There is no 'right' religion

I have been through a lot of questioning in the process of becoming Catholic, and a lot of questioning on becoming Catholic. I now have a theory. I don’t believe any religion is ‘right.’ There is no such thing as the ‘right’ religion. Why am I Catholic? I believe Christ was the Incarnate God, I believe he rose body and soul to heaven, I believe he somehow comes to us in the seven sacraments of the Church but I can’t provide irrevocable proof as to how he does it. I am not a creationist, I accept evolution. I don’t believe this changes the belief God created us. I accept historical criticism because again, it doesn’t change anything, it just gives us greater understanding of the Catholic faith. I refuse to be pigeon holed. I am not a moderneist, I am not a traditionalist. I am Catholic.

Why am I posting? I don’t like organised religion. I have certain affection for atheists as a consequence. My eldest child recently received his first Holy Communion. Who was there? My friend who is an atheist. Not because it was a great religious experience. He came because he is my friend and like an uncle to my kids. Their Godparents were too busy to come. I hear time and time again on traditionalist forums about obedience and ‘we are the true Church.’ Can any traditionalists out there understand if someone causes you to loose faith, they are more guilty than the person who looses faith and it’s not all about unquestioning obedience? I believe the Pope has a unique role in guiding the Church. Is he always right? I don’t think so. Does that mean I don’t believe what the Catholic Church teaches? No. Does it not take more faith to say, ‘I’m not sure but this is what I believe?’

I have not come on this forum to criticize traditionalists. I know nothing of the Church prior to Vatican II and I have no idea what it has been like to deal with the changes and controversies. I have come on this forum to ask traditionalists, can they understand what it is like to completely loose faith in organised religion but not God? Can you understand why I think people who cause someone to loose faith because of their lack of compassion, understanding and love is more guilty than the person who loosed faith in organised religion?

I’m far from what many here would consider a traditionalist, but I sympathize with your situation. Many times I have been let down by people who I thought would have been faithful to the faith, yet they are not there when its about the faith. I’ve seen many Catholics marginalize the Church. But the problem is not the Church itself, but the people. Always believe that God is there for you even though others are not. Do not blame the Church for the sins of the few.

I have serious doubt that anyone looses his faith because of other person. It is an easy excuse.

Otherwise I believe that the evolution is God’s powerful angel, I believe that the pope is not always right, but still have to be obeyed, and I believe that an atheist is not necessarily evil.

I also believe that not all religions are equal. This belief is matter of faith, the gift of God, not rational truth.

We cannot put our faith in mortal man. Someone will always sin, let us down, and give us excuses to turn our backs on the Church because of “those people.” No matter, they ARE excuses. We must trust that Our Lord’s Church will stand against all evil and the gates of Hell will not prevail, no matter how Satan twists things or no matter who he uses to shed bad light on our Church. Without the guidance of the true Church, you just get in more trouble. One cannot do it alone. If you lack faith, ask for it. God has promised to give it to you.

Jesus established the Catholic Church when he gave the keys to Heaven to St. Peter. That makes it the one true, thus “right” religion. In Acts, St. Peter established an organized religion, heirarchial, unified. The Church isn’t a haven of saints, it is a hospital for sinners. The Bible tells us many will not enter Heaven so to cast judgement on the structure because of the behaviour of some of its adherents is dangerous.

I would not disagree. I do believe that God’s power is present in evolution. I believe he empowered the human race and the animal kingdom to evolve in response to the fall. I do believe belief is a matter of faith that involves choice and irrevocable evidence. That does not mean it is devoid of reason. I don’t believe religions are equal in that I don’t believe all religions have the same content of divine truth. I do not believe all religions are equal in terms of revealed truth. I do believe Catholicism has something to offer other denominations don’t.

I do believe people loose faith in God because I have met many who loose faith not in God, but organised religion because of the way they portray God. Such people are more responsible than the person who looses faith because people portray God according to their own image. You have a point that it is an easy excuse. Easy excuse in that others offer the cop out you may be looking for. However, it can also be a genuine excuse for loosing faith in organised religion because I have many who love God but have been badly let down and hurt. I don’t think that can be written off and more can be demanded of the one who doubts and less demanded of the one who is supposed to set the example. I have often felt that traditionalist place more emphasis on obedience than love. I don’t have any real difficulty with the beliefs of traditionalists but from what I have read on the forums, I think they lack empathy and insight in relation to those who struggle and lack the ability to see things from the perspective of those who loose faith. I feel they place too much emphasis on obedience. However, I would be happy to be corrected.

I am in a really difficult situation at the minute because I have little faith in organised religion and I am training to be an RE teacher. I have a love of God and Catholicism but I have no faith in organised religion. I have talked to many recently who have lost faith in the Catholic Church and to be honest, I find it hard to blame them. I blame those who caused them to loose faith more. I also have difficulty being taught sexual morality by a celibate priest who is much younger than me. Yes, he is a good theologian, sincere and a nice guy, but I have been married 23 years and I fail to see how he is in a position to advise me. The other students joke that I should take the class! We do have another lecturer who is married with three children. One of her children is very disabled. I am a mother and have a child who is autistic and I have always found her to be more understanding. Guess why? The young students also take her more seriously. She is a devout Catholic and would be more hard-line than I would be, but because she lives the faith in a way a priest never could imagine I can identify with her more. She is much more understanding when I can’t attend a lecture.

Excellent post! No one loves us more than God, not our spouse, our children, our parents, nor our best friend. God sent His only Son to open the gates of heaven for us. And we all know to what extent He suffered for love of us. And Jesus, His Son, gave us the Church. Having said all of this, I have seen how some people can do more harm than good with an aggressive defense of the Church without charity.

May I ask then why you offer your opinion here? The reason I’m asking is that I’m trying to understand how this forum works. The Traditional Catholic section is entitled a discussion of traditional Catholicism. I thought that meant traditional Catholics chat here. If you are not a traditional Catholic then are you here to learn as I am? From some of the threads I’ve read, arguments can flare up and people get banned. Does that happen between traditionals or between them and people many would not consider traditional? Thank you in advance for clarifying.

It’s not that I lack faith in the teachings of the Church. I have no desire to turn my back on the teachings of the Church. But can you blame people who loose faith not in God, but organised religion? Yes, I believe the Church will always prevail. No, we cannot go it alone and God did not design things to be that way. However, you can’t defend everything the Church does. They do get it wrong and I think when they do we should be honest about it and not resort to unquestioning obedience because 'it’s the true Church and therefore it’s wrongs can be glossed over and ignored.

I’ve never understood when people rebel against “organized religion”.

If “organized” is the only criteria, then a 2,000 year old Sacramental Church is automatically guilty.

Althou I’m a revert, no “one” in the Church will make me rebel against Her. It’s immature to believe that the Church is constantly teeter tottering on the preceived good or evil of the people who walk in and walk out of her doors.

The Church is independent of the people attending to her, She has to be. She’s there to treat sinners.

And sinners do what they do.

America is not perfect, does that mean its citizens should abandon her?

That’s a very good question. As far as how the forum works, I’m not the person to ask as I’m still trying to figure it out.

I am here to learn. I am a convert to Catholicism. I was not brought up Catholic and I have no understanding of the Church prior to Vatican II. I have little understanding of the objections traditionalists have concerning changes in the Church. I post on traditionalist forums to try and understand why they have certain objections. I have no desire to argue, offend or convince anyone of my point of view. I am entitled to my point of view but I have always stated on these forums it is only my point of view and no one else is obliged to agree just because I said it.

I am still finding my feet in Catholicism and trying to decide what sort of Catholic I am. There are some who would call me a traditionalist and some who would call me a modernist. One poster put it very well. They described me as a ‘both and’ person which is close as I don’t fit neatly into any pigeon hole. The reason I posted here is because I have read so many posts that focus on obedience. I am asking if traditionalist can understand why people question and I think the young in particular in contemporary society need a better response than ‘obey.’ If we are to pass on our faith, we need to meet the challange contemporary society presents. ‘Obey’ is not enough. We also need to acknowledge mistakes and explain why the Church is older and wiser today.

This is the part that fails logically. When you say, “I believe that X,” do you mean that you believe that X, or just that X is “true for me” in some sort of nonspecified way? If you mean that you actually believe it, then what can you make of someone who doesn’t believe it? It either happened or it didn’t – it’s either true or false – so a person who believes or disbelieves X is either right or wrong.

Imagine someone, during a time of controversy between flat-Earth and round-Earth theories, saying, “I don’t believe that any model of the Earth is ‘right.’ There is no such thing as the ‘right’ view of the Earth’s shape. Why am I a round-Earther? I believe you can sail clean around the Earth and not fall off the edge, I believe the Earth rotates around an axis,” and so on. What could a person like that possibly be trying to communicate? If he doesn’t think he’s “right,” does he think flat-Earthers are “wrong”? And if they’re not wrong, is the Earth “flat for them” or what?

If you think that facts about Jesus, salvation, the Sacraments, and so on are actual facts rather than opinions or something (and I’m not how one could make sense out of saying that whether Christ rose from the dead is a matter of opinion), then there is a “right” and a “wrong” view about them. Likewise, because the Earth can only be shaped in one way, then if the Earth is flat, round-Earthism is wrong, and if it’s round, flat-Earthism is wrong. Two incompatible theories about something cannot both be right, unless it’s just a make-believe topic with no genuine fact-of-the-matter (was Sherlock Holmes gay?) or a matter of opinion (was Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot the better detective?). Likewise, if Shiva exists, then Catholicism is wrong; and if not, then Hinduism is wrong. Any other result must rely on the view that there’s no real fact-of-the-matter about Shiva in the first place, and this is all basically just a game.

I sense a bit of weariness and exasperation in your posts. That fits with the theory you put forth, in which we just throw up our hands and say, “All right already, we won’t call anybody right or wrong, we’ll just all have our own beliefs; we’ll agree to disagree.” That is a useful rule to help keep conversation among friends and family harmonious, but it is not ultimately viable as a belief system of its own. My suggestion is that you try and devote the time you spend thinking about religion, for the near future at least, to thinking about things you like and enjoy about your own religion, and stop spending so much time thinking about other people’s religions. I’m betting you will find that to be a healthier use of your spiritual resources.

Did Jesus require Peter’s successors to implement his authority in the way it has been? That is what I am not convinced of. I think the Church is too authoritarian and I do not think that is what Jesus intended. It’s not the teachings I question. It’s how things are implemented.

People on these boards defend the Teachings of the Church. Those same Teachings that you yourself said you did not lack Faith in. :confused:

Jesus didn’t say it would be easy living out that Faith.

Matthew 16: Jesus gave the keys to Heaven to St Peter with the power to bind and loose. That means what the pope says goes. Jesus also used the word church (singular) many times.

I think this question might be better in the Apologetics forum. I have a question in there currently.

Too authoritarian?? :eek:

I think you’ve been listening too much to your atheist friends that you admire so much. :rolleyes:

I’m not sure if the opening poster believes in the Bible or not, but if so, perhaps this will throw some light on the issue raised. One time Jesus spoke to a Samaritan woman. The Samaritans followed a different religion than Judaism. He said to her, speaking kindly then so she did not take offense, “you worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews”(John 4:22). That is, he told her that people with her religion do not really know God.

It doesn’t matter what type of Catholic (trad. or modern) you are so long as you’re continually converting toward holiness in the practice of the Commandments, the use of the Sacraments and in particular - closeness to Jesus.

You’ve seemed to have placed yourself inside of some imaginary wheel that you’ve called Catholicism.

I’d suggest jumping off the wheel, and orienting yourself toward the receiving of Jesus in the Eucharist.

Is the True Presence difficult for you?

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