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Why I left the Catholic Church
NY Post ^ | April 4, 2010 | MICHELE MATTIA

Posted on 04/04/2010 3:54:17 AM PDT by Scanian

I grew up in the Catholic Church; however, it seemed like I was Catholic by inheritance only, as no one in my family prayed before meals, read from the Bible, or even discussed God.

You went to church because you were supposed to go to church. I attended Catechism classes every Sunday until I turned 13 and received my Confirmation. My teachers were often frustrated with my perpetually raised hand to ask questions like: Why can’t women become priests? Why can’t priests get married? Why do I have to go to confession instead of talking to God directly? And why did it seem like God was always angry?

In my mind, God was a lot like Santa Claus. I envisioned him sitting on a motorized cloud (after all, he had a lot of sky to cover) in order to keep tabs on when I was good or bad. Once I left for college, Catholicism had become more about politics, rules and exclusivity than my connection to God. The hypocrisy I felt every time I stepped into a Catholic Church knowing I didn’t agree with much of their doctrine caused me to walk away. I knew at some point I would find my spiritual home.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: culturalcatholicism; dogma; liberalism; pharisees; spiritualsuicide
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1 posted on 04/04/2010 3:54:18 AM PDT by Scanian
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To: Scanian; netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; markomalley; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; ...

Michele Mattia.

If you ask me why I left the Catholic Church, I’ll tell you it’s not about the scandals. It’s that the rules and dogma of the church took me further from God, rather than closer.

In my experience as a Protestant, all the Catholics who had a conversion in a Protestant setting lacked a firm grasp of their Catholic faith.
How I led Catholics Out of the Church

Catholic Ping
Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list

2 posted on 04/04/2010 4:20:26 AM PDT by NYer ("Where Peter is, there is the Church." - St. Ambrose of Milan)
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To: Scanian

She hits most of the buzzwords for people who want to belong to a Church but without any of that dogma to get in the way.

3 posted on 04/04/2010 4:28:00 AM PDT by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: Scanian

Swetheart, you left the Church because you let your feminist feelings overpower your love of God.

You dont want to be a servant of Jesus Christ, you want to tell Him what to do. Your are not alone, there are many so-called Nuns who want to lead instead of being good servants of Christ, they should leave if that is their feeling.

One day if you live long enough and become wise enough you will return. If not you will miss the Church, it will not miss you.

4 posted on 04/04/2010 4:39:03 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: Straight Vermonter

You’ve got it: cafeteria religion.

5 posted on 04/04/2010 4:50:26 AM PDT by Scanian
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To: NYer

Don’t let the door hit you in the butt on the way out. Good riddance. If you don’t like it then leave but don’t cry over leaving and attack what you just turned your back on.

6 posted on 04/04/2010 5:04:34 AM PDT by mfish13
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To: Scanian

A mystical unity with Him is not very common, but what we are called to, since we cannot do what He has commanded without it.

How could we constantly love (give selflessly to another) unless we has such a mystical unity with Him?

So, the “rules” - the requirements and prohibitions - are there to assist us in avoiding evil as we move closer to that mystical unity.

The mystical unity with Him replaces the “rules” with the very simple rule to constantly act out of love for our neighbor, which is love for Him. No evil would ever be attractive to one who is mystically united with Him.

But such unity is difficult to achieve and is often sporadic due to our own weaknesses. And so the “rules” are a big help to remind us what we would do and avoid if we were mystically united with Him.

How sad that this woman has missed out on such a sublime and helpful truth and follows her whim rather then His truth.

7 posted on 04/04/2010 5:06:07 AM PDT by Notwithstanding
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To: Scanian

I was talking to a Protestant friend a while ago and he said that the dogma and doctrines were to rigid like train tracks and that he liked the freedom of his church. I told him that he was right and asked if a train was more free on its tracks or when it had jumped the rails?
He never gave an answer.

8 posted on 04/04/2010 5:09:04 AM PDT by verga (I am not an apologist, I just play one on Television)
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To: Scanian; Amityschild; Brad's Gramma; Cvengr; DvdMom; firebrand; GiovannaNicoletta; Godzilla; ...

Given that the rabid deniers seem to be out in force . . . perhaps our side needs a representation.

9 posted on 04/04/2010 5:12:28 AM PDT by Quix (BLOKES who got us where we R:
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To: Scanian

As a Protestant, it is too bad this woman doesn’t have the foggiest notion of basic theology—like the nature of man, the nature of God. She jumped out of the frying pan into the fire. See our article the Christian Cram Course:

10 posted on 04/04/2010 5:12:40 AM PDT by grumpa (VP)
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To: Notwithstanding

“How sad that this woman has missed out on such a sublime and helpful truth and follows her whim rather then His truth.”

And how even more sad that probably less than one catholic in 10,000 has even a clue what you are talking about...

I didn’t leave the Catholic Church on a whim. I went back to the church as a high-schooler looking for God. I attended Catechism, made first Communion, got confirmed, read the autobiographies of saints... all in a search for reality. I won’t allow you to judge my sincerity. Through all this I came up empty. Finally a priest told me that I, “just had to believe”. I left disappointed and disillusioned. Ten years later I met some Christians who seemed to really ‘know’ God. It was not in a Catholic Church or a Protestant Church but on my way to work, in my car that I asked God to forgive me and change me and gave Him my life without and reservations and a commitment to obedience. God gave me what I was looking for. As the Apostle Paul said, “He revealed His Son in me.”

It is nonsense to think that the ‘sacraments’, ‘rituals’, and prayers of the Church will save anyone. The Bible says, “whosoever CALLS upon the Name of the Lord will be saved.’ You must ‘repent and believe’ to the point of total commitment and total obedience, which only God can give you the power to actually live out. As you said, “in mystical union with Him.” Easter Sunday is a poor time for a religious argument. If you truly have confidence of Christ living in your heart and can serve Him in Roman Catholicism, I wish you the best. But what I can’t understand is how you can sit there knowing that many like this young lady have no idea about the real Christ or knowing Him and you don’t reach out to them in love and tell then how they can. You just let them leave in their ignorance and disillusionment and judge them. This is a common failing of Protestant believers and churches as well.
Grace to you!

11 posted on 04/04/2010 5:23:22 AM PDT by theoldmarine (can you say SARAPHOBIA)
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To: Scanian; informavoracious; larose; RJR_fan; Prospero; Conservative Vermont Vet; ...

He is Risen!

Pray that He Touches Miss Mattia and she returns to His Grace.

12 posted on 04/04/2010 5:59:12 AM PDT by narses ("lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi")
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To: Scanian
I knew at some point I would find my spiritual home.

13 posted on 04/04/2010 5:59:53 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: theoldmarine

1. “Easter Sunday is a poor time for a religious argument,” according to what you wrote, so I am sure you will agree that this anti-catholic thread to which I responded is an ill-conceived and ill-timed thread. And if you believe what you wrote, why are you here engaging in religious argument early on an Easter Sunday morn? Contrary to your stated belief, I myself think that the day of Resurrection is one of the strongest days to make a religious argument.

2. And you say, “I won’t allow you to judge my sincerity” yet in the next breath you judge my sincerity, saying to me “you don’t reach out to them in love and tell then how they can, you just let them leave in their ignorance and disillusionment and judge them”. First, I did not judge your sincerity - rather I lamented this woman’s lack of understanding of a fundamental Christian truth and her description of here self-centered quest. Second, you actually have judged me particularly, when you have no facts to reach the conclusions that you post: my entire life involves reaching out to people in love and telling then how they can meet Christ and have this mystical union with Him - never passing up an opportunity to help someone walk that path. I would be happy to recommend a non-dogmatic short volume that anyone seeking to know Christ would benefit from reading, a volume that helps one to discover the essential idea that this woman missed.

The old soldier.

14 posted on 04/04/2010 6:05:59 AM PDT by Notwithstanding
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To: Scanian

How sad...that she has completely misunderstood Authority and Truth.

15 posted on 04/04/2010 6:09:16 AM PDT by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo...Sum Pro Vita. (Modified Decartes))
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To: theoldmarine

On further reflection,

having led catechism classes and welcomed my brothers-in-arms into the Christ’s Church at Easter while I was deployed in Afghanistan

I can only chuckle at your hollow criticisms of me and pray you will enjoy some of His peace today.

16 posted on 04/04/2010 6:14:31 AM PDT by Notwithstanding
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To: theoldmarine

Semper Fi oldmarine. Fighting over doctrinal issues is Satan’s way of divide and conquer. I am not a Catholic but I beleive that we Christians must find common ground no matter what Church we attend. We live in dangerous times, maybe even the End Times and we need each other for the horror that is soon to be upon us. God bless America.

17 posted on 04/04/2010 7:01:13 AM PDT by SVTCobra03 (You can never have enough friends, horsepower or ammunition.)
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To: NYer

"Learning I was one with God and God was Absolute Goodness, which was inherent in me, made sense. Knowing God did not punish, was not vengeful, and was accepting of everyone was my “You see!” to Catholicism."

From the kettle to the frying pan.

If her reasons were because of the general fruit of Catholicism, and the gospel which it officially holds to and effectually conveys, and Rome's false basis for her claim to be the the One true church , and she instead became convicted of her sins, and utter inability to escape damnation of gain eternal life based upon any merit of her works or that of the church, and with a broken heart and contire spirit cast all her faith on Christ to save her, (Ps. 34:18) then her story would be worthy to print.

"In my experience as a Protestant, all the Catholics who had a conversion in a Protestant setting lacked a firm grasp of their Catholic faith."

No doubt true, and to that you can include much of any degree of Bible literacy, which either attests that RC's are generally spiritual dead, with little hunger for such, and or that the church which P's are told they must join is a very poor teacher, or that they believe what Rome most effectually conveys (further down).

From, "How I led Catholics Out of the Church:"

"Most of the Catholics who attend these services are not accustomed to hearing such direct challenges to abandon sin and follow Christ."

The author claims to have been a Protestant evangelist, however, his explanation here hardly does justice to the gospel that evangelicals generally preach, as it is not one of reformation, but one that works to convict souls of their need for salvation and inability to gain it, or to live for Christ by their strength, and so trust Christ to save them, with forsaking the old life of sin and following Christ being implicit in that acceptance.

"many Catholics experience a genuine conversion [in Fundamentalist, Evangelical, and charismatic Protestant churches]"

Also true, but which means the author admits that these Catholics were not saved, yet he attacks the churches that brought about that regeneration, and its resultant spiritual fruits.

"John 3:5 which stresses the necessity of being "born of water and spirit."

He bemoans the ignorance of Catholics on this, yet according to Rome, all the former Catholics who became evangelicals were already born again, usually as infants through proxy faith. The author does not touch on that latter aspect, while as regards accountable souls, his interpretation of Jn. 3:5 agrees with all the Protestant Churches of Christ. But as a study of John will show, his juxtaposition between the physical and the spiritual, indicates that v. 6 interprets v. 5, that he is referring to two birthdays, that one must be born of the flesh (water) as well as the Spirit, and thus John's his sparse references to baptism, and constant statements that faith results in eternal life.

In regards to faith, the Bible reality is that baptism can be a "sinner's prayer" in body language, as confession of Jesus as Lord. And as souls can be saved prior to being baptised, (Acts 10:43-47; 11:8; 15:7-9), Evangelicals place the confession by mouth first, while Rome itself believes in the validity of baptism by desire. Because of the multitude of souls who assumed they were born again by baptism but who later were born again, evangelicals wrongly do not emphasize baptism as normally being more concomitant with conversion.

Apart from the proxy faith issue (infants need not and cannot obey the requirements for baptism: Acts 2:38; 8:36,37, and the only ability of the palsied man was physical, not mental cognizance), the real difference here is the faith which baptism represents to Catholics versus Evangelicals.

And I certainly never brought up Titus 3:5:” Hard to believe, as he leaves out the beginning here, who negates works as a cause of justification: “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. “(Titus 3:5) The washing corresponds to 1Cor. 6:11 and Rev. 3:5, and

"I mistakenly thought the Catholic Church denied that salvation was by grace."

No, even Mormons believe in that, the difference is that Rome teaches salvation thru grace by merit, that by God's grace souls produce works which merit them eternal life, as in,

"nothing further is wanting to the justified, to prevent their being accounted to have, by those very works which have been done in God, fully satisfied the divine law according to the state of this life, and to have truly merited eternal life." (Trent, 1547, The Sixth Session Decree on justification, chapter XVI)

Canon 32 similarly states that one who is “justified by the good works that he performs by the grace of God and the merit of Jesus Christ” truly merits the attainment of eternal life, if he dies in grace.

Every Catholic I met during my twenty years of ministry confirmed my misconception that Catholicism taught salvation is by works instead of grace.”

Likely because when asked the typical inquiry, "If you were to die today, why should God let you into Heaven?", the answer almost invariably is, "Because I'm a good person", and or, "I'm a Catholic."

But if all these Catholics misunderstood the teaching of Rome, then whose fault is that? But rather than being obtuse, what the author confirms is that Catholics believe what Rome most effectually conveys, that once baptized, you are saved, and as long as you die in her arms, she will get you to Heaven, with a modicum of good works helping, even if you are a abortion-promoting politician. That is her modern legacy.

"You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone."

As if James represented the definitive teaching on the subject, rather than being a polemic against misunderstanding the definitive teaching by Paul, who precisely deals with what exactly justifies a souls, works or faith, and states,

What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,” (Romans 4:1-6)

While Genesis 15:6 confirms that Abraham “believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness,” and which doctrine Eph. 2:8,9, and many other texts confirms, James states, “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.” (James 2:21-23)

This would eliminate baptism by desire and deathbed conversions if absolutely requiring bodily deeds. Romans 10:9-10 helps to understand this apparent contradiction between James and Rm. 3-4, etc., “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Thus while it is clearly stated that faith is the effective means of appropriating imputed righteousness, it is a confessional type faith, not one that is alone, having no profession. While God can see true faith in the heart and grant regeneration, this will have a confession in both word and deed. “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. “(Matthew 10:32)

Thus while it is only by a faith which produces works that one is saved, it is not by any merit of the works themselves that one is saved by. While this may seem to be a minor distinction, as it is the nature of man to suppose he will merit eternal life by his goodness (and or by God's mercy which does not need the blood of Christ), and salvation requires the abasement of the sinner as unworthy of salvation, so the preaching of the cross must work toward that realization, the apostle's did.

Yet, in regards to fruits of regeneration, while the necessity of works is constantly voiced by Catholics in response to the emphasis upon faith, it is the evangelicals who by far manifest the most fruit as quantifiable measured.

18 posted on 04/04/2010 7:14:58 AM PDT by daniel1212 ("Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out " (Acts 3:19))
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To: NYer
She is stunningly beautiful. A very likeable looking person.

She is a creation of God.

Jesus must have shed some tears over her going to the dark side. But he doesnt rule her out yet for good, and neither do I.

Pray for Michele Mattia. To return to her baptismal font, even in her heart as she realizes her mistake. It will be a matter of patience and time. She will return. She writes and I read. I sense spiritual some immaturity, and restless searching, which are all normal human traits, including rebelliousness and experimentation. I have this sense she is going to outgrow it and something stunning will open her eyes to the reality and the Truth which she has apparantly turned her back upon. A shame, but sometimes we do have to take "a journey" and end up at Square One. Many of the Great Ones did exactly the same thing. This young lady could well turn out to be one of the most fierce apologists for Catholicism after she runs her course and does what she must do.

Happy Easter.

19 posted on 04/04/2010 7:19:06 AM PDT by AmericanInTokyo (The FASCIST knows his window of opportunity is now only 7 months. Watch him like a hawk.)
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To: Quix

**Given that the rabid deniers seem to be out in force **

What is being denied?

Christ? No
God? No

Your post speaks of a bias that you hold — is that correct? Just asking a question.

Catholics do not deny God the Father, God the Son or God the Holy Spirit.

That’s a lot more than many religions can say.

Please explain you comment about denying the faith in God, Christ and the Holy Spirit.

20 posted on 04/04/2010 7:21:14 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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