Beginning to have doubts about being Catholic


#1

Hello,

I am beginning to have my doubts about being Catholic. A few reasons are because I am beginning to see lots of Liturgical Abuse in lots of different Parishes such as placing money on the altar, liturgical dance, the sharing of the blood of Jesus with parishioners, the watered down liturgy etc. I am beginning to look into the Eastern Orthodox Church, because it seems that the liturgy they celebrate is not watered down and it is also very spiritual. I am just worried about being Catholic because I always have to worry about going to a parish with a bad liturgy because there bishops allowed them due to the " spirit of Vatican 2 ". I’m also worried about going to a Mass that is invalid, where the eucharist is not presant due to the abuse of the priest, and I do not want to commit idolatry. I have these thoughts due to anxiety, and I was wondering if anybody can please help me with this? Is anybody else going through this phase also?

God Bless,
BVMFatima


#2

Don’t misunderstand me. The liturgy is IMPORTANT. But it would seem that you think the liturgy is MORE important than the Church that has the authority to govern the liturgy.

Have you considered seeking out an Eastern Catholic Church and attending Divine Liturgy there?


#3

[quote=BVMFatima;10211852Hello,
] I don’t care for any of these either…
[/quote]

I’m also worried about going to a Mass that is invalid, where the eucharist is not presant due to the abuse of the priest, and I do not want to commit idolatry. I have these thoughts due to anxiety, and I was wondering if anybody can please help me with this? Is anybody else going through this phase also?

I’m not happy about the way the Church has gone, a priest saying Mass is still a priest, even if we don’t care for him, that same priest hears your confession, and he’s a sinner like us all. The Eucharist is still valid in his hands…

God Bless,
BVMFatima


#4

There are not any in my area, otherwise I would try it out, and I don’t think liturgy is more important than the Church. What I am concerned about is liturgical abuse.


#5

It’s kinda weird reading this since judging by your profile, you’re from Hartford, CT which is not far from where I live. I think the question isn’t about whether you should remain a Catholic but whether you should remain at your parish. Have you talked to an apologist? Or even a Bishop? I know it might be difficult for you to attend another parish but you shouldn’t let this prevent you from fulfilling your obligation or attend with all this liturgical abuses going on (if this is really the case---- which probably is because even Cardinal Arinze says that liturgical dancing shouldn’t even be suggested for Mass in North America or Europe).

Also, switching to Eastern Orthodox wouldn’t really resolve the issue since there is a distinct difference between the EO and RC Church and liturgical abuses can occur anywhere.

Honestly, this question isn’t something an anonymous CAF member can properly answer.


#6

Ok first, not everything you listed is an abuse. Having the laying receive the consecrated wine is not an abuse. And while the other things are abuses, most of them pretty slight, money in a basket brought up with the gift… really, that is what you are worried about. Yes liturgical dancers are annoying, they hardly make the Mass invalid.

You need to understand that just because Judas is part of the Church, or maybe Peter who thought that the gentiles needed to be circumcised, doesn’t mean the Church is not the true Church. What I am reading from your posts is that you think that sinners in the Church make it so bad that you need to leave and go somewhere else, (whether that be sede or Orthodox). You might leave and then what, be in schism, excommunicated…? I am sorry but salvation is much more important than liturgy. Please go see a priest and discuss these temptations of yours.


#7

BVMFatima:

How many liturgical dances have you seen personally at mass in the last month?

Give a specific example of the liturgy being “watered down.”

Explain what you mean by “parishioners putting money on the altar.”

What “spirit of Vatican II?”

What specific abuses are the priests doing to make the mass “invalid”

Do you know the difference between “ex opera operato” and “ex opere operantis” and where this difference applies? If you don’t, you really should: google it.

Do you know that we cannot just willy-nilly change rites (change enrollment in a sui juris church)?


#8

Spiritual attacks seem to come in waves, and the doubt and discouragement that you are experiencing is consistent with what others are going through on these same forums. Doubt and discouragement are the devil’s two main weapons. They are the original assault weapons, and are intended to kill the soul.

While at mass, focus on the Tabernacle, as those around Jesus have always been, and will always be sinners. The devil would love nothing so much as to tempt you away from the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ.

“Resist the devil, and he will flee” James 4:7. Your diocese has a Bishop whose office deals with liturgical abuses, if the parish Priest will not.


#9

May I suggest you see the current liturgical abuse as something temporary that the church has trouble with? Things have never been simple around here, there has always been heresy to battle and some sort of illegitimate practice that had to be squashed. I completely understand where you are coming from and I detest the so-called spirit of V2 that allows all sorts of nonsense. However, I see it is as just a crisis that will pass (even if I don’t live to see it) and something that we have to endure. We live in a certain time and thus have to deal with problems of today. The eastern orthodox have other problems even though they did not get ‘creative’ with their liturgy. Schism, for a start.


#10

I am not familiar with all this talk about liturgy, bad priests, Vatican 2 etc. I hear people talk about it and some churches want the Latin rites etc. All I can say is this I was an altar-boy when the mass was in Latin and I understood nothing, after Vatican 2 it was in English and I was able to participate in the mass. I go to mass and fix my eyes on the Crucifix, the liturgy, the singing and the homily are all helpful but it is the words of Christ in the Readings, his words in the offertory, his sacrifice through his crucifixion, his death and resurrection, it is this we celebrate this in the mass and I am always mindful of this truth that he offered us his body and blood for the redemption of our sins and I receive this in faith. To pay attention to the sinners hand that offers it to me, to pay attention to the weak person whose voice echoes the words of Christ is refuse Christ and to ignore Christ and his immense love for us.
I would ask you to rather pray for these weak people, pray for their conversion, pray that they too may understand, love and live to be like the Christ they serve.
I have been to churches around the world where the mass is said in a foreign language that I did not understand, would that mass be constituted as invalid?
The Catholic church offers everyone the opportunity to reconcile oneself with God through reconciliation, and an opportunity to turn away from sin and come closer to God and become more Christlike. One should not spurn ones gifts because one feels slighted by the presence of sinners we should always be mindful that we are all sinners and we are all pilgrims on this journey towards heaven.
May the Holy Spirit comfort you, guide you and fill you with his gifts.


#11

Exactly right! We do not call a funeral director when we have a cold. It passes, especially if we take care of it. This is a call for the OP to confront the abusive Priests, if any, or to notify them of the liturgical abuses that are occurring. If that does not work, and if the Bishop does nothing to curb the abuses, we are then called to patiently endure the suffering. Gazing only at the Tabernacle during mass will take the focus off of the other sinners present.


#12

Keep close to GOD our Father and his HOLY SON Jesus. Read and understand his words he had written for us. Many men will fall and teach and speak false things that will lead many to question their faith. This is why we have 100’s of different Christian religions in which they all disagree, for almost all have bent their practices to the desires of man. If you read Gods word and pray to our Holy Father our GOD to help you see, you will know when men are teaching GODS word and are being guided by GOD. You will also know when they are not. A lost man can enter any church and preach…this is why we need to know GODS word and instruction. Man cannot see mans heart for a man’s tongue can easily lie and can easily deceive another man. Man CANNOT deceive GOD because only GOD and Savior know our hearts.


#13

Please, the Eastern Catholic Churches aren’t safety nets for Roman Catholics who want to become Orthodox. If one wants to explore Orthodoxy, let them explore Orthodoxy. If they really want to become Orthodox, the Eastern Catholic Churches won’t change that fact. If it is just a passing fancy, then they have satisfied their curiosity by exploring Orthodoxy and they can continue being Roman Catholic with all the “what-ifs” answered.

Great point. No Church is free from scandal, because they are full of sinners like you and me. It is important to be up front about this, because if we are expecting perfection in some other parish or Church, we are just setting ourselves up for disappointment.


#14

are you being treated for anxiety? People who suffer from anxiety disorders have a difficult time discerning serious worries from mere annoyances. Perhaps you would be more comfortable at a Traditional Latin Mass?


#15

Christ established a Church 2000 years ago along with the promise that hell would never prevail against Her. The Catholic Church has never contradicted it’s moral theory in it’s 2000 year history and there is a clear line of succession between St. Peter and Pope Benedict XVI.

Liberalism and abuses at the parish level is evidence of an attack against the Catholic Church, not a defeat. The magisterium and the papacy of the Church has not fallen to the influence of Satan, nor will it. We need devout individuals like yourself inside the Church if we are going to start to repair the parish-level damage done by the spirit of Vatican II.

For the sake of your own soul and for the sake of Christ’s divinely established Church, please don’t leave the Catholic Church.

That said, do please find a parish that doesn’t allow for the kinds of abuses that you are describing. I had to turn my back on two parishes that were rife with liberalism since I returned to the Church, but I did eventually find a fairly traditional Novus Ordo and it is really quite beautiful.


#16

Hi,
:slight_smile:
I understand your feelings about the current Mass and how it can be abused greatly by those who don’t properly celebrate it. The Orthodox Church has its own set of issues, even though they aren’t the same issues as you mentioned. I find that prayer, and especially the rosary to Our Lady the Theotokos helps a lot with stress and anxiety. Remember that she’s our Mother, and is there to listen to anything we need to get off of our chest… so that she too can pray for us.

If you ever decided to come into the Orthodox Church, you would be more than welcome to do so. Yet I would make sure that it’s for the right reasons, and not for the wrong reasons. If you truly believe Truth is only found outside of Rome and looking East, then that would be a right reason. A wrong reason would be over something negative, because we didn’t like this or that. There are many things which I don’t necessarily like about my current parish, but the Orthodox Faith itself is more important to me.

I hope that things go well for you, and you are able to discern where God is calling you in this. :thumbsup:

In Christ,
Andrew


#17

[quote="BVMFatima, post:1, topic:310481"]
Hello,

I am beginning to have my doubts about being Catholic. A few reasons are because I am beginning to see lots of Liturgical Abuse in lots of different Parishes such as placing money on the altar, liturgical dance, the sharing of the blood of Jesus with parishioners, the watered down liturgy etc. I am beginning to look into the Eastern Orthodox Church, because it seems that the liturgy they celebrate is not watered down and it is also very spiritual. I am just worried about being Catholic because I always have to worry about going to a parish with a bad liturgy because there bishops allowed them due to the " spirit of Vatican 2 ". I'm also worried about going to a Mass that is invalid, where the eucharist is not presant due to the abuse of the priest, and I do not want to commit idolatry. I have these thoughts due to anxiety, and I was wondering if anybody can please help me with this? Is anybody else going through this phase also?

God Bless,
BVMFatima

[/quote]

I am a little puzzled here--what exactly is so horrendous (except for possibly liturgical dance) that would cause you to leave the Catholic Church? Furthermore, who or what is putting these ideas into your head--people just don't think them up on their own-someone sows a seed of doubt.

How many times have you actually seen "liturgical dance"? (And don't tell me there is an example on You-tube, because that is one place no one has a clue about what's going on). Sharing the Blood of Jesus with the parishoners (receiving both the Body and Blood of Jesus) is perfectly legitimate and done all over the world; bringing baskets of money from the collection to the altar is the usual way of doing things during the offertory, and what, precisely, is a 'watered down" liturgy? There is not one thing here that would be classified as an abuse, except for the "liturgical dance", and that is far from the worst type of abuse that could happen.

If you are hanging around with people who are telling you things that are not true about the Mass, or people not in Communion with Rome, or people who don't like Vatican II or the OF,and blame all the problems of the Church on it, you owe it to yourself and God to educate yourself on the facts of things, and obtain a clear-headed idea of what it is you are objecting to. Saying that Mass is "watered down" is an example of muddled, not clear thinking. If you have friends that are planting seeds of doubt in your head, they are placing your soul in grave danger. Leaving the CC for the Orthodox is serious business for a Catholic. They are not in Communion with each other. You will have rejected papal authority the way the CC teaches, and you would also have some theological and doctrinal differences to accept. Leaving the Church is serious business.

Before you designate something as "liturgical abuse", be sure it IS abuse; before you question the validity of the Eucharist, be sure you know WHAT makes the Eucharist
invalid, and before you say a liturgy is "watered down", be sure you are able to say exactly what is watered down and why. Otherwise, you will not be taken seriously by people , and your anxiety will not be relieved.

And quit listening to all the negative voices out there. There are plenty of beautiful and reverent liturgies said every single day, but if you go with a critical eye, you will find something you don't like about every single one of them. I have actually read criticism about the beautiful papal liturgies on these very forums. Imagine, someone criticizing the way the head of the Church does a liturgy! That is how negative things can get.

This may sound harsh, but someone with anxiety issues needs to put a name to what is making them anxious, not wander around with unspecified or inarticulate fears. You need to confront what is making you anxious and find out the truth about it. And you don't need to have people feeding into the anxiety and supporting it. I understand how this is, because I struggled with it for years. Find a trusted, good priest or spiritual director that you can talk about these things with, one who can be objective about things. Educate yourself, but be careful about what you read--be sure it is Church teaching. And don't leave the Church without careful consideration and prayer.


#18

We would really need some clarification from you, please –
Placing money on the altar – please describe exactly what you mean by that, when and how it happens?
Are you personally seeing liturgical dance in your parish? There’s a lot of talk about it in some circles, but it doesn’t happen everywhere.
Communion in both kinds – what is making you think that something allowed by the Church is an “abuse”?
“Watered down liturgy” – is there something specific in the Missal that is not being followed?

Exactly what is the priest in your parish doing or not doing that would invalidate the Mass? It would take a great deal to say that he is not validly confecting the Eucharist.


#19

Here’s my 2 cents worth. It sounds to me like you take the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Real Presence seriously. Therefore, Satan has good reason to lead you astray with doubts & fears. Don’t let the Deceiver deceive you! Talk to a priest about your concerns, pray for guidance & don’t do anything hasty. My prayers are with you.


#20

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