Okay, so I’m a non-baptized protestant Christian, and I’m a sixteen-year-old. I’ve been homeschooled my entire life. Due to family issues that resulted in me questioning some of my beliefs, I decided not to be baptized. If I’m correct, this puts me under the category of “unbeliever” according to Catholic teachings. I’m considering becoming Catholic, but I have a lot of questions first. I know next to nothing about it, except that some theological arguments for it make sense. Anyway, I just wanted to provide some background before I ask some questions.
Please answer without using terms I wouldn’t understand. Thanks
So, things relating to masturbation is one of the biggest questions that people seem to have on this site. Usually it’s because people want to do it (for obvious reasons). I admit, I’ve done it plenty of times when I’m alone. But I’m trying to stop. Now, here’s where I have a question: a few days ago I intentionally looked at porn and masturbated. I had a general idea that it was wrong and why, but the temptation became very strong and I just, well, did it. Afterwards, feeling guilty, I looked up on the internet how to get oneself to stop. Somehow I stumbled on this site (or something like it) that stated that masturbation would send me to hell according to Catholic teaching. Hell? Really? That seems extreme. And my followup question is this: since I was unaware that I could go to hell for masturbation when I did it, and I haven’t done it since (somewhat out of fear), would that excuse me from hell?
I know I sound pathetic for asking this, but I’m serious.
Secondly, can someone explain to be how works play a role in Catholicism? It’s confusing to me, especially after all the negatives I’ve heard from Protestant friends, and I’d like a simplistic answer.
I’m also wondering about Biblical authority and how that works. I’ve pretty much been sold on the inclusion of the additional/original seven books of the Bible that were removed. But im wondering what would happen if, for some irrational reason the Bible and Tradition were clearly in conflict, which would override the other. How does it work?
Can I still pray to/through Jesus and ask him to forgive me for a sin?
What if I have a lot of sins? Can I just ask God to forgive all of them?
Can someone explain the whole sin seveareness level-thing?
If I commit a sin like masturbation right before I die and don’t take care of it (because I died), is hell automatic?
Were the Crucades iffaliable because the Pope was involved, or were they not under that doctrine?
Finally, some closing questions: are there groups I can go to for young Catholic coverts and/or convert wannabes? Is there any chance I could meet a convert who is excited about their faith, or will they all likely be uninterested cradle Catholics? Do Catholics not like converts to their faith? (Heard rumors about the latter, though it doesn’t make sense.)
P.S. there is no parish near me that I could get to, and it’s highly unlikely that my parents will let me should they hear about this.