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The Pope and the Catholic Church

By TheChas ·
Rather than risk corrupting Oz's positive thread in respect of Pope John Paul II, I am starting this thread for open comments on the teachings of Pope John Paul and the Catholic faith.

On sexuality:
Catholic teaching on sexuality provides that sexual relations are a gift from God to be shared between one man and one woman.
Further, sexual relations must not preclude the possibility of creating a child.

If one follows the teachings of the church, there is no need for birth control or abortion because one would only have sex with ones partner when a pregnancy would not cause a problem.

On Gay rights:
Pope John Paul was very forthright in the concept of love the sinner, hate the sin.
People and governments should not discriminate against Gay individuals.

However, homosexual intercourse is a sin.

The Catholic Church is very willing to accept anyone who is willing to repent and forsake their actions that could be considered sinful.

On medical research:
Artificial conception, embryonic stem cell research and cloning are considered to be inappropriate.

This is all to do with the teachings of the sanctity of the human body as a temple of the Lord.

As I do, the Catholic Church does not support the concept of the ends justifying the means.

Yes, there is potential good that might come from embryonic stem cell research. However, since life begins at conception, taking one life in attempt to save another is not right.

I am no theologian, nor am I as well versed in Catholic doctrine as I would desire. Still, I will come back from time to time and respond to those comments I can.


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by dwdino In reply to Confession and Punishment

"Redeem ones soul...", "...absolve a persons soul...", "...performance of a penance...".

Remember, "...not of works lest any man should boast..", "...He is faithfull and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness..."

Entrance into Heaven is based on one thing only, "a personal relationship trusting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior."

These are the very perversions that drove Luther to speak out against the catholic church.

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Martin Luther

by TheChas In reply to Confession and Punishment

Luther left the Catholic Church because of pervasive corruption in the process of confession among other problems when the Church and State were far too intertwined.

The biggest problem with the confession process in Luther's time was the purchasing of absolution by the rich.

I don't have my bible handy, but the biblical passage that confession is based on goes something like:
"Those sins you let loose on earth shall be let loose in Heaven. Those sins you hold fast on earth shall be held fast in Heaven".

I do believe that Luther was justified in leaving the Catholic Church.
His actions did force the Church to take a hard look at what it was doing and how far the role of the Church had drifted from the path God intended.

I also firmly believe that the Papacy of John Paul II brought the Church even closer to the path God intends for her.


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Confession = one of my biggest disagreements w/ catholisim

by TomSal In reply to Confession is a cop out

I absolutely agree dale.

The subject of confession is where I majorly part ways with Catholic belief.

The idea that you confess your earthly sins to another earthy sinner, who in turn is supposed to have the "power" to wash your earthly sins away is against my belief.

We (Lutherans) don't teach or ascribe to the concept that a man can absolve you of your sins, we ascribe that only God can absolve one of sin and therefore its through devote and honest worship, devote and honest prayer for forgiveness that you feel from your heart is how you cleanse yourself.

Of course I don't believe in purgatory either. But I'm not going to slam others beliefs on that.

Just some other thoughts..

The Virgin Mary is near "god like" in the Catholic faith, my faith believes in loving her and respecting her as the mother of Jesus Christ, but we worship God and Jesus, not Mary.

At Catholic services if their is communion you are not allowed to take communion if you are not Catholic. In our churchs, if you received the holy sacrament and believe with a true heart we don't care if you are Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Penecostal, etc.... you are welcome to take communion with us together.

Because of these things and the others before, that's why *some* non-catholics feel like devote and strict Catholics are arrogant in their faith.

But again, just opening up and sharing here - not trying to bash. What you believe is great, and I respect that.

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On Mary Mother of Jesus

by TheChas In reply to Confession = one of my bi ...

Despite beliefs to the contrary, Catholics do not Worship Mary.

Yes, she does hold a higher place in Catholic theology than in other Christian faiths, but we do not worship her.

Perhaps the biggest difference between a Lutheran and a Catholic Bible, is in a Catholic Bible Mary's body is lifted up directly to Heaven at the moment of her death.

Aside from Jesus, Mary is the only other person who's spiritual and earthly body are joined together in Heaven.

We pray to the Lord and to many Saints, including Mary.

Prayers directed to the Saints and Mary are usually requests for their intercession with the Lord on our behalf for help with a problem or guidance.

So no, we do not worship Mary. We do believe that Mary holds a special place in Heaven and we give Mary some extra attention in recognition of that special place.


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Partially Correct, Confession=Forgiveness

by dingletec In reply to Confession = one of my bi ...

The bible does say to "confess your sins one to another", however, since the bible also says that "God is no respecter of persons", "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God", and "There is none righteous, no not one" it doesn't really matter if that fellow sinner is the pope or your neighbor. The point of confession is not so another human can forgive your sins, but humility, submission to God, and accountability. What we refer to as confession can simply be admitting to a spouse or close friend something we know we did wrong, and maybe discussing the best way to rectify the situation, or make it right, in other words.

Much of what we consider sin is simply rebellion against God. We know what we should do, yet we don't do it. As a child, I can remember many times stubbornly refusing to apologize to my sister for whatever I did to her at the time. Just pride. God doesn't want us to carry bitterness, anger, and resentment around with us, it's not healthy. That's why confession is so easy, and the bible says, "If we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness".

It's as simple as saying, "God, I messed up, please forgive me and give me wisdom to resolve this situation". At that point, you are righteous, or in right standing with God. Confession is not for God's sake, but for ours. God is not offended when we do something wrong, and is not angry with us. The bible says that sin separates us from God. It's us that recoils from God, not the other way around.

I love my daughter more than life, it seems, even though parenthood is sometimes an exercise in frustration. But as a two year old, she does not have the experience or wisdom to know that something is harmful. As a parent it is my job to train her and teach her how to live life successfully. I can't always be there with her, I just have to trust that she has heard my instructions and obeys.

It's the same way with God. The bible says that sin has it's own reward. In the same way my daughter's disobedience yields a scraped knee after I tell her it's not safe to run here, or a burned finger when she is told the fireplace is hot, there are natural consequences for many things that we do.

Anyway, if you are a christian, the bible is your only authority. Not church doctrine, your pastor or priest. The bible is your reference manual for a better life. Jesus said that God didn't send him into the world to condemn the world, but that through him the world might have life. Choose life.

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Oh indeed

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Asking for forgiveness vs ...

Forgiven by whom ?
The only forgiveness that means anything is that of your victims.
The only contrition that means anything is public
The only gauge of repentance is to not do it again.
So keeping it all secret violates my belief structure and the ethical framework I choose to operate in.
P.S I aren't attacking christianity here or even catholicism as such, but I have no time for religious institutions particularly hierocracies.

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Didn't say I thought it was "right"

by Jessie In reply to Asking for forgiveness vs ...

Personally, I've not been to confession in about 15 years... not since the last time my mother made me go. AFAIC, if I'm not truly and deeply sorry for something, then I don't feel guilty about it obviously, and asking for forgiveness for something I don't feel guilty about is hypocrisy. And I do TRY not to be a hypocrite.

What then are my reasons for still going to church? It's not that I believe all of the Catholic doctrine. I find mass very comforting, and it serves to remind me how I need to be living my life. I don't go to church to find God, He lives in my heart. I go to church to find Community, people who share the same BASIS of beliefs.

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Hey you do

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Didn't say I thought it w ...

whatever makes sure feel comfortable. I don't have any problem with your belief system as long as you don't try to make it more true by making me believe or making me choose between being burnt alive or saying I believe.
Other than that if it adds value to your life go for it. Just because some who claim they share your beliefs operate completely outside of them doesn't invalidate them. Nor is it necessary for anyone else to believe as you do to validate them.
If words and deeds match all confusion disappears, doesn't mean I like what you do or say, but at least everyone knows where they are at.
People are either basically 'good' or 'bad', which political party, religious group, colour, or sexual orientation has nothing to do with it because none of those are good or bad in and of themselves, simply labels indicating some sort of conformity.

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RE: Partially Correct, Confession=Forgiveness

by TomSal In reply to Asking for forgiveness vs ...

Max thread was reached had to branch out to reply.

No kidding confession leads to forgiveness. Of course it does. But, and here's my little shocker phrase to you, if the bible does support your form of confession...guess what then...I don't care what the bible says on that as I don't agree with it.

Eeegats batman how can this be! Someone who claims love and belief in God dare knock the bible!!!? Be gone ye free-thinker!!!

Bottomline -- despite all you say, I do not agree with the Catholic faith on confession of my wrongs/sins to a priest or any member of the church directly. Period.

I confess my sins to God directly, its no one elses business or authority to know them or judge them.

I was trying to keep this one on wraps but I guess I voice this other thing I find "odd" about confession in the Catholic faith.

Catholics have this nice system of "ok you did xyz sin, so your prescription is xyz solution and then ALL DONE!"

As in just say 9483 Hail Mary's and prayer with the Rosary beads or whatever and that's it.

It changes every time dependant on what you confess and I think that is just plain wrong, and to be honest...its kind of weird and uncomfortable feeling.

(trying to be as polite as possible here btw -- to each their own beliefs)

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I hope He will forgive me

by jck In reply to RE: Partially Correct, Co ...

for staying out of this...hahaha

Live and let live, I tell ya...til someone doesn't let you live.

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