How do you know your church teachings are infallible, possesses the fullness of Truth and is historically/theologically supported?
I am still searching.
Because I researched, researched more, then more…and found that only the Catholic Church made sense.
I know because it teaches the gospel and administers the sacraments.
Does any Church possess the fullness of truth? Take for example the question of torture. What is the full truth about the morality of torture?
Completely agree, 100%
Once you realise the “other side” is distorting the facts quite a lot, (whether on the Church itself, its people OR the teachings of the Bible), you come to find the RCC has quite a lot more.
I know the RCC is the one, because I have witnessed some great things during my short time here! My prayer life is stronger, Mass means something to me as does prayer. Prayer actually seems to be doing something in my life, whereas it was just hopeless, IMO, before.
Having a structure of readings, and not some “random” picking bits and pieces from a Bible to preach on is also very reassuring. At least we hear the full book over the full liturgical cycle.
The Catholic Church “works” not because
it is infallible, but because it is true. Many
centuries have tried to discredit her teachings,
but they did NOT succeed in proving her wrong,
In fact, BECAUSE these attacks have been
so intense, they fulfilled Jesus’ words when
He predicted that ALL HELL would be against
Catechism of the Catholic Church:
2298 In times past, cruel practices were commonly used by legitimate governments to maintain law and order, often without protest from the Pastors of the Church, who themselves adopted in their own tribunals the prescriptions of Roman law concerning torture. Regrettable as these facts are, the Church always taught the duty of clemency and mercy. She forbade clerics to shed blood. In recent times it has become evident that these cruel practices were neither necessary for public order, nor in conformity with the legitimate rights of the human person. On the contrary, these practices led to ones even more degrading. It is necessary to work for their abolition. We must pray for the victims and their tormentors. (2267)
2297 Kidnapping and hostage taking bring on a reign of terror; by means of threats they subject their victims to intolerable pressures. They are morally wrong. Terrorism threatens, wounds, and kills indiscriminately; it is gravely against justice and charity. Torture which uses physical or moral violence to extract confessions, punish the guilty, frighten opponents, or satisfy hatred is contrary to respect for the person and for human dignity. Except when performed for strictly therapeutic medical reasons, directly intended amputations, mutilations, and sterilizations performed on innocent persons are against the moral law.91
Here it says torture to extract confessions is wrong. But before in the papal bull ad extirpandam, Pope Innocent IV allowed torture to extract confessions in the Inquisition. How can both be fully true?
What did the Pope Innocent Teach about the morality of torture?
The problem is trying to distillbChurch teaching on Torture from a single paragraph written by a Pope 900 years ago. Here’s what he said:
The Podestà or Rector has the authority to oblige all heretics that he may have in his power, without breaking limbs or endangering their lives, to confess their errors and to accuse other heretics whom they may know, as true assassins of souls and thieves of the Sacraments of God and of the Christian faith, and their worldly goods, and believers in their doctrines, those who receive them and defend them, just as robbers and thieves of temporal goods are obliged to accuse their accomplices and confess the evil that they have done.1*
Innocent was in fact trying to lessen the brutal torture prevalent in his day. His Bull also proclaimed an Ecclesiastical judge be at any torture.
Here is what Nicolhas l had written nearly 400 years earlier:
If a thief or robber is apprehended and denies that he is involved, you say that in your country the judge would beat his head with lashes and prick his sides with iron goads until he came up with the truth. Neither divine nor human law allows this practice in any way, since a confession should be spontaneous, not compelled, and should not be elicited with violence but rather proffered voluntarily. But it just so happens that you find nothing at all which casts the crime upon the one who has suffered, aren’t you ashamed and don’t you realize how impiously you judge? Likewise, if the accused man, after suffering, says that he committed what he did not commit because he is unable to bear such [torture], upon whom, I ask you, will the magnitude of so great an impiety fall if not upon the person who compelled this man to confess these things falsely? Indeed, the person who utters from his mouth what he does not hold in his heart is known not to confess but to speak [cf. Mt. 12:34]. Therefore leave such practices behind and heartily curse the things which you have hitherto done foolishly. Indeed, what fruit shall you have in those practices, of which you are now ashamed. Finally, when a free man is caught in a crime, unless he is first found guilty of some wicked deed, he either falls victim to the punishment after being convicted by three witnesses or, if he cannot be convicted, he is absolved after swearing on the holy Gospel that he did not commit [the crime] which is laid against him, and from that moment on the matter is at an end, just as the oft-mentioned Apostle, the teacher of the nations, attests, when he says: an oath for confirmation is an end of all their strife[Heb. 6:16).7*
I believe in Jesus Christ. If I am going to be a Christian in my mind it is hard to reconcile being anything but a Catholic for any other alternative implies that God allowed his church to be an error for at least 1500 years.
Well, I’m Catholic now, but used to be Presbyterian.
I didn’t become Catholic because of some rigorous searching of doctrine.
I became Catholic because of this persistent spiritual push, by God as far as I was concerned. Since becoming Catholic, I’ve done some reading on Church doctrines and the like, and it seems to me to have a stronger claim to the truth than it’s competitors.
However I used to have some long conversations with my old Presbyterian pastor way back before I left his church (and he died a few months later), and he thought I’d become Catholic.
There were a couple of watershed moments - one was when he said to me that he sometimes wondered if Protestants get to heaven. And he was also taken aback when it seemed to be revealed to him rather late in the day that the Protestant position on the Pope was a heresy. He said, with a look of alarm, “It’s a heresy! That’s what worries me!” Particularly as he was then Presbyterian, and as such he would have taken an oath on the Westminster Confession of Faith, which I think still includes the phrase -
Nor can the Pope of Rome, in any sense, be head thereof; but is that Antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalts himself, in the Church, against Christ and all that is called God.
I still remember his frustrated reaction - “Oh, why now!!” - as he was dying of cancer at the time, and he knew he only had a short time left. But then he shrugged, and said, “Well, the Lord knows I’ve tried to serve Him.” He had too, and very well.
He was never very anti-Catholic, and I heard him say both privately and in a sermon “I’ve found I usually get on pretty well with Catholics”.
In fact he did tell one story, probably going way back to the 1960’s when the Catholic-Protestant divide was a lot stronger in Australia. He’d been based in some country parish, and he had this old shed down the back of the church property. He wanted to get rid of it.
A local builder offered him fifty quid (pounds) if he could knock it down and keep the materials. The pastor was more than happy, but then he remembered the builder was a Catholic.
He asked, trying to be diplomatic, “Look, I appreciate your offer, but … ah, er… what if Father finds out that you’ve given fifty quid to a Protestant Church?” In an aside to me, he said “These Catholics call their priests ‘Father’, you know…”
The builder thought for a moment, and then he replied, “Look, you keep the fifty quid, and if Father says anything, I’ll tell him I was helping to demolish Protestantism!”
Moving on - some time after he died, and after I’d become Catholic, he appeared one night in a brief vision, and simply said, “The Catholic Church is closest to the truth”. That was it. Then he just disappeared.
That’s been part of my personal experience. So while I’ve done some reading, without going into an exhaustive investigation of the origin of all the Church’s doctrines, mistakes, traditions, bungles, anti-Popes etc. etc. I believe it’s** “closest”** to the truth.
Simple as that. I’ve had too many spiritual experiences just to ignore my old pastor turning up in a vision.
Okay this is not going how I intended. I thought only non-Catholics would respond. Mea culpa. should’ve been more specific in title and op.
Thank you for the responses everyone.
Because my church tells me that they are, she does, and she is.
My experience is very limited but I have found people do not care that much whether or not the church’s teachings they attend are “infallible, possesses the fullness of Truth and is historically/theologically supported”. I have found that factor like the choir, the style of service, the pastor and his preaching, the programs offered and location are more of a factor than if the teaching is “infallible, possesses the fullness of Truth and is historically/theologically supported”.
Heh, :), no but seriously I’m curious why (if you had thought of doing so) you would have requested that only NCs (Non-Catholics) answer?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not offended at the question being addressed to others, I’m just curious because being the one, possessing the fullness of Truth, etc sound right up our alley.
The question is just as valid for Catholics. I didn’t become Catholic for something to do on a rainy day, or because there was a total vacuum of competing ideologies.
I actually resisted it for a while. The final straw was an argument with a Protestant pastor, but that was just the final nail in the coffin of resistance.
I agree…I actually thought it was more applicable to Catholics than many Protestant “churches”, because rarely is “infallibility” a term used by the many (especially) non-denominational churches, and as a former Protestant, I knew many who “shopped” for churches when they did not agree with the teaching or philosophy of a given pastor…truly it is an acceptance of the teaching authority of the Church that is needed to claim infallibility.
I also which I could join the others who said they researched…but to be honest, I didn’t initiate any research, but I am convinced I was led by the Holy Spirit to the Church.
Peace and all good!