Believing all teachings of the Church


#1

I am not a Catholic, but have been going to mass for several months and want to start RCIA in the fall. I am just wondering, do you HAVE to believe in what the church teaches 100%? I know nobody would really ever know if a person did or not, unless they said something, but I have a problem thinking that I would be baptised into a church when I didn’t believe in all of its teachings.

For one thing, I need to get an anulment before even being baptised, I dont understand why, when I wasn’t a catholic when I got married. I also am wondering about the no birth control even when married. I noticed a thread in another area, where someone was advised by her dr to not become pregnant. If NFP wouldnt work for this married couple, then abstinence was indicated as a solution. To me, that seems to be saying that sex outside of having a child isn’t right, even if married.

So, anyway, I’m just wondering if you all believe it all, or how you deal with not believing it all. Aargh, I’m so confused…lol.

Thanks so much, I love this forum, you guys have helped me out a lot!!!


#2

I’m not sure, but i think you must believe that birth control is bad.


#3

This is the way I look at it Im going to ask you a queston. lets say the church shortly after Jesus resurected. Do you think the apostles said it was ok to disagree with them? Do you think it was ok for anyone to disagree with the Church Jesus left the world.

The thing is this is the Church Jesus founded at least try to understand her teachings with a open heart I promiss they are not all that hard.


#4

You should probably start separate threads for the annulment and contraception questions. Books on the subjects might be especially helpful. Catholic.com has some.

To your question, let’s make an analogy. If you were following Christ, would you be free to pick and choose what teachings he gave you? Of course not. You either submit to his teaching authority and do your best to understand from that perspective, or you don’t.

Well, similiarly, with Christ’s Church, you either recognize the voice of authority or you don’t. When the Church formally defines a teaching of faith or morals, that’s it.

It’s not a matter of seeing how many similar opinions you share. There’s no such thing as being 99% Catholic.


#5

those so called rules are not rules at all to a well formed conscience.

[Christopher West Book Theology of the body for beginners pg 40]
“Most people look at Christian morality-especially sexual morality-as an oppressive list of rules to follow. How far this misunderstanding is from the living morality proclaimed by Christ! The Gospel dosen’t give us more rules to follow. The Gospel is meant to change our hearts so that we no longer need the rules(see cathichsm 1968) To the degree that we experince this change of heart we experience freedom from the law(Rom7;Gal 5) not freedom to break the law; freedom to fullfill it.”
"Heres an example of what freedom from the law looks like: Do you have any desire to murder your best friend? This may seem like an odd question, but it actually demonstrate the point. Assuming you do not, then you dont need that comandment. Thou shall not murder thy best friend. Because you have no desire to break it. To this extent you are free from the law. In other words, you don’t experience this law as an imposition because your heart conforms to it.

before original sin the human heart comformed to Gods. that is what Christ came back for to show us how to conform our will to his. and the Church is there to help

one last thing
When we allow Chist into our hearts we no longer need the law because we no longer desire to break them. What law do you still need? What teachings of the Church still feel like a burdan or impostion to you? Perhaps the problem isn’t the law or the Church, but with your “hardness of heart” dont throw away the law surender your disordered desires to Christ and let him transform them.

You should really read this book I found it helpfull. Ill pray for you. You are at the right place to find out what the Church teaches and why. Just read with a open heart.


#6

You don’t have to understand all teachings 100%. You can say to yourself, “Well, I don’t really get what’s so wrong about this, but if the Church says so, I’ll go with it.”

Of course, it’s better to understand what’s going on!

The thing is, a lot of this stuff comes, at least in its basic form, from the early Church. The Romans had contraception, too, and the Church stood against it. (So did Jewish people, btw.) The Christian stand on marriage as meaning something was admired by the pagans.

I agree that we need two threads for this, though!


#7
  1. If you actually KNOW 100% of what the Catholic Church teaches, you are very very smart. Much smarter than me.

  2. Even if you know 100% of what the church teaches right now, there may be some new teachings that come up in the future that you might disagree with - for example, the teaching on embryonic stem cell research.

  3. So the possibility will always exist that at some point there will be a church teaching that you didn’t know about until just now, or that just popped up that you’re not sure about.

Given the above items, most good Catholics try very hard to accept all Church teaching, and if they don’t quite “believe it”, they keep studying and praying to be convinced. They keep an open mind while they study the teachings in more detail.

But…if there is some key teaching that you are absolutely, positively, “will never change your mind no matter what” kind of disagreement right now, I wouldn’t enter the church until I had that one under my belt.

IMHO.


#8

As Catholics, do we have to accept everything the Church teaches? <-- clickable link


#9

By “don’t quite believe it” I assume you’re referring to difficulties. Cardinal Newman would say that 10,000 difficulties do not amount to one doubt.

It’s important to keep in mind the difference. The existence of mystery is a condition of humanity’s limited scope of vision and not reason for despair.


#10

Hello,

I am not sure why you would need an annulment before you can be baptised. I am not familiar with the annulment process but I would think that baptism is extremely important. Perpahs you should talk to a priest about this one.

Now for birth control, I understand your frustration but you have to look through the awesome power that God has given the Sacrament of Marriage. There are two things a married couple must be open to: Unity and Life! Birth control interferes with what God intended our marriage to be. You love God and you love your spouse so much that your willing to give yourself completly with no regrets to each other! From that awesome love a new life may be formed! That is part of your vocation to marriage! We are not here to receive self gratification but to offer everything up to God, trust him and glorify him!

I hope this helps.

It is by faith through grace that one comes to believe in the truth! … even if you don’t understand everything.

I will pray for you!

Thanks,

Luiz


#11

If a new teaching comes up that a Catholic does not agree with. They should consider not from the Sacraments until they can at least mentally consent, while they continue to learn why the Church teaches as she does about it.


#12

My own personal opinion and observations are this. If the church consisted of ONLY Catholics who believed in the churches teaching 100% we would be a small church indeed. I believe that the Catholic church teaches the Word of God as it is shown to us in the Bible. However, I do disagree with some points. I think what is important is that we all ever strive to learn more and to study the Bible more as we grow in our Spiritual faith.

There is a lot of diversity witin the Catholic church. Read the writing of many of the clergy and one can see that even among the priests there are differing viewpoints.

What I feel is important is the relationship we have with God and that we revere and worship God as He is shown to us through the Word and Sacraments. It is not a test that we have to get an “A” on to pass. I feel no one can fully understand God, though we need to seek Him every day and ever strive to put His Words into action in our lives.

Tu Amigo, Pablo


#13

Pablo, when this gentleman formally enters the Church, he is going to be asked if he believes all that the Church teaches and holds to be true. I hope you’re not asking him to lie or be a hypocrite.

As an aside, I’d like to recommend an article:
envoymagazine.com/familyplanning.htm


#14

there may differnt view points but you can always find the truth in what the church officially teaches. My priest may think masturbation is ok but it makes no difference. I am obligated to find out what the church actually teaches.

[QUOTEWhat I feel is important is the relationship we have with God and that we revere and worship God as He is shown to us through the Word and Sacraments. It is not a test that we have to get an “A” on to pass. I feel no one can fully understand God, though we need to seek Him every day and ever strive to put His Words into action in our lives.

Tu Amigo, Pablo
[/QUOTE]

although we will never fully understand god the church is the fullness of truth that god has revealed to the world. I would try to understand her teachings and why. It really should not be that hard if you truly belive this is the church christ founded


#15

First of all you need to understand authentic church teachings and the morality of and reasoning behind the actions [decisions] of the church.

For example:

For one thing, I need to get an anulment before even being baptised, I dont understand why, when I wasn’t a catholic when I got married.

Why would you a non catholic un baptized person need an annulment before getting married in the Catholic Church.

First: A civil ceremony [or marriage conducted within the context of another faith tradition without ecclessial dispensation] is not considered ‘sacramental’ for a catholic to enter into [Catholics must be married before the priest, who witnesses the sacrament [of marriage] on behalf of the Church. Also another topic the ordinary minister of the sacrament of marriage is the couple not the priest, but I digress. The secular society and other christians accept the validity of a civil ceremony or other ‘denominational’ weddings. The Church accepts that claim and presumes that all marriages contracted by non-catholics is valid. A person can divorce for valid reasons, abuse, etc. but they are not free to contract another marriage because 'what God had joined together, man cannot seperate. In order to contract another marriage the circumstances of the first must be investigated and ***if found to be non-sacramental ***of nullity is issued. This means that some defect upon the marriage existed from the beginning. An example, would be a forced marriage due to outside compulsion. Thus the marriage was invalid because the party did not ‘freely’ consent. There are no guarantees that your marriage will receive a decree of nullity. The diocesan tribunal will hear the testimony of both parties and their respective witness [written testimony].

The catholic party you are planning to marry if that is why you are attending mass and considering RCIA must know that you are free to contract a valid marriage, the Church must know the same to witness your marriage.

I have been through the process you are now going through. It is not easy, but it is worth it. Te church has a wisdom that sometimes is hard to square with our personnal wants and desires. But wants and desires and giving into them are not always healthy for us, for those around us and the societies we live in.

God Bless you, I’ll keep you in my prayers…


#16

Hi. Congratulations on considering RCIA!

Yes, I believe everything taught by the Catholic Church. I believe it because I trust the Holy Spirit to guide the Church in all truth.

Belief gets much easier once you explore WHY the Church teaches a particular point. For instance, I used to have trouble understanding why Mary should be called “Queen of heaven,” if she has no actual authority of her own. But once somebody explained to me the REASON for that teaching — that in Hebrew culture the Queen was the Mother of the King, and the Old Testament shows that the Queen Mother received the King’s special attention — the title suddenly made perfect sense to me.

Whatever teaching troubles you, explore it further and find out the rationale behind it. Maybe that will make it easier to assent.


#17

As a Catholic, we believe the Church is guided by the Holy Spirit into all truth. So what the Church teaches is true. If you do not believe the Holy Spirit is protecting the Church from teaching falsehood, you are not ready to enter.

If you believe all the Church teaches is true, then all that is asked of you is to believe the truth. You should WANT to believe what you know is true (knowledge through faith).

You may not understand why, you may have difficulties understanding the truth. But you would still believe the truth.

If you do not want to have children, then you do not want the gift God is giving you. The Church teaches children are a gift from God. Trust God, He has your best interests at heart. ie He loves you.

If you try NFP and it fails, then you have recieved a gift. If it succeeds, you are more satisfied with your life, but may be poorer in the long run for the lack of a child.

Trust God, Trust the Church.


#18

In order to believe it all, we would have to know it all, which is humanly impossible. Rather, we assent to the authority of the Church to teach us what we should believe and how we should behave. We assent to the Church’s authority because it comes from Christ. Everything that the Church teaches us, therefore, is coming out of the mouth of Jesus.

For one thing, I need to get an anulment before even being baptised, I dont understand why, when I wasn’t a catholic when I got married.

You made a vow before God to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, until death you do part, which means that unless there is some reason why that vow was a false vow, you are married until either you or your spouse dies.

The purpose of the Marriage Tribunal’s investigation of marriage is to determine whether a false vow was made - if so, then there was never any marriage, and they will give you a Decree of Nullity, which will indicate that you have never been married before. But until they actually put the Decree of Nullity into your hands, the Church must consider you to be a married man, married to that woman, and her alone. If you are currently living with someone else, then before you can approach the Sacraments, you must either break off that relationship, or else become free to marry, and then marry that person.

I also am wondering about the no birth control even when married. I noticed a thread in another area, where someone was advised by her dr to not become pregnant. If NFP wouldnt work for this married couple, then abstinence was indicated as a solution. To me, that seems to be saying that sex outside of having a child isn’t right, even if married.

Sex is ordered towards procreation, yes. That’s it’s main function. A side effect is that it unifies the couple, but birth control takes that unity away from the couple - it says, “I love you, but not that much. I want to give you my all, except for my fertility.” NFP doesn’t take the unity away, even though it involves having sex at times of the month when the couple normally would not be fertile.

So, anyway, I’m just wondering if you all believe it all, or how you deal with not believing it all. Aargh, I’m so confused…lol.

For me the bottom line is that this is Jesus’ Church. He promised that it could never tell me anything that He wasn’t actually saying to me, or that He wouldn’t say to me, if He were standing here and speaking to me in person. Relying on that promise, I follow the Church even when I don’t really understand what’s going on, because I know that the Church has a much better idea of the right way to go than I ever would.


#19

Yes, when entering the church we need to truthfully be able to say we believe everything the Church teaches and hold it to be true.

But, we admit the Church is right, whether we agree with the Church or not. An important distinction. We can submit to the authoritative teaching of the Church even if we don’t yet understand or agree with it, as long as we continue to seek to conform and inform our conscience as to why the Church is right.


#20

On close reflection, I believe that the most important doctrine that the Church holds is papal infallibility. Once you wrap your mind around that, everything else automatically follows, even if you don’t know exactly what the belief is. You just have faith that Jesus gave your Church a leader who is guided by the Holy Spirit. Now, that being said, if you’re going to get into apologetics, then you actually need to know stuff.
Cheers!

St. Thomas, Apostle, pray for us!


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