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I Believe What the Church Teaches
The Catholic Thing ^ | July 7, 2013 | David G. Bonagura, Jr.

Posted on 07/07/2013 1:01:18 PM PDT by NYer

“I believe what the Church teaches.” To utter this sentence sparks surprise, laughter, horror, or even disdain from non-Catholics – and not a few Catholics. A number of replies may follow. “You can disagree if you wish.” “The Church cannot tell you what to do, especially in the bedroom.” “Don’t you want to think for yourself?”

There are assumptions underlying these glib responses. First, the teachings of the Church are burdensome, archaic, or irrelevant. Second, these teachings do not need to be obeyed; the individual can disagree, if he/she desires. Third, to believe these teachings is a denial of freedom; the individual should decide what to believe and how to act without being compelled by the Church.

These assumptions have become so widespread that for Catholic teenagers and adults they have become part of the contemporary religious landscape, unwittingly and insidiously absorbed from the individualistic and relativist culture. They have helped loosen the bonds that Catholics have with the Church from the grace of baptism, replacing filial devotion with tension or angst. In a tragic irony, the Church that was founded by Christ to lead us to the ultimate fulfillment is perceived by some Catholics as a barrier to self-fulfillment.

To explain why we ought to believe what the Church teaches therefore requires upfront quite a bit of apologetic work – belief, freedom, and the Church all have to be liberated from the shackles of the dictatorship of relativism. Once these are free, we learn that those who willingly believe what the Church teaches are the ones who are truly free.

To believe is to accept as true what someone else knows and has seen for himself. The believer, not having access to what the witness knows, relies entirely on the witness’s account; he fully assents to its truth because he trusts the witness. To believe, therefore, is an act of freedom, since immediate reality does not compel his assent, as does, say, the acts of addition or subtraction. The believer wills his belief, not because he has seen the evidence, but because, in the words of Josef Pieper, he wants “to participate in the knowledge of the knower.”

Belief is a major source of our knowledge. Many of our ideas about the world, the economy, politics, religion, and more come from the trust we place in others who report what they have seen from their own firsthand perspective.

Religious belief is similar in structure, but has a crucial difference: it relies upon the testimony of God, who cannot be met and cross-examined like a human witness. God’s testimony is what we call revelation – the content of the Church’s teachings that has been passed on in Scripture and Tradition to the present day.


       The Council of Trent by Pasquale Cati (1588)

But how can we trust the testimony of an invisible and unassailable witness? More still, why should we obey his testimony? There are several ways to approach these questions, but let us choose just one. Catholics believe that God revealed himself to human beings gradually over the centuries until he became human himself. “For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.” (John 18:37)

Jesus Christ is the witness par excellence to the reality of God. Many heard what Jesus said and saw what he did, and they freely chose to believe in him. They became witnesses of God’s testimony given through the God-man, and because they spread this testimony to others in hostile territory, they became a new kind of witness – they became martyrs, men and women who died because they also bore witness to the reality of God.

For twenty-one centuries men and women of all walks of life have died for God as martyrs. Invariably, the accounts of the martyrs portray their lucid minds and inspiring devotion in the face of the cruelest tortures. They did not oppose death because they were certain from their complete trust in God that all of what God has revealed and passed on through his Church was true and worth dying for.

The heroism of the martyrs presents a bold challenge to the dictatorship of relativism and its doctrine of self-fulfillment. True freedom is not the ability to self-indulge, but to self-surrender. In surrendering themselves to their executioners’ hands, the martyrs achieve true freedom and its joy from their prior surrender to God, the ultimate truth, who has willed that he be made known to the world through his Church.

To believe what the Church teaches is ultimately to believe that God, who can neither deceive nor be deceived, has truly spoken to us, and that his testimony of life with him – both  now and in eternity – is worth giving up everything this side of paradise. To believe in this way, to commit fully to God whom we cannot see, is admittedly difficult and risky. And this belief cannot be coerced, since the rewards it promises transcend the limits of physical gratification.

Hence to believe what the Church teaches is to be truly free. The Church was endowed by God with his grace and with his laws for traveling the path to him. Countless witnesses have attested to the authenticity of the Church’s testimony with their lives and with their blood. If we wish to be free as they are, we must have the will to believe the Church.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Theology
KEYWORDS: rcc; romancatholic; teaches
David G. Bonagura, Jr. is an adjunct professor of theology at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, Huntington, New York.
1 posted on 07/07/2013 1:01:18 PM PDT by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 07/07/2013 1:01:39 PM PDT by NYer ( "Run from places of sin as from the plague."--St John Climacus)
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To: NYer

As long as it doesn’t conflict with the Bible, I believe it too.


3 posted on 07/07/2013 1:19:08 PM PDT by boycott
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To: NYer

When it comes to the bedroom the Church doesn’t teach much.

Of course it teaches that sex is between a man and a woman. It teaches that pre-marital sex is not the proper thing to do, and it teaches fidelity to one.

Not bad teaching at all for a successful marriage.
They don’t try to inhibit what a man and woman do if they wish to experiment with each other , they pretty much leave that to the consenting adult married couple.

Practicing what the Church teaches will keep you free from STD’s, adultery, and getting shot by a jealous husband.


4 posted on 07/07/2013 1:23:27 PM PDT by Venturer
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To: NYer

As Christians
We put ourselves under the Authority of Christ

It does not matter how I feel about an issue
What emotions I might experience
What rationalizations I might come up with
What the Laws of Caesar might be

I Must Submit Myself to Christ

The Body of Christ, on this Earth
Is still trying to understand what this means
And has become... Fractured in Vision

I live in Hope that this will not always be true, and
Continue to remember the 2 Great Laws

Love The Lord Thy God
Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself

All the Laws and the Covenants are Based Upon This


5 posted on 07/07/2013 1:30:00 PM PDT by HangnJudge
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To: NYer

I believe what God teaches.........


6 posted on 07/07/2013 2:11:49 PM PDT by SECURE AMERICA (Where can I go to sign up for the American Revolution 2013 and the Crusades 2013?)
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To: NYer
Societies that did not place boundaries around sexuality were stymied in their development. The subsequent dominance of the Western world can largely be attributed to the sexual revolution initiated by Judaism and later carried forward by Christianity. This revolution consisted of forcing the sexual genie into the marital bottle. It ensured that sex no longer dominated society, heightened male-female love and sexuality (and thereby almost alone created the possibility of love and eroticism within marriage), and began the arduous task of elevating the status of women

Link to article

7 posted on 07/07/2013 3:57:52 PM PDT by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's Economics In One Lesson ONLINE http://steshaw.org/econohttp://www.fee.org/library/det)
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To: NYer

Song of Solomon is not about the love of God for his children. It’s mostly about sexual love between a husband and wife.


8 posted on 07/07/2013 4:27:42 PM PDT by SeaHawkFan
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To: NYer
“I believe what the Church teaches.”

“I believe what the Church Bible teaches.”

The reason for my distinction is that there are churches that do not properly teach the New Testament scriptures. Such a church often demand good deeds as a path to God and a growing list of works and rules to follow to achieve that goal.

The scriptures teach that people who are born again in faith and grace after accepting the offer of salvation observe Christianity. God hates the sin but according to scripture, God loves the sinner.

Church is not a rest home for Saints; church is a hospital for sinners.

9 posted on 07/07/2013 4:44:03 PM PDT by MosesKnows (Love many, trust few, and always paddle your own canoe.)
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To: Venturer

Experimenting is fine as long as the man finishes in the appropriate place. ;-)

So, no, just because you are married doesn’t mean “anything goes”.

Every sexual act must be both unitive and ordered towards procreation.


10 posted on 07/07/2013 4:45:22 PM PDT by piusv
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To: SeaHawkFan

You got that right.


11 posted on 07/07/2013 4:47:34 PM PDT by Hoodat (BENGHAZI - 4 KILLED, 2 MIA)
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To: NYer

Hence to believe what the Church teaches is to be truly free.

__________________________

AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

;-)


12 posted on 07/07/2013 7:12:25 PM PDT by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo....Sum Pro Vita - Modified Descartes)
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To: NYer

I believe this thread will require an ample supply of popcorn.


13 posted on 07/07/2013 7:15:51 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: MosesKnows

Believe in God as a start.


14 posted on 07/08/2013 4:02:37 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: NYer

I believe what most Churches teach as long as it is backed up by scripture, which means that i believe the Gospel of Jesus.

Churches are for the purpose of spreading the gospel, not adding to it.


15 posted on 07/08/2013 5:51:52 AM PDT by ravenwolf
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To: Venturer

People here just say whatever pops into their pretty little heads about the Church. It sounds so dumb And often hateful and truly ignorant. It sounds like repetition of something some silly boyfriend said once and is taken as truth.

Pope John Paul II wrote extensively on ordered sex in his Theology of the Body

I suggest being at least aware before writing further

I know many go by the hateful teachings of the anti catholic bigotry fpund in certain circles in this country. As the late archbishop fulton j sheen said, soething like: if i thought true what many think is true about the church. I wouldnt be catholic either

The church is the fpremost protector of not deviating from the Bible

And it guides extensively in the way of marital relations

Tell us what institution is better. But dont waste pur time with un citable statements

References


16 posted on 07/08/2013 8:40:05 AM PDT by stanne
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To: ravenwolf

This is a catholic publication you are commenting to. What drives you to comment self righteously on its content?

Do you do this just to detract?

Do you have a better path for those seeking the way?

You are saying your thinking is better than a 2000 year old institution which has guided and helped many

Do you think that all billion + catholics and all who have gone before including the twelve apostles plus st paul whose lives and teachings about Jesus Catholics adhere to without embellishment nor excuse are wrong?

If so, please read some of the catechism and history and tell us exactly where the catholics are wrong. Where exactly do they deviate from the teachings of Jesus?

Beware, many biblical scholars who have attempted this seriously have become catholics and catholicisms greatest defenders

Scott hahn for one


17 posted on 07/08/2013 8:52:25 AM PDT by stanne
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To: stanne

This is a catholic publication you are commenting to. What drives you to comment self righteously on its content?


I did not say anything about Catholics, here are my exact words.

I believe what most Churches teach as long as it is backed up by scripture, which means that i believe the Gospel of Jesus.

Churches are for the purpose of spreading the gospel, not adding to it.

No offense but you must be trying to defend what you think is wrong with your Church.


18 posted on 07/08/2013 1:41:29 PM PDT by ravenwolf
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To: ravenwolf

Great, so you interpret the required practice of your religion, but at the same time deny others the right to do it for themselves. Or disdain them for exercising it.


19 posted on 07/08/2013 1:45:25 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: ravenwolf

What most churches teach as long as they are backed up by scripture?

My only question was what is your point?

And what is your intent in the question that there is a question anput the veracity of the catholic church in its being scripturally based

The Catholic church was founded by Jesus

If you dont like the chirch then dont read catholic pulications

Amd reading catholic publications then detracting from the church begs the advice fond a hobby

I will not respond to anything else you have to say pther than a sane and logical answer to the question what is your intent in detracting against a catholic argument written for catholics in a catholic publication

What is the intent?


20 posted on 07/08/2013 2:46:09 PM PDT by stanne
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To: stanne; ravenwolf
I will not respond to anything else you have to say pther than a sane and logical answer to the question what is your intent in detracting against a catholic argument written for catholics in a catholic publication

Catholics have often claimed on FR that the Bible was written by the Catholic church. Does that make the Bible "a Catholic publication" that can be discussed here?

21 posted on 07/08/2013 3:00:30 PM PDT by Alex Murphy ("...Someone handed the keys to the Forum to the OPC and its sympathizers...")
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To: Alex Murphy

What are you butting in for?

We can discuss the Catholic Church here for three days or more, as I have recently done, as far as I am concerned.

And what I recently discussed was, before giving up, the squirmy denial of a simple request to cite facts of a statement.

The facts never came through just a lot of anticatholicism, as you well know.

The Catholics on this site can state whatever they want, as you can.

It doesn’t mean the statements are either true nor what the Catholic Church states


22 posted on 07/08/2013 3:06:50 PM PDT by stanne
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To: stanne
The Catholics on this site can state whatever they want...It doesn’t mean the statements are either true nor what the Catholic Church states

Interesting. Tell me more!

23 posted on 07/08/2013 4:03:36 PM PDT by Alex Murphy ("...Someone handed the keys to the Forum to the OPC and its sympathizers...")
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To: Alex Murphy

If you want to argue against the Church then read the Catechism to see what the Church actually teaches. Otherwise you are arguing with other uninformed positions, claiming to profess catholicism or not, and wasting efforts.


24 posted on 07/08/2013 4:12:01 PM PDT by stanne
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To: stanne
If you want to argue against the Church then read the Catechism to see what the Church actually teaches. Otherwise you are arguing with other uninformed positions, claiming to profess Catholicism or not, and wasting efforts.

Who has uninformed positions? The other Catholics on this board?

25 posted on 07/08/2013 4:14:22 PM PDT by Alex Murphy ("...Someone handed the keys to the Forum to the OPC and its sympathizers...")
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To: Alex Murphy

Anyone saying the Church wrote the Bible


26 posted on 07/08/2013 4:23:14 PM PDT by stanne
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To: stanne
Anyone saying the Church wrote the Bible

So just for my verification and clarification here: you're saying that it is an uninformed opinion for anyone to say that "the Catholic Church wrote the Bible?"

27 posted on 07/08/2013 4:27:59 PM PDT by Alex Murphy ("...Someone handed the keys to the Forum to the OPC and its sympathizers...")
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To: Alex Murphy

For clarification and finality, read the Catechism, if you wish to argue with me about the Church.

It is available at the flip of a google switch.

And spare me your silly anticatholicism

By the way, read the article we are posting under.

Here’s what the Catechism says about the author of the Bible:


28 posted on 07/08/2013 4:47:59 PM PDT by stanne
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To: Alex Murphy

PART ONE
THE PROFESSION OF FAITH

SECTION ONE
“I BELIEVE” - “WE BELIEVE”

CHAPTER TWO
GOD COMES TO MEET MAN

ARTICLE 3
SACRED SCRIPTURE

I. CHRIST - THE UNIQUE WORD OF SACRED SCRIPTURE

101 In order to reveal himself to men, in the condescension of his goodness God speaks to them in human words: “Indeed the words of God, expressed in the words of men, are in every way like human language, just as the Word of the eternal Father, when he took on himself the flesh of human weakness, became like men.”63

102 Through all the words of Sacred Scripture, God speaks only one single Word, his one Utterance in whom he expresses himself completely:64

You recall that one and the same Word of God extends throughout Scripture, that it is one and the same Utterance that resounds in the mouths of all the sacred writers, since he who was in the beginning God with God has no need of separate syllables; for he is not subject to time.65
103 For this reason, the Church has always venerated the Scriptures as she venerates the Lord’s Body. She never ceases to present to the faithful the bread of life, taken from the one table of God’s Word and Christ’s Body.66

104 In Sacred Scripture, the Church constantly finds her nourishment and her strength, for she welcomes it not as a human word, “but as what it really is, the word of God”.67 “In the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet his children, and talks with them.”68

II. INSPIRATION AND TRUTH OF SACRED SCRIPTURE

105 God is the author of Sacred Scripture. “The divinely revealed realities, which are contained and presented in the text of Sacred Scripture, have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.”69

“For Holy Mother Church, relying on the faith of the apostolic age, accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and the New Testaments, whole and entire, with all their parts, on the grounds that, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author, and have been handed on as such to the Church herself.”70


29 posted on 07/08/2013 4:48:34 PM PDT by stanne
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To: stanne
For clarification and finality, read the Catechism, if you wish to argue with me about the Church....And spare me your silly anticatholicism

ROTFL

30 posted on 07/08/2013 5:50:41 PM PDT by Alex Murphy ("...Someone handed the keys to the Forum to the OPC and its sympathizers...")
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To: Alex Murphy

Weird.


31 posted on 07/08/2013 5:52:38 PM PDT by stanne
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To: NYer
To believe is to accept as true what someone else knows and has seen for himself. The believer, not having access to what the witness knows, relies entirely on the witness’s account; he fully assents to its truth because he trusts the witness. To believe, therefore, is an act of freedom, since immediate reality does not compel his assent, as does, say, the acts of addition or subtraction. The believer wills his belief, not because he has seen the evidence, but because, in the words of Josef Pieper, he wants “to participate in the knowledge of the knower.”

This is very bad and dangerous advice...

We are warned in the scriptures that fakers will and have come into the church to teach false doctrine...

We are warned that ministers of Satan will be portrayed as ministers of light in many religions...

We are told in the scriptures to 'prove all things'...

We are told to search the scriptures that we may know that we have eternal life...

Do not trust any man when it comes to what God says...

Jesus Christ is the witness par excellence to the reality of God. Many heard what Jesus said and saw what he did, and they freely chose to believe in him. They became witnesses of God’s testimony given through the God-man, and because they spread this testimony to others in hostile territory, they became a new kind of witness – they became martyrs, men and women who died because they also bore witness to the reality of God.

The heroism of the martyrs presents a bold challenge to the dictatorship of relativism and its doctrine of self-fulfillment. True freedom is not the ability to self-indulge, but to self-surrender. In surrendering themselves to their executioners’ hands, the martyrs achieve true freedom and its joy from their prior surrender to God, the ultimate truth, who has willed that he be made known to the world through his Church.

Your religion, like the Izlaminazies are always talking about how great it is to die for God...I don't see much in the Bible about dieing for God as a goal we should seek...In fact, the Bible spends a lot of time speaking on living for God...

I guess it would make a good pep talk for a group of Christians talked into going into battle against insurmountable odds...

Countless witnesses have attested to the authenticity of the Church’s testimony with their lives and with their blood.

The fact some Catholics died over the years does not attest to the authenticity of your religion's testimony...It only attests to the the idea that they believed what another man told them...

If we wish to be free as they are, we must have the will to believe the Church.

Au contraire...You guys are under bondage...To be truly free is to know that no one can take you out of Jesus temple and no one can take Jesus out of a Christian...To be free is to know that we are the adopted children of God and will forever be part of the family...Never to be disowned...To be free is to know that no matter what we do or where we are at, Jesus is standing there with his arms open to welcome us back home...

32 posted on 07/08/2013 7:31:18 PM PDT by Iscool
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To: Revolting cat!

Great, so you interpret the required practice of your religion, but at the same time deny others the right to do it for themselves. Or disdain them for exercising it.


Now how in the heck did you come up with an interpretation like that? i hope you are more careful interpreting the Bible if that is what you read.

I do not have any religion.

I do not deny any one from worshiping the way they choose.


33 posted on 07/08/2013 8:40:52 PM PDT by ravenwolf
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To: Alex Murphy

Catholics have often claimed on FR that the Bible was written by the Catholic church. Does that make the Bible “a Catholic publication” that can be discussed here?


Good point.


34 posted on 07/08/2013 8:45:25 PM PDT by ravenwolf
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To: ravenwolf

If you don’t follow or practice any religion, then I indeed misinterpreted what you had written and I thereby apologize.


35 posted on 07/08/2013 8:49:29 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: Revolting cat!

If you don’t follow or practice any religion, then I indeed misinterpreted what you had written and I thereby apologize.


None needed but thanks any way. i just read and believe in the Bible.


36 posted on 07/08/2013 8:56:23 PM PDT by ravenwolf
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To: NYer

http://proclaimingthegospel.org/about/staff


37 posted on 08/03/2013 10:47:37 PM PDT by jodyel
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