the Church in every age receives both the obligation and the vigor of her missionary dynamism, "for the love of Christ urges us on."343 Indeed, God "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth";344 that is, God wills the salvation of everyone through the knowledge of the truth. Salvation is found in the truth. Those who obey the prompting of the Spirit of truth are already on the way of salvation. But the Church, to whom this truth has been entrusted, must go out to meet their desire, so as to bring them the truth. Because she believes in God's universal plan of salvation, the Church must be missionary.

852 Missionary paths. The Holy Spirit is the protagonist, "the principal agent of the whole of the Church's mission."345 It is he who leads the Church on her missionary paths. "This mission continues and, in the course of history, unfolds the mission of Christ, who was sent to evangelize the poor; so the Church, urged on by the Spirit of Christ, must walk the road Christ himself walked, a way of poverty and obedience, of service and self-sacrifice even to death, a death from which he emerged victorious by his resurrection."346 So it is that "the blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians."347



If Protestants are baptised in the Trinitarian formula, they are considered to be part of the Church, whether they consider themselves Catholic or not. It is through this that salvation is possible for them.

Yes, the large number of Lutherans or other denominations who have embraced/approved sinful lifestyles as morally acceptable are in urgent need of conversion.

Those who water down the teachings of Christ are not doing anyone any favours. What matters if it is easier to follow, if the road does not lead to Heaven?
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  #58  
Old Apr 11, '12, 6:14 pm
ballin ballin is offline
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Default Re: Is it better to attempt to convert to Protestantism?

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If Protestants are baptised in the Trinitarian formula, they are considered to be part of the Church, whether they consider themselves Catholic or not. It is through this that salvation is possible for them.

Yes, the large number of Lutherans or other denominations who have embraced/approved sinful lifestyles as morally acceptable are in urgent need of conversion.

Those who water down the teachings of Christ are not doing anyone any favours. What matters if it is easier to follow, if the road does not lead to Heaven?
Just for intellectual curiosity, if as you say, baptized Protestants are part of the Catholic Church, then converting people to Protestantism would imply that they are also converting to the Catholic Church. So couldn't one raise the argument as why we should not just try and convert non-believers to the Protestant church?

Unless, by the use of the word "Possible", you mean to say that it is possible ONLY IF the Protestant is in full conformity with the natural law.

But in such a case, then Lutherans and many other Protestant denominations that promote immoral behavior can and should be labelled as a danger to the faith and must be combated, yes?

The problem I was having before was that in my experience, such 'combat' does not exist anymore. It seemed like the word "Possible" meant you could live immoral lives but still be saved as long as you are Protestant and therefore most Church leaders in my area don't put any effort to convert. But Rich C clarified this issue for me and thanks to him, I think I see things more clearly now.
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  #59  
Old Apr 11, '12, 6:23 pm
ThatOneGuy92 ThatOneGuy92 is offline
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Default Re: Is it better to attempt to convert to Protestantism?

I haven't read the whole thread so if I am repeating what has already been said, pardon me.

The goal is to convert to Christ. However, only God can do that. We may plant the seed, water it, take care of it, but God makes it grow.

If you are Catholic, and believe that Catholicism possesses the fullness of Truth, then answer their questions and pray for their conversion to Catholicism.

If at the end of the day they decide to convert to some form of non-Catholic Christianity, don't berate them or wash your feet of them. Rejoice that they have found Christ, and that they have not rejected the gift of faith. Given that you still believe that Catholicism has the fullness of Truth, continue praying for their conversion and answering any questions they may ask of you.

In the end, leave the judging up to God. That is His domain, not ours. The Lord knows who is His, whether we see it or not.
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  #60  
Old Apr 12, '12, 5:01 pm
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Default Re: Is it better to attempt to convert to Protestantism?

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Since Protestants are just our separate brethren and does not imply any automatic damnation as a result of belonging to it, is it better to try and convert non-believers to a variation of Protestantism?

A very doctrinally minimal, more appealing form of Protestantism can be very motivational for people to come and get baptized. So is that better than trying to convert to Catholicism? Should the church replace its own work or fund Protestant evangelization instead?
I don't think I convert anyone. Conversion occurs at the will of the holy spirit--or at least it can't occur without it. Just be a witness and testament to the love that christ's word expresses.
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