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It Came From The Roman Church: Catholic horror stories told by Evangelicals & how to respond
This Rock/ Catholic Answers via Petersnet ^ | David Mills

Posted on 07/31/2002 9:27:40 AM PDT by Polycarp

Title: It Came From The Roman Church . . .
Author: David Mills
Title: It Came From The Roman Church . . .

Larger Work: This Rock

Pages: 12 - 15

Publisher & Date: Catholic Answers, Inc., San Diego, CA, April 2002
Includes: Identical text with no graphics.
Description: Catholic horror stories told by Evangelicals (and ex-Catholics) and how to respond to them.

"It Came From The Roman Church . . . "

Don't Flee From Catholic Horror Stories

By David Mills

In the brief time since my family became Catholics, some of my Evangelical friends have gone out of their way to tell me Catholic horror stories. They will tell me about some near-pagan example of Catholic folk religion they once saw, or an oppressive priest (reactionary or liberal) they once knew, or a Catholic family next door who went to Mass regularly but didn't know anything about the Bible and the faith, or a married friend who happily carried on a long affair supposedly by going to confession after each visit to his girlfriend.

Some of them like to talk about "recovering Catholics" who were supposedly so horribly damaged by growing up Catholic that they just had to become Protestants. (They are always surprisingly unskeptical about these stories.) These people suffered by being made to feel guilt and shame about everything they did or to feel that they could not ever satisfy all the rules God insisted they obey before he would love them.

This is both a personal and an evangelical problem for Catholics. Almost any Catholic who talks very long to a serious Evangelical will be told in some way that though the Pope is a wonderful man, and some Catholics really love the Lord, and thank God for the Catholics in the pro-life movement, the average Catholic parish is either a den of iniquity or simply dead spiritually.

The Evangelical will often claim, by contrast, that Evangelical churches are alive, and, since our Lord said we shall know them by their fruits (Matt. 7:16), Evangelicals are the real Christians. (This ignores, of course, that what Jesus said applied to individual teachers, not to movements or theological systems.) The implication is that if you're a Catholic you've been had.

It is probably worse for a convert, because his friends sometimes speak as if he were either a dullard who hasn't noticed the problems or a romantic who refuses to see them. "You won't live in Rome, you know," one close friend told me — meaning, I suppose, that the Catholic faith I would encounter wouldn't be pure — as if this would be shocking news to me, the mere stating of which would bring me to my senses.

What To Think

How can one respond to this line of argument?

First, you must admit that the Evangelical has enough facts to make a reasonable charge. The truth is that many Catholics do not lead a visibly faithful life. Most, for example, do not obey the Church's teaching on contraception. Few (amazingly to me) go to confession.

On the other hand, many Evangelicals and their churches appear to be models of faithfulness. They study Scripture, try to order their lives by its teaching, share their faith with others, and at some sacrifice minister to the world in many ways. We can learn much from them.

Second, you must listen with sympathy yet question the horror stories. Most of us have trouble doing this, because something in our culture trains us to accept any story of suffering without question and to assume that the Church must have been guilty of almost anything it is accused of.

Take the stories of "recovering" Catholics. Of course, some people have suffered real abuse and have been treated badly. But most of these stories I have heard from the allegedly "recovering" Catholics themselves do not ring true.

What I hear, beneath the emotion and the anger, is usually one of two things. The first is an unwillingness to grow up and forgive what seem to be the sort of offenses we have all suffered from parents or teachers or pastors. The second is an unwillingness to live the Catholic life, leading to a desire to blame the Catholic Church rather than admit this. I say this because the offenses they describe were often surprisingly minor, even trivial, and were often simply attempts — some clearly clumsy or unkind, but some apparently not — to get them to live a fully Catholic life.

For example, many (I do not know how to put this delicately) left the Church when they wanted to remarry after a divorce, and the conjunction of their remarriage and their enlightenment is too convenient for me to accept the latter at face value. (In my experience, it is rare to find an ex-Catholic in Episcopal churches who is not divorced and remarried, and friends tell me that this is also true in many Evangelical churches.)

And of course the Catholic life is a difficult one to live and some people do not want to try. My wife works a few hours a week in the nursery of a budding megachurch nearby, and several of the other women she works with were once Catholics. They have all told her they left the Church because they "found Jesus" elsewhere. I suggested she look them in the eye and say, "You're using contraception, aren't you?" (She didn't.)

Now, I do not mean that you ought to tell the "recovering Catholic" that you do not believe his story. That would be unkind and perhaps drive him yet further from the Church. I suggest only that you have a mental reservation, based on a reasonable reading of the evidence.

Hard To Argue With

Third, you must remember that the Evangelical has a different idea of the local church. He is comparing apples with oranges and complaining that the oranges aren't red enough.

For the Evangelical, the local church is primarily a gathered community of those of like mind and social class that forms a fairly complete alternative community for its members. For the Catholic, the local church is primarily the place we — people of different minds and classes — gather to meet the Lord in the Mass and from which we go out to exercise our vocations in the world.

The Evangelical church will therefore produce lots of public ministries, from Bible studies to short-term mission trips. The Catholic church may or may not have a lot of these ministries, but in either case they are not essential to its life and not stressed in the way they are in the Evangelical church.

The time and energy Evangelical put into their churches' public ministries Catholics may be putting into other, less visible religious activities. They may go to daily Mass when the Evangelical would go to a midweek Bible study, but for some reason going to Mass is not counted as a sign of "life."

Fourth, you must remember the practical differences between Catholics and Evangelicals. There is less attachment to a particular local church in Protestant circles because these churches are more transitory: They get created, split, and cease to be much more regularly than do Catholic parishes.

The Evangelical church therefore has to provide its people with the nourishment that deeper roots provide those who have lived there longer. The type of social interaction that the Catholic may have in his extended family the Evangelical may have to find in his church. The Evangelical church will seem livelier, though it is only giving its members what the Catholics have already. Its social homogeneity helps a great deal as well. There is more potential for interaction among its members due to greater similarities, interests, goals, et cetera. More diversity — which you find in many Catholic parishes — means less potential for interaction.

Because the two churches are different in theory and in practice, the Evangelical church can be presented as livelier than the Catholic church next door, because its life is much more public, while the life of the second is largely hidden from view. The Catholic parish may be producing saints by the dozen, but it may not produce enough visible efforts to get credit for "life."

Fifth, you must remember that as a Catholic you are tied down in a way the Evangelical is not. Anyone who doesn't meet the standards of holiness or zeal required in a particular Evangelical church may either leave or be disinvited to attend. The Evangelical can simply declare that the offender is not a "true Christian." But Catholics cannot disown bad Catholics. A Catholic is stuck with every other Catholic in the world, no matter how badly he behaves.

Besides this disadvantage, the Catholic Church does not even get to claim her own saints on her own behalf. Because they feel any good Christian must in some sense be one of them, Evangelicals will often adopt a Mother Teresa as a sort of honorary Evangelical and try to take credit for her as well. (This, I should make clear, has happened to me in discussions with my Evangelical friends.)

The Evangelical World

Sixth, you must realize that though there is much to admire in Evangelicalism, things are not exactly as they seem. A Catholic will have to note that even the most conservative Evangelicals have capitulated completely to the contraceptive mentality and for the most part to the divorce culture as well. Almost all neglect the sacramental life, and though they all recognize the authority of Scripture, they are enmeshed in intractable disagreements over what it means.

And even one of their own pollsters, George Barna, has found that they are doctrinally a confused body. Over one-third do not believe in Jesus' physical Resurrection, and over half do not believe in the existence of the Holy Spirit. About two in five "born again" Christians believe that "it does not matter what religious faith you follow because all faiths teach similar lessons about life," and from half to three-quarters believe "there is no such thing as absolute truth."

I bring this up not to put down our Evangelical brothers and sisters, who on most issues are our closest allies and often are models of faithfulness. I bring it up only to encourage those who have been left tongue-tied by the sort of argument I've described. Out of charity, you should not be quick to quote these statistics in return but will, I hope, be able to listen with some serenity to someone put down the Catholic Church as inferior to Evangelicalism.

A Sign

Finally, you must see that realism about the Catholic Church implies a surprising proof of her claims. My Evangelical friends think that comparing lax Catholics to lively Evangelicals will make me an Evangelical. Their horror stories may be disturbing to me personally, but not to my faith. They do not make me doubt the claims of the Catholic Church. Fallen men in groups rarely keep a high standard and almost never do so over any length of time.

As a barely Christianized teenager, listening to classmates in my social studies class sneer at Christianity because the Allies and the Germans both sang hymns as they killed each other, I thought that such a thing was only what one would expect. That Christians in 1915 thought that God was on their side did not seem to me to have much to do with the question of whether Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God who rose from the dead almost nineteen hundred years before.

Laxity seems to me almost inevitable in something as big and as old and as embedded in the culture as the Catholic Church. But I do not suggest that Catholics console themselves with a realistic view of the Catholic Church as a human institution, because in the body of Christ sociological inevitability does not have the last word.

I began to love the Catholic Church in part because she kept reviving when she seemed to be dying and men of the world were writing her obituary. Time after time, when sociologists predicted her death, she exploded into new life. These revivals have always seemed to me a sign of her unique divine life. We are, I think, at the beginning of such a revival even now.

What To Do

But what to do, when a friend tells you Catholic horror stories? It is trying, being treated as a dolt or a fool. I have found the best way to respond is simply to say, gently, "I'm not stupid, you know." This will usually send your friend into retreat — though not always, I've found. While he tries to apologize you can begin to tell him about the one Church whose status is not affected by her members' sins and failings.

And then you can admit that most Catholics are not perfect Catholics and explain that in the Catholic Church you have found all the graces by which God will help you pursue God. You can say that you love and respect your Evangelical brothers and sisters, but only in the Catholic Church are these graces to be found in their full range and power — which is why all the horror stories in the world will not discourage you.

David Mills is the author of Knowing the Real Jesus (Servant/Charis [2001]) and a senior editor of Touchstone: A Magazine of Mere Christianity.

©2002 by Catholic Answers, Inc.



TOPICS: General Discusssion
KEYWORDS: catholiclist
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1 posted on 07/31/2002 9:27:40 AM PDT by Polycarp
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To: patent; Siobhan; sitetest; JMJ333; narses; Catholicguy; *Catholic_list; Notwithstanding; ...
"Catholic horror stories told by Evangelicals (and ex-Catholics) and how to respond to them" ping...
2 posted on 07/31/2002 9:28:27 AM PDT by Polycarp
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To: SoothingDave
Bumped and bookmarked for repeated reading.
3 posted on 07/31/2002 9:39:48 AM PDT by al_c
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To: Polycarp
...and I've heard every one of them...lol
4 posted on 07/31/2002 9:47:57 AM PDT by constitutiongirl
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To: constitutiongirl; RnMomof7
on this forum, ad nauseum, huh?

"You can say that you love and respect your Evangelical brothers and sisters, but only in the Catholic Church are these graces to be found in their full range and power — which is why all the horror stories in the world will not discourage you."

5 posted on 07/31/2002 9:51:28 AM PDT by Polycarp
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To: Polycarp
Dear Polycarp,

"For example, many (I do not know how to put this delicately) left the Church when they wanted to remarry after a divorce, and the conjunction of their remarriage and their enlightenment is too convenient for me to accept the latter at face value."

How true this is. I've seen friends and family members fall away precisely for this reason. In some cases, the people who have fallen away have astonished and saddened me.

sitetest

6 posted on 07/31/2002 9:57:22 AM PDT by sitetest
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To: Polycarp
Excellent article.
7 posted on 07/31/2002 9:57:46 AM PDT by Salvation
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To: Polycarp
Try visiting alt.religion.christian.roman-catholic sometime. The treatment the Church gets over there makes even the most heated FR religion mega-thread seem like a Junior League tea with the crusts cut off.

B-chan
8 posted on 07/31/2002 10:02:01 AM PDT by B-Chan
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To: sitetest; Polycarp
I've seen friends and family members fall away precisely for this reason.

But they can come back. Point them toward a deacon or pastor who will help them with an annulment, and then invite them back to the Sacraments.

We just had a series entitled, "Catholics Can Come Home Again" book is by Carrie Kemp. We had 15 former Catholics come the first night. Out of that, over half of the people said they were there because of their former marriage, divorce, lack of an annulment, civil marriage, not having their marriage blessed. ALL of them missed the Sacraments!

From those original 15, we had 9 finish and come back to the Church........................Alleluia! So it can happen!

There are several other programs:
Landings
Welcome Home, Catholics, and others.

9 posted on 07/31/2002 10:04:53 AM PDT by Salvation
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To: sitetest
many (I do not know how to put this delicately) left the Church when they wanted to remarry after a divorce, and the conjunction of their remarriage and their enlightenment is too convenient for me to accept the latter at face value

Evangelicals and fundamentalists often brag that 50% or more of their congregations are former Catholics.

Of course, the dirty little secret is that a majority of those "former Catholics" fall into this or similar categories.

10 posted on 07/31/2002 10:07:35 AM PDT by Polycarp
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To: Salvation
Dear Salvation,

"Point them toward a deacon or pastor who will help them with an annulment, and then invite them back to the Sacraments."

Been there, done that. In at least three cases, we (myself, my wife, my family) urged our friends and relatives to pursue this. In all three cases, at the slightest obstacle, each individual decided not to go further. It was eye-opening to hear the "reasons" why the Church was wrong in the process.

Very sad.

sitetest

11 posted on 07/31/2002 10:10:36 AM PDT by sitetest
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To: Polycarp
I usually ask evangelicals one thing "Where IS holy-rolling in the bible?". It doesn't shut them up, unfortunately.

And then, when they get on the anti-drinking kick, my question is "Now, what was Christ's first miracle?" Half can't name it. And when I tell them, I get, "Well, He didn't drink any of it." Yeah.

And the arguments over Our Lady and the saints...

Most people I know who left the church did so on ideological lines, mostly having to do with human desire. Come to think of it, almost all were baby-boomers, too. No offence, to any boomers out there. One of my cousins really got confused when one week the priest who was a teacher left the priesthood to marry a nun. A lot of that happened, we now know. So, this cousin of mine hasn't been to church to worship since. Funny, though, his two sons go to church with their friends, who are Catholic.

So, how to answer the victims of moral ineptitude?
12 posted on 07/31/2002 10:10:51 AM PDT by Desdemona
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To: B-Chan
The treatment the Church gets over there makes even the most heated FR religion mega-thread seem like a Junior League tea with the crusts cut off.

This is precisely why I spend my time here, not there. We must shepherd our time, and spend our talents where they will receive the greatest fruits. There have been many conversions as a result of Catholic apologetics efforts here on FR.

If the same is true at the site you mention, excellent!

If not, revert to the "pearls before swine" position, dust off your sandals and move on.

Debate for the sake of debate is worthless.

Our efforts must be consumed with the salvation of souls, not matching wits.

I learned this the hard way, and its the reason I now avoid Neverending story type threads.

13 posted on 07/31/2002 10:12:04 AM PDT by Polycarp
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To: Desdemona
And then, when they get on the anti-drinking kick, my question is "Now, what was Christ's first miracle?" Half can't name it. And when I tell them, I get, "Well, He didn't drink any of it." Yeah. Add this arrow to your quiver" the Puritan Fathers were not teetotlers. In fact, beer, ale and, later rum, were consumed by them as we consume soda pop. The "demon-rum" thing is a 19th Century obsession and is entirely unbiblical.
14 posted on 07/31/2002 10:30:14 AM PDT by RobbyS
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To: Polycarp
Bookmarked.......thanks!

God Bless,

EODGUY
15 posted on 07/31/2002 10:34:04 AM PDT by EODGUY
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To: sitetest
It was eye-opening to hear the "reasons" why the Church was wrong in the process.

Reasons or excused? Not funny in either case, however. Lost souls. I agree, that we can only plant the seed; the Lord will do the reaping when people are ready.

When we held out class we thought that if only one person came back to the Catholic Church, we would have reached our goal.

Keep planting those seeds!

16 posted on 07/31/2002 10:35:50 AM PDT by Salvation
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To: RobbyS
"Now, what was Christ's first miracle?"

Great point there.

However, I always use this story of The Wedding at Cana to illustrate the primacy of the Sacrament of Matrimony since it was Christ's first miracle, asking the Protestants why Jesus performed his first miracle at a wedding?

Also, it was at his Mother's prompting. So sometimes I use this passage to ask the Protestant, "If Jesus, indeed, did what His Holy Mother asked of Him, then why should we not believe that we could ask Mary to intercede for us also?"

They do not have answers to either question!

17 posted on 07/31/2002 10:42:39 AM PDT by Salvation
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To: Polycarp
Announcing New Life Christians are called to be not only defenders of life but also restorers of life. by Father Tom Forrest, C.Ss.R.
18 posted on 07/31/2002 10:48:54 AM PDT by Salvation
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To: Polycarp
Evangelicals and fundamentalists often brag that 50% or more of their congregations are former Catholics.

Where did you get your statistics?

Of course, the dirty little secret is that a majority of those "former Catholics" fall into this or similar categories.

I left the catholic church because after 12 yrs in catholic schools, and 21 years in the church I had no clue what the catholic church actually believed, so it didn't mean alot to me. Oh yeah, go ahead and put the blame on me, that's ok, it couldn't possibly be that the catholic school I attended was bad at teaching. Blame it on a kid.

I have actually learned more about what catholics actually believe (that is actual catholics, not the millions that claim to be who are teaching in the schools:) from participating on these threads for the last year. I still cannot agree with their teachings, but I have more respect for what they believe now then before.

Becky

19 posted on 07/31/2002 10:53:21 AM PDT by PayNoAttentionManBehindCurtain
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To: Polycarp
Ways to Evangelize
20 posted on 07/31/2002 10:58:56 AM PDT by Salvation
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To: Salvation
It depends on how theological they are. Some believe that our souls "sleep" until the Resurrection and so are "dead to the world" and all its troubles. Then there is the theory that our souls go straight to God and that we are so busy praising him that we ignore what is happening back on earth. But mostly this is just a flat rejection of Catholic devotion to the Saints, even by people who go to the graveyard and talk to their dead husbands.
21 posted on 07/31/2002 11:03:04 AM PDT by RobbyS
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To: RobbyS
But mostly this is just a flat rejection of Catholic devotion to the Saints, even by people who go to the graveyard and talk to their dead husbands.

I would agree with your statement here, and personally appreciate the anology.

22 posted on 07/31/2002 11:08:43 AM PDT by Salvation
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To: Polycarp
Good post.

FYI, I've seen an evangelical minister "adopt" Mother Theresa. I can think of worse things.

23 posted on 07/31/2002 11:41:14 AM PDT by Aquinasfan
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To: Polycarp
This is perhaps the most balanced treatment I've seen on differences between Catholic and Protestant issues.

Sadly, the tares are overgrowing the wheat fields. For many, the thorns and vicissitudes of worldy life are choking out the seed which took root.

We don't seem to have the faith or trust in God's word. All too often we turn to worldly solutions and fail to submit to God's discipline and correction, individually and corporately. I see this in both churches.

I also see in both churches the occasional lighthouse of devout, faithful, obedient pursuit of the Father's will, in service to the Son, in the power of the Holy Spirit.

But both churches use those few lighthouses as evidence of 'life saving' in otherwise lukewarm churches, and instead attack each other for the shipwrecks on the other's shoals.
24 posted on 07/31/2002 11:41:21 AM PDT by Starwind
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To: PayNoAttentionManBehindCurtain
I left the catholic church because after 12 yrs in catholic schools, and 21 years in the church I had no clue what the catholic church actually believed, so it didn't mean alot to me.

I think this is common, or at least it's what I have heard most former catholics claim. I believe it. If you had been properly grounded in the tenets of the faith you wouldn't have left. As far as who is to blame, you or the Church, I'm not going to play the blame game with you. I personally think that Catholic parents are at least partly, and probably mostly to blame in not teaching and handing on the faith to their children.

What I find interesting is that as a convert (former evangelical) I don't place any blame on anyone or anything for my conversion to Catholicism. I only thank God for it.

25 posted on 07/31/2002 11:50:07 AM PDT by Nubbin
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To: RobbyS
It's not so much the teetotaling, it's that evangelicals claim that Catholics don't read the Bible, yet, most Catholics know the Wedding at Cana was the first miracle. Well, that and the occational martini won't hurt.

I've heard Revelation is not in the Catholic Bible, Catholics don't understand the numbers in the Bible. Not many evangelicals can name all twelve apostles (use the word BAPTISM: B, Bartholomew; A, Andrew; P, (Simon)Peter, Philip; T, Thomas, Jude Thaddeus; I (in Latin J is I), James the Greater, John, James the Lesser, Judas Iscariot; S, Simon; M, Matthew). And then there's speaking in tongues...but that's another story.

I've gotten into a lot of fights with evangelicals. Every February I have to explain Mardi Gras at least once. The concept of the Immaculate Conception. Oh, the list goes on.
26 posted on 07/31/2002 11:56:54 AM PDT by Desdemona
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To: Nubbin; PayNoAttentionManBehindCurtain
I personally think that Catholic parents are at least partly, and probably mostly to blame in not teaching and handing on the faith to their children.

Exactly. It is the parents who have the primary responsibility to raise up the children in the Faith. Your local parish school or CCD is to supplement the instruction the child should be getting at home. Not to suppplant it.

That's why you vow to raise up children in the Faith at your wedding and at each one's Baptism.

SD

27 posted on 07/31/2002 12:22:04 PM PDT by SoothingDave
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To: Desdemona
Sadly, from a Protestant point of view I have to agree with you and even admit guilt at times for the same. Just as there are many Catholics who poorly represent Catholicism, there are many Protestants who do the same. There are points of doctrine in the RCC which I do not at all agree with, but I would never be so prideful or arrogant as to say that one is not saved because they are Catholic. However, I also would affirm that one is not saved because they are Catholic (I hope you catch the double-meaning there). There are many things about most Protestant denominations that I disagree with just as firmly as some points of Catholic doctrine.
28 posted on 07/31/2002 12:26:56 PM PDT by Frumanchu
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To: sitetest
Dad - former LaSalette seminarian.doesn't go to Mass

Mom- goes to Mass

Oldest sister - goes to Mass

Next oldest sister - remarried. never goes to Mass

Me - goes to Mass

Younger sister - remarried. never goes to Mass

Younger brother - remarried. Never went to Mass

Yongest sister - never goes to Mass

Impressive, huh?

29 posted on 07/31/2002 12:30:11 PM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: Polycarp
The first is an unwillingness to grow up and forgive what seem to be the sort of offenses we have all suffered from parents or teachers or pastors.

The second is an unwillingness to live the Catholic life, leading to a desire to blame the Catholic Church rather than admit this.

Desdemona notes that most of the people who left were baby boomers. That would not surprise me. Baby boomers were raised in an orthodox catholic church. One fasted from midnight (only water) if receiving communion. Sunday's High Mass was long ... very long. Children were expected to attend the 9am mass and sit with their classmates and their teacher (always a nun). The point I am making is that as children, we were exposed to strick discipline. Then Vatican II blew open the doors and windows. It was sudden and dramatic (albeit traumatic). Some catholics could not weather the change.

For example, when catholic school closed its doors for summer break, the nuns were in full habit. When the doors opened in September, only a few "holdouts" still dressed that way. The other sisters doffed the heavy drapes in exchange for lightweight suits and short veils. Eventually, even the veils were abandoned. And this was just the beginning. If you never experienced communion before Vatican II, it must sound like some mythological tale. One knelt at the communion rail and waited for the priest and altar server. The altar server was ALWAYS a boy; he carried a patten to catch the host, lest it fall. The ONLY person who could touch the host was the priest.

Imagine experiencing this as some cast in concrete truism! Within a few weeks, we had Eucharistic Ministers with heavily perfumed fingers, dipping into the chalices and placing the host into our sweaty palms. That change alone was enough to send minions of catholics walking. The clamored long and loud enough to restore the Tridentine mass.

30 posted on 07/31/2002 12:30:23 PM PDT by NYer
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To: SoothingDave
You know, Dave, I don't think Catholics my age and younger know enough about the Faith to teach it. Everything has been so dismantled, a lot of people know "Don't eat meat on Fridays during Lent" but not why. Everyone goes to Mass on Ash Wednesday and the number that actually think it's really a Holy Day is astounding. The concept and real reason for Reconciliation (sp?) has been so distorted as to make it unrecognizable.

I'm tell you guys, I'm learning a lot here.
31 posted on 07/31/2002 12:39:22 PM PDT by Desdemona
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To: Catholicguy
2 out of 8 if I counted correctly. Keep praying. Miracles do happen. I know of a wife who prayed for her husband to become Catholic for over 20 years. Her prayers were finally answered. Thinking of you Irene.
32 posted on 07/31/2002 12:51:52 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: NYer
"Children were expected to attend the 9am mass and sit with their classmates and their teacher..."

9 am? Try 8 am... and somebody always threw up. It never failed.

In the family (I'm the oldest in my parents progengy), all but, maybe, three blood relations and two spouses(that I can count) on my mother's side are back. A couple of cousins didn't raise their kids in the Faith, so I don't count them. My dad's side is a mess, don't go there. Now, that doesn't mean that there weren't some who died before returning, but they were two generations ahead of me and followed the socialist line at an impressionable time of life. And the thing that really gets you is that every time there's a funeral they all go to Communion.

But, yeah, most of the people I know who left were boomers and did so over marriage/divorce and other matters of convenience.
33 posted on 07/31/2002 12:52:16 PM PDT by Desdemona
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To: NYer
he carried a patten to catch the host, lest it fall.

And we took considerable pride in our ability to do so, and took the responsibility quite seriously.

34 posted on 07/31/2002 12:54:10 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard
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To: Desdemona
Well, most Catholics don't read the Bible, although, truth be told, neither do most Evangelicals. At least they don't have the deep knowledge of it that many Protestants did a hundred years ago. But what separates us is their belief that the Bible is the whole of the Christian faith. Never mind that few Christians ever saw a complete Bible until the Middle Ages.
35 posted on 07/31/2002 1:06:26 PM PDT by RobbyS
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To: Catholicguy
Dear Catholicguy,

"Impressive, huh?"

I'm sure we all have "geneologies" like that, sadly.

In my own family, my parents, though one might call them "cafeteria" Catholics, are very devout, attend Mass on every Sunday and Holyday, and pray daily.

My own brothers are entirely apostate. My sister tries, but has many things in life that keep her from being much of a Catholic. It's worse with my extended family, who make my parents look quite orthodox.

But though folks may not be completely orthodox, there is hope! This was brought home to me dramatically with my mother. An allegedly devout Catholic, she was "pro-choice" for a good 25 years after Roe v. Wade, which upset me to no end whatsoever. But I prayed for her everyday, and I knew she prayed the Rosary frequently. I knew that even if her heart were slow to change, she couldn't both pray the Rosary everyday and persist in her hard-heartedness.

A few years ago, when my parents came to visit, she was talking idly about upcoming elections and why she was voting for the Republican candidate. It was because he was pro-life! I nearly fell out of my chair! I inquired as to this change of heart. She started to lecture me, "Do you know how many abortions are performed every year? Why, it's almost a million and a half a year!"

* chuckle *

Nothing I'd said to her for a quarter century had so much as left the smallest dent. An off-hand comment by a friend opened her up to the truth of it all.

sitetest

36 posted on 07/31/2002 1:06:48 PM PDT by sitetest
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To: ArrogantBustard
And we took considerable pride in our ability to do so, and took the responsibility quite seriously.
And let's not forget those occasions when the host fell to the floor, and the priest had to circle the spot with chalk and deconsecrate it after it Mass.
37 posted on 07/31/2002 1:08:44 PM PDT by eastsider
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To: eastsider
"And let's not forget those occasions when the host fell to the floor, and the priest had to circle the spot with chalk and deconsecrate it after it Mass."

No kidding? Really?
38 posted on 07/31/2002 1:11:23 PM PDT by Desdemona
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To: Nubbin; PayNoAttentionManBehindCurtain
I left the catholic church because after 12 yrs in catholic schools, and 21 years in the church I had no clue what the catholic church actually believed, so it didn't mean alot to me.

I think this is common, or at least it's what I have heard most former catholics claim. I believe it. If you had been properly grounded in the tenets of the faith you wouldn't have left.

This story closely parallels mine. When I was challenged, I left briefly too. But reading the writings of the Karl Keatings and Scott Hahn's helped. Reading the three volume "Faith of the Early Fathers" clinched it.

Early Christians were completely and unequivocally Catholic in practice and belief. No other modern Christian denomination comes marginally close to the beliefs of the earliest Christians. Period.

39 posted on 07/31/2002 1:13:44 PM PDT by Polycarp
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To: RobbyS
Dear RobbyS,

"Well, most Catholics don't read the Bible,..."

But any devout Catholic hears great gobs of the Bible over time every Sunday at Mass.

And here's the thing. Few Catholics can readily cite what's at Luke 15:11-32? I couldn't tell you without looking.

But I'll bet you a lot of Catholics who go to Mass weekly could readily relate to you the parable of the Prodigal Son.

Because, as we know, until the invention of the printing press, hardly anyone read the Bible. The Word of God was communicated by hearing, not by reading. And that is still the Catholic culture.

sitetest

40 posted on 07/31/2002 1:19:35 PM PDT by sitetest
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To: ArrogantBustard
And we took considerable pride in our ability to do so, and took the responsibility quite seriously.

And rightfully so. Altar servers then, actually worked at the mass. It was a tremendous responsibility. They had to remember so much! I had forgotten just how much until I attended the Tridentine mass a few months ago. These young boys had mastered the extensive Latin passages. Genuflect? Arrogant, you surely must remember how many times the altar boy genuflected at the mass. He genuflected each time he passed the Tabernacle. Given that they had to move the Lectionary from one side of the altar to the other, they genuflected copious times. Altar boys often had to kneel on the hard, cold marble stairs in sweltering heat (no a/c in those days).

When I watch the young kids who are "called" to serve at the altar today, they are for the most part, bored. There is little to do and even less to remember. One family in my paris has 3 young boys (7 - 11?). The oldest one is a husky lad with, rosy cherubic cheeks. They are the perfect candidates for the Tridentine mass.

41 posted on 07/31/2002 1:19:58 PM PDT by NYer
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To: Desdemona; eastsider
No kidding. Really. I never had a dropped Host on my watch. But one fine morning, Father XXXX dropped the ciborium!!! He covered the spot with a purificator; I have no idea what they did to clean it up. I had to run off to school directly after Mass.

AB

42 posted on 07/31/2002 1:24:15 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard
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To: sitetest
A few years ago, when my parents came to visit, she was talking idly about upcoming elections and why she was voting for the Republican candidate. It was because he was pro-life! I nearly fell out of my chair! I inquired as to this change of heart. She started to lecture me, "Do you know how many abortions are performed every year? Why, it's almost a million and a half a year!"

Great story.

Ask, Seek, Knock. God's timing is not always our timing.

SEEK YE FIRST

Chorus:
Seek ye first
The kingdom of God
And His righteousness,
And all these things
Shall be added unto you
Allelu, Alleluia

Man shall not live
By bread alone,
But by ev’ry word
That proceeds
From the mouth of God.
Allelu, Alleluia

Ask,
and it shall be given unto you

Seek,
and ye shall find

Knock,
and the door
shall be opened unto you
Allelu, Alleluia

43 posted on 07/31/2002 1:24:25 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: Catholicguy; sitetest
Impressive, huh?

These were my own despondent thoughts several years ago on the same subject...

44 posted on 07/31/2002 1:24:45 PM PDT by Polycarp
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To: sitetest
But though folks may not be completely orthodox, there is hope!

Truly said. They are in my prayers daily. My wife is a convert after being raised a Congregationalist. That PROVES anything is possible :)

45 posted on 07/31/2002 1:26:42 PM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: Polycarp
What a story. Thank you. I understand even more your passion for Our Lord.
46 posted on 07/31/2002 1:29:47 PM PDT by narses
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To: Polycarp
Its all a mystery I do not understand.

My very own thoughts.

47 posted on 07/31/2002 1:30:58 PM PDT by Catholicguy
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To: sitetest
"But any devout Catholic hears great gobs of the Bible over time every Sunday at Mass."

Absolutely. More than any other denomination.

"Few Catholics can readily cite what's at Luke 15:11-32? I couldn't tell you without looking."

Off the top of my head...his version of the sermon on the mount? I promise, I'm not cheating. In Matthew 5: 2-13.

Knowing me, I probably got that wrong. Maybe it was the loaves and the fishes. I'm sure site will correct me.
48 posted on 07/31/2002 1:31:08 PM PDT by Desdemona
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To: Desdemona
That's what they did at my pre-Vatican II Masses. The priest in charge of the altar boys taught us that it was a universal (read, "catholic" : ) practice.
49 posted on 07/31/2002 1:32:09 PM PDT by eastsider
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To: Salvation
excellent. I taught my kids that ASK is an acronym; Ask, Seek, Knock. It really is that simple. I had a reconversion experience that began just that way. I asked. Jesus hungers for us. He is just waiting to be asked. His love is consuming and He is waiting to be asked
50 posted on 07/31/2002 1:34:12 PM PDT by Catholicguy
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