06 September, 2013

A discussion with Terry about his criticisms of the Church

(My answers are in bold)

“So in your Catholic arrogance you are under the impression that the CC is the TRUE, One and ONLY church and that the Protestant Churches are the ones in error and that we are FALSE Churches since the Church can never be in error, but, in YOUR opinion, we are so we are not part of the TRUE Church.”

I am perfectly capable for speaking for myself. I do not speak out of arrogance but humility that I have received sufficient grace to be blessed with a Berean spirit from my Lord to escape the errors of Protestantism. I am convinced that not only are all Protestant sects full of error and disobedience to our Lord but that many have become the tools of Satan to separate the faithful from Christ with their false teaching. Certainly at best Protestantism represents the wide way that leads to destruction even though I believe that some caught up in the net of deceit of Protestantism may well escape the lies that provoke sin and be saved. Certainly Protestantism is represented by false counterfeit sects but some may still be saved by seeking Christ and by no fault of their own fail to assimilate into the errors of the Protestant sects and be saved inspite of their disobedience to Christ will that all humanity be one in His Church the Catholic Church. In other words they individually may be a part of the invisible Church but not the visible Church. The truth is that as Catholic Christians we know without any doubt where the Church is but we cannot be sure of where it is not. Being one in Christ’s Church is an action of the soul and not the intellect.

“You sir have been drinking the Vatican Kool-aid way too long my friend. The Protestant movement had to do with us being Saved by Grace alone, NOT by doing all of the flogging and 50 Hail Mary's and paying the priest and other such “works”, it is by Grace alone!”

No, Catholic teaching is that we do all things because of God’s grace residing abundantly in our souls. Grace is never alone but is always the cooperation between man and the Holy Spirit. For your information Pelagianism was condemned by the Church at the Council of Carthage and this is what you are falsely accusing us of doing and teaching. You are woefully incorrect.  Here are the proclamations of the Council regarding grace:

  1. Justifying grace not only avails for the forgiveness of past sins, but also gives assistance for the avoidance of future sins.
  2. The grace of Christ not only discloses the knowledge of God's commandments, but also imparts strength to will and execute them.
  3. Without God's grace it is not merely more difficult, but absolutely impossible to perform good works.

“We aren't wanting a God that will serve us, and you are so wrong, you are getting your info from the CC and of course they will NEVER admit to error, because it are "infallible" (yeah, right).”

That was the whole impetus of the Protestant rebellion. Get familiar with your own history. The so-called reformers were all Humanists. This is historical fact and I was taught this at a Baptist and a Methodist seminary. I did not get this from Catholic teaching who for the most part ignores the false teaching of the Protestants like yourself. Remember that every time you claim that Christ’s Church teaches error you are calling Jesus a liar and an incompetent in founding His Church and are calling the Bible false teaching. Jesus said that the Church would endure for all times free from error and the Bible calls the Church the “pillar and foundation of the truth”. Contrast this to what the Bible says about Protestants...it says that Protestants are those who cannot endure the sound doctrines of the Church and have sought out false teachers that satisfy their itching ears. Jesus says of these poor souls that at judgement they will hear depart from me I never knew you. This is truly an example of pride preceding destruction where man is proud of His own creation while rejecting that which Christ has created for all men as the ark of the New Covenant protecting the faithful from the destruction of the world through sin. The Church truly is infallible in its teaching just as Christ and the Bible teaches.

“So, you say that the CC and the Pope are infallible when it comes to spiritual matters? Just like I said, you get into error when you get away from the Bible and get into your feelings, “what you think” and traditions.”

Yes, the Pope is infallible when speaking ex cathedra on matters of faith and morals. I would agree that one may get into error by teaching contradictory to the Bible which is something the Catholic Church has never been guilty of doing. That is one of the many reasons I converted to Catholic Christianity as I could not through all my efforts find any Catholic teaching that was contradictory to Scriptures doctrinally.  As for traditions St. Paul not only taught to hold fast to the sacred written traditions of the Church but to the oral traditions. We follow his teaching as recorded in Scriptures. It is the Protestants that base their teaching on their feelings and the Catholic Church cannot be accused of such a unscholarly practice.

“The priesthood is full of homosexuals and has been for as long for as long as I can remember.”

Really, and how do you know this. I have not met a single homosexual priest and I have met hundreds if not thousands of priests since I became a Catholic over a decade ago. However, as a Protestant I knew many homosexual ministers and it was an ongoing problem that the Protestants failed to address but just ignored their problem..

“Homosexuals don't get married to the opposite sex, and in the priesthood you can't get married, so it is the perfect place to hide your sexual orientation and still get great respect, and it also gives a perfect opportunity to have private time with young men who trusts these "great" men.”

Really, would you make the same claim about Jesus and the disciples. Shame on you. For you information the Church does not forbid anyone to marry but instead encourage marriage. Celibate priests choose to be celibate in the example of St. Paul and Jesus, who recommended celibacy for clergy. these men make vows to God to be celibate for the Kingdom of God.

“Sir, like I said, the CC is a man made political/religious organization that has a very rich history of error, sin, and murdering "heretics" and dared anyone to even question it's supposedly spiritual superiority and perfect 'godliness' and yes, I intentionally used a small "g" because tons of the shenanigans of the CC does NOT reflect the teachings of the True and Living God.”

Well, of course that man you speak of that founded the Church is Christ. It is the only Church that can be said that is not man-made but God made instead. Well certainly all who have claimed to be Catholic have been godly men and women but the Church has always remained true in spite of these people some of whom were likely indeed evil. Is the Church guilty of the sins of all its members. A reasonable person would say no but for those that hte what Christ has founded then no explanation will be accepted in their holier than thou attitude of superiority. The fact is that men may be fallible but the Church can never teach anything but truth. Of this our Lord has promised. So the Church gets its veracity from our founder Christ and not from men. The Church should not be responsible for those who depart from the teaching of the Church as all men have free will to do good or evil.

“I appreciate your stance on Abortion, but that is just about the only respect that I have for your hypocritical organization, as you can't even be honest about it. I fear that the CC itself has become the god of many Catholics, and that is sad.”

That statement reflects more on you than it does on the Church. What you dislike about the Church is a caricature of the real Church as you have dutifully demonstrated here.

“ Anyway, read what your infallible Pope has to say about homosexual priests.

Just in case you didn't know it, the Bible speaks rather harshly about the fate of homosexuals, but you people are okay with putting them out there leading your flocks- that's like putting Hitler to protect the Jews, or putting the inmates to run the asylum.”

I have read what Pope Francis said about judging homosexuals and that is nothing new . Catholics have always been taught that judgement is for God and not man. We will all face God’s judgement on our last day. He knows our heart and no one else. Do you disagree with this and think that you are worthy to judge the hearts of men? We are taught by our Holy Father to pray for all sinners and not to judge others.

“The CC perfect? With all due respect, go worship your man made organization with all of its flaws and sinful activity, but don't embarrass yourself by looking down your nose at me and the others as we stick to the Scripture.”

As I said before the man that founded our Church was Christ. If you are Baptist your founder is Smythe, If you are Mormon your founder is Joseph Smith. If you are a Jehovah Witness your founder is Charles Russell. If you are an Seventh Day Adventist it is Ellen G. White. If you are Methodist it is John Wesley.If you are non-denominational you are a follower of your pastor who is the founder. Scripture is interpreted through the lens of your founder. Only the Catholic Church is founded by Jesus of which the Orthodox are our separated brothers. The further you get from Christ and His Church the further you get from Scripture. Catholics do not look down our noses at Protestants but instead feel pity and pray for them.

“Are we perfect? Certainly not, but we ARE forgiven, and when God looks at us, He sees the Blood of Jesus instead of our sins.”

I pray  that you will come to believe that Jesus indeed recognizes the sins of man. He sacrificed Himself to save mankind from that sin and to reconcile humanity from original sin to righteousness and justification. We must repent of our sins and confess them with a contrite heart to be forgiven.

“We truly are seeking to be more like Jesus, and it is a life long process.”

This you have in common with Catholic Christians. We hope to endure to final salvation and be judged worthy on our last day for an eternity in the presence of God.

“In our Church, homosexuality in the clergy is NOT tolerated, because WE know that it is a sin, apparently something, that your infallible Pope and church haven't figured out yet.”

Why would you say this? The Church is adamant in its condemnation of homosexual acts and teaches that those with homosexual desires must remain celibate. Surely the Church teaches that homosexual acts are sinful and incompatible with the priesthood. Priests creating scandal for homosexual acts are removed from ministry. If a candidate in the seminary shows any signs of homosexual tendencies they are removed from training and cannot be a priest.

“Honestly, you need to lay off of the Roman Kool-aid and open your eyes to Truth.”

I would say that you should follow Jesus and the teaching of the Church and the Bible that says that the Church is the “pillar and foundation of the truth” and not your unreasonable prejudice.

God bless!

In Christ
Fr. Joseph

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