11 questions to Catholics? (This is going to be long)

Hello, I was born in a Coptic orthodox family, I became an atheist when I was 15 and I am agnostic since I was 18, I have some questions about the catholic faith as I feel it’s the most universal church, especially that it’s the most religion believed by people so I feel it may be true and the Peter rock thing and I like the purgatory thing, but I need those questions answered, I knew they’re a lot, but just answer as you can and maybe refer me to bible verses, books, or the references in the Catechism, I thank you so much in advance for your time and effort, the questions are:

1- If having an abortion would save the life of the mother, is it still wrong? and what about banning contraception in Africa, didn’t the pope know that there is full of stds and people using contraception is a tool of saving many lives?

2- Why faith in Jesus, what about a good Jew, or a good hindu? I feel it’s unfair from God to torture good people only because they believed in the wrong god.

3- Where’s God’s goodness in random brutal accidents that happen to kids that have not yet fulfilled their purpose, why are they born if they’re gonna die so young?

4- Why are you not orthodox, I mean you always pray for the unity of the church but what doctrine in the orthodox church do you consider to be wrong, I mean they don’t have any extra doctrines like purgatory or the filioque or the immaculate conception, doesn’t that makes them the purer faith? and the Pope removed the limbo so Catholic doctrines can be changed, so?

5- If I committed the sin of thinking incest thoughts, and didn’t confess it intentionally (too shy and ashamed to tell that to a priest, and don’t tell me he heard it all, these thoughts are outrageous to me and can’t be told to anyone) and then I died, where would I go (purgatory or hell)?

6- How do you Justify the crusades, exorcisms that lead to death, the inquisitions,the evil popes (like the one who cut the fingers of his predecessor for example), and the “evils” done by the church over the years?

7- Why do you give only the bread, didn’t Christ give bread and blood?

8- What about Pope Pope John Paul II Who kissed the Koran, didn’t he knew that this is a false religion and that this book is full of hatred and bloodshed?

9- What about The spirit of truth, the comforter, who proceeds from the father?? and wouldn’t proceeding from the son also make the son and the father equals and that’ll be confusing?

10- Did Jesus have the ability to sin? If he didn’t then he’s not fully human.

11- Is Jesus’s humanity separate from his divinity, on the cross when he died did the humanity and divinity became separate? if they’re not separate then how his divinity was born from the father since forever but his humanity was born from Mary since 0 a.d.

Thanks again, I’m waiting for your answers.

Killing an innocent human, on purpose, is always wrong. It isn’t wrong to attempt to save the mother’s life, so long as the intention is not to end the life of the baby. There are occassions when the death of the baby is an unfortunate risk (ectopic pregnancies).

How do contraceptives save lives, that abstinance wouldn’t?

2- Why faith in Jesus, what about a good Jew, or a good hindu? I feel it’s unfair from God to torture good people only because they believed in the wrong god.

Whose standard are you judging God by? Compared to whom is God “unfair”, and why does that person’s standard matter? Christ is the “way, the truth, and the life”. God set it up that way. Who are we, His creation, to reject that? Isn’t it unfair for us, creatures, to ignore and reject what our Creator gave us?

3- Where’s God’s goodness in random brutal accidents that happen to kids that have not yet fulfilled their purpose, why are they born if they’re gonna die so young?

Are you suggesting that God is responsible for the consequences of our rejection of Him? In other words, are you saying it’s God’s fault that Adam and Eve commited the original sin which passed on to us in our fallen human natures?

4- Why are you not orthodox, I mean you always pray for the unity of the church but what doctrine in the orthodox church do you consider to be wrong, I mean they don’t have any extra doctrines like purgatory or the filioque or the immaculate conception, doesn’t that makes them the purer faith? and the Pope removed the limbo so Catholic doctrines can be changed, so?

Are you saying that, in praying for unity, we should be willing to sacrifice some of the Truth so that we can get along? What makes you think purgatory and the filioque and the immacualte conception are “extra doctrines” that would make our faith less pure? To make that statement, you have to pre-suppose that the Orthodox Church is the true church establshed by Jesus Christ. Why do you believe that?

Where did “the Pope remove limbo”? (Authentic Catholic source please.) And why would that matter?

(to be continued…)

Actually no, I don’t pre-suppose that the orthodox church is the true church, it’s just that becaue as I told I was born in an orthodox family, I had more access and projection to orthodox resources that attack/reject catholic doctrine, I’m now agnostic as I said so I don’t pre-suppose anything :slight_smile: it’s just that I’m saying why do you see these doctrines to be right, as I need a respone to a respone, I put it like this, Catholics say purgatory for exampe, the orthodox especially the late Pope Shenoudah III respond that purgatory is wrong because so and so, so I need resources where there are responses to the orthodox claims that these doctrines are wrong, as if there are no resources on that, I claimed that catholics only believe in those because the church said so and not on biblical basis, so this question is only raised because I’m looking for resources to respond to the explanations of the orthodox church of why to them the catholic doctrines are wrong, I didn’t mean to offend, I’m just looking for the truth :slight_smile:

I stopped reading after #8. You do realize that people try to attack Christianity by saying the same thing about the Bible right? It’s not nice or smart to immediately dismiss another religion. You must have respect and tolerance for all those who truly believe.

5- If I committed the sin of thinking incest thoughts, and didn’t confess it intentionally…and then I died, where would I go (purgatory or hell)?

Were you in a state of mortal sin? 1)Was it grave matter (in this case, yes), 2) Did you have full knowledge of the grave nature of the sin and 3) did you have full consent of the will to commit the sin? If all 3 are yes, and you purposefully did not confess or repent, then you would die in a state of mortal sin and go to hell.*

(*There is much more to be said here of contrition and the Sacrament of Penance, being absolved during a recieved Sacrament, etc…I’ll leave that to someone else. )

6- How do you Justify the crusades, exorcisms that lead to death, the inquisitions,the evil popes (like the one who cut the fingers of his predecessor for example), and the “evils” done by the church over the years?

We don’t “justify” any evils done by any persons in the Church.

7- Why do you give only the bread, didn’t Christ give bread and blood?

Christ is present, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity under both species. The Priest must partake in both in imtation of Christ. The congregation need not, but it is common for both species to be offered in the US.

8- What about Pope Pope John Paul II Who kissed the Koran, didn’t he knew that this is a false religion and that this book is full of hatred and bloodshed?

What about it? Do you believe that kiss signified something? Why?
jimmyakin.org/2006/04/jp2_and_the_qur.html

9- What about The spirit of truth, the comforter, who proceeds from the father?? and wouldn’t proceeding from the son also make the son and the father equals and that’ll be confusing?

If you believe in a Triune God, what would be confusing about the Spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son? And do you believe that your human mind can fully comprehend an infinite God? And what do you mean by “equal”?

10- Did Jesus have the ability to sin? If he didn’t then he’s not fully human.

Why do you believe that he could not be fully human [and fully God] if He couldn’t sin? And why do you believe He couldn’t sin?

11- Is Jesus’s humanity separate from his divinity, on the cross when he died did the humanity and divinity became separate? if they’re not separate then how his divinity was born from the father since forever but his humanity was born from Mary since 0 a.d.

scborromeo.org/ccc/p122a3p1.htm#465

So, for purgatory, you can look to pre-Christianity, because they believed in praying for the dead as well. Scripture, even if only taken as a historical work, shows us clearly that the Jews and the earliest Christians believed in praying for the dead and offering supplications for them. I think folks who reject “purgatory” have misguided view about what we believe purgatory is.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.” (CC C 1030)

“The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned. ” (CCC 1031)

“This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: “Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.”[2Macc 12:46]”. (CCC 1032)

So, what are these Scriptural references that the Church is referring to? We already looked at 2Macc., but there is also 2Samuel 12:13-14, where David is punished for his sin AFTER he has been forgiven. And in Heb 12:22-23, Paul tells us that there is a place or process by which the spirits of just men are made perfect. We also see in 1Cor 3:13-15 that there is a place where a saved man, after he has died, can suffer loss as through fire, and we know that nothing unclean shall enter into Heaven (Rev 21:27).

Straight from the Bible, then, we see the Catholic principles for Purgatory: 1) Scripture shows us, explicitly, that a man can be punished for his sin AFTER he had been forgiven (2Sam 12:13-18, et.al). 2) Scripture tells us, explicitly, that there is a place where a man, after he has died, and is saved, can suffer loss as through fire (1Cor 3:13-15). 3) There is a place, or process, where the SPIRITS of just men are made perfect (Heb 12:22-23). 4) Nothing unclean can enter Heaven.

I read portions of the Koran and the hadith actually, so I know what I’m talking about, and can’t you see how most terrorist organizations are muslim, at least militant christians don’t kill, they just picket gay people funerals (I’m talking about you, westboro church) and I live in a country where there are about 80-85% of muslims and they treat every other religion like ****, so I didn’t “immediately dismiss another religion”!!

One thread per question. This is too much.

Yes. It is always wrong to purposely cause an abortion. The baby is considered a human being, even while still a fetus, and thus purposefully killing it is murder. (Indirect abortions, such as removing the tube completely in an ectopic pregnancy, are a different matter)

and what about banning contraception in Africa, didn’t the pope know that there is full of stds and people using contraception is a tool of saving many lives?

We won’t deny that contraception can help prevent STDs. That’s not the issue. Morally, it’s best to just not be having extramarital sex at all. Which is 100% effective, compared to contraception having a chance of failing.

2- Why faith in Jesus, what about a good Jew, or a good hindu? I feel it’s unfair from God to torture good people only because they believed in the wrong god.

Let’s get this one out of the way first. Jews (and Muslims) worship the same God as we do.

Okay, now that that’s been mentioned. God is not bound by the Sacraments (CCC 1257). Jesus died so that all could enter Heaven, and certainly Catholicism (the church he founded) is the easiest way in. But unlike Fundamentalism, we won’t automatically condemn non-Catholics to Hell. We may say there’s a strong chance of it, but the Catholic Church will never definitively say someone is in Hell. (Except possibly for final impenitence. Someone check me on that) But indeed, we recognize what’s called invincible ignorance. Suppose someone IS in some remote part of the world, and Hinduism, to use your example, is the only religion anyone there knows of. We don’t believe that God will automatically condemn that entire tribe to Hell, just because they never had a chance to hear about Jesus.

3- Where’s God’s goodness in random brutal accidents that happen to kids that have not yet fulfilled their purpose, why are they born if they’re gonna die so young?

From a human, earthly perspective, this seems like a horrible deal. But remember, this is God we’re talking about, the author of all life. That kid could well get rewarded with Heaven. We don’t know. But you’ve managed to touch on what’s called the problem of evil. Why would a benevolent omnipotent deity allow evil to exist? Well quite simply, because he can make good come out of it. Was it a good thing that he was crucified? No. It was a murder. But God used that sacrifice on Calvary to redeem all human beings ever. Which sounds like a much greater good to me.

I mean they don’t have any extra doctrines like purgatory or the filioque or the immaculate conception, doesn’t that makes them the purer faith?

Many of them, especially purgatory and the immaculate conception, as you named, are necessary results of other doctrine.

Purgatory- We’re sinful here on earth, and sinless in Heaven. So clearly something changes when we die. Catholicism assigns the title Purgatory to that process- a cleansing, or purgation, if you will. Not to mention that the pious practice of praying for the dead can’t help the souls in Hell and is unneeded by the souls already in Heaven. So it subtly implies the existence of that final purgation before entering Heaven.

Immaculate Conception- Look back at the Ark of the (Old) Covenant. That merely contained God, and yet Uzzah died by touching it. Now imagine Mary carrying God literally inside of her. Any sinful being would definitely not survive that experience.

5- If I committed the sin of thinking incest thoughts, and didn’t confess it intentionally (too shy and ashamed to tell that to a priest, and don’t tell me he heard it all, these thoughts are outrageous to me and can’t be told to anyone) and then I died, where would I go (purgatory or hell)?

I want to say not enough information. If they were fleeting, I’d lean venial. If you were actively thinking about being sexually attracted to a relative and holding onto the thought, that’s a much different story. And that doesn’t even touch on the issue of whether there was full knowledge. Although avoiding incest is probably covered under the natural law instinctive to every human…

6- How do you Justify the crusades, exorcisms that lead to death, the inquisitions,the evil popes (like the one who cut the fingers of his predecessor for example), and the “evils” done by the church over the years?

The Church is perfect. We have never tried to imply that every single thing any Catholic does has been perfect.

7- Why do you give only the bread, didn’t Christ give bread and blood?

As ahs said, Christ is fully present- Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity- in both species. It’s not exceedingly common for it to be offered in both forms in the US, but it certainly happens.

8- What about Pope Pope John Paul II Who kissed the Koran, didn’t he knew that this is a false religion and that this book is full of hatred and bloodshed?

Jimmy Akin describes it better in ahs’s link than I ever could.

10- Did Jesus have the ability to sin? If he didn’t then he’s not fully human.

Faulty premise. Why must you sin to be fully human? Were Adam and Eve not fully human until after the Fall? Was Mary not fully human? Humans weren’t intended to be sinful. Jesus (and Mary) can both have been fully human, despite not having sinned.

11- Is Jesus’s humanity separate from his divinity, on the cross when he died did the humanity and divinity became separate? if they’re not separate then how his divinity was born from the father since forever but his humanity was born from Mary since 0 a.d.

Jesus is fully human and fully divine. It’s the mystery of the incarnation. You probably won’t like that answer, but it’s the best we have.

I’m sure you will receive many wonderful answers - I just have two things I wish to address…

And welcome to the Forums.

If a Mother only has enough food for one - is it OK to kill the child so she can survive - or should she do all she can to keep them both alive?
Same thing with abortion. Everything must be done to save both of them.

and what about banning contraception in Africa, didn’t the pope know that there is full of stds and people using contraception is a tool of saving many lives?

Please explain how the Pope has banned contraceptives in Africa…

The logic of this argument escapes me…
The Church teaches against the use of Contraceptives - true. The Church also teaches against sex outside of marriage. So - if a person remains chaste they have little chance of transmitting STDs. If they do not remain chaste (violate the teaching against adultery) then what makes anyone think that they will obey a rule about condoms???

2- Why faith in Jesus, what about a good Jew, or a good hindu? I feel it’s unfair from God to torture good people only because they believed in the wrong god.

We have Faith in Jesus because He is the Son of God - the God who IS LOVE.
Good people are those who love - and according to Scripture such people know God (See 1 John 4 around vs7-8). Those who do not Love do not know God…
Therefore we can conclude that God will not torture “good people”.

Peace
James

As others have already noted, one cannot deliberately commit an objective evil (abortion) to achieve a good end (saving another life.) As the old adage goes, “The end does not justify the means.” It sounds harsh, but moral truths aren’t always pleasant and are often quite difficult for us to accept. However, measures may be taken which do not have as their intention the killing of the child but may nevertheless be known to potentially lead to that outcome.

In regards to the question of contraception and AIDS in Africa, I’d like to add something that no one else has pointed out. Not only, as has already been said, can the Pope not promote an evil in order to achieve a good (again, the end doesn’t justify the means), but the fact is that contraception does not save many lives.

I know. It sounds crazy, but the statistics back the Church up on this. A secular researcher at Harvard who specializes in this very topic came out publicly and said that the Church, and Pope Benedict XVI, had been right about contraception and the AIDS crisis all along. His research showed that those areas of Africa where the Church had the greatest influence had the lowest number of AIDS cases, and that, by contrast, the areas where the use of condoms was heavily promoted had the highest rate of infection.

Counterintuitive as it may seem, consider that prior to the advent of socially accepted birth control in the Western world, the number of common STDs was about 3. Less than a century later, that number has more than octupled with a total of at least 27 common STDs. The reasons are obvious: the promotion of contraception is a virtual invitation to promiscuity for a species that is all too prone to sexual temptation. More contraception generally means more sexual partners. Any form of contraception is going to fail a certain percentage of the time. That means for every 100 sexual encounters, a few will most likely result in pregnancy, the transmission of disease, or both.

The end result is what we see across the contracepting world: an astronomical increase in STDs and fatherless homes.

(For more on the academic research that bolstered the Church’s position on this matter: washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/27/AR2009032702825.html)

2- Why faith in Jesus, what about a good Jew, or a good hindu? I feel it’s unfair from God to torture good people only because they believed in the wrong god.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 847:

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

I hope that puts your mind at ease on this question.

3- Where’s God’s goodness in random brutal accidents that happen to kids that have not yet fulfilled their purpose, why are they born if they’re gonna die so young?

It will inevitably be emotionally unsatisfactory and intellectually futile for us to attempt to grapple with such a question so as to arrive at a specific answer as to what good God draws out of any specific evil. However, as numerous theologians and philosophers have demonstrated throughout the centuries, it is not an irresolvable problem on the general level.

Simply put, we, being finite creatures with limited intellects, simply cannot comprehend the depth of God’s plan. For Catholics, God does not intend the evil that happens to us, but through His providence He can bring good out of the bad. How does this translate for a specific child who dies in a tragic catastrophe? We simply cannot know. It is similar to what is popularly known as “the butterfly effect.” A small event in our time may have drastic consequences centuries down the road.

However, it would be erroneous to say, from a Catholic perspective, that just because someone dies young that they had not “fulfilled their purpose.” Our ultimate purpose is to come to union with God, and I suspect that most, if not all, children who die prematurely do just that.

Ultimately, such things are undeniably tragic and certainly a legitimate emotional obstacle to belief. It may break our hearts, but it need not break our faith.

4- Why are you not orthodox, I mean you always pray for the unity of the church but what doctrine in the orthodox church do you consider to be wrong, I mean they don’t have any extra doctrines like purgatory or the filioque or the immaculate conception, doesn’t that makes them the purer faith? and the Pope removed the limbo so Catholic doctrines can be changed, so?

If having less doctrines makes a faith purer or more likely to be true, than we should all be Agnostics with a capital A. This is not a legitimate argument. What we should look at are things like a) whether these doctrines were native to the Christian faith (present from the beginning) or added later. All Catholic doctrines pass this test. Purgatory is implicit in both the Old and New Testaments and belief in such was present in the Church from the very beginning.

It is also important to distinguish between Catholic doctrine and speculative Catholic philosophy. Limbo falls into the latter category. It has never been a Catholic doctrine, and the Pope did not “remove it.” He endorsed a letter which proposed that limbo is an unnecessary hypothesis.

5- If I committed the sin of thinking incest thoughts, and didn’t confess it intentionally (too shy and ashamed to tell that to a priest, and don’t tell me he heard it all, these thoughts are outrageous to me and can’t be told to anyone) and then I died, where would I go (purgatory or hell)?

No one here can tell you that. The Catholic Church teaches that such judgment is reserved for God alone.

That being said, God knows the heart and the conditions surrounding each individuals circumstances. If there were a true psychological impediment to your confessing such a sin in particular enough terms but you were truly contrite in your heart, I am compelled to believe that God would forgive you. As a popular saying in the Church goes, “We are bound to the Sacraments. God is not.” But again, this is only speculation on my part and should not be misconstrued as official Catholic teaching.

6- How do you Justify the crusades, exorcisms that lead to death, the inquisitions,the evil popes (like the one who cut the fingers of his predecessor for example), and the “evils” done by the church over the years?

Evil cannot be justified, but “the Church” has not committed those evils: individuals and groups within Her have committed them. The Church is full of fallen men who are not immune to sin–even grievous sin-- From the lowliest laymen to the Pope himself, all have fallen and are in need of the mercy of God.

In regards to the Crusades and the Inquisitions, we have all been fed a big steaming heap of myths about them due to centuries of Protestant and post-Enlightenment revisionism that are big on sensationalism and very light on truth. I would recommend going to the Catholic Answers main page (catholic.com) and running a search on those topics (i.e. Crusades, Inquisition, Bad Popes).

7- Why do you give only the bread, didn’t Christ give bread and blood?

I don’t know where you got this impression. I have never attended a Catholic Church that did not provide both species in the Eucharist.

8- What about Pope Pope John Paul II Who kissed the Koran, didn’t he knew that this is a false religion and that this book is full of hatred and bloodshed?

Again, Popes are not immune from making mistakes or causing scandal. I won’t get into whether or not this was such a case.

I will try to return to answer the remainder of your questions soon. I hope what I have provided thus far has been helpful.

Jesus always has free will. He always chooses to be good.

Your question like the one, “Can God lie ?” is an non-nonsensical self contradiction. Read more at

defendingthebride.com/sc/omni.html

The Second Person of the Trinity is, and always has, and always will be One Person. He was, and always will be Divine, born of the Father, without beginning. He did not take on a human nature until the Incarnation for which we do not have an exact date, but let’s call it March 25, AD year 1. AD is a Latin abbreviation for “Anno Domini nostri Jesu Christi” which translated into English is “in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ”. The year before would have been 1 BC. No year is designated by the number 0.

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