Questions about the Catholic Faith from a Protestant


#1

To All:

I want to say that I come in peace and just have some questions. You see, I grew up Catholic and started attending a protestant Church at about 15. I didn’t actually become Christian until I turned 22 (as that was when I committed myself to Christ).

My main questions are concerning the Priesthood, the power of the Pope and the Sacraments and the idea of the Church in general.

  1. Why must a Priest be unmarried (I understand if he is unmarried he MUST remain celibate but why could he not be married)?

  2. Is the Pope considered infallible (the Bible clearly says that, “all men fall short of the glory of God,” and Paul continually talks about how he must better himself because his body is wretched due to sin)?

  3. This question has a couple different parts on different Sacraments.

A) Why is Baptism an infant Sacrament? Christ was not Baptized until he could make a conscious decision to be Baptized. Baptism was about repentence and coming to God in Biblical times so how did it become a Sacrament done to an infant? Also, is Baptism needed for Salvation?
B) Why must a Priest hear your sins and decide on a punishment (penance)? I thought the whole point of Christ dying was for the sins that we commit and have committed. If the payment was paid on the cross, why can’t we just repent to God (and why do we need a mediator as the Bible says the way to God is through Christ, not through a Priest first)?
C) How can we say that everyone at a certain age is ready to receive a Sacrament (especially confirmation)? Spiritual maturity is something that people must go through and not everyone is on the same level.

  1. My last question is that according to the Bible, the Church is a body of believers. It is said that, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, so that whomever believed in him would not perish but have eternal life.” This sounds like it doesn’t matter if you are Catholic or Protestant but if you believe in Christ as Savior, you will inherit the Kingdom. Do you guys agree or disagree?

I appreciate all honest answers as I am just wondering about your viewpoints, in response if you have any questions about why I believe certain things or would like to know what I believe; please ask me.

Thanks for all the time.


#2

[quote=jpete79]To All:

I want to say that I come in peace and just have some questions. You see, I grew up Catholic and started attending a protestant Church at about 15. I didn’t actually become Christian until I turned 22 (as that was when I committed myself to Christ).
[/quote]

Welcome, jpete! :smiley: I take it you were never confirmed in the Catholic Church, then? When a Catholic is confirmed is when he makes his commitment to Christ and Christ’s Church, his body. What you experienced is called an “awakening to faith” which many inside and outside the Catholic Church have had. St. Francis of Assisi had a life-changing awakening to faith, too. So, really, you didn’t become a Christian (you already were one by reason of your baptism), rather you saw you needed Christ and decided to commit you life to him–same thing that happens in confirmation.

My main questions are concerning the Priesthood, the power of the Pope and the Sacraments and the idea of the Church in general.

Okay. :slight_smile:

  1. Why must a Priest be unmarried (I understand if he is unmarried he MUST remain celibate but why could he not be married)?

The celibate priesthood in the Roman rite of the Catholic Church is disciplinary only, which means the pope (who is the bishop of all other bishops and priests) feels that celibacy is best for Roman rite Catholic priests. Any pope could rescind celibacy, but it is unlikely he will. The support for this charism is found in both the Gospels and in the writings of St. Paul in which Jesus commended those who gave up wife and family to serve God completely and St. Paul wrote that it is better to remain single in order to better serve the Lord.

  1. Is the Pope considered infallible (the Bible clearly says that, “all men fall short of the glory of God,” and Paul continually talks about how he must better himself because his body is wretched due to sin)?

You are confusing impeccability (the inability to sin) with infallibility (the inability to be wrong in matters of faith and morals). The pope has the charism of infallibility only under this second category. He does not have to be personally perfect/without sin–the Church does not claim impeccability for the popes.

  1. This question has a couple different parts on different Sacraments.

continued next post…


#3

part deux!

A) Why is Baptism an infant Sacrament? Christ was not Baptized until he could make a conscious decision to be Baptized. Baptism was about repentence and coming to God in Biblical times so how did it become a Sacrament done to an infant? Also, is Baptism needed for Salvation?

For adults who have never been baptized and know what they are doing it is a conscious decision, but baptism isn’t limited to them. You have to take into account that those adults being baptized in the NT were all Gentile converts or Jews becoming Christians. And yet, whole households were baptized as we see in Acts. And what about the mentally impaired? They might not be able to make a conscious decision, but should they be kept from baptism because of that? Or what about the illiterate? Baptism removes the stain of original sin from the soul, making it fit for the entrance of the Holy Spirit, so it is necessary for salvation.

B) Why must a Priest hear your sins and decide on a punishment (penance)? I thought the whole point of Christ dying was for the sins that we commit and have committed. If the payment was paid on the cross, why can’t we just repent to God (and why do we need a mediator as the Bible says the way to God is through Christ, not through a Priest first)?

Christ gave the power to “bind and loose” to his Apostles and their successors, so you should ask Jesus why he did that, yes? He gave them the power to forgive sins in his place BECAUSE of what he accomplished on the cross not in spite of it.

Penance is not a payment for sins committed but rather for the fall out from sin–the earthly, temporal results of our sins. When we commit sin we not only hurt ourselves but others, as well. It is a form of restitution/restoration. Think of it this way: if you could have helped Jesus carry his cross wouldn’t you have done so? Well, that is what penance does. It helps lift the cross off the shoulders of God’s people, including our own.

C) How can we say that everyone at a certain age is ready to receive a Sacrament (especially confirmation)? Spiritual maturity is something that people must go through and not everyone is on the same level.

Absolutely, which is why no one should enter the process for confirmation who doesn’t want to or isn’t ready for it.

  1. My last question is that according to the Bible, the Church is a body of believers. It is said that, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, so that whomever believed in him would not perish but have eternal life.” This sounds like it doesn’t matter if you are Catholic or Protestant but if you believe in Christ as Savior, you will inherit the Kingdom. Do you guys agree or disagree?

Why wouldn’t it matter to God is one is following the fullness of truth or not? Do you think he doesn’t care if people are embracing untruths, even if it is out of ignorance? I think he does care–he cared so much he sacrificed his only Son so that we could be set free from sin (the lies of the devil) and death (the consequence of sin). Jesus said, “I will establish my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” If it doesn’t matter why did Jesus go out of his way to establish a visible Church with a hierarchy of authority (check out Acts 15 for this last point to see how it functioned).

I appreciate all honest answers as I am just wondering about your viewpoints, in response if you have any questions about why I believe certain things or would like to know what I believe; please ask me.

Thanks for all the time.

And we appreciate someone asking with an open mind and with civility. :thumbsup:

The best resource for all your question is the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I highly recommend that you read it on these topics for a better, fuller explanation of what the Church has to say about them.

God bless you. I will keep you in my prayers, please pray for me, too. :slight_smile:


#4

[quote=jpete79] 2) Is the Pope considered infallible (the Bible clearly says that, “all men fall short of the glory of God,” and Paul continually talks about how he must better himself because his body is wretched due to sin)?

[/quote]

I’ll just tackle this question for now.

There is a distinction between infallibility and impeccebility. We believe the Pope is infallible under certain circumstances so as to protect the faithful from erroneous teaching. However, in his personal life, administrative duties, etc, the Pope is not protected from error nor from sin.

But to the crux of your question, how can we believe this? Well the easiest answer I can give is this:

All Christians (I think) believe the Bible is the inspired word of God and thus free from error right? Okay. But we know the Bible was physically written by man right? Okay. How then can we believe the Bible is necessarily free from error since man is prone to error?

The answer has to be that God protected the authors of the Bible, at least during the time they were writing, from making any errors. We can say then, that God gave them the gift of infallibility during their writing. It was necessary to protect the faithful from erroneous teaching.

It is quite logical then for God to also protect the official interpretor of the error-free Bible from error. We can see that God can and has given man this gift of infallibility, and we understand why.

The next question then becomes, But did God give the Papacy this gift of infallibility? We know God can and** has** given man that gift before, but **did ** He necessarily give this to the Papacy as well?

That’s a rather lengthy answer, but hopefully I’ve answered your initial question.

Peace,
Chris W


#5

welcome to the forums

you have a lot of questions. some of which belong in different forums. questions on the priesthood go to Liturgy & Sacraments, sola scriptura could go in Scripture or apologetics and so forth.
Best way to get the answers you want, concisely and quickly is first to read the stickies and follow the forum rules.
second is to start with the CA homepage tracts and articles on your topics. Read the basic explanation, then come here for more questions or discussion.
third, you could search the forums for threads on your topic, but this is becoming really cumbersome unless you do an advanced search.

really, fastest way is to do your homework first on the homepage. All of the questions in your first post are answered there. then come on back and chat, as you see, there are plenty of us around with nothing constructive to do today except hang around here.


#6

Start here, under the Library section on the left:

catholic.com/

BTW - you became Christian at the moment of your Catholic baptism, whether you realize it now or not.


#7

Thanks to both of you for your answers.

First, I was actually confirmed in the Catholic Church and it was without a real commitment to building a relationship with God. I basically was confimed because at 13 years old, my parents wanted me to get confirmed.

I think that the question about why does it matter if a person is Catholic or Protestant was misinterpreted. I know that I whole-heartedly believe in Christ, I have a personal relationship with Him and a desire to see His name glorified in the world. However, I am not Catholic…my question was meant to be more like, do you believe a non-Catholic can receive God’s gift of Salvation?

As far as the other answers, they are very informative and I thank you for the responses.


#8

I see there are lots of answers to your questions since I started composing my reply but I’ll give my answers anyways.

  1. Why must a Priest be unmarried (I understand if he is unmarried he MUST remain celibate but why could he not be married)?

At the heart of the matter, this is a rule of discipline in the latin rite churches. Why must someone in the military wear a uniform of this color and not that? Because it’s the rules. Now there are some good reasons to make this a rule. Paul suggests that celebacy for the sake of the kingdom is a good idea.

  1. Is the Pope considered infallible (the Bible clearly says that, “all men fall short of the glory of God,” and Paul continually talks about how he must better himself because his body is wretched due to sin)?

The Pope is infallible when he speaks for the Church (ex Cathedra - from the Chair) in matters of faith and morals. That doesn’t mean he can’t be wrong about geography or that he can’t sin.

  1. This question has a couple different parts on different Sacraments.

A couple of thoughts on the sacraments. They are NOT mere symbols. They are NOT the mere works of men. They are the work of Christ for His people through the actions of the Church.

A) Why is Baptism an infant Sacrament? Christ was not Baptized until he could make a conscious decision to be Baptized. Baptism was about repentence and coming to God in Biblical times so how did it become a Sacrament done to an infant? Also, is Baptism needed for Salvation?

Catholics consider Baptism to be more than just a symbol of some inner reality. We consider it a work of God in us rather than a work we do for God. We consider baptism necessary for eternal salvation. (I’ll let someone else handle what we believe happens to those who die without Baptism.) Baptism leaves a permanent “mark” on our soul and gives us graces to live by. As such, we do not want to deny such an important sacrament to children younger than the age of reason (approx 7 years of age).

B) Why must a Priest hear your sins and decide on a punishment (penance)? I thought the whole point of Christ dying was for the sins that we commit and have committed. If the payment was paid on the cross, why can’t we just repent to God (and why do we need a mediator as the Bible says the way to God is through Christ, not through a Priest first)?

Christ gave the Church the power to bind or loose sins. The priest acts as Christ in the sacrament. When you confess to a priest you ARE confessing to Christ.

C) How can we say that everyone at a certain age is ready to receive a Sacrament (especially confirmation)? Spiritual maturity is something that people must go through and not everyone is on the same level.

This is something of an internal debate within the Catholic church. Eastern rite Catholics are confirmed as infants and receive the Eucharist at that time. Latin rite Catholics typically wait until some point beyond the age of reason.

  1. My last question is that according to the Bible, the Church is a body of believers. It is said that, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, so that whomever believed in him would not perish but have eternal life.” This sounds like it doesn’t matter if you are Catholic or Protestant but if you believe in Christ as Savior, you will inherit the Kingdom. Do you guys agree or disagree?

This is a topic that is probably too big for this thread since it addresses the the whole topic of salvation and what we must do to be ‘saved’. But I’ll just say that to belief in Jesus is not an action limited to a certain point in time and space. It is an eternal action. The Catholic Church is the only church which has the fullness of Truth to enable the individual to “believe”.


#9

BTW - you became Christian at the moment of your Catholic baptism, whether you realize it now or not.

I don’t agree with that statement. Believing in Christ and walking in His ways must be a conscious decision. A Christian is a follower of Christ and a baby cannot consciously make that decision.

By your definition of becoming Christian at Baptism, that means we don’t have to believe that Christ did anything (lived or died or was raised for us) and we can live life however we would like and still receive Salvation.


#10

[quote=jpete79]Thanks to both of you for your answers.
[/quote]

From at least one of us, me, you’re welcome. :slight_smile:

First, I was actually confirmed in the Catholic Church and it was without a real commitment to building a relationship with God. I basically was confirmed because at 13 years old, my parents wanted me to get confirmed.

As a part of the confirmation process you should have been asked if you wanted to commit your life to Christ. You may or may not have been asked this, but you should have. In any case, confirmation does do what the Church intends that it should do–infill the recipient with the Holy Spirit. So, really, your confirmation opened the door for your spiritual awakening, even if you didn’t fully understand what you were doing by being confirmed. The faith of your parents and of the whole people of God carried you along for many years, and still does. :wink:

I think that the question about why does it matter if a person is Catholic or Protestant was misinterpreted. I know that I whole-heartedly believe in Christ, I have a personal relationship with Him and a desire to see His name glorified in the world. However, I am not Catholic…my question was meant to be more like, do you believe a non-Catholic can receive God’s gift of Salvation?

Non-Catholic Christians are Christians because of their trinitarian baptism (in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). So, Protestants are connected to the Catholic Church, although imperfectly, and so are considered Christians who can receive God’s graces. This doesn’t mean that they ought to stay Protestants once they understand what the Church actually teaches–they should, and so should you. Once you know what the Church teaches you will be considered culpable for what you know and what you do about it. After all, what we are all seeking here is the truth, not what makes us feel comfortable. Right?

As far as the other answers, they are very informative and I thank you for the responses.

You’re welcome! And do read up on these matters for yourself. Don’t just take the word of your Protestant leaders for it regarding the teachings of the Catholic Church. They didn’t study the teachings of the Catholic Church anymore than you did, and so are just as ignorant about what they think they know as you are, dear fellow Christian. :wink:


#11

[quote=jpete79]Thanks to both of you for your answers.

First, I was actually confirmed in the Catholic Church and it was without a real commitment to building a relationship with God. I basically was confimed because at 13 years old, my parents wanted me to get confirmed.

I think that the question about why does it matter if a person is Catholic or Protestant was misinterpreted. I know that I whole-heartedly believe in Christ, I have a personal relationship with Him and a desire to see His name glorified in the world. However, I am not Catholic…my question was meant to be more like, do you believe a non-Catholic can receive God’s gift of Salvation?

As far as the other answers, they are very informative and I thank you for the responses.
[/quote]

First of all, you are Catholic. It is a sacrament that you can’t deny just as you can’t deny your baptism. The truth is that you now have chosen to reject the Church and its teaching. God gave you free will. It is within your right to reject this gift, even if you don’t consider it a gift.

Second, what do you mean you “whole-heartedly believe in Christ.” Pope Benedict (while a Cardinal) wrote “Introduction to Christianity” where he explained theologically and semantically what it means to “believe”. He took 90 pages to do it. In its theological context, it means alot more than just “think to be true” which is the common vernacular semantics associated with this word.

Third, what do you mean you “have a personal relationship with Him.” I have a personal relationship with my neighbor and one with my wife. They are not equal. Is your relationship one where you accept some of Him but reject His sacraments, His teaching in John 6 on the Eucharist, His teaching that there is one Truth inspired by the Holy Spirit and not 40,000 different “truths” as represented by all the different Christian denominations in the U.S., etc.?

Fourth, what do you mean you “desire to see His name glorified in the world”? Is His name glorified when one holds to the inerrancy of the Bible but rejects the institution upon which He said He would build His Church and that was charged with compiling the Bible (the Catholic Church) and protecting it for 1,500 years until Luther/Calven et. al.?

I don’t ask these questions with malice. I know you came to the forum in peace and don’t harbor ill-will. I ask these pointed questions with a charitable heart trying to inspire you to examine these questions prayerfully in concert with discernment from the Holy Spirit. These simple bromides (while good and wholesome) need to be examined in all their meaning.


#12

[quote=jpete79]To All:

I want to say that I come in peace and just have some questions. You see, I grew up Catholic and started attending a protestant Church at about 15. I didn’t actually become Christian until I turned 22 (as that was when I committed myself to Christ).

My main questions are concerning the Priesthood, the power of the Pope and the Sacraments and the idea of the Church in general.

  1. Why must a Priest be unmarried (I understand if he is unmarried he MUST remain celibate but why could he not be married)?

  2. Is the Pope considered infallible (the Bible clearly says that, “all men fall short of the glory of God,” and Paul continually talks about how he must better himself because his body is wretched due to sin)?

  3. This question has a couple different parts on different Sacraments.

A) Why is Baptism an infant Sacrament? Christ was not Baptized until he could make a conscious decision to be Baptized. Baptism was about repentence and coming to God in Biblical times so how did it become a Sacrament done to an infant? Also, is Baptism needed for Salvation?
B) Why must a Priest hear your sins and decide on a punishment (penance)? I thought the whole point of Christ dying was for the sins that we commit and have committed. If the payment was paid on the cross, why can’t we just repent to God (and why do we need a mediator as the Bible says the way to God is through Christ, not through a Priest first)?
C) How can we say that everyone at a certain age is ready to receive a Sacrament (especially confirmation)? Spiritual maturity is something that people must go through and not everyone is on the same level.

  1. My last question is that according to the Bible, the Church is a body of believers. It is said that, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, so that whomever believed in him would not perish but have eternal life.” This sounds like it doesn’t matter if you are Catholic or Protestant but if you believe in Christ as Savior, you will inherit the Kingdom. Do you guys agree or disagree?

I appreciate all honest answers as I am just wondering about your viewpoints, in response if you have any questions about why I believe certain things or would like to know what I believe; please ask me.

Thanks for all the time.
[/quote]

1.) Celibacy is a gift from God. Jesus obviously never married and we hear next to nothing about the Apostles’ families. The ability to imitate God in this case should not be taken lightly.

2.) The Pope is only infallible when he speaks ex-cathedra. Keep in mind that as a Protestant, you have absolutely no means in which to accurately interpret Scripture, hence your confusion.

3.) a.) Read Acts of the Apostles. The notion of a “believer’s baptism” is a 16th century man-made tradition.

b.) Because Jesus Christ set it up that way.

c.) How can you say someone is not ready to receive a certain sacrament with the proper catechesis?

4.) Jesus Christ wants eveyone to experience the fullness of the Christian faith here on Earth. That’s available only though his Church, the Catholic Church.


#13

I, too, welcome you, jpete! I will add my 2 cents to what Della and Chris have already stated… hope it helps!

[quote=jpete79]1) Why must a Priest be unmarried (I understand if he is unmarried he MUST remain celibate but why could he not be married)?
[/quote]

Della noted that the celibate priesthood is a discipline of the Roman rite of the Catholic Church, but there are exceptions (pretty much almost always the exceptions are married clergy of other denominations who subsequently join the Catholic Church). In the Eastern Rites (and in the Eastern Orthodox churches), a married man can be ordained a priest (though bishops are unmarried), but a priest cannot marry (i.e. he can’t do things “out of order”).

Even in the Roman rite, maried can may be ordained (as “second career” priests if they are widowers, or as permanent deacons). But if a deacon’s wife predeceases him, he may not remarry.

[quote=jpete79]2) Is the Pope considered infallible (the Bible clearly says that, “all men fall short of the glory of God,” and Paul continually talks about how he must better himself because his body is wretched due to sin)?
[/quote]

I second the caution against confusing infallibility with impeccability. If you haven’t already read it, I also recommend Catholic Answers’ article on Papal Infallibility.

[quote=jpete79]3A) Why is Baptism an infant Sacrament? Christ was not Baptized until he could make a conscious decision to be Baptized. Baptism was about repentence and coming to God in Biblical times so how did it become a Sacrament done to an infant? Also, is Baptism needed for Salvation?
[/quote]

As Della pointed out, baptism isn’t restricted just to infants. As CA’s article on Infant Baptism points out, “the Catholic Church has always understood baptism differently, teaching that it is a sacrament which accomplishes several things, the first of which is the remission of sin, both original sin and actual sin—only original sin in the case of infants and young children, since they are incapable of actual sin; and both original and actual sin in the case of older persons.”

Luke 18:15–16 tells us, “Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them; and when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, ‘Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God’” The Lord did not require them to make a conscious decision. He says that they are precisely the kind of people who can come to him and receive the kingdom.

That’s how the Sacrament of Baptism came to be conferred on infants. As to whether Baptism is needed for salvation… absolutely! Mark 16:16 is pretty clear: “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned.” CA’s article on The Necessity of Baptism should also help answer your questions.

[quote=jpete79]3B) Why must a Priest hear your sins and decide on a punishment (penance)? I thought the whole point of Christ dying was for the sins that we commit and have committed. If the payment was paid on the cross, why can’t we just repent to God (and why do we need a mediator as the Bible says the way to God is through Christ, not through a Priest first)?
[/quote]

Jesus would not have given His apostles the power to forgive sin if he did not expect them to use it. Also, take a close look at John 20:22 “And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the holy Spirit.’” This action recalls Genesis 2:7, where God breathed on the first man and gave him life; just as Adam’s life came from God, so now the disciples’ new spiritual life comes from Jesus.

(cont’d…)


#14

(cont’d from previous post…)

[quote=jpete79]3C) How can we say that everyone at a certain age is ready to receive a Sacrament (especially confirmation)? Spiritual maturity is something that people must go through and not everyone is on the same level.
[/quote]

Confirmation is, along with Baptism and the Eucharist, a Sacrament of Initiation. In the earliest days of the Church, it was mostly adults (and, in some cases, their entire households) being received into the Church. In the East, the Sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist are received along with Baptism (even in the case of infants!) giving greater emphasis to the unity of Christian initiation. In the West the desire to reserve the completion of Baptism to the bishop caused the temporal separation of the two sacraments.

In the West, the bishop is the ordinary minister of the Sacrament of Confirmation ("When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. (Acts 8:14-17)). In the East, Confirmation is conferred by the priest who baptizes. But, he can do so only with the “myron” consecrated by a bishop.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church goes into much greater detail.

[quote=jpete79]4) My last question is that according to the Bible, the Church is a body of believers. It is said that, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, so that whomever believed in him would not perish but have eternal life.” This sounds like it doesn’t matter if you are Catholic or Protestant but if you believe in Christ as Savior, you will inherit the Kingdom. Do you guys agree or disagree?
[/quote]

Jesus created a visible church (Eph 5:23, John 17:20-23, Acts 4:32, 1 Cor 1:10). If it was an invisible church, how would we go to it to resolve issues? It had to be a church that we could go to.

Also, you can’t just believe in Christ as Savior to inherit the Kingdom… “even the demons believe that and tremble” (James 2:19). No, you have to act on that belief: “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?” (James 2:14).

Personally, I don’t believe that the Catholic Church is the only way to the Kingdom, but I do believe it is the best way.
CCC 811-870 explains what Catholics mean by “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church”.

Hope this helps!


#15

You are Catholic to a degree still. All baptised people are Catholic to a certain degree.

The Catholic Church teaches that it is certainly possible for a protestant to recieve salvation. But they have to be completely open to the will of God. There is something called invincible ignorance. If you are ignorant of the truth of the Catholic Church through no fault of your own you can be saved. But if it is through prejudice or some other reason that is due to yourself you are seperating yourself from the Church.

All babies who are baptised are a part of the Church whether they believe it or not. Through baptism we are introduced to the Church and through our life we become more connected with the Church by accepting Christ and by following His commandments. As we become perfected we come into deeper union with the Church and ultimately with Christ Himself. If we have been baptised but do not follow the will of Christ we become seperated from Christs Church and ultimately from Christ.


#16

I know that there is no desire for malice in your words…if I thought there was, I wouldn’t respond to your post but…

On your first point, I am Protestant. Technically due to the fact that I received the Sacraments, I guess I am a unique case…however, when at my cousin’s first Communion (as I will attend family events believing that we are unified in Christ as Savior whether we are Catholic or Protestant) it was instructed that anyone cannot partake of the Sacraments unless they are an active participant of the Catholic Church. To me that sounds like I am no longer Catholic…

Second, I will answer what I meant by whole-heartedly. In the Bible when asked by someone what the greatest commandment was, Jesus replied, “love the God with all your mind, heart and soul (directly Greek word for the soul is both body and spirit).” This is what I meant when I said whole-heartedly. I accept Christ as the one true head of the Church. I accept His words and His teachings. I love Him with my whole being. I try to continually pray to Him, I try to help others see that He is the one true way to God, I live my life for Him helping in the community around me in various ways. Whole-heartedly means basically I live my life for Christ and follow Him.

Third, I indeed have a personal relationship with Him. Admittedly, due to man being fallible and finite; there are many differences with various denominations. Show me where Christ says specifically to pray to a Priest who will absolve you of sins…I don’t reject Baptism (accept in the fact that Baptism does not grant Salvation as belief in Christ does that), I don’t reject the power of the Holy Spirit, I don’t reject communion (Christ says at the table, do this IN REMEMBERANCE OF ME; clearly that should be taken as symbolic), I don’t reject forgiveness of sins (except that I don’t believe a Priest has the power to talk for God as our sins have been spoken for by God), I believe in annointing of sick.

I agree that Christ says there is ONE TRUTH. However, that truth is simple…Christ is the one ONLY way to God but the Catholic Church isn’t the only way to Christ. To say that various things in the Churches have changed is true but you cannot call the Church perfect as throughout the years it has been influenced by the words and deeds of man…both the Catholic and Protestant Church had this happen.

I am not saying that what I believe is 100% accurate; I am saying Biblically (from the King James Bible), I read and live life according to that…SCRIPTURE.

Fourth, show me where Christ institutionalizes a specific Church…He says before His ascension that He will leave the gift of the Spirit. Paul himself in a letter wrote about differences in followers under different leaders, who should we follow Timothy are Barnabus? Paul responds that we should follow the one true Savior…CHRIST and should not argue about the little things.

If you want I can reference every argument of mine straight with Scripture from various source Bibles (whether directly translated from Greek or King James, etc)…please I ask that you reference Biblical references as the Word of God is truth.


#17

[quote=jpete79]I know that there is no desire for malice in your words…if I thought there was, I wouldn’t respond to your post but…

On your first point, I am Protestant. Technically due to the fact that I received the Sacraments, I guess I am a unique case…however, when at my cousin’s first Communion (as I will attend family events believing that we are unified in Christ as Savior whether we are Catholic or Protestant) it was instructed that anyone cannot partake of the Sacraments unless they are an active participant of the Catholic Church. To me that sounds like I am no longer Catholic…

[/quote]

I’m only on a short break, so I’ll just address this one.

All you need to do to become Catholic in good standing again is to believe and accept the Tenets of the Church and go to Confession.

As we believe that at the moment of Consecration the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, we cannot disrespect Him by distributing His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity to non-believers. Also, people aware of grave sin who have not received absolution are prohibited from receiving the Eucharist. It’s not meant to ex clude, but to in clude all who believe.


#18

[quote=jpete79]when at my cousin’s first Communion (as I will attend family events believing that we are unified in Christ as Savior whether we are Catholic or Protestant) it was instructed that anyone cannot partake of the Sacraments unless they are an active participant of the Catholic Church.

I try to help others see that He is the one true way to God, I live my life for Him helping in the community around me in various ways. Whole-heartedly means basically I live my life for Christ and follow Him.

Show me where Christ says specifically to pray to a Priest who will absolve you of sins…I don’t reject Baptism (accept in the fact that Baptism does not grant Salvation as belief in Christ does that), I don’t reject the power of the Holy Spirit, I don’t reject communion (Christ says at the table, do this IN REMEMBERANCE OF ME; clearly that should be taken as symbolic), I don’t reject forgiveness of sins (except that I don’t believe a Priest has the power to talk for God as our sins have been spoken for by God), I believe in annointing of sick.

I agree that Christ says there is ONE TRUTH. However, that truth is simple…Christ is the one ONLY way to God but the Catholic Church isn’t the only way to Christ.

I read and live life according to that…SCRIPTURE.

Fourth, show me where Christ institutionalizes a specific Church…He says before His ascension that He will leave the gift of the Spirit. Paul himself in a letter wrote about differences in followers under different leaders, who should we follow Timothy are Barnabus? Paul responds that we should follow the one true Savior…CHRIST and should not argue about the little things.

[/quote]

Howdy,

Welcome, and I am glad to see that you are asking questions. To know is to love and to love the more is to know all the more who we are in love with. But, let’s get to business.

  1. A protestant by definition is a person who is protesting against the Church of which you find yourself. As was stated earlier anyone who reeceives the sacrament of baptism is brought into the kingdom of Christ or was we catholics put it - His mystical body. Now, the restriction that you found at the First Communion was one that has been in place since the first century which is that the reception of Communion implies communion so one must profess the same beliefs to be in full communion. While all who are baptized are in some way united to the Church some are further away than others.

  2. You seem to be very good at practicing the corporal works of mercy and for this you must be commended. Remember that your ability to do good in this way is directly related to God’s grace being poured out upon you at every moment as a free gift that you choose to actualize.

3a. The first point is that none pray to a priest save the High Priest who is Christ Himself. In the confessional we name our sins to the priest who is the representative of Christ on earth and the representative of the community. In this two-fold role he absolves us from sin by the power of Christ and in the name of the Community. In the early Church (first couple centuries) confession was done before the Bishop and the whole community. The development of private confession is a longer story but is in continuity with the method of confession given us by the Apostles.

3b. Remember that faith is not a choice but is a gift. We do ot choose God but rather He chooses us. The gift of faith that is given in baptism is a gift of faith. The choice that one makes is to live that faith. However, even if a person comes to faith later in life through baptism they still are faced with the choice to use the gift or not, either way it is the same. The necessity of baptism is found in the power that Christ gave it to remitt Original Sin (and actual sin if confered as an adult). It is in following Jesus to the tomb in Baptism that we are able to rise to new life in Him.

3c. Read slowly John 6 and reflect on what Jesus was saying aout the Eucharist. Note that he does not call back any who deny that they must eat is body and drink his blood and explain the symbolism of His talk like He did in may other occasions in Scripture when the disciples did not understand His teaching. But rather, in this chapter he makes firm statments about the Eucharist and its substantial reality.

  1. In Scripture it speaks about the Church as being the authority to interprete scripture and tradition as St. Paul writes when he says to hold fast to the beliefes both in written epistle and by mouth. Further when the method for settling disagreements is given the final authority that Christ establishes is that the matter is to be taken to the Church. Christ also founded a Church and sent His Apostles to govern the people and to baptism all the nations. Scripture does not exist without a Church because Scripture came from the Church not the Church from Scripture.

#19

[quote=jpete79]If you want I can reference every argument of mine straight with Scripture from various source Bibles (whether directly translated from Greek or King James, etc)…please I ask that you reference Biblical references as the Word of God is truth.
[/quote]

My one question for you is very simple. How do you know that Scripture is the Word of God?


#20

[quote=jpete79]I know that there is no desire for malice in your words…if I thought there was, I wouldn’t respond to your post but…

On your first point, I am Protestant. Technically due to the fact that I received the Sacraments, I guess I am a unique case…however, when at my cousin’s first Communion (as I will attend family events believing that we are unified in Christ as Savior whether we are Catholic or Protestant) it was instructed that anyone cannot partake of the Sacraments unless they are an active participant of the Catholic Church. To me that sounds like I am no longer Catholic…

Second, I will answer what I meant by whole-heartedly. In the Bible when asked by someone what the greatest commandment was, Jesus replied, “love the God with all your mind, heart and soul (directly Greek word for the soul is both body and spirit).” This is what I meant when I said whole-heartedly. I accept Christ as the one true head of the Church. I accept His words and His teachings. I love Him with my whole being. I try to continually pray to Him, I try to help others see that He is the one true way to God, I live my life for Him helping in the community around me in various ways. Whole-heartedly means basically I live my life for Christ and follow Him.

Third, I indeed have a personal relationship with Him. Admittedly, due to man being fallible and finite; there are many differences with various denominations. Show me where Christ says specifically to pray to a Priest who will absolve you of sins…I don’t reject Baptism (accept in the fact that Baptism does not grant Salvation as belief in Christ does that), I don’t reject the power of the Holy Spirit, I don’t reject communion (Christ says at the table, do this IN REMEMBERANCE OF ME; clearly that should be taken as symbolic), I don’t reject forgiveness of sins (except that I don’t believe a Priest has the power to talk for God as our sins have been spoken for by God), I believe in annointing of sick.

I agree that Christ says there is ONE TRUTH. However, that truth is simple…Christ is the one ONLY way to God but the Catholic Church isn’t the only way to Christ. To say that various things in the Churches have changed is true but you cannot call the Church perfect as throughout the years it has been influenced by the words and deeds of man…both the Catholic and Protestant Church had this happen.

I am not saying that what I believe is 100% accurate; I am saying Biblically (from the King James Bible), I read and live life according to that…SCRIPTURE.

Fourth, show me where Christ institutionalizes a specific Church…He says before His ascension that He will leave the gift of the Spirit. Paul himself in a letter wrote about differences in followers under different leaders, who should we follow Timothy are Barnabus? Paul responds that we should follow the one true Savior…CHRIST and should not argue about the little things.

If you want I can reference every argument of mine straight with Scripture from various source Bibles (whether directly translated from Greek or King James, etc)…please I ask that you reference Biblical references as the Word of God is truth.
[/quote]

  1. That is accurate. You are truly Protestant in that you have chosen to protest the Catholic Church, its Teachings and its authority in the same way people at the time of the Reformation did. Thus you are not unique.

  2. I think we crossed some wires here. I was focusing on what you mean when you say “believe”. The word “whole-heartedly” is a unnecessary modifier in the context of theological belief.

  3. I’m confused why your mistaken conception of confession (note what I bolded) has anything to do w/ your personal relationship. I must be missing something.

  4. The Truth is not simple but is incomprehensible to us mere humans as God in His infinite wisdom, transcendence, presence, power, etc. is incomprehensible to us. This being said, God has chosen to give us a partial revelation of Himself via Scripture and the Incarnation of Christ. The key is that we accurately interpret that revelation. Unfortunately, self-reliance is an impossible task. For instance, how do you reconcile the teaching that all we have to do is “believe” and we are saved against the one that says that even those who call His name will be unrecognized as He doesn’t know them since they don’t really know Him.


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