Considering comitting even more to the Church

I’ve posted here before and quite a bit has happened since then. I’m going through carrier and life changes as well as dealing with family issues. I don’t want to say too much but anyone who has seen my posts before knows I come from a very very disfunctional background and pretty much walked into the church a mental mess. It’s been a while since i’ve been to mass but I did go through confirmation and a conditional baptism so I atleast had that, but afterwards things finally started turning around workwise and had opportunities I didn’t have in a long time. I also had the opportunity to check out other parishes that were a bit more on the liberal side and do even more for the poor.
Anyway, I’m having to move again and am really debating about just strongly idenifying with the church even more as they’ve been the only ones who cared unconditionally like this, only one besides them was my mother. I was somewhat of a heathen earlier in life but was pretty much secular but besides how i’ve been treated seeing how Pope Francis is not only treating those society tends to rejects (gays, transgender, the poor, etc.) How he’s opening the church doors to Syrian refugees is just amazing. I don’t see anyone else being that charitable in the USA, sure don’t see any of the conservative people from the right doing something that kind, instead they are too busy hating on the LGBT community to care.
Most of all is the compassion for the poor and mentally ill. I almost jumped off an overpass a while ago when I was faced with life on the street, it was the church who cared enough to help out, even if it was just an open ear and open door.
Has the church always been this kind? My experience with most organized religion in the USA has been hate and scorn, especially from the evangelicals and baptists.
Hoping someone can guide me along here. Thanks.

I’m pretty new to the Church as well (2 years) and I’m constantly amazed at the charitable work of the Catholic Church. It has inspired me to get more actively involved and seek opportunities to follow the 7 corporal works of mercy:

To feed the hungry
To give drink to the thirsty
To clothe the naked
To shelter the homeless
To care for the sick
To visit the imprisoned
To bury the dead

In fact the Catholic Church is the largest charitable organization on the face of the earth. It’s amazing what it has done just in the areas of healthcare and education.

My advice is go for it and commit yourself, just make sure you find things that you are passionate about and don’t overload yourself.

God Bless

The Bible tells us that, as early as the Apostolic Age, the Church had organized ministries to widows, orphans, and others who were in need.

So, yeah, it goes way back.

I read about one Pope (wish I could remember his name) who, every evening, would walk through the streets of Rome and gather anyone who needed a meal to come and dine with him. Wouldn’t that be awesome?!? I think Pope Francis would do that if the world wasn’t so crazy nowadays. He has said that his biggest regret being Pope was that he was not free to just walk among the people in the streets (as he did when he was Bishop of Buenos Aries). Can you imagine being hungry, on the street, and the Pope invites you to dinner!

It’s the Charity part that attracted me to begin with. A lot of moms family is/was catholic, but my father is protestant and he was such a violent, mean alcoholic who just hated everything Catholic so he was a horrible example. Also most of the protestants/evangelicals I had met had no compassion at all for the poor and just treated their children like garbage. Not saying Catholics don’t but geez I look around as an adult and I’ve met more stable people from Catholic homes than evangelical. Don’t get me wrong, the Lutherans/Episcopalians/Anglicans do a lot of good too and from what i’ve seen they get along with the Catholic Church quite nicely. The priest I know was telling me a lot of Anglicans have communion with Rome as do a few Lutherans so while they can take communion the whole thing on gay rights is left alone and the focus is on Christ.
That being said, mainline protestantism is on the way out in the USA, seems like it’s the evangelicals who are gaining all the ground and from what i’ve seen they would rather pick fights than do what Jesus would do.

There is, unfortunately, no inter-Communion with the Church of England. An “Anglican Use” rite has been established within the Catholic Church, which would feel very comfortable for high-church Anglicans. As a former Anglican, I would be interested in this rite if it was available in my area.

There is no greater charitable organization in the world than the Catholic Church. The Church does not approve of homosexual acts, but the Church does not condemn or reject those that have same sex attraction. We are all sinners and the Church is a hospital for sinners. God’s mercy is there for all of us.

God bless.

That would be interesting. I did go to a Lutheran church a bit as a kid. Mom isn’t Lutheran but she figured some moral instruction is better than none. I’m quite a bit of a social liberal, i’m for lgbt rights, huge on helping the poor, against the death penalty, etc.
I won’t say too much here but those have been some of the things holding me back. I can understand when someone disagrees with say, gay marraige but I don’t think it’s right to just hate and slander the person, they still should be respected and cared for. Last time I checked that’s what Jesus would do.

The priest I know said the same thing, he said priority one was loving the person. Sure, it’s not the ideal but that doesn’t give anyone the right to just hate them like so many do.

the entire Gospel message is about kindness.
To Jews, Gentiles, servants or free. woman or man.
So yeah. It’s Jesus’ way, so it’s our way.

This is why when I disagree with same-sex marriage it’s not because of the two individuals wishing to get married, it’s because of the children being denied their right to their biological mother and father. I for one support whole-heartily the idea that everyone should have the right to be legally bound to someone they love to get through life together, but I fail to see how children should be denied their rights in the process.

There is certainly many Catholic charitable organizations out there, but you never would know about them until you need them. It is sad that too often I encounter to poor and homeless who are completely unaware of the resources available to them. Many of these charities are humble. While overflowing with love, they are void of marketing.

I will say a prayer for you, for me, and for everyone who struggles to fully understand and embrace what is good, true, and beautiful!

IRL I tend to avoid the whole LGBT marraige thing except when it involves my LGBT friends, that includes kids. My mom was the sole good influence in my life growing up and I really figured out in the past year what a catholic influence she had even though she was never baptised Catholic. Thing is she’s not really American and is very very different from typical American people value-wise, especially by todays standards. I loved having a mother but I look at how disfunctional people are nowadays and I think many children would be better off in an LGBT home than with a lot of heterosexual “christian” homes out there. Look at that woman in Kentucky, married/divorced what, four times?! And she has the nerve to be God’s spokesperson and not do her job?
They find a way to make families in the USA a lot more moral then I would say yeah kids diserve a mother and father but no waaay is that happening here anytime soon.
As a child who had his own father try to kill his mother, point weapons at him then almost ruin him with bogus charges I can say I have very little faith in the insitution of family in the United States.

And yeah, I learned about Catholic Charities the hard way, wow they are awesome.

It seems you are a social Catholic as well. The Catholic Church also fully supports all of these positions.

If anyone who reads my response is taken aback, it would be about the lbgt rights issue. But the Catholic Church has NEVER advocated that lbgt persons should be denied any civil right simply because they are lbgt.

This issue is mainly centered around the idea of “gay marriage.” Americans are accustomed to the strange idea that ministers, rabbis, imams, and priests are qualified to serve as Officers of the Court and sign marriage licenses (an instrument of civil law).

My brother is a Catholic priest (and an accredited Catholic Answers apologist). He has the authority to sign marriage licenses anywhere in the United States. Only federal judges share this authority. Municipal judges, Justices of the Peace, and Court Clerks can authorize marriage licenses, but only within their jurisdiction.

My brother never filled out an application to obtain this authority. He never took a class. Nobody sent him the rules of civil law. He has never sworn a civil oath. He never studied civil marriage law in seminary. He is not, in any way, an Officer of the Court. Even lawyers are Officers of the Court, but not priests.

And, yet, he shares the authority to sign marriage licenses with federal judges.

Isn’t that out of wack, in a country that prizes separation of Church and State, yet allows ministers to execute (sign) instruments of civil (State) law?

Most modern nations have no such laws. Church weddings have no legal standing. To obtain legal standing, the couple must present themselves before a sort-of Justice of the Peace and obtain a civil union. In Germany, for example, this Office is called the Standesamt. German priests do not sign (or even see) marriage licenses.

The Catholic Church has never objected to this system (which, in Germany, goes back to 1876, giving the Church plenty of time to object). The State has authority to define a “civil union” and the Church has the authority to define a “Sacrament.” No German Catholic priest has ever presided over the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony between two homosexuals.

Yeah thats what I don’t get, most LGBT people I know what a civil ceremony, not a church wedding. I support the Church being able to legally tell anyone they cannot have a wedding in their place of worship. Besides, any LGBT person wanting a church wedding has to be a bit crazy, that’s like a black person wanting to go to a KKK meeting.

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.