14 Questions Concerning My Catholic Faith


#1

If anyone is willing to provide answers to the following questions that I have, I would appreciate it:

  1. The Catholic Church, with the support of it’s heirarchy including many Popes, over hundreds of years killed perhaps millions of people during the Crusades & Inquisition.
    How can I with a clear conscious support an organization that has killed so many people?

  2. The Catholic Church, with the support of it’s heirarchy including bishops and cardinals, was not forthcoming and in thousands of cases actually protected and transferred priests who were guilty of child molestation which contributed to even more cases of child molestation. How can I support an organization whose heirarchy acted in this manner?

  3. The Catholic Church representing Jesus Christ has a Just War Doctrine that actually supports war under certain circumstances. Isn’t this contrary to the teaching of Jesus Christ that you should love your enemies and if someone were to strike you on one cheek you should offer them the other?

  4. Recently the Catholic bishops of the United States overwhelmingly approved new documents saying that any Catholic who disagrees with key church teachings should not take Communion. Is it possible to be Catholic and receive the Eucharist while not agreeing with the church on all their teachings?

  5. The Catholic Church teaches that masturbation, using birth control and having sex outside of marriage are mortal sins. The Catholic Church also teaches that murder is a mortal sin. Doesn’t this tell Catholics that if you are partaking in any of these sexual activities that you are actually partaking in an activitiy that is equal to murder?

  6. As it is possible for a female who has had an abortion to be excommunicated from the church, is it possible for a woman who has had an abortion to be Catholic?

  7. Doesn’t it make sense that if a spouse is determined to HIV positive, the couple should be allowed to use condoms to protect the other spouse from death without the lifelong guilt that they are commiting a mortal sin?

  8. If a married couple chooses to use birth control is it mentally healthy for them remain Catholic as their church views them as commiting a mortal sin, equal to murder, perhaps thousands of times over their entire adult life?

  9. Why are Catholic priests paid money while nuns are held to a vow of poverty?

  10. A man named Hedir Antonio de Brito of Brazil was refused marriage in the Catholic Church because he was impotent. He was impotent due to the fact that he became a paraplegic after receiving a gunshot wound. Do you think Jesus Christ would encourage the Catholic Church not to marry men that are impotent?

  11. Does the Catholic Church teach that bible stories like Noah’s Arc and Jonah and the whale are historical events and does the church belive that the earth is approximately 6000 years old based on what the bible states?

  12. Doesn’t the fact that the Catholic Church requires one to be without grave sin before receiving Jesus Christ in the Eucharist contradict what Jesus taught?

  13. Why does the Catholic Church teach that Jesus was Mary’s only child and that He didn’t have any brothers or sisters which is contrary to what the bible says in several places such as Matthew 13:55-56, Mark 6:3 & Matthew 1:24-25?

  14. If the church was wrong claiming that the sun revolved around the earth and only recently recanted and apologised for prosecuting Galileo, is it possible they might be wrong on other matters?


#2

just a suggestion… ask each question individually. 14 questions is too many to really do justice explaining with a 5000 character limit.

Here is an easy answer:

  1. As it is possible for a female who has had an abortion to be excommunicated from the church, is it possible for a woman who has had an abortion to be Catholic?

Of course… All that is really needed is for that woman to be truly contrite and confess this sin in reconciliation. It would be pretty sad if we didn’t have a means for reconciliation since we are all sinners wouldn’t it?


#3

The figure is nonsense. Thousands, not millions, were killed. However, that doesn’t really answer the question! The second point is that you are vague on what it means for “the Catholic Church” to do something. If the Popes authorized the Crusades (as they did), does that mean that they authorized everything done on the Crusades? The Crusades were a counterattack against Islamic aggression, but they involved much brutality. (The Albigensian Crusades and the crusades in northeastern Europe were far less defensible.) The Inquisition was a church court that functioned according to Roman law. It was generally juster and more moderate than secular courts, but it did use torture and it did hand people over to the secular authorities for execution on occasion.

How can I with a clear conscious support an organization that has killed so many people?

I presume you do not support your government? If you are American or a citizen of any other major world power, your government has killed lots of people. That’s what governments do. The Church made the mistake (in my opinion) of acting like a government, using the world’s methods in order to set up an alternate authority. And this led to some reprehensible things.

However, in the end being a Catholic isn’t “supporting an organization.” It’s being part of the Body of Christ. You can be opposed to things that church leaders have done without leaving the Church!

The same is true for no. 2, which I’ll let the Catholics handle in more detail!

  1. The Catholic Church representing Jesus Christ has a Just War Doctrine that actually supports war under certain circumstances. Isn’t this contrary to the teaching of Jesus Christ that you should love your enemies and if someone were to strike you on one cheek you should offer them the other?

I think the best answer to this is by the Protestant Reformer Martin Bucer: “We are told to turn our own cheek, not our neighbor’s cheek.” Just war is about protecting the innocent. Furthermore, pacifism is an option within Catholicism. In fact clergy are required to be nonviolent, and this is seen as a way of perfection.

  1. Recently the Catholic bishops of the United States overwhelmingly approved new documents saying that any Catholic who disagrees with key church teachings should not take Communion. Is it possible to be Catholic and receive the Eucharist while not agreeing with the church on all their teachings?

I’m not Catholic, so I won’t try to tackle that one directly. But consider this: you know that you could be wrong. So unless your conscience is absolutely clear that these teachings are wrong, why not give your Church the benefit of the doubt? Isn’t it quite likely that in fact you are mistaken?

  1. The Catholic Church teaches that masturbation, using birth control and having sex outside of marriage are mortal sins. The Catholic Church also teaches that murder is a mortal sin. Doesn’t this tell Catholics that if you are partaking in any of these sexual activities that you are actually partaking in an activitiy that is equal to murder?

No, this is a fallacy. All mortal sins are not equal. All of them (in Catholic teaching) separate you from God, but there are degrees of separation from God just as there are degrees of closeness to God (among those in a state of grace).

[6) As it is possible for a female who has had an abortion to be excommunicated from the church,

My understanding is that anyone having an abortion is automatically excommunicated.

is it possible for a woman who has had an abortion to be Catholic?

I presume you mean “and has not repented” (funny how people often leave out that part!). The Catholics should answer this one, but I would say that an excommunicated Catholic is still a Catholic.

  1. Doesn’t it make sense that if a spouse is determined to HIV positive, the couple should be allowed to use condoms to protect the other spouse from death without the lifelong guilt that they are commiting a mortal sin?

First of all, it isn’t necessary to use condoms to protect the other spouse if they don’t have sex at all, which is what the Catholic Church recommends. I believe that the Catholic Church should make more room for what the Orthodox call “economia”–a concession to human weakness. And this is one of the places where I think they should do this. But they aren’t going to listen to me!
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#4
  1. If a married couple chooses to use birth control is it mentally healthy for them remain Catholic

Why is that relevant? Holiness matters a lot more than “mental health.”

as their church views them as commiting a mortal sin, equal to murder, perhaps thousands of times over their entire adult life?

At the risk of sounding callous–so why not just stop? I think (as an Anglican) that there are circumstances where non-abortifacient birth control is OK. And in those circumstances I can’t say what Catholic couples should do, because I’m not Catholic. But most birth control is not necessary–NFP would be fine, and if the couple miscalculated and got pregnant, what’s wrong with that? You have to give Divine Providence some loopholes to work with! One of the problems in our society is that people want to have complete control over their lives, and birth control is one expression of that. Having children is a sure way to have less control over your life (my daughter turned five months old today, so I know what I am talking about!).

  1. Why are Catholic priests paid money while nuns are held to a vow of poverty?

Nuns are not female priests. The male equivalent of nuns–monks–also take vows of poverty.

  1. A man named Hedir Antonio de Brito of Brazil was refused marriage in the Catholic Church because he was impotent. He was impotent due to the fact that he became a paraplegic after receiving a gunshot wound. Do you think Jesus Christ would encourage the Catholic Church not to marry men that are impotent?

Well, both Jesus and Paul seemed to think that not marrying was a good idea in general . . . . But I had problems with that too, and I’m not particularly concerned to defend it.

  1. Does the Catholic Church teach that bible stories like Noah’s Arc and Jonah and the whale are historical events and does the church belive that the earth is approximately 6000 years old based on what the bible states?

In my understanding, the short answer to these questions is no–the Catholic Church does not have a firm teaching on these matters. It maintains the general historicity of Scripture, but of course it recognizes that some of the narratives are not intended as literal history. The Gospels, though, are upheld as clearly historical, and I’m pretty sure that the Church would say thaat certain key events (such as the Exodus) definitely happened.

  1. Doesn’t the fact that the Catholic Church requires one to be without grave sin before receiving Jesus Christ in the Eucharist contradict what Jesus taught?

Why on earth would you think that?

  1. Why does the Catholic Church teach that Jesus was Mary’s only child and that He didn’t have any brothers or sisters which is contrary to what the bible says in several places such as Matthew 13:55-56, Mark 6:3 & Matthew 1:24-25?

Catholics have maintained one of two theories about these “brothers and sisters.” One (which I find highly unlikely) is that they were cousins. The other theory (which I adhere to) is that they were Joseph’s children by a previous marriage–not Jesus’ siblings by blood, but it’s easy to see why they would be called his brothers and sisters.

As for Matt. 1:24-25, the Catholic Church argues that “until” doesn’t imply that the event happened afterwards, only that it didn’t happen sooner. This may be a bit strained, but I think it’s fair to say that Matthew had no interest in telling us what happened afterwards–he was making a point about Mary’s virginity before Jesus’ birth.

So why did early Christians come to believe this? I’m suspicious that it was linked to ideas about the impurity of sex which most of us find dubious today, but Catholics argue that this isn’t necessarily so–it’s just unfitting for someone who has borne the Son of God ever to be intimate with a man. I’m not convinced, but it is a very ancient tradition and I am unwilling to say categorically that it’s wrong. That’s one of those points where I think we have to be aware of our own cultural biases and open to the possibility that *we *are wrong!

  1. If the church was wrong claiming that the sun revolved around the earth and only recently recanted

That’s not true.

and apologised for prosecuting Galileo, is it possible they might be wrong on other matters?

As an Anglican, I certainly think so! Catholics would say that the Church is infallible in its official teaching but that popes, bishops, etc., can make many mistakes in other areas, and that is what happened in the Inquisition’s misguided persecution of Galileo (though you might want to listen to what some of the Catholics here can tell you about the circumstances–it wasn’t quite as black and white as you may think).

Edwin


#5

As a cradle Catholic with many of the same type of questions and concerns, one who had not actively participated in the faith for nearly 20 years I have two answers:

1.) Many of your questions can be answered by searching this and other Catholic sites.
2.) Don’t throw the baby (your faith) out with the bath water (church doctrine).

I answered many of my questions through study and prayer. I have not answered them all and likely never will, but one thing has remained very strong in my life: the truth of Jesus Christ. I have no doubt who He is.

I still have doubts about certain doctrine, but the CC is the closest thing to Christ on earth. Footprints in the sand kind of thing. I can’t help but believe because I have studied it too much to say I don’t or can’t. I have only recently returned to active participation in a parish. When our priest has time I talk to him. Unfortunately he doesn’t have much. I’m trying to find others. I recently found this site, and it helps.

I wish you luck and hope you won’t despair. It’s worse out there alone with these same doubts, because they won’t leave you.


#6

Maybe it’s just me, but I cannot interpret the bible infallibly. As far as I can tell a lot of whats in the bible is not a "one time read,now I get it’ thing. If you are a Catholic it’s important to remember that your (our) church put that book together. Its creator (the Church i.e Holy Spirit) is also its 100% infallible interpreter.


#7

First off, I think your “millions” may be a bit exaggerated, saying the Catholic Church killed 50 million people in the Inquisition, for instance, is something most Church historians believe to be more a product of Baptist polemics than actual estimates. If you want a book that deals with this I suggest Karl Keating’s Catholicism and Fundamentalism. Second, try to remember that the Church founded by Jesus Christ, no matter which organization someone believes that is, is going to be made up of humans, and thus is going to have its members commit sins, sometimes grievously.

No, I don’t think its contrary to Christ’s teachings at all. Can you name one instance in which Christ, in His contact with a Roman centurion, condemned the man for being a serving officer in a military organization, the Roman Imperial Army? I think your difficulty here may be more due to taking the injunction to “turn the other cheek” in too literal a manner, in regards to a command that has more to do with not letting your heart harden against your enemies, even if you have to engage them in combat for a noble purpose (e.g., liberating Europe and saving Jewish death camp inmates in WWII)

In terms of what the sin does to your relationship with God (kill it), then yes, the Catholic Church does teach that those sins are equal to murder because they all fall into the same category-mortal sin.

Yes, she would simply have to go to the sacrament of confession and repent of her sin, if for example you’re talking about a Christian woman who had an abortion but then decided she wanted to join the Catholic Church. If she were not Christian, she would be baptized into the Catholic Church, and this sacrament remits all sins and all temporal punishment caused by them.

No, it wouldn’t make sense in light of the Church’s teaching that contraception is absolutely forbidden. This isn’t because the Church wants to make things hard on Catholics, but because of the exalted belief in what marriage and sexual union actually are. In the Church, marriage has the dignity of a sacrament and sex is the physical renewal of the covenant between man and wife and primarily the opportunity to let God bring forth new life from the mutual self-giving of each spouse to the other.

Well, because diocesan priests need money as they live in the world and have to buy meals, own a car to get around, etc. Religious order priests, however, also take a vow of poverty and live in community, just like nuns. Same with religious brothers (monks). It depends on what vocation and type of spirituality God calls someone to. Besides, its not like monks and nuns are “living in poverty,” so to speak, without a roof over their heads. The vow indicates that the money they do earn is turned over to the community for communal use. Their basic needs are taken care of.


#8

By receiving (not taking) communion we are saying that we agree with the teachings of the Church. No one should receive communion if they do not believe and agree to these teachings. Communion unites us to all believers of the faith as well as Christ who commanded it. It’s like saying, OK Jesus, I am following your command BUT I don’t agree with X, Y or Z… Doesn’t work that way!

What is mortal sin? Mortal sins destroy the grace of God in the heart of the sinner. By their very grave nature, a mortal sin cuts our relationship off from God and turns man away from his creator. Since we believe that our salvation is more important than life itself, yes the sins of masturbation, birth control, and pre and extra marital sex are just as bad as murder since they separate us from God. Masturbation is grave because it is a misuse of the gift of sexuality that God himself gave us as a gift to married people. It is removing the spiritual aspect from the marital act and selfishly seeking only pleasure. ABC is against God’s plan of trust and the procreative nature of sexual relations. By using ABC are we not saying to God that we are taking control of creating life and taking life… that is God’s domain not ours! We are saying we don’t trust in the wisdom of God to know what is best for us. Essentially, ABC is murder because it is abortifacient in nature. ABC’s seek to destroy a fertilized egg or make it impossible to implant and grow. Pre and extra marital sexual relations are directly against God’s family plan. God’s plan is always about family. By engaging in these activities you are saying that your plan or your will be done, not God’s. All of these things separate us from God and thus are mortal sins, endangering our salvation… which we believe is more important than physical life… our immortal souls.

As explained above… one cannot reconcile mortal sin and the unrepentance of that sin with Catholic life. No it is not mentally healthy for them to remain in this state. As God knows what is good for us better than we do, it all comes down to trust. Trusting in God is paramount. God is our Father and we are supposed to trust him. Using ABC is not trusting in God.


#9

#10

#11

Thanks for your replys and I hope that more people will answer. One thing that concerns me is there have been 2 responses that the Crusades were a response to an attack made by Muslims.

Here is a list of the many Crusades:

  1. First Crusade 1095–1099
  2. Crusade of 1101
  3. Second Crusade 1145–1149
  4. Third Crusade 1189–1192
  5. Fourth Crusade 1201–1204
  6. Albigensian Crusade
  7. Fifth Crusade 1217–1221
  8. Sixth Crusade 1228–1229
  9. Seventh Crusade 1248–1254
  10. Eighth Crusade 1270
  11. Ninth Crusade 1271–1272
  12. Northern Crusades
  13. Crusade against the Tartars
  14. Crusades in the Balkans
  15. Aragonese Crusade
  16. Hussite Crusade

I am not going to list the many wars that took place during the years of the Inquisition. I think it’s ridiculous to blame these wars on Muslim attacks and that Catholics were only defending themselves. The deaths attributed to these religious wars spanning hundreds of years - was certainly more than in the thousands.

Regards


#12

Since when does the human frailties and failings of any members (or supposed members) indict the factual truth of their teachings?

  1. The Catholic Church, with the support of it’s heirarchy including bishops and cardinals, was not forthcoming and in thousands of cases actually protected and transferred priests who were guilty of child molestation which contributed to even more cases of child molestation. How can I support an organization whose heirarchy acted in this manner?

I think your numbers are off by a good bit and again, see my response to question #1 unless you are perfect.

  1. The Catholic Church representing Jesus Christ has a Just War Doctrine that actually supports war under certain circumstances. Isn’t this contrary to the teaching of Jesus Christ that you should love your enemies and if someone were to strike you on one cheek you should offer them the other?

I doubt that you honestly believe that any nation needs to live up to the standard you seek to use to indict Catholicism. Do you intend to renounce your citizenship because of this?

  1. Recently the Catholic bishops of the United States overwhelmingly approved new documents saying that any Catholic who disagrees with key church teachings should not take Communion. Is it possible to be Catholic and receive the Eucharist while not agreeing with the church on all their teachings?

Your statement is wrong.

If the Church teaches something then it doesn’t just pull that out of thin air. Dissenters have the responsibility to insure that they have a correctly formed conscience and work to resolve any such dissension.

  1. The Catholic Church teaches that masturbation, using birth control and having sex outside of marriage are mortal sins. The Catholic Church also teaches that murder is a mortal sin. Doesn’t this tell Catholics that if you are partaking in any of these sexual activities that you are actually partaking in an activity that is equal to murder?

Your point? Actually that is both Biblically and historically a Christian position.

  1. As it is possible for a female who has had an abortion to be excommunicated from the church, is it possible for a woman who has had an abortion to be Catholic?

Yes it is. A good confession will deal with that. They should see a good priest ASAP.

  1. Doesn’t it make sense that if a spouse is determined to HIV positive, the couple should be allowed to use condoms to protect the other spouse from death without the lifelong guilt that they are commiting a mortal sin?

Another matter that needs taking up with a good priest.

  1. If a married couple chooses to use birth control is it mentally healthy for them remain Catholic as their church views them as commiting a mortal sin, equal to murder, perhaps thousands of times over their entire adult life?

See my statements above about dissenters.

  1. Why are Catholic priests paid money while nuns are held to a vow of poverty?

Take that up with the specific orders. I think you’ll find that this is not the case.

  1. A man named Hedir Antonio de Brito of Brazil was refused marriage in the Catholic Church because he was impotent. He was impotent due to the fact that he became a paraplegic after receiving a gunshot wound. Do you think Jesus Christ would encourage the Catholic Church not to marry men that are impotent?

Take that up with the Bishop of that man’s diocese.

  1. Does the Catholic Church teach that bible stories like Noah’s Arc and Jonah and the whale are historical events and does the church belive that the earth is approximately 6000 years old based on what the bible states?

The Catholic Church does not teach the young earth beliefs. That is an error on the part of those that hold to that teaching.

  1. Doesn’t the fact that the Catholic Church requires one to be without grave sin before receiving Jesus Christ in the Eucharist contradict what Jesus taught?

No, it does not. See 1st Corinthians 11:23-30.

  1. Why does the Catholic Church teach that Jesus was Mary’s only child and that He didn’t have any brothers or sisters which is contrary to what the bible says in several places such as Matthew 13:55-56, Mark 6:3 & Matthew 1:24-25?

You need to do some serious research into the actual texts. See the articles on the CA mainpage library.

  1. If the church was wrong claiming that the sun revolved around the earth and only recently recanted and apologised for prosecuting Galileo, is it possible they might be wrong on other matters?

Not on matters of faith and morals.


#13

If you know so much… then explain it to us. Show us which of these events was as immoral as you have alleged.


#14

I’m not. Not the way you have framed them. Many of them seem like strawman questions to me. However, if you are willing to first hit the books, find out what actually happened, and then reframe your questions, I may reconsider. :slight_smile:


#15

Take a look at this MP3 on the Crusades. Click on the audio link on the November 7th talk.


#16

Other people have addressed this, but let me add my input. I’ve always been interested in the Crusades, and last year I read a book “A Concise History of the Crusades” by Thomas Madden. I don’t know if it is slanted, or not, but it seems to paint a picture of the Crusades which, if everyone had done what the Pope asked…
would have gone smashingly. Pope says “Don’t sack that city” the Crusaders sack it, and things go downhill. Pope excommunicates them, later relents, repeat. It showed how the original Muslim people who lived in the Holy Lands after its conquest were somewhat…diplomatic. That is, they knew the value of a buck. They were perfectly happy letting Christian pilgrims come unmolested to worship in our holy places. It was only with the influx of the Turkish Muslims I believe (who Belloc, if I am correct, asserts are the descendants of the very Mongols who had already threatened Christendom) that things got dicey.

  1. The Catholic Church, with the support of it’s heirarchy including bishops and cardinals, was not forthcoming and in thousands of cases actually protected and transferred priests who were guilty of child molestation which contributed to even more cases of child molestation. How can I support an organization whose heirarchy acted in this manner?

Hey, none of us like this. I think we all wish that every bishop we had was a toweringly heroic moral bulwark, staunchly standing against every heresy, moral ambiguity, and scent of scandal. But they’re people. And show me one organization that doesn’t have the unwritten rule “We protect our own.” An accusation like this is a damning thing, and, if false, it is damning on the one who made it, even as it destroys the life of the innocent accused. So, did the bishops screw up? Of course. Should we hold ourselves to a higher standard? Yes. Do I understand, in a sense, how and why it happened? Absolutely. It’s called sin. No one is immune.

  1. The Catholic Church representing Jesus Christ has a Just War Doctrine that actually supports war under certain circumstances. Isn’t this contrary to the teaching of Jesus Christ that you should love your enemies and if someone were to strike you on one cheek you should offer them the other?

As others have said, God himself never forbade war, and indeed, certainly seems to have commanded it. In light of this evidence that war is NOT an inherent evil, the Just War guidelines seem to be a way of controlling the actions of nations and soldiers, making sure they do not stray from the path of allowable behavior into something that would indeed be evil.

  1. Recently the Catholic bishops of the United States overwhelmingly approved new documents saying that any Catholic who disagrees with key church teachings should not take Communion. Is it possible to be Catholic and receive the Eucharist while not agreeing with the church on all their teachings?

Is that really what they said? I’m a bit fuzzy on it. I thought it was a matter of Catholics not upholding key teachings, rather than just privately disagreeing with them. For instance, there’s a difference between someone privately thinking that maybe women CAN be priests, and someone going out ordaining women. If that is what they said, then what it really means is, “Don’t sin and come to communion” Why on earth would they say this? read 1 Cor 11: 27-31. If Paul is right, receiving communion unworthily is downright dangerous!

Of course, there is another aspect, in which receiving communion is an act of…communion. We assert our community with Christ by receiving His Body. And we assert our community with His Body, the Church, by receiving His Body. This is a very real and total communion we partake in at the altar, and I don’t think it should be pretended at.


#17
  1. The Catholic Church teaches that masturbation, using birth control and having sex outside of marriage are mortal sins. The Catholic Church also teaches that murder is a mortal sin. Doesn’t this tell Catholics that if you are partaking in any of these sexual activities that you are actually partaking in an activitiy that is equal to murder?

I teach that jumping into a furnace can get you burned. I also teach that sticking your hand in a fire can get you burned too. If the point is that you don’t want to get burned, you should listen to both messages. Also, I think a point that is being missed is that these are both GRAVE MATTER. A little boy may not know that what he is doing is a sin, and thus, it is not a mortal sin, because mortal sin, by its very nature, must be a knowing rejection of God. On the other hand, most of us know that murder is wrong, so it is hard to escape mortal sin if you kill someone.

  1. As it is possible for a female who has had an abortion to be excommunicated from the church, is it possible for a woman who has had an abortion to be Catholic?

I imagine it is. It is my impression that you are a Catholic unless you formally renounce the faith. Sinning doesn’t make you stop being a Catholic. Does it mean she can be a Catholic in good standing? Not unless she repents and confesses her sin.

  1. Doesn’t it make sense that if a spouse is determined to HIV positive, the couple should be allowed to use condoms to protect the other spouse from death without the lifelong guilt that they are commiting a mortal sin?

That is, indeed, a tricky question. If contraception is not inherently evil, but merely used for a disordered purpose, one could make the argument that this case should be allowed. However, if, as I believe the Church teaches, use of artificial contraceptives is inherently against the natural order, it is evil to use. St. Paul said that we can not do evil that good may come of it. What you argue against is the inherent evil of contraception, not how it is applied.

  1. If a married couple chooses to use birth control is it mentally healthy for them remain Catholic as their church views them as commiting a mortal sin, equal to murder, perhaps thousands of times over their entire adult life?

Mentally healthy. I love it. It’s so deliciously vague and New Agey. It reminds me of a deacon I knew who used to say that “the Church isn’t here to put up roadblocks”. I always thought it was, because I happen to think roadblocks are good things. If the bridge is out, please, do put up a roadblock. Because I NEED TO KNOW that if I continue driving…I’m going to fall off a cliff. Same with sin. We need to know that our sinful behavior is sinful, because it is hurting us, whether we know it or not.

  1. Why are Catholic priests paid money while nuns are held to a vow of poverty?

Because they don’t take a vow of poverty. Plain and simple. The diocesan priest is, in a way, a loner. He needs the resources, on his own, to reach his flock, minister to them, and care for his own modest needs. Nuns and brothers live in community, and thus don’t need to individually have money.

  1. A man named Hedir Antonio de Brito of Brazil was refused marriage in the Catholic Church because he was impotent. He was impotent due to the fact that he became a paraplegic after receiving a gunshot wound. Do you think Jesus Christ would encourage the Catholic Church not to marry men that are impotent?

That depends on what you think marriage necessitates. Most people, myself included, believe that a true marriage requires the…ah…marital act, in the same way that a true Eucharist requires wheat bread. If the marital act cannot be performed, then you’re calling marriage something which really isn’t. Now, you can make the argument that marriage does not require consummation if you wish, but you’ll have a lot of cranky people disagreeing with you.


#18
  1. Does the Catholic Church teach that bible stories like Noah’s Arc and Jonah and the whale are historical events and does the church belive that the earth is approximately 6000 years old based on what the bible states?

I believe that the Church doesn’t have an official teaching on this, other than that there is a historical truth behind such events, even if they are not historically accurate as they are portrayed in the Bible. But the Church upholds the right of the faithful to believe for themselves in these matters, within certain dogmatic guidelines.

  1. Doesn’t the fact that the Catholic Church requires one to be without grave sin before receiving Jesus Christ in the Eucharist contradict what Jesus taught?

I don’t think so. True, Jesus went to sinners. But He required those sinners to follow Him, giving up their lives of sin. “Repent and be baptized” and all that.

  1. Why does the Catholic Church teach that Jesus was Mary’s only child and that He didn’t have any brothers or sisters which is contrary to what the bible says in several places such as Matthew 13:55-56, Mark 6:3 & Matthew 1:24-25?

Several people have addressed this well. I think the Church teaches it because it is true. As to why it should be true, one can argue that Mary was wholly committed to God, and to the work of her Son, who was God. There was no room for distraction from that in her fully graced life.

  1. If the church was wrong claiming that the sun revolved around the earth and only recently recanted and apologised for prosecuting Galileo, is it possible they might be wrong on other matters?

Did the Church ever claim that? Scientists claimed it. The reason Galileo got in trouble was twofold. One, he insisted on his theory in spite of the fact that he could not answer one of the chief scientific objections to it (namely, the lack of an observed parallax shift). Second, he insisted that, since his theory was right, the Church’s interpretation of the Bible must be wrong. That’s what teed off Church officials, including the Pope, who, it should be noted, was one of his biggest friends and patrons. Furthermore, the Church does not claim infallibility in areas of math, science, geology, biology, history, or Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. Faith and morals are where she is protected.


#19

Plugged In

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#20

please ask one question at a time
please ask it on the proper forum
please do a search on frequently asked questions, both on the forums and on the CA homepage, because all of your questions have been addressed many times here.
please do not make a sensational allegation like this one without some evidence to back it up. Until you provide a source for the claim you are making, no, we will not answer.


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