Are catholics their own worst enemy??

I’ve been reading about catholicism for years along with Orthodoxy and other beliefs.

I regularly attend a catholic church to pray there becuse I like the atmosphere.

I also attend an orthodoxy liturgy as I love the music.

However, there is something stopping me from taking that step over the threshold to more formally explore the catholic faith.

I don’t think I could enter the Orthodox church because of the contraception issue and the politics.

I admire the strength of the catholic church for never bowing to worldly pressure and falling in line with popular social opinion. It appears to have consistently stuck with the truth as it understands it.

However, the people put me off. However superficial that may seem, it’s true and it is a real stumbling block for me.

Today at work I had dealings with an Irish catholic family. Their faith was not the issue but it transpired at interview about something else that their son was causing a huge heartache to them by entering a proestant church. And the reason - he has disabilities and the protestant church has young people, an outreach programme, a music group and a drop in centre, a volunteer program and a summer activities program all run by young people. People he can identify with.

Apart from the Mass, their catholic church has nothing to offer him.

Their son describes the catholic congregation as a ‘‘bunch of decrepid old biddies’’.

It got me thinking of some of the people here, and some of the catholic people I’ve met in real life. They seriously put me off.

Now, I know the church is made up of imperfect people and that is no reason to refuse God’s saving grace in his church, but like it or not it is a factor that has an affect on people like me. And there are many like me out here.

The range of contacts I have had here and in real life are reflected in either an arrogant, ignorant, triumphalist superiority complex, or a quiet, unassuming insular individualist exercise of duty.

I’m not remotely bothered by people not talking to me after mass for example, but the fact is I’ve been attending the same church for several years and not one person has ever asked me about myself - the most I ever get is a smile, nod, and then they shuffle away, their duty done for the week.

The Church of England church I’ve attended a few times, on my very first visit, the vicar introduced himself to me after the service, she chatted for about an hour with me, we had tea and she introduced me to others around me, and then invited me to call in and visit any time I like and call her if there was ever anything I wanted to talk about.

A world of a difference to the catohlic church.

Now I’m sure there are active catholic churchs out there, but is my experiece the norm or the exception.

I can’t help but think that catholics are sometimes their own worst enemy.

As you rightly pointed out, the experience one might have in a Catholic parish varies from one to another. Ours is very welcoming with lots of group activities for nearly everyone. Ours is a very large parish, though.

If you want to talk to a very busy Catholic priest who may have more than one parish to attend to or is the only priest in the parish just call the parish office to set up an appointment. That’s how it’s done, you see.

And if there isn’t a group to suit you, start one (for those of us who are Catholics). Catholic groups and apostolates are started and run by lay people who are interested in doing it. As long as the pastor agrees to it, any parish can have any number of groups and avenues of interest for people.

Catholic parishes for the most part these days aren’t made up of a local community of people who all live together. My parish has people coming to it from several neighboring communities, so people leave Mass to go home to be with their families–to eat lunch–to live their lives. If you want to get to know Catholics introduce yourself or ask the priest to put you in touch with some folks who have things in common with you.

Catholics take their own spirituality and fellowship into their own hands, you see. :wink:

Don’t let surface things keep you from the graces of the Sacraments, though. Our eternal salvation is far more important than worrying about other people’s lack of warmth, don’t you think? :slight_smile:

Some times.

The issue over birth control is way overblown.

The Roman Catholic church is not the last word on the meaning of sex in a marriage, and it approves of birth control using the rhythm method, which completely contravenes the stated theory of Humanae Vitae that essentially says sex is solely for the purpose of creating life.

The issue of ‘politics’ in reference to Holy Orthodoxy is a non-starter.

But I will say that if you cannot get passed those two minor fluffs to actually examine what the Orthodox teach and believe, you probably should not consider it.

:slight_smile:

Thanks Hesychios - can you point me to some relevant texts on the above, maybe I’ve been reading from prejudiced sources.

Actually, The Church no longer teaches the rhythm method, they now teach Natural Family Planning.

If we are really sinners; and if God really wants to make of us something more than we are now, the process of our own sanctification will be the opposite of comfortable most of the time. If it is too comfortable, too welcoming and too festive over the “honor” of our presence then perhaps those are the biggest guns in that congregation’s particular arsenal and we’d be better off fighting the gates of hell in this world with bigger guns . . .like faith; Truth; the Sacraments. Don’t join a church because its “nice” or “comfortable” or because they have great programs and outreach. . .you must join the side of Truth for it’s own sake and on its own terms.

Seek ye first the kingdom of God . . .

Ands all those muffin baskets and barbeque invites shall be added unto you. :wink:

All my best . . .

Keep your mouth shut on issues you don’t know about, Hesychios. This isn’t the first time you’ve lied about the Catholic Church, either.

The official Catholic position on contraceptives is that they are never allowed for the prevention of transmission of life. The Church permits spouses to have sex during both fertile and inferitle times in a woman’s cycle because both were created by God - this is called Natural Family Planning.

OP, you can read the official teaching of the Church on sexuality here:
Humane Vitae: vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae_en.html
Familiaris Consortio: vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_jp-ii_exh_19811122_familiaris-consortio_en.html
The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality: vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/family/documents/rc_pc_family_doc_08121995_human-sexuality_en.html

I was going to answer but I think DELLA did a very good job and answer most of your questions. and remember us Cathloic have a lot of sinners in are CHurch lol Some churchs do not again LOL

Yes, the Catholic Church is a hospital for sinners.

There is the danger of horizontal worship rather than focusing on God. If one focusing on God and lives the life He wishes everything else falls into place.

Hi Hesychios,

I’m disappointed in your post here. Such a learned and articulate christian orthodox such as yourself could not have gotten the catholic church’s teaching on birth control/contraception wrong? The official church teaching is sex is used in the sacrament of marriage as an act of love and most importantly for the creation of children. It NEVER allows contraception. The use of NFP is for grave reasons only i.e medical reasons.

Blessings.

You are misrepresenting Catholic teaching.

Shame on you.

You got that right.

I’ve been reading about catholicism for years along with Orthodoxy and other beliefs.

I regularly attend a catholic church to pray there becuse I like the atmosphere.

I also attend an orthodoxy liturgy as I love the music.

However, there is something stopping me from taking that step over the threshold to more formally explore the catholic faith.

I don’t think I could enter the Orthodox church because of the contraception issue and the politics.

I admire the strength of the catholic church for never bowing to worldly pressure and falling in line with popular social opinion. It appears to have consistently stuck with the truth as it understands it.

However, the people put me off. However superficial that may seem, it’s true and it is a real stumbling block for me.

Today at work I had dealings with an Irish catholic family. Their faith was not the issue but it transpired at interview about something else that their son was causing a huge heartache to them by entering a proestant church. And the reason - he has disabilities and the protestant church has young people, an outreach programme, a music group and a drop in centre, a volunteer program and a summer activities program all run by young people. People he can identify with.

Apart from the Mass, their catholic church has nothing to offer him.

Their son describes the catholic congregation as a ‘‘bunch of decrepid old biddies’’.

It got me thinking of some of the people here, and some of the catholic people I’ve met in real life. They seriously put me off.

Now, I know the church is made up of imperfect people and that is no reason to refuse God’s saving grace in his church, but like it or not it is a factor that has an affect on people like me. And there are many like me out here.

The range of contacts I have had here and in real life are reflected in either an arrogant, ignorant, triumphalist superiority complex, or a quiet, unassuming insular individualist exercise of duty.

I’m not remotely bothered by people not talking to me after mass for example, but the fact is I’ve been attending the same church for several years and not one person has ever asked me about myself - the most I ever get is a smile, nod, and then they shuffle away, their duty done for the week.

The Church of England church I’ve attended a few times, on my very first visit, the vicar introduced himself to me after the service, she chatted for about an hour with me, we had tea and she introduced me to others around me, and then invited me to call in and visit any time I like and call her if there was ever anything I wanted to talk about.

A world of a difference to the catohlic church.

Now I’m sure there are active catholic churchs out there, but is my experiece the norm or the exception.

It sounds like you are looking more for a family than a church.

Best wishes in your search.

**I can’t help but think that catholics are sometimes their own worst enemy./**QUOTE]

Yes they are. But the road to salvation is narrow and few people take it!

Are the two mutually exclusive? I’m not lookingfor a family by the way - I’ve got one, but you’re welcome to borrow them if you want :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks for the links Eucharisted.

I’ve just read Humanae Vitae.

On first reading there’s a lot I disagree with. It also seems to be contradictary. I realise I’ll be told it isn’t. :slight_smile:

Seems like it’s saying periods of abstenance is good for the couple, but at the same time to deliberately abstain in fertile periods without good reason is morally wrong.

I guess it’s about intent again, but it does seem to be tying itself in knots in places.

Hi Guyonthestreet,

In my parish people come together to worship on Sunday. Sometimes we say hello to a few people after mass. But we get to know each other through the other activities in the parish. There is a day and an evening bible study, Knights of Columbus, sodality of Our Lady, choir practice, daily mass, committees for various activities, social justice committee, liturgy committees, etc.

It may be that the other people at mass probably think you are just another member of the parish or perhaps from a nearby parish. To make friends, you will have to introduce yourself to the pastor or some of the parishoners. They may be surprised that you attend mass since you aren’t Catholic.

You might like to consider beginning the RCIA process even if at this time you don’t intend to finish the process and become Catholic. If you attend at least the Inquiry sessions you would get to know some members of the parish. Although the RCIA was originally intended for unbaptized people coming into the Church, in many/most places those who are already Christian are included.

Don’t give up on Catholics yet.

You say you have a family. Do they go to church with you?

A Church should be a family, but in the analogy we are the child, not the parent.

It is my understanding that the Church sees the marital act within the bonds of the Sacramental marriage as life-giving in and of itself, because it is tantamount to a renewal of the wedding vows. It is the gift of self to one another fully, and without reservation. If you are not open to the gift of life as a result of this union, you are not paying due reverence to the icon of Marriage. It is the allegorical (but incarnational and therefore actual) equivalent of saying to God . . .“Daily bread and forgive me, Lord,” without any “Hallowed be thy name.”

Children are often as unwelcome in this world as are sinners in the Church or strangers at the door. I guess there’s a lot more to this “pro-life” thing after all.

All my best . . .

Hi Claire - no, as a family I guess you’d say we’re not the church type. :smiley: They know I go to various churchs though, but make nothing of it. It’s my thing. They’re not much interested except for funerals and weddings :smiley:

As for making friends, I don’t think I got my point across clearly. I have no problem saying hi to people, and introducing myself. But I’ve found a really big difference between the catholic and protestant church in terms of how they deal with strangers.

I was more getting at the perceived external differences in the churchs and people. And if that in some way affects some peoples desire to explore the church further.

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