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Old 11-19-2004, 02:03 PM   #46
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"I love the artistic, visual side of Catholicism. I love the liturgical form of worship, the vestments, the processions, the art, the whole thing." Verte, that's exactly what I love about Catholicism. Another thing I love is hey, Catholicism is the only branch that admits to it's um (pardon my french) fuck-ups. I've yet to see the Baptist communities apologize for endorsing slavery, Nazism (as did catholicism too at first), racism etc. I grew up in a Baptist home so I know first hand that there are many other mistakes. At least Catholics go, yeah, parts of our past are pretty bad.
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Old 11-19-2004, 02:22 PM   #47
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Originally posted by blueyedpoet
"I love the artistic, visual side of Catholicism. I love the liturgical form of worship, the vestments, the processions, the art, the whole thing." Verte, that's exactly what I love about Catholicism. Another thing I love is hey, Catholicism is the only branch that admits to it's um (pardon my french) fuck-ups. I've yet to see the Baptist communities apologize for endorsing slavery, Nazism (as did catholicism too at first), racism etc. I grew up in a Baptist home so I know first hand that there are many other mistakes. At least Catholics go, yeah, parts of our past are pretty bad.
Absolutely. There are definitely things in our past that are embarrassing. We are having classes in church history at my church. We've learned about the saints and the sinners. There were popes and cardinals who lived scandalous lifestyles. There has been plenty of corruption, not to mention disgusting political activities, on the part of big shots in the Church. Even Queen Isabella of Spain, a staunch Catholic if there ever was one, condemned the immorality of Renaissance popes. But this is balanced by our saints, who include great popes, bishops, even a King (Louis IX of France), and great writers and teachers like St. Augustine, St. Albertus Magnus, St. Thomas Aquinas, reformers like St. Catherine of Siena and abbesses like St. Teresa of Avila, and many more. We're a thoroughly human church, but we figure God must love us if He's allowed our Church to last.
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Old 11-19-2004, 02:38 PM   #48
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Humans can be a lot more appealing when they're, well, human. I'm not quiet sure what Jerry Falwell is....other than not Catholic
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Old 11-19-2004, 02:49 PM   #49
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Jerry Falwell is not one of my favorite people, to put it mildly. I don't think he's such a great role model.
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Old 11-19-2004, 02:55 PM   #50
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I went to mass today for the first time since Easter Sunday.
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Old 11-19-2004, 02:57 PM   #51
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I was baptized Catholic and I went to Catholic school for many years. I had my first communion but I never went through Confirmation because I wasn't ready at the time to commit to one belief system for the rest of my life.

I still consider myself a Catholic, although I rarely to never attend church anymore. There are many aspects that I love about Catholicism, most of them have already been mentioned by previous posters in this very thread. That being said, I have many issues with Catholicism. It has not as much to do with the mistakes made in past history but more to do with the things they continue to perpetuate in the modern age.

One huge problem for me is the condemnation of homosexuals by the Vatican. Another big thing is the birth control issue. I don't see how they can still keep the offiical stance that birth control is wrong when we have so much overpopulation in the world. It's all so outdated and I think they need to modernize or they will continue to alienate people and lose valuable members of their congregation.

One of my good friends who is also a Catholic believes that there is a difference between official Catholic doctrine and the culture of Catholicism which has more to do with ideas about social justice and the concept that good works are more important even than faith. He says that it is possible to still call yourself a Catholic without agreeing with every one of their stances. I want to believe this and at times I do but other times I wonder if I can still be considered a Catholic if my personal viewpoints differ so much from the official stances that the Vatican takes.

I've tried to explore other belief systems in the past but I always end up coming back around full circle. I have come to the conclusion that I can't run away from it because it is a part of who I am. It's inside of me whether I like it or not.

I hope I haven't sidetracked this thread too much. I was just interested in hearing some of the other FYM Catholics perspective on this.
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Old 11-19-2004, 03:19 PM   #52
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I also have issues with the Vatican, particularly on birth control. This teaching is a holdover from the Aristotelian aspect of Scholastic philosophy, which had its greatest expression in the works of St. Thomas Aquinas. I feel like this argument has lost its relevance over time. We no longer have the astronomical infant mortality they had in medieval Europe, and there is overpopulation all over. I also take issue with the Vatican on homosexuality. This is based on the idea that marriage is for procreation. There is another school of thought on marriage, dating from the late medieval period. The first female professional writer in Europe, Christine de Pizan, believed that marriage was mainly for companionship. This was a pretty radical idea when it first came out, and even Christine would have been shocked to see it used by the Protestants later on to make the idea of divorce respectable. However, if you follow this idea logically, it not only makes divorce respectable, it also makes gay relationships "respectable" because they are companionships. American Catholics drive the Vatican crazy with our independence, and there is alot of controversy over all of this stuff. The conservative Protestants don't agree with the companionship concept of marriage, either. It's something reasonable people can disagree on.
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Old 11-19-2004, 03:26 PM   #53
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I was raised Catholic and on the occasion where I attend church, I go to a Catholic one. I've also been educated in Catholic schools, so I have some understanding of the dogma. Some years ago, I really sat down and considered various sects of Christianity, including Catholicism, mainly because I wanted to know WHY I was Catholic. The main reason I have remained a somewhat-practicing Catholic is because I do not agree with the notion that Scripture is final authority and I also do not believe man is saved by faith alone. Catholicism also allows for the belief that non-Christians can find salvation, which is something I strongly believe in. When it comes to Mariology and the Saints, I don't understand at all the charges that Catholicism is polytheistic. You are not praying to a Saint, you are simply asking them to interject on your behalf and pray to God for you. It is a bit like if I were sick and I asked a friend to pray for me - I am not worshipping her, but rather asking her to pray for my wellness.

There are a number of issues I have with Catholicism, ranging from the fact I believe the Vatican is relatively corrupt, that it's still an old boy's club, and that a number of their policies in today's world are socially irresponsible.
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Old 11-19-2004, 03:32 PM   #54
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I attended a Catholic high school. Never once did they ask if I believed in Jesus. They even let me skip weekly chapel if I wanted.
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Old 11-19-2004, 03:46 PM   #55
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Originally posted by nbcrusader They even let me skip weekly chapel if I wanted. [/B]
So what?
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Old 11-19-2004, 04:04 PM   #56
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I would hope they would have concern for the eternal things, instead of just the rules and regulations of life here on earth.
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Old 11-19-2004, 04:08 PM   #57
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I would ask what that means but I don't want to derail the thread, as this doesn't have anything to do with advice to liberal Catholics.
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Old 11-19-2004, 04:43 PM   #58
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Originally posted by nbcrusader
I attended a Catholic high school. Never once did they ask if I believed in Jesus. They even let me skip weekly chapel if I wanted.
The Catholic schools I'm aware of here in Birmingham don't require non-Catholic students to attend any religious functions or to take religion classes. If you are Catholic, this stuff is required. Also, it is a rule that to stay open, a Catholic school has to have a majority of Catholic students. We've closed a whole slew of parochial schools in Birmingham because Catholic students became a minority. Needless to say this irks parents, but they've got to follow the rules.
Back to liberal Catholic controversies..........
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Old 11-19-2004, 08:44 PM   #59
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So I guess my question for my fellow FYM liberal Catholics is, can we still consider ourselves Catholics when we disagree with so many of the major stances of the official Catholic church? Or does that make us something else, and if so what would that be?
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Old 11-19-2004, 09:24 PM   #60
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I think we are what they refer to as "cafeteria Catholics" - ie. you pick and choose what doctrine you agree with.

There are probably two issues at hand - if you have a problem with Catholic dogma, then it is possible you may no longer consider yourself a Catholic.

It seems to me that most of the problems people voiced on this thread concern Church leadership and hierarchy rather than the structure of the faith itself. My view is that Catholicism underwent a major rebirth at the point of the 2nd Vatican Council, but has stagnated since, and as effective and important as the current Pope was in fighting Communism and reintroducing Catholicism back into Eastern Europe after the Berlin Wall fell, he is also responsible for an extremely rigid, male-oriented, unwavering, uncompromising view. But John Paul II will not be here forever, and my hope is that the new Church leadership will promote more social programs in areas of the world where Catholics are the most numerous and the poorest (ie. South/Latin America, African nations). Catholicism has always strongly promoted social justice mainly based on the belief that you are not saved by grace or faith alone, but you need good works for salvation, and I think that the current Vatican leadership is playing their own brand of politics which has at times deviated from the promotion of social justice in the name of furthering political influence and agenda around the world.

I do believe that Catholics, on the whole, are moving to a place that is far more progressive than most other Christian denominations (particularly evangelicals), and so it will be interesting to see whether new leadership will reflect that.

I guess my main point is that as a Catholic, you would have to evaluate what it is exactly that you disagree with. My main issue is with the current Pope and the current Church leadership, but these are just men, ordinary people, no more or less fallible than you and I, and so I don't really see my personal faith as something that hinders on a personal view they take.
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