Still Looking

Hey y’all,

Just hoping to find some answers to some questions about Catholicism. I feel that when I went through RCIA last year I was poorly catechized. I was brought up Catholic but walked away when I was confirmation age.

I feel my faith wavering at times. Not wavering from Christ, but the Church. Please be sensitive to me too guys I have read some harsh stuff here before. I understand that Jesus is truly in the Eucharist, but it is in the practice that I dissent.

I guess not the actual practice of Catholicism as much. I feel a portion of my old self has died which is good,(died in Christ) but I am less compassionate when I look at most of my Catholic friends at Church. They are all pro-war, very rabidly against homosexuality(I have several members in my family who are gay), and they don’t necessarily give any particular care towards the Earth in general. Let me clarify, I am not saying I am less compassionate to them, I fall right in line with them and begin subscribing to their ideals. Whether politically motivated or socially motivated or religiously motivated.

Now my problem is this how do I detach myself from these people that surround me and continue to be Catholic? Do I change parishes? Tell them where I disagree? Do I leave Catholicism altogether? Maybe eastern Catholicism? Maybe Orthodoxy? Do I try to change their minds? I feel (and maybe thats my problem, feelings are not reality most times) that we as Catholics don’t show people the Love that Jesus spoke of that would really show the world we were his disciples. We stick to our guns(issues not the weapons) and our Church and argue with the rest of humanity that they are wrong and we are right. The world people don’t necessarily perceive Love in our Church, just argumentative folks who have checked out and guarantee our own righteousness.

I apologize for the long post. But I hope I can get some words that will explain some things. Jesus is the Man with the master plan and I am sure He has something to say to me through you all.:confused:

Change their minds?..about homosexuality?

Thats what you get from the entire post? I am looking for answers to all my questions. I have all but left Catholicism and you worry about what I meant by changing peoples minds about homosexuality?

Is that a sarcastic question? or are you just trying to pick a fight? Please treat my soul with more respect, your answers could literally save me form Hell:mad:.

Point well taken, and sorry for any offense, but you did put this right smack in the middle of your post:

" They are all pro-war, very rabidly against homosexuality(I have several members in my family who are gay), and they don’t necessarily give any particular care towards the Earth in general."

…and indicated it was of importance.

Perhaps you’re leaving because you misunderstand the Church’s teachings on these issues? Anyway, the hell remark made it clear this is much too fragile a situation for me to be dealing with. I’ll leave it to someone else to see if they can help you more, but in the meantime I would suggest you find a good Catholic priest to talk to about all of this. Particularly, if there are any FSSP or Institute of Christ the King Priests within an hour of you…

May I ask what led you to the decision to enter RCIA?

God called, Jesus brought me to the Church

And to clarify, are you having issues accepting teachings of the Church, issues with the attitudes of Catholics, both, or something else?

Mostly the attitude of most parishioners. I have been told by multiple priests that I should be finding a different attitude among the parishioners but have found all but one unified political and social mindset (which could be good but sometimes dangerous).

and also the complete acceptance of their teaching on homosexuality is difficult for me to subscribe to. It is just too personal.

Thank you for your reconsideration. No FSSP’s or Institute priests anywhere near me. I have talked with many over the past few months and haven’t found one that has really moved me to make up my mind. They mostly say “well you should choose not to act the way they do, or say things like they do.” But it is hard when you are surrounded by very faithful people who claim Love as Lord, you can’t help but be affected by them.

You are in a difficult position -
With regards to coming to grips with the teachings of the Church - That is where I would focus. People will be people and we all tend to fall short of the perfection we are called to. So - all you can do right now is to pray for those who you feel are on the wrong path.

Once you have a better handle on the church’s teachings you will be in a better position to help others through discussion and explanation.

In a post above you said that you joined the Church because, “God called, Jesus brought me to the Church”.
So if Jesus brought you to the Church who might you suspect is trying to call you away from the Church that Christ brought you to??

It is one of satan’s favorite weapons to cause you to despair based, not on teachings, but on the actions of other members of the Church who are probably no more or less imperfect than we are ourselves.

Learn the teachings.


And this…especially the last part…and I hope it will shed light on you…in your understanding…

I came to see that faith in Christ is not something to be exercised invisibly, from my heart directly to Christ’s throne, as though Christ had not appointed an enduring line of shepherds. Inward faith was to be exercised outwardly, by trusting Christ through those shepherds Christ sent and established. Jesus had said, “The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me.”28 This is the sacramental conception of faith, not simply belief that, but belief through. This is the sacramental conception of the Church, the basis for the priest speaking in persona Christi.

As I began to grasp that, I began to grasp that my Church-less faith was too small. Apart from the Church, I had conceived of faith in Christ as something entirely inward. But upon coming to understand that Christ founded a visible hierarchically organized Body of which He is the Head and which He promised to preserve, I came to see that the way to trust Christ is to trust His Church of which He is the Head, just as the early Christians trusted Christ precisely by trusting the teaching of the Apostles. Trusting the Apostles did not subtract from (or compete with) their trust in Christ. On the contrary, when Jesus tells the Apostle Thomas, “Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed,”29 He implies that greater faith is required and shown in those who trust in Christ not by seeing Him, but by believing the testimony of the Apostles. Jesus refers to this way of believing when He prays, “I do not ask in behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word.”30

The indefectibility of the Church is a gift from Christ to the Church by which she is preserved to the end of the age as the “institution of salvation.” She can neither perish from the world nor depart from “her teaching, her constitution and her liturgy.”38 The gift of indefectibility does not imply that the members of the Church, even members of the Magisterium, cannot sin or err. But it does entail that the Magisterium of the Church can never lose or corrupt any part of the revelation of Christ, which includes both matters theological and moral. This gift of indefectibility is essential to Christ’s purpose in establishing His Church as the means of continuing His saving work to all the nations and peoples of the world until the end of the age. Regarding this purpose, Pope Leo XIII wrote, “What did Christ the Lord achieve by the foundation of the Church; what did He wish? This: He wished to delegate to the Church the same office and the same mandate which He had Himself received from the Father in order to continue them.”39

The commission Christ gave to the Apostles in Matthew 28:19 did not end with the death of the last Apostle, because this commission was given not only to the Apostles, but to their successors and the whole Church. The task of taking the Gospel to all nations and the ends of the earth goes beyond what the Apostles could accomplish in their own lifetime. In the same way, the promises of Christ do not extend only to the Apostles, but to their successors and all in union with them. This understanding of Christ’s promise to the Church provided a basis of assurance for the Fathers that Christ would preserve and guide the Church through apostolic succession. The pattern revealed through Christ’s relation to the Father is the pattern that is to endure until Christ returns.

I wish i knew where your parish was. my dioceses appears to be the exact opposite with the exception of a few scattered like minded individuals. However the adherence to orthodoxy in my dioceses is starting to get a little stronger since our new bishop was installed 2 years ago.
In your post i am hearing an overtone that is quite common today. The “modernist” ideas of christian love have been so damaging and pervasive at times that now people, like me, who speak up about the social issues of our day, well, we tend to be very loud about it and at times it comes out in what could be misconstrued an uncharitable manner. Another side of the coin in your post is “RCIA”. it sounds almost as if you received the microwave version that is prevalent today. I had a poor catechists and also poor spiritual instruction upon my conversion to the faith so i see why you could be at unease inside. To be honest what i’m reading in your post is very conflicted. As a Catholic you should know or have some idea of the sexual and political moral code. That is a large part of being a Catholic Christian and not just a christian. Your peers war drumming may not be right but it doesn’t mean they are wrong, just worrisome. The stance on homosexuality is what it is no, soul searching or parish hopping is going to change that. That does not mean we refuse to show love and pray for repentance and conversion. You may find a dissident parish that has accepted the sexual ideology and has embraced that culture, but that’s as scary as your comment about going to hell because you might leave the church. Staying in the church and not accepting the doctrine and dogma almost makes a person a hypocrite. Staying in the Church and struggling to find love for sinners and grow in trust of those dogmas and doctrines, that makes saints…

Christ and His Church (the Catholic Church) are inseparably one. You cannot claim to love Christ and reject His Church.

Keep in mind that when Saul (Paul’s Jewish name) was going around persecuting the Church, and Jesus knocked him off his high horse, Jesus asked him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?” Notice that Jesus didn’t ask Paul, “…why do you persecute My Church?” He asked, “…why do you persecute Me?” Because to persecute Christ’s Church, which is His Body, is to persecute Christ.

The teachings of the Catholic Church are the teachings of Christ. We do not claim the authority to correct Christ. Therefore, what Christ teaches against, we teach against, regardless of how popular it may or may not be in the culture (like homosexuality).

That last page is pretty long. pretty good stuff though.Thanks

Allow me to share a couple of thoughts that you may want to consider.

  1. The fact that you would even think about leaving the Catholic Church, changing from the Latin Church to an Eastern Church or to one of the Orthodox Churches, suggests to me that your conversion is still in progress. When one has reached that point of no return and no wavering, one tends to simply look at the faults and weaknesses of those around us as par for the course. The human condition is found everywhere. While the Church is perfect, human beings are not. I would stay put and give myself time to settle into the Church and ignore what everyone else is thinking right now. It sounds like you may not be ready to take on these battles yet.

  2. On the issue of homosexuality, Fundamentalist Protestants do not have a monopoly on ignorance. There is a great deal of ignorance around this issue among Catholics as well. The Church has put out many documents on the subject, both at the national level and that the universal level, but people read and forget, read and don’t understand, or don’t read.

All forms of promiscuity, with either gender is always gravely sinful.

On the other hand, homosexual attractions are not more sinful than heterosexual attractions. An attraction is spontaneous. We’re often attracted to what is not good for us. I have a heart condition, but I love McDonald’s and I love my pipe. We struggle from one day to the next to discipline ourselves so as not to be led by attractions, impulses and emotions that are dangerous to our health (spiritual, emotional and biological).

The flip side of that is that the Church encourages people with same sex attractions to take an active part in her life, especially the sacraments. She encourages them to get up and try again, just like any other sinner. The Church also condemns all forms of injustice against people with same sex attraction. Human rights are for everyone. The Church commands us to see Christ in every person, regardless of his condition or his actions.e In fact, that was one of the reading in Lauds this morning, at least in the Franciscan Breviary. I have no idea what’s in the Roman Breviary. When you see people with unjust attitudes and comments toward any group: gay, Muslims, immigrants, non-Catholics, or Martians, you can bet your bottom dollar that this is their own ignorance speaking, not Catholicism.

  1. As to pro-war, many people, Catholics and non - Catholics are equally ignorant on the moral laws regarding war. No Christian should ever be pro-war. Bl. John Paul made a very clear statement when the USA invaded Iraq. He said that a preemptive strike is immoral, when there is no conclusive evidence of a threat to your safety.

No Catholic should ever be pro-war. The moral law is that we are tolerant of war when one has to defend oneself against an aggressor or defend innocent people, such as an ally. For example, the Holy Father praised the efforts of the USA to protect Kwait’s freedom, because Kwait was a victim that could not stand up to Iraq. He condemned US and UK’s invasion of Iraq.

When you hear a pro-war Catholic, you can be sure he does not speak for the Catholic Church and what he’s saying is not Catholic. The Catholic Church is pro justice, but never pro-war. Justice demands that we protect the innocent from an aggressor. However, we have to wait until there is a demonstrable threat of aggression. We cannot act on an assumption. There are too many assumptions on all parts and people act on them. The result is war. These kinds of assumptions are dangerous and the Church does not sanction them. You can ignore those people too.

  1. I can’t really help you with the statement on “the practice of the Eucharist”, because I didn’t quite understand concern. I’m sorry about that.


Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:

But in the past the Church has been wrong in some of Her teachings, such as the Earth is the center of the universe teaching. But the Church moved on from that and accepted that it was wrong at some point. There should be discussions about this. How do we say we are right on everything and say it is a teaching of the Church when Christ never said the Earth is the center or on the outskirts?

We can’t claim the Church through the years is exactly as Christ made it. But eventually He works through it to correct problems. Take Luther’s theses, it was posted and then dealt with by the Council of Trent. So the Church fixed apparent problems then, are there any right now?

The church does not teach cosmology and it never actually “taught” geocentrism in any official doctrinal capacity. It was just what everyone thought back then, including bishops, no surprise there. Compare this with, for example, the hypostatic union. The church does teach that, it is church doctrine, it is not “changeable”. Even if it could, the church would never teach doctrine on cosmology, because thats not what it does. Know what I mean?

Your help is very thoughtful, thank you. :thumbsup:

I get ya on that. Then how do we know without doubt that all of us don’t just believe a certain way about a certain subject is just how “everybody thinks” right now?

And of course I am not speaking about Catholics as a whole checking out of the world, because it seems Catholics do well when it says you must not be of the world.

BTW what is hypostatic union?

Who says the Earth is not the center of the universe??? Who defines what is “center” anyway??? God put us here. We aren’t going anywhere else anytime soon. So as far as I can see - for humans, and the Children of God…the Earth IS the center of our universe!!!
Don’t let science confuse you with unimportant details…:smiley:

We can’t claim the Church through the years is exactly as Christ made it. But eventually He works through it to correct problems. Take Luther’s theses, it was posted and then dealt with by the Council of Trent. So the Church fixed apparent problems then, are there any right now?

Why can’t we claim that the Church is exactly as Christ made it. Look at who he chose to start the Church!!! Fishermen, a tax collector, men who fought amongst themselves over who would be “first in the kingdom”. Men who denied and deserted Him at the passion.
Yes the Church has sinners and sinners can cause problems. But isn’t that exactly how Christ made it. The great advantage is that, in matters of teaching on faith and morals, the Church does not err.
Are there problems now? Yes. Mostly with people who like to call themselves Catholic but then flout church teaching.


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