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Old 11-22-2004, 03:01 PM   #91
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Verte, I know I've asked you a few hard questions, hopefully this one is a little easier on you.

What are your thoughts on being an ex-Protestant Catholic, and what were some of the reasons you became a Catholic?
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Old 11-22-2004, 04:01 PM   #92
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Quote:
Originally posted by verte76

I love the artistic, visual side of Catholicism. I love the liturgical form of worship, the vestments, the processions, the art, the whole thing.

You move me time and time again Verte. Aside from having beautiful artwork, which I still want to buy! You are also a wonderful historian. I don't think that I could have explained Catholic belief better than you and I was educated by Carmelite nuns and Jesuits!

Someone brought up the point of--can one call themselves a Catholic while disagreeing with some of the Church's teachings? I believe yes, we can still be Catholic and for many reasons.

Some of them are: the Bible is not the final authority when it comes to our salvation, our actions on earth are; the understanding that those behind Church heriarchy are people subject to errors much like you and me--as such change must come from wihin; the belief that one's relationship with Jesus is a loving and personal one; and finally realizing that the Catholic Church is *not* the heirarchy or the buildings located in the Vatican; the Catholic church is the people. You and I are the Church. That is why the Church has survived throughout history because in order to eradicate the Church, you have to eradicate the people. If the people are progressive then the Church will be progressive too--the trickle up theory. Some parishes are already listening to the people. Saint Monica's in Santa Monica, CA is a wonderful parish, open to everyone--regardless of race, gender and sexual orientation. It is not the only one though, there are many progressive churches throughout L.A.

The point is that it is possible to tear down the buildings that make up the church because the true Church lives on everyday in our hearts. Mass does not end on noon on Sundays; it's lived out daily in your actions. The message of Catholicism is the Golden Rule--treat others how you want to be treated. And my personal favorite, "Whatsoever you do to the least of my brethren, you do unto me."


Verte, you and Jamila are my 2 favorite people on this BBS. And I raise my toast to you--from one liberal social justice sucker to another!
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Old 11-22-2004, 04:20 PM   #93
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I also forgot to add that there is a caveat in Church teaching that states that doubting is required of each believer. The logic is that if you can doubt what you believe, question it, deconstruct it and learn from your skepticism, then only then can you truly appreciate your beliefs and be able to properly defend your faith.

I believe that this idea was also part of Thomas Aquinas's teachings. Thomism, Aquinas's philosophy is the official Church dogma. Verte, you can correct if I am wrong.
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Old 11-22-2004, 04:46 PM   #94
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I don't mean to change the subject, but I just hope my Catholic Education here isn't taking too much away from the topic.
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Old 11-22-2004, 04:50 PM   #95
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Hm, OK, about being an ex-Protestant Catholic. As you know, I'm an artist, from an artistic family on my mother's side of the family. Strangely, my family was *very* Protestant and really didn't like Catholicism at all. After all, my state, Alabama, is only 2% Catholic, it's strongly conservative Protestant. That's my background, what I was raised as. I was always curious about this, and started researching Catholicism when I was in high school. I think I wondered what all the fuss was about, and wondered if it was really fair, and all of that. Well, not surprisingly, I fell in love with the art. Around the same time I ran into an amazing man who was a Jesuit priest. We became friends. I went to watch him celebrate mass, and we'd talk God. I went on a pilgrimage to Iona, Scotland, the birthplace of Scottish Christianity, with a whole great big group of Irish Catholics. That did it. Within the month I was in RCIA at the local parish, and I officially became a Catholic that Easter Vigil. I'd been active in politics already, and that was no time to stop, it added fuel to the fire, so to speak. My parents taught me to be a good citizen, to always vote, and be informed, and do what I thought was the right way to contribute to our body politic. So I do!
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Old 11-22-2004, 04:57 PM   #96
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Very interesting story. I'm glad you enjoy art, that's really cool. I guess Catholicism works better with some people. There's nothing wrong with that.
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Old 11-22-2004, 05:01 PM   #97
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Quote:
Originally posted by angel_of_L.A.
I also forgot to add that there is a caveat in Church teaching that states that doubting is required of each believer. The logic is that if you can doubt what you believe, question it, deconstruct it and learn from your skepticism, then only then can you truly appreciate your beliefs and be able to properly defend your faith.

I believe that this idea was also part of Thomas Aquinas's teachings. Thomism, Aquinas's philosophy is the official Church dogma. Verte, you can correct if I am wrong.
Yes. I like this approach towards faith because it gets rid of alot of insecurity about faith. It's honest. We all have doubts. I actually wouldn't know if this was in Aquinas' works but I wouldn't be surprised. That guy was amazingly practical and down-to-earth for a philosopher.
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Old 11-23-2004, 07:51 AM   #98
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I don't mean to change the subject, but I just hope my Catholic Education here isn't taking too much away from the topic.
Not at all. I can't expect to have a thread about Catholicism without being asked about it by people of other faith traditions.
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Old 11-23-2004, 03:49 PM   #99
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I appreciate that. I know I ask some tough questions, but I haven't met too many self-claimed liberal catholics.
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Old 11-24-2004, 06:00 AM   #100
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I appreciate that. I know I ask some tough questions, but I haven't met too many self-claimed liberal catholics.
There are some. I think more *practicing* Catholics are more conservative these days, mainly because of abortion and now gay marriage. Some feel like they've absolutely got to vote against this stuff, whereas a liberal might want to look at this and not like Candidate X on abortion, but end up deciding to vote for Candidate X anyway because of health care, which is certainly a "culture of life" issue. We had a great bishop and Cardinal, Joseph Bernardin of Chicago, who wrote alot of great stuff on a "consistent life ethic". Basically, this is what happened to me this year. I don't like abortion either and I wish it would stop. But there are so many things I'd like to fix, it's really too much!!
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Old 11-24-2004, 06:23 AM   #101
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I appreciate that. I know I ask some tough questions, but I haven't met too many self-claimed liberal catholics.
Awhile back Mother Angelica, the founder of EWTN, complained about the "liberal church in America" and even mentioned a Cardinal by name as an alleged liberal, Cardinal Mahoney. There was a storm of controversy over this. I like Mother Angelica but I don't always agree with her.
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Old 11-24-2004, 07:48 AM   #102
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I don't like abortion either and I wish it would stop.
I've heard a surprising amount of liberals say something along these lines. Even John Kerry - who was for partial-birth abortion, against parental notification, and such - plainly said he doesn't like abortions. He said we should discuss alternatives, which I agree with. His reason for being pro-choice was that he can't "legislate" against a woman's right to choose.

Yes, if it's a potential death threat to a woman's health, I wouldn't want the mother to die over being forced to give a birth she can't give. In what I've observed though, is that most abortions are from people who don't think they're ready to raise kids, people who attend drug orgies, people who don't use protection, kids who are let on the loose by uncaring parents at parties. I don't think that most are done because of a woman's health condition, there's a few exceptions though. I just can't accept how irresponsible and apathetic we can be when it comes to sex and bearing/raising children. I see it more evil than bad taxation, health care, environmental standards, and even Iraq.

I just wish more people on the left would understand how conservatives feel about it - I really find it a tragedy that Roe Vs. Wade is still not overturned. On the other hand, I probably feel too strongly against the issue to understand the left's point of view on it. Probably my fault, but I try to be attentive to how the left feels about the other issues, although I don't really vote based on issues that don't matter to me.
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Old 11-24-2004, 08:02 AM   #103
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safe. legal. rare.

women have *always* had abortions, women will *always* have abortions. let's keep it safe and legal so we don't return to the days of backalley doctors and coat hangers. we are inequipped to comment on the morality of the choice, that's between her and her Maker (for lack of a better, vague term). if you want to stop abortion, let's empower women to say no to sex, if they choose, and to protect themselves when they do choose to have sex. and we can also educate men to take a more active role in birth control as well.

i'm a catholic, but haven't practiced in a long time because of issues like abortion, gay marriage, how women are treated by the catholic church, etc. it is a gorgeous service, and the symbolism is lovely. there's also a "culture" shared by Catholics -- i usually know when i'm talking to another Catholic or not (not quite as good as my gaydar, but still pretty decent!). some of this i miss, but i cannot actively practice in a church that remains willfully, obstinately blind to the 21st century.

this is why Buddhism, my newest interest, is so cool. it's more philosophy than religion, and entirely compatible with the basic tenets of Christianity.
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Old 11-24-2004, 08:21 AM   #104
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I don't think birth control is always a bad thing, I just think we should only use it when it's appropriate. I know most people aren't going to buy a 13 year old birth control and say, go ahead and trash yourself. I think it should be used within a strong relationship that recognizes that it's not a guarantee that you won't get pregnant. As a Christian, I don't find most birth control methods objectionable when they are used in a marriage, but I did hear that 8 women died when they used RU-486. This was some time ago, and it didn't really hit the news much. I think it's the type of birth control that matters, and also the type of relationship.
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Old 11-24-2004, 09:08 AM   #105
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I just think alot of the mind-set has changed per birth control. It used to be absolutely taboo. It was considered practically unspeakable during the Victorian era. Queen Victoria herself couldn't stand being pregnant, but she abhorred the idea of birth control, so she put up with it nine times. Attitudes started to change in the early twentieth century. I think this was at least partially economics, the cost of raising a child began to be discussed, and it was the era of women getting the vote and more power. In Great Britain several women of the Royal Family endorsed the idea and this contributed to the change big time. This made it "respectable" when it hadn't been previously, it was really considered a bit obscene before this. Now it's not looked on this way by the general public, not even most religious conservatives. I've read about when Billy Graham said he thought it was OK for a woman to practice birth control. Of course you are not going to hear this from the Vatican, but even many Catholic women have issues with the Vatican over this.
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