I have been considering the RCC for a while now, and have even met two friends on here who have been gracious and kind (i.e, haven’t spent their entire time with me bashing me for being Protestant) with me throughout my journey. My question to the anyone else who wants to help is this: Can one join the RCC and still not agree with all that it teaches? If not, why? If so, why? Thanks.
When you are officially welcomed into the Catholic Faith, the Priest will ask you if you believe in all of the teachings of the Catholic Church. I forget the exact wording, it’s been a few years back for me, but you’d have to be able to say “yes.” If you can’t say “yes” it’s a no-go.
Have you tried working out your issues? Getting your questions answered? There were things I didn’t fully understand… especially about Mary - she was my biggest stumbling block, so to speak, but I came to a place where I knew the Catholic Church had been given the authority by God so I would accept all she stood for, even if I didn’t understand everything 100%. I think there is a big difference between not understanding completly and downright disagreeing. Which catagory do you think you fall under?
That’s a very good question. Mary is also a stumbling block for me, and I have tried to listen to all sides of the arguement with it too. But from what I understand if it isn’t an official dogma then it is not something you have to completely accept. Is that true?
I think it’s a very simple question with very complex answers.
There are certain dogmas that require an assent of faith by the faithful. Some of these you will, I presume’ have no doubt aligning yourself to, such as the Incarnation, Jesus as True God and True Man, the Trinitarian nature of God. These were all challenged in the early church as heresy. Some were swayed against what today we find as such basic beliefs to all Christianity.
So the question of the Immaculate Conception as a dogmatic proclamation which requires belief by all Catholics…is this the Church wielding it’s iron fist over questionable doctrines or is it the Church Christ founded guiding it’s flock in all Truth?
The question will always come down to this…is this the Church Jesus founded and promised to by guiding by the Holy Spirit or isn’t it? If I believe this, yet still struggle with some if it’s teachings, then maybe my prayer should be, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.”
If I were one who was considering entering the Church but struggled with certain of her teachings while still convinced I had found THE Church, my heart would be one of submission to Christ and a prayer to give the Church the benefit of the doubt. If, however, I was adamant that the Church was WRONG about certain issues (especially those declared as dogma) without a spirit of openness, my only option would be to find a church that aligned it’s beliefs to mine.
I can testify to the fact that I did a complete 180 on certain issues within Catholic teaching, including what I saw as harmless that the Church defined as serious sin. When I think back, my arrogance and pride astound me. It wasn’t until I began to trust that my heart and eyes were slowly opened.
I will keep you in prayer on your journey.
Peace in Christ,
Sorry, my brain is fuzzy on the terms… but you are right in that there are some things that lots of Catholics believe - for example the Mary sightings (like Fatama ?) but one is not required to believe it’s true. I think wearing a scapular is another… I had a hard time with all of that so I just put it aside. It’s not that I “don’t” believe it… it’s just that I’m sort of undecided - and according to my Priest, that was ok. What wouldn’t have been OK is if I didn’t believe that Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary, and that she remained sinless & a Virgin and she was assumed into Heaven.
Do you think the things you struggle with are the things Catholics don’t necessarily have to accept?
Perhaps I am wrong, but I think you can join the Church as long as you submit to the Church’s teachings and continue to seek and understand. The basis of this is you live according to the Church’s teachings even though you don’t yet fully believe in the teachings. Since faith is a process and a gift, by submitting to God’s Church and actively seeking to believe in all the Church’s teachings, eventually God graces you with the faith you need.
In regards to how you are having difficulty reconciling certain Catholic beliefs, while it is of course great that you look into why the Church teaches xyz, you may want to consider whether or not you believe in the authority of the Church. When it comes to doctrine of faith and morals, there is no grey area. Either you trust in the authority of Church through Apostolic Tradition and believe that Jesus promised it to the Catholic Church, or you don’t. That being said, if you do feel the Church is protected from error when it comes to issues of faith and morals, then it may be easier to just submit to the Church and pray for the faith to accept it. :twocents:
Many may not like what I’m about to say but here goes:
Yes. By all means yes! Because God never said we had to agree with Him. Just as you don’t always agree with your earthly parents, you may not agree with the Heavenly Father, but we must do our best to trust and obey Him. You should however, agree with the biggest things. I assume you do or you wouldn’t be to this point.
If you spend your life as I did searching for a Church that you agree with 100%, then you’ll be searching the rest of your life.
I know in my heart that I am not able to intellectually understand all that God requires of me. But I also know in my heart that I love God and I know He wants what’s best for me.
That, my reteeks is what you should want from any faith you belong to. That they expect no more and no less from you than does God. God knows you will not understand or agree with all He has laid before us. That is the precise reason for the Church is to allow you to have something to put your faith in when you can’t understand or agree.
I must say disagreeing is not an excuse to disobey though
I hope this helps!
Peace Be With You on your journey my friend in Christ!
See, we do agree So I think this should not keep a person from committing to Christ’s Church. Just like in an earthly marriage, we don’t promise to always agree, we promise to believe our spouse is telling us the Truth. The Church comes with it’s very own guarantee!
If I had read Ross09’s eloquent response before I posted, I wouldn’t have bothered ;).
Not sure if you’ve heard this already, but its Tim Staples conversion story, and it specifically deals with his aversion to the Blessed Mother. I’ll keep you and your journey in my prayers. Tim Staples Download. Its the link to all the different free downloads but if you look on the right hand side you can find his story in parts 1 and 2.