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Questions about Catholicism?

MorganRF replied...
Mar. 23, 2016 at 11:45 am

Lucy-Agnes - that's exactly where we were!
WindRunner - we can use the Bible as a guide, but some, like myself, choose not to.

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WindRunner replied...
Mar. 23, 2016 at 11:52 am

Why?                   

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MorganRF replied...
Mar. 23, 2016 at 11:56 am

OK, I stated that wrong - I do take inspiration from the Bible, but I don't take it literally. Why? Because I am not a religious person, and I do not believe in all that the Bible talks about

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WindRunner replied...
Mar. 23, 2016 at 11:59 am

What topics?

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MorganRF replied...
Mar. 23, 2016 at 12:04 pm

He.ll, the De.vi.l(granted, some believe that wrongdoing can be conveyed as the De.vi.l, but it's the idea that scares me away), and Purg.ator.y are the main topics. I also believe that we are all the sons and daughters of G.od, not just Jesus

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deafening-fan replied...
Mar. 23, 2016 at 12:21 pm

Hello! I can help Lucy-Agnes, as I have grown up in a Catholic familly and have attended Catholic school.
 
Yaaaaaaaaay.

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Mar. 23, 2016 at 12:59 pm

Ooh, yay! A fellow Catholic to help out! :)
(Morgan, it makes perfect sense to me that a non-religious person wouldn't take the Bible literally. I just wanted to point out that Catholics do believe all people are the sons and daughters of God in a certain sense, but Jesus is the Son of God in a really special sense - He shares God's nature. Just thought I'd mention it.)

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Mar. 23, 2016 at 1:28 pm

Alrighty, what should we tackle first? Conscience? Let's talk about conscience; that's important. :)
Okay. So. We were talking about conscience as it relates to g.ay marriage. Your conscience tells you that g.ay marriage is alright. Mine tells me that g.ay marriage is wrong. Our consciences have obviously had different formations. :) So...I don't really know what your beliefs regarding conscience are, but here's my basic understanding: conscience is not so much a feeling as it is an intellectual faculty. When we use our conscience, we apply the principles of right and wrong as we know them to a certain situation. Because moral situations can be confusing, it is necessary to form one's conscience properly through careful investigation of right and wrong and the matter in question. Everyone is obliged to follow his own conscience, as it is his only way of knowing right and wrong; however, he is also obliged to form his conscience as best he can. It's wrong to just go by how a choice feels; we have to go with what we rationally believe is right.
 

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deafening-fan replied...
Mar. 23, 2016 at 1:52 pm

Lucy, I can really tell that you are a Head-thinker.
 
To me, the conscience is a very tricky thing. Like you said, it depends on our experiences and how we think. I personally believe that the conscience is developed by parents and the morals of the society we live in (I recently read Lord of the Flies, which has a central theme that anyone has the capacity to do evil deeds, and is quite interesting philosophically and psychologically). So for example, Lucy, you do not believe that g.ay marriage is morally right. This is because you most likely grew up in an environment where it was not percieved as "right". I was the same way, until I started to form my own conscience that had differing opinions than my parents. While I'm still forming my own, they still have had a massive impact on my life. Things like politeness, determination, and hospitality are all things that my family values, and that I myself have absorbed as key parts of my self.
 
I think the conscience really depends how you are raised. It's like gen.der (don't know if it is blocked) in the way they are constructed and not naturally occurring. That being said, they all revolve around key concepts like lying and killing is bad, while unselfishness and meekness are 'good'. I think that with the internet and the spread of ideas, the conscience has become a very strange concept. Things like self-love have questioned the hatred of all types of selfishness, while in cultures created by violence (like ISIS), killing becomes a much more lenient thing. Like I said, it really is a cultural thing, but interesting none the less.
 
 
((Sorry that I kind of went of on my train of thought.)

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Mar. 23, 2016 at 2:02 pm

Aw, gee, thanks, deafening-fan. :)
 
That's so, conscience can be formed by  society very easily. But it's important that we can't let society do the forming of our consciences for us, just like it's important we don't let our experiences and families form our consciences for us. We have to really dig for the truth, and not be afraid if we find ourselves pushing against the current of the world. That's why I'm against g.ay marriage. My search for the truth has made it very clear to me that Catholicism is true, and Catholicism teaches that while g.ay people must be accepted and loved and valued, g.ay activity is never permissable. Not only do I trust the Catholic Church's teaching on this matter because I trust the Catholic Church, the Church's reasons for forbidding g.ay activity and therefore g.ay marriage make a lot of sense to me.

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Mr.packerbear12This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Mar. 24, 2016 at 9:59 am

Lucy: I'm sorry about my hotty attitude to start with, I was having a bad day and shouldn't have sent that, please forgive me. I'll respond to you in a more respectful manner for now on:)
 
On the matter of the catholic church changing its teachings, I didn't read all of this, but found it interesting, it is a question answer type site, but the people seem to know what they're talking about, remove the spaces: quora.c om/Have-any-of-the-Catholic-Churchs-doctrines-ever-been-changed
 
On the subject of wars, the Romans have historically always had a strong military, but they haven't always won, look at this, the Romans didn't fall until after the authority was weakened after the founding of chrisitanity by constantine, ushistory.o rg/civ/6f.asp
 
No, God does not use paganism for His ways, in fact He tells us many many many times not to mix with the nation's ways, not to worship Him the way pagans do, to actually destroy all of their gods and idols, I don't think He uses catholicism as His ways. And I certainly wouldn't bow before the cross of mithra which is the most common pagan symbol among all sects of Christianty including the Roman Catholic Church.
 
Just one contridiction I noticed, you said previously that, "Papal infallibilty is kinda another topic, but basically it means the God will never let the pope make a mistake when he's teaching on teh matter of faith and morals." doesn't that mean you believe in that moment, the pope is infallible?

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Mr.packerbear12This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Mar. 24, 2016 at 10:01 am

In the third line of the 4th paragraph I meant to write I don't think He uses paganism as His ways, but I also don't think He uses catholicism either..but that wasn't the point I was trying to make.

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Mr.packerbear12This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Mar. 24, 2016 at 10:04 am

Lucy, one more thing, would it be wrong for a catholic to pick up their Bible, study and read it out, and come to conclusions on their own without the guidence of a religious leader?

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Mar. 24, 2016 at 11:35 am

Oh, don't worry about your attitude! I don't even remember it as being that bad, and I've certainly been worse. Of course I forgive you. It's jolly decent of you to apologize. :)
Don't worry about multiple posts, either - I'm going to do the same thing. :)
 
Regarding the Church's teachings never changing - I read that article, and for the most part it seems pretty accurate, but I don't think the author understood the topic 100%. The Church's teaching can "change," per se, in that it can develop and grow. Catholicism began with a basic understanding of key truths, like the divinity of Christ, and as time went on our understanding grew deeper and deeper. For example, the belief that Christ is God led to the understanding the Mary is the Mother of God. The Church's teaching never changed - we never said Mary wasn't the Mother of God - but at some point the Church made clear that Mary is indeed the Mother of God. Also, there's a difference between the chief truths of the faith, like the Trinity or the Real Presence, and disciplines of the Church, like women wearing veils in Church. It used to be women had to wear veils, but that's changed now. That wasn't an essential part of the faith, it was just a discipline. In the same way, things like the liturgy of the Mass or even the tradition of having unmarried priests can change, without the Church really changing her doctrines. Does that make sense?
 

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Mar. 24, 2016 at 11:45 am

Mr.packerbear12:
On the subject of Rome -
Hm, that's an interesting idea, that Christianity's spread hastened the fall of Rome. I'm a little confused as to your point in bringing that up, though. :) Remember, Christ said that  His kingdom is "not of this world." I believe Rome was already weak when Christian emperors came to power. And after the dark ages, the new order which rose to power was a decidedly Christian one that lasted for centuries.
 
That's very true, God's people are very firmly commanded not to mix with pagans or fall into their ways. I agree with you 100% there. But does that mean God can't reach out to the pagans and use their accomplishments to further His glory? After all, God loves all people, not just those who have access to the truth. And He can bring good out of evil. Remember how St. Paul found the altar (in Athens, I believe) dedicated to an unknown God? He concluded that, in a certain respect, the Greeks had been worshipping the true God as best as they knew how, and used that point in his preaching. God is the Lord of all people and all of history, not just of the people who know Him. The entire world is in His care, and history is His story. It strikes me as a great testament to the truth of Christianity that the Roman empire was at just such a point, at Jesus' time, to make the spread of the Gospel very easy.

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Mar. 24, 2016 at 11:56 am

Regarding papal infallibility:
Yes, I believe the pope is infallible, when teaching on faith and morals ex cathedra. However, I don't believe that infallibility comes from a mere man. It isn't the pope who is the source of his own infallibility; it's the Holy Spirit. A mere man can't be infallible, but the Holy Spirit certainly is, and the Holy Spirit speaks through the pope.
 
Of course Catholics are encouraged to read the Bible in private, just like all Christians are. As for coming to their own conclusions - I suppose that depends on what you mean by "conclusions." If I picked up the Bible dissatisfied with the teachings of the Church, say, on Mary's Immaculate Conception, it would be wrong of me to look up the verse "for all have sinned," take it out of context, and say, "Aha! The Church is wrong. All have sinned, and that includes Mary." But there's nothing wrong with reading the Bible and thinking it over and pondering it on your own. Like, I can read the First Psalm and apply it to where I am in my life right now - "Blessed are those who follow not the counsel of the wicked" could take on a special meaning to me if I was being tempted by wicked people to do something wrong. I don't have to take every verse to my parish priest and ask him about it, although if I'm confused by something I should probably do some research or ask someone in authority. Authority doesn't mean we can't think for ourselves. :)
The thing is, if all a person had to go on was the Bible and their own interpretation, it's possible they would think up a really wacked-out religion. :) There was a character, for example, in one of the Anne of Green Gables books whose religion consisted in opening up the Bible whenever in need of guidance and taking the first verse her eyes fell on as an answer. (Of course, sometimes God does speak to us that way, but depending on a miracle every time isn't practical.) Or a better example - in one of G. K. Chesterton's Fr. Brown mysteries there was a character who used the Bible as an excuse for all sorts of horrible behavior. You've seen movies or shows, I'm sure, where there's a character who's all vengeance and justice and wrath because of "Biblical" values.
Does that make sense? 

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stuntddude replied...
Mar. 24, 2016 at 4:59 pm

"It strikes me as a great testament to the truth of Christianity that the Roman empire was at just such a point, at Jesus' time, to make the spread of the Gospel very easy."
 
Actually, that was hundreds of year afterwards.
 
"The Church's teaching can "change," per se, in that it can develop and grow."
 
In other words, it's pick-and-choose history: if the church has changed its stance on something, then it's considered to have been a discipline or tradition, not a teaching (or it's presented as an addition rather than an edit). If it hasn't changed, then it's touted as an example of the church's consistency.
 
"Hm, that's an interesting idea, that Christianity's spread hastened the fall of Rome. I'm a little confused as to your point in bringing that up, though."
 
The reason why it contributed to the empire's fall is because it shifted people's focus away from glorifying and being loyal to the emperor/empire, and toward glorifying and being loyal to God. I considered mentioning it, but didn't because it's considered to be a minor cause and wasn't really relevant to the argument.
 
"As for coming to their own conclusions - I suppose that depends on what you mean by "conclusions.""
 
In other words, you're allowed to come to your own conclusions about the Bible, as long as they don't contradict the church's teachings.
 
"The thing is, if all a person had to go on was the Bible and their own interpretation, it's possible they would think up a really wacked-out religion."
 
I agree with this. In fact, I see it all the time.

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Mar. 25, 2016 at 1:24 pm

stuntddude:
 
"Actually, that was hundreds of years afterwards."
Not really. Caesar Augustus ruled around 27 B.C., and his reign began the Pax Romana which lasted for around 200 years and prepared the world for the spread of the Gospel.
 
"it's pick and choose history."
There's actually a concrete difference between discipline and dogma. There is a definitive list of the chief dogmas and doctrines of the Church. These will never change. Matters of faith and morals are entirely different from outward rituals, and while these matters of faith and morals might develop/grow, they won't ever change or reverse. The Church is always growing and "changing" in the way that a plant is always growing and changing, because she's alive. But she won't ever start growing different fruit, to extend that comparison. :)
 
"you're allowed to come to your own conclusions about the Bible, as long as they don't contradict the church's teachings."
Exactly. :)
 
 

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stuntddude replied...
Mar. 25, 2016 at 5:49 pm

Christianity was legalized in Rome in A.D. 313. That's hundreds of years later.

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Mar. 26, 2016 at 10:53 am

True. But I wasn't saying the legalization of Christianity had anything to do with the Roman empire helping Christianity's spread. Rome helped Christianity along without even meaning to. The Roman roads made it easier for missionaries to travel from place to place, the common language made it easier for missionaries to spread the word, and the general peacefulness of the era allowed the Gospel to spread without being interrupted by major wars. The fact that Rome had no idea it was helping Christianity is just what's so amazing about it. And the Church survived in spite of widespread and bloody persecution off and on for hundreds of years. All of that just can't be a coincidence, not for someone of faith. :)

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