Catholics Accepting of Separated Brothers and Sisters...

Hello Folks,

I have been coming to this board for some time, but just signed up earlier tonight for the forums. I will be posting a “hello” introduction in the “Meet and Greet” thread later this evening.

One of the things that I truly find fascinating in regards to this board is the open dialogue that we share with separated brothers and sisters in the faith as well as non-Christians. I think it speaks volumes for our faith that we are accepting of their questions, comments, and general statements on their faith even if we greatly disagree with them. If I were to join a Jewish / Muslim / Hindu web site forum and profess my faith of Catholicism, I would probably be banned for expressing my faith and thoughts. The same goes for most Protestant web sites where I would probably be violently attacked for believing in my Catholic faith. What I have witnessed here is that we are accepting of people from any faith as long as they are not crude or disrespectful. With confidence in our One True Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, we can share our faith as well as being welcoming of others.

As a southern American (where we are less than 10% of the population), I am often assailed by the misguided questions of Protestants / Mormoms / non-denominational Christians who ask “Why do ya’ll pray to Mary and worship saints?” etc. etc. I am always more than willing to give my time in answering their questions. In a day and age when it is popular to be anti-Catholic (if you have any doubt of this growing anti-Catholicism in America, read most articles the “New York Times” writes), it is good to see that we are still welcoming to those who want to learn from us, with us, through our actions.

I will always remember with the greatest appreciation being the “know it all” Baptist at the age of 19 who really started reading everything I could get my hands on about God and faith – from Tillich to Niebuhr to Rahner to Gutierrez to Ratzinger. The more I learned about God, faith, myself, the more I realized that (to quote Scott Hahn), Rome really was sweet home. I started attending a local Catholic parish that the wonderful Paulist Fathers (CSP) happened to run, and never for a moment before starting into the RCIA program in 2000 at God’s calling to me was I ever treated by the priests or parishoners as “one of those non-Catholics”. I was welcomed warmly and openly – and given a wonderful introductory education that just began with my RCIA days.

I understand many have the misconception of Catholics as being closed to the thoughts and ideas of our separated brothers and sisters in Christ and non-Christians, but from my personal perspective, and through all I have witnessed in my 8 years as being a Catholic, we are some of the most open and welcoming of any faith in regards to Christ.

– j.

I am new here, and new to the Catholic faith, although I was a cradle Catholic. I started attending mass last week, have been coming to this forum and learning so very much.

I wanted to comment on your remark about other forums. I was a member of a very large Buddhist forum, and the animosity against Christians in general was pretty shocking. I never have lost my faith in Jesus, but I did look into other religions for ideas, just wanting to belong somewhere. I was shocked at their borderline hatred, considering they claim to be such peaceful, compassionate people.

Obviously, I didn’t last long. I never have been able to give up on Jesus, and I am so glad I have been led to the true Church, the Catholic Church. I truly know this is where I belong.

Angie

Hi everyone. My first post. I, too, am a convert from years ago, having been an evangelical (thank you, Scott Hahn and many others). Yes, I had to read everything I could get my hands on also. You would think it would not be so difficult, but there were so many cultural barriers and misconceptions. I read four blogs every day (not a one of them Catholic), and as a general rule none of the moderators allow religion bashing (save one, and he is a very young searching soul, so I stick with him in the most Christ-centered manner I can manage). Not to say that I don’t check in regularly at Catholic sites, including the Vatican! I do love the Church so, such a feast! But I also like to keep up with what our separated brethren are doing and saying, on more of a practical level than what I can glean from the headlines, and my blog reading does this for me. In that I have heard that we (Catholics) are 3% of the population in this part of my state, there is hardly any getting around dealing with fundamentalists and evangelicals.

One of the bloggers I read (a member of an orthodox church) got me looking at and then praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Another (an evangelical) has a friend who makes rosaries, and has that ad on his site (for which he has taken much flack), and I ordered one from him (very nice one). A lot of strange (and wonderful) stuff going on in the world, I suppose.

Having (been there, done that), I am not swayed at all by reading other viewpoints, when speaking of strictly Catholic matters. I usually come away thanking God that I’m a Catholic. Where would I be without this firm foundation? I hate to think. God has surely shown His mercy toward me.

If anyone has a favorite Catholic blog, please let me know the url, if this is allowed in this forum. Thoughtfulness and orthodox Catholic views would be something I would be interested in reading.

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