Bringing to people to Christianity through and in the Catholic Church

Hi everyone,

So this is a topic I’ve though a lot about. Unfortunately, it seems that many non-Christians, who convert to Christianity, first convert to non-denominationalism, and from there come to Catholicism, which is great, but I was wondering, what do you think could be done, so that more non-Christians who convert art converted into the Catholic Church - that is to say, they learn the Faith, they are baptized, and start their Christian walk in the Holy Church? I think if this happened, more people wouldn’t see Catholicism as a distinct from Christianity, but rather Christainity in its fullest and most perfect form.

I can offer some reasons I think that many don’t become Catholics initially:

  1. The Catholic Church makes people take time to convert and be baptized.
  2. The Catholic Church demans more in the way of belief. (Not just Trinity, Incarnation and Paschal Mysteries, but also Eucharist and Papacy etc.)
  3. Unforunately, bad parish staff often make the process difficult (speaking from personal experience here).

Benedicat Deus,

Logically Protestantism would have to disappear. Who wouldn’t want to join something you can customize to fit your personality? Not to mention the Heresy of Once Saved Always Saved. What a great invention that is! You can sin “boldly” and still go to heaven. I think this speaks to our personal freedoms that we crave so much especially us Americans and those who live in democratic countries. If you ever research this some more its a pretty interesting thing realizing that most ancient cultures don’t have a very conducive environment for Protestantism to thrive. Hence why there are more Catholics there or ancient churches i.e. orthodox, Coptic’s etc… Another thing is Language…English and modern languages ferment Protestantism. You just don’t get the leniency in the ancient languages that you do in the more modern interpretations. If you read the bible in Greek, Latin etc…there just simply no room to interpret verses in a protestant light…which is why im a huge fan of returning to Latin no matter how resistant people are to it.

Honestly, if Catholics were more faithful, then it wouldn’t be so hard. A lot of Catholics are just as bad as non-Catholics when it comes to disrespecting and mocking the church. The faithful just aren’t good at countering how the mainstream culture views us.

I didn’t start exploring Catholicism until I met my husband, but when I started getting serious about it the priest sex scandal broke. I really wasn’t interested in joining an institution full of perverts.

Thankfully, there were faithful Catholics in our lives who let me ask questions and just watch how they live their lives. I also watched how the American church cleaned house and has attempted to find redemption from lay members.

Catholics need to stop being ashamed to be Catholic. That would be a great start.

Well for those of us who recognize that the sins of some don’t condemn the whole thing that wasn’t an issue. I completely agree that if Catholics were more faithful and less cultural Catholics we would certainly be in a better place! :thumbsup:

The last 40 years have been devastating for the Church and much of it revolves around VATII. No im not condemning the council the council itself and the documents it produced were just fine! What happened after in the spirit of the council did much damage. So we are internally split. Obviously there are many factors i.e. society, culture, etc… but the evidence is clear what ever the cause was (and this isn’t just us its Christianity in general) there had been a complete loss of belief, reverence, faith and the like among everyone. In my opinion it has everything to do with the liturgy or lack there of. Now that’s my opinion but an old adage that I still firmly believe is lex orandi lex credendi lex vivendi. We changed the way we pray and again in my opinion it change what we believe. I believe they are connected. So with that said until our internal struggles get worked out were going to be in trouble. Were still in a state of denial about this in all honestly. :shrug:

I’ll tell you what I think the number one reason is: the baggage of divorce and remarriage. Knowing that the Church will see their marriage as invalid and irregular, I believe that a lot of folks naturally choose to avoid the Church, and thus avoid dealing with something that could be incredibly painful.

The second reason involves birth control.

A third reason involves homosexuality, and the perception that only “love” equals marriage, and that finding homosexuality to be a sin is just the bigotry of a long-dead age that was too stupid to know any better.

Judging from the above, I genuinely believe that the main impediments for people to seriously consider the Church are issues which cannot in any way change. Therefore, if folks can warm up to the above by first making a pit-stop in Protestantism, so much the better. Frankly, God could have permitted Protestantism precisely for the purpose of being a “mere Christianity” that folks can approach before involving themselves in Fr. Longenecker’s idea of “more Christianity.”

Good thread and good posts.

My :twocents:

People come from all kinds of backrounds, baggage and mental ability and interest. How about just the basics first. Like what we expect of children making 1st Communon. Then the growth and formation that we all should be getting all the time.

I know there is also the desire to combine all three sacraments of initiation at the same time. I think I see more wisdom in stretching them out. Baptism, of course first after some initial basics… They are in the Church. Then preparation and reflection on the great and awesome sacraments of Penance & Holy Communon. Finally, confirmation.

I was talking one day with a non-religious person about how my wife converted to Catholicism from Pentecostalism. Her father was a Pentecostal minister, so that was a hard conversation to have.

Anyways, I explained to this non-religious guy about some of the major differences between the Church and all of the Protestant communities out there and his first reaction was; “Wow. You actually chose the ‘harder’ religion? Wouldn’t it have been easier for you to become Protestant?”

And there you have it folks.

PS: I like the concept of the Protestant stepping stone. From "mere Christianity to “MORE” Christianity. I like that so much that I am going to jot that down on the inside cover of my Bible.

Hi everyone,

Thanks for the responses. The reason I’m a little uncomfortable with it is that the first impression of Christianity often makes the biggest difference on people, and so I often feel that the discomfort some have with Marian veneration and Eucharistic spirituality and ecclesaistical authority would go away if the Catholic Church was considered a first stop for non-Christians to convert to.

I’m just speaking from personal experience. The problem I have with the notion of Protestantism as mere Christianity and Catholicism as more Christianity is that it makes out several Catholic distinctives as being inessential, and Protestantism as having the essentials. The Veneration of the Mother of God is “intrinsic to Christian worship” as the Catechism states (paragraph 963). The Eucharist is the “source and summit of the Christian life”, as Vatican II states. Pope Francis has repeatedly stated that we cannot be Christians without the Church. Protestantism, is, on the contrary, missing several serious aspects of Christianity. Not to mention the fact that some of its doctrines (sola fide) are downright heretical (of course, some Protestantis may err in good faith, so we can’t judge them).

So, those are my two cents on what the problem is.

Benedicat Deus,

I had a long talk with a man last week that taught me much. Well, he talked and I listened gently. He had been a Lay Voluntary Worker ( Catholic in lreland) for 17 years and has just left, I think the Church as well as the voluntary work. A lot due to the extent of the child abuse here, and he made a cogent point that whatever the actual abuser figues, everyone knew what was going on and let it happen. A lot due to recent revelations about the extent of the riches in the Vatican bank, that as others have said, no Church should own that amount ( and we are hurting some in Ireland from increasing poverty ) and most of all the hypocrisy he has encountered. And yes he did explain to his priest why he was leaving. All I could say was try not to judge others and that it was one thing to lose faith in the Church and another to lose faith in Jesus. he agreed fervently and it is because he has deep faith in Jesus that he has done as he has done. We were ships passing is all so now I pray for him and I have to agree with him more and more. Less important for me as I am old and failing and my bed is my prayer space more and more. Content with this.

As someone coming to the Catholic Church from Protestantism, I’ll throw my opinion and experience out there.

  1. As another poster mentioned, divorce and remarriage are HUGE! Frankly, I struggle with this because I know several devout, sincere Christians who are loving Jesus and serving Him faithfully, but have a failed marriage in their past. I would LOVE to tell these people about what I’ve found in the Catholic Church but a huge part of me doesn’t believe that it will draw them closer to God than they already are :blush:

  2. Especially in America, we are conditioned, often subliminally, that the Catholic Church is full of superstition, child molesters, etc. Also, we are ignorant on Church history and most people just simply don’t have time in their day to do the legwork to even find out about the Catholic Church and what it teaches. Nobody want to take a college history course (which is basically what is required to understand the teachings of the Catholic Church). Catholicism takes a significant amount of effort.

  3. Again, I struggle with this as well but I do at least understand it somewhat……access to the Sacraments. We just started RCIA (after a two year search on our own), but it’ll still be almost a year before we can go to Confession or receive the Eucharist. The Protestant view is that priests are not necessary for forgiveness AT ALL and why not just go straight to God. Now that I understand the true beauty of the sacrament, I feel like I have a huge burden to carry for another year :frowning: {I pray for forgiveness and mercy nearly every day so I hope I’m covered……:blush:}

  4. People just want to be accepted for who they are and where they are at. Catholicism requires change and most people don’t like change.

Just my :twocents:

I have been here for over three years and that is one of the most brilliant statements I have seen posted here by anyone.

Hats off to you, my friend. You “get” it.

You will make a fine Catholic. God bless you.

We have been blessed with a few young priests who are pretty cool. By that I mean they inspire both young and old. They make it seem like the most fulfilling thing possible is to live the faith and they love being priests.

Yes, people generally do not like change…unless they can see that it is awesome. They do not like change unless they see that it was what they have always hungered for and desired without even realizing it. To bring people into the Church we need joyful, inspiring role models. That is not just the role of the priest. It is a role we all must share.

At the end of the day a good question to ponder is: “Did I inspire anyone to desire Christ today by the way I lived my day?” Once they seek Christ they will find him and he will lead them to where they need to be.

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