Asking Questions about the Church's Validity

I tried to add a poll to my other post, but it did not come out for some reason, even though I believe I checked the box to have a poll. Anyhow, here it is:

[quote=Madaglan]I tried to add a poll to my other post, but it did not come out for some reason, even though I believe I checked the box to have a poll. Anyhow, here it is:
[/quote]

Nope, still not here.

-Jim

The poll is there now
:slight_smile:

We need to distinguish between belief and understanding. We must believe what the Church teaches and accept it. We accept it, not because we understand it, but by faith.

Understanding is one of the gifts of the Holy Ghost. We can pray for better understanding of doctrinal matters, and even ask questions to help us understand better. There is no problem with asking question to help us understand, but there is a problem with a Catholic asking questions in order to believe. In other words, we do not believe because we understand, we seek to understand because we believe.

We all seem to have faith in the scientists who have told us about DNA. We do not understand it, yet we all believe in such a thing as DNA. Why do we believe in DNA? Because we “believe” (have faith) in the scientists who have told us about it. We may also seek to better understand DNA, yet our initial belief did not come from our understanding. That is the way our faith must be. We must believe because that is what the Church teaches. If we do believe, then we can have the Holy Ghost help us to understand.

In conlcusion, our questions are alright as long as they are seeking a better understanding; they are wrong if we are going to base our belief on the answers. For if that were the case, our faith would not be faith. St. Augustine said that “those who believe only what they understand believe themselves rather than God”.

I believe that God gave us a mind to reason with… otherwise “Freewill” makes little sence… I would never question anyones faith, but blind faith can be dangerous… i.e., see the middleeast… God is a choice, he planned it that way… to question who you are and why you are here is only natural, and the same questions asked of the church seem just as natural… :twocents:

Wow, thanks for your help everyone. I’m really surprised at the poll results right now. I thought they would have been skewed one way or the other. Interesting :slight_smile:

I think one SHOULD check this matter out, and then teach one’s children these answers. They are a natural part of catechesis.

Anyway… Catholics have historically been questioning types anyway. It has been one of the ways that we have remained strong. The charge has been made from time to time that we do not question what the church teaches, but I cetainly haven’t seen it in my life as a Catholic. Books like Catholic For A Reason & The Privilege of Being Catholic from here: amm.org/chss/chss.htm
are great ways to answer these questions. People who haven’t answered these questions for themselves are sitting ducks for evangelism by other religions. That’s one good thing about this forum

Well, in terms of apologetics, if we’re not willing to question our convictions, how can we expect other people to do so? I think the lowest common denominator among people of good will has to be a respect and an honest seeking for truth. If we stop listening to reasonable arguments or asking reasonable questions, we’re not being people of faith-- we’re being superstitious.

My answer was the last one-- although I believe that the Church deserves the benefit of the doubt, and that if you really think things through you will see that Church teachings are correct.

I think asking the question allows us to better understand the answer.

How can we really have faith unless we have been on this journey?

I’ve found that reverts and converts are oftentimes more secure, involved, or convicted about their Catholic faith than those who have never questioned it.

Greg

RCisco was right-on :clapping: You have to do the research to KNOW what your faith is all about. If more Catholics would actually READ Church History and about the Reformation, they would KNOW that the Catholic Church IS the TRUE Church.

I don’t blame Protestants for their beliefs, it’s all they know. It’s what was passed on to them from their ancestors. You tend to believe what you are brought up to believe.

Church History shows us first that our Church was founded by Christ who hand-picked the first “pope” (though that title came some time later), and his Apostles (who became the first Bishops). He ordained them priests at the “Last Supper”, giving them the power to change bread and wine into his body and blood as he did. (“Do THIS in memory of me.” MEANT TO DO AS HE DID) He gave them the power to forgive sins when he breathed the Holy Spirit on them and said, “Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven, and whose sins you shall retain they are retained.” He also gave PETER the keys of Heaven and the power to loose and bind ( Matt 16:19) He promised to send the Holy Spirit to lead them (as a teaching body-not individually) into all truth and, most importantly, he promised that the GATES OF HELL WILL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST MY CHURCH. (singular)

So, knowing that, and knowing that the Catholic (UNIVERSAL) Church WROTE the bible that the Protestants abridged (Luther in the 16th century) and tried to claim as the sole source of faith ignoring sacred tradition (the things John told us were NOT in the bible because all the books in the world would not hold all the things Jesus did) and the authority of the Pope, how could I believe a faith that believes that Jesus is a liar and that HIS CHURCH went bad after 1600 years when he said it would not? And could I believe in a faith that was FORCED on a people (the English) by a blasphemous king who declared HIMSELF the head of the Church in England so that he could divorce his legal wife to marry another. Not to mention the priests and Bishops he had hanged, drawn and quartered when they wouldn’t go along with him. The true Church was forced underground and was a seed-bed for saints and myrtyrs.

Yes, the Catholic Church had some bad people in it, but the Church itself has perservered just as Christ promised.

I am proud to stand with Christ’s Church–ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC AND APOSTOLIC.

Lindalou :yup:

I checked heresy and mortally sinful.

Dear CC,

Only those who are firmly convinced yet leave the Church would be guilty of mortal sin. I figure that those who have the disposition to question are not firmly convinced and would thus not be guilty of any sin. Such questioning will, by the grace of the Spirit, only strengthen their faith, whereby they will be firmly convinced.

God bless,

Greg

RCisco was right-on :clapping: You have to do the research to KNOW what your faith is all about. If more Catholics would actually READ Church History and about the Reformation, they would KNOW that the Catholic Church IS the TRUE Church.

Church History and the Reformation from whose perspective?

I think it’s important to look at history from multiple points of view and to discern the motives and honesty of each historian.

For example, we live in a country which originally was an English colony. We still share many links with England and its intellectual history. For this reason, we attach the title, The Reformation, approximately to the period between 1517 and the Peace of Westphalia (or thereabouts). Likewise, we call the period from the Fall of Rome (the late 5th century) to an indefinite period of time before the Renaissance as the Dark Ages.

Whereas the first title implies that theologians like Luther and Calvin, and the sects they created, brought back pure Christianity to Europe–in other words, Christian Europe, once Catholic and corrupt, is now truly Christian and therefore reformed. Personally, I feel that the radical activity of the 16th century better desserves the title, The Deformation.
Very much the same can be said for the Dark Ages. Although the Church during this time had continuing difficulties with Arians and later, Albigensians, the Church was seen as very powerful and in cohorts with the state governments to oppress and withold knowledge from the people. I would imagine, however, even if these conditions existed, that they are blown out of proportion.

[quote=GAssisi]I’ve found that reverts and converts are oftentimes more secure, involved, or convicted about their Catholic faith than those who have never questioned it.

Greg
[/quote]

I’ve noticed that too. Cradle Catholics have tended to take their faith for granted, compared to converts from Protestantism and other faiths.

Gerry :slight_smile:

The so-called Dark Ages wasn’t really that dark at all. The monasteries in fact remained centres of learning, scholarship and civilization in a sea of warfare and barbarism in those days following the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 A.D., and thus truly deserves credit for preserving such learning.

Gerry :slight_smile:

Had I not questioned, I never would have found my faith in The Catholic Church. I looked everywhere, up, down and around corners. When I looked into Catholicism, read, questioned, and prayed, there was my faith. At home in Rome! :dancing:

The initial question was “What’s your attitude towards questioning the Catholic Church’s claim of her own validity”…
I voted heresy…Let he who questions the Church be anathema. As a true and devoted Catholic, loyal to the Holy Father, and the teaching authority of the Magisterium of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, I firmly believe that I should not question her validity!

In ref. to Madaglan refering to Catholic Europe being corrupt during the time of the Reformation:

Obviously you HAVEN’T read the reformation. Yes, there were some bad practices, one of them being the selling of indulgences which are supposed to be free. The other big thing was clergy living too “well”.
You must remember that Jesus PROMISED that HIS Church would prevail AGAINT THE GATES OF HELL. Could he have LIED?? We know better than that. So did he need a priest who was EXCOMMUNICATED for heresy to change the hierarchy that Christ had set up and had been working just as Christ KNEW it would?? That makes as much sense as one of the priests who commited abuses in the Church today forming their own “church” and forcing it on the faithful.

And what about good ole King Henry VIII making HIMSELF head of the Church in England. That would be like President Bush declaring himself head of the Catholic Church in America and then either killing (the good king’s favorite method of dealing with Clergy who refused to follow HIM was hanging until they were not quite dead, and then cutting them down, and drawing and quartering them with heated utensils). The good king even seized the monastaries which had housed not just clergy, but those who had nowhere else to go. The monastaries took care of those who had noone to take care of them. The monastic system was better than welfare and the good king destroyed it, along with any who dared to oppose him. He made it ILLEGAL to practice the ancient faith. THAT’S REFORM??? :frowning:

Originally Quoted by lindalou725:

In ref. to Madaglan refering to Catholic Europe being corrupt during the time of the Reformation:

Obviously you HAVEN’T read the reformation. Yes, there were some bad practices, one of them being the selling of indulgences which are supposed to be free. The other big thing was clergy living too “well”.

The basis for my beliefs concerning the Reformation is on what I HAVE read about the Reformation–not only from those secular, non-Catholic historians, but also from the pens of Catholic historians themselves–even those Catholic historians accused as manipulating real history to favor the Catholic position, admit that many of the clergy throughout Europe and during the the time of the Reformation were corrupt (not all, but a good portion.) Take the Inquisition for example. Some Protestants say that it was vicious, evil and run by evil monks. Some Catholic say that very little to none of the violence attributed to it ever happened. The more level-headed historians say that the Inquisition was spread across so many centuries that one cannot really generalize. At times the Inquisition was more just than the secular courts; at other times the Inquisition was viciously cruel. The Inquisition has to be put into context.

Originally quoted by lindalou725:

And what about good ole King Henry VIII making HIMSELF head of the Church in England. That would be like President Bush declaring himself head of the Catholic Church in America and then either killing (the good king’s favorite method of dealing with Clergy who refused to follow HIM was hanging until they were not quite dead, and then cutting them down, and drawing and quartering them with heated utensils). The good king even seized the monastaries which had housed not just clergy, but those who had nowhere else to go. The monastaries took care of those who had noone to take care of them. The monastic system was better than welfare and the good king destroyed it, along with any who dared to oppose him. He made it ILLEGAL to practice the ancient faith. THAT’S REFORM??? :frowning:

You are right. I personally don’t agree with what King Henry and his court advisors did. And when King Henry VIII closed down all monasteries (only after first closing just the small ones) he cast many monks into the streets without any way to maintain a living. In answer to your question: It was not a Reformation, but a Deformation.

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