Why Should I Become A Catholic.

Hello all, I am a younger man who is in a Denominational Crisis in the Christian Faith. I was raised in a fundamentalist Christian household who was very anti-Catholic and preached against the Church consistently. Now, however, I am at a point in my life where I am engaged to a Catholic girl and would love to share a single faith as we now look toward the future.

I am currently attending a more traditional and Liturgical protestant Church and have fallen in love with the beautiful and ancient Church ritual that was lacking in my youth. I am much more informed about the Church than I once was, but my protestant roots are pulling hard against any ideas about converting over. There are a lot of points of differences between me and the Roman Church and I feel like it would be to big of a gulf to fill so I am trying to interact with those people who can better explain the differences and explain to my why they are the correct choices. I will ask questions based on any statements I receive.

I know that many people on here are convinced and on fire to support the validity of the Catholic Church, and I have no problem with that. However, I have noticed that this forum has sometimes refered to other Christians as outsiders or not truely in the Faith. While I understand that this is an easy assumption to make I hope that I may be treated with the respect and dignity of someone who feels as thought they are truely a part of the fullness of Christ. Christian civility is all I ask.

Further more I ask that in stating your points and premises that you do not state the reality as stated as the Church. I understand most of the Church’s positions on theological issues, but do not understand the reasoning behind them. Whenever possible then it would be nice to provide as many quotes and supporting evidence as possible that I may understand more fully.

Finally if I refute anyone, or state that I believe them to be in error, I will try to state as best as I can the reasons why I differ. I do not mean to attack anyone’s beliefs, but instead want to clarify my own and think about things more fully.

I thank you for you time and appreciate your position as to why the Catholic Church should be the right Church for any Christian.

Thanks

Well…I wouldn’t attack a Protestant denomination…they are seperated brethern…just not having the fullness of faith. I used to be Protestant not too long ago…but have come home now. Many of the problems that I had with the Catholics were misconceptions. Biggest thing would be to have an open mind. After I started learning more…one by one those misconceptions fell away. I couldn’t be happier with my decision.

Number one is starting with the Eucharist. It really is the body and blood of Jesus. John 6 is pretty clear on that…he didn’t correct or clarify to the people who left him. Why is that? He clarified other times if he was speaking in metephors…not so here. From personal experience…it is true. Just look up Eucharistic miracles…there are so many of them. they can not be explained away.

That for me is the number one reason.

And yes…you are right…it is easier to be one faith. Let me ask you this…do you believe 100 percent with everything in the faith/denomination you are in now?

“A church which is not one in its doctrine and faith can never be the True Church … Hence, because truth must be one, of all the different churches … only one can be the true one … and out of that Church there is no salvation. Now, in order to determine which is this one true Church … it is necessary to examine which is the Church first founded by Jesus Christ, for, when this is ascertained, it must be confessed that this one alone is the true Church which, having once been the true Church must always have been the true Church and must forever be the true Church. For to this first Church has been made the promise of the Savior that the gates of Hell would never be able to overturn it (Matthew 16:18) … In the entire history of religion, we find that the Roman Catholic Church alone was the first Church, and that the other false and heretical churches afterwards departed and separated from her. This is the Church which was propagated by the Apostles and afterwards governed by pastors whom the Apostles themselves appointed to rule over her … This character can be found only in the Roman Church, whose pastors descend securely by an uninterrupted and legitimate succession from the Apostles of the world (Matthew 28:20)” - St. Alphonsus Liguori

I understand this, but what would be the response to both the Anglican and Orthodox Churches who claim that (traditionally) they have as much legitimacy as the Roman Church

I Believe in the true presence, and also celebrate the Eucharist in my current Church so there is no conflict between Theology there. The main problem is that I see “problems” with every Church body and also feel as though saying the Catholic Church is the only Church that has the “Fullness of faith” is to me a bit arrogant although I do not think that you meant to come off that way. I do not see size as a factor is “rightness” because I feel that people do not always choose what is best. As a student of early Christianity it is apparent that there have been many changes to the structure which you would call tradition (small t) and I don’t know if that is always for the better. I feel as though some Churches may be “fuller” who strip away some tradition and emphasis Tradition

Does this mean that there is no salvation outside of the Catholic Church?

Well, why don’t you start threads on questions/issues you need clarification from Catholics as a way to get started.

But here is a link that examines what the Catholic Church teaches, and compares with Protestants. Happy reading, and start with the one that interests you the most:

chnetwork.org/Journal.html

I thank you for your support, but I know a lot about what the Catholic Church believes, and many time why they believe it. I also know the differences between that and what I believe. What I don’t know is some of the underlying logic and references for each particular point, and many of the articles I have read do not answer all of my questions. My fianee as well has trouble answering questions right away. I just hope to be in an interactive environment to ask about the Why’s and the How’s but I already know the whats. Does that make sense? I hope it does.

I suppose It would be best to create a list of Topics

  • Purgatory
  • The means of Salvation
  • Marin Theology
  • The Role of the Saints
  • Penance

I have already looked into the statements about these things on Catholic websites, but I would like to know what they mean to the average Catholic, and to be allowed to ask questions about their beliefs.

I think I get what you are trying to ask. Sort of Purgatory…you know what is purgatory but do not know why it is needed, or how it works?

Have you read the Catechism? It has footnotes and references. Try the link I provided and see if you find there what you need. The articles are backed by quotations and references too.

My suggestion, start with Salvation and Justification

Gobless…

I will try to read the Catechism and hope to get the answers but the main problem is that the articles and material are written with preformed assumption that the reader will know what they are saying for example, it will say “Purgatory is need for X, Y, and Z reasons…” and I will want to say “But what about…A, B, and C” not saying that the original explanation is wrong, but I do not accept it just because it says it is right and because I have questions that aren’t addressed by some of the literature I hope to ask people who can respond to me.

Ok, I think you came to the right place.

If you would like we could start with salvation as you had earlier suggested; what would you say is the MEANS of salvation i.e. what processes need to occur before an individual can be saved?

The CC views salvation as a process, not a one time event. The means of salvation is the Church and the sacraments as the means…baptism, confirmation, receiving the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ in the Eucharist, and through confession and penance, we purge our sins, allowing us to grow in piety, and our state of grace also grows into a more unitive state with Christ.

From the Catechism:

1989 The first work of the grace of the Holy Spirit is conversion, effecting justification in accordance with Jesus’ proclamation at the beginning of the Gospel: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” [Mt 4.17] Moved by grace, man turns toward God and away from sin, thus accepting forgiveness and righteousness from on high. "Justification is not only the remission of sins, but also the sanctification and renewal of the interior man. [Council of Trent (1547): Densinger 1528]

1990 Justification detaches man from sin which contradicts the love of God, and purifies his heart of sin. Justification follows upon God’s merciful initiative of offering forgiveness. It reconciles man with God. It frees from the enslavement to sin, and it heals.

1996 Our justification comes from the grace of God. Grace is favor, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God, adoptive sons, partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life. [Cf. Jn 1:12-18; 17:3; Rom 8:14-17; 2 Pet 1:3-4]

1997 Grace is a participation in the life of God. It introduces us into the intimacy of Trinitarian life: by Baptism the Christian participates in the grace of Christ, the Head of his Body. As an “adopted son” he can henceforth call God “Father,” in union with the only Son. He receives the life of the Spirit who breathes charity into him and who forms the Church.

1998 This vocation to eternal life is supernatural. It depends entirely on God’s gratuitous initiative, for he alone can reveal and give himself. It surpasses the power of human intellect and will, as that of every other creature. [Cf. 1 Cor 2:7-9]

2014 Spiritual progress tends toward ever more intimate union with Christ. This union is called “mystical” because it participates in the mystery of Christ through the sacraments - “the holy mysteries” - and, in him, in the mystery of the Holy Trinity. God calls us all to this intimate union with him, even if the special graces or extraordinary signs of this mystical life are granted only to some for the sake of manifesting the gratuitous gift given to all.

2015 The way of perfection passes by way of the Cross. There is no holiness without renunciation and spiritual battle. [Cf. 2 Tim 4] Spiritual progress entails the ascesis and mortification that gradually lead to living in the peace and joy of the Beatitudes:

He who climbs never stops going from beginning to beginning, through beginnings that have no end. He never stops desiring what he already knows. [St. Gregory of Nyssa, Hom. In Cant. 8: PG 44, 941C]
  • So if Salvation is a Process is an individual “more saved” at one point of their life than another, or is this an incorrect understanding of the message

I don’t know much about the Orthodox Churches. But I do know that if the Anglican church claims that it is the church founded by Christ than they are in error. Because it is historical fact that they broke away from the Catholic Church when King Henry decided that he didn’t want to follow the rules. However, you will notice that the Pope has paved the way for Anglicans to return to the Catholic Church. And because of this many ARE returning.

What the Anglican Church claims is Apostolic Succession because the Bishops of the Church of England were ordained through the laying of hand and their predecessors trance their linage to the beginning of the Church. They also claim to have been established before the Pope’s Jurisdiction was established in England and so say they did not technically “break away”. The fact that Anglicans ARE returning - as you say - I believe has much more to do with Politics within the Church than over Theological differences.

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