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This room is for discussion related to learning about the faith (Catechetics), defense of the Faith (Apologetics), the Liturgy and canon law, motivated by a desire to grow closer to Christ or to bring someone else closer.

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Why Catholicism?

Jul 15th 2013 new
There have been a number of threads recently touching on the question of whether people who are not visible members of the Church are saved. Someone somewhere raised the question: why should anyone convert to Catholicism if they can be saved outside of the Church, especially when you consider that being a devout Catholic is harder than remaining irreligious.

I do not know the direct answer to this question.

The only response I know is that from about 1550-1950 virtually all social, economic, and scientific progress came out of Catholic/Protestant countries. Prior to 1550 there were some advances outside of Catholic Europe and since then the benefits of the advances have spread around the world.

However, this answer allows for Protestantism and does not explain why an individual should convert.
Jul 15th 2013 new
The short and sweet answer is because this is where all Truth resides.

The simple challenge is this. Jesus was either who He said He was, or He wasn't. People who claim to be God are either telling the truth or they're flat out crazy. You don't just pick out some nice things a person like that says and throw the rest out. You either take them at face value and believe they really are God or you dismiss them as flat out crazy. Most people we are assume are just plain lunatic and yet we seem to believe that Jesus might indeed be telling the truth about this being God thing.

If He's being truthful about that, then He also says that He established a Church on a man named Peter. And He said things like "This is my Body and this is my Blood. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood shall have eternal life." He either meant what He said or He didn't.

There's only one faith out there that takes Him at His word. There's only one faith that claims to be founded on Peter and claims to have Jesus in His Flesh and Blood on the altar at Mass. There's only one Church crazy enough to claim that Jesus resides in a little gold box so that you should genuflect to it when you walk by it and so that its sacrilegious to throw away what looks like a little piece of bread.

That Church is the Catholic Church. It's been around for 2000 years. It will be around until the end of time and her teachings remain timeless because she and the source of her Truth remain outside time and space.
Jul 15th 2013 new
Why live in a hotel when you can live in a mansion...sure you have a roof over your head either way but the mansion has so many rooms and is a real home.

Catholicism is the fullness of truth with the Real Presence of Christ, the Communion of Saints, the infallible authority of the magisterium, and of course the sacraments.
Protestantism that I was raised in had you and your personal relationship with Jesus, your own private interpretation of the Bible, and your own fervor. Can you be saved sure but its a whole lot harder. Its man made where as the Roman Catholic church is divine in its origin.

The protestant churches seem like social clubs with cool concerts and speakers on Sundays compared to the Holy Mass based on the heavenly liturgy.
Jul 26th 2013 new
(quote) Alex-789274 said: There have been a number of threads recently touching on the question of whether people who are not visible members of the Church are saved. Someone somewhere raised the question: why should anyone convert to Catholicism if they can be saved outside of the Church, especially when you consider that being a devout Catholic is harder than remaining irreligious.

I do not know the direct answer to this question.

The only response I know is that from about 1550-1950 virtually all social, economic, and scientific progress came out of Catholic/Protestant countries. Prior to 1550 there were some advances outside of Catholic Europe and since then the benefits of the advances have spread around the world.

However, this answer allows for Protestantism and does not explain why an individual should convert.
There is no good reason to convert to Catholicism if one can be saved in his protestations against the Catholic Church (as a protestant). Really, if I can be saved as a protestant, and I enjoy fornication and abortion and birth control, which some protestant sects allow...then I should be a protestant. This should also, by logic, allow for a Catholic to join the protestation against Rome, and save himself as a protestant. Does this make sense?
Jul 27th 2013 new
Is Christianity only a dichotomy of Roman Catholic Church and Christian ecclesiastical organisations (which the RC Church defines the self-identifying Protestant churches as well as the Anglican Communion to be, the Anglicans not self-identifying as Protestants for their own reasons)? Isn't it a trichotomy that includes another 'Church', meaning another Christian body in which enough of the Truth resides for the RC Church to define it as a Church and not just as an ecclesiastical organisation?

What happens to devout Orthodox when they die, or, at least, devout members of the original Orthodox churches and not the splinters that have also occurred in that branch of Christianity? Must you believe that the Pope is the successor of St Peter as the head of the Church founded by Christ? Or is it enough for salvation purposes, at least for the time being, to believe that the rock is not Peter but the faith declared by Peter and shared by his brother apostles and St Paul, as long as you also believe in the Real Presence, as the Orthodox do?

Faith is one thing, behaviour another, and many Orthodox clergy and laity are as severe in their protestation against Rome as any Protestant. Are they to be damned?.
Aug 1st 2013 new
(quote) Joseph-903200 said: Why live in a hotel when you can live in a mansion...sure you have a roof over your head either way but the mansion has so many rooms and is a real home.

Catholicism is the fullness of truth with the Real Presence of Christ, the Communion of Saints, the infallible authority of the magisterium, and of course the sacraments.
Protestantism that I was raised in had you and your personal relationship with Jesus, your own private interpretation of the Bible, and your own fervor. Can you be saved sure but its a whole lot harder. Its man made where as the Roman Catholic church is divine in its origin.

The protestant churches seem like social clubs with cool concerts and speakers on Sundays compared to the Holy Mass based on the heavenly liturgy.
Exactly!! heart It's like getting a VIP Pass at a concert to meet the star himself! That Star is Jesus! Or....getting a free invitation to the after party! I wanna get that invitation and free VIP Pass! Jesus IS GOD! Jesus is the WAY and the TRUTH! The better I get to know Jesus Christ, the better chance I'll get meet Almighty God Himself without hesitation.
Aug 5th 2013 new
There is the quite lovely essay:

Why I am a Catholic (at chesterton.org)
By G.K. Chesterton






___________________
"The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting.
It has been found difficult and left untried."
-- Gilbert K. Chesterton
Dec 6th 2013 new
(quote) Alex-789274 said: There have been a number of threads recently touching on the question of whether people who are not visible members of the Church are saved. Someone somewhere raised the question: why should anyone convert to Catholicism if they can be saved outside of the Church, especially when you consider that being a devout Catholic is harder than remaining irreligious.

I do not know the direct answer to this question.

The only response I know is that from about 1550-1950 virtually all social, economic, and scientific progress came out of Catholic/Protestant countries. Prior to 1550 there were some advances outside of Catholic Europe and since then the benefits of the advances have spread around the world.

However, this answer allows for Protestantism and does not explain why an individual should convert.
First off, NOBODY is guaranteed to be saved. Nobody can be assured that they will persevere til the end unless they are given divine revelation to that effect. This has been stated and restated by the Church several times since the council of Trent.

Secondly, Yes it is possible that those who do not consider themselves catholic during their lives(not visible members) may be saved, but only through invincible ignorance. This means that if a person is truly ignorant of the moral truths they disobey, through no fault of their own, they will not be fully culpable. Keep in mind that with our modern availability of information it is increasingly unlikely that many people can claim invincible ignorance. If a person knows that what they follow is not the truth, but do not actively seek the truth, then they do not have invincible ignorance. It is their fault of laziness in not seeking the truth that kept them ignorant.

Thirdly, ONLY Catholicism has the fullness of truth. Since few of us can genuinely claim invincible ignorance our best hope is to actively seek out the fullness of truth and follow the truth that we encounter in that process.

In conclusion, Christ is the truth and the way. Those who do not seek the truth to the best of their ability are not following after Christ(who again is the truth). Since ONLY Catholicism has the fullness of truth(Christ) everyone's ultimate goal should be to get ever closer to and eventually become Catholic. Obviously, they don't know that the Catholic Church holds the fullness of truth when they begin seeking the truth, but that is the goal. Only when the truth is know can it be obeyed. If we are truly christian we should all desire to obey Christ(who is the truth).

Patrick
Dec 7th 2013 new
(quote) Joseph-903200 said: The protestant churches seem like social clubs with cool concerts and speakers on Sundays compared to the Holy Mass based on the heavenly liturgy.
Perfect statement. Sums it up for me also!
Dec 8th 2013 new
(quote) Roystan-340472 said: Is Christianity only a dichotomy of Roman Catholic Church and Christian ecclesiastical organisations (which the RC Church defines the self-identifying Protestant churches as well as the Anglican Communion to be, the Anglicans not self-identifying as Protestants for their own reasons)? Isn't it a trichotomy that includes another 'Church', meaning another Christian body in which enough of the Truth resides for the RC Church to define it as a Church and not just as an ecclesiastical organisation?

What happens to devout Orthodox when they die, or, at least, devout members of the original Orthodox churches and not the splinters that have also occurred in that branch of Christianity? Must you believe that the Pope is the successor of St Peter as the head of the Church founded by Christ? Or is it enough for salvation purposes, at least for the time being, to believe that the rock is not Peter but the faith declared by Peter and shared by his brother apostles and St Paul, as long as you also believe in the Real Presence, as the Orthodox do?

Faith is one thing, behaviour another, and many Orthodox clergy and laity are as severe in their protestation against Rome as any Protestant. Are they to be damned?.
We do believe the Eastern Orthodox and Protestants to be Christians in virtue of their baptism, but not having access to all the things Jesus Christ has taught.

If Protestants and Eastern Orthodox seek the truth with sincerity, they can be saved, if they, through no fault of their own did not know that the Catholic Church was the Church of Christ.

It is Catholic teaching that baptized non-Catholics are in a real way incorporated into the Catholic Church, albeit not in a visible fashion. Those who realize that the Catholic Church is the Church of Christ, however, are obligate to become full, visible members of the Church, either through the reception of the Mystery (Sacrament) of Chrismation (for Protestants) or a declaration of faith (for Eastern Orthodox), the form of the latter being up to the bishop.

On a more positive spin, if someone believes this Holy Church to be of Christ, why would he or she not want to be in it?
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