Stumbling block on the road to Rome


#1

To any former Protestants…
What were your main roadblocks in your journey and how did you overcome them? Mine were Justification, the Eucharist and the Authority of the Church. They are no longer a problem. Unfortunately, I have been struggling with the realization that when I engage the typical Catholic in discussion he/she knows little about the faith, or worse, he/she will mis-state Church teaching on issues like “mortal sin”, the need for confession and the like. Thoughts?


#2

As a former Calvinist, my biggest difficulty in my journey was dealing with eternal security. When I finally converted to Catholicism, I had come to accept that it is possible to lose one’s salvation.

But now 3 years after I’ve converted, I’m really struggling with the ease at which the Catholic Church says we can lose our salvation (I didn’t realize this 3 years ago). I agree it’s possible to lose one’s salvations for sins of immorality, cruelty, and rebellion against God, but not for violating canon law, which are rules of men. I don’t advocate violating canon law, I just don’t think people can invent rules that are punishable by damnation. God is in charge.

I also have come to believe in the primacy of scripture again, although I see much greater value in tradition than Protestants do.


#3

[quote=petra]As a former Calvinist, my biggest difficulty in my journey was dealing with eternal security. When I finally converted to Catholicism, I had come to accept that it is possible to lose one’s salvation.

But now 3 years after I’ve converted, I’m really struggling with the ease at which the Catholic Church says we can lose our salvation (I didn’t realize this 3 years ago). I agree it’s possible to lose one’s salvations for sins of immorality, cruelty, and rebellion against God, but not for violating canon law, which are rules of men. I don’t advocate violating canon law, I just don’t think people can invent rules that are punishable by damnation. God is in charge.

I also have come to believe in the primacy of scripture again, although I see much greater value in tradition than Protestants do.
[/quote]

I understand how you are looking at this. However you do accept that scripture teaches that the Church has the authority to bid and loose, its a rabbinic authority with much meaning. Therefore, these “rules of men” are intended to protect your spiritual soul, and guided by the Holy Spirit. I think you need to remind yourself of that when you think some things are so silly.

You’re right, God is in charge, and he has given his authority to the Church.


#4

Yes, I think God is going to use you to help cradle Catholics learn, understand and become on fire for God within the Catholic Church.

Congratulations!!!


#5

My biggest obstacle was…I’m embarassed to admit:p: prayer.

I had some great teachers/apologists that I could turn to for advice, so any objection about the RCC was fairly easily handled.

I considered myself almost Gnostic… I was learning… but it did not change my spirituality… which was the thing I was trying to change in the first place, because I was more agnostic than protestant most of my life.

It was the Rosary that opened up the faith for me… and I am thankful I found Father Peyton’s website… I don’t even remember what I was looking for, but I found it… said my first Hail Mary… and the rest, as they say…:slight_smile:

Father Pat, pray for us!
Scott


#6

My big obstacles are mortal sin along with passivism and liberality. The Eucharist brought me here so that’s no issue for me. I respect the Pope and I am certain I am ignorant to some of the Popes views for sure.

I find myself wondering to what degree the Church teaches liberality and passivism and to what degree the Church embraces things like gun ownership or self defense. I realy do also wonder why the pope kissed the Islamic bible. This sort of thing may be beyond my scope in global thinking on his level but I am open to understanding it.

With regards to mortal sin I think I just need to know the origin of this teaching and its reasoning. I have no issue with confession because of scripture, but how are these sins defined and why?

-D


#7

I am humbled to say that the Blessed Virgin Mary was a very hard problem for me to overcome. Now that I have discovered what a wonderful catechesis the Rosary is, I am so sorry that it took me so long.

I also had a problem with the formal prayers – that, quite ironically, I now love – of the great saints about any matter my heart can stumble on. (I highly recommend Fr. John Hardon’s Catholic Prayer book.)

I also had a problem – but not a great one about Eucharistic Adoration --and now I am quite the devotee of adoration.

Go figure. It is true that many cradle Catholics have less catechesis than us. Kind of scary, isn’t it? At least we bring a great deal of zeal and entusiasm with us. There are truly faithful and fairly well-developed Catholics – you will find them.


#8

[quote=petra]I agree it’s possible to lose one’s salvations for sins of immorality, cruelty, and rebellion against God, but not for violating canon law, which are rules of men. I don’t advocate violating canon law, I just don’t think people can invent rules that are punishable by damnation. God is in charge.

I also have come to believe in the primacy of scripture again, although I see much greater value in tradition than Protestants do.
[/quote]

Scripture lays out the authority of the Church, from the mouth of Our Savior Himself. Christ established His Church, knowing that He soon would be returning to His Father in Heaven. In so doing, he gave His divine authority to His apostles, who in turn passed along that authority to teach to the bishops. That authority has been passed down over the last 2,000 years.

Priests have the power to bind and loose sins. Peter, the first pope was given the keys of Heaven by Christ Himself.

The Church is the only authoritative interpreter of Scripture and always has been. And, as Christ said of His Church, the gates of hell will never prevail against it.

Protestantism teaches that each individual can interpret the Bible for himself. That’s nonsense. It’s also why there are so many thousands of protestant sects.

Trust in the Lord and His Church. They never will steer you wrong.


#9

[quote=Darrel]My big obstacles are mortal sin along with passivism and liberality. The Eucharist brought me here so that’s no issue for me. I respect the Pope and I am certain I am ignorant to some of the Popes views for sure.
[/quote]

Here is a good site for looking up these complex issues: New Advent. It’s an older version of the Catholic Encyclopedia, but since the teachings of the Church are the same in the 21st century as they were in the 20th century, it’s still a good resource.

I find myself wondering to what degree the Church teaches liberality and passivism and to what degree the Church embraces things like gun ownership or self defense. I realy do also wonder why the pope kissed the Islamic bible. This sort of thing may be beyond my scope in global thinking on his level but I am open to understanding it.

The Church doesn’t teach liberality nor passivism. It teaches the truths given to it by Jesus Christ, handed down through the successors to the Apostles. There have been various Church documents that deal with these topics, though, including encyclicals. You would probably be able to find something on these topics in the Catechism, too.

As to why the pope kissed the Koran (Qu’ran), there has been a lot of debate about it, but the reason given by an Iraqi archbishop was the pope merely wanted to show his support of and respect for the people of Iraq who have been through so much. It may be argued that he should/could have picked another way to do that, and personally I agree with that assessment, but it was a spur of the moment thing he did for all the best intentions. Therefore, I cannot castigate him for that.

With regards to mortal sin I think I just need to know the origin of this teaching and its reasoning. I have no issue with confession because of scripture, but how are these sins defined and why?

-D

You can find articles on mortal sin in both the Catholic Encyclopedia and the Catechism. But, I’ll try to give you an layman’s explanation to start with: Mortal sins are ones in which we cut ourselves off from God’s love by doing something greviously wrong. For instance, if I helped a woman get an abortion, that would be a mortal sin because it violates God’s Law: “Thou shalt not kill” (kill here meaning deliberate murder, which is not the same things as waging a just war or capital punishment, which are not considered murder). There are some actions that are intrinsically evil and can never be committed without violating God’s Law. You see, the Ten Commandments are still very much in force. Anyway, I hope that helps you, but I highly recommend you look into the links I provided in order to do your own research on these topics.


#10

[quote=Almost Catholic]To any former Protestants…
What were your main roadblocks in your journey and how did you overcome them? Mine were Justification, the Eucharist and the Authority of the Church. They are no longer a problem. Unfortunately, I have been struggling with the realization that when I engage the typical Catholic in discussion he/she knows little about the faith, or worse, he/she will mis-state Church teaching on issues like “mortal sin”, the need for confession and the like. Thoughts?
[/quote]

As a convert myself I can relate to your frustration with the ignorance of doctrine and history of the average Catholic. I would even say the average church-going Catholic could certainly use a little more catechesis. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons you are being guided to the Church. Maybe it’s so you can help bring about a new fidelity to the teachings of the Church.


#11

[quote=Tmaque]As a convert myself I can relate to your frustration with the ignorance of doctrine and history of the average Catholic. I would even say the average church-going Catholic could certainly use a little more catechesis. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons you are being guided to the Church. Maybe it’s so you can help bring about a new fidelity to the teachings of the Church.
[/quote]

Ain’t that why us converts drive the old timers NUTS! Actually, you can look forward to encountering hostility from Catholics who do not wish to be challenged about contraception or who think women would make great priests, or that papal infallibility is bunk.


#12

[quote=Tmaque]As a convert myself I can relate to your frustration with the ignorance of doctrine and history of the average Catholic. I would even say the average church-going Catholic could certainly use a little more catechesis. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons you are being guided to the Church. Maybe it’s so you can help bring about a new fidelity to the teachings of the Church.
[/quote]

Ain’t that why us converts drive the old timers NUTS? Actually, you can look forward to encountering hostility from Catholics who do not wish to be challenged about contraception or who think women would make great priests, or that papal infallibility is bunk.


#13

Returning to the Catholic Church, I read the Bible more than ever. Now from this perspective I see more and more Catholic teachings in the Bible and it reinforces my faith in the Church. It really depends on your background and what perspective you have, but every explanation I have had from the Church when I had problems with scripture makes it all make sense.


#14

Thanks to all who have posted here. I am not yet a Catholic but getting closer. Will be meeting with a great Priest 1:1 rather than RCIA. Will attempt to focus on true Catholic teaching rather than what the an individual’s preferences might be. Prayer needed.


#15

Darrell,

You wrote: “I find myself wondering to what degree the Church teaches liberality and passivism and to what degree the Church embraces things like gun ownership or self defense.”

I had to chuckle at this one—our priest (a terrific, orthodox priest) is a hunter and likes (and owns) guns. He and my husband (a non-hunting gun collector) get together and talk guns, reloading, shooting, etc. I believe it’s safe to say that gun ownership is not a violation of any Church teaching…as this priest demonstrates. Are there pacifists in the Catholic tradition? Sure, but since Church teaching allows for self-defense and just war, their presence reflects their own views (which are allowable under Church teaching), rather than being a doctrine of the Church. As for “liberality”—that depends upon what the issue is. It also depends upon the meaning of the word “liberality”, which can mean different things in different times and places—really, Church teaching is not usefully labeled either conservative or liberal. You can find politically liberal Catholics and politically conservative Catholics. (You might want to check out “First Things” magazine, which often has articles by conservative Catholics such as George Weigel). I happen to be a politically conservative Catholic, but I am against the Ayn Rand-style of capitalism, as an orthodox Catholic should be: I’m Catholic first, conservative second. Now, I think it’s becoming pretty tough to be both an orthodox Catholic and a liberal today, as “liberal” has become more and more synonymous with the anti-life and anti-family agenda. I suppose that’s probably just going to get worse.

As for kissing the Qu’ran, I’m with Della…


#16

I read that the pope kissed the koran because that is ISLAMIC custom/tradition. I read that he was just honoring thier tradition.

People go too far with this. By kissing the koran, our pope didn’t change religions. He was simlpy honoring their custom of “kissing the koran.”

Was it a great idea? probably not. Look at all the talk it has created.


#17

The last two dominoes to remain standing for me were the Assumption and the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. However, I decided that since the Church had proven itself right about all my other dominoes, I would accept that it was right about these two as well.

Less than 48 hours and counting :bounce:

DaveBj


#18

I was born and raised Catholic but I can tell you what my fiance’s hardest stumbling block was…The perpetual virginity of Mary and the immaculate conception. He felt that if she were born without sin then she didn’t have the capacity to refuse the virgin birth. If she couldn’t refuse the virgin birth then she really was not freely giving herself to God…With alot of patience our priest and I worked with him and he came to see the fallibility of his own logic. I can see where he thought that but that thinking is wrong. Anyway, I am not perfect, but…I kinda didn’t like how you lumped all cradle Catholics into one catagory of ignorance. None of us are perfect of course but some of us do love our faith and follow the teaching of our church. Love us all for the children of God that we are please.


#19

I’d probably have to say Mary.


#20

I had no trouble accepting the position on Mary. It made sense to me right away- as did confession. The Papacy was a stumbling block for me, but after I read the part in the Gospels where Jesus says Peter is the Rock, and the Gates of hell won’t prevail against the Church, and says to the apostles “whose sins you forgive are forgiven them…” and “whatever you bind on earth…” clearly proved to me the authority of the Church and the Pope. I knew the Eucharist had to be truly the body and blood of Christ, because it is a dogma of the Church, but I didn’t really know it to be true, then one day my Godmother took me to an adoration chapel. I can’t describe what I felt then. As we drove up, I realized that Jesus in all his glory was in the chapel, as truly and substantially as I was in the car. It was amazing. I will never forget that day as long as I live.

Michael


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