Returning To The Catholic Church

I am seriously thinking of returning to the Catholic Church and I am going to see a Priest about doing this. The reason is that of all the Churches and “Ecclesial Communities” that are around the Catholic Church seems closest to the truth. BUT I still do not agree with everything the Church teaches. This is one of the things I will bring up when I see a Priest. I know I have posted in the past in a somewhat “hostile” manner and I do apologise for that. Also my posts here have seemed inconsistent and somewhat contradictory. I think that is because I was and am working out some things and still have issues with what the Catholic Faith is all about. Here is where my disagreements are:

  1. I do not and cannot at this time accept the Catholic teaching on Justification. I accept the Reformed view of Justification and Sanctification as defined by the Magisterial Reformers and as expalined in the Westminster Confession of Faith ( NOT the Whole confession, just the parts that deal with Justification and Sanctification). I am open to changing my view but at this time I cannot.

  2. I don’t believe in Purgatory because I feel it takes away from the Sacrifice and Atonement of Jesus and what He did for us. I believe once a person Repents and Confesses their sin the Guilt AND Debt of “temporal Punishment” is COMPLETELY removed because of Christ’s atoning and substitutionary sacrifice, HOWEVER I could accept an idea of some sort of “final Purification” at the moment of and just after death wherin the Love of Christ as a “cleansing fire of Love” removes the scars and stains of sin. (NOT PUNISHMENT or "Making Satisfaction and expiation"and being tortured for sins in some sort of divine Concentration Camp)

  3. I don’t think the Pope is Infallible under ANY circumstances. BUT I also can see the Papacy as a centre of unity and the way God allowed his Church to develop for its well being.

  4. I believe that on the Cross Jesus was the Penal Substitute for the sins of mankind. That on the Cross God made Him Who knew no sin to BE sin for us. That on the Cross every sin that ever was or will be committed was laid upon Him and borne by Him in our place and in our stead and because of this He bore the Holy wrath of God for sin and took the punishment we deserve in our place and stead. It was because of His love for us that Jesus did this, and it was because the Father loves us that He sent the Son who came willingly out love for us and God the Father.

So there it is, these are the things I will bring up when I talk to the Priest. If he allows me come back after I tell him these things then I will return.

The Catholic teaching on justification is more scriptural than the reformers. There’s a lot of information and discussion of that here.

  1. I don’t believe in Purgatory because I feel it takes away from the Sacrifice and Atonement of Jesus and what He did for us. I believe once a person Repents and Confesses their sin the Guilt AND Debt of “temporal Punishment” is COMPLETELY removed because of Christ’s atoning and substitutionary sacrifice, HOWEVER I could accept an idea of some sort of “final Purification” at the moment of and just after death wherin the Love of Christ as a “cleansing fire of Love” removes the scars and stains of sin. (NOT PUNISHMENT or "Making Satisfaction and expiation"and being tortured for sins in some sort of divine Concentration Camp)

Then I suggest you reconsider in the light of this article from my blog.** ******Biblical and Jewish Traditional Beliefs About Purgatory

  1. I don’t think the Pope is Infallible under ANY circumstances. BUT I also can see the Papacy as a centre of unity and the way God allowed his Church to develop for its well being.

Then I think you are wasting your time because that infallibility is dogmatically defined and based upon the New Testament. I’m sorry my friend, but IMO you may as well stay wherever you are where you have as much authority to decide doctrine as anyone else. :(:shrug:

  1. I believe that on the Cross Jesus was the Penal Substitute for the sins of mankind. That on the Cross God made Him Who knew no sin to BE sin for us. That on the Cross every sin that ever was or will be committed was laid upon Him and borne by Him in our place and in our stead and because of this He bore the Holy wrath of God for sin and took the punishment we deserve in our place and stead. It was because of His love for us that Jesus did this, and it was because the Father loves us that He sent the Son who came willingly out love for us and God the Father.

So there it is, these are the things I will bring up when I talk to the Priest. If he allows me come back after I tell him these things then I will return.

There is certainly a journey of faith for each of us, but I will be surprised if you can return.

You want the Eucharistic Real Presence? It is that same infallibility that you deny that defines it with authority? You want sacramental absolution from sins, it is that same doctrinal teaching about the sacrifice of Our Lord on the cross which you oppose that makes it possible.

I’m sorry I couldn’t be more supportive, but …:shrug:

I am open to changing my view but at this time I cannot.

This is a good step. :slight_smile:

But just a quick question. I’m still not sure what it is that you find attractive in the Catholic Church. Can you tell me what you agree with?

God bless,
Ut

Good point Ut. I thought about that and somehow didn’t remember to ask it.:wink:

Gee I guess I could say a lot here but to put it briefly would be difficult but here goes.

Its the Catholic world view, IE a Sacramental world view. The Evangelicals are essentially Neo-Gnostic deep down and/or Nominalists. The Catholic Church is deeply spiritual and I miss the depths of Catholic spirituality. The Eucahrist, I believe that Christ is really and truly and substantially present in the Eucharist. The deep and real Catholic way of intellectual discourse. To be honest too many Catholics don’t see that and think that every Catholic has to be in lockstep in everything all the time. If one wants Fundamentalism one should not be a Catholic but a Protestant Fundamentalist.

Just like there are “Bible-Thumping” Protestant Fundamentalist there are “Catechism-Banging” Catholic Fundamentalists. Neither of these is the Catholic way at its best.

So those are some of the reasons I want to return.

Let me ask this, would you rather have me not return because of those things I mention in my OP or would you welcome me back just as I am and perhaps by God’s Grace over time I could change my views.

Also let me ask this. If what I believe now makes me a better Catholic, IE loving God and others and becoming more Christ-like by following Him and partake of the Sacraments to receive God’s Grace Sacramentally to become holy then what difference does it make if I hold to the Reformed view on Justification and Sanctification, at least for the time being.

Many people take some time to come to agreement on the full teachings of the Catholic Church. If you read or listen to Scott Hahn’s testimony (and his wife, Kimberly), you will see that there were some things they struggled with more than others. The fact that you are struggling with some things now isn’t a problem, because when you finally resolve those issues, you will be fully committed to the teachings of the Church. It’s great that you are taking these to a priest to discuss. May the Holy Spirit be with you both during that conversation.

Kotek,
You have posted this same post before on another thread. What is the point?
Why do you want to return to the Catholic Church when you seemed convinced of these non-catholic beliefs?
If you were to do some research & reading about these points you could understand and believe them. But I believe you previously stated that you had.
So you want to join the Church on your terms? You want the Church to change her beliefs for you? You want the priest or CAF to argue the points you mentioned?
You want to pick the stuff you like in the Church and ignore the rest?
There are those that do that…cafeteria catholics…but you won’t get encouragement here on CAF. We believe in the Church and her truth completely.

God Bless you on your search for the truth and when you discover it…welcome back to the Catholic Church
:slight_smile:

kotek,
I will simply offer a prayer that the meeting with the priest goes well.
I know little of your jourey, but enough to see that you are sincere and not easily convinced so be gentle with yourself and with father in your discussions. Take your time.
Recognize that on some issues where you disagree, you may only be able to come to an 'Acceptance" rather than an "understanding of the issue. This has been the case for me in many things.

As to the things listed in your post, I don’t want to say too much since you will be talking to someone better qualified (hopefully) soon. However, on the first two issues, justification and purgatory, you may find that the differences you see may be more in the realm of semantics than in actual subtance. For instance, St Paul refers to a “Fire” to test and burn away our inferior works. So, what NCC refer to as a cleansing fire, we refer to as purgatory. See what I mean?

Papal infallibility is a complex issue that I will not comment on.

As to the sacrafice of the cross, I’m not sure what in there might conflict with Catholic Teaching. Maybe I am just too dense, but you sound pretty catholic there to me.
The only thing I would add is that, while Christ did indeed pay a debt he did not owe because we oewed a debt we could not pay, it is still our responsibility to take up our cross and follow Him. In other words to sacrifice ourselves on the very same cross for our own sins, and to do so willingly and with Thanksgiving to Our Merciful and Just God.
If we wish to follow Christ to the Banquet, we must also follow Him to the Cross.

Peace
James

Beautifully said. It was the Eucharist that saved me. I was born Catholic, but lost my faith. Before the Eucharist, it was reborn, but only provisionally. I said to God, I can’t believe in you, or your church. But I’m willing to give you time. I gave him nine months to convince me of the truth about himself and the truth about God.

To be honest, he did not completely convince me of all truths, but he did give me peace to accept the teaching authority of the church, even though in many ways the daily magisterium caused me scandal. Those truths I could not accept, I left in the hands of God, trusting that in some way, he woudl make all things clear.

Just like there are “Bible-Thumping” Protestant Fundamentalist there are “Catechism-Banging” Catholic Fundamentalists. Neither of these is the Catholic way at its best.

So those are some of the reasons I want to return.

Agreed.

Let me ask this, would you rather have me not return because of those things I mention in my OP or would you welcome me back just as I am and perhaps by God’s Grace over time I could change my views.

I would ask you to return if you are open to God’s grace and the possibility that you may be wrong. Lean not on your own understanding.

Also let me ask this. If what I believe now makes me a better Catholic, IE loving God and others and becoming more Christ-like by following Him and partake of the Sacraments to receive God’s Grace Sacramentally to become holy then what difference does it make if I hold to the Reformed view on Justification and Sanctification, at least for the time being.

I would study some of the ecumenical statements produced by joint Catholic / Reformed groups. Maybe you could find some way to accept the compromise positions stated there?

God bless,
Ut

Kotek,
I just would like to say, Welcome back! It’s so admirable that you have been educating yourself, questioning things and trying to come to a deeper understanding. To me you do not sound like someone who wants to “pick and choose” what to believe, but someone who seeks truth. I do hope your meeting goes well, and I know that even if it doesn’t for some reason, that it won’t be the end of your journey. I hope you will continue to talk with individuals who are educated on these matters and can give you the information you’re looking for.
The Eucharist is one thing that you recognize that you’re only going to get from the Catholic church. I really liked everything you wrote about the “Sacramental” life and think that this might be one thing that keeps drawing you back to the faith.
I’m sure you’ll take your time in learning and coming to terms with other things, and there may be things about the faith you may not understand or be comfortable with for a long time, if ever. But you seem willing to take that leap so I, for one, congratulate you and wish you well! :smiley:

You can move forward with an open mind and with the attitude that though you struggle with these major points you will in the long run believe in them as the Church teaches. I pray you get a good priest that advises you well.

Purgatory doesn’t take anything away from Christ’s Sacrifice and Atonement. It is precisely the application of that when - as in most souls - the person hasn’t been fully conformed to Christ in this life and is thus not worthy of the Beatific Vision. And our worthiness is not our own, but Christ’s. However, His worthiness becomes truly our own, not by a forensic declaration, but by our being conformed to His likeness through Divine Grace, becoming a true Image of Christ.

The one in Purgatory is experiencing - for however long or short - the pain of not giving oneself totally to God while on earth. It is a chastisement for the benefit of the soul that it may recognize its need for God more fully than it has heretofore. The soul has gone about its way often heedless of the ramifications to it’s eternal life in such lack of care for its call to intimacy with God in Christ and now is encountering the Divine Love that bears no rival.

. . . HOWEVER I could accept an idea of some sort of “final Purification” at the moment of and just after death wherin the Love of Christ as a “cleansing fire of Love” removes the scars and stains of sin. (NOT PUNISHMENT or "Making Satisfaction and expiation"and being tortured for sins in some sort of divine Concentration Camp)

*“Purgatory is not, as Tertullian thought, some kind of supra-worldly concentration camp where one is forced to undergo punishments in a more or less arbitrary fashion. Rather it is the inwardly necessary process of transformation in which a person becomes capable of Christ, capable of God * and thus capable of unity with the whole communion of saints. Simply to look at people with any degree of realism at all is to grasp the necessity of such a process. It does not replace grace by works, but allows the former to achieve its full victory precisely as grace. What actually saves is the full assent of faith. But in most of us, that basic option is buried under a great deal of wood, hay and straw. Only with difficulty can it peer out from behind the latticework of an egoism we are powerless to pull down with our own hands. Man is the recipient of the divine mercy, yet this does not exonerate him from the need to be transformed. Encounter with the Lord is this transformation. It is the fire that burns away our dross and re-forms us to be vessels of eternal joy.” Pope Benedict XVI **

The full article containing this quote might be helpful:

cin.org/users/james/files/how2purg.htm

If you haven’t yet read it, I recommend St. Catherine of Genoa’s classic, Purgation and Purgatory, The Spiritual Dialogue (Classics of Western Spirituality)

**You are way too opinionated and ignorant!!
**
Why are we are so arrogant as to tell Jesus that we “don’t agree” with everything He taught us through His Apostles and His Catholic Church?

He is God, we will never understand .00000000000000001% of the Truth He is, but we must have Faith and trust in His infinite Mercy! Without that, we are surely doomed!

My dog doesn’t understand everything i say, but he follows me.

Our children rebel and scream out that we are stupid and don’t know anything, yet we love them and forgive them, no matter what!

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Ora Pro Nobis Peccatoribus!

mark

Not to be uncharitable, but why would Kotek keep going on such an anti Catholic board as CARM, just a day or two ago and rant about the Catholic Church. Kotex finds fault with any Orthodox who in anyway defends the Catholic Church. This has been going on for a long time. He/she goes back and forth and the statements made on CARM are not in a caring manner. They are stated as truth in a very negative way.

He/she claims to be an Anglican. So what is his/her true denomination?

If this person truely wants to understand what the Catholic Church teaches on doctrine/dogmas why would they go to an anti Catholic forum for answers.

This is very confusing to me. I give you all so much credit who are giving Kotex the benefit of the doubt. I am having a difficult time in doing so after reading many of his/her nasty posts on the other forum.

The only thing that we can do for this person is to pray as all the words in the world will not convince him/her of the Truth in my opinion.

There are many Catholics on CARM who try to reason with Kotex and although it is great that they are patient and keep trying to help him/her understand I feel they are wasting their energy on someone who really doesn’t seem interested in the true beliefs of the Church.

As I said all that can be done is to pray that the Holy Spirit will lead Kotex and that he/she will have an open heart.

Yours in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary

Bernadette

Here is how I view things. If kotek is sincere, then our words of encouragement will likely help to bear fruit. If kotek is not serious, then our words of encouragement may well soften his/her heart. In either case, negative statements will not likely have the effect of increasing the chance he/she will come home to the church.

I will respond in Love so that the ground is well prepared, as by the warm sun, for the working of the Holy Spirit.

Peace
James

Sometimes the most virulent Anti-Catholics are the ones who will ultimately be converted. They are fighting it until it all becomes clear.

Kotek, the one thing that is critical in your conversion is the that you need to be open to the truth. When in disagreement with the church, your attitude must be to prayerfully understand why the church teaches what it does and be open to the possibility that there are things that you might not have considered when forming your existing opinion. I think if you can approach it this way, giving the Church the benefit of the doubt, you can successful convert (or revert). If you can not give the church’s positions careful consideration, then you are not ready to take the next step. You need to trust that the church is here for two reasons, to share the truth about salvation passed down from the apostles and to administer the life giving sacraments. Start in the RCIA program, though by all means. It will help you discern whether you really trust the church or not to carry out its mission.

That’s not the point. The better question actually is, “How important is the fullness of truth to me?”

The doctrines that you appear to reject are every bit as essential as the ones you have accepted and there really is no cafeteria of doctrines that one is free to pick and choose from.

It’s not a matter of what any of us wants, any more than it’s a matter of your personal assumed authority to set Christian doctrine.

Moreover, there may well be a matter of false witness and scandal if you were to mislead someone with your personal interpretations such as these. That’s not good.

CM,
These are good points in particular the last one.
Those catholics who have problems with understanding/accepting church doctrine should not go about promoting such. Not only does it cause sin, but it causes confusion among both Catholic and non-catholics about what the church teaches.

The “Cafeteria” aspect is a related problem that JP II hoped to resolve by publishing the New Catechism.

kotek,
If one believes that the Catholic Church is the True Church, then one needs to be willing to acept ALL that she teaches as being from the mouth of Christ. Note that I say “accept”, and not “understand” for complete understanding is not necessary to humble acceptance.
These are things you will want to keep in mind as you meet with and talk to the priest.

Peace
James

CARM is a sewer I would never suggest a Catholic go to. The threads there are horrifically wicked, even by anti-Catholic standards. If Kotek if frequenting that board and spewing anti-Catholic retoric, than I am suspicious of his sincerity. Perhaps he can explain this to us.

I’d never visited CARM before this afternoon, but I visited just to see what Kotek is saying there. IF he is sincere do you think we can expect a public apology from him THERE when and if he returns to the Church?

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