Is it possible


#1

to be Catholic and open-minded? This is a serious question even though it sounds demeaning. I am seriously considering becoming Catholic. My family is not Catholic, and like another poster I am a little afraid of telling them even though they know I have been going to Mass regularly since I got married 5 years ago. Some of the posts on here have me worried. Like, will I have to make decisions about whether or not to go to a wedding based on whether or not I agree with the circumstances under which the nuptuals are taking place? What if I want to go b/c I care about the people getting married even if their marriage is not morally sound. Will that make me a bad Catholic. Will I have to really believe that the Catholic Church is the ONE TRUE CHURCH? Will I have to speak up when my friends or family are doing things that I think are immoral even though it is none of my business? It seems that there are so many posts that I would respond to by saying no you shouldn’t say anything b/c it’s none of your business what they do. Is that wrong? I’m sorry if this doesn’t make any sense. I promise I am being sincere and not sarcastic.


#2

**I used to be in a similar situation (and still am to some degree). All i can say is that as your faith grows the questions will lessen. It will not be any easier to avoid things like a family member’s invalid wedding, but at least you will not question whether it is truly right or wrong.

From the outside looking in the Catholic faith seems more about “rules” than anything else. But as my faith grows I see that it is all about love. The rules are just there to guide is in how to love one another and to love God.

If we keep in mind that this life is so very temporary compared to our eternal one then looking out for people’s souls takes on a much deeper meaning than the possibility of hurting their feelings in the here and now.

Malia**


#3

Yes, but you can’t be so open-minded that your brain falls out. Old joke, but true.

Well, if you are going to join the Church then I would assume you agree with its teachings. Otherwise, why bother? That’s an awfully long process just to fake it. If a marriage is not morally sound, why would you support it? You would support immorality? Of course no good Catholic can do that. And people who really care about other people do not support them in immorality. Why would you support someone damaging their soul, possibly to the point of damnation? The point of these discussions we have about whether to go to whose wedding or not is, would we be supporting people in making decisions that could send them to Hell? If we love them, how could we do that? The point is not how you look here on Earth, or what people think of you, but are you willing to stand for right and be an example that could help lead other souls to Heaven?

If you don’t believe this, why would you join? The fact is that the Roman Catholic Church (along with Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox) is the only Christian church that can claim unbroken tradition from the time of the Apostles. We believe that some of the teachings of Protestant churches are based on misreadings of scripture or distortions of certain concepts. If you don’t believe a church has the truth, why would you want to be a member of it?

Don’t you already do this? Do you have no moral code at all? I mean, some things really are no one else’s business, and usually we have no idea they are going on because people have the sense to keep them private. But if someone you know were publicly and openly committing immoral acts, you wouldn’t call them on it? Like, say, your recently-divorced brother who has no money is ditching his visitation weekend with his children and using some of his limited funds to drive 9 hours away and visit a girlfriend. (Example from my real life…:rolleyes: ) When he kept bringing up the girlfriend, insisting you look happy about it, you wouldn’t tell him that his limited money and court-restricted time needs to be spent on being a father and not interstate flings? Or if you knew someone was committing adultery, dipping into the petty cash at work, cheating on their taxes… you wouldn’t tell them they need to stop? Your post makes it seem like standing up to people doing wrong is your worst nightmare. Yet, that’s just part of being a grownup, regardless of religion. I’m not saying you beat people over the head, or repeatedly bring it up, but compassionate remonstration with sinners is actually a ***Christian duty ***and a spiritual work of mercy. Because your courage could save their soul…


#4

Standing up to people for doing wrong is most defintiely not my worst nightmare- just ask my sister. I was asking if that was part of it. Is there an obligation to do so. If so is it with all things or just the “bigger” moral issues.
Why would you suggest that I have no moral code? I think that this was uncalled for. I am asking legitimate questions about the Catholic church and you say this to me that was just wrong.

As far as the Catholic church being the one true church, that is a hard concept to grasp when you grew up in an Assembilies of God Church. I am undecided about whether or not I want to be a part of it, and I will most certainly not want to completely turn my back on all of the teachings that I grew up with.

I think you just helped me to realize that no it is not possible.
Thanks!!!


#5

Thank you for being so understanding!!!


#6

Actually, I consider myself an open minded Catholic.

If ever lets say the pope infallibly says that we should go to war… I would not follow, if I do not believe in the reasons.
( That really should not happen anyway… )

I don’t believe in kneeling down before him and kissing his ring either. The apostles did not accept such and the pope shouldnt either.

Also, I believe that God also works with Protestants. As a matter of fact, I admire how Protestants generally know more about their faith than regular “sleeping” Catholics.

Really, what God will look at is how I loved him and how I loved my neighbor. I remain and love being Catholic because I find that the eucharist and that I have found the best teachings in the Catholic church.

Of course, what irks me about Catholicism are extremists who are narrow minded. Instead of love, they provide criticism.


#7

It’s not whether you want to be a part of it but whether God is calling you to his Church.

i don’t think you need to abondon your protestant teachings (I am sure if you such you can find tons of people on these forums who use to be protestant who would say that those early teachings led them to the Church and still guide them today in a sense.) You are not leaving those teachings behind in their entirety but learn the FULLINESS of truth.

Being catholic you have tons of freedom and most importantly support. You relazie that you are not the only person to question or be confused on how to live, understand and love God. You can look to 2,000 years of history and of people’s writings who have gone through the same question and seeking of God. It’s wonderful to have that support. It blew me away when i was in paris and went to mass and realized that i was standing in a building that thousands of people before me for hundereds of generations had prayed to God in the same fashion and people would be doing the same years after i gone off this earth. The church is not some idea but is a living and breathing being who has been here for 2,000 years.

We here on these boards come here to get into more specific about somethings because people need help in growing in their faith or want to confirm that they are reading or comprehending something correctly. Sometimes it may seem like we are a stickly for “rules” but it’s living up to the standard of God. We catholics are taught that our faith is not simply for show or just speaking it but also living it.

The wedding issue may seem trivally and to some it is but can you support helping someone else sin? My answer is no. Jesus hung out with Sinners but told them to sin no more. I have to follow that example. I have many friends who are Gay. I don’t disown them. I talk and do dinner with them but i do not support their lifestyle by going to pro-gay events or gay bars or setting them up on dates. It’s the idea of hate the sin not the sinner Because we are all sinners.

Please do not distance yourself from learning about Jesus’s church because your not sure how your family “might” react. Come to that bridge when/if it happens. Right now focus on yourself and God and see where he is calling and leading you.

May the peace of Christ be with you always,
Beckers


#8

Hey, I don’t think its a bad/demeaning question… My answer is yes, but it really depends on what you mean by “open-minded”. Let me start with with American Heritage defition I just found online :):

Receptive to new and different ideas or the opinions of others.

Sure, you can be receptive to others ideas or opinions, but if you know you have the Truth on one matter or another, why entertain things you know are wrong? For example, if you are sure the world is round, why sit and waste your time trying to learn Science from a Science book that parts from the premise that the world is flat? Anyways, prolly a bad example, but what I am saying is that one should seek the Truth, and try to avoid getting into things that are not right, risking confusion, just to be “open” rather than learning more about the Truth, if you have found it, in whatever area of life.

 Cool!!!  That's great news :)

Like I said, I believe you are being sincere and its a good question, but please don’t let any of us here keep you away from the Catholic Church. Lol, I for one have a ton of faults and am Catholic, but it doesn’t mean that the Catholic Church is lacking because of me, it just means that I am lacking :slight_smile: The Church is perfect, its members aren’t. Just because someone on here says this or that should be done, does not mean the Church says it. Anyways, also, no, Catholics aren’t called to go around trying to find everyone’s faults and point out their twigs in their eyes while carrying a log in their own, nevertheless there are times when in true Christian spirit of loving others one may need to say something to help others. Really a person has to pray about it and try to be prudent.

About the Catholic Church being the One True One, yeah, it is, but this does not mean your previous Assembly of God church did not contribute positively to your spiritual growth. There are some great converts out there that have come from all sorts of backgrounds and express how thankful they are to some things they learned in their previous churches, but they will also admit their churches unfortunately didn’t have to whole picture correctly. I have heard this explained very well in conversion stories, I wish I could remember which one and were able to provide you with a quote. For one, I know Scott Hahn is a great writer/speaker on the subject, if you get a chance to read some of his stuff or hear one of his talks that would be cool.

Anyways, I wish you the best on your journey! :slight_smile:


#9

Melissa,
If you decide to start studying to see if you want to become a
Catholic, some of your answers will come to you. You will learn
the “Why” of many of your questions. Have you read “Home
Sweet Rome” by Scott and Kimberly Hahn? One of the reasons
she started on the road to Rome (although Scott came in first)
was a discussion in her seminary studies where the professor
gave a flippant answer on why the Catholic Church does not
allow artificial birth control. She knew that there had to be more
and so it became her topic to study for the class.
And that book (and other converts )will tell you that your coming
from AOG will be part of your journey and much will not be
discarded. The AOG has a part of the Truth and many sincere
and loving Christians, but the Catholic Church is Truth.
Be true to where the Lord is taking you. Praying for your discerning.


#10

I have a come a long way. When I first agreed to marry my husband I thought of his catholic faith as a fault that we would have to overcome. Of course I never said this to him, but I did tell him that I would never even consider conversion. I am starting to think that maybe I was wrong. I am actually starting to crave learning more and more about the doctrines. I just get turned off by some of the stuff on here. I know I am far from perfect and I am not the type to go around telling everyone what they are doing wrong when I know that I am not perfect either.


#11

Well, the Catholic Church would not recommend that you do that, either. We are not called to just randomly bash people over the head with their sins. Rather, we are called to enter into a conversation with them, where we let them know how much we love them and care for them, and show them why it would be a bad idea to do whatever it is that they are contemplating doing.

We are also only to do this under certain specific conditions:

  1. This person is under my spiritual and/or physical care (I am his/her god parent, parent, grand-parent, legal guardian, or teacher), and/or this person has asked my opinion of the matter.

  2. I know the teaching of the Church on this matter very well (ie: I am not saying what I think the Church ought to teach and portraying it as if it were actual Church teaching), and I am able to express myself in a way that this person can clearly understand.

Sometimes people need a bit of a cold-water shock to realize that they are about to step off of a cliff, and if the conditions above are met, and that seems to be the best way to get the person thinking about their behaviour, then don’t be afraid to use it. But don’t just ambush someone out of nowhere with something like that - especially if they have not asked for your opinion, and are not someone for whom you are legally and/or morally responsible.


#12

You are only respecting his office, not the man himself. In Acts 19:11-12 Paul allowed people to use his handkerchief to heal others. This would seem pretty arrogant at first glance but it wasn’t Paul who was doing the healing but God through him. The same is true of kissing the ring of a Pope. You are respecting his office and God, not the man himself. Of course, no one is required to kiss anyone’s ring if they don’t wish to.

Also, I believe that God also works with Protestants. As a matter of fact, I admire how Protestants generally know more about their faith than regular “sleeping” Catholics

There is much that I admire about Protestants also. And I, too, get frustrated with Catholics for being ignorant about our beautiful, deep faith.


#13

Sometimes I think that we have gotten to a point in our society that being "open-minded’ is a religion in itself.

Will I have to speak up when my friends or family are doing things that I think are immoral even though it is none of my business?

I only speak up if I believe that it will do any good. Sometimes you go into a situation knowing that the person will not listen to you anyway, so why waste the words.:shrug: If I am asked my opinion, I do respond honestly, though.


#14

Hi deb1,

Thanks for the reply, I understand about Paul and the handkerchief, but those are really not similar. The pope is called to be the humblest servant of all, and therefore a stature of “highness” or “eminence” or “holiness” are debatable.

When people bowed down before the apostles they quickly told them to rise, as only God deserved such distinction, regardless of office. ( I can’t remember the exact place in the bible, but I am sure you know that example. )

Or maybe I am biased, because when I think of Popes, the first thing in my subconscious is how Popes used to exert earthly power like emperors and kings, and they exacted people to bow down before them… under the threat of going to hell.


#15

You will have to face these situations whether you are Catholic or not. We are to live our lives as the light set on the hill, not under a bushel basket.

The things Christ calls Catholics to he calls every Christian to by virtue of their baptism. There are many non-Catholics who ignore those things that transgress the moral law, look the other way, water down Christ’s teaching, and try to just “get along”. That does not make it right, nor is it what Christ calls us to do. It is, in fact, one of the things that compelled me to leave the Protestant church of my youth and become Catholic.

And, yes, the Catholic Church is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic and you affirm that when you make your profession of Faith and join the Church.


#16

Actually, all is cool… good Pope, bad Pope, it is us who make the Catholic (Universal) church, and not a single dude.

My ideal world would be Christians rich in the deposit of faith (Catholicism), with the zeal and hunger like Protestantism… that would be nice.


#17

I think you may have misunderstood duskyjewel. I don’t think he/she was trying to imply that you do not have moral code, I think he/she was just saying that you surely do have a moral code as an AOG Christian, and your response to another’s sin would be much the same if you were Catholic.
St. Francis of Assisi was the one who said, “Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.” or something like that. It is not always right, productive or necessary to confront someone with their sin. In fact, I have found myself much* less* likely to say anything the deeper into my faith I get because I’ve learned that my motives are not always pure. Sadly, I think I get a superiority complex when I can say to my sister, “you are not teaching your children well”, or some such thing.
We are all called to the fullness of Truth, but we all have different gifts through which to share our faith.


#18

Melissa,

As a participant in these forums since spring of 2005, I have many times wondered what those considering the faith must think about some of the hairy discussions that never fail to arise here on any given day! Thank you, first of all, for reminding us that anytime we bicker amongst ourselves or are unwise or uncharitable, we are not the only ones who suffer from it. As you have probably discovered by now, just because Christ instituted His Church here on earth doesn’t mean we aren’t still human beings who fall every day and have to clean up the mess.

I would just encourage you to take a step back, take a breather, and be aware that many, many of the topics discussed here are peripheral issues that arise from specific situations and the results of basic doctrine. No one, and I mean NO one, can be expected to understand all the nuances of the faith at the onset of the journey. And in truth, the more one learns about the Catholic faith, the more one is made aware that this is a life-long study - truly a journey - in which we never reach a complete understanding of all the mysteries God has to offer. To assume that we might do so would be great arrogance on our part.

When I look back to the day that my husband and I entered the Church at our confirmation, I think, “My goodness, those were the stone ages of our faith!” Boy, we thought we had so much figured out. Little did we know how imperfectly we were practicing at the time. And even now, several years later, we continue to come across new teachings that call us to a greater degree of servitude and sacrifice to our Lord. But God is patient with us, and He is very gentle. He knew our minds couldn’t handle everything all at once, and so He began by giving us the very basics: the love of Truth and the realization of the authority of the Church. When you get right down to it, there’s not that much more that is necessary for conversion.

Do you have a Catechism? If not, you can find it easily on the internet and begin to read for yourself what faith and morals are required for Catholics. Please, start there. Don’t let all of these dialogues get to you. Get a good grasp of the basics, and trust that God will give you the grace you need to carry you through the specifics as they arise.

Many blessings to you, in Christ our Lord.

mary


#19

Stick around. You’ll be pleasantly surprised. :wink:


#20

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.