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  #1  
Old Mar 24, '12, 9:12 pm
mick321 mick321 is offline
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Default Where do Protestants belong?

In recent decades, both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches have had the opportunity to catechize and ultimately accept converts from Protestant Christian communities.

In fact some recent converts have become very outspoken proponents of their new Churches. Catholic apologist-authors Jimmy Aiken and Scott Hahn come immediately to mind as do Peter Gillquist and Clark Carlton on the Orthodox side.

For the purpose of this discussion, lets assume that a Christian of Protestant formation is interested in converting to authentic, sacramental Christianity of Apostolic origin.

What are the pros & cons of both the RC and EO churches in the areas of indoctrinating new catechumens, assimilating them into the respective Churches, and retaining them over the long term? Is either Church better equipped (doctrinally or otherwise) to successfully accomplish this sort of conversion?

Interested in thoughts, opinions and personal experiences of converts, catechists, clergy, lay faithful, both RC & EO.
  #2  
Old Mar 24, '12, 10:01 pm
CopticChristian CopticChristian is offline
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Default Re: Where do Protestants belong?

I have stepped away for awhile. This question is broad and open ended. Those that see themselves as Protestants are different than those that see themselves as just Christian. There is a void in the perspective paradigms. I have been instrumental in conversion of "Just Christian" , Lutheran, lapsed Catholic and the common issue to encounter is some sort of void in the paradigm of understanding. There is a certain comfort zone for those outside the fullness of the faith that is difficult to overcome.

I believe that the greatest source of understanding comes from a common lack of understanding of the Bible we all accept. I have recently found that one of the greatest passages that is a springboard to discussion is

18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

Too many of the non-denominational "just Christians" tend to believe that they study just the Bible and ignore the world when in fact The Bible, God, tells us to look in the world. What is in the world should correlate with revealed truths.

Truth. Whenever truth is not true I also point out that to suppress the truth, my God, tells me that this is what is considered to warrant the wrath of God.

I believe too many Christians ignore what Scott Hahn calls "the bad news" that Paul paints before he speaks of the good news in the Book of Romans.
  #3  
Old Mar 25, '12, 12:08 am
Bartolome Casas Bartolome Casas is offline
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Default Re: Where do Protestants belong?

Since you are a Roman Catholic, why not just ask the Teaching Authority of the Roman Catholic Church about what it says on this matter?

In other words, consult the teachings of the current pope and bishops of the Roman Catholic Church.

Why consult, or even pay any attention to, what famous converts teach? Do they constitute the Magisterium?

Are they a superior or alternative authority for you?

Just take the case of Pope Benedict XVI. Do you respect him? Do you accept his teachings? How about the most recent ecumenical Council, Vatican II? Do you accept the teachings of Vatican II as being from God?

Yet, to me, you write your question as if you have never heard of the Vatican II document on Catholic Ecumenism. That document says, I believe, that in the present era, the Catholic Church does not see any GENERAL NEED for Protestant Christians to convert to a sacramental, apostolic Church, and, seeking that is not the Catholic Church's main mission with regard to "separated brethren."

Don't believe me? Read the voluminous speeches of Pope Benedict XVI or the late Blessed John Paul II.

All these issues you are struggling with come from an outlook to Catholic life and mission promoted by some lay Catholics who get a following with books and radio shows and so forth, but all these issues are non-issues if you just studied and followed the agenda given to Catholics today by the pope and the bishops.

Am I mistaken? Perhaps I am. I am a very flawed human being. I am always working to correct my character flaws. I appreciate all those who've helped me.

At least I have give you another perspective to consider. I wish you well. I wish you peace and a settled state of mind regarding religion.

I wish you success in your worldly endeavors. I hope you won't spend too much time studying religious controversies. You will grow old no matter what you do.

I hope you focus on being masterful in your worldly occupation, and in being a good person playing your role in your family.

I hope you have a deep hope in eternal life with God in the world to come.

I hope you are deeply appreciated by those you make sacrifices for.

I hope you life is based on "Love the LORD your God with your whole heart, mind, soul and strength" and "love thy neighbor as thyself," which OUR COMMON LORD proclaimed to be the Greatest Commandment.

I hope you see, and know, and feel that God already has a place JUST FOR YOU reserved in Paradise, and that you WILL be there, and so will all those people you are worried about. (Does that last comment bother you? Read Blessed Pope John Paul II, in his book Crossing the Threshold of Hope, and see what he says. If you are still not sure, see what Cardinal Dulles wrote about that book.)

All the answers are in the Magisterium! Peace of mind and settled mind lie in acceptance of the Catholic Teaching Authority, and getting it directly from authentic, faithful, original sources, not filtered through unappointed people who have their own, personal, conflicted and conflict-sowing agenda.

Good bye!
  #4  
Old Mar 25, '12, 2:19 am
mick321 mick321 is offline
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Default Re: Where do Protestants belong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartolome Casas View Post
Since you are a Roman Catholic, why not just ask the Teaching Authority of the Roman Catholic Church about what it says on this matter?

[and so forth...]
Thank you for your remarks.

Welcome to the Roman Catholic Church.

Frankly, for the purpose of this discussion, I am not interested in pitting the "teaching authority" of one "magisterium" against another. This thread is about the conversion of Protestants to Apostolic Christianity. Converts are free to choose the Church that best fits their needs.

I mention the four authors because they are all converts from Protestant Christianity of one sort of another. They are held in high regard by their current Churches and are familiar to many of us here on Catholic Answers. Thru their writings and lectures they actively "make the case" for Apostolic Christianity and thereby deliver many potential converts to the doorsteps of both the RC and EO Churches. At which point, the Churches presumably "take over" and "close the deal".

There are many converts, catechists and others who post here on the non-Catholic forum that have personal experience with this process. I hope to open a discussion on the principles, goals and methods used by both the RC and EO Churches. Are their difference? Similarities? Let's find out.

This is an internet forum. I presume that every name's an alias in case somebody squeals. No need to parrot the party line in this thread. Lets talk about what happens in the real world, where the "rubber hits the road". Those under vows of obedience should let their conscience be their guide.

Thanks.
  #5  
Old Mar 25, '12, 3:15 am
Pfaffenhoffen Pfaffenhoffen is offline
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Default Re: Where do Protestants belong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mick321 View Post
In recent decades, both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches have had the opportunity to catechize and ultimately accept converts from Protestant Christian communities.

In fact some recent converts have become very outspoken proponents of their new Churches. Catholic apologist-authors Jimmy Aiken and Scott Hahn come immediately to mind as do Peter Gillquist and Clark Carlton on the Orthodox side.

For the purpose of this discussion, lets assume that a Christian of Protestant formation is interested in converting to authentic, sacramental Christianity of Apostolic origin.

What are the pros & cons of both the RC and EO churches in the areas of indoctrinating new catechumens, assimilating them into the respective Churches, and retaining them over the long term? Is either Church better equipped (doctrinally or otherwise) to successfully accomplish this sort of conversion?

Interested in thoughts, opinions and personal experiences of converts, catechists, clergy, lay faithful, both RC & EO.


The way you it is strange for me and i cannot or do not want to deal with it.

Let us put other way: what is the Church that Jesus wants? No doubt: it is the Roman Catholic Church.
  #6  
Old Mar 25, '12, 5:01 am
Bob Crowley Bob Crowley is offline
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Default Re: Where do Protestants belong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mick321 View Post
In recent decades, both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches have had the opportunity to catechize and ultimately accept converts from Protestant Christian communities.

In fact some recent converts have become very outspoken proponents of their new Churches. Catholic apologist-authors Jimmy Aiken and Scott Hahn come immediately to mind as do Peter Gillquist and Clark Carlton on the Orthodox side.

For the purpose of this discussion, lets assume that a Christian of Protestant formation is interested in converting to authentic, sacramental Christianity of Apostolic origin.

What are the pros & cons of both the RC and EO churches in the areas of indoctrinating new catechumens, assimilating them into the respective Churches, and retaining them over the long term? Is either Church better equipped (doctrinally or otherwise) to successfully accomplish this sort of conversion?

Interested in thoughts, opinions and personal experiences of converts, catechists, clergy, lay faithful, both RC & EO.
My experience as an ex-Protestant Catholic is that the Catholic Church doesn't make much effort to help ex-Protestants assimilate. I came from a mainly Presbyterian background, with additional experience in Wesleyan Methodist and Baptist Churches.

As such, I knew relatively little about the Papacy, Sacraments, Marianism, Saints, Liturgy, Church history, Church fathers, feast days, reconciliation, Eucharist, Apostolic authority, etc.

What I did know a bit about was the Bible, apologetics, and had read a fair bit of CS Lewis and a number of other Protestant authors. I had heard of some old time saints, terms like "dark night of the soul". I also had the good fortune to have an outstanding pastor during my first formative years.

So I came in without much formal knowledge of Catholic background.

Apart from the RCIA period, there has been nothing, and I mean nothing, aimed at giving new converts a better overview of Catholic belief. In other words, it's mainly been a case of doing my own reading when I want to. Or if you like, once you're in, it's then up to you.

On the other hand, I think we can also mistake the wood for the trees by getting too bound up by Church regulations, doctrines, dogmas and all the rest. If I want legalism, I can get that from government agencies, without having to go reading up all the documents of Vatican II for example (I could hardly think of anything more boring to be honest - taxation law would be just as exciting).

Now I don't know if this unconcern for new converts is the universal experience, but I think there does need to be put into place some sort of instruction for converts after they join, so they have some idea of what the church believes, and most important, why. As it was, being hard of hearing, I found it difficult to hear parts of the liturgy and distinguish it from the congregational mumble. My former Protestant churches had very little in the way of formal liturgy, so this was a bit of a hurdle just by itself.

in other words, the Catholic Church could do a lot more if its serious about getting converts.
  #7  
Old Mar 25, '12, 5:52 am
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Default Re: Where do Protestants belong?

Finding the church that fits my needs was never my goal, nor was finding the one that offered the best programme of assimilation. My conversion to Catholism was about finding the truth and following that.
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  #8  
Old Mar 25, '12, 5:56 am
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Default Re: Where do Protestants belong?

I'm not sure I really understand the question, so forgive me if my post is off the point.

I think that we must consider that even if man fails, the Holy Spirit can overcome our failures and do miraculous works through flawed human beings and their flawed plans.

My husband and I were evangelical Protestants before we converted, and we could well have laid claim to the title "Super Evangelicals." Evangelical Protestantism is a lifestyle in which much of the time and energy is spent involved with the church. At least 5-6 days a week, my husband and I, along with our two daughters, were at our church or at home working on a project for our church, or "fellowshipping" with fellow church members.

It was only when our daughters started figure skating in their toddler years that we started moving in circles outside of the church. Figure skating introduced us to a whole different world, one that was not always loving and certainly not God-centered.

But many evangelical Protestants never associate with "the world" other than when absolutely necessary; .e.g., in a job setting. But even now, the evangelical Protestants that I know who work in my hospital tend to stay apart from everyone else.

There are many unwritten "rules" that evangelical Protestants follow. Those who do not follow those "rules" are often rejected by other evangelicals as "fallen away" or "carnal." Sometime other evangelicals will "reach out to" those of their fellowship who do not follow the "rules" and attempt to "convert them" to "true Christianity" or convince them that they need to not only accept Jesus as Savior, but also accept and follow Him as Lord. What that really means is that if the person is a "true" Christian, they will automatically follow the "rules."

The rules that I am referring to have to do with certain behaviors, e,g, drinking of alcoholic beverages, theater, dancing, card-playing, movies other than G-rated, any kind of activity on Sundays other than "church," overeating, drinking caffeine, reading secular periodicals and newspapers, television other than Andy Griffith, swimsuits and mixed swimming, etc.

Figure skating and other organized sports is a puzzler for evangelicals. Often, they protest the competitions and games held on Sundays. But in recent years, many evangelical churches have started offering Sat. evening worship services, which make it possible for families to be involved with organized sports. Also, many evangelical Christians teach that church attendance is a "work" and therefore, not required for salvation. And of course, many evangelicals have rejected organized church and now attend home fellowship groups or hold "family church," in which the father is the pastor and his family is his "congregation."

Nowadays, some of the questionable behaviors listed above are being allowed, mainly so that the evangelical will have opportunities to "witness" to non-Christians.

But there are some new rules; e.g., homeschooling or private Christian schools, courtship dating, reading Christian fiction only, etc.

I am being detailed about evangelical "lifestyle" to educate Catholics on the reasons why it is often so very difficult for an evangelical Protestant to convert to Catholicism. It's not just a change of faith practices. It is a rejection of an entire lifestyle.

As for how it can be facilitated by Catholic churches--I think it's happening without Catholics doing anything other than being Catholic.

Many evangelicals have been slow to get involved with pro-life organizations because of fear of associating with Catholics. But now they are on board, and as a result, in recent years, have adopted several Catholic practices into their worship services; e.g., lectio divina, candles, chant, Latin, silence, kneeling, etc.

There is a vocal group of evangelicals that protests these practices, stating that they put the evangelical Christian in danger of getting on the "road to Rome."

And that's the point of my post--I think that a lot of evangelical Christians who have become involved with the pro-life movement are being exposed for the first time in their lives or their family's lives (many evangelicals are mulit-generation) to Catholics and Catholicism, and they are liking what they see.

I believe that God is using this dreadful situation in the U.S. to push evangelical Protestants back to the Catholic Church. If it was not for the abortion issue, many evangelicals would never mix with Catholics.

OP, please keep in mind that for all their failings, evangelical Protestants have a deep love for Jesus Christ, or at least, the Jesus Christ that they have been raised to follow. They also have a fanatical devotion to reading the Bible, and a hunger for righteousness and the truth.

Jesus said that those who seek shall find, those who ask will be given, and those who knock will have the door opened to them. I think that many evangelicals find that as they seek, they are led by the Holy Spirit to the Catholic Church.

Many flee at this point, trying hard to believe that they are being led by something other than the Holy Spirit. It is difficult to overcome the teachings of a lifetime.

But those who don't flee ask--a lot! You've all known converts who drove everyone in the parish crazy by attending every study and class offered, and reading books and getting websites and asking question after question about Catholicism!

And God will answer.

Then comes the knock--the evangelical finally gets to a place where they knock on the Church door and says, "May I come in?"

And the Lord opens.

So please do not underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit to bring converts home.
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  #9  
Old Mar 25, '12, 6:50 am
mick321 mick321 is offline
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Default Re: Where do Protestants belong?

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Originally Posted by asd72 View Post
Finding the church that fits my needs was never my goal, nor was finding the one that offered the best programme of assimilation. My conversion to Catholism was about finding the truth and following that.
Interesting. What was your background in the non-RCC world? How did you discover the Church, learn about its theology and practice, and decide it was for you? Did someone help you get to that/this point?

Last edited by mick321; Mar 25, '12 at 7:08 am.
  #10  
Old Mar 25, '12, 11:24 am
Bartolome Casas Bartolome Casas is offline
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Default Re: Where do Protestants belong?

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Originally Posted by mick321 View Post
I mention the four authors because they are all converts from Protestant Christianity of one sort of another. They are held in high regard by their current Churches and are familiar to many of us here on Catholic Answers....I presume that every name's an alias in case somebody squeals. No need to parrot the party line in this thread. Lets talk about what happens in the real world, where the "rubber hits the road". Those under vows of obedience should let their conscience be their guide.
Wow!

You speak of "the party line" and that there's no "need to parrot the part line" and how those "under vows of obedience should let their conscience be their guide."

Isn't the Magisterium another name for "the party line"?

Aren't the vows of obedience of priests, deacons, catechists, bishops, popes, and religious something good, something to be cherished, something that is a blessing from God that produces yet more blessings from God? But you seem to say that these vows are shackles, and those under them should consider inside themselves whether to remain shackled or not.

Are you recommending, endorsing or promoting some sort of covert insurrection against Church Authority?

Are you part of some sort of Underground Catholic Resistance Movement or insurgency going on, that I don't know about, a movement that is oppositional to the certain elements of the teaching and mission of the pope and the bishops?

Today's Gospel reading from the Sunday Mass included this line:

"The Father will honor whoever serves me."

I believe you will find that Pope Benedict XVI keeps saying, and the late Blessed Pope John Paul II said over and over, that ANY SOUL on earth who honors and obeys God in good conscience and in good faith, according the Light that they been given, whether they are Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Baptist, Mormon, Methodist, Jehovah's Witness, Lutheran, Pentecostal, observant Orthodox Jews, Reform Jew, atheists, Marxists, Democrats, Republicans, Liberals, Libertarians, Freemasons, is a SOUL who lives in the full GRACE of GOD and obtains all the graces of God as easily and fully as the most devout cloistered Catholic nun and will one day enjoy eternal life in Paradise hand in hand with the that nun.

The writings of both of these holy popes say that the Catholic Church's starting point with all of these diverse non-Catholic is the PRESUMPTION that they are non-Catholics in good faith and with a good, clear, clean conscience. The Second Vatican Council said that clearly.

The Second Vatican Council ended the Counter-Reformation that was organized at the Council of Trent. That's just a fact. The Second Vatican Council was called (in part) to end the Counter-Reformation and it did that. Every Catholic theologian at every Catholic university and seminary will agree with that.

The general mission to covert and return all non-Catholic Christians to the Roman Catholic Church has been ENDED. That is not the aim of the "New Evangelization" called for by Blessed John Paul II, as reading his words on the subject shows clearly.

Perhaps I am mistaken. I am not a celebrity Catholic teacher on the radio. I have no books for sale at Catholic bookstores. I have no show on Catholic cable TV. I am never invited to speak at Marian conferences. I have no web site. I am not part of any movement or leader of any movement. The pope has never called me for advice. If you met me in person, you would not be impressed by me. I have a lot of character flaws, as everyone keeps telling me. I am a poor speller and bad proofreader. So, I might be wrong, completely wrong. Before you know it, I will be dead from this world, and shortly thereafter no one on the earth will ever speak my name again, and my grave will be overgrown with grass, vines and weeds.

Matt. 10:18:

Jesus answered. "No one is good--except God alone.

Maybe you and other souls, and perhaps an angel, here will find the good and the bad here in this thread, and shed more of the True Light of Heaven on this matter. I am dismayed by all the conflict, discord, rebellion, etc., that I perceive in the only Church I belong to. (But again, perhaps the conflict, discord, rebellion is just inside me, and/or is a misperception by me.)

Best wishes to all!
  #11  
Old Mar 25, '12, 11:36 am
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Default Re: Where do Protestants belong?

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Originally Posted by mick321 View Post
Interesting. What was your background in the non-RCC world? How did you discover the Church, learn about its theology and practice, and decide it was for you? Did someone help you get to that/this point?
My background was agnostic, although Baptized as a baby. I had a conversion experience a couple of years ago after reading loads of books on religion on and off over the years, because of that I didn't have a church as such, I was still searching when I found Catholism, although the Catholic church had never been something I considered. I had only attended a service at a Baptist church and looked at loads of others online.

My discovery of the Catholic Church started when I happened to be reading John 17 and it struck me how Jesus made it clear his followers were to be one. I had also just read a book on Exorcism called 'The Rite' only because it was the one Christian book I could find at Heathrow airport, the rest being new age, and it made an impression on me. I think it was these things together which kind of got me thinking about Church history and it just took off from there. This was just before Easter last year.

As for learning more about the faith, I had explored Catholic teaching enough through reading myself to know I wanted to be confirmed, and my Priest has been working with me through RCIA to be confirmed this Easter.

As for Orthodoxy, although when first learning about Apostolic Churches I looked at that too, I felt convicted that I should be under the Pope.
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  #12  
Old Mar 25, '12, 1:49 pm
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Isaiah45_9 Isaiah45_9 is offline
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Default Re: Where do Protestants belong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mick321 View Post
In recent decades, both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches have had the opportunity to catechize and ultimately accept converts from Protestant Christian communities.

In fact some recent converts have become very outspoken proponents of their new Churches. Catholic apologist-authors Jimmy Aiken and Scott Hahn come immediately to mind as do Peter Gillquist and Clark Carlton on the Orthodox side.

For the purpose of this discussion, lets assume that a Christian of Protestant formation is interested in converting to authentic, sacramental Christianity of Apostolic origin.

What are the pros & cons of both the RC and EO churches in the areas of indoctrinating new catechumens, assimilating them into the respective Churches, and retaining them over the long term? Is either Church better equipped (doctrinally or otherwise) to successfully accomplish this sort of conversion?

Interested in thoughts, opinions and personal experiences of converts, catechists, clergy, lay faithful, both RC & EO.
Hello Mick,

Have you read Pope Benedict's Dominus Iesus?

Has a different religion tried to convert you? Indoctrinate you?

I grew up Roman Catholic and walked away for 20+ years. I visited and attended many different bible study groups under different denominational/non-denominational non-catholic churches.

My personal experience was that most of these non-catholic groups look at scripture with the intention of learning in a non-Catholic way. Anything that looks remotely Catholic must have a verse somewhere in the Bible where it proves it isn’t.

Sadly, very few (only 2 actually) have an open heart and mind to learn the truth. They have a disposition to live what our Lord had commanded, without conscious prejudice. And they have an incredible thirst for the Word of God.

It is different to understand the Catholic way unless you have been raised in it.

To address you “indoctrination” suggestion I have to strongly disagree with any indoctrination attempts. I had plenty of that growing up. Don’t get me wrong, it is my fault for leaving the church and not persevering in my quest for truth with more strength. However, that was all I had: Indoctrination. We were all Catholics in a Catholic class with Catholic Nuns and Priests teaching. I usually was the most annoying kid by asking why too many times for too many things. It’s a mystery of faith was the answer too many times…

It wasn’t until this past year, and I’m over the hill (lol), that I finally came back home and was able to “really” study Aquinas and Augustine with a new and free set of eyes. Also see the Bible with a free and new set of eyes.

The truth had been staring at me all these years. It wasn’t until I was able to put Faith and Reason together, and putting my feelings aside.

The funny thing is that I started putting my feelings aside after one of my dearest friends (Protestant-I can’t really say he is protesting thou…) asked me: “Have you truly put ALL of yourself away for Christ?” He is ex-Lutheran, so we do have things in common in our religious upbringing.

Once I was able to reason without my feelings in the way, Faith started to manifest in ways I never imagined.

We don’t need indoctrination, we hold the truth and it can’t be contained and it doesn’t need to be put in a disguise. It needs to be defended intelligently and reasonably. The “hard” questions need to be asked in a charitable manner, but strong enough so that the truth is not disguised and/or misinterpreted under secularism standards (read politically correct and over-sensitive).

If we believe that God is God and there is no other.
And we know that God is Truth.
Then God is Truth and there is no other Truth or God.

However, our Lord is Merciful and works in ways we can never understand. Regardless, He reveals enough for us to be reasonable in our faith, not credulous.

Did God asked the Apostles to forcibly convert the Jewish people of their time?
No, they were offered the New Covenant first! How many times did the Apostles try to reason with non-believers?

There is a quote from Charles Spurgeon I really like:

Quote:
He that perishes chooses to perish; but he that is saved is saved because God has chosen to save him.
All bad choices are mine, why?
If there is a bad choice, is because there was a good choice as well, otherwise there wouldn’t be a difference. If only God is good (like Jesus said) then all good things are made available to us by Him.

We must reason our Faith. No indoctrination needed, that’s what a lot of sects do… where is that getting them?

In Him.
  #13  
Old Mar 25, '12, 3:19 pm
mick321 mick321 is offline
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Default Re: Where do Protestants belong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartolome Casas View Post

Wow!

[and so forth...]
Thanks again for your remarks. I appreciate your willingness to get the ball rolling.

For the record, I am a lay cradle Catholic. I have no other position within the RCC or any other church. I was formed in my parish school before terms like "magisterium" and "cannon law" were so freely bandied about by lay Catholics. Unless there is a compelling reason, I tend to refrain from using either. They are certainly not germane to this discussion thread.

And yes, the parish priests and religious sisters and brothers who initiated me into the faith were certainly under vows. As such, I hereby invite any of them to participate in this discussion - or not - as they may deem appropriate, considering their current status within the Church.

I am not recommending, endorsing or promoting any agenda here. My purpose for starting this thread is to encourage an open discussion [within CA rules] of the approaches that are currently being taken by the RC and EO churches to teach the Faith to converts from Protestant-Christian communities

I find your statement interesting:

Quote:
I believe you will find that Pope Benedict XVI keeps saying, and the late Blessed Pope John Paul II said over and over, that ANY SOUL on earth who honors and obeys God in good conscience and in good faith, according the Light that they been given, whether they are Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Baptist, Mormon, Methodist, Jehovah's Witness, Lutheran, Pentecostal, observant Orthodox Jews, Reform Jew, atheists, Marxists, Democrats, Republicans, Liberals, Libertarians, Freemasons, is a SOUL who lives in the full GRACE of GOD and obtains all the graces of God as easily and fully as the most devout cloistered Catholic nun and will one day enjoy eternal life in Paradise hand in hand with the that nun.

The writings of both of these holy popes say that the Catholic Church's starting point with all of these diverse non-Catholic is the PRESUMPTION that they are non-Catholics in good faith and with a good, clear, clean conscience. The Second Vatican Council said that clearly.

The Second Vatican Council ended the Counter-Reformation that was organized at the Council of Trent. That's just a fact. The Second Vatican Council was called (in part) to end the Counter-Reformation and it did that. Every Catholic theologian at every Catholic university and seminary will agree with that.

The general mission to covert and return all non-Catholic Christians to the Roman Catholic Church has been ENDED. That is not the aim of the "New Evangelization" called for by Blessed John Paul II, as reading his words on the subject shows clearly.
Are you a convert to the RCC? Were these matters discussed in your parish's religious education program? How long ago?
  #14  
Old Mar 25, '12, 6:52 pm
ImperfectMama ImperfectMama is offline
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Join Date: March 13, 2012
Posts: 4
Religion: Protestant-Anglican
Default Re: Where do Protestants belong?

As a protestant who is standing at the point of finding which way to go....someone please answer the question?!?!?
It's a bit overwhelming. I thought that when we decided to move towards Catholicism the absence of "denominations" was going to be such a relief. Now I'm finding that there's still more to it. :-)
It's ok though. He will lead us...That I know.
  #15  
Old Mar 25, '12, 7:30 pm
Nicea325 Nicea325 is offline
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Join Date: March 16, 2010
Posts: 7,111
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Where do Protestants belong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Crowley View Post
My experience as an ex-Protestant Catholic is that the Catholic Church doesn't make much effort to help ex-Protestants assimilate. I came from a mainly Presbyterian background, with additional experience in Wesleyan Methodist and Baptist Churches.

As such, I knew relatively little about the Papacy, Sacraments, Marianism, Saints, Liturgy, Church history, Church fathers, feast days, reconciliation, Eucharist, Apostolic authority, etc.

What I did know a bit about was the Bible, apologetics, and had read a fair bit of CS Lewis and a number of other Protestant authors. I had heard of some old time saints, terms like "dark night of the soul". I also had the good fortune to have an outstanding pastor during my first formative years.

So I came in without much formal knowledge of Catholic background.

Apart from the RCIA period, there has been nothing, and I mean nothing, aimed at giving new converts a better overview of Catholic belief. In other words, it's mainly been a case of doing my own reading when I want to. Or if you like, once you're in, it's then up to you.

On the other hand, I think we can also mistake the wood for the trees by getting too bound up by Church regulations, doctrines, dogmas and all the rest. If I want legalism, I can get that from government agencies, without having to go reading up all the documents of Vatican II for example (I could hardly think of anything more boring to be honest - taxation law would be just as exciting).

Now I don't know if this unconcern for new converts is the universal experience, but I think there does need to be put into place some sort of instruction for converts after they join, so they have some idea of what the church believes, and most important, why. As it was, being hard of hearing, I found it difficult to hear parts of the liturgy and distinguish it from the congregational mumble. My former Protestant churches had very little in the way of formal liturgy, so this was a bit of a hurdle just by itself.

in other words, the Catholic Church could do a lot more if its serious about getting converts.
Did you go through RCIA? Mystagogy phase covers and includes one's journey after he or she has received the sacraments. All of the "why" should have been covered and answered during the Inquiry and Pre-Catechumenate phases. I really do not understand your position. What more should the church to do? RCIA was and is the oldest catechetical method/model of receiving new folks.
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