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Questions about Catholicism?

MorganRF replied...
Apr. 3, 2016 at 2:08 pm

Lucy-Agnes -> I agree, the conscience is, in a sense, a form of intellect. We all need to apply our own consciences to certain situations. I do not believe that one person's conscience is "wrong," but we as humans tend to ignore our consciences in some situations that are not good. So, I think we are on the same page on that. I believe that a person's conscience is also a form of opinion, if that makes sense. Just as we have our thoughts and opinions on situations, we can use our consciences to help us discern right and wrong within ourselves

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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...
Apr. 4, 2016 at 12:43 pm

Yeah, our views don't seem too drastically different. :) I believe everyone is obliged to follow his or her own conscience in every situation; to disobey my conscience is wrong. On the flip side, everyone has the duty to form his or her conscience well. A conscience isn't infallible, because it's human - if we make mistakes in reasoning out right and wrong, then our conscience will be faultily formed. We have to make sure our conscience is a good conscience, so that what is right for us subjectively speaking is also right objectively.

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MorganRF replied...
Apr. 4, 2016 at 3:58 pm

Very true. I mean, we're all humans, so we're going to make mistakes. It is our job, with help from those who are closest to us, to form our conscience well so that we know when we've messed up.

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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...
Apr. 4, 2016 at 9:21 pm

Yup! We can never stop digging for that truth. :)
So, if we've exhausted the conscience topic, were we going to talk about lax Catholics vs. devout Catholics?

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MorganRF replied...
Apr. 7, 2016 at 2:24 pm

Yeah. So, your opinion of a lax Catholic is that of one who doesn't believe that being g.ay is wrong, or so I picked up. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that's just what I perceived it as. My opinion is that a person can be a devout Catholic without believing that being g.ay is a s.in. I will explain my position if you would like me to, and I am interested in your position

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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...
Apr. 7, 2016 at 8:43 pm

I think you perceived it pretty accurately. :) I believe that anyone who rejects any of the Church's teachings isn't really an authentic Catholic. I mean, they're still Catholic in the sense that they're a baptized member of the Church, but they're not Catholic in the sense that they're faithful to the Church. There are lots of "cafeteria Catholics" who pick and choose from the Church's teachings - they might accept the teaching on the Eucharist but reject the teaching on co.ntraception, etc. These people aren't following the Church's teachings, so they aren't true Catholics, if that makes sense.
 
And just to reiterate a technicality, the Church teaches that there isn't anything wrong with being g.ay. One's s.exual orientation is not a s.in, because he or she can't help it. It is si.nful, however, to perform g.ay s.exual acts. Does that make sense?

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MorganRF replied...
Apr. 8, 2016 at 10:32 am

I think so?? I guess I've never seen a difference between the se.xu.al activities of those who are g.ay or not. On the note of authentic/lax Catholics, I feel that, possibly for the fact that I am not a religious person, there really is no "true" Catholic or "lax" Catholic, because we all believe different things; some believe in the teaching of their church, some baptized people believe some things, but not other teachings, some people are unbaptized and believe, sometimes, totally different things. Does that makes sense? Again, it might have something to do with the fact that I am by no means a religious person. I believe in Go.d, I believe in Jesus as our Savior, but I see myself as more of a spiritual person, since I am not baptized into a specific religion

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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...
Apr. 9, 2016 at 4:00 pm

You mean, you've never seen s.ex between two people of the same g.ender as any different from s.ex between people of different g.enders?
I think I get what you're saying about true/lax Catholics. Every individual has a different understanding of things - is that what you mean? I guess that makes sense. But I also believe there are lots and lots of Catholics who are true Catholics, and believe everything the Church teaches. It's pretty easy to know what the Church's position on everything is, what with the Catechism and the Magesterium and the Pope and all. :) There's a vast group of Catholics who, though they might differ on opinions about little things, all agree completely on the big issues, the ones that matter. If a Catholic cares about being Catholic, it's quite easy for them to find out what they're required to believe/do. Are we on the same page? :)
Being a spiritual person is good! I don't know that I see much of a difference between spirituality and religion, personally. It's like G. K. Chesterton once said - "Let your religion be less of a creed and more of a love affair." :) Catholicism might seem to be all rules and regulations sometimes, but the heart of my faith isn't rules - it's Jesus. I've never felt closer to Him than when I'm nestled close to His heart in Holy Communion. :) So, do you pray?

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MorganRF replied...
Apr. 10, 2016 at 3:47 pm

Pretty much(about the se.x between straight and g.ay couples. And I agree, sometimes religion can be seen as just a load of rules and regulations. Like you said, it's not about the rules, it's about the relationships one has with Go.d and Jesus. Yes, I do pray. Why do you ask? I don't care, I'm just curious

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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...
Apr. 11, 2016 at 1:11 pm

Sorry, I wasn't trying to be nosy, and that question was worded pretty abruptly. :) I was just curious. I'd never really thought of religion and spirituality as seperate things before, and I was wondering what a non-religious but spiritual person's relationship with God is like.

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MorganRF replied...
Apr. 11, 2016 at 1:50 pm

No, it's fine!!! I wouldn't say that a non religious person's relationship with God is any different than a religious person's relationship is, just that we don't tend to live by the rules of a specific church, if that makes sense. Like me for example, I pray every day, I believe in Jesus, I actually have three crosses in my bedroom, etc. I believe that God sent each of us to find out who we are as individuals, and allow others to get to know us as we know ourselves to be. I believe we were sent with a mission to make the world better, not just as individuals but as a population in general. I believe God blesses us with each day we get to live, with every relationship we have, and with everything we encounter in life. So, I wouldn't say that my relationship with God, in the general sense, is any different than yours, but in a way it's unique to me as a person

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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...
Apr. 11, 2016 at 2:06 pm

Oh, wow! That sounds really neat. :) I wouldn't be a bit surprised if in some ways you're a lot closer to God than I am. :) So, if you believe in Jesus but not a specific church, how do you reconcile verses like "Upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it"? I'm not trying to be a smarty-pants or anything, just asking. :)

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MorganRF replied...
Apr. 13, 2016 at 1:10 pm

I see the rock as G.od, and the church as the population of humanity working to make the world a better place. Also, just off topic of this Bible quote, I love John 3:16. I think that G.od did send us Jes,us as a guiding light, and as a role model. He taught us to let go of our hatred and to love others as ourselves. He gave us the all-important Golden Rule: treat others the way you wish to be treated. So, I guess my interpretation is Go.d is the "rock," and we as a collective species are the "church"

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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...
Apr. 14, 2016 at 11:30 am

(Oh, I love John 3:16! Isn't it just so remarkable to think about how God loves us so much that He sacrificed His Only Son?! I've got an article on here called, "Jesus' Passion: The Proof of Love" in which I just kinda ramble about it, if you're interested.) :)
 
I guess I can see how that explanation makes sense. :) Here's how I've always been taught to understand that verse, though: when Jesus says in Matthew 16:18, "And I tell you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church," he's making Peter the head of the Church (the first pope). "Peter" means "rock," so that verse could be translated, "And I tell you that you are Rock and upon this rock I will build my church." Jesus makes a point of picking out twelve disciples to follow Him especially closely, and after His ascension into Heaven these Apostles, headed by Peter, take charge of His ministry. He commissioned them to spread the faith in Matthew 28:19, when he says, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." He often spoke of baptism as necessary for salvation, and the Apostles' duty is not only to spread the word about Jesus but to baptize people into the Church. That's the Catholic view. What do you think about that?
 
(I'm so glad we can have this conversation! It's realy nice.) :)

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MorganRF replied...
Apr. 15, 2016 at 10:50 am

It is really nice! See, I like throwing ideas around instead of arguing over them :) so, the Catholic belief, through the Bible, is that, while all people have a chance at being part of Go.d's Salvation, those who are baptized have a guaranteed acceptance into Salvation unless one screws up really badly(I went to a Catholic school for two years, and that's kinda what I got out of my Theology classes). I agree that everyone has a chance at being saved by G.od, but here's the kicker - I don't believe in He.ll. I believe that those who have made major mistakes(ra.pi.sts, mur.der.ers, etc.) see what wrong their actions have done if they haven't already in their life on Earth, but I don't believe they go to He.ll. As far as the disciples go, I do believe, to a certain degree, that Jesus chose a group of people to spread the message of God. Do I believe that this group consisted of twelve males? I'm not entirely sure, honestly; it might have, I'm not saying it didn't, but maybe there were more than twelve in this group, and some were women. I'm thinking more in the sense that the Bible was written in a heavily male-dominated society, if that makes sense. On a side note, yes, it is truly amazing and humbling to know that our G.od is that loving of all of us.

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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...
Apr. 16, 2016 at 2:22 pm

Yeah, throwing ideas around is much better. :)
Oh, I've never thought of anyone as having "guaranteed acceptance" into Salvation. If anything, Christians have to be even more careful of their actions than non-Christians - those to whom much is given will have much expected from them. (I do beleive that anyone who is baptized and doesn't commit a mortal sin will go to Heaven; but it isn't guaranteed that anyone will stay free of mortal sin. Individual morality is a precarious thing, and we all have to be really careful.)
Oh, you don't believe in H.ell? Wow. That kinda surprises me. :) Jesus warned us against H.ell so many times. Again and again in His parables we see images of the wicked being condemned to fiery punishment, "wailing and grinding of teeth," etc., for eternity. It's something He takes very seriously. And if there's no H.ell, why should morality matter at all? If everyone's going to get to Heaven eventually, why shouldn't we all live selfish, hedonistic lives? I listened to a really great talk once called "The Four Last Things" which explained really well why the existence of He.ll is necessary for a loving God. The priest giving the talk said, "If H.ell does not exist, then God is a monster." It sounds like a crazy statement at first, but he went on to explain it so that it made perfect sense. If there is no H.ell, then life has no meaning, because we'll all end up in the same place. All this time on earth, all this suffering, all this moral decision-making, will come to nothing in the end. If there is no H.ell, then why would God make us live in a state where the choices we make mean nothing? He compared it to a dream ('cuz a dream is a state where our choices mean nothing), and made the point how life isn't really a good dream, but a nightmare. Bad stuff happens on this earth. Why would God keep us here, if the things we do here are going to accomplish absolutely nothing in the end?
There's a conversation about H.ell going on (or maybe it's over) in the thread about the existence of God. The point's been made there several times how God doesn't really send people to He.ll, they send themselves to H.ell. People who have turned away from God don't want to be with God, and it would be cruel of Him to force them to go to Heaven. That's the Catholic view, at least. :)
 
Oh, yes, Jesus had lots of disciples besides the Twelve, and some of them were women. But if you take the Bible's word for it, He had an especially close group of twelve men who accompanied Him on his most important missions and were there at the Last Supper, to whom He appeared after He had risen, etc. It was to these Twelve that He said, "Do this in memory of Me" concerning the consecration of the Eucharist, to whom he said "Whose sins you shall forgive they are forgiven them," to whom He gave careful explanations of His teachings. All of His disciples, men and women, had a duty to spread the Gospel, but these Twelve had a very special role as the leaders of the Church. And Peter had a special role as the leader of the Twelve. :)
Of course, if you're a little suspicious of the Bible's accuracy, that argument won't be too convincing. Maybe we should turn our discussion to the believability (is that a word?) of Scripture. :)
 

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MorganRF replied...
Apr. 17, 2016 at 1:21 pm

Haha, I think it's a word. If not, oh well, nobody here really cares :)
I can see where you come from as far as your standpoint on He.ll. I, however, disagree with one thing - I do not believe the choices/decisions we make are for nothing; I believe we are sent to Earth to learn lessons that cannot be taught just by G.od, or really anyone else, telling us the lesson. I believe we learn as a population how to make the world a better place, and ultimately ourselves better. That's what I believe G.od wants us to learn, and if I remember correctly, in the Bible, G.od saw the evil in the world, and wanted to get rid of it, hence the Great Flood and other events in the Bible. I believe that, in this day and age, there are challenges that come with technology, social media, etc. I believe G.od sent us to look at the situation and try to find ways to make these challenges into things that fit human wants and needs and still be good to the environment.
This viewpoint goes for many of the issues in our society. I believe that G.od sent us to learn lessons about these issues and fix them as best as we can. There are lessons to be learned here on Earth, and I believe once we die, we can share these experiences and lessons learned with others, and somehow help future generations solve these issues if we haven't already. If that makes 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...
Apr. 18, 2016 at 9:09 am

Hmm, I suppose that makes sense, with regard to technology and such. But why would God let us suffer through all the horrible things that happen on earth, through all the effects of sin, if in the end we were all going to end up perfectly happy in Heaven?

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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...
Apr. 18, 2016 at 9:13 am

Maybe that wasn't very clear :) There's a lot of suffering on earth - a lot of hardship, and sorrow, and pain, and heartbreak. It hurts to be alive, sometimes, and the whole world is bleeding. If in the end everybody's going to end up perfectly happy in Heaven anyway, why does God make us go through this torture? Why didn't He automatically let us into Heaven, where there will be no more tears? After all, once there's a New Heaven and a New Earth, we won't need all the technological advances and such we made during history.

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MorganRF replied...
Apr. 22, 2016 at 10:43 am

You have a point there. We as humans make our own suffering, in my opinion. G.od does not want us to suffer, so I believe that we are let into Hea.ven as an escape from the oppression when we reach the end of our earthly lives. Yes, G.od wants us to be happy, but He also gave us free will. I guess my only point of contention is this: why would G.od watch us suffer, only to send us to He.ll, where there will be more suffering? So, I see your point with regard to Hea.ven, but I would like kind of the same answer about He.ll. Being someone who is not religious by nature and who doesn't believe in He.ll, I would just really like to know

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