I don't like the Catholic Church
Anonymous asked this question on 7/31/2000:
mcsperu asked me what beliefs of the Catholic church I disagree with, so here goes. I disagree with so many things I don't know where to begin. I disagree with limbo, enforced celibacy of priests, the idea of seven sacraments instead of two, (note sacrament occurs nowhere in the Bible), the seven books which the Catholic church hardly even uses, the giving of only the bread instead of the bread and wine, transubstantiation (I believe in consubstantiation), obligatory confession, opposition to birth control, indulgences which are simply fraud when used for monetary gain, the so-called sacrifice of the mass, papal infallibility (only promulgated in 1870), and praying to the dead. Could you imagine praying for someone believed to be in purgatory that was actually in hell? Ridiculous. It’s human arrogance to believe that we humans have so much power that our prayers will speed up the journey of a person from purgatory to heaven. The only reason for this practice was of course to cheat people out of their money. As soon as a coin in the coffer rings, a soul from purgatory springs." I believe that was the saying of Johann Tetzel. I also disagree with the practice of telling people they can’t eat meat on Friday. They should be free to make up their own minds and fast if they like because they want to, not because a human institution tells them so. I’ve read Luther’s notes and let me tell you, he was shocked when he went to Rome to see the pope and cardinals eating crab, lobster, oysters, salmon and other fish. Some sacrifice! They ate like kings. What bothers me about some Catholics is that they can’t think for themselves. They accept the teachings of their church so blindly. As for contradictions of faith in the Lutheran church, there are also contradictions in the Catholic. It’s just that Cardinal Ratzinger, the Pope’s right hand man, is like a police offer who "corrects" any clergy who stray from official teachings. As one Catholic brother once told me, it’s not too different from communism. I’m sorry, mcsperu, but many Catholics come across as arrogant. Just because you can trace your history back farther than Protestants doesn’t make you perfect, doesn’t make you superior. If the Catholic church were so perfect, the Reformation would have never taken place. And if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll admit that Luther’s Reformation made the Catholic church take a good, hard look at yourself. So there. Now you know where I stand when it comes to the Catholic church. As for unwritten tradition, let me make it perfectly clear that it can also be an excuse to conveniently invent a dogma and simply put it under "unwritten" tradition. I think "papal infallibility" neatly falls under that category.
Thanks for the catalogue. You have done your homework. But why this animosity?
Do you know to what God has preordained you and your helpers? You have a special assignment. Your task is to increase the preaching of the truth, of the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. In your negativity you have an eminent positive mission. Arrogant?
Tertullianus (saeculum II) explains that God PROVIDES heretics and controversies (with the needed apologists) so that the true faith may grow in the direction willed by God. The heretics provoke a more ample circulation of the revelation, the creed and the truth (Adv. Marcionem 4.5.2-4; Praescr. 12, 4-5.).
Concerning the protestant reformation Saint Petrus Canisius who almost single-handed saved Germany from becoming wholly protestant saw a profound reason: "The reformation happened because the Germans wanted to become devout again".
Before arguing let’s put away some of your maneuvers. They are very impressive but they are like fireworks. Much noise and then there remains only burnt papers and smell of burned powder, nothing more.
Please, distorting something and then telling it’s ridiculous is a time-honored ploy but it sure doesn’t help in the debate. That’s why at the festival people go to see themselves in the mirrors to be able to laugh at themselves. But it provides not the real picture.
Bringing up again an argument that has not been answered yet is no arrogance.
Then the argument of discovering somebody is less than perfect doesn’t mean he’s telling a lie. The greatest sinner on earth can tell the truth and the most perfect person may err.
One of your argument is that being perfect is the same as teaching the truth: "Just because you can trace your history back farther than Protestants doesn’t make you perfect, doesn’t make you superior. If the Catholic Church were so perfect, the Reformation would have never taken place". You are right and wrong at the same time.
Right regarding the moral stance. But look at the reformation or what is called inappropriately the counter-reformation. The RC Church became a better Church thanks to Martin Luther. In Germany awaiting the visit of John Paul II some Lutherans said: "Why can’t he canonize Martin Luther, i. e. declare him a saint?" Imagine the Protestants praying to Saint Martin Luther! The Pope told them why. Instead of remaining in the Church and fight it out he erred in founding a new church. But he was cause of a better Catholic Church.
You are wrong in implying that because members of the Church are sinners they teach errors. Not even the Borgia monster taught heresies, not ever!
I have a story for this too. At Paris a Jew wanted to convert to Catholicism. He told the parish priest: "Before being baptized I want to visit Rome the heart of the Church". The cleric begged him: "Don’t go. You will lose your faith". But the catechumen was adamant. After three month he came back and asked to be baptized. The priest asked him: "But didn’t you see all the frivolities and even crimes committed by the Pope and the cardinals?" "Sure I did". "You didn’t lose your faith?" "No, I think if the Pope and the cardinals can’t destroy the Church it must be the Church of God
Do you remember how Martin Luther at the diet’s public discussion run out of arguments against Tetzel and simply said: "Hier stehe ich, ich kann nicht anders – here I stand, I cannot (do or think) differently"? It was tragic that the opposing theologies were the abstract Thomism and the intuitive Augustinism. God willed it so. As says St. Teresa de Avila: "God writes straight on crooked lines". The Church had a liturgical, biblical and patristic movement because of Martin Luther.
The financing by Rockefeller and other International Enterprises of the sects’ assault against Latin America has shaken up the Catholics. The Catholics are now knocking on the doors and announcing the kerygma. Thank you Mr. Rockefeller.
Now let me talk about the arrogance of Catholics regarding the Tradition. Don’t mistake certitude, sureness, conviction, certainty, confidence and conviction for arrogance.
We are proud to stand in an uninterrupted tradition of 2000 years. We don’t have to jump the abysm of 1500 years with the stick of the personal inspiration. If you look at the theological panorama more and more Protestants are looking at the Fathers of the Church.
I think that we have reached the critical point. All your catalogue of "I disagree" boils down to this: Tradition. By the way your tenets are either misunderstandings or caricatures. Rightly presented they are the consequence of our uninterrupted faith. So the problem and burden of prove is yours. You have to prove that the Roman Catholic Church errs in her uninterrupted doctrine.
I dare you to take up this point but with real arguments!
PD. Consubstantiation was the reason why Jesus asked his disciples: "Do you want to leave too?" He could have said: "Come on I didn’t mean it really". The Greek word for "eat his flesh" is literally "chew his flesh".
The first Christians were persecuted because they were thought having banquets of human flesh. Consubstantiation indeed!
Anonymous rated this answer:
I don't think you're 100% sure of your position. I think the reason is that as humans, we can never be 100% sure. Perhaps we can agree to disagree.
mscperu gave this follow-up answer on 8/1/2000:
You sidestepped neatly and talk about the weather, Sir.
God loves you all the same.