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Thread: Why Do Catholics Do That?

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    Seriously Judicious Emotivist Eliza Thomason's Avatar
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    Default Why Do Catholics Do That?

    There is a book out there by this name, but I am stealing that title for this thread. I have been meaning to start a thread like this for awhile.

    A little about my faith, and a little about this thread.

    About my faith:

    I maybe sometime will blog more details, but for now, I will just say, I was baptized in the Methodist Church as a baby. I grew up attending a mainline Presbyterian Church with my family, but it was not til college that faith suddenly became real, when I rather suddenly realized that it really was Jesus Christ I had been looking for, and I had a true "Born-again" experience. Now I would call it a "huge conversion experience". Whatever you call it, I can say I changed forever when I believed Jesus is Lord, and the reason for my life.

    I married just after college and we attended Evangelical or "Bible-alone, Faith-alone" churches. This was all good, truly wonderful, and rich in so many, many ways. (With the exception of a few theological errors that haunted me, that made me wonder why God was like that.) I attended Bible studies, Christian conferences, Ladies Retreats, small groups, and read many many books and listened to many radio preachers and learned so much and grew so much in faith which sustained me in my long hard marraige.

    I had theological Qs over the years I could not find answers to but chalked it up to "now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face:" Meaning, we don't "get it" now, but we will in Heaven.

    Then, I unexpectedly became the last thing I ever thought I would ever be: Catholic. Because even if I had theological questions, at least I knew one thing for sure, at least I was not Catholic! Did Catholics even go to Heaven? (likely not!).

    In the process of discovering if the Church is true (it is!) I found most of what I believed about Catholics were falsehoods. Also, unexpectedly, on my way I learned many answers to those questions I once thought "unanswerable"! The more I learned what was truly Catholic, the more I was pulled. I had prayed to the Holy Spirit to show me what was true, and He did. Until, finally, it was clear: I had to become Catholic. At a cost, too. But, truly the Church founded by Jesus Christ is a Pearl of Great Price!


    About this thread:

    A lot of what Catholics do and believe, to a lot of people, does not seem right. I know, I used to think the same things! Oftentimes, the reason is because what you have heard about Catholics is not true, and once you hear what we really believe, it does make sense!

    So if you have sincere questions about why Catholics do things, I would like to try to answer for you as best I can. If I don't know that answer, I will look it up.

    Please, sincere questions only. Please respect my faith, which is dear to me, and do not Catholic-bash. If you want to start a Catholic-rant thread, just to express your opinions, go at it. Just not here. But if you have a real question, even if you are Catholic-hostile, and just want to see what I have to say concerning what Catholics really believe, or, you just wonder why Catholics do things, I will try to answer it.

    (Please be patient. I am limiting my computer time as part of New Year's Resolutions. So if I am not on top of this thread all the time, just wait, I will be back, and I will answer.)


    ...
    "A man with a definite belief always appears bizarre, because he does not change with the world; he has climbed into a fixed star, and the earth whizzes below him like a zoetrope."
    ........ G. ........... K. ............... C ........ H ........ E ...... S ........ T ...... E ........ R ........ T ........ O ........ N ........


    "Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the Church, is often labeled today as fundamentalism... Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and swept along
    by every wind of teaching, looks like the only
    attitude acceptable to today's standards."
    - Pope Benedict the XVI, "The Dictatorship of Relativism"

    .
    .
    .


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    Queen of the Damned Aylen's Avatar
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    "When I ought to be thinking of heaven he will nail me to earth"

     







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    Seriously Judicious Emotivist Eliza Thomason's Avatar
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    Default Annulments

    Well I am going to start this with Annulments. It starts with a question Aylen asked me privately, but I asked her if I could use it to start this thread. In case anyone else has this question, here is some answers on to common annulment questions. The Q's Aylen had are ones I had once, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aylen
    I posted this originally but I want to avoid a derail so I thought I would just pm you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eliza Thomason View Post
    However, right at the very end of this very brief visit, I fell suddenly and completely and helplessly in love. I tried to make it go away, and it wouldn't. It continued and continued! It really was God's doing. Almost 3 years and 2 annulments later we married last spring.
    I liked your story, Eliza, it was kind of sweet but since reading it, the bolded part has really been bugging me.

    Annulment, to me, is nothing but the church's little loophole. I know women who have had their relationships annulled against their will because their husbands wanted to marry someone else. It really bothered them since they were catholic and now in the eyes of the church their marriages were invalidated even though they had children and lived with the man for years. This really hurts them and it annoys me for them. I think it's messed up that they were faithful to their religion and the church abandoned them. I know one woman would have rather been divorced than have to deal with the emotional pain (she is completely torn up over it) of having the man she loved, and once loved her, claim their marriage was invalid. Sorry for my rant but how can the church justify granting annulment over divorce in these cases?

     

    Bigamy - either party was already married to another person at the time of the marriage


    Forced Consent - one of the spouses was forced or threatened into marriage and only entered into it under duress


    Fraud - one of the spouses agreed to the marriage based on the lies or misrepresentation of the other


    Marriage Prohibited By Law - marriage between parties that based on their familial relationship is considered incestuous


    Mental Illness - either spouse was mentally ill or emotionally disturbed at the time of the marriage


    Mental Incapacity - either spouse was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the marriage and was unable to make informed consent


    Inability to Consummate Marriage - either spouse was physically incapable of having sexual relations or impotent during the marriage


    Underage Marriage - either spouse was too young to enter into marriage without parental consent or court approval


    http://www.cruxnow.com/faith/2014/10...r-sin-exactly/

    http://www.cruxnow.com/life/2014/11/...er-and-easier/
    Don't be sorry for the rant. I am so glad to be able to clarify the good Catholic stuff that I know. You said, "...How can the church justify granting annulment over divorce in these cases?". As to the cases you quoted, I'll get to that. First, you said: "granting annulment over divorce". In reality, the Church may (not in all cases!) grant an annulment but only AFTER the civil divorce. The Church does not "do" divorce, because marriage is indissoluble. So the difference in meanings (annulment and divorce) are important here.

    You cannot just "get"an annulment; its granted only if after thorough investigation, the marriage was found to be entered into invalidly. So the annulment investigation primarily is about WHEN THE VOWS were made (though, events after the marriage may point to that). So, that your spouse cheated is not a reason for annulment. It might however be a symptom of a marriage entered into invalidly, like, maybe a person married for "as love as we both shall make each other feel happy" which is not a real marriage vow according to the Church. Well, I don't know if that is a good example but it seems a true one to me.

    The question is, were the two fully consenting? Were they of sound mind when they promised, capable of understanding and keeping the promise? Like, for example, if someone were on drugs or being forced by a parent to marry, the Church will call that marraige invalid, because there has to be free informed consent. Those reasons you provided, Aylen, must be official; they sound right.

    I do not want to go on about things that make sense already, so rather than discuss them all, I ask, do any of those 8 reasons you provided (in the spoiler), that the Church says are grounds for an invalid marriage, seem questionable to you? - [1. Bigamy, 2. Forced Consent, 3. Fraud, 4. Marriage Prohibited By Law, 5. Mental Illness, 6. Mental Incapacity, 7. Inability to Consummate Marriage, 8. Underage Marriage] I am happy to discuss any of them.

    Marriage is indissoluble. The Church does not go about ending marriages. Marriage is forever. The Church takes the sacrament of Matrimony very seriously, as an institution given by God that they have a sacred responsibility to guard. When there is any question of the validity of a marriage and there has been no official investigation, the Church will assume a marriage is valid. That is why you cannot receive Holy communion if you or your spouse has divorced before remarriage, if that prior marraige was not annulled. I know of many married couples - one couple personally, and others I have read of - who desire to reconcile with the church, who may have been married even decades, but, since one had a prior marraige - even for only months or days, perhaps when a teen - if there was no annulment of that marraige before re-marraige its basically like bigamy - that person is still considered married to that person or years ago, not to the one they are been legally married to for years and have children or grandchildren with! So these couples, becaseu they want to reconcile with the Church,. to receive Holy Communion worthily, choose to live "as brother and sister" (no sex) until (and if) an annulment is granted.

    Aylen, you said: "I know women who have had their relationships annulled against their will because their husbands wanted to marry someone else. It really bothered them since they were catholic and now in the eyes of the church their marriages were invalidated even though they had children and lived with the man for years. This really hurts them and it annoys me for them. I think it's messed up that they were faithful to their religion and the church abandoned them. I know one woman would have rather been divorced than have to deal with the emotional pain (she is completely torn up over it) of having the man she loved, and once loved her, claim their marriage was invalid. "

    When my husband started his annulment process his ex and their daughter had those same questions and concerns (SEE daughter unafraid to verbalize her concerns, so we heard them all!). So I will comment.

    First let me say that those two are Evangelical Christian now and I am so glad for them to have found a good Christian faith they are growing and thriving in. However, those of that theology are most often full of misconceptions about Catholicism, with prejudices born of their exposure to so many bearers of false witness as to what is Catholic. Because there are many writers and speakers in their religious practice who spread falsehoods about Catholicism. The worst of these are the so-called "experts" who are ex-Catholic "converts" who never know their faith! They stopped learning their faith when they were 8 years old, but consider themselves experts now! They never read the Catechism as an adult yet they think they know whats in it! They don't. They are just parroting what others have said of Catholicism, to fill the void of what they never learned about the faith they were so richly blessed to be born into, with hearsay, and they spread that false witness further, with the "authority" of having been "once a Catholic" - in name only!

    Okay, as my dh's ex and their daughter's concerns, we answered them truthfully and we assume that they "got it" because there have not been complaints since. They were concerned, too, that their marriage was to be called "invalid", so what does that make the kids? Illegitimate?? (Dh always good-naturedly laughs at his daughter for this Q because her two were not blessed to be children of a marital union!). But no, the church is VERY CLEAR that She does not EVER question legitimacy of a marraige entered into in good faith. Its only later recognized as invalid, after an investigation, which leaves that person free to enter a valid Sacramental marriage.

    Also, as to your friend, in an annulment the other spouse ALWAYS is given an opportunity to be hear,and indeed to SEE and examine everything that the judges see, the FULL documentation of ALL evidence presented by ALL of the witnesses, and she has opportunity to refute and have her refutes thoroughly reviewed and investigated. This happens late in the process but it happens late so that the other partner can see everything written by all the witnesses concerning the marraige, and correct anything that is wrong, as these things are the basis of the annulment decision.

    There has to have been true informed consent to make a marraige valid. Only a marriage tribunal that is well-informed on what is "consent" is can say so. There are also psychologists on the tribunal to investigate claims the person was not mentally competent and the right proof for this then has to be supplied.

    Now I just read your above statement to my husband, who replies, "Greener pastures are not grounds for annulments. The tribunal has a responsibility to be sure that nothing like that is being used as grounds for annulment. Greener pastures - that's just - hard cheese!" (grin) He says he is not saying it's never happened in the wrong way, or that a tribunal has never been tricked or corrupted, since they are human, only, but they have a LOT in place to make sure these things don't happen, and years of experience!

    As to your friends, it would be a mistake or a misuse of annulment if it had really happened this way. Divorce is so painful, and so unfair when one has given all one has to be faithful and true and yet a spouse strays. Forgiveness is not automatic, it takes time, and bitterness meanwhile can reign and cause further pain - and color perceptions. I would be surprised if it were a very rare case of mis-use of annulment - there is likely more to the story! Like, one of those 8 reasons you gave above is more likely. I do not know what its like to be on your friends end, having an ex-spouse seek and be granted annulment. I wonder what they tell the ex-spouse about the reason for the annulment? (If you want to know, I know where i can ask a canon lawyer that question online, and I will ask).

    My husband and I were just discussing how no one ever gave us a full explanation of why his annulment was granted, after supplying so much info and waiting so long. We think they don't want to enumerate the reasons for their decision, and we brainstormed about the number of good reasons why they don't... Like, dh says, "Lest they beget a crop of amateur canon lawyers". Or, I said, "People might pass around a letter with the reason stated, and others would plagiarize it to create a case if they do not have good reason themselves." I guess that's why there is so much privacy in this area, as well as much proper form. All I know is it was handled very professionally. and it took as long as they predicted, about 18 months - which commenced AFTER the long process of my husband compiling his stuff and locating witnesses! A long wait, for us... but it was handled well. And there is no hard feelings with his ex (who, years ago, initiated the divorce). At one point in the annulment process, he was allowed to come into their office if he chose and read all the stuff witnesses had sent in and stuff he ex wrote about it, in case he wanted to refute anything. But he decided not to. I would have, out of curiosity. But "curious" was not a good enough reason for my husband, and anyway he thought it would hurry it to leave that step out (which is an option) so he did.

    My sis-in-law, my friend, is Catholic, and married legally by a Justice of Peace a couple years ago to my ex's brother, after they had lived together some years as-if married, and had kids, too. They wanted to finally marry, but could not marry in the Church because he had a prior marriage that had not been annulled, and the Church recognizes it as valid until otherwise proven, so in the church's eyes he as already married". But sis-in-law tells me that he did not "feel like" going through the process. (And my sis-in-law is a practicing Catholic, so, she has two choices: either go to Mass and not receive Holy Communion, or live with her husband as "brother and sister"). Her husband is being stubborn, and she choose not to push him. Because it would be an easy annulment - unbeknownst to his first wife he was having an affair at the time he made his vows with her. So, no informed consent, and also clearly he did not mean it when he said, "forsake all others". So, easily, that is invalid! (But I am not a Canon lawyer!)

    ________________________

    P.S. The two links: As to the Crux woman, Margery Eagan, its a very emotional piece she wrote, but lacks logic! I can comment on it if you are interested. The other, yes, Pope Francis wants to make annulment cheaper and faster to help people. Cheaper is not such a problem in our country (or most countries), where fees are generally about $200 and go towards the salaries of highly trained people who pour hours over the documents, but that is for who can pay. No one is denied an annulment for not being able to pay anything. Yes, the length of annulment is long. Our Pope is thinking of cutting out the end part, that is, after its all done, having another Diocese's Marraige Tribunal look over all the paperwork to be sure nothing is out of order (another reason why its hard to get an annulment for a false reason). That took us about 2-3 months of our 18. The bulk of the time that is hard to do anything about is just waiting, waiting for witnesses to submit their responses. They have to give people time, and some people need a lot of time. People have busy lives and taking the time needed to answer such not-routine questions does not hit the top of everyone's priority list...
    Last edited by Eliza Thomason; 01-18-2015 at 09:15 PM.
    "A man with a definite belief always appears bizarre, because he does not change with the world; he has climbed into a fixed star, and the earth whizzes below him like a zoetrope."
    ........ G. ........... K. ............... C ........ H ........ E ...... S ........ T ...... E ........ R ........ T ........ O ........ N ........


    "Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the Church, is often labeled today as fundamentalism... Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and swept along
    by every wind of teaching, looks like the only
    attitude acceptable to today's standards."
    - Pope Benedict the XVI, "The Dictatorship of Relativism"

    .
    .
    .


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    peteronfireee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eliza Thomason View Post

    Please, sincere questions only. Please respect my faith, which is dear to me, and do not Catholic-bash. If you want to start a Catholic-rant thread, just to express your opinions, go at it. Just not here. But if you have a real question, even if you are Catholic-hostile, and just want to see what I have to say concerning what Catholics really believe, or, you just wonder why Catholics do things, I will try to answer it.

    (Please be patient. I am limiting my computer time as part of New Year's Resolutions. So if I am not on top of this thread all the time, just wait, I will be back, and I will answer.)


    ...

    Hello, I'm Christian and I have some questions.

    The aprocryphal writings of the Catholic bible contain numerous teachings that contradict authentic Scripture.

    For one example, the teaching that salvation is available through good works.

    Do Catholics believe that you need to do good works to obtain salvation or is simply believing in Jesus sufficient?

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    none of this will matter once the Ancient Ones return

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    Seriously Judicious Emotivist Eliza Thomason's Avatar
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    Default Why do Catholics have more Books than my Protestant Bible?

    Quote Originally Posted by peteronfireee View Post
    Hello, I'm Christian and I have some questions.

    The aprocryphal writings of the Catholic bible contain numerous teachings that contradict authentic Scripture.

    For one example, the teaching that salvation is available through good works.

    Do Catholics believe that you need to do good works to obtain salvation or is simply believing in Jesus sufficient?
    I am going to answer your question here about what appears to be the "extra books" in the Catholic Bible, that are missing in your Protestant Bible. The rest of your question, I will answer in another post, another day this week! I am happy to correct the false witness that has been borne your way, that Catholics believe in "salvation by good works"!

    You are getting a two-for-one answer here because my husband and I discussed this, and he took the time to write an answer, which is fuller and more scholarly than mine (he studied theology and scripture at Kings College, London, some years back when he studied for the Anglican priesthood, sitting exams in Greek, Latin, and Hebrew) which I think you, Peteronfireee would appreciate. I'll start with my simple explanation, then end with what my husband wrote in answer to your question.

    First, I will comment. The Greek Old Testament, known as the Septuagint, is the scripture that St.Paul and all of the New Testament writers used and referred to in their writings which are now our New Testament Scripture. And the Septuagint included what you are calling here the "aprocryphal" writings. "Aprocryphal" by the way, means "hidden" which makes this a rather misleading label. It makes no sense since these books weren't hidden from the New testament writers - it was the very Scripture they referred to!

    I bet you didn't know that! I didn't.

    These five books missing from your Bible we call the "Intertestamental Books" . That is just what it sounds like: the books that are "inter", or "between" the Old and New Testaments, which tell the history of the Jewish people between the rebuilding of the Temple in the time of Ezra (and Nehemiah) and the coming of Christ. It includes the very important Maccabean period (which includes great heroes of Judaism!) and spans hundreds of years between the Old and New Testaments.

    I totally understand though that if you have grown up accepting your Bible as the inspired work of God and you see that the Catholics have five extra books, then they must have "added" something to Holy Scripture. Nope. In fact, its the Protestants who subtracted something.

    Here is what my husband wrote, just for you! Feel free to respond if you want:

    If I may answer a question with a question: Why would a group of 16th century Christians suddenly decide to exclude books which up until that time had been accepted by all Christians in both the Greek East and the Latin West as part of the Cannon of scripture on no better grounds than that the rabbis had rejected them in AD 90 at the Jewish Council of Jamnia on the grounds that they were written during the Hellenic Period and had been written Greek rather than Hebrew, especially since the Council of Jamnia had been call'd by the Jewish leaders in opposition to Christianity? It makes very little sense.

    Now as to your reference to books teaching the necessity of good works alongside faith: No book anywhere in any reckoning of Holy Scripture is a stronger witness to necessity of good works than the New Testament Epistle of St. James, yet Martin Luther was virtually alone in his insistence that James be excluded from the Cannon of Scripture. Had the Rabbis of Jamnia mention'd James apart from their general condemnation of Christian writing, perhaps Luther 's arguments against what he call'd the 'Epistle of Straw' might have had been more convincing to other Protestants.

    "A man with a definite belief always appears bizarre, because he does not change with the world; he has climbed into a fixed star, and the earth whizzes below him like a zoetrope."
    ........ G. ........... K. ............... C ........ H ........ E ...... S ........ T ...... E ........ R ........ T ........ O ........ N ........


    "Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the Church, is often labeled today as fundamentalism... Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and swept along
    by every wind of teaching, looks like the only
    attitude acceptable to today's standards."
    - Pope Benedict the XVI, "The Dictatorship of Relativism"

    .
    .
    .


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    peteronfireee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eliza Thomason View Post
    I totally understand though that if you have grown up accepting your Bible as the inspired work of God and you see that the Catholics have five extra books, then they must have "added" something to Holy Scripture. Nope. In fact, its the Protestants who subtracted something. ]
    Not subtracting. More like not recognizing. Refer below.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eliza Thomason View Post

    If I may answer a question with a question: Why would a group of 16th century Christians suddenly decide to exclude books which up until that time had been accepted by all Christians in both the Greek East and the Latin West as part of the Cannon of scripture on no better grounds than that the rabbis had rejected them in AD 90 at the Jewish Council of Jamnia on the grounds that they were written during the Hellenic Period and had been written Greek rather than Hebrew, especially since the Council of Jamnia had been call'd by the Jewish leaders in opposition to Christianity? It makes very little sense.
    Nice question. I’ll give you four reasons.

    1. As I mentioned, the apocryphal writings contradict many teachings in authentic scripture (necessity of good works, practice of praying for the dead, doctrine of purgatory, giving of alms).

    2. The apocryphal writings contain numerous historical, geographical, and chronological errors

    3. Jesus and the apostles cite the Old and New Testament (referring to it as scripture) nearly 300 times, but never quote any of the apocryphal writings accepted by the Roman Catholic Church.

    4. The apocryphal writings were never included in the Hebrew Bible. The Jews themselves, from whom the apocryphal writings came, did not accept the writings as divinely inspired. The apocryphal writings were not formally declared to be authoritative and inspired by the Catholic Church until the Council of Trent in AD 1546. The Catholic Church’s acceptance of these writings into the canon of Scripture was an effort to counter the teachings of Martin Luther and other leaders of reformation. These men were pointing out that many teachings of the Catholic Church came from the Apocrypha, NOT the 66 books of the bible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eliza Thomason View Post
    Now as to your reference to books teaching the necessity of good works alongside faith: No book anywhere in any reckoning of Holy Scripture is a stronger witness to necessity of good works than the New Testament Epistle of St. James, yet Martin Luther was virtually alone in his insistence that James be excluded from the Cannon of Scripture. Had the Rabbis of Jamnia mention'd James apart from their general condemnation of Christian writing, perhaps Luther 's arguments against what he call'd the 'Epistle of Straw' might have had been more convincing to other Protestants.
    Martin Luther, who detested this letter and called it “the epistle of straw,” failed to recognize that James’s teaching on works complemented—not contradicted—Paul’s teaching on faith. While Pauline teachings concentrate on our justification with God, James’ teachings concentrate on the works that exemplify that justification.

    In other words, James illustrated that good works are a byproduct of genuine faith.

    But you still didn’t answer my question.

    Are works needed to be saved? This verse in the Aprocrypha suggests so:

    Tobit 12:9, "For alms delivereth from death, and the same is that which purgeth away sins, and maketh to find mercy and life everlasting."
    If one man accepted Jesus today, but died next week, and he didn't participate in charity events in that time, would he still go to heaven?
    Last edited by peteronfireee; 01-19-2015 at 05:19 PM.

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    Queen of the Damned Aylen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eliza Thomason View Post
    Well I am going to start this with Annulments. It starts with a question Aylen asked me privately, but I asked her if I could use it to start this thread. In case anyone else has this question, here is some answers on to common annulment questions. The Q's Aylen had are ones I had once, too.



    Don't be sorry for the rant. I am so glad to be able to clarify the good Catholic stuff that I know. You said, "...How can the church justify granting annulment over divorce in these cases?". As to the cases you quoted, I'll get to that. First, you said: "granting annulment over divorce". In reality, the Church may (not in all cases!) grant an annulment but only AFTER the civil divorce. The Church does not "do" divorce, because marriage is indissoluble. So the difference in meanings (annulment and divorce) are important here.

    You cannot just "get"an annulment; its granted only if after thorough investigation, the marriage was found to be entered into invalidly. So the annulment investigation primarily is about WHEN THE VOWS were made (though, events after the marriage may point to that). So, that your spouse cheated is not a reason for annulment. It might however be a symptom of a marriage entered into invalidly, like, maybe a person married for "as love as we both shall make each other feel happy" which is not a real marriage vow according to the Church. Well, I don't know if that is a good example but it seems a true one to me.

    The question is, were the two fully consenting? Were they of sound mind when they promised, capable of understanding and keeping the promise? Like, for example, if someone were on drugs or being forced by a parent to marry, the Church will call that marraige invalid, because there has to be free informed consent. Those reasons you provided, Aylen, must be official; they sound right.

    I do not want to go on about things that make sense already, so rather than discuss them all, I ask, do any of those 8 reasons you provided (in the spoiler), that the Church says are grounds for an invalid marriage, seem questionable to you? - [1. Bigamy, 2. Forced Consent, 3. Fraud, 4. Marriage Prohibited By Law, 5. Mental Illness, 6. Mental Incapacity, 7. Inability to Consummate Marriage, 8. Underage Marriage] I am happy to discuss any of them.

    Marriage is indissoluble. The Church does not go about ending marriages. Marriage is forever. The Church takes the sacrament of Matrimony very seriously, as an institution given by God that they have a sacred responsibility to guard. When there is any question of the validity of a marriage and there has been no official investigation, the Church will assume a marriage is valid. That is why you cannot receive Holy communion if you or your spouse has divorced before remarriage, if that prior marraige was not annulled. I know of many married couples - one couple personally, and others I have read of - who desire to reconcile with the church, who may have been married even decades, but, since one had a prior marraige - even for only months or days, perhaps when a teen - if there was no annulment of that marraige before re-marraige its basically like bigamy - that person is still considered married to that person or years ago, not to the one they are been legally married to for years and have children or grandchildren with! So these couples, becaseu they want to reconcile with the Church,. to receive Holy Communion worthily, choose to live "as brother and sister" (no sex) until (and if) an annulment is granted.

    Aylen, you said: "I know women who have had their relationships annulled against their will because their husbands wanted to marry someone else. It really bothered them since they were catholic and now in the eyes of the church their marriages were invalidated even though they had children and lived with the man for years. This really hurts them and it annoys me for them. I think it's messed up that they were faithful to their religion and the church abandoned them. I know one woman would have rather been divorced than have to deal with the emotional pain (she is completely torn up over it) of having the man she loved, and once loved her, claim their marriage was invalid. "

    When my husband started his annulment process his ex and their daughter had those same questions and concerns (SEE daughter unafraid to verbalize her concerns, so we heard them all!). So I will comment.

    First let me say that those two are Evangelical Christian now and I am so glad for them to have found a good Christian faith they are growing and thriving in. However, those of that theology are most often full of misconceptions about Catholicism, with prejudices born of their exposure to so many bearers of false witness as to what is Catholic. Because there are many writers and speakers in their religious practice who spread falsehoods about Catholicism. The worst of these are the so-called "experts" who are ex-Catholic "converts" who never know their faith! They stopped learning their faith when they were 8 years old, but consider themselves experts now! They never read the Catechism as an adult yet they think they know whats in it! They don't. They are just parroting what others have said of Catholicism, to fill the void of what they never learned about the faith they were so richly blessed to be born into, with hearsay, and they spread that false witness further, with the "authority" of having been "once a Catholic" - in name only!

    Okay, as my dh's ex and their daughter's concerns, we answered them truthfully and we assume that they "got it" because there have not been complaints since. They were concerned, too, that their marriage was to be called "invalid", so what does that make the kids? Illegitimate?? (Dh always good-naturedly laughs at his daughter for this Q because her two were not blessed to be children of a marital union!). But no, the church is VERY CLEAR that She does not EVER question legitimacy of a marraige entered into in good faith. Its only later recognized as invalid, after an investigation, which leaves that person free to enter a valid Sacramental marriage.

    Also, as to your friend, in an annulment the other spouse ALWAYS is given an opportunity to be hear,and indeed to SEE and examine everything that the judges see, the FULL documentation of ALL evidence presented by ALL of the witnesses, and she has opportunity to refute and have her refutes thoroughly reviewed and investigated. This happens late in the process but it happens late so that the other partner can see everything written by all the witnesses concerning the marraige, and correct anything that is wrong, as these things are the basis of the annulment decision.

    There has to have been true informed consent to make a marraige valid. Only a marriage tribunal that is well-informed on what is "consent" is can say so. There are also psychologists on the tribunal to investigate claims the person was not mentally competent and the right proof for this then has to be supplied.

    Now I just read your above statement to my husband, who replies, "Greener pastures are not grounds for annulments. The tribunal has a responsibility to be sure that nothing like that is being used as grounds for annulment. Greener pastures - that's just - hard cheese!" (grin) He says he is not saying it's never happened in the wrong way, or that a tribunal has never been tricked or corrupted, since they are human, only, but they have a LOT in place to make sure these things don't happen, and years of experience!

    As to your friends, it would be a mistake or a misuse of annulment if it had really happened this way. Divorce is so painful, and so unfair when one has given all one has to be faithful and true and yet a spouse strays. Forgiveness is not automatic, it takes time, and bitterness meanwhile can reign and cause further pain - and color perceptions. I would be surprised if it were a very rare case of mis-use of annulment - there is likely more to the story! Like, one of those 8 reasons you gave above is more likely. I do not know what its like to be on your friends end, having an ex-spouse seek and be granted annulment. I wonder what they tell the ex-spouse about the reason for the annulment? (If you want to know, I know where i can ask a canon lawyer that question online, and I will ask).

    My husband and I were just discussing how no one ever gave us a full explanation of why his annulment was granted, after supplying so much info and waiting so long. We think they don't want to enumerate the reasons for their decision, and we brainstormed about the number of good reasons why they don't... Like, dh says, "Lest they beget a crop of amateur canon lawyers". Or, I said, "People might pass around a letter with the reason stated, and others would plagiarize it to create a case if they do not have good reason themselves." I guess that's why there is so much privacy in this area, as well as much proper form. All I know is it was handled very professionally. and it took as long as they predicted, about 18 months - which commenced AFTER the long process of my husband compiling his stuff and locating witnesses! A long wait, for us... but it was handled well. And there is no hard feelings with his ex (who, years ago, initiated the divorce). At one point in the annulment process, he was allowed to come into their office if he chose and read all the stuff witnesses had sent in and stuff he ex wrote about it, in case he wanted to refute anything. But he decided not to. I would have, out of curiosity. But "curious" was not a good enough reason for my husband, and anyway he thought it would hurry it to leave that step out (which is an option) so he did.

    My sis-in-law, my friend, is Catholic, and married legally by a Justice of Peace a couple years ago to my ex's brother, after they had lived together some years as-if married, and had kids, too. They wanted to finally marry, but could not marry in the Church because he had a prior marriage that had not been annulled, and the Church recognizes it as valid until otherwise proven, so in the church's eyes he as already married". But sis-in-law tells me that he did not "feel like" going through the process. (And my sis-in-law is a practicing Catholic, so, she has two choices: either go to Mass and not receive Holy Communion, or live with her husband as "brother and sister"). Her husband is being stubborn, and she choose not to push him. Because it would be an easy annulment - unbeknownst to his first wife he was having an affair at the time he made his vows with her. So, no informed consent, and also clearly he did not mean it when he said, "forsake all others". So, easily, that is invalid! (But I am not a Canon lawyer!)

    ________________________

    P.S. The two links: As to the Crux woman, Margery Eagan, its a very emotional piece she wrote, but lacks logic! I can comment on it if you are interested. The other, yes, Pope Francis wants to make annulment cheaper and faster to help people. Cheaper is not such a problem in our country (or most countries), where fees are generally about $200 and go towards the salaries of highly trained people who pour hours over the documents, but that is for who can pay. No one is denied an annulment for not being able to pay anything. Yes, the length of annulment is long. Our Pope is thinking of cutting out the end part, that is, after its all done, having another Diocese's Marraige Tribunal look over all the paperwork to be sure nothing is out of order (another reason why its hard to get an annulment for a false reason). That took us about 2-3 months of our 18. The bulk of the time that is hard to do anything about is just waiting, waiting for witnesses to submit their responses. They have to give people time, and some people need a lot of time. People have busy lives and taking the time needed to answer such not-routine questions does not hit the top of everyone's priority list...
    Thanks for your thoughtful response, Eliza. The site I got the annulment requirements from was actually a legal site but it seems the church has similar criteria. I appreciate the time you spent on your answer but it really hasn't changed my mind about the whole idea of religious or legal annulment. It is a loophole and apparently it is left to the interpretation of those who are considered authority whether that is the church or a judge to decide.

    I was pushed into an underage marriage, that I thought I wanted, but since I had no religious reasons for annulment I chose to get a divorce. For a couple of people I know the choice seemed to be taken out of their hands and made by the church. I would like to tell them to get over it and move on but that isn't helpful, so I listen, as best as I can and try to empathize when I don't know what to say or do. I guess the bright side is that they can remarry in the church. I can see why they might be left feeling empty because their first marriage is now invalid even though they went into it with eyes open and did everything by the book. The person I told you about, her husband did leave for "greener pastures" and no one in the family, even his side, denies it. He still got his annulment. I might add his family is very rich and donate a lot to the church. I can't help but think that had a lot to do with this one particular case. She still chooses to remain Catholic though so it will all work out anyway. She is actually in a new relationship, with an atheist of all people. She didn't even date for two years after her husband left her to marry some chick he met online. They were both 19 when they married (had children two years later), which might have something to do with it too. I guess they were given a second chance or something. Her husband was seeing the other woman for a year of their marriage and apparently got started on the annulment right away.

    "When I ought to be thinking of heaven he will nail me to earth"

     







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    the flying pig Capitalist Pig's Avatar
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    I was raised Catholic. Wasn't really my thing. Never looked back.

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    Seriously Judicious Emotivist Eliza Thomason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    I was raised Catholic. Wasn't really my thing. Never looked back.
    So you did body-building instead?
    "A man with a definite belief always appears bizarre, because he does not change with the world; he has climbed into a fixed star, and the earth whizzes below him like a zoetrope."
    ........ G. ........... K. ............... C ........ H ........ E ...... S ........ T ...... E ........ R ........ T ........ O ........ N ........


    "Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the Church, is often labeled today as fundamentalism... Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and swept along
    by every wind of teaching, looks like the only
    attitude acceptable to today's standards."
    - Pope Benedict the XVI, "The Dictatorship of Relativism"

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    the flying pig Capitalist Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eliza Thomason View Post
    So you did body-building instead?
    haha, I wish I could be that dedicated to something.

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    Seriously Judicious Emotivist Eliza Thomason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peteronfireee View Post
    ... I’ll give you four reasons....
    Dh and I cannot give the needed time to respond to your "4 reasons" today - though we have been discussing them today! (Its really a matter of slimming down our response!) But for now, but just some food for thought.

    Yes, Martin Luther did detest the Word of God in the Epistle of James - it threatened his own personal theology, as did the Intertestamental Books, which came in a preserved in a "group" from Judaism, and were therefore easier to find a "plausible" reason to dump (just hitch onto to the Jewish prejudices against Christians and Greeks in 90AD Jamnia!). Besides Luther's new "Faith-alone" religion, he wanted a "Scripture-alone" religion, and certain pesky parts of Holy Scripture made it hard to justify his ideas. So out went the books - centuries upon centuries of Christian Holy Scripture, both East and West - (not just the Roman Catholic Church, as you said) - in one swoop! In the 16th century, no less! As if the Holy Spirit, whom Our Lord promised would always be with His Church, was sleeping for CENTURIES! Allowing Christians to believe these books were the Word of God - all that time! Until Martin Luther came along and fixed things for Him!

    Also, a very mistaken idea has been given to you about Councils that I want to correct. The Councils NEVER invent new doctrine. NEVER. What you call "new" doctrine is ALWAYS old doctrine, now defined. It is, in every case, tradition handed down by the apostles. This fact is soundly confirmed by studying the works of the early Church Fathers. (But watch out! In the true and continually proven words of Cardinal Newman: "To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant.").

    Yes, so, when long-held traditions handed down by the Apostles are threatened, it then becomes necessary to define them as Doctrine in order to preserve from future threats, forever. Because Doctrine is forever. As to long-held beliefs being threatened, you can certainly imagine that was the case in 1546! Luther threatened lots of doctrine practiced by Christiandom over the ages, as he imposed his own. A very great schism he caused in the Church. How tragic, indeed, for Christian unity, which Our Lord prayed so hard for, in those precious days when He came back after His Resurrection in order to establish His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church on earth.

    Did you know that Martin Luther had his own personal demons he was fighting, as he worked to bend Christianity to fit himself better? He suffered obsessive doubts and feelings of total depravity. Those demons, and particularly the one of Scrupulosity go far to explain his zeal.

    I would go so far as to suggest that Martin Luther shared a problem with Judas Iscariot - that of being unable to accept the infinite Mercy of God.

    Quote Originally Posted by peteronfireee View Post
    But you still didn’t answer my question.

    Are works needed to be saved?

    If one man accepted Jesus today, but died next week, and he didn't participate in charity events in that time, would he still go to heaven?
    Peter, (love the name!) I am going to get to that question, like I said. One thing at a time! I have experienced many Protestants making their case by hopping from one protest to the next, never waiting for an answer. So please, let us address one protest before we go onto the next! And I do get it - you think there are so many obvious reasons for why Catholic is wrong that if one argument is not going well, there are so many, many more! And I agree, you probably have many, many, many arguments against Catholicism. We don't have to discuss them all, or if you want to we can make this thread pages and pages over time. But do lets discuss one at a time.

    Anyway, if you are going to protest what is Catholic, don't you want to protest what is actually Catholic, instead of some false witness of what Catholic is? That is my goal: to correct false witness about what is Catholic. And I would think anyone interested in truth would be on board with straightening those false ideas out.

    A little forecast to the next topic: Although faith, works and grace is often made up to be a huge rift between Catholic and Protestant, in actuality, the difference between Catholic and Protestant views of Salvation is in fact very much essentially the same.
    "A man with a definite belief always appears bizarre, because he does not change with the world; he has climbed into a fixed star, and the earth whizzes below him like a zoetrope."
    ........ G. ........... K. ............... C ........ H ........ E ...... S ........ T ...... E ........ R ........ T ........ O ........ N ........


    "Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the Church, is often labeled today as fundamentalism... Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and swept along
    by every wind of teaching, looks like the only
    attitude acceptable to today's standards."
    - Pope Benedict the XVI, "The Dictatorship of Relativism"

    .
    .
    .


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    Seriously Judicious Emotivist Eliza Thomason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aylen View Post
    Thanks for your thoughtful response, Eliza. The site I got the annulment requirements from was actually a legal site but it seems the church has similar criteria. I appreciate the time you spent on your answer but it really hasn't changed my mind about the whole idea of religious or legal annulment. It is a loophole and apparently it is left to the interpretation of those who are considered authority whether that is the church or a judge to decide.

    I was pushed into an underage marriage, that I thought I wanted, but since I had no religious reasons for annulment I chose to get a divorce. For a couple of people I know the choice seemed to be taken out of their hands and made by the church. I would like to tell them to get over it and move on but that isn't helpful, so I listen, as best as I can and try to empathize when I don't know what to say or do. I guess the bright side is that they can remarry in the church. I can see why they might be left feeling empty because their first marriage is now invalid even though they went into it with eyes open and did everything by the book. The person I told you about, her husband did leave for "greener pastures" and no one in the family, even his side, denies it. He still got his annulment. I might add his family is very rich and donate a lot to the church. I can't help but think that had a lot to do with this one particular case. She still chooses to remain Catholic though so it will all work out anyway. She is actually in a new relationship, with an atheist of all people. She didn't even date for two years after her husband left her to marry some chick he met online. They were both 19 when they married (had children two years later), which might have something to do with it too. I guess they were given a second chance or something. Her husband was seeing the other woman for a year of their marriage and apparently got started on the annulment right away.
    Thanks for explaining! I really felt I failed with my answer by getting too technical. But I have some thoughts on what you said here and will get back to it!
    "A man with a definite belief always appears bizarre, because he does not change with the world; he has climbed into a fixed star, and the earth whizzes below him like a zoetrope."
    ........ G. ........... K. ............... C ........ H ........ E ...... S ........ T ...... E ........ R ........ T ........ O ........ N ........


    "Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the Church, is often labeled today as fundamentalism... Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and swept along
    by every wind of teaching, looks like the only
    attitude acceptable to today's standards."
    - Pope Benedict the XVI, "The Dictatorship of Relativism"

    .
    .
    .


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    epheme's Avatar
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    Why do Catholics say Hail Marys? I was taught that this was akin to praying to an idol and Christians are only to pray to God.

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    Marshmallow Foru-m chriscorey's Avatar
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    I plan to be taught and learn every religion before I die. I was taught Catholic and baptized Catholic 3-4 years ago. They do not teach Hail Marys anymore and they recognize evolution. They were full of love and I made friends with an elderly gay couple while I was there.

    Carry on.

    I would also like to add that my teacher knew and worked with Mother Teresa before she died.
    Last edited by chriscorey; 01-20-2015 at 05:41 AM.
    Amber casts infinity of shadows, and my Avalon had cast many of its own, because of my presence there. I might be known on many earths that I had never trod, for shadows of myself had walked them, mimicking imperfectly my deeds and my thoughts.

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    epheme's Avatar
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    @Aylen There is someone close to me whose parents divorced after 20 years of marriage. Afterwards, the father, who is devoutly Catholic, got an annulment so that he could remarry. I was personally really offended by it and I know that at least one of the children of the marriage was as well. (Btw, the annulment took 3 years to get.)


    BUT I also know a Catholic man whose wife left him for someone else. Several years after the divorce he met someone that he wanted to marry. He said that even though he would have loved to be married in the church (for his 2nd marriage) there was no way he was going to consider an annulment because he wasn't going to invalidate his past and he wasn't going to deny his children. He explained to me that he meant his vows when he said them, he loved his wife, he was with her for many years and they had children together. His point of view was basically that it would be disrespectful to his past and to his children to deny that. So he had a non-church wedding with his current wife.


    I understand that annulments make sense in some cases but in most cases (like when people have been married many years and have children) I find the idea sort of offensive.


    (Sorry @Eliza Thomason I'm not trying to be disrespectful to your thread. From what you've shared about your ex husband it seems to make sense in your case, but I've seen cases where I find it very upsetting.)

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    Marshmallow Foru-m chriscorey's Avatar
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    Manipulations at it's finest. You fail Te. I just threw up in my mouth... WOW. Shitty Ti makes me sick ..

    WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH THE PRICE OF TEA IN CHINA YOU SAD SAD F TYPE.
    Amber casts infinity of shadows, and my Avalon had cast many of its own, because of my presence there. I might be known on many earths that I had never trod, for shadows of myself had walked them, mimicking imperfectly my deeds and my thoughts.

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    epheme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chriscorey View Post
    I plan to be taught and learn every religion before I die. I was taught Catholic and baptized Catholic 3-4 years ago. They do not teach Hail Marys anymore and they recognize evolution. They were full of love and I made friends with an elderly gay couple while I was there.

    Carry on.

    I would also like to add that my teacher knew and worked with Mother Teresa before she died.
    I honestly don't know much about Catholicism - the only Catholics I know are my husband's family and they do the Hail Mary thing. That's why I was asking. Although I did meet a Catholic nun once who ran a spiritual retreat in the mountains and she was amazing, so accepting and full of love.



    Quote Originally Posted by chriscorey View Post
    Manipulations at it's finest. You fail Te. I just threw up in my mouth... WOW. Shitty Ti makes me sick ..
    Is this at me? I can't tell what you are saying if it is... can you please explain?

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    Marshmallow Foru-m chriscorey's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=epheme;1071376]I honestly don't know much about Catholicism - the only Catholics I know are my husband's family and they do the Hail Mary thing. That's why I was asking. Although I did meet a Catholic nun once who ran a spiritual retreat in the mountains and she was amazing, so accepting and full of love.

    You were being manipulative whether you meant it or not...

    Amber casts infinity of shadows, and my Avalon had cast many of its own, because of my presence there. I might be known on many earths that I had never trod, for shadows of myself had walked them, mimicking imperfectly my deeds and my thoughts.

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    Seriously Judicious Emotivist Eliza Thomason's Avatar
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    I'll get back to this this week! But I want to say I don't mind a little sidetracking on the path. However I am lost concerning the Ti or Te offense! (However my Ti is not too shiny bright!)
    "A man with a definite belief always appears bizarre, because he does not change with the world; he has climbed into a fixed star, and the earth whizzes below him like a zoetrope."
    ........ G. ........... K. ............... C ........ H ........ E ...... S ........ T ...... E ........ R ........ T ........ O ........ N ........


    "Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the Church, is often labeled today as fundamentalism... Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and swept along
    by every wind of teaching, looks like the only
    attitude acceptable to today's standards."
    - Pope Benedict the XVI, "The Dictatorship of Relativism"

    .
    .
    .


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    the flying pig Capitalist Pig's Avatar
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    Don't mind chriscorey, they aren't much more than a scaled down version of Absurd in the manner of making inflammatory, but ultimately nonsensical posts.

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    Marshmallow Foru-m chriscorey's Avatar
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    @epheme I'm now sorry I answered your PM in such sincerity. Cpig has paranoid delusions and other problems ... I won't waste my time next time.
    Amber casts infinity of shadows, and my Avalon had cast many of its own, because of my presence there. I might be known on many earths that I had never trod, for shadows of myself had walked them, mimicking imperfectly my deeds and my thoughts.

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    Marshmallow Foru-m chriscorey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by epheme View Post
    Why do Catholics say Hail Marys? I was taught that this was akin to praying to an idol and Christians are only to pray to God.
    http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/straw-man.html

    Do go on ... Argue on the head of a pin, I should say.

    It's extremely annoying and that "genius" @Scapegrace does it too.
    Amber casts infinity of shadows, and my Avalon had cast many of its own, because of my presence there. I might be known on many earths that I had never trod, for shadows of myself had walked them, mimicking imperfectly my deeds and my thoughts.

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    1. Why don't Catholics read the bible?

    2. As for marriage annulment - why doesn't the priest who conducts the marriage do an investigation prior to marriage? Marriage is forever in the eyes of God is what is taught to Catholics in the UK, therefore an annulment just sounds like a way of not loosing people from the religion.

    3. Why do some people make a distinction between Catholic and being a Christian?

  25. #25
    Marshmallow Foru-m chriscorey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    Don't mind chriscorey, they aren't much more than a scaled down version of Absurd in the manner of making inflammatory, but ultimately nonsensical posts.


    I'm the Roadrunner
    Amber casts infinity of shadows, and my Avalon had cast many of its own, because of my presence there. I might be known on many earths that I had never trod, for shadows of myself had walked them, mimicking imperfectly my deeds and my thoughts.

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    Marshmallow Foru-m chriscorey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    Don't mind chriscorey, they aren't much more than a scaled down version of Absurd in the manner of making inflammatory, but ultimately nonsensical posts.
    When I first came here I thought you were really smart... Now I think? Not so much. You're just a good tape recorder.



    *he was watching*
    Amber casts infinity of shadows, and my Avalon had cast many of its own, because of my presence there. I might be known on many earths that I had never trod, for shadows of myself had walked them, mimicking imperfectly my deeds and my thoughts.

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    Hot Message FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by epheme View Post
    Why do Catholics say Hail Marys? I was taught that this was akin to praying to an idol and Christians are only to pray to God.
    Theologically speaking, the Hail Mary is indrectly considered part of the holy trinity through the Holy Spirit which "impregnated" her. Practically speaking, the catholic church has always been pragmatic and thus allowed the practice of idol-like figures, as long as people's main loyalty was given to the church.
    Obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit

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    Quote Originally Posted by Words View Post
    2. As for marriage annulment - why doesn't the priest who conducts the marriage do an investigation prior to marriage? Marriage is forever in the eyes of God is what is taught to Catholics in the UK, therefore an annulment just sounds like a way of not loosing people from the religion.
    Annulment isn't really practiced in Europe. If you get divorced you can only do civil marriage afterwards.
    Obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit

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    Seriously Judicious Emotivist Eliza Thomason's Avatar
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    Default Is simply believing in Jesus enough for Salvation? Or do you need good works?

    Quote Originally Posted by peteronfireee View Post
    Hello, I'm Christian and I have some questions.

    The aprocryphal writings of the Catholic bible contain numerous teachings that contradict authentic Scripture.

    For one example, the teaching that salvation is available through good works.

    Do Catholics believe that you need to do good works to obtain salvation or is simply believing in Jesus sufficient?

    Quote Originally Posted by peteronfireee View Post
    In other words, James illustrated that good works are a byproduct of genuine faith.

    But you still didn’t answer my question.

    Are works needed to be saved? This verse in the Aprocrypha suggests so:



    If one man accepted Jesus today, but died next week, and he didn't participate in charity events in that time, would he still go to heaven?
    This is a big one and I will try to narrow it down (always a challenge for me!).

    First I will say that the man you speak of who "accepted Jesus" and had a whole week and didn't participate in ANY charity at all, certainly, "... though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire." -I Corinthians 3:11-15 (like most of us, probably!)

    (However God might have seen some charitable acts that we might have missed. He might not have buried any dead, but kindness to his loved ones or strangers counts, too).

    I want to start with what my husband wrote on this a few days ago, in answer to your question. I put his words in blue, so you know who is talking. :

    >If one man accepted Jesus today, but died next week,
    >and he didn't participate in charity events in that time,
    >would he still go to heaven?
    Yes, because he would then by that act of faith have accepted the grace by which Jesus call'd him to be one of His own.

    This would be a special case of a deathbed conversion to a faith whereof God chose to seek no fruit. True faith, however, as Catholics understand it, is not simply an acceptance of the assertion that Jesus is Lord, but a willingness to commit ones life to Him, a willingness to be faithful to God's by doing His will (in so far as we are given the grace to understand it) every day of our lives.

    Think of a soldier in the service of a king. The soldier is assured of the favour of his king when he swears his oath of allegiance and 'takes the king's shilling', as it were, but to continue in the favour of the king, he must be willing to do all that the king asks of him each day. Christ is the most gracious and forgiving of kings. He is the King who will always forgive the soldier who fails in his duty, or even deserts Him, no matter how many times that man might need to be forgiven, provided only he admit his failure, and ask to be forgiven. This infinite willingness to forgive, however, must never lead any of Christ's soldiers to imagine that their Heavenly King might indeed not expect any service at all from them. The worthless skiver who imagines that he can take the king's shilling and run off to a far country to amuse himself for however many years is likely to be in for an unpleasant surprise when he finally stands before his king to claim his pension.

    Here I would refer you to Matthew 25: 31 - 46 (which would have remain'd even in Luther's Bible)

    There are unfortunately some Protestants (not the majority) who imagine a 'once saved, always saved' doctrine; but as some might seek to prove such a doctrine from certain passages from St. Paul, we Catholics would take caution from the advice given by that same apostle in Philippians 2:12. Salvation, for us, is a process, not an event; and faith is defined by continuous faithfulness, as well as continuous trust.


    Nice job, Dh! Now anything I add seems redundant, but here is a thing or two:

    Some Protestants believe that with a simple profession of faith -"I accept Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savoir"- that now their salvation is secure and they will go to heaven (and even that you cannot lose your salvation!).

    One writer (from a booklet I have here at home), Rev. John Dowling explains that this is "not only unbiblical but reduces the essence of the Christian life to a one-time decision that does not transform a person's life. In this view of salvation, it is not the Christian but rather God who is changed. The person remains corrupt, but God sees the person differently because of his or her faith in Jesus. The person is not transformed by God's grace, but rather hidden by it."

    Yes, Bold and Italics are mine to point out what is so meaningful. Yes, being hidden by God's grace is not what it comes out in scripture. Quite the opposite! We are supposed to be transformed by it.

    And it takes some of us longer than others!

    That part I bolded is so precious to me because its one of the many things that were now quite right but were "fixed" and made clear when I became Catholic from a "Bible-alone, faith-alone" theological view point. One thing that that I know now is God's truth is that we are not only saved by the grace of God (not of ourselves, that no man should boast) but then also by His grace and our cooperation with it we are transformed.

    Catholics consider salvation to be a process. We are saved by the grace of God, we are working out their own salvation in fear and trembling, and we are joyfully anticipating and hoping for the coming of Jesus Christ at the end of time because on that day our salvation will be complete - we will be raised incorruptible (I think that will look much like Elijah's vision of dry bones in the desert).

    I'll comment more on the Tobit passage in another post.
    "A man with a definite belief always appears bizarre, because he does not change with the world; he has climbed into a fixed star, and the earth whizzes below him like a zoetrope."
    ........ G. ........... K. ............... C ........ H ........ E ...... S ........ T ...... E ........ R ........ T ........ O ........ N ........


    "Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the Church, is often labeled today as fundamentalism... Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and swept along
    by every wind of teaching, looks like the only
    attitude acceptable to today's standards."
    - Pope Benedict the XVI, "The Dictatorship of Relativism"

    .
    .
    .


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    Seriously Judicious Emotivist Eliza Thomason's Avatar
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    Default Does the book of Tobit imply you need works to be saved?

    Quote Originally Posted by peteronfireee View Post
    ...
    In other words, James illustrated that good works are a byproduct of genuine faith.

    But you still didn’t answer my question.

    Are works needed to be saved? This verse in the Aprocrypha suggests so:
    Tobit 12:9, "For alms delivereth from death, and the same is that which purgeth away sins, and maketh to find mercy and life everlasting."
    ...
    First I want to say that God judges our works and He is just; He considers one's station in life and all other factors. So the thief on the cross believed, but his works were limited by his circumstances. However I can see some of what might be called "works" the choice to believe, his compassion I would are "works". Only God sees the heart, so if your guy had a week of "no charity" after he believed and before he died, really, only God can judge if he actually had no charity. However, as a Catholic, charity would make me pray for him. As a Protestant, when the man died, I would be stuck, thinking there was nothing else I can do for him now, or even that it was wrong to pray for the dead. Instead of good!

    When I told my husband I was answering this question he expressed surprise that anyone could question the book of Tobit, saying "God would very much have approved of the things Tobit did." And that "The book of Tobit is about what DOING the work of God is. At least as understood by Tobit. And its admirable. A man living in difficult times and trying to be a good Jew."

    Yes. Only a person suffering from scrupulosity would be tempted to say that good works don't matter AT ALL.

    You seem to be implying that that passage has Tobit saying you need good works to be saved. But that is not what it says. It helps us purge away our sins. Good works are a great penance to purge away a life of sin. Good works help us transform our minds, to become like Christ. To run the good race.

    Tobit has been scripture for Christians since the beginning of the Christian Church. It took 1500 years for it to be removed from scripture by Luther, and I don't know that he had a problem with that particular verse even. No one ha a problem with it before.

    There is so much good in scripture, as, "All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct". There is so much in Tobit to teach and reprove and correct. And it has helped Christians for centuries. And the story of Tobias and the Angel Raphael is so inspiring and uplifting! The story has inspired much art over the centuries, too. Here is a brief summary in this link.


    Here are some other translations of that verse that may shed more light:

    For almes doth deliuer from death, and shall purge away all sinne. Those that exercise almes, and righteousnesse, shall be filled with life.- King James Version (1611)

    Yes. "Those that exercise almes... shall be filled with life." A friend of mine, not of great financial means herself, has just taken on sponsoring a second third world child, making a commitment to give money and write letters, monthly, and will make a real difference in their impoverished lives. And I see such life in her. Giving alms does that. It brings joy. The acts help us transform in righteousness. Its part of the race we Christians are exhorted in scripture to be running!

    for alms can deliver from death and will purge away all sin. Those who practice almsgiving and righteousness shall be filled with life;
    - World English Bible


    Another verse making that clear. To do acts of charity such as giving alms help deliver us from our own sinful works of darkness as they help transform us. When we live righteously we are filled with life. Just look at people whose lives are steeped in sin. They are dark, lifeless. Oh, sometimes they may seem on top of the world but the heart sees beyond the veneer. Certainly God sees.


    Tobit 4:7: Give alms from your possessions to all who live uprightly, and do not let your eye begrudge the gift when you make it. Do not turn your face away from any poor man, and the face of God will not be turned away from you. (Translation?)

    Isn't this true? When God feels far from me, I find its time to examine my conscious and you can be sure in some way (usually more than one way) I am living for myself and not for Him, not for the "least of those" - who are Him. I repent, and ask His help to change, and with His help I can do better. When I do His will He feels close. When I do my selfish will, ignoring His, He seems far, like He is turned from me. Tobias is right; giving alms does make one find mercy and be filled with life!

    See? There is so much of God to learn from this one passage from the book we Catholics have always considered scripture, for these 10s of centuries. Its all consistent with the rest of His word.
    "A man with a definite belief always appears bizarre, because he does not change with the world; he has climbed into a fixed star, and the earth whizzes below him like a zoetrope."
    ........ G. ........... K. ............... C ........ H ........ E ...... S ........ T ...... E ........ R ........ T ........ O ........ N ........


    "Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the Church, is often labeled today as fundamentalism... Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and swept along
    by every wind of teaching, looks like the only
    attitude acceptable to today's standards."
    - Pope Benedict the XVI, "The Dictatorship of Relativism"

    .
    .
    .


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    both sides, now wacey's Avatar
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    How can you be hidden by grace?
    "If this to end in fire, then we should all burn together. Watch the flames climb higher into the night."

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    Seriously Judicious Emotivist Eliza Thomason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aylen View Post
    Thanks for your thoughtful response, Eliza. The site I got the annulment requirements from was actually a legal site but it seems the church has similar criteria. I appreciate the time you spent on your answer but it really hasn't changed my mind about the whole idea of religious or legal annulment. It is a loophole and apparently it is left to the interpretation of those who are considered authority whether that is the church or a judge to decide.
    Hi, Aylen, I hope I can do a little better with this.

    My annulment, and my dear new husband's, are not "loopholes", they are actual realities. And I have it on good authority! The Church Herself has judged it so, and She has deemed that both of our previous marriages never were a true marraige in God's eyes, or never should have been. Even though it looked to all the world that they were marriages. After all, there were vows made in churches, a pretty white dress, tux, guests, cake, dancing, papers signed and then cohabitation, taxes paid as husband and wife, and even children! Looked just like a marriages, but the Church now says it was not (while recognizing at the time we acted in good faith that it was one). So, then, it was not, and furthermore: God and all of Heaven agree!

    Yeah, I know it doesn't makes sense but God's ways are not our ways. He sent His Son to save us, in a way that doesn't make sense to our humanity, but, it was His way. And when His Son resurrected, and before He ascended to Heaven, He had a very important mission: He established a Church, and to Peter and the Apostles He gave a solemn power and authority, telling them "What you bind on earth is bound in Heaven." Yes.

    So by this authority I KNOW that my first marraige is annulled, and that in God's eyes I was free to marry my now husband. The church is now not recognizing my first marriage as a marriage, even though the world does.

    And before the annulment process, even though divorced, I was, in the Church and in Heaven's eyes still married. And God, and Heaven are what really matter. Its a great treasure to have it definitively clear that I am right with God!

    I can see how it looks to some like a "loophole". Especially from the view of a Fundamentalist, who would say: Divorce is NEVER okay. God hates divorce. (Yes! I am sure He does hate divorce! Divorce is SO painful, so wounding, so beneath our dignity. It wounds hearts, it wounds innocent children, so deeply.) God would like us to never divorce. But the law of Moses allowed it, because of our hardened hearts.

    Yes, so a Bible-Alone Fundamentalist, not recognizing the Church established by Jesus, but only the Holy Scripture She gave us (which must have dropped out of the sky into his hands!) would point out that Jesus in Matthew 19:9 appears to forbid it, and, since the New Testament has no further instructions anywhere for when it is okay to divorce, then it must follow that no one cannot ever divorce.

    So their implication is that all persons having married once must stay married, and never remarry. It begs a lot of questions, like the ones you raised. What if you are underage and really too immature to make such a commitment or discern who makes a suitable husband? Or your parents made you marry? Or your psycho-husband talked you into marriage by making you believe he was a normal person when turns out he never was at all? Etc., etc. The possible scenarios are endless because the sin-rooted failings of man can take so many forms.

    However, the Church recognizes that sometimes those vows were invalid. And with the guidance of the Holy Spirit She has a very good system for judging that. I truly thank God for it!

    I also was afraid that the whole "annulment" idea might be a man-made "loophole" (I'd heard that complaint and it worried me!), and when my husband left, which was beyond my control, I found the whole idea hard to grasp and felt it safest to get used to the idea that maybe God never would want me to remarry. But because I believe in the Church's authority - because Jesus established it and gave the Holy Spirit to protect and guide it to the end of time - I knew it was a possibility. But I decided to just not date, and if God wanted me to have a husband He'd have to make it real clear. He did.

    I truly felt that God wanted me to have my dh for a husband. It was so clear to me! However, I did not have to rely on my feelings alone for this decision. When the Church said we were free to marry, then, we were truly free, in the eyes of God, to marry.

    A big challenge was that both my husband and I knew that if through this bid for annulment the Church deemed that one or both of us were not free to remarry, then we never would have married.

    Believe me, its frightening be fully in love and pursue the months-long process of annulment with no guarantee that the outcome will be in your favor. But there are other situations when you go forth in faith. Like, when I was pregnant, I refused amniocentesis tests so much recommended by doctors to rule out birth defects, because I wanted to keep my baby safe and I knew these compromise safety, and, at any rate, if there was one I would not abort. But the doctors can instill fear in you with these warnings. I had to go forth in trust. If my baby was born not healthy or whole, I would trust God's grace at that time to deal with it. Same with annulment. We would go forward, and trust and not be anxious, and if the answer was no, we would need a lot of grace to deal with the need to go separate ways, and we would trust God to give it to us when the time came, if it did.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aylen View Post
    I was pushed into an underage marriage, that I thought I wanted, but since I had no religious reasons for annulment I chose to get a divorce.
    But if you were Catholic you would have had reason, most likely. (You do not need the church's permission to divorce but you do need it to re-marry, and you cannot get permission without necessary annulments).

    Quote Originally Posted by Aylen View Post
    For a couple of people I know the choice seemed to be taken out of their hands and made by the church. I would like to tell them to get over it and move on but that isn't helpful, so I listen, as best as I can and try to empathize when I don't know what to say or do.

    I guess the bright side is that they can remarry in the church. I can see why they might be left feeling empty because their first marriage is now invalid even though they went into it with eyes open and did everything by the book.
    Yes, and the Church acknowledges that. Just because a person feels as if having an annulment pronounced means She is saying they did something wrong does not mean the Church says they did. She doesn't! There is nothing about annulment that means you went into it dishonestly or did things wrong. Absolutely not.

    Here is a similar parallel. A whole LOT of people have the perception that if a person is divorced they must hold SOME responsibility for the marraige falling apart. Because in their eyes, its always a little bit of fault for EACH party. Well, that's not so. One person can choose to end a marraige and the other person can't do a thing about it. And sometimes it is just one party's fault and sometimes one party is not at fault. That is reality but it does not change peoples view of reality.

    In the same way, I will say I do understand and sympathize with your friend's view of reality, but it is not reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aylen View Post
    The person I told you about, her husband did leave for "greener pastures" and no one in the family, even his side, denies it..
    But the reality is, as I explained in the earlier post, you CANNOT get an annulment for this reason. Your friend thinks this is the reason, and yes, that was probably the catalyst. But the Annulment was granted for some OTHER reason! It seems your friend is leaving that information out of her complaint to you. Because there IS a reason.

    The reason why I explained the process in my first post is so that you could see your friend had ALL the information available to her. So any of her husband's wealthy family that acted as witnesses for this annulment, your friend could read every word they said that supported his bid for annulment. Your friend could also read every reason that her husband gave to support his bid for an annulment. And then she had the the formal opportunity and time to refute it! If there was anything untrue about what he gave as reasons the marriage should be annulled, she could provide the truth in her own words, and provide all the witnesses she wanted to support it, and the case would hold up for as long as it took those witnesses to get around to writing their thing and sending it in (some many months!).

    I do not understand why your friend did not tell you any of this. What could the basis of their annulment be, since it absolutely can not be "greener pastures"??

    I told you about my ex's brother who is now legally married but never annulled his first marraige so he is living in sin according to the Church. But for him, it would be so easy! He had a girlfriend he was sleeping with when he made his vows (he told his girlfriend he was on a business trip when he was on his ship-wedding and beach honeymoon, because he fully intended to keep sleeping with girlfriend AND his wife!). Clearly, he did not mean it when he vowed to forsake all others! So the marriage would certainly be deemed invalid if he sought an annulment.

    Perhaps something like this happened with your friend? But perhaps her husband, like my ex-brother-in-law, was a nice guy who made an otherwise good husband, he provided well, and then he was a good Dad. She didn't want a divorce, but he found a "greener pasture". He could certainly say that when he wed he wasn't fully meaning his vows. And he might have meant, "As long as we both shall be happy", and he now realized he is not happy; he will be happy with Miss Green Pasture instead. Well, that's not a marriage vow, and if he could produce witnesses from the time of his vow that he was also seeing other women and had always been a guy looking for greener pastures, I can see how it would be annulled. (Just guessing a reason!)

    So you see what I am saying? Something big is missing from your friend's story. You have her feeling-conclusion, based on a reality, that her guy was looking for newer green pastures. But she is leaving out the reason the church gave for granting annulment. And what evidence did her husband gave the Tribunal to make his case, which she had access to. Because an annulment granted for some wong reason (like simony) is certainly a case that can be appealed and I don't see how it can make it through a second tribunal. Just not possible.

    Perhaps its something embarrassing and that's why she doesn't want to say. Just know: she is leaving out some key information concerning her annulment. She may have good reason, and if its an embarrassing one, she certainly does not need any more humiliation. I feel her pain, believe me. God does too. God hates divorce and the damage to her heart because of this stupid guy makes His heart hurt. You say:

    Quote Originally Posted by Aylen View Post
    " He still got his annulment I might add his family is very rich and donate a lot to the church. I can't help but think that had a lot to do with this one particular case."
    Oh, pew. This is just hearsay and suppositions. Though I do understand that its easy to cast aspersions when you are influenced by sympathy for your friend's broken heart... And, she may be trying to influence you to get on her side and blame the Church if there is something she does not want to say about herself and her past that made the Church annul her marraige... That would be very wrong, but it is human nature to blame others to avoid blame...

    Quote Originally Posted by Aylen View Post
    She still chooses to remain Catholic though so it will all work out anyway. She is actually in a new relationship, with an atheist of all people.
    This is referred to as "unevenly yoked". It can work; and she can get a dispensation to marry an athesit, too, but this situation can become very problematic and painful when raising children. What you think at first is not so important can suddenly start to become important when kids come along...

    Quote Originally Posted by Aylen View Post
    She didn't even date for two years after her husband left her to marry some chick he met online. They were both 19 when they married (had children two years later), which might have something to do with it too. I guess they were given a second chance or something.
    Or something. There is a something, and your friend knows about it, and for some reason isn't telling you that part. The only other explanation is that when they invited her in, at her convenience, to read everything of what her husband wrote concerning why he thought their marriage should be annulled, and all of what each of his witnesses wrote, she, for some reason, told them she did NOT want to see any of it. That she preferred to remain completely in the dark.

    Seems unlikely, though. Because, why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aylen View Post
    Her husband was seeing the other woman for a year of their marriage and apparently got started on the annulment right away.
    My ex did the same thing. It stinks, I know. But my ex, though Baptized and confirmed Catholic was not practicing his Catholic faith and nor was his paramour and her husband, who had married in the Church, and annulments were not sought in these cases. I guess he sees some value in the institution of marriage, though, because he lives with her "as if" married and calls her his "wife" to others, even though she is not.
    "A man with a definite belief always appears bizarre, because he does not change with the world; he has climbed into a fixed star, and the earth whizzes below him like a zoetrope."
    ........ G. ........... K. ............... C ........ H ........ E ...... S ........ T ...... E ........ R ........ T ........ O ........ N ........


    "Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the Church, is often labeled today as fundamentalism... Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and swept along
    by every wind of teaching, looks like the only
    attitude acceptable to today's standards."
    - Pope Benedict the XVI, "The Dictatorship of Relativism"

    .
    .
    .


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    Seriously Judicious Emotivist Eliza Thomason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wacey View Post
    How can you be hidden by grace?
    Hi Wacey! I need to answer some others here but I am going to answer this quick before i head to bed (after I wake up my so-tolerant husband from the couch here!) since it has to do with what I just wrote.

    First I'll quote the relevant passage from my above post:

    Some Protestants believe that with a simple profession of faith -"I accept Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savoir"- that now their salvation is secure and they will go to heaven (and even that you cannot lose your salvation!).

    One writer (from a booklet I have here at home), Rev. John Dowling explains that this is "not only unbiblical but reduces the essence of the Christian life to a one-time decision that does not transform a person's life. In this view of salvation, it is not the Christian but rather God who is changed. The person remains corrupt, but God sees the person differently because of his or her faith in Jesus. The person is not transformed by God's grace, but rather hidden by it."
    I was a "Once-saved-always saved" "Faith-alone" Christian once. I did have, in college, a true conversion, where I "accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior". This is what I was told to do with this sudden and sure belief that Jesus was the reason for my life, and that He is Lord, and loves me, and is my Savior, and the Savior of the world. So after some hesitations which I resolved, I attended a church (happened to be a Jews For Jesus Church) that I had never attended before and never did again, to go forward and publicly state my acceptance, which was supposed to be what made me now "Born-Again" (Though, a Charismatic Catholic friend did tell me, "I think you already are a believer, in your heart" (meaning, before I went forward to say it officially).

    And so it was. I was all-saved now, and going straight to Heaven when I died, because had I accepted Jesus. I was saved, now and forever. When it came to Salvation, I was done. Basically, in hindsight, I believed that God saw me different now. He saw me as unsaved before, going to Hell, and now He saw me as going to Heaven. So this is why it is in reality that He was the one who made the big, important, life altering change: He changed how He viewed me.

    I did change, too, I felt so new, I read my Bible all the time, memorized without trying to, prayed, acted on the scripture, yes many things changed. But I certainly did not transform all at once, though I tried and did make many changes, gladly. But when faced with some crossroads, I often took the path of least resistance, especially when God's Word was not perfectly clear on everything..

    I wondered about Bible verses that said we should work out our own salvation in fear and trembling. Why, when I was already saved? (For such unanswerable questions, the answer was always that "though now we see through a glass darkly, then [when we die]) we will see clearly".

    And I wondered how I could be with God, Who is perfect, when I am so far from perfect? How could I stand to be in the presence of God's holiness, when so much was wrong with me? When I asked about this, it was always explained that the Blood of Christ washed over me and made me whiter than snow, in God's eyes.

    Yes, that metaphor makes no sense. That should have alerted me. But it was the only explanation offered of how I, a sinner, could die tomorrow and go dwell with God in his perfection, the way I am. Basically the Blood of Christ would hide me, make me whiter than snow, and God wouldn't be able to see my sad, sinful imperfections, but instead, He would look at me and see only the perfection of my Redeemer, the Grace that was hiding awful-me. (And right there is the answer to your question, wacey, of how one is "hidden by grace"). However it begged the question of how an omniscient God could "not see" the real me. And I wasn't so sure how I liked the feeling of being a dirty person inside, wearing a clean snow white robe outside...

    But instead, though God understands our pull for sins and truly loves us - so infinitely! so deeply! - even though we sin, we are, yet, supposed to be transformed. But with the pull of the world, and our weakness, its pretty much impossible to do this, and we in fact cannot without His Extraordinary Graces. And God's ordinary way of sending Extraordinary graces is through the Sacraments He entrusted to His Church, the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, entrusted to His Apostles and protected in its teachings by the Holy Spirit until the end of time. Can God grant extraordinary grace to non-Catholic believers and to non-believers? Yes. He is not limited; He can and He does. But the many Saints of the Catholic Church are a true testament to how receiving His extraordinary Grace though the ordinary Sacraments of the Church truly transforms lives. The Sacrament of Confession is truly powerful and the Sacrament of the Eucharist - when we receive the True Body and True Blood of the Lord Jesus at Holy Communion - that truly puts His Life in us, and then He truly transforms. And so we see this in the extraordinary lives of the Saints, the heroes of our faith that show us the way, that no matter what walk of life we are in, we, too, can truly transform and become Saints, even while still on earth.
    Last edited by Eliza Thomason; 01-28-2015 at 07:39 AM.
    "A man with a definite belief always appears bizarre, because he does not change with the world; he has climbed into a fixed star, and the earth whizzes below him like a zoetrope."
    ........ G. ........... K. ............... C ........ H ........ E ...... S ........ T ...... E ........ R ........ T ........ O ........ N ........


    "Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the Church, is often labeled today as fundamentalism... Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and swept along
    by every wind of teaching, looks like the only
    attitude acceptable to today's standards."
    - Pope Benedict the XVI, "The Dictatorship of Relativism"

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    Seriously Judicious Emotivist Eliza Thomason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chriscorey View Post
    I plan to be taught and learn every religion before I die. I was taught Catholic and baptized Catholic 3-4 years ago. They do not teach Hail Marys anymore and they recognize evolution. They were full of love and I made friends with an elderly gay couple while I was there.

    Carry on.

    I would also like to add that my teacher knew and worked with Mother Teresa before she died.
    Chris, that's really cool. I did not know that. 3-4 years ago is not so long ago! And your teacher must have been inspiring, having worked with Mother Theresa. My first prayer to Our Blessed Mother was to ask her, "Are you my mother?" - I asked this first after askign the Holy Spirit to show me the truth. because as a Protestant Mary was the biggest problem for me, even then, after what I had read about eh Church's real teachign on Mary, the old taboo was there. So I asked, and then I prayed the Memorare, which was one of Mother Theresa's favorite efficacious prayers she prayed whenever she needed anything. I was inspired to pray it in a little gift-book a Protestant friend gave me on Mother Theresa, which included that. Here is the prayer:

    Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
    that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection,
    implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.
    Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother;
    to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
    O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions,
    but in thy mercy hear and answer me.

    Amen.

    My answer came quickly - that moment I asked; I just knew in my heart (instead of just my head) the truth of who she is. My husband and I pray this one regularly, along with a prayer to St. Joseph, over 1900 years old...

    Here is an interesting article by someone who worked with Mother Theresa you might like: http://catholicfoodie.com/mother-ter...express-novena
    "A man with a definite belief always appears bizarre, because he does not change with the world; he has climbed into a fixed star, and the earth whizzes below him like a zoetrope."
    ........ G. ........... K. ............... C ........ H ........ E ...... S ........ T ...... E ........ R ........ T ........ O ........ N ........


    "Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the Church, is often labeled today as fundamentalism... Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and swept along
    by every wind of teaching, looks like the only
    attitude acceptable to today's standards."
    - Pope Benedict the XVI, "The Dictatorship of Relativism"

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    .
    .


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    peteronfireee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eliza Thomason View Post
    When God feels far from me, I find its time to examine my conscious… When I do His will He feels close. When I do my selfish will, ignoring His, He seems far, like He is turned from me. Tobias is right; giving alms does make one find mercy and be filled with life!
    This emphasis/attitude, in a nutshell, is why I disagree:

    1. Your stance with God is based on how you feel.

    2. How you feel is based on what you do.

    There are times when I do “good things”, go to church, etc., But I still feel empty and shitty inside despite all that. Sometimes I just feel dead. Does this mean God is turning away? No.

    My feelings don’t matter because feelings are unreliable. Try telling me how fast your car is going based on how you feel rather than looking at the speedometer.

    Similarly, feelings are unreliable spiritual indicators.

    My faith isn't rooted in my feelings but his Word, which is truth.

    Truth is always truth, and the truth is God is with me through the ups and downs, not based on my merits, or whether I “feel” he is close or not.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Btw, your writing style is so ENFp
    Last edited by peteronfireee; 01-29-2015 at 04:04 AM.

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    both sides, now wacey's Avatar
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    Your explanation just seems so "cerebral" and full of concepts.

    Grace, ime, is the light that "unhid" me. Its visceral awareness and immediate cognition of the truth that was my life and the me within it.
    "If this to end in fire, then we should all burn together. Watch the flames climb higher into the night."

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    Seriously Judicious Emotivist Eliza Thomason's Avatar
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    Default Hail Mary

    Quote Originally Posted by epheme View Post
    Why do Catholics say Hail Marys? I was taught that this was akin to praying to an idol and Christians are only to pray to God.

    Quote Originally Posted by chriscorey View Post
    ... They do not teach Hail Marys anymore ....
    Chris, its true, it is not taught formally enough these days. There is a spiritual battle waging within the Church. The evil one hates Our Lady.

    Epheme, thanks for asking. I wondered the same thing before I became Catholic and it was a hurdle to overcome. Now I am so glad to have not only a Father in Heaven (who is God), but also mother (who is created)! Just like our Lord Jesus!

    I am really glad to have the chance to explain this. My purpose in explaining is to clear up misconceptions about Catholic teaching.

    We pray it because, simple as it is, the truths of it go so deep! It truly is a God-inspired prayer.

    After much writing, I am erasing much here to shorten my words and make room include some real treasures concerning the hail Mary that I just found by that wonderful Pope, St. John Paul II. Such riches! But I will start with what I know.

    The Hail Mary is a supremely scriptural prayer! See:


    "Hail, Full of Grace".
    The Angel who just left the presence of the King of the Universe comes to earth and greets Mary as if she were a queen! This greeting and this title are completely and sublimely unlike the way anyone in all of scripture is greeted. Nothing comes close! These words of the Archangel are of course utterly infallible and full of meaning.

    Oh, how wonderful is this greeting of the Archangel because they announce the incarnation of God! The blessed words of the angel cannot be repeated enough!



    "Blessed art though amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus."

    The next part of the prayer are also holy and sacred words, because they are the words of her cousin Elizabeth, inspired by the Holy Spirit!

    "Holy Mary, Mother of God"
    Elizabeth, inspired by the Holy Spirit, is the first to tell us who Mary is: "Mother of my Lord"! This title is preserved in Holy Scripture to the end of time! "The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of the Lord endureth forever". Truly Heaven sings this praise.

    "Pray for us, now and at the hour of our death"
    Scripture tells us that the prayers of a righteous man availeth much. What "man" could be more righteous and holy than Mary? While Protestants ask their living brothers and sisters for prayer, and so do we. But we also ask those who our "dead" brothers and sisters to pray for us - because we believe in the Communion of Saints, and that the dead in Christ are not dead, but alive in Christ.

    _______________

    Now, treasures from St. John Paul II, a man after God's own heart, I found today here. I love it. New color for new source:

    According to John Paul, The Hail Mary is a Christ-centered prayer that gives Jesus great praise. If we truly love Jesus, we as Christians should want to pray this prayer!

    John Paul divides the prayer into 2 halves.

    The first half of the Hail Mary expresses "the wonder of heaven and earth" over the mystery of Christ in the womb of the Virgin Mary.

    Gabriel: "Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee" ... imagine what these words originally meant to the Archangel Gabriel. Gabriel is an angel who existed long before Mary did. Gabriel has been around a lot longer than the nation of Israel or the entire human family. In fact, Gabriel was there when God first created the world. From the beginning of his existence, Gabriel has been worshipping, adoring, and loving the infinite, almighty God, the Creator: the Blessed Trinity.

    And now, this great angel is sent to a little planet in the universe called earth . . . to a small, insignificant village called Nazareth . . . to a tiny little creature, a woman named Mary -- in order to announce to her that the all-holy, all-powerful God he has been worshipping from the beginning of his existence is about to become a little baby in her womb. In awe over that profound mystery of his eternal God becoming a little embryo in Mary's womb, Gabriel greets Mary saying, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you" (Lk. 1:28). Indeed, the Lord has not been with anyone like He is about to be with Mary. In joyful wonder, Gabriel recognizes this, and his words give praise to God for becoming man in her.

    Elizabeth Then also Elizabeth greets her with honor, as she is "filled with the Holy Spirit". , Elizabeth exclaims, "blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!" like Gabriel, Elizabeth's words give praise to God for the Incarnation.

    When we recite the Hail Mary, we are repeating these famous words of Gabriel and Elizabeth? And in doing so, you enter into the ecstatic joy of "heaven and earth" over the mystery of Christ: heaven, represented by Gabriel, and earth, represented by Elizabeth. Both come together to praise God for becoming man in Jesus Christ, the child conceived in Mary's womb. And we join in that praise of God every time we pray the Hail Mary. Indeed, the Hail Mary is truly a Christ-centered prayer!

    God's Own Wonderment
    Furthermore, since these words of Gabriel and Elizabeth are from the inspired Word of God in Scripture, they also represent God's own response to the mystery of the Christ.

    Wow.

    Hence, whenever we repeat these words in the Hail Mary, we participate in God's joy over the Incarnation.

    As John Paul II explains, "These words . . . could be said to give us a glimpse of God's own wonderment as he contemplates his ‘masterpiece' -- the Incarnation of the Son in the womb of the Virgin Mary. . . . The repetition of the Hail Mary . . . gives us a share in God's own wonder and pleasure: In jubilant amazement we acknowledge the greatest miracle of history".

    The second half of the Hail Mary also is focused on Jesus. Here, we entrust our lives to Mary's intercession, asking her to "pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death."

    As a model disciple of Christ, who said "yes" to God's will all throughout her life -- from the time when Gabriel first appeared to her all the way to the Cross -- Mary is the ideal person to be interceding for us through the many trials and struggles we face in our lives. We ask her to pray for us, so that we may follow God faithfully like she did. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, "She prays for us as she prayed for herself: ‘let it be to me according to your word.' by entrusting ourselves to her prayer, we abandon ourselves to the will of God together with her: ‘Thy will be done'" (no. 2677).

    The Language of Love
    Finally, we see just how Christ-centered the Hail Mary is when we come to what John Paul II calls "the hinge" of this prayer: the holy name of Jesus. Not only is the name of Jesus the hinge that binds the two halves together, but it is truly meant to be the "center of gravity" of the entire Hail Mary.

    This should encourage us to examine how we pray the Hail Mary: Is Jesus' name truly "the center of gravity" of our prayer? Do we treat the name of Jesus with extra care and speak His name with love when we recite the Hail Mary?

    John Paul II notes how emphasis should be given to the name of Jesus in this prayer. However, if we pray the Hail Mary too quickly, we may not give the proper reverence and loving attention to Jesus' name that we should. "Sometimes, in hurried recitation, this centre of gravity can be overlooked" (RVM, no. 33). A friend of mine says we should treat the name of Jesus in the Hail Mary like a speed bump -- something for which we slow down and pay extra attention when we come to it.

    Another analogy might be taken from the language of love. Like a lover tenderly speaking the name of one's beloved, we should speak the name of Jesus in this prayer. Indeed, with each Hail Mary, we should affectionately repeat the name of our bridegroom -- "blessed is the fruit of thy womb . . . Jesus" -- so that the holy name of Jesus, spoken with tender love, truly becomes the heartbeat of every Hail Mary we pray.


    I hope someone likes that as much as I do.



    ...
    "A man with a definite belief always appears bizarre, because he does not change with the world; he has climbed into a fixed star, and the earth whizzes below him like a zoetrope."
    ........ G. ........... K. ............... C ........ H ........ E ...... S ........ T ...... E ........ R ........ T ........ O ........ N ........


    "Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the Church, is often labeled today as fundamentalism... Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and swept along
    by every wind of teaching, looks like the only
    attitude acceptable to today's standards."
    - Pope Benedict the XVI, "The Dictatorship of Relativism"

    .
    .
    .


  38. #38
    Seriously Judicious Emotivist Eliza Thomason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peteronfireee View Post
    This emphasis/attitude, in a nutshell, is why I disagree:

    1. Your stance with God is based on how you feel.

    2. How you feel is based on what you do.

    There are times when I do “good things”, go to church, etc., But I still feel empty and shitty inside despite all that. Sometimes I just feel dead. Does this mean God is turning away? No.

    My feelings don’t matter because feelings are unreliable. Try telling me how fast your car is going based on how you feel rather than looking at the speedometer.

    Similarly, feelings are unreliable spiritual indicators.

    My faith isn't rooted in my feelings but his Word, which is truth.

    Truth is always truth, and the truth is God is with me through the ups and downs, not based on my merits, or whether I “feel” he is close or not.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Btw, your writing style is so ENFp
    Thanks! And ISTj fits for you too. I have been getting to know some ISTj's lately, my husband's brother and son are ISTjs. Conflictors are interesting!

    But I really must say, while I likely rely on my feelings for information and understanding more than you do, I do not just rely on my feelings. Believe me. I would live my life very differently if I did! And I typically do not trust them and do not act on them immediately. I probably cannot take much credit for this self-control, as its typical Fi use for an ENFp. I take my feelings private, introverted,and use my Ne on them til I can get comfortable with them and understand them, and, for whatever reason, Socionics related or not, I act on them only after thought and reason. And they have to pass the morality test.

    An old Campus Crusade for Christ teaching that has been much-taught is very useful. A little drawing is made of a train: the engine, a boxcar, and a caboose. The engine is truth about Christ, as in the Word of God. The boxcare is faith - you act on the truth, in faith. The caboose is feeling. The feeling of rightness follows.

    Now that is true most of the time. However, like you said, you still cannot rely on those good feelings to follow right along every time. Sometimes doing God's will goes so against your feelings that you have a battle on your hands for a time.

    So I pretty much agree with you. I am glad for you that your faith is rooted in the Word. That is right and true. But I am sure you will admit, sometimes feelings are spiritual indicators.


    .................................................. ..........................
    "A man with a definite belief always appears bizarre, because he does not change with the world; he has climbed into a fixed star, and the earth whizzes below him like a zoetrope."
    ........ G. ........... K. ............... C ........ H ........ E ...... S ........ T ...... E ........ R ........ T ........ O ........ N ........


    "Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the Church, is often labeled today as fundamentalism... Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and swept along
    by every wind of teaching, looks like the only
    attitude acceptable to today's standards."
    - Pope Benedict the XVI, "The Dictatorship of Relativism"

    .
    .
    .


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    Seriously Judicious Emotivist Eliza Thomason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wacey View Post
    Your explanation just seems so "cerebral" and full of concepts.
    Aw, too bad. Probably because so much thinking went into my conversion, mostly because I did not want to convert, and never had any desire to be Catholic, at all. Jesus and my Bible were more than enough for me! I liked my church that I was a longtime member of; the community was like a big family to me, and I had no desire to lose its fellowship. But conversion cost me it. I had stumbled on Catholic truth when I unexpectedly read a book, and then I was very motivated to disprove what I learned in it. Instead I discovered more and more truth, which led me to the conversion I never sought. And here I am. And I am so glad.

    Quote Originally Posted by wacey View Post
    Grace, ime, is the light that "unhid" me. Its visceral awareness and immediate cognition of the truth that was my life and the me within it.
    You are using the word "to hide" in a different context than me, but I sure like how you used it. Love it.

    God bless you!
    "A man with a definite belief always appears bizarre, because he does not change with the world; he has climbed into a fixed star, and the earth whizzes below him like a zoetrope."
    ........ G. ........... K. ............... C ........ H ........ E ...... S ........ T ...... E ........ R ........ T ........ O ........ N ........


    "Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the Church, is often labeled today as fundamentalism... Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and swept along
    by every wind of teaching, looks like the only
    attitude acceptable to today's standards."
    - Pope Benedict the XVI, "The Dictatorship of Relativism"

    .
    .
    .


  40. #40
    Seriously Judicious Emotivist Eliza Thomason's Avatar
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    Default Q's from Words

    Quote Originally Posted by Words View Post
    1. Why don't Catholics read the bible?

    2. As for marriage annulment - why doesn't the priest who conducts the marriage do an investigation prior to marriage? Marriage is forever in the eyes of God is what is taught to Catholics in the UK, therefore an annulment just sounds like a way of not loosing people from the religion.

    3. Why do some people make a distinction between Catholic and being a Christian?
    Thanks you for the Questions, Words! This is another two-fer; my husband took some of these on earlier this week. I will put his words in blue.

    1. LOL; I read the Bible. Here is my SLI husband's comment (all his comment will be in blue):
    I cannot speak for other Catholics any more than you can speak for other members of whatever church you belong to. I can only say that I have read the entire Bible from cover to cover several times in both the Rheims Douay and the A.V., as well as most of the New Testament in the Vulgate and large parts of it in Greek.

    2. > 2. As for marriage annulment - why doesn't the priest who conducts the marriage do an investigation prior to marriage? The priest is indeed expected to do just that. It is known as 'pre-Cana counselling'.

    > Marriage is forever in the eyes of God is what is taught to Catholics in the UK,
    ... and indeed everwhere else. The teachings Catholic Church are the same everywhere and always.


    You're right, Words, we need to get this right at the start! Yes, this is supposed to be done through pre-Cana. But too often its done poorly. It needs to be regularized.

    Yes, outsiders looking in can jump to the assumption that annulments are granted simply to keep more people in the Church. However, if that were truly our motive, the Church could accomplish that in greater numbers by letting go of some very unpopular doctrine. (Artificial birth control, anyone?) But she won't, ever.
    But certainly you can see that there are very good reasons why a marraige should not have taken place. Aylen's list shares many, or perhaps all, of the reasons with why a marraige might be annulled.

    3. Anyone who agrees with Peter's confession of faith in Matthew 16:16 is a Christian.
    A Catholic Christian is one who further accepts the promise our Lord's made to Peter in Matthew 16:17-19.


    Dh's answer is good but I will also say I agree. We should primarily focus on what we have in common, we Christians, Catholic or Protestant or other kinds. Sometimes you need to focus on the distinctives though. Because where the theologies disagree, there is a right answer. We want to do what is true and right, so we give it thought.
    "A man with a definite belief always appears bizarre, because he does not change with the world; he has climbed into a fixed star, and the earth whizzes below him like a zoetrope."
    ........ G. ........... K. ............... C ........ H ........ E ...... S ........ T ...... E ........ R ........ T ........ O ........ N ........


    "Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the Church, is often labeled today as fundamentalism... Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and swept along
    by every wind of teaching, looks like the only
    attitude acceptable to today's standards."
    - Pope Benedict the XVI, "The Dictatorship of Relativism"

    .
    .
    .


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