Well, here we go again...


#1

Hi guys, if you've run into me before I'm the guy who's waffling between Catholicism and high-church Anglicanism. I'll side with one for a few months, then side with the other.

...and once again, here I am back in the Catholic camp. I had a conversation with a priest the other day who convinced me to receive confession/eucharist and spend a month saying the rosary every day.

I'm just worried that I'll end up back with the Anglicans again, and then switch over again, on and on.

What in the world should I do? I feel like it's just a matter of time before something in Catholicism offends me (as inevitably happens) and off I'll go back to the Anglicans.

Can someone please help me find some constancy in religion? I'm getting sick of this.


#2

What types of things run you off? Things the Church does as an institution, unrelated to her teachings? The teachings themselves? Hypocrites running the place? Something totally different?

I’m thinking this. Consider yourself Catholic (or “Catholic bound” – I wasn’t sure if you did get the sacraments yet) but if you get interested in another church, go ahead and check it out. Just fulfill your obligations to remain active Catholic as well. Mass on Saturday or Sunday and occasional holy days, Confession once a year – really it doesn’t take much to keep active doing the bare minimum, even during times of feeling distant from the Church.

When you change from one to the other, do you actually switch beliefs, either suddenly or gradually, or do you keep most or all of the same beliefs and just like the way they run the place better?

Alan


#3

Well, maybe it would help if you could explain a little bit about the troubles you've had with each Church and why you keep switching back and forth. What about the Catholic Church has offended you?


#4

Well, a few things. Firstly, the way the pope is treated. The pope, to me, is a servant, not a master. And yet for some reason we have him sitting on a throne getting his ring kissed. Secondly, I have an enormous amount of difficulty with modern Catholic liturgy. Thirdly, I have an enormous amount of difficulty with Catholic teachings on sexuality and gender, in particular the restriction of ordination to men and the idea that women are somehow more “receptive” (this word is used a great deal) than men. Another major sore spot is that one of my favorite saints is Peter the Aleut of the Orthodox church, and if I “go Catholic” I’m worried that I can no longer view him as a saint/ask him to pray for me.

Honestly, it’s not the teachings of the Catholic church that upset me as much as the way they’re presented. Take for example Michael Voris or some of the posters on CA.

I’m thinking this. Consider yourself Catholic (or “Catholic bound” – I wasn’t sure if you did get the sacraments yet) but if you get interested in another church, go ahead and check it out. Just fulfill your obligations to remain active Catholic as well. Mass on Saturday or Sunday and occasional holy days, Confession once a year – really it doesn’t take much to keep active doing the bare minimum, even during times of feeling distant from the Church.

I dunno man, Christ didn’t ask for the bare minimum. If Christ is calling me, I don’t want to say “let me go bury my Dad,” I want to say “yes Lord” and follow him. If I’m going to do this, I need to put everything into it.

When you change from one to the other, do you actually switch beliefs, either suddenly or gradually, or do you keep most or all of the same beliefs and just like the way they run the place better?

Alan

It’s generally quite gradual. I generally keep the same beliefs, e.g. regarding Mary, church militant/triumphant/suffering, etc. because they’re very welcome in the Anglican church, especially among Anglo-Catholics. I mostly just switch back and forth regarding the authority of the Pope.


#5

I’m a convert who was baptized and confirmed in the Catholic Church 15 years ago, but it’s only in the last year and a half that I’ve come to accept the authority of the Pope. I was watching “The Journey Home” on EWTN this week, and the guest was a former member of the Baptist Church of England who has since become a Catholic priest. I wish I could quote him exactly, but he talked about how long it can take for people who come into the Catholic Church with a Protestant background to fully grasp Catholic teachings. He included himself in this group because he is still influenced to a certain degree by his background. (That’s not completely a bad thing though because as a Baptist he had memorized a lot of scripture!) It’s a gradual process for most. Anyway, I disagreed with the Church on several issues, but a year and a half ago I went to Confession for the first time in 7 years, and it was like a “light” turned on. I began to read voraciously about the Faith I had neglected to learn more about, and I prayed that God would show me the Truth. And He did. I get it–all of it. I think that’s the key, honestly. Tell God you want to know the Truth (whether you agree with it or not). And start reading–not just the Catechism–but really go back into history and read the writings of the early Church Fathers. Look at the Bible and the meanings of the Greek words used. Learn about the customs and culture of the people of THAT time. When I did those things, it all began to make sense. I don’t believe it just because the Church “says so”. I believe it because the Father has revealed it to me through His Grace.


#6

I have thought a lot about these same things. I have recently come to some ideas about what the hierarchy of the Church has to do to fulfill her mission, and subsequently come to peace with it. Basically the job the Church has to do, is keep her teachings constant throughout generations so they don’t mutate into something ineffective, and keep the story alive, embodied in the Eucharist, and make the sacraments available. Her job isn’t to get Alan into heaven. She makes the sacraments available, and now with the Internet the teachings are very readily available. If the upper snooty people who make careers out of acting pious want to go through their ceremonies, that’s fine – as long as they keep the teachings pure and the sacraments and all.

As far as getting into the kingdom, that’s my job. But I get to use whatever resources the Church avails to me, directly or indirectly through others who got it from the Church.

Honestly, it’s not the teachings of the Catholic church that upset me as much as the way they’re presented. Take for example Michael Voris or some of the posters on CA.

I know exactly what you mean. I called him a “jerk” after watching a four minute video, but then I went and watched a 75 minute video of him and found he says some great things when he isn’t spewing fear and angst. He said some pretty insightful and mystical things, if even grandiose, that impressed me; for a Church Militant at least he knows how to think big things.

I dunno man, Christ didn’t ask for the bare minimum. If Christ is calling me, I don’t want to say “let me go bury my Dad,” I want to say “yes Lord” and follow him. If I’m going to do this, I need to put everything into it.

I’m with you. I’m just saying, if you’re straying, at least come home for dinner on Sundays to stay in good graces with the family.

It’s generally quite gradual. I generally keep the same beliefs, e.g. regarding Mary, church militant/triumphant/suffering, etc. because they’re very welcome in the Anglican church, especially among Anglo-Catholics. I mostly just switch back and forth regarding the authority of the Pope.

I have accepted these for the most part, but I think they are pretty tricky. Maybe you’d like more of a Franciscan way of thinking better. Others can probably describe that better than I can. :slight_smile:

Alan


#7

Either you believe Jesus founded the Church on the Rock or not. If you believe it then you believe everything she teaches no matter what you may think personally. If you don't...then you don't. Seems simple to me.
I was raised completely secular and I thought Christianity was for suckers and idiots. But when I had an experience with God I knew two things. First of all I knew it was Jesus. Second of all I knew where to go: The Catholic Church. I knew my history from a totally secular point of view. I had no bias. I had no agenda. So I knew for a simple bare fact of history, the Catholic Church is the Church that Jesus founded.

Now, I had many personal beliefs that were all secular. I was raised with beliefs about feminism and I never had any problem with the gay lifestyle or masturbation or pre marital sex. My views were totally in line with the pop culture MTV stuff. I converted in 2003. But, I just left all that stuff behind when I accepted the Jesus and His Church. I started to form my opinions and conscience based only on that and I never had a problem.


#8

Like! :thumbsup:


#9

Are you familiar with a blog called Standing on My Head? The author is a former Evangelical who converted to Anglicanism and became a priest, and after a number of years converted to Catholicism (together with his family) and was ordained a priest a few years ago. He understands well different objections to Catholicism, both Anglican and Evangelical. There are many good posts about authority and objectivity in the church that deal with the issues you have about the papacy. Have a look.

patheos.com/blogs/standingonmyhead/


#10

Jesus either made Peter a pope or He didn't, and He claimed that hell would not prevail against this Church. If He really did make Peter a pope, then to follow the pope is to listen to Jesus. Logically, this is true, and humans despise being under an authority since the fall. We must be reasonable and not give into our temptations.

All you have to do is read Church history and decide for yourself what the first Christians believed. Then follow Jesus, the Son of God.


#11

Máy tÃ*nh all in one pc GoodM


#12

No, no one can help you find constancy in religion. What I think the problem is, is that you think it’s about religions. It’s not. It’s about God. God is the constant, God is unchanging. If you accept the Eucharist as taught by the Church, you stay. The “religion” is going to seem wrong to you sometimes. Who cares? Jesus is always Jesus and is REALLY right here for you. The 2000 years of theology and dogma are the same.

If you can leave Jesus in Body and Blood for the “Anglicans” then you don’t understand the most important thing there is to understand.

Next time, leave for the Orthodox. At least you won’t be walking away from God.


#13

Maybe you should go to AA. Anglicans Anonymous! Hello, my name is John and I'm an Anglican. Hi John.....


#14

Mother Mary is so powerful and the more you pray to her and the more she cans guide you to her son. She will remind you to follow Jesus's teaching and to read the bible.

In one of her message, she said that the reason that the Catholic church was split, was simply because of Evil. The Catholic church is a spiritual and is the only church that contains all the blessed sacrament. You cannot judge the church by the men but truly have faith that it is the teaching that was passed on to the apostles who were taught by Jesus.

Did you know that the protestant began only because a King wanted to be able to divorce his wife?

Continue to pray, to have faith, to be shown your wrong doing and to have remorse about them. You must want Jesus in your heart and the Holy spirit. It haven't been instant for me, i had to put the work. I can now experience such an amazing experience when i receive the Eucharist but it took me many prayers and i still have to put the work.

God give us free will he doesn't need us but we do need him. He loves you that you are perfect or not. Pray to be able to love him as he deserves it and to be granted with the gift of virtues such compassion, humble, kindness, etc....

All will be well and keep praying and especially for others with the same needs.

I pray for you to always be in the right path that lead you to God.

Amen!


#15

Thank you for this tip. I will look into this.


#16

:eek: Not quite. I suggest you read up on the Reformation - even the highly inaccurate (at times) Wikipedia would give you a better idea of the beginnings of the Protestant movement.


#17

I’m guessing we’re talking about the Church of England, which broke from papal authority during the Reformation, but what I didn’t realize is that for a while, they went back to papal authority. Anyway here’s one version of the story:

At the Reformation the Western Church became divided between those who continued to accept Papal authority and the various Protestant churches that repudiated it. The Church of England was among the churches that broke with Rome. The catalyst for this decision was the refusal of the Pope to annul the marriage of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, but underlying this was a Tudor nationalist belief that authority over the English Church properly belonged to the English monarchy. In the reign of Henry’s son Edward VI the Church of England underwent further reformation, driven by the conviction that the theology being developed by the theologians of the Protestant Reformation was more faithful to the teaching of the Bible and the Early Church than the teaching of those who continued to support the Pope.

In the reign of Mary Tudor. the Church of England once again submitted to Papal authority. However, this policy was reversed when Elizabeth I came to the throne in 1558.

The religious settlement that eventually emerged in the reign of Elizabeth gave the Church of England the distinctive identity that it has retained to this day. It resulted in a Church that consciously retained a large amount of continuity with the Church of the Patristic and Medieval periods in terms of its use of the catholic creeds, its pattern of ministry, its buildings and aspects of its liturgy, but which also embodied Protestant insights in its theology and in the overall shape of its liturgical practice. The way that this is often expressed is by saying that the Church of England is both ‘catholic and reformed.’

Source: churchofengland.org/about-us/history/detailed-history.aspx

Alan


#18

[quote="InJesusItrust, post:10, topic:312405"]
Jesus either made Peter a pope or He didn't, and He claimed that hell would not prevail against this Church. If He really did make Peter a pope, then to follow the pope is to listen to Jesus. Logically, this is true, and humans despise being under an authority since the fall. We must be reasonable and not give into our temptations.

All you have to do is read Church history and decide for yourself what the first Christians believed. Then follow Jesus, the Son of God.

[/quote]

What would you say to the protestant claim that it was Peter's statement of faith, not Peter himself, that the gates of hell would not prevail against?


#19

I would say that Anglicans can be absolutely as sincere of Christians as Catholics. I wouldn’t call Anglicanism “walking away from God” at all, I would simply call it another expression of Christianity, which I am trying to discern is correct or not (although right now, to me, the Catholic claims appear to hold more water). You also talk about Body and Blood…the Anglicans believe in the Real Presence too, you know, and they have some pretty good arguments for it too. I just don’t know who to believe.


#20

[quote="Brofessor, post:19, topic:312405"]
I would say that Anglicans can be absolutely as sincere of Christians as Catholics. I wouldn't call Anglicanism "walking away from God" at all, I would simply call it another expression of Christianity, which I am trying to discern is correct or not (although right now, to me, the Catholic claims appear to hold more water). You also talk about Body and Blood...the Anglicans believe in the Real Presence too, you know, and they have some pretty good arguments for it too. I just don't know who to believe.

[/quote]

Well, given how the Anglican church started should be a big clue. Whether they believe in the Real Presence doesn't mean they actually have it.

As for Peter and his 'statement of faith', Jesus addressed him personally. He is the rock. It always amazes me how protestans twist the words that Jesus said.

Have a look at that blog I suggested. It is really good. You could email the priest personally, he is very happy to help those who seek guidance and some answers. It took him a long time to understand the fundamental problem of Anglicanism and why it is not true. He also believed it was a valid expression of Christianity. And then reality hit him when he realised that they come together and decide what to believe in. The creed is up to those who have the strongest lobby and most convincing arguments at a given moment. That is not a religion, and certainly not something that Jesus founded.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.