What do YOU find confusing about Catholicism?


Dear friend in Christ,

What do YOU find to be confusing or mysterious about Catholicism?

God Bless you


I am Catholic.

Original Sin and the Fall confuse me, at least when I try to reconcile it with evolutionary science. There need not be anything in contradiction, but I don’t think it’s been fleshed out enough theologically.

Take for example that evolution occurs in groups, but Faith requires (or seems to require at this time) the belief in the original couple, ie Adam and Eve.


I’m Catholic.

I don’t mind invoking the saints, but asking them for things confuses me. I mean, why would they be more willing to give me something than God?


I don’t mind invoking the saints, but asking them for things confuses me. I mean, why would they be more willing to give me something than God?

We don’t ask the saints instead of God. But the prayer of a righteous person is greater in its effects, and the saints in heaven are much closer to God (in the sense of holiness) than we are.


I know that’s the ideal thing but it seems like everyone asks their patron saint to grant them something instead of asking them to pray that they obtain that something.


My issue with this answer is, why does it matter that the saints in heaven are closer to God? Ultimately, God is impassible and nobody can affect His will, not even saints. Is it just the thought that counts? I’ve had trouble figuring this one out.


In my diocese, 90% of Catholic children attend public school, but the lion share of parish resources go to the 10% in Catholic schools - most of whom are already privileged with wealthy parents & no learning disabilities. Religious Education staff is overworked & underpaid. This does not seem Christlike to me.


These are philosophical, but…

  1. The paradox of free will is always confusing for me. I’ve never really heard a concrete answer, as most people dance around the question with platitudes.
  2. The existence of evil seems incompatible with the existence of God.
  3. The Euthyphro dilemma. Yes, I know your answer will be that it is a false dilemma but the explanation for why it’s a false dilemma doesn’t make sense to me.
  4. Purgatory. The scripture used to support it doesn’t entirely make sense. I’ll believe in because the Church says to but I’m not entirely sure why, and that’s an uncomfortable feeling.

I might add more later.


Euthyphro dilemma?


I don’t quite get why Christ had to die for our sins, or be the sacrificial lamb. Why did he need to atone for our sins when we keep sinning anyhow?


Try shifting your world view away from pagan Greek philosophy. Things may make more sense if you start thinking more like 1st century Jew. Read some N.T. Wright books.


I puzzled over this reply for a few minutes. I don’t think I have a particularly Greek philosophical worldview. These are just common topics brought up in theological and philosophically theistic conversations. Some of them certainly developed during the Hellenic times, but they are universal in the issues they present. I’ve never heard a coherent answer from anyone when I’ve asked about these points, but I would love to hear one.

It’s very difficult for me to embrace religion when I witness both logical and theological fallacies. I’m expecting that I simply don’t understand them enough and they are not fallacies at all. I have just yet to come across the explanation as to why (I bet there is one, though.)


What makes free will commonly difficult to comprehend?


As Wikipedia puts it,

any conception of God that incorporates both omniscience and free will is inherently contradictory.

One Catholic answer to this was

Because you know that the sun will be in the sky tomorrow doesn’t mean that you will have caused it to be there! Even though God already knows what our free choices will be in the future, our choices are still ours and are still free. If our free choices change how the future will be, God already knows that and has known it for all eternity.

Like I said, platitudes. This implies that God didn’t “cause” the choice to be made. And clearly God did not directly force you to make a certain choice, but as he created all things he made it so that choice was going to inevitably be made. It was predetermined that I would have strawberry ice cream instead of chocolate ice cream before I even existed. Just because God did not literally come down to earth and shove me toward the strawberry ice cream does not mean he didn’t, long ago, make it so that I’d choose strawberry ice cream. I merely have the illusion of free will, it seems.

What I’m asking is, what would be your answer to that?


So much is inexplicable and beyond our rational capabilities and yet we always try to fit it all in. Too bad. And even worse when we make it doctrine. Jesus taught in parables. The most effective way to talk about the ineffable is metaphor, poetry, symbol and myth. But since the so called “enlightenment” we have lost appreciation for that language and try to talk about it all “rationally”. Even the Church. i dont let such questions (and attempted answers) bother me. My goal is to experience and know God. That is not anything easy to talk about at a rational level. It is hyper-rational, super-rational.


Just to be clear, you’re saying that there is no answer and that’s “too bad”, and I’m just supposed to not be bothered by deeper questions and instead “experience and know God” which is also incredibly vague?

I’m not asking for a “rational” response. I’m asking for something theologically coherent. That is not necessarily going to be something rational. Like I said, the only replies I ever receive are from people such as yourself. Answering with a non-answer, over and over and over.

And I would agree that the ineffable has its place, but there is a difference between good and bad metaphors. I’m not some atheist science and logic-addicted rational being. I am extremely interested in more mystical and philosophical questions, and there’s nothing wrong with me wanting these things to be coherently discussed. After all, similar questions have been discussed among theologians since the beginning of the Church.

But you clearly find no value in this.


You know that most any group of American kids will want to eat a bowl of M&Ms as opposed to a bowl of broccoli. You knew that before but you by no means interfered with the kids’ free wills. You knew this because you know a kid’s psychology. Basically that’s a model of divine omniscience, for God created our psyches to begin with.

Is that a platitude?


It’s not a platitude. I’m still trying to fully wrap my head around this response, but thank you for it nonetheless. I think it will be extremely helpful when my mind isn’t so tired :rofl:


Also I’m surprised Wikipedia would state something so partial in one of its articles


Wikipedia certainly has its moments lol

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