Has the 'Non-Catholic Religions' forum lost its purpose?

Glory to Jesus Christ!

The question is exactly as the thread title suggests. Below I have what the intended purpose of it is, per Catholic Answers description of the forum.

Comparing and contrasting beliefs

Is this what is really going on? When I first came here about 3 years ago, there was a lot of active discussion; a true comparison/contrast of beliefs. Now it seems like it is an opportunity for Catholics to bait Protestants into debates. I guess that is sort of expected to a degree, but can’t talking about “how wonderful Catholicism is” or “why today’s Mass readings apply to Protestants” be done in the Apologetics forum? :confused: Instead, people are posting threads degrading others or trying to get a rise out of them. Maybe the intentions are good, but I think this particular forum may have drifted from its intended course.

Can some semblance of honest and heartfelt dialogue be regained? I myself think it is possible to dialogue with others without cheapening or watering down your faith. :thumbsup:

Is the ‘Non-Catholic Religions’ forum a place for discussion, or just a place for Catholics to share their faith with Non-Catholics? I want to hear from everyone, be they Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Jew, Muslim, Mormon, Agnostic, et al.

In Christ,
Andrew

:slight_smile:

Andrew, I want to thank you for including agnostics in your desire to hear replies!:cool:

You certainly are a kind person for doing so. I don’t know what the flavor of this forum was when you say it was following more closely the objectives of the forum for dialouge, but I have no reason to doubt your observations about what it was like in the past.

I think your summary of what type of threads that can be found here now, are very accurate.

I don’t think I would reply to many of them if I were Muslim, or Mormon or JW or well, just about most of the faiths that are the topics here because the threads are set up with insults and disparaging comments right from the start, and that does not lead to dialouge.

Most of the time, I wonder if it is best to have a venting forum for former members of faith communities that have converted to another to let their upset feelings be let out there, and keep this a safer place for people who simply want to be able to share their beliefs/exchange and correct misconceptions about their beliefs without worry of the side issues and bombardment. :shrug:

I’m not Catholic. But if I was, and had any clout at CAF, I’d get rid of this forum ASAP. Helping the cause of Catholicism it is not.

How could these forums have drifted from it’s intended course when it’s intended course is to talk about the Catholic faith? Do you not see that this is a Catholic Forum with Catholic beliefs? He who comes here, comes to learn about Catholicism. To have dialect with others and rash discussions. There are ALL faiths here trying to dialogue with others. But we here are a Catholic forum, here to teach about the church Christ established.
I haven’t seen any Catholics here trying to bait anyone into anything, because we don’t have too. We are content where we are, knowing we are in the church Jesus founded and that’s that. I see the other way around. I see Protestants very uncharitable, as if Catholics are the only ones having to be charitable here.
I see Protestants very upset at the answers that are given by Catholics, as if they cannot except the truth in our history and our Scriptural evidence of the Catholic church. Some won’t acknowledge if it wasn’t for the CC, there would be no bible. Some simply cannot except this. Some simply cannot except the morals and the authority of the Catholic church.

Hello OTCA:)

I apologize if I was not clear. I am not talking about Catholic Answers as a whole, I am talking about this particular forum that is a subset of the fora (pl. of forum for all those Latin geeks, like myself :nerd:). I see the

So would you say that the purpose for the Non-Catholic Religions forum is to teach others about Catholicism? If so, why not use the Apologetics or Evangelism of the forums instead of this one, which seems to suggest that it is for comparing and contrasting beliefs?

In Christ,
Andrew

Well you say Catholics are here to bait Protestants which is not true. Catholics here are very kind, try to be patient with others, and just try to teach others about this wonderful gift Christ has left us. The Eucharist.

Yes and No.

Yes, in that Catholics and non-Catholics use the forum to try to convert each other.

No, in that Catholics and non-Catholics use this forum to discuss one another’s beliefs.

Maybe we don’t know what the original purpose of this forum was?

Was it a place for Non-Catholics to post information about their religious beliefs, and if so, for the purpose of perhaps attracting to their faith some seeker who came to Catholic Answers out of curiosity, or for the purpose of challenging Catholics to consider the merits of the poster’s belief, or simply for the purpose of engaging in cross-religious discussion?

Or was it a place for Catholics to post queries about the beliefs of non-Catholics, whether to increase their own understanding of others OR to be well-versed in the beliefs of someone they are engaged in apologetic dialogue with OR to begin discussion wih non-Catholics for the possible purpose of persuading them to become Catholics OR to explore what if anything we have in common with members of other faiths?

Or . . . I expect you get my point. I’ve seen variations on all of the above. I guess I don’t know what the original purpose of the forum was, so I don’t know if it has lost it. I do agree that being argumentative for the sake of starting an argument is at best annoying and at worst a terribly uncharitable witness “for” the Faith.

In answering the question of the thread, the 'Non-Catholic Religions" is awesome, man. It has not lost its purpose. The presence of so many Catholic here is a testimony to that.

The direction and the content of the discussion depend very much on the posters themselves and in how they want it to move. Generally speaking, I learn about others’ faith and increase my knowledge in my own through my participation here. It’s a great learning process too in term of inter-personal engagement. One can make mistakes here but at least you learn and may not repeat them in real life.

I learn and find the forum useful despite the fact that the worst in us can resurface anytime and everytime. Despite the snickering and the bickering the process of learning and acquiring new knoeledge has not stop here. You can only learn so much about people, about what they believe and about their thought here. Is not that a good thing?

Thanks for your post, Reuben J. :slight_smile:

In Christ,
Andrew

It would be nice to invite those with differing views to discuss and then contrast those views, as opposed to “that’s not what the Church teaches!!!:slapfight:”

Obviously, things can get heated even in civil debate, but, (to paraphrase), “a rhetorically skilled answer, turns away wrath . . .”

Maybe I am guilty of getting overcharged, myself.

I can envision a Muslim posting his view on the daily prayers and then we could discuss the differences between Islamic conceptions of prayer and Orthodox Christian, LDS, agnostic questions and the like. It would have the potential for going a little deeper than hyperbole for hyperbole’s sake.

On any number of issues:

Islamic view of determinism over and against the orthodox views, Jewish views etc., and then questions.

Maybe we should all be more vigilant about calling out our brethren, too (including me). There was a traditionalist (or so they claimed) speaking vile things about Jewish folks. He’s gone, and was gone quickly.

I don’t know. I’m pretty new here so I don’t know what the “good old days” ever looked like. I just agree with the thoughts so far that we could tighten things up quite a bit and maybe move some earth in the process.

All my best . . .

I don’t know

Correction : should be ‘the presence of so many Catholics and Non-Catholics’.

And thank you too, Andrew. :slight_smile:

God bless.

He meant that this being a Catholic forum, there are many Catholics here to teach others about the faith.

I don’t think that’s what he meant at all. This is from the home page of CAF
Non-Catholic Religions (28 Viewing)
Comparing and contrasting beliefs

This was in the OP by Andrew

Since the name of this part of CAF is Non-Catholic Religions, while it is part of CAF, it is for non-Catholics to compare and contrast their beliefs with one another as well as with Catholics, but it seems to me that the presence of Catholics on this part of CAF is not necessary to it’s intended purpose and it certainly does not state that it is here for Catholics to teach non-Catholics about Catholicism or anything else.

I don’t know what the original intent of this forum was, either. A couple years ago, the moderators created list of suggestions on where to start a thread on different topics, and this is what they said about Non-Catholic Religions forum:

Non-Catholic Religions - understand the history and beliefs of non-Catholic and non-Christian faiths, dialogue with their adherents

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=145189

I’m not sure, however, that this forum has ever been a very charitable place. I know for a year or more I refused to visit this forum because it was so pugnacious. I think part of the problem is that CAF is attached to an apologetics website (Catholic Answers) and it attracts a lot of individuals who are eager to stick up for their beliefs, but can’t figure out how to do so except in a confrontational manner.

There are few threads in my opinion that even attempt to discuss differences and where we agree between various Christian denominations. If there was once, it was before my time.

We have:

  1. Vehement and very unskilled RC’s who think everyone is here to be converted. They are the ones I think that do a huge disservice to the aims of this entire forum.
  2. Angry ex-whatevers now Catholic who wish to do battle with their former church and its members. They also harm the Catholic cause.
  3. Sincere Catholics who stand ready to explain their faith well, and want to learn about others.
  4. Insincere Protestants who want to bash Catholics
  5. Sincere Protestants who which to explain their faith and find common ground with #3’s.
  6. Atheists/agnostics who are sincere in asking questions and help us all to dig deep.
  7. Childish atheists/agnostics who just want to bash all faith.
  8. Over zealous Catholics/Protestants who want to bash non Christian faiths.

There are precious few #3’s and 5’s around here and even the good threads get highjacked by all the rest. Somehow I’ve managed to meet some great people, learn a few things, and communicate on a real level. It’s not easy.

Those who come here to learn about Catholicism wouldn’t come to this forum I don’t think but would go to apologetics for information.

There is on balance a total refusal of the administration to control the content of the threads here as long as no Catholic is by any stretch being treated unkindly. They don’t care period what is said to non-Catholics. I’ve complained all the way up the ranks of their hierarchy and received zero reply. Uncharitibility only applies to non-Catholics speaking. This of course again speaks volumes and makes them their own worst enemy in terms of the public face they are willing to portray.

Yes - I believe it has lost it’s purpose. Instead of a place for people of all religions and none to debate it has turned into a place where several self appointed trolls pretending to be catholics take it upon themsleves to throw rocks at every opportunity.

Some of the statements made by so called catholic members about and against other faiths are quite frankly, nothing less than shameful.

If there was a hidden agenda that somehow a forum like this may make non catholics seek further into the catholic faith, well, it has seriously backfired, largely due to the catholic trolls that inhabit here.

Would you be so kind as to mention what religious background you’re from?

Spirit meadow you may have a point to some extent, but that being said if things were/are that bad why do you still interact on this forum (and I say this with curiousity not contempt)?

If they were to close this forum down, people who meet and talk in here about protestant vs. Catholic beliefs, Orthodox vs. Catholic beliefs, Anglicanism, Lutheranism, Mormonism, and all these topics would just get imbedded in another forum…

I am interested in these topics and seek answers about my own faith and like to compare/contrast Protestant and Catholic views.

Whether or not people “benefit” from this forum is up to the individual. I have benefited from it by meeting some outstanding people and from arguing/debating through some ideas and topics that made me have to do some homework and better understand theology. I’ve enjoyed it immensely.

Are there people in here that I love? Heck yeah! Are there folks that annoy me to no end? oh yeah! But it’s all worth it. I say keep this forum. I enjoy it.:thumbsup:

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