Need help.


#1

As some of you know, I’m going to be converting to Catholicism. And recently I was talking with someone on a political forum whose opinion I respect very very much, as it turns out, he’s strongly anti-Catholic. Well, he doesn’t hate them, but he thinks they’re very wrong on almost everything. And maid me begin to have doubts. While I still plan on going through with turning Catholic, how do you guys deal with your doubts. I mean he said something like, " I mean those who are relying a Priest to forgive them of their sins WILL end up in Hell…" And me, not even being a true Catholic yet, had no response for him. It just brought back those lingering doubts I thought I had put to rest… :frowning:


#2

[quote=Aequitas]As some of you know, I’m going to be converting to Catholicism. And recently I was talking with someone on a political forum whose opinion I respect very very much, as it turns out, he’s strongly anti-Catholic. Well, he doesn’t hate them, but he thinks they’re very wrong on almost everything. And maid me begin to have doubts. While I still plan on going through with turning Catholic, how do you guys deal with your doubts. I mean he said something like, " I mean those who are relying a Priest to forgive them of their sins WILL end up in Hell…" And me, not even being a true Catholic yet, had no response for him. It just brought back those lingering doubts I thought I had put to rest… :frowning:
[/quote]

Take it easy – as your forum name implies! Coming to RCIA or an inquirer’s class doesn’t commit you to becoming Catholic. You can field your doubts out loud when you get into formation. For what it’s worth, this objection to sacramental confession is one of the easiest to blow out of the water. Piece o’ cake!

At this time in your spiritual life, stick close to your prayer bench. Maybe read the scripture readings for daily Mass (nccbuscc.org/nab/index.htm). Come here with questions – and don’t forget the articles on the CA main home page. Here’s the one on confession: catholic.com/library/Confession.asp

Godspeed.


#3

[quote=Aequitas]As some of you know, I’m going to be converting to Catholicism. And recently I was talking with someone on a political forum whose opinion I respect very very much, as it turns out, he’s strongly anti-Catholic. Well, he doesn’t hate them, but he thinks they’re very wrong on almost everything. And maid me begin to have doubts. While I still plan on going through with turning Catholic, how do you guys deal with your doubts. I mean he said something like, " I mean those who are relying a Priest to forgive them of their sins WILL end up in Hell…" And me, not even being a true Catholic yet, had no response for him. It just brought back those lingering doubts I thought I had put to rest… :frowning:
[/quote]

You deal with your difficulties (difficulties aren’t doubts) not by sitting on them, but by looking! In other words, you’re doing the right thing by coming to Catholic.com and doing some research so you will be able to explain what you believe and why.:thumbsup:

Just remember, if someone asks you a question you don’t know the answer to, say plainly, “I don’t know.…”, but always follow up with, “…but I will find out and get back to you”.

Your questioner will respect your honesty and it will provide an excellent way to spread your faith with solid answers.


#4

So-- it is not the priest who forgives our sins! It is Jesus Who acts through the priest. Does it not say in Scripture (twice two different places, once to Peter and then to all the Apostles) :Who’s sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven, and who’s sins you shall retain, they are retained. I know once is in Matthew, and I think the other is in John.

Peace,
Linda


#5

[quote=Aequitas]As some of you know, I’m going to be converting to Catholicism. And recently I was talking with someone on a political forum whose opinion I respect very very much, as it turns out, he’s strongly anti-Catholic. Well, he doesn’t hate them, but he thinks they’re very wrong on almost everything. And maid me begin to have doubts. While I still plan on going through with turning Catholic, how do you guys deal with your doubts. I mean he said something like, " I mean those who are relying a Priest to forgive them of their sins WILL end up in Hell…" And me, not even being a true Catholic yet, had no response for him. It just brought back those lingering doubts I thought I had put to rest… :frowning:
[/quote]

I had a very similar experience! But I was in a Christian-Faith group. I told them I was going to a Catholic church and they were so anti-Catholic, I had to leave! I got into arguments with them (it’s funny now but it wasn’t at that time!).

All it takes Aequitas is FAITH! Pray for more Faith and it will be given to you! Pray that you want TRUTH!

It’s amazing too! Before I started pursuing Catholicism, I was going to a Protestant church obviously and I don’t know why but I knew I wanted to be Catholic! The funny part about that is I had NO CLUE what Catholics believed or anything and heard anti-Catholic stuff and I was even skeptical about the belief yet I still wanted to be Catholic! :stuck_out_tongue: That doesn’t make sense or does it? Only God gives you the desire and that desire that’s within you can only lead you but you have to cooperate with it too in order to find what you’re looking for!

Peace!


#6

[quote=Aequitas]I was talking with someone on a political forum whose opinion I respect very very much, as it turns out, he’s strongly anti-Catholic. Well, he doesn’t hate them, but he thinks they’re very wrong on almost everything. And maid me begin to have doubts.
[/quote]

Mark 9, 24: Then the boy’s father cried out, “I do believe, help my unbelief!”

Do you think that none of the martyrs or saints of the faith have never doubted?

They preferred to stick to the Cross of Our Lord, before following their doubts.

Do yourself a favor: do not listen to those ignorant and shallow anti-Catholic people, because they really do not know what they are taking about. Unfortunately for them, they are blind, they want to remain so, and their supposed wisdom is only smoke. They live in vain, they die in vain. You have a narrow path in front of you. It is beautiful. It is the only one that leads to the true life. You are going to help Christ to carry his cross, as Simon of Cyrene did (Mark 15, 21-22). You are going to carry your own cross, and follow Christ. On this path, you are not alone. The new chosen people are with you, the martyrs, the saints, the virgins, the confessors, the infinite unknown people of God.


#7

[quote=LindaS]So-- it is not the priest who forgives our sins! It is Jesus Who acts through the priest. Does it not say in Scripture (twice two different places, once to Peter and then to all the Apostles) :Who’s sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven, and who’s sins you shall retain, they are retained. I know once is in Matthew, and I think the other is in John.

Peace,
Linda
[/quote]

Yes, you’re right about the passage, but wrong on its understanding. The apostles would be the first to say that the forgiveness is still done through Christ. After all, their forgiveness would have no meaning without the pascal sacrifice. It wasn’t the sacrifice of the apostles, but the sacrifice of Christ.


#8

I’m afraid I have to disagree with barsapp a bit.

Catholicism, because it is the Truth, can stand up to any inquiry or questioning. As G.K. Chesterton pointed out, Catholicism is not a key that fits a lock. It is the key that fits *every *lock.

I wouldn’t go looking for confrontations, but when you are asked questions and/or challenged, see what the Church’s response is. If you need help, start a thread here, and the members will be glad to point you in the direction of any resources you need.


#9

Paul says in 2 Corinthians

2Co 2:10 And to whom you have pardoned any thing, I also. For, what I have pardoned, if I have pardoned any thing, for your sakes have I done it in the person of Christ: (DRB)

Proper confession is recieved by a priest who acts “in persona Christi” which is the same description used for his actions during the mass. It is Christ acting through the priest who forgives. Yes he can forgive us in any way that he chooses, but confession helps build humility which helps to keep us from sinning again.


#10

[quote=Aequitas]As some of you know, I’m going to be converting to Catholicism. And recently I was talking with someone on a political forum whose opinion I respect very very much, as it turns out, he’s strongly anti-Catholic. Well, he doesn’t hate them, but he thinks they’re very wrong on almost everything. And maid me begin to have doubts. While I still plan on going through with turning Catholic, how do you guys deal with your doubts. I mean he said something like, " I mean those who are relying a Priest to forgive them of their sins WILL end up in Hell…" And me, not even being a true Catholic yet, had no response for him. It just brought back those lingering doubts I thought I had put to rest… :frowning:
[/quote]

Hi, friend.

Do not worry. The Catholic Church as you know it is extremely-well-attested in Scripture. Your friend just doesn’t know his Bible.

THE CENTRAL SACRAMENT, THE EUCHARIST: In the Nativity story in Luke’s gospel, we see Jesus wrapped in swaddlingly clothes, like a cadaver wrapped in a shroud, in a manger – a kind of “serving dish” for yoked animals. Where does this take place? In Bethlehem, Hebrew for “House of Bread” – the bakery.

So, what do we see in the bakery? We see not bread on the serving dish, but the actual flesh of dead Jesus on the serving dish! The Real Presence in the Eucharist.

If you want, I’ll outline other typological word pictures of the Real Presence in Scripture.

THAT OTHER IMPORTANT SACRAMENT, RECONCILIATION: In John’s gospel, when Jesus washes the feet of the Apostles, very, very carefully read his words to Peter…

5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel around his waist. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Master, are you going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later.” 8 Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him, “Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed, for he is clean all over; so you are clean,…” John 13:5-10.
Allow me to suggest the interpretation of Jesus’ words, to make them make sense…

Whoever has bathed [by being baptized] has no need except to have his feet washed [by having his sins forgiven in Reconciliation, after committing Actual Sin in the course of his journey on The Way], for he [as a result] is clean all over; so you are clean [now that I have symbolically given you the benefit of the Sacrament of Reconciliation],…

Again, if you like I can direct you to other word pictures of the core Sacraments of the Faith.

Please, feel confident about your Catholic Faith.


#11

Dealing with anti-Catholics is, for the most part, a waste of time. Nevertheless, if you are confronted, I think there are two things to keep in mind.
First, you have to be friends. Without that, there is nothing from stopping them from slamming down on your toes.
Second, take a minute to examine the underling premises. For example, the point of the confessional. The person usually has all kinds of misperceptions crystallized by a lifetime of prejudice. This is a huge obstacle to overcome before you can bring a person to the point where they are at least willing to consider truths, let alone accept them. The soil is rock hard, and needs tilling before any seeds can take root. And the seeds you plant are actually seeds of doubt that may weaken his belief system, a titanium covered heart. For example, “The confessional is true, because Jesus is God, and God is love, and Jesus loves me enough that he gave HIS power to human priests to forgive sins, because I can’t see Jesus, but I can see and hear Him when He forgives me through the priest. You don’t argue the truth, you present it.

You stop there, and wait for the next insult, because the person is prejudiced, and thinks the confessional is a Catholic invention. He will not trample on the pearl of love, (underlined above) but he will on the pearl of sound doctrine, so you may want to hold that one back. So he tramples on you and says, “Where is that in the bible”.

Don’t give that pearl either…yet. Till the soil. Ask him if he is anti-Semitic, and if he thinks all Jews are going to hell. If he is not some kind of skin-head theologian, he will say of course not. Then you say, “If I show you in the bible where God COMMANDS the Jews to confess their sins to the priest, will you consider a few other verses that supports what I believe?

Here you are maintaining his dignity as a person by asking him for permission, and granting him the freedom to “consider”. Always be prepared to end the conversation, and leave room for God to apply his grace with what you don’t say. It might be best to say, “I’m afraid I am not as blessed with scripture memory as you are, so I will show you in the bible where the Jews practiced confession to the priest, in the OT, as well (if you are not prepared) some other time, or post it the next day. You do agree that what is hidden in the OT, is revealed in the NT? (almost all Protestants agree with this principle)

 Summary:

Friends

God’s love

How God loves us in the OT

How God loves us through his ordained instruments

Maintain his dignity

Maintain yours too by not permitting them to scourge Our Lord (you and me) with scriptures.

 What makes anti-Catholics so blind is not necessarily doctrinal ignorance, but self –hatred. Seeds can’t take root because their hearts are to too hard. So when a sound irrefutable argument is presented to them, they reject it anyway and change the subject. 

Self-hatred blinds them to the truth because they are afraid of the Church. And they are afraid of the Church because they are bitter are ex-Catholics or have been taught to be all their lives, or they just hate themselves.

 Therefore it is by the fire of the Holy Spirit operating through your love for them that will melt such titanium hearts. You get this fire in the Eucharist and prayer, the real starting point in dealing with anti-Catholics. 

Those are just some reflections.

#12

[quote=BibleReader]Hi, friend.

Do not worry. The Catholic Church as you know it is extremely-well-attested in Scripture. Your friend just doesn’t know his Bible.
THE CENTRAL SACRAMENT, THE EUCHARIST: In the Nativity story in Luke’s gospel, we see Jesus wrapped in swaddlingly clothes, like a cadaver wrapped in a shroud, in a manger – a kind of “serving dish” for yoked animals. Where does this take place? In Bethlehem, Hebrew for “House of Bread” – the bakery.

So, what do we see in the bakery? We see not bread on the serving dish, but the actual flesh of dead Jesus on the serving dish! The Real Presence in the Eucharist.

If you want, I’ll outline other typological word pictures of the Real Presence in Scripture.

THAT OTHER IMPORTANT SACRAMENT, RECONCILIATION: In John’s gospel, when Jesus washes the feet of the Apostles, very, very carefully read his words to Peter…

5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel around his waist. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Master, are you going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later.” 8 Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him, “Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed, for he is clean all over; so you are clean,…” John 13:5-10.
Allow me to suggest the interpretation of Jesus’ words, to make them make sense…

Whoever has bathed [by being baptized] has no need except to have his feet washed [by having his sins forgiven in Reconciliation, after committing Actual Sin in the course of his journey on The Way], for he [as a result] is clean all over; so you are clean [now that I have symbolically given you the benefit of the Sacrament of Reconciliation],…

Again, if you like I can direct you to other word pictures of the core Sacraments of the Faith.

Please, feel confident about your Catholic Faith.
[/quote]

Thanks everyone. You’ve all really helped me alot. And normally I just brush off haters because I precieve them as ignorant. But this guy is different. I have so much respect for him, and I take his opinion on many matters very seriously. But I do research, and I find that he is the one who is wrong on many issues, and it sort of saddens me. I mean I’m glad that he’s wrong about Catholicism, but I wish he knew the truth…


#13

[quote=Kay Cee]I’m afraid I have to disagree with barsapp a bit.

[/quote]

I completely agree with you….

I started my post quoting the Gospel according St. Mark to show Aequitas that doubt (or unbelief) is a possible, but not invincible, obstacle. Beyond any doubt stands a fact: Christ. And the Holy Catholic Church founded by Christ on St. Peter. Then, I recommended Aequitas not to listen to those shallow and void anti-Catholics, who are pure vanity, shadows of nothing. Finally, I tried to briefly describe the path Aequitas has in front of him: a narrow but beautiful and worthy one. The path of Christ, the path of the Cross, the path of the Holy Catholic Church. The only joyful, the only true path to Christ. There are no doubts under the Cross of Christ. Only love, truth, life.


#14

[quote=Aequitas]Thanks everyone. You’ve all really helped me alot. And normally I just brush off haters because I precieve them as ignorant. But this guy is different. I have so much respect for him, and I take his opinion on many matters very seriously. But I do research, and I find that he is the one who is wrong on many issues, and it sort of saddens me. I mean I’m glad that he’s wrong about Catholicism, but I wish he knew the truth…
[/quote]

I believe you are definitly getting the the point. You see many Noncathlic Christian brothers receive some truth, but without the embrace of Christ’s church they are like sheep without a shepard. Some may make it home, but left on their own they are at risk of falling into pits or harmed by wolves. Thus they will know the bible very well in many instances, but since they are essentinally their own pope as far as interpretation they will be bound to human mistakes and denials of truths. They will always see scripture through their cloudy filtering lenses. You see the more and more you soak yourself into Christ’s church you’ll realize that the Bible is a 100% Catholic.
Continue learning the Word of the Lord through the wriiten and oral word of His Church. You will be confronted with doubt, but use that doubt as a magnet for information; a hunger that needs to be satified by the Truth.

I personally completely understand your delema as it relates to a fellow Christian which you respect, but is ill informed of Christ’s Church. Continue discussing wtih him Christian issues of the Mother church. Let him make challenging questions, it will only strenthen your faith in the longrun as you will eventually be confronted by simlar or itdentical questions. If you don’t know something tell him to hold on and give him the Church’s perspective with a pause… there truly is a" power of the pause."

You may also want to read some good apologetics books. Such as Karl Keating’s book “Catholicism and Fundamentalism” or the one I am presently reading and find facinatng… Dave Armstrong’s “A Biblical Defense of Catholism”. Armstrong is an ex-protestant which found the Church by attempting to defend his protestanism… learn more of Christ’s Church and you might evangelize your otherwise respected friend back home to the mother church as occurred with Mr. Armstrong… then maybe your friend may realize he owes Christ’s Church another verson of its biblical defense. :thumbsup:

–“Whre is that in the Bible” by Ratrick Madrid is also a good quick reference guide to biblical defense of the Church.


#15

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