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Do I have to believe everything the Catholic church believes to be Catholic? - Page 2

post #21 of 92
Can I just ask one question of all the Catholics reading and posting on this thread? Just out of curiousity: Do you believe in the Church's teaching that the bread and wine become the actual, physical body and blood of Christ? That when you receive "communion" you are actually consuming the real body of Jesus Christ... the creator of the universe and the God who is responsible for every single beating heart?

Curious to know....
post #22 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by cagnew View Post
Can I just ask one question of all the Catholics reading and posting on this thread? Just out of curiousity: Do you believe in the Church's teaching that the bread and wine become the actual, physical body and blood of Christ? That when you receive "communion" you are actually consuming the real body of Jesus Christ... the creator of the universe and the God who is responsible for every single beating heart?

Curious to know....
cagnew: I'm so sorry you had bad experiences with catechesis. I was blessed to have both gifted, pastoral teachers and wonderful models duirng my faith formation.

I've never met a Catholic who didn't believe in transubstantiation. Have you?
post #23 of 92
I'm subscribing so I can keep on learning more.

I just recently started a thread here titled "Catholicism and Inclusiveness," where I've been learning a lot.

Bridie, it's exciting to meet a Catholic here who's a member of Call to Action! Because that's one site I've seen that is very inspiring to me.

I've also been inspired to start learning about the Catholic Worker movement, which someone on the other thread turned me on to. There's actually a new Catholic Worker house in my neighborhood, and they have clarification meetings the first Friday of every month. I plan to go this Friday.

It sounds like this may be a good way for me to get to know Catholicism better, since the Catholic Worker movement is not an official organ of the Catholic Church, and you don't even have to be Catholic to volunteer or be involved with them.

I'm not sure if it's right for me or my family to actually become members -- but I think we need to become more "knit" into our community. Our previous experience is with fundamentalist churches -- but I don't want my children raised with fear of hell like I was.

I'm actually a Christian Universalist now -- and I've read enough to realize that this is seen as a heresy by the Catholic Church. I am wondering if kids in Catholic Church are likely to hear scary stuff about hell like kids do in fundamentalist churches?

I obviously have a lot to learn. As to why I'm interested in the Catholic Church and not some other church with teachings I agree with more -- I think mainly it's important to me to be part of a neighborhood church, where the church is just an extension of my family and community.

And my immediate neighborhood seems predominantly Catholic or fundamentalist.

And I'm also inspired by what I've read so far of the Catechism, and also I'm inspired by the Rosary -- I'm starting to learn the prayers and want to get a pink rosary I saw online for around $8.00.

As I've shared on the other thread, it's been fascinating for me to learn about Father Daniel A. Helminiak, who openly disagrees with some church teachings -- and is openly-gay, but the Vatican has never accepted his resignation, so as he puts it, he remains a Catholic priest by the Vatican's decision.

http://www.visionsofdaniel.net/
post #24 of 92
chfriend: Sadly, yes. Even more sadly (sorry about the horrible grammar), I have taked to many Catholics that have never really thought about it

mammal_mama: Because Catholics believe in hell and believe that it is very possible to go there after you die, there is chance that that will be discussed from the pulpit. It largely depends on the church you go to and the pastor presiding. Do you believe in hell?
post #25 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by cagnew View Post
Can I just ask one question of all the Catholics reading and posting on this thread? Just out of curiousity: Do you believe in the Church's teaching that the bread and wine become the actual, physical body and blood of Christ? That when you receive "communion" you are actually consuming the real body of Jesus Christ... the creator of the universe and the God who is responsible for every single beating heart?

Curious to know....

I am not Catholic. I am Orthodox but yes, I do believe that it is really the body and blood of Christ. I don't get it. I don't know how it works but I believe it is true.
post #26 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by cagnew View Post
Can I just ask one question of all the Catholics reading and posting on this thread? Just out of curiousity: Do you believe in the Church's teaching that the bread and wine become the actual, physical body and blood of Christ? That when you receive "communion" you are actually consuming the real body of Jesus Christ... the creator of the universe and the God who is responsible for every single beating heart?

Curious to know....
YES! I think, that if on some level you aren't just terrified... awestruck...paralyzed by wonder when you go to receive Communion, you're doing something wrong.

This is one of my favorite prayers:

A PRAYER BEFORE MASS (By St. Thomas Aquinas)
Almighty and everlasting God, behold I come to the Sacrament of Thine only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: I come as one infirm to the physician of life, as one unclean to the fountain of mercy, as one blind to the light of everlasting brightness, as one poor and needy to the Lord of heaven and earth. Therefore I implore the abundance of Thy measureless bounty that Thou wouldst vouchsafe to heal my infirmity, wash my uncleanness, enlighten my blindness, enrich my poverty and clothe my nakedness, that I may receive the Bread of Angels, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, with such reverence and humility, with such sorrow and devotion, with such purity and faith, with such purpose and intention as may be profitable to my soul’s salvation. Grant unto me, I pray, the grace of receiving not only the Sacrament of our Lord’s Body and Blood, but also the grace and power of the Sacrament. O most gracious God, grant me so to receive the Body of Thine only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, which He took from the Virgin Mary, as to merit to be incorporated into His mystical Body, and to be numbered amongst His members. O most loving Father, give me grace to behold forever Thy beloved Son with His face at last unveiled, whom I now purpose to receive under the sacramental veil here below.
Amen.
post #27 of 92
Regarding contraception...I am a former Roman Catholic, most of my relatives and friends are RC, and I have only met one RC person in my entire life who did not believe in and/or practice birth control. I am sure there are others, but the majority plan their families in much the same way non-Catholics do.
I think there is a difference between those who believe the RC teaching is right, but who decide to use contraception anyway; and those who think the RC teaching on contraception is wrong and should change. The first category still believe in RC teaching, even if they do not follow it, if you see what I mean.
post #28 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by cagnew View Post
Can I just ask one question of all the Catholics reading and posting on this thread? Just out of curiousity: Do you believe in the Church's teaching that the bread and wine become the actual, physical body and blood of Christ? That when you receive "communion" you are actually consuming the real body of Jesus Christ... the creator of the universe and the God who is responsible for every single beating heart?

Curious to know....
Well, I'm not Catholic either, but I also believe the bread and wine become the physical body and blood of Christ. I like the doctrine of transubstantiation, since I am a big fan of Aristotle, but my Church (like the Orthodox) doesn't insist upon it as the explanation - I tend to agree, I am not going to tie God down to Aristotelian categories. But however it happens, I do think it does.
post #29 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamabadger View Post
Regarding contraception...I am a former Roman Catholic, most of my relatives and friends are RC, and I have only met one RC person in my entire life who did not believe in and/or practice birth control. I am sure there are others, but the majority plan their families in much the same way non-Catholics do.
I think there is a difference between those who believe the RC teaching is right, but who decide to use contraception anyway; and those who think the RC teaching on contraception is wrong and should change. The first category still believe in RC teaching, even if they do not follow it, if you see what I mean.
I agree that this is a big difference and it also fits my observation. I'd be interested though, why in your experience do they choose to disobey on this if they think the teaching is valid?

I find that people do not have good information about NFP (practical and people have some weird theoretical ideas about it too); they don't trust that having a larger family might actually not be as great a hardship as they think; they are scared by a culture that is largely anti-family; they have bought into the idea that they won't be able to abstain periodically; they just don't know anyone who does it so can't picture how it will work.

I think the Catholic Church should consider some initiatives to support larger families as well, those that struggle because of Church teaching often don't find a lot of support there compared to Protestant congregations, IMO.
post #30 of 92
Bluegoat: I agree. The Church (well, the clergy) does need to start supporting large families and educating the people on NFP and Catholic teachings regarding artificial contraceptives. Most people think it's crazy to have a big family ("in this economy?!?!"), but it really isn't as hard as one might think. I live in a area with many big families, and pray to have a big family of my own. Honestly, I think the clergy needs to go beyond just stating that you can't use birth control and start with teaching about what a family is- the role of husband and father, wife and mother.

Big families are beautiful. Yes, they live more simply. Yes, the mother usually stays home with the kids (which is a good thing, IMHO). THey have to prioritize... the kids don't generally have cell phones and video games and name brand clothes... but they have LIFE for eternity! Awesome! And none of the kids in the big families I know are unhappy or weird or antisocial (sp). They are just happy, healthy, good kids. Sure, there are always going to be exceptions... but that's all they are, exceptions.

Anyway, thanks for the post
post #31 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by cagnew View Post
.. but they have LIFE for eternity! Awesome! And none of the kids in the big families I know are unhappy or weird or antisocial (sp). They are just happy, healthy, good kids. Sure, there are always going to be exceptions... but that's all they are, exceptions.
Erm, people with small families also have "LIFE for eternity." Having babies doesn't get anybody into heaven. Maybe I'm misunderstanding you?

I grew up among big families, and I'm from one. You'll find unhappy, weird and antisocial members of big families as well as small ones. There is nothing about a big family that assures happy outcomes. 'cause trust me, drunk, crazy people can conceive a lot of children as fast and as well as sane, sober folks.

There are pluses to big families and pluses to small families, pluses to singleness and pluses to family life. They all have minuses as well.

As I've said on these boards before, I was raised in the Church before Vatican II: Mass in Latin, doilies on the head and all. It was not some perfect world of peace and serenity with beautiful, well scrubbed children lined up prayerfully each Sunday after confession on Saturday afternoon. People were people then too.
post #32 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by cagnew View Post
mammal_mama: Because Catholics believe in hell and believe that it is very possible to go there after you die, there is chance that that will be discussed from the pulpit. It largely depends on the church you go to and the pastor presiding. Do you believe in hell?
I'm not sure if I believe in an actual place called hell.

I just know that God is an infinitely more loving Parent than I could ever imagine being. And I also know there is nothing that one of my children could do that would ever cause me to cast them into eternal punishment, and eternal separation from me.

So since I can't out-love God, there's no longer any room in my theology for a punitive God. Since the purpose of discipline is teaching and training -- what would be the purpose of eternal hell? I just can't believe in that sort of a God anymore.

Now, I don't know that all of us at death will be ready to go straight into the direct Presence of God. Many of us may still have work to do -- journeys to make. I believe the God of all time, Who is beyond time, has the power to give us all the time we need.

So, maybe I am just more ecumenical, as someone shared on the other Catholic thread.

My main concern is that I don't want my children growing up with church leaders instilling a fear of hell in them. For me, this also really interfered with the joy of new friendship, because I always felt this nagging sense that I needed to "witness" to any friend who wasn't obviously a believer, because what if she died tonight not knowing: didn't I care more about my friends' salvation than about keeping them as my friends?
post #33 of 92
This thread has me wondering...when it comes to questions like inclusiveness, do you think there is a big difference in belief between those who grew up in the Church and/or are long-time Catholics and those who are recent converts?
post #34 of 92
chfriend: Yes, you misunderstood. I meant that the kids have life (and, everyone alive is alive for eternity). I wasn't very clear in the way I wrote it. I was trying to say that although the kids might not have a lot of "stuff" they did have life, and the gift of life is better than stuff. Ummm... that still doesn't seem to express what I am trying to say (long day today...). Basically, many people say that they don't have more kids because it is too expensive. They want to be able to give their kids a typical American lifestyle and don't want them to go "without." I don't mean food and shelter and other basics. I mean... stuff. So, in choosing to stop after one or two or three kids, they do not bring any more life into the world. They stop using the ability to co-create with God and give a child the best gift it can ever receive- the gift of life.

People are people, whether they are from big or small families. I just know that many people I have talked to tend to think there would be something "off" about having that many kids. "How can you give each of them attention?" "How can you love 10 kids?" "How can you have time to yourself" "Don't you think it's irresponsible (since the world is already overpopulated)?"... all these thoughts inevitably lead one to get this mental image of a pack of wild, undisciplined children wearing rags and eating scraps of food like animals (a bit of an exaggeration ).

The size of family doesn't determine how a person turns out. I didn't mean to make it sound like that.

Just as a side note, I love the Latin Mass and wear the "doily" My beliefs on family size and family life are very conservative and I might be flamed on here if I go into the whole thing, so I will stop
post #35 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by chfriend View Post
Erm, people with small families also have "LIFE for eternity." Having babies doesn't get anybody into heaven. Maybe I'm misunderstanding you?

I grew up among big families, and I'm from one. You'll find unhappy, weird and antisocial members of big families as well as small ones. There is nothing about a big family that assures happy outcomes. 'cause trust me, drunk, crazy people can conceive a lot of children as fast and as well as sane, sober folks.

There are pluses to big families and pluses to small families, pluses to singleness and pluses to family life. They all have minuses as well.

As I've said on these boards before, I was raised in the Church before Vatican II: Mass in Latin, doilies on the head and all. It was not some perfect world of peace and serenity with beautiful, well scrubbed children lined up prayerfully each Sunday after confession on Saturday afternoon. People were people then too.
Amen, and me too.

The Catholics I know who practice birth control fully understand what big families are all about. They grew up in them and have decided that is not what they want for themselves. They aren't ignorant in the least about the reality of big families. They know about "NFP" and have decided not to go that route, or have had unintended pregnancies with it and have moved on to something different.
post #36 of 92
Mammal: Catholics believe in a place called purgatory, which is where a persons soul would go if it wasn't ready to meet God yet, but wsn't worthy of hell.

As far as hell is concerned, I don't believe God sends anyone to hell- they send themselves and He allows it. Think of it like this- If someone killed someone dear to you, you would want the murderer to be punished, right? What if it was the duty of the murderers father to punish him for his crime, but decided that because he loves his son (the murderer) so much, he can't possibly give him a punishment that would cause his son misery. That's kind of like God and hell, on two different levels.

On one level, God loves us, and when someone does something to another person that causes them pain, He sees to it that the "bad" person is punished. "Vengence is mine, says the Lord." If someone murdered my child, I would expect God, my Father, to punish the guy. Now, I wouldn't want anyone to go to hell, not even the murderer, but if he never repented for what he did, I would feel kind of angry with God for allowing the guy to get off scott free and roam around heaven when he died. I would pray that the criminal would repent and give his life to Christ, but if that never happened... that isn't God's fault or my fault... it's the criminals fault.

On the second level, God sent His only Son to earth to die for us. He gave the ultimate sacrifice. If we, in turn, continue to insult Him and refuse to change our lives and love Him and show appreciation, then, again, how could God ever allow us into heaven? That jusr doesn't make sense.

God never sends anyone into hell because, like you said, He loves us infinitly and could not do that. However, He does allow us to send ourselves. He cannot stop us because they would interfere with our free will. And I'm sure He mourns every person who ends up "down there."

If a person believes in hell, then they should be concerned for their friends and family who are not living according to God's laws and such. That doesn't mean you shove stuff down their throats all the time. In fact, you don't technically have to say anything. All you have to do is be an example. Live your Christian life in the open and, if they ask, tell them all about it. If they never ask, then chances are you (I don't mean you, I mean whoever) are probably not living the life you ought to be. They will either ask you and bring the subject up, or they will stop hanging out with you because your lifestyle is too different from theirs. If that happens, you pray for them.
post #37 of 92
cagnew, you won't be flamed for your views on family size. There's a whole Quiverful tribe.

Saying what *other* people should do is really different, though.

Covering was/is a custom. It's perfectly permissible to cover and now, perfectly permissible not to cover.

Many younger conservative Catholics have a rose-colored glasses view of pre-Vatican II times. Women choosing to cover is very different from priests refusing uncovered women communion.

Vatican II made clear the importance of conscience and non-compulsion in observance. It has made the Church a more honest institution, even if we have had to live through many difficult truths since.
post #38 of 92
EFmom: I guess it comes down to each persons philosophy of life. Why are we here? What is our purpose? What are we suppose to be doing?

Because of my beliefs, I think it's wrong to purposely limit your family size without a very good reason. I think that is saying "no" to God, and, I believe He is the Person I am living for.

Could it be that many of these people who you know who came from big families have been influenced by todays highly material society? They don't want the work or sacrifice that comes a long with a big family?

Yes, yes, I know. There is always that person who says there parents were miserable people who drank and beat them as children. Or maybe they felt inferior to other families who were smaller and were able to do more or have more.

Again, it all comes down to your life philosophy. And whether or not a big family is happy depends on the mother and father, and their happiness depends on their faith.

This is a great discussion! I really enjoy hearing other peoples point of views and sharing mine. Thanks!
post #39 of 92
chfriend: I'm not saying anyone has to do anything. I am only saying what I believe. I would never force anyone to do anything, especailly when it comes to religion!

Yes, the veils are optional. I feel led to wear one, though sometimes I struggle with it. I feel really self-conscious about it. I dn't do it for other people to see though, I do it for other reasons that have nothing to do with people. It's a personal choice.

I don't have rose-colored glasses about pre-vatican II. That is whole 'nother can of worms though! I think it's sad what has happened to the celebration of the Mass. I think you can also judge something according to it's fruits, and Vatican II doesn't have many good fruits. In fact, only 20% of Catholics fulfill their Sunday obligation to attend Mass. That means that 80% of Catholics are in a state of mortal sin. Not good. I don't know what the statistic was pre-vat II, but I think I'll look. Wonder where I could find that out....
post #40 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by cagnew View Post
chfriend: I'm not saying anyone has to do anything. I am only saying what I believe. I would never force anyone to do anything, especailly when it comes to religion!

Yes, the veils are optional. I feel led to wear one, though sometimes I struggle with it. I feel really self-conscious about it. I dn't do it for other people to see though, I do it for other reasons that have nothing to do with people. It's a personal choice.

I don't have rose-colored glasses about pre-vatican II. That is whole 'nother can of worms though! I think it's sad what has happened to the celebration of the Mass. I think you can also judge something according to it's fruits, and Vatican II doesn't have many good fruits. In fact, only 20% of Catholics fulfill their Sunday obligation to attend Mass. That means that 80% of Catholics are in a state of mortal sin. Not good. I don't know what the statistic was pre-vat II, but I think I'll look. Wonder where I could find that out....
Hmm, I'm not so sure that is true though. Think about some of the terrible things that went on because of some attitudes that were prevalent before Vatican II. There was a kind of common idea that you could discipline people into real religion. There were serious problems in many religious orders. Families coerced members into joining the priesthood or religious orders. Abuse in religious schools - I don't mean sexual abuse so much as perhaps that it was covered up and also physical abuse. Residential schools. And adults I know educated as Catholics from that time aren't really any better off than those who came later - just different.

I think it Vatican II hadn't happened there would have been some other kind of implosion. I wonder if that isn't rather what happened in Quebec's Quiet Revolution. There were certainly some misses as a result of Vatican II, but there seems to be some move to address them and to my mind they are related to execution more than intent.
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