becoming Catholic

I have finally after 49 years on this earth decided that I should officially become a Catholic christian.I have struggled with this decision for most of my adult life as I have always felt at home in the Catholic mass and have never enjoyed protestant services or their theology,I believe that we must have works along with faith and that our following of Jesus is a lifelong process not a once saved always saved “fast food” process. I have been a member of a Catholic parish in the past and was active in community life but of course did not partake of holy communion,I almost feel that Catholicism was ingrained in me from birth " Irish heritage". my question; I have studied the Catholic catechism,read tons of books by Catholic apologists and i,m on board with the churches teachings,however I believe in the universal restoration of ALL SOULS only thru the sacrifice of our savior Jesus,that his love and strength is so powerful that in the end" every knee will bow and call him lord" I do believe that we are obviously held accountable for our actions and that many will have to go thru hell and suffer much for their sins to be burned away and cleansed. would this belief keep me from being received into the Catholic church ? thanks, Gael

Welcome home!!!

To become Catholic you must give assent to everything the Church teaches. I think her teaching on hell is probably pretty mild, something along the lines of “we must admit the possibility that some people go to hell”. Can you assent to that? I think you could assent to that while still believing (and certainly hoping, which is probably more to the point) that everyone will eventually be saved.

Yes, you must acknowledge that hell is real. That is a doctrine of the faith. Other than that, I am please to read your enthusiasm for the Church. :slight_smile:

We must believe in the existence of Hell, and we must believe that it is possible for human beings to go there, but the Church does not require us to believe that anyone is actually there at present, and makes no list of possible persons who might be there.

I am sure it will be possible to adjust your thinking to that small degree, and apart from that, you are good to go as far as I can tell. If you are required to go to RCIA, also make sure to supplement the course material with personal reading, especially in the Universal Catechism and other documents on subjects that are of interest to you that come from the Vatican. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the replies! at the end of the day I know I can never be happy or complete if I,m honest with myself unless I take the final step and convert officially to the Catholic Church.from the responses given I should be able to make the final step as I do believe in hell,just not sure if anyone is there. go well, Gael:thumbsup:

Virtually all of us have some point of doctrine we struggle with. The ultimately honest prayer is that of the desperate father: “Lord, I believe–help thou my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)

He honors our desire and understands our limits.

We must believe in the existence of Hell, and we must believe that it is possible for human beings to go there, but the Church does not require us to believe that anyone is actually there at present, and makes no list of possible persons who might be there.

This is inaccurate, the testimony of Tradition and Fathers is that some people are in Hell, and in fact the saints testify to their being many.

A person who converts cannot be a universalist, and must accept that there are some people in Hell. In fact, it is generally described as ‘many’.

Also, the fallen angels are all in Hell, and will always be there. It is said that 1/3 of them fell into Hell. There are uncountable fallen angels. Trillions is too little a number to describe it.

Men are not going to to be doing better than the angels.

I can say, “Welcome Home!” but I must add, “Embrace God!” and everything He reveals, hard to accept or not. That is what it means to be a Catholic – to accept what God has revealed, because He has revealed it – not because we like it or not.

Sin truly is a terrible thing! We have a lot to learn about love! And we must teach it for everyone’s sake!

We can be assured that when we are with God, we will like how things end, even if now we do not – we will be at peace with it. :smiley:

The world can be hard, it has many cliffs and difficulties. But all is and will be well with God!

I hope this is true as well. However, you need to keep in mind that God gave us free will for a reason. God wants our love. Love is not truly love unless we are free to give it or withhold it. If we withhold our love from God we are choosing hell, God is not sending us there. So if we believe in free will then we must at the very least be open to the possibility that some people will choose it.

I do believe that we are obviously held accountable for our actions and that many will have to go thru hell and suffer much for their sins to be burned away and cleansed. would this belief keep me from being received into the Catholic church ? thanks, Gael

The Church teaches that hell is forever. If anyone chooses it, they ain’t comin’ out.

Go talk to your pastor. I don’t know him, but I strongly suspect that he will tell you that in order to become Catholic you need only to be open to the possiblity that you are wrong, and be willing to pray for guidance on this issue.

Peace be with you, and welcome home.

however I believe in the universal restoration of ALL SOULS only thru the sacrifice of our savior Jesus,that his love and strength is so powerful that in the end" every knee will bow and call him lord"

Congratulations on deciding to enter the Church. But it sounds like you want to be Catholic AND universalist.

We can hope that all will be saved, but we certainly cannot believe it to be Truth. The preponderence of Scriptural evidence (coming from the mouth of Christ Himself) outweighs the fact that the Church does not formally declare anyone to be in hell.

I don’t mean to throw cold water on this, but it’s not a minor point.

From the Catholic Encyclopedia:
newadvent.org/cathen/01599a.htm

"In any case, the doctrine was formally condemned in the first of the famous anathemas pronounced at the Council of Constantinople in 543: Ei tis ten teratode apokatastasis presbeuei anathema esto [See, also, Justinian, Liber adversus Originem, anathemas 7 and 9.] The doctrine was thenceforth looked on as heterodox by the Church. "

Congratulations on your decision, Universalist! :thumbsup:

It’s always great to see people coming home to the Church. I’ve also become Catholic just a few weeks ago (I was baptized during the easter vigil).

As to the teaching of the church, yes - as the others here have said - we must accept what the Church teaches. On the other hand I think it is no shame, if someone struggles with some of these teachings. We all have to learn and sometimes we don’t understand everything what the Church teaches immediately. I did it this way in the past: If I had some problems with a teaching of the Church, I just said to myself: “Well, if I would listen to my own power of judgement, I would say “no” to this teaching. But I trust the Church and I’m going to accept it and perhaps I will also understand it later.” And I can say that untill now every problem which I had with a teaching of the Church has been resolved earlier or later. :wink:

Chrissi

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.