(Closed) Catholic debate/opinions

posted 7 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
Member
5823 posts
Bee Keeper

What you are describing has been described by others as “A La Carte Catholicism.”  Which is where you are Catholic, but pick and choose what parts of the religion you support and believe.  You may still identify yourself Catholic, though the church would label you a sinner.

I believe you should still attend church and continue to believe whatever you believe.  In the end, your beliefs in God and Jesus are what matter.  The church may say you’ll go to hell, but the bible doesn’t.  Maybe you can reconcile yourself with that?

Post # 4
Member
4824 posts
Honey bee

If you don’t hold the same beliefs as a catholic, then according to that religion you will not be going to heaven (assuming you dont follow all the rules like confession etc).

But I ask you. If you believe the beliefs of another religion and according to them you are going to heaven, does it matter what the catholic religion says since you don’t have the same beliefs?

Whether you find a new religion or just worship in your own manor, that is such a personal choice and is directly related to your beliefs as well.

Post # 6
Member
58 posts
Worker bee

@kelly105: I, too, grew up Catholic in a very traditional Hispanic family. As I got older, I started to think more and more outside of the box and as a result it has made me different from the rest of my family. On one hand, I am very proud of my ability to break off from my family’s strict manner of thinking and be independent thought and manner. But on the other hand, tradition can be such a beautiful thing. I came to the conclusion that everyone has to live according to their own convictions. What I believe may not be the same as what someone else does but as long as I am trying my hardest to live according to how I believe God would want me to live, I am sure I will be ok. I think you will be too 🙂

Post # 8
Member
464 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I can’t answer whether you should still be Catholic or not, because I think that’s such a personal decision that only you can make it. I just want to address the “I won’t be going to heaven” part. You don’t know if you’ll be going to heaven or not- and neither does anyone else. Nobody here is able to judge the state of your soul, so please don’t let anyone discourage you by saying that!

The church does not say “All non-Catholics will go to Hell.” That in’t a given, and you won’t find it in the catechism. Nobody knows what is in the inner-workings of your heart and soul. I’m not encouraging you to leave or to not leave, but if you do, nobody else can judge whether you left with full knowledge of what the Catholic church is and is not, or whether you had misinformation or misunderstandings or whatever– and nobody can tell you that you won’t go to Heaven. I just think that’s such a depressing thought- and it’s nobody’s right to judge the state of your soul!

As far as not agreeing with the Church, that’s something you should examine thoroughly. I suggest you find good documents on what the church actually says on any issues you have with it (try for many opinions and sources- but especially sources from within the Church or from good church-affiliated organizations), and why it says whatever it says on them, so you can make your best, most informed, decision. Also, I don’t think the church has any rules that you must agree with everything it says to pray and attend Mass- so you can definitely still attend if that is your choice. And as far as your “really catholic” family, I hope that isn’t also synonymous with “really judgmental”- remember that the church is a hospital for sinners (which is what we all are), not a museum for saints. You don’t have to be perfect to keep coming, if you do still feel that it is your spiritual home. 

 

Post # 9
Member
1309 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

Being a Catholic – or any kind of Christian – is a lifelong journey. Conversion is on-going. The Church does not make any statements about who is going to Hell or not. Even Judas, who betrayed Jesus – no one knows if he is in Hell. The Church prays that he is in Heaven. Only God knows if you are going to Hell. The Church specifically teaches the only way to go to Hell is to die with mortal sin on your soul. Incorrect beliefs don’t USUALLY fall under that heading. Being pro-choice? Wrong, mistaken belief, but not necessarily sinful. Actually helping someone get rid of their baby? Big problem.

I myself am not totally on board with everything the Church teaches – I struggle with the anti-death penalty stance – but the key is to make the commitment to keep praying, studying the Church’s teaching, really making an effort to understand and appreciate why the Church teaches what she does. It’s throwing in the towel and saying “well I know best – the Church is wrong and I’m right” that causes an issue. Because that’s shutting your brain down, closing your soul to the possibility of changing your mind through the Holy Spirit, and God doesn’t like that. He wants you to stay open.

In my personal experience a lot of the time when people don’t agree with the Church’s teaching on contracpetion, abortion, pre-marital sex etc. it’s because they didn’t get educated about it when they were younger OR when they were older. For instance, most people don’t know that John Paul II was actually a feminist. No kidding, he was! Maybe you are very educated about the Church, I don’t want to assume anything, but that’s my experience.

People think Oh it’s the patriarchy! Oh they’re just saying that because they are obsessed with sex! Blah blah. When really, no, actually there’s really deep theology behind it. A good text to read about the Church’s teaching about sex is Theology of the Body by Christopher West. It’s not a perfect book but it’s pretty good.

It’s important to live life with integrity so I can see the point about not staying Catholic if you really don’t agree with Catholicism. And I admit that as a more orthodox Catholic sometimes the lukewarm Catholics annoy me – sometimes I get really irritated when people go around saying “I’m Catholic and pro-choice” or “I’m pro-war and I’m Catholic” because those are violent things and Catholicism (and all of Christianity really) requires a commitment to non-violence.

I think the key is to work out your personal struggles with the Gospel. And that is what they are – personal. I do not think there is ANY “perfect” Catholic out there and there probably never will be. I bet the Pope has his own issues. The thing is he doesn’t make his issues public! He works them out between him, God, theologians, his spiritual director, other priests and nuns. He understands that the Church belongs to Jesus and that instead of trying to change the Church to fit his own image, he should let God change him to better reflect God’s own image!

Don’t give up. But be willing to put in the hard spiritual work! Be committed to on-going conversion and being open to the Holy Spirit. That’s all the Church asks of you.

Post # 10
Member
464 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Also, I found a really detailed link about non-Catholics going to Heaven or not here. I didn’t read the entire thing, but it looks to have a lot of information. I see above where you said “but everything I do is a sin”- that’s kinda the point of the church! It seeks to help and rehabilitate sinners, and as Magdalena said, these are all issues to pray and be open to prayer about. Again, I suggest doing your research on good, orthodox, sites. If you’re looking for a Catholic forum (on which to ask any specific questions), I know there’s a huge one on Catholic.com (though I can’t vouch for whether they’re nice or not- since I’m not a member there- don’t let it discourage you if they aren’t, just find another place for answers- there are jerks in every major group!). We don’t know who will go to Heaven and who will go to Hell- we can only try our best and keep praying. 

Post # 11
Member
1309 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

phatmass.com is also a great forum with a dedicated Q and A section where you can get answers from theologians and priests 🙂

Post # 13
Member
554 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

My fiance and I were raised Catholic. He went to 13 years of private Catholic school and his family is very much invested in the church.  He recently came to terms with his faith and what it means to him in a VERY SIMILAR way to what you described.  We were going through pre-cana and taking all of the steps to have a Catholic wedding when he decided that he couldn’t in good faith do it. A lot of people pick and choose pieces of the faith to subscribe to, but he can’t do it.  He calls them “cafeteria Catholics”. We are getting married in a united methodist church and writing most of our own ceremony now. 

Post # 14
Member
1309 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

@kelly105: it’s true that having premarital sex and receiving the Eucharist is considered a serious sin. Although just “living with” your finace would not be sinful, it’s the actual sex that would be. But I totally understand that it’s not practical to ask you to kick your future husband out of your house. It puts you between a rock and a hard place, there is no real solution for that. And the Church understands too – that’s one of the reasons that priests never EVER refuse to marry a couple who are co-habitating – because the marriage will solve the problem entirely!

To be a really serious sin, the sin has to

1. Be about something important (calling someone a poopy-head is not a serious sin)

2. You have to have full understanding of why it’s a sin

3. You have to give full consent to commiting the sin (no psychological or emotional issues clouding your judgment).

If you have all those three things going on, and you decide to do it anyway, then it’s a serious situation.

Personally I think it’s hard to commit a mortal sin – mental states play into almost everything we do and every choice we make. Even when it comes to abortion, sometimes the girls are practically forced into it by parents or boyfriends or they are in a state of incredible emotional distress. It’s hard to make decisions about ethics when your whole world is falling apart. Not to downplay the seriousness of abortion, and of course I think no one should ever have one, but I think many times the women themselves are not all that culpable for it. Now the doctor, the people who push her into it or pay for/support her decision, they are not under as much pressure and their positon is different.

A lot of times at the rehearsal, the priest will offer the wedding party the opportunity to go to Confession (since it’s the night before the wedding). Maybe consider taking advantage of that! I am definitely going to do it myself.

Really I shouldn’t be annoyed at more “lukewarm” people because if they are baptized they are my brothers and sisters in Christ and it is my job to help them get closer to Jesus, not whine at them for not being awesome like me (sarcasm)! I am lukewarm enough myself and the “not so orthodox” Catholics will probably get into Heaven way before me. I think when it comes to who goes to Heaven, God is going to have a lot of surprises for us all.

Post # 15
Member
128 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

@kelly, I totally hear you.  I went through a very similar thing after I graduated college, too.  I had kind of turned into a cafeteria catholic over time, and I realized that a cafeteria catholic is not really a Catholic, in my opinion.  What I mean by that is that the Pope would not consider a cafeteria catholic a true Catholic, and he has said he does not want them in the church.  And for Catholics, the Pope makes the rules.  That made me feel like sort of a fraud.

Another thing is that you (general you, not you personally) aren’t supposed to or “allowed” to take Communion if you’ve committed a mortal sin, like you mentioned, and premarital sex is definitely one of those.  And you can’t just confess it and be OK, you have to really believe in your heart that it is wrong. 

Something that really got me was also similar to something else you said.  I looked around at all of the Catholics I knew, and they were pretty much all cafeteria catholics, too.  And it just seemed insincere to me.  Coupled with the problems the church has had in recent years (I’m sorry if this offends some people, but it bothered me that my donation money was going to help out law suits for child molesters), and I just felt like I couldn’t consider myself Catholic anymore.  I know this is a very personal topic and I hope I don’t offend anyone with my point of view, I just wanted to share in hopes of letting the OP know she’s not alone with some of her concerns.  Also apologies if this is rambling/unclearly written!

Post # 16
Member
128 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Also, yes some priests DO refuse to marry a couple if they are co-habitating.  One priest yelled at my brother and sister-in-law for a half hour, and told them they would have to live apart for at least 6 months before he would consider marrying them.

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