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Questions about Catholicism?

MorganRF replied...
May 13, 2016 at 10:33 am

I agree. I can't think of anything else that I want to discuss right now. If you do, great! In the meantime, I will let you know in the future if I have any questions.

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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...
May 13, 2016 at 8:47 pm

Sounds good to me! :)

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TheNerdyGirl replied...
Sept. 30, 2016 at 12:29 pm

I have some questions for you.
Do Catholic believe that Jesus is God?
What does Catholic have a Pope?
Why do Catholics have all the saints and worship Mary?
Why do you guys have those UNBILICAL practices? 

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TheNerdyGirl replied...
Sept. 30, 2016 at 12:41 pm

I know that Catholics believe that salvation is received by faith but needs to be maintained by good works. However, good works are not a requirement for salvation or a means of maintaining salvation. Salvation is an accomplished work, purchased by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We Christians do not deny the importance of good works or that Christ calls us to observe the ordinances in remembrance of Him and in obedience to Him. Paul dogmatically says that justification is by faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), while James appears to be saying that justification is by faith plus works. This apparent problem is answered by examining what exactly James is talking about. James is refuting the belief that a person can have faith without producing any good works (James 2:17-18). James is emphasizing the point that genuine faith in Christ will produce a changed life and good works (James 2:20-26).

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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...
Oct. 16, 2016 at 9:05 pm

Oh! I'm sorry, TheNerdyGirl, I haven't checked this thread in quite awhile. :) I'll answer your questions as best I can in list form. 
1. Yes, Catholics believe that Jesus is God. To deny that Jesus is God would be to embrace the Arian heresy, which was one of the first major heresies condemned by the Catholic Church back in 325.
2. Catholics have a pope because that's what Jesus told us to do. In Matthew 16:18, Jesus says, "And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it." Peter was the first pope, and we can see in Acts that he took charge after Jesus ascended into Heaven. This tradition of having an earthly representative of Christ's authority has continued through the ages and can be traced, pope by pope, from Peter to Francis. 
3. We have saints because we like to keep in touch with our brothers and sisters in Christ, even after our bodies are separated by death. :) See, the saints are simply holy people who have died and gone to Heaven. We Catholics believe that we can still ask them for prayers and that they can still pray for us, since we're all part of the Body of Christ. And it's good to have those great examples of holiness to look up to, just like it's good to have role models in, say, sports or politics.
And the thing about Catholics worshiping Mary is actually a myth. We don't worship her - worship is reserved for God alone. We do venerate her, but veneration is just a really special kind of honor, not adoration. 
4. What unbiblical practices? :) I know lots of Catholic beliefs seem like they aren't Biblical because they aren't explicitly put forth in Scripture, but actually all of them are quite Biblical. If you'll give a specific example of what you're thinking of, I'd be glad to discuss it with you. :)
And I think I'll reply to the faith and works thing in another comment. :)

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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...
Oct. 16, 2016 at 9:12 pm

One of my favorite C. S. Lewis quotes goes something like this: "Arguing about faith and works is like arguing about which blad of the scissors is more necessary." :) Catholics believe that faith and works go hand in hand. Works alone will get you nowhere - in fact, on my own I can't accomplish anything. I've got to put my faith and trust in God in order to do ANYTHING worthwhile. But at the same time, "faith alone" isn't going to save you -- meaning, you can't just say "I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior once and for all. There, I'm saved!" It doesn't work that way. Faith is an ongoing process, a lifelong commitment. Now, that's all just scratching the surface, but this comment's getting long enough, especially when we've got so many topics underway here. :) I'd love to talk about this some more!!

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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...
Oct. 16, 2016 at 9:12 pm

Hehe, that's supposed to be "blade," not "blad." :) Silly typo.

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Daedalus72 replied...
Mar. 4 at 3:38 pm

If the Bible is set in Asia, why is nobody tanned? Sorry if this sounds rascist

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Mar. 5 at 9:30 am

Jesus probably looked like the other people in the area in which he lived (which would have been the Arabian peninsula).
 
Christianity really took off in Europe first: Bibles were translated to Latin and Greek (which is why nails went through Jesus's hands and not his wrists in the Biblical story- translation), portraits were painted by Europeans, and the governments established adopted Christianity (Catholic, Protestant). The artists depicted Jesus in the style of a European man- look at a portrait of Albrecht Dürer and then look at one of Jesus.
 
The European influence spread to the Americas by colonization, parts Africa by colonization and conquest, and some parts of Asia by colonization and conquest. The areas introduced to Christianity, if they converted, sometimes created likenesses of Jesus in their image, which is why you can find portraits of an Asian Jesus or a black Jesus.
 
What Jesus actually looked like, we can't be certain. He was probably Middle Eastern in appearance, but in America and Europe, he is depicted as white, so that's the image we grow up with.

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PalindromeThis 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 at 11:10 pm

I am Catholic and I love my faith! However, there are a few things I'm not sure about that I want to discuss before I make my Confirmation. One thing in particular is the fact that women cannot be priests. I've read a lot on this subject and all I found was that because there were no women at the Last Supper, they can't celebrate the Mass now. That never really made any sense to me. Weren't Jesus' 12 apostles men because they were the only gender with the social position to influence others in that time? I've never really understood what makes men able to be priests when women cannot. Any ideas on this?

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TheNerdyGirl replied...
Jun. 4 at 9:42 pm

True faith transforms one's actions. When you truly believe that Jesus is the Lord and Savior, you will be "born again" into a new being. That is because when you truly love God, you will want to be holy like Him (you will set yourself apart from the world and change your behavior) I believe that's what C.S.Lewis means (he is also my favorite!)

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TheNerdyGirl replied...
Jun. 4 at 10:18 pm

For 2, Pope is like a priest right? Priest serves as mediators between the people and God. However, now, Jesus has washed away our sins. Everyone can have close relationship with Him. Jesus is the ultimate priest for all of us. You don't need to go to Pope and tell him your sins. Also the new testament taught us that all who believes are priests (1 Peter 2:5–9) (Revelation 1:6 and 5:10) Pastors are different because they are teaching the gospel. Bible doesn't say that Peter is the first Pope. Bible says that God would use Peter to build His church. Peter never claimed that he is the Pope. God can use anyone to be cornerstone. Peter was used by God to spread Christianity and build churches that set God as the center. "The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone"
For 3, so do you guys "pray" to the saints for favors?
For 4, what I mean by unbiblical practices is something like confession.
 

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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...
Jul. 11 at 10:12 pm

@Palindrome
Oh! I'm sorry I haven't looked at this thread in months. If you're still around, though, I'd be happy to talk about this! (Always great to find another Catholic! *dance of joy*)
 
Hmm. I'm afraid I haven't really thought about the men-only priest thing. I guess it always just made sense to me. Well, I guess the main reason priests are men is because they're a reflection of Jesus, right? Their job is to take the place of Christ on earth, be Christ to the chuch. And it's deeply symbolic that Christ is a man and the Church is referred to as a "she;" the story of Christ and the Church is the greatest love story of all time. When a priest is ordained, he's symbolically taking the Church as his bride. Those are my initial thoughts on the matter. :)

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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...
Jul. 11 at 10:33 pm

@TheNerdyGirl
Here I am a month later! Hopefully it's not too late to have this conversation. :)
 
For 2: Yup, the Pope is definitely a priest! And you're totally right that Jesus has washed away our sins and everyone can have a close relationship with Him. But we still need priests in order to access the special graces Jesus is pouring out on anyone who will ask for them. We can see this in Acts, for example, when the Apostles have to come lay their hands on the people before they receive the Holy Spirit. God works through ordinary men, and he works through priests in particularly special ways.
There's Biblical evidence that Peter is the first pope, although the word "pope" is never used. Besides Jesus telling Peter he was the "rock" upon which the Church was founded, He also told him He was giving him the keys to the kingdom--symbolism bringing to mind the vizier of a kingdom, who has charge of the keys and enforces laws in the name of the king. Peter also took a very prominent role as head of the Apostles after the Ascension, as can be seen in Acts.
 
For 3: We "pray" to the saints in the sense that we talk to them and ask them to pray for us, and we do ask for favors in that we ask them to pray for special petitions. But we don't give them the worship due only to God, and we don't believe they answer prayers on their own power. If I pray to St. Anthony for help finding a lost object and I find it, the glory is all God's. :)
 
For 4: Ah yes, confession. Well for starters, Jesus breathed on the Apostles and told them "Whose sins you shall forgive they are forgiven them, whose sins you shall retain they are retained." That's one Biblical basis for confession.

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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...
Jul. 11 at 10:34 pm

@TheNerdyGirl And I very much agree about faith. :) (And C. S. Lewis is the best! One of the most quotable fellows ever, next to my idol G. K. Chesterton. ...Not literal idol, of course.) ;)

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Jul. 13 at 11:32 am

Question for you: why did the Church refuse gluten-free communion?

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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...
Jul. 13 at 6:03 pm

I'm not an expert on the matter, but I did read an article in a Catholic paper addressing the matter of gluten-free hosts several years ago so I'll pull from what I remember of that. There are low-gluten hosts which many gluten-free people are able to take (I know people who opt for this low-gluten host). There can't be a totally gluten-free host because if the host had no gluten in it, it would no longer be bread, and one of the required forms of the sacrament is that the host must be unleavened bread as it was at the Last Supper. (I think "form" is the word I'm looking for...theological term for what physical aspects are necessary for a sacrament to be valid.) So that's the reason we don't have a totally gluten-free host.
 
If someone is unable to tolerate the low-gluten host, they may still receive Communion under the appearance of wine, which is‚Äč totally gluten-free. And since the Church teaches that both species (that means both Communion under the appearance of bread and the appearance of wine) are exactly the same thing--the true Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ--they aren't missing out on anything by not being able to take both species.

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Jul. 14 at 5:58 pm

Okay, thanks for clearing that 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...
Jul. 15 at 12:21 pm

My plesure! Thanks for asking. :)

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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...
Jul. 15 at 12:25 pm

Oops. "Pleasure," I meant. :)

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