Home - List All Discussions

I am leaving the RCC

After much prayer and meditation

by: scopia19822

After much thought and prayer I have decided that I am leaving the RCC. I never thought this would happen, but before I left for Ireland I was told by my parish priest that they could not find my baptismal certificate. I was baptized in the hospital NICU when I was 2 weeks old. I have been waiting to get my confirmation for 3 years now and was told they had known about this since last year and were just telling me now. I contacted my old parish church and even the bishops office in Charleston and they cant find it either. During Hurricane Hugo my old parish church was destroyed and they lost alot of records so I am assuming it got lost then. I recieved my 1st commuinion when I was 7 and that could only happen if I was baptized. But that is the tip on the ice berg. My husband was married before and is going through the annullment process. Usually if the Church is unsure of a persons baptismal status they will do a condtional baptism and I would have gotten confirmed . However the parish priest refused to do it and told me that I would not be brought in fully and even baptized because of my husbands previous marriages not being annulled, but they let him in because he had been baptized in the Episcopal Church and hes in good standing. This too me is blantantly unfair and has nothing to do with what Christ taught. I also have gotten so sick of the Churches teaching on celibacy and sex. All I have heard is that virginity and celibacy are the virtues of a truly holy person, while marriage and sex within it are a nessecary evil to continue the species and the next generation of Catholics. I also think that the objection to BARRIER methods of contaception is ludricious. I have attended NFP seminars that were sanctioned by the Church. and as selfish as it sounds while I practice quiverfull and leave it in Gods hands as to whether I concieve or not I find the charting the tempature taking and the calendars to be less than romantic. A husband and wife should not have to be prisoners to the calendar or the womans tempature. I would rather use a barrier method if I choose to postpone child birth. Frankly I am just sick of the legalism and all of the thou shalt nots. The RCC can turn a blind eye to its abortion supportiong members, but woe to the woman who owns a diaphragm. I am going to start attending the local Orthodox Church as while they have their precepts and rules, are more focused on the spiritual relationship with God rather than legalism. I never thought I would leave or want to leave. I love the faith I was raised up in, but too much is wrong to make me want to stay.

reply from: Shenanigans

As a Catholic, I'll be the first to admit that there are parishes and priests out there who are idiots or not true examples of Catholism.
You're welcome to dissagree with teachings of the church if you can justify your actions to God. I understand your pain with your husband's annulment, my dad is an adulterer and my mum really had a crisis of conscience when she pushed through the divorce - because dad was keeping the marriage legal in case his mistress left, then he seemed to think he could come back to mum. But if she gets an annulment he gets one by default and he and his crypt keeper look alike wh0r3 can get married in a catholic church!
As it is, I think the biggest thing you need to ask yoruself, can you live without the true Christ present in the eucharist, being that transubstantiation is the cornerstone of the faith?
Why not go to a different RC church instead of leaving the faith altogether?
I'm not trying to change your mind or "win you back" just pointing out a few things.

reply from: Faramir

Huh?
This man is not your "husband" yet. Not in the eyes of the Church.
You should not have been with him unless and until he received an annulment.
He is still married to someone else and you are in an adulterous situation, and that's why you are so conflicted about the Church.

reply from: churchmouse

Well I respect you scopia and hope you find happiness in your new church. You know how I feel about all this so I wont elaborate.
But Christ knows what you did, thats all that matters. He knows your heart.
I go to a bible believeing church with no affiliation.....you dont have to show any pieces of paper to attend and be loved.
I grew up in a Presbyterian Church and my family has attended it on both my mom and dads side for over 150 years. We all got married and baptized there. But I left after they started condoning gay marriage and woman pastors.
It was hard let me tell you that. It is a gorgeous cathedral over 177 years old. You don't go to a church because of a building you go to worship God, but your values have to live up to Gods and the church has to stand on Gods Word. And if you feel they are wrong then you should leave. I do believe you are right the focus should not be on legalistic things but on what Christ said.
Good luck and God bless

reply from: Faramir

It's your choice to stay in the Church or leave, but if you must leave, it would be nice if you left gracefully, and not spewing all this hooey.
What I have quoted above is bs, as is most of your criticism of the Church.

reply from: Faramir

For the sake of those on the outside looking in (of the RCC) I want to address some of the confusing statements and misrepresentations in the orginal post.
A Catholic who was previously married and divorced may not remarry unless given a Decree of Nullity of the previous marriage. The reason the parish priest has some issues with dispensing the sacraments to her is because in the eyes of the Church she is living with a married man. He is not yet her husband and is married to someone else. The man she is living with has proof of a valid baptism, and any baptism done properly is accepted by the Catholi Church, though by virtue of the fact that the man she calls her "husband" has not yet had an annulment, he's living in sin with another woman and is "not in good standing" with the Church.
Putting a piece of rubber in your body or on a man is "more romantic"? At any rate, NFP is a very respectful way for a man and woman to relate to each other, and in no way does it "imprison" anyone. You're really grasping at straws here.
It's funny how when someone decides to leave the Church that these excuses always pop up. You're not leaving because of "legalism" and you know it. You want to make your own rules, and that's fine, but you don't need to slam our Church on the way out. But besides leaving the "legalisims," you are leaving "The Body and Blood of Christ." Do you believe you are turning your back on that as well? If so, this incredible union with the Inifinite God should be a whole lot more importantant then the petty things you're disgruntled with.
The RCC says that abortion is a grave injustice against a person and does not turn a blind eye towards the practice of abortion. The RCC is the most outspoken organization against the injustice of abortion that exists. Those Catholics who obstinately persist in supporting abortion are in serious error and serious sin, as are those Catholics who practice contraception, which has contributed much to our abortion culture. Please don't excuse your rebellion by pointing the finger at greater sinners who you think are getting away with something. That's no basis for trashing the Body of Christ.
This is a horrible misrepresentation of a beautiful faith which is totally focused on the spiritual, and we have such wonderful means to that end, such as daily Mass, The Rosary, Confession, all the beautiful prayers, etc. etc.
Don't you dare say that the Catholic Church is "less focused" on the Spirtual relationsthip with God. Nothing could be furher from the truth. You have focused only on the "negative," and have played to the crowd, and have totally ignored the positive.
Your post disgusts me as a Catholic, not because you've chosen to leave the Church, but because you've chosen to paint a distorted picture of the Church for the sake of your own guilt, and to get the support of outsiders.
I hope and pray you will reconsider and come back some day, but meanwhile, you could not have been a practicing Catholic anyway while living in sin with a married man, and I think that's what's really at the root of your issues with the Church. You never should have hooked up with him in any way unless and until the annulment was granted.

reply from: Faramir

PS My issue is not with "your sins," as I am a sinner and in no position to judge you or anyone else. My problem with your post is that it is very offensive to me as a Catholic, since you've grossly distorted our faith, and made what is beautiful appear to be ugly.

reply from: Faramir

Sorry, but I can take all manner of abuse about the Church that comes from the outside, especially since I was once a Catholic basher myself, but I cannot tolerate it when it comes from within. I do take it personally and I feel betrayed by it.
I totally respect someone's decision to join whatever church they please, to switch religions, to drop out of religion, etc.
But this post was much more than that, and I better shut up now or I will go into another rant...

reply from: scopia19822

Huh?
This man is not your "husband" yet. Not in the eyes of the Church.
You should not have been with him unless and until he received an annulment.
He is still married to someone else and you are in an adulterous situation, and that's why you are so conflicted about the Church.
Arent you the judgemental one? Let me explain something to you. When my aunt died and my mom got custody of me she would not let me practice my Catholic faith. She was a devout Presbyterian and would have none it is. I was not allowed to get my confirmation as a teenager. When I met my husband I was not going to church at all, I was not a practicing Catholic. I only came back 3 years ago AFTER the fact. I was told that my husband and I could be brought in fully as long as we agreed to abstain from relations and live together as brother and sister. I have seen these types of sitatuions done one of 2 ways, either what I just named or both would be made to wait until the annulments came through
In the case of my baptism IF the priest had told me about this last year when they found out, I could have maybe done something about it. They have validation of my 1st Communion but not my Baptism. Something suspicious about it if you asked me. BTW my husband has been married twice so he is in a double "adulterous " situation. I have some beef with RCC teachings, call me a heritic and send me to Hell in your mind. You are entilted to be offended about just like I am entitled to leave the RCC. This was not an easy choice for me. My husband I love him dearly, but baptized or not he should not have been brought in until his annulments were done. It is morally wrong to hold me to a different standard than him.

reply from: scopia19822

The Orthodox Church holds the doctrine of transubstantiation as well. I live in a small city where Catholics make up only about 1% of the population so there is only one Parish. If there was another one I would most certainly have given it a try before I left.

reply from: scopia19822

It's your choice to stay in the Church or leave, but if you must leave, it would be nice if you left gracefully, and not spewing all this hooey.
What I have quoted above is bs, as is most of your criticism of the Church.
Do you think all Catholics follow all teachings blindly without question? It most certainly is not BS. I grew up in the RCC I know what I was taught in CCD classes. I am explaining my preception on teachings and why I am leaving. There are so many things right about it and wrong about it.

reply from: Faramir

Please don't put words in my mind.
A divorced person may be brought into the Church. Divorce is not the problem Remarriage is.
Your husband has only one valid marriage, and that's the one that needs to be annuled. The other one was an adulterous relationship and was not a real marriage in the eyes of the Church, and neither is the relationship you have with him.
I don't understand why you would be concerned about whether your husband should or should not have been brought into the Church, but were not concerned about starting a relationship with him while he is still married to someone else.
Of course you are entitled to leave the RCC.
My own son did likewise.
But he didn't trash the Church on the way out, and he certainly did not misrepresent it, as you have done.

reply from: scopia19822

"hope and pray you will reconsider and come back some day, but meanwhile, you could not have been a practicing Catholic anyway while living in sin with a married man, and I think that's what's really at the root of your issues with the Church. You never should have hooked up with him in any way unless and until the annulment was granted."
I doubt I will ever go back, not until that priest is gone. I was not a practicing anything when I met and married my husband, But since he was married twice before should be not be held to the same standard as I am being held too and not have been brought into full communion? These sitautions are usally at the discretion of the priest/bishops. We could have both been brought in as long as we agreed to abstain froms sex, I could have dealt with that. You can go ahead and say I never should have "hooked" up with him. The state of Virginia says we married and it is a reality. I was gone from the RCC before I came back 3 years ago, so are you saying that I should have never came back because of the marriage ? Is my son illegitment in your eyes as well?

reply from: Shenanigans

You know, "Catholic" as a word means "universal". So, really, everyone is a catholic.

reply from: Faramir

It's your choice to stay in the Church or leave, but if you must leave, it would be nice if you left gracefully, and not spewing all this hooey.
What I have quoted above is bs, as is most of your criticism of the Church.
Do you think all Catholics follow all teachings blindly without question? It most certainly is not BS. I grew up in the RCC I know what I was taught in CCD classes. I am explaining my preception on teachings and why I am leaving. There are so many things right about it and wrong about it.
Show me in the Catechism that the Church says marriage and sex is a "necessary evil."

reply from: scopia19822

Originally posted by: Faramir
I don't understand why you would be concerned about whether your husband should or should not have been brought into the Church, but were not concerned about starting a relationship with him while he is still married to someone else.
/q]
For the last time I was not a practicing Catholic when I met and married him. I came back for my confirmation after the fact. We have been married 6 years, if my mom had nor forbidden me from getting my confirmation maybe I would have been more careful. I was not religious I did not go to any church at the time. I have met several people in my parish with your attitude, so legalistic. In the Orthodox Church where divorce and remarriage are permitted under certain conditions this would not be a problem. My husband would have to repent and do a penace, but we could be married in the OC.

reply from: scopia19822

They dont use that terms, do you have a copy of the Old Baltimore Cathechism? Until Vatican II sex in marriage was strictly for procreation only, not pleasure between man and wife. I hear all of the talk about marriage being a honorable vocation like Holy Orders, I have yet to see that put into practice. Maybe it is where you live, but not here. The emphasis here is still on the old hierarchy of holiness which consist of clergy, religious and celibate layman and than its the married couples adn familes. The Orthodox Church also traces its orgins back 2000 and claims Christ as its founder. They are more into the mystical and spiritual vs the RCC and Protestant emphasis on legalistic terms.

reply from: scopia19822

http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/liturgics/athenagoras_remarriage.htm

Orthodox teaching on divorce and remarriage.

reply from: Shenanigans

It wasn't till a few years ago that the Church still demonised the Jews.
But I guess it does matter where you live, in NZL there is a Catholic womens' group called "Dove" they use the spiritual gifts and have a very strong spiritual connection with God. My mum's high up the food chain and I was exposed to the spiritual gifts as a teen.
The males in my mum's side of the family are also involved in men's groups that use the giftings.
At the end of the day, its the same God, while it saddens me that another Catholic is departing because of the burecrats, I don't think God will condemn you. He knows your heart even if you don't know your own.
I'll keep you in my prayers that God guides your heart to where He wants you.

reply from: scopia19822

Thank You Shen, the parish priest will not even do a condtional baptism or even baptize me because of this. I was gone from the RCC for 10 years before I decided to go back. I seem to have offended Faramir because of stating what I was seeing and hearing and why I am leaving. Of course I guess at 20 I should have known better than to get married to a divorced man when I had no intentions at the time of ever returning to the RCC, but what gets me it is my husbands 2 marriages, not mine and they let him in, hes in full communion and that to me is beyond unfair. Both of us should have been held to the same standards. As for my baptismal record I believe it got destroyed in Hurricane Hugo in 1989. I now have to come up with $1500 to pay them back their bloody money for my trip to IReland.

reply from: Faramir

It doesn't matter if he had been married 100 times. If he was not involved in any relationship at the time, and had confessed his sins of adultery, which is what 99 of the marriages would have been, he could be brought into the Church. Were you with him when he was accepted into the Church, because I really do not see how that could have happened until the marriage situation was straightened out. Did he make it clear to the priest he was with you and living as husband and wife in spite of his previous marriage? If so, I would agree with you that he should not have been brought into the Church.
Also, you could not have been brought back into full communion until the annulment, or unless you separated from him.
I could not join the Church and my wife who had dropped out of the Church as a teenager could not join the Church because she was a Catholic who married me outside of the Church, and we did not have a valid (sacramental) marriage, so we had to get married in the Church before I could join and before she could come back.
If you as a Catholic married him outside of the Church, you had a civil union, but not a valid sacramental marriage, and in the eyes of the Church, also an adulterous relationship. But I am sure your son is "legitimate" and "my eyes" are not the issue.
Maybe you could have done what you suggested--pledged to live as brother and sister until the annulment--but then again, what if the annulment had not been granted? Would you have been prepared to split up?
Anyway, I didn't understand that you got married first and then some years later decided to come back to the Church, so I misunderstood some of the situation, and my apologies for that part. The way you presented this, I thought that you were already a practicing Catholic when you met him, so this is more involved and complex than I thought, and I certainly sympathize with the situation regarding the marriage, since you entered into that relationship in ignorance.
But if the priest is truly screwing something up, you could go to the bishop or discuss it with another priest.
Anyway, I apologize for harsh comments about your marriage, since the situation is different than what I thought, but I don't withdraw any of the other comments regarding contraception, "legalisms," spirituality, or other responses to what I felt were misrepresentations of our faith.
I think you're making a mistake to leave, and I think everything could eventually be fixed regarding your marriage. The contraception issue is so small compared to the big picture. Why not just suck it up if you don't like it? There are so many good and positive things you could be dwelling on intstead of that. And NFP really is a very respectful way to go, and I know that it was much more loving and even "romantic" than when we were using a "barrier."

reply from: Faramir

I totally misunderstood your marriage situation and your state in the Church at that time, and I'm sorry about my repsonses that were far too harsh considering the circumstances, and I hope you can forgive me for that.
I do not understand why your husband is being held to a different standard. It makes no sense. But parish priests can sometimes be wrong, and you could go to your bishop or talk to another priest. (Note that it does't matter that he was married twice, since in the eyes of the Church there could be only one valid marriage. Also, if god forbid you were to split up at this time, you would be free to marry in the Church to someone else).

reply from: scopia19822

I accept your apologies. We did agree to live together as brother and sister and would have no problem doing so. My reasons and the way I stated them is what I am seeing and hearing in the parish I attend. If this had been another parish it would have been a matter
of both of us either waiting or agreeing to abstain. As far as the baptism status goes the fact that I was not told about it for months is disturbing. I do intend to petition the bishop for an investigation into the actions of my former parish priest regarding him withholding that information and his actions. As it stands now without the records I officially never was a member of the RCC and its rules are not binding to me.I do beleive that my husbands marriages will be annulled both were entered into on false pretenses, niether being open to children and niether were Christians, one was Jewish the other a Wiccan. I do not think I am making a mistake by leaving it is going to be hard for me. I am looking right now at my aunts old missal and I feel I am doing the right thing. I have no problem with Catholics as a rule, but I do have issues with some of its teachings. I think the Orthodox Church is where I should go next, if that does not work out I will move on from their.

reply from: scopia19822

This parish priest was a Canon lawyer. We have been told that all civil marriages have to be annulled through the Church. If I was to get a civil divorce I would have to have this one annulled even though we were never married in the Church as they recongnize it as a natural union. The only clear answer I have gotten on the different standard was that my husband is baptized and has proof. Me since they cant find it I am not baptized and therefore cant be brought in or even baptized until they come through. Now Im just wondering how I am going to come up with 1500 dollars for my trip to Ireland. It was nice of the parish to pay for it, but since I am leaving I would not feel right not paying it back.

reply from: Faramir

"My opinion" for whatever it's worth, maybe not much more than what it costs to hear it, is that you have been acting in good faith reagarding the marriage situation, and that you could remain as you are until things are fixed, possibly abstaining from receiving communion until the annulment goes through.
The only real issue I see is your problem with contraception, but that could be overcome, and you could get used to NFP. You also have a misunderstanding about celibacy and virginity. These are good, but so is the married state, and it is not looked down upon.
I do think you are making a mistake to leave and I think this could all be fixed and worked out.
I am sorry and ashamed that I went off on you the way I did. I wish I had thought about it first and wish I had waited until I saw the entire picture clearly.
Thank you for being understanding about that.

reply from: Teresa18

Do you believe that the Church is the church founded by Christ and all other churches have broken away? Do you believe Christ is present in the Eucharist?
If I were you, I would contact Father Serpa. He is a Catholic apologist and an expert on the teachings of the Church. He has helped me with a couple questions in the past. I would explain this situation to him. I recall someone asked a question and said a priest who was formerly Vicar General in the diocese gave him advice. The advice did not seem correct, and Father Serpa confirmed the advice was false.
http://forums.catholic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=4
<br ">http://forums.catholic.../foru...lay.php?f=4
I would do that before you make a decision to leave the Church. You sign up for an account which takes less than five minutes. Send in your question in the Ask An Apologist Forum which I have linked you too. It usually takes 1-2 days for them to answer the question. It will then be posted along with the others already present. Indicate in the question if you'd prefer Father Serpa to contact you by private message.
I went through 12 years of Catholic school, and I never heard that. I would look at the Catechism on sex and marriage because the Catechism doesn't indicate that.
The Church is clear on the nature of sex being unitive and open to God's gift of life. You sound here like you simply don't like one of the teachings and would prefer not to have to follow it, so you would rather leave. That's why we have so many sects of Christianity because over the years, when people decided they didn't like a rule, they broke off and formed a new sect. God's morals are absolute. There is one truth. There aren't different sets of rules relative to individual Christian sects. I believe the Catholic Church is the church that contains that truth.
I don't think the Church is all about legalism. There are rules, yes, but the rules are designed to bring and/or keep us spiritually closer to God. The Mass itself is spiritual, and we are united with Christ in the Eucharist. I will readily admit sometimes I focus too much on the rules and not the spirtitual side, but I think that's because our secular culture is front and center today in this country, and it's sometimes frustrating that we can't partake in all aspects of that culture. That's true for most conservative Christian religions and for others like Muslims too.
I agree it is frustrating when pro-aborts like Kennedy, Kerry, Pelosi, and Biden go to Church and Communion while being openly pro-abort. I believe that they will have to answer to God for receiving Communion in a state of mortal sin, as they have technically excommunicated themselves. I also believe those that knowingly gave them Communion may have to answer to God too.

reply from: scopia19822

"Do you believe that the Church is the church founded by Christ and all other churches have broken away? Do you believe Christ is present in the Eucharist?"
At this point I do not know, from a purely historical standpoint I would honestly have to say that Eastern Orthodox Church is the most accurate to the original chuch in the early days. I went through 8 years of Catholic parochial school and while the catechism says that marriage is just as honorable a vocation as holy orders that is not what I have seen being practiced, at least in the South where I am sure not all of Vatican II has been implemented fully. I was taught out of the Old Baltimore Cathechism and I was always taught that sex in marriage was strictly for procreation not pleasure. In our diocese newspaper the Catholic Virginian a few months back there was an article about a woman who was made a consecrated virgin. Essentially she is a layperson who pledged not to have sex or marry so she could serve the Church. This got a back lash of letters from alot of readers who are sick of the attitude that married people cannot serve the Church just as well as the celibate people. As far as my personal sitiatuion goes, I will petition to bishop to investigate the matter. But I honestly cant stay when I dont believe everything blindly without question. I beleive in transubstiation as do Orthodox Chrisitans. I however do not beleive in purgatory, not in the sense the RCC teaches its. If one is forgiven of sins while it is simply the right thing to do to try and make the wrong a right, in Gods eyes that sin is wiped away. If one has to be purified before they can enter into Heaven then they really have not been forgiven. There are so many other things that I cant get into. I feel that I have made the right choice. I understand all too well the attitude that those of us who leave are heritics and apostates. I went today and told my old parish priest that I was leaving and why. It would not be right for me to stay when I dont agree with a lot of the teachings. Too many rules and regulation and I do understand the need for rules in every church. There are precepts and rules that all Christians should live by, but God never meant for salvation to be this difficult. Because of my husbands marriages I was told that I could not be given a conditional baptism or even baptized andhence not allowed the forgivness and redemption the RCC claims to offer, hence I am not worthy of redemption or forgivenss because of my marriage. My husband was brought in fully in Easter 08 as long as we agreed to live as brother and sister, yet they would not let me in at the time and they did not tell me why, just said I needed to wait another year. Then before I left for Ireland I was told really why. I love my husband very much, but we both should have been held to the same standard. I really want nothing more to do with the RCC right now. I of course will continue to work at the PP with the same women as they understand the sitiation and we both have the same goals on abortion.

reply from: galen

I believe that everyone has a right to happiness, and a right to thier faith. If you are having this much trouble with RCC i think that it is a good idea for you to look at other variations even other beliefs. I did this when i was younger and it definately set my mind to what i truely felt i believed and why i believed it. For me it led me back to the RCC and allowed me to find a parish i felt comfortable in.
Peace and Joy to you on your journey.

reply from: Faramir

What you really need to do is make a study of the faith. You're confused because you don't understand some of these concepts deeply. There is not the slightest conflict in what you see as a conflict above, but it appears that way to you because of your superficial knowledge.
It's your choice of course if you want to walk away, but you're walking away from something you don't really know.

reply from: scopia19822

"What you really need to do is make a study of the faith. You're confused because you don't understand some of these concepts deeply. There is not the slightest conflict in what you see as a conflict above, but it appears that way to you because of your superficial knowledge. "
I grew up in the RCC Faramir. I was told that while one may be forgiven their is still the stain of sin on them and therefore they need to spend a time in puragotry in order to be purified of that stain of sin. One can have this time shortened by being granted indulgences and having others pray for them. One thing I have learned even at my aunt and uncle may they rest in peace is that the RCC does not like to have its teachings questioned or challenged as a general rule. God gave me a brain to think and to question and to inquire and I use that gift. The only logical understanding I can make of purgatory is earth bound spirits or ghost that may have some unfinished buisness or a wrong they want to right and cannot move on until they do what they need to do. I have left I know that in the eyes of you and several people I am apostate. As Galen said if I feel and believe the way I do than it is probably for the best. Even Thomas Merton said that their has to be room in the RCC for people to question and to doubt and clearly this is not the case among the elite clergy and conservatives.

reply from: Faramir

There are unfortunately many who grew up in the Church who are totally clueless about their faith.
You misunderstand Purgatory. You do not have a "stain" of the sin of which you've repented and been forgiven.
But sometimes there remains a small temporal punishment depending upon the sin and whether there remains an attachment of fondness for that sin.
Purgatory is simply a final cleansing process of whatever selifhness, self-love, or attachment to sin that remains. Not all necessarily go to Purgatory, and much or all purgation can happen in this world by accepting the sufferings that come our way, and by prayer and the Sacraments.
You can be a Catholic or not be one. You can accept the teachings or not accept them. But if you're new to the faith or coming back to the faith, you certainly may question ANYTHING in order to make a decision, and I never experienced the RCC not liking questions being asked about difficulties, etc. As a convert, I was encouraged to work it all out for myself, and NOT join unless and untill I saw it for myself.
Thomas Merton was not an authority, and I don't have a clue what "elite clergy" and "conservatives" mean.
There are no "conservative" Catholics. That word belongs in the realm of politics.
There are those who are ORTHODOX, and those who are HETERODOX, and there are a bunch who just show up and warm the pews who don't even know enough to be consciously heterodox or orthodox, and they really should make some effort to understand their faith.
When you are a Catholic you do have to adhere to certain "rules" and sometimes it requires sacrifice and self-denial. But that's the true test of one's faith--when they stay with it even when it's hard.
I have unfortunately seen it happen often that somone leaves the Church simply because they don't want to obey a certain "rule," and then after they leave, they come up with all kinds of stories about how bad the Church is, as a way to cover over their real reason for leaving, and I hope that if you leave it's not for that reason, but because you truly do not see or believe that it is the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, to Whom all are called.

reply from: scopia19822

"have unfortunately seen it happen often that somone leaves the Church simply because they don't want to obey a certain "rule," and then after they leave, they come up with all kinds of stories about how bad the Church is, as a way to cover over their real reason for leaving, and I hope that if you leave it's not for that reason, but because you truly do not see or believe that it is the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, to Whom all are called."
I would have to say it was a combination of both, I dont believe and never have believed it was the "one true church". I will admit that there were several rules that I did not agree with that seemed downright unChristian and had nothing to do with what Jesus taught or even implicitly mentioned in all 73 books of the Bible. They were rules that have been made up by man, not God. The pope while the bishop of Rome and spiritual leader of the Catholic Church is a man, not infalliable. Thomas Merton was not an "authority" he was theologian and is up for canonazation, but many very Conservative Catholics oppose it.

reply from: Faramir

I don't know much about the Eastern Orthodox Church, but they are truly Apostolic and their Sacraments are valid. I do not see how they would have a different view of Purgatory.
One of the ideas of Purgatory is that for the sake of justice, some form of restitution is required.
If you throw a ball through my window, I could forgive you and we could still be friends, but you still owe me for the window, and if you can't afford it, you should pay something as a gesture to show you're trying to make things right.
And as I mentioned before, it also serves the purpose to purify us of self-love and attachment to sin. To be "in" Purgatory is to already be in Heaven, however. It's just that you're in a bath tub having some mud cleaned off to make yourself presentable.
But again, purgatory can be here and now on earth too, and by living a good and selfless life, one can avoid it entirely, in spite of previous sins.

reply from: scopia19822

"I don't know much about the Eastern Orthodox Church, but they are truly Apostolic and their Sacraments are valid. I do not see how they would have a different view of Purgatory."
They reject the doctrine of Purgatory and the Immaculate Conception of Mary.

reply from: Faramir

This is none of my business of course, and if it's too personal and you don't want to answer, I understand. But what does your husband think of your decision?
Is he going to remain in the Church and is he going to pursue getting the annulment and having a valid marriage in the Church?

reply from: BossMomma

And isn't the hypocrisy what I've been commenting on that you used to take such offense to? Oh the ironies in this world lol.

reply from: scopia19822

"his is none of my business of course, and if it's too personal and you don't want to answer, I understand. But what does your husband think of your decision?"
He does not care it is my choice.
Is he going to remain in the Church and is he going to pursue getting the annulment
Yes much to my dismay he is going to remain and is working on both of his annulments. He is a convert neither of them were done in the RCC so he has to have both annulled, but I will not have our marriage convalidated in the RCC.

reply from: scopia19822

Maybe it was because that I was trying to convince you when I was really trying to convince myself?

reply from: Faramir

How does one make a claim on this "right"?
It's a nice thought, but at best all we can have is the right to seek it. Finding it and holding onto it is another story.

reply from: BossMomma

Maybe it was because that I was trying to convince you when I was really trying to convince myself?
Probably, usually those who spout bullsh*t know it's bullsh*t deep down.

reply from: Faramir

I think he's going to need some cooperation from you. I think the Church will have an issue with him and his current invalid marriage with you.
At any rate, I don't think you're going to find much relief in the Orthodox Church. The only thing different about them as far as I know is that the don't accept that the Bishop of Rome is the head of the Church. All other beliefs and rules should be identical.

reply from: Faramir

Maybe it was because that I was trying to convince you when I was really trying to convince myself?
Probably, usually those who spout bullsh*t know it's bullsh*t deep down.
I know I was hard on her too, but I really shouldn't have been. I don't agree with what she's doing, but this is not an easy thing for her, and she doesn't have to share it, so I think we should be a little compassionate because this is a very painful thing she's going through.

reply from: BossMomma

I think he's going to need some cooperation from you. I think the Church will have an issue with him and his current invalid marriage with you.
The church needs to stay out of her personal life, the RCC has a problem with a teenage boy masturbating, they have a problem with adults getting sterilized, they have a problem with contraception. What they don't seem to have a problem with is child molestation, go figure. All this stupid sh*t that the RCC has an issue with can't even be validated by the teachings of Christ so all they'er really doing is putting words in Jesus mouth.

reply from: scopia19822

"so I think we should be a little compassionate because this is a very painful thing she's going through. "
Boss is being Boss, she was trying to be a little humerous. She meant no harm, I know how to take her.

reply from: Faramir

Oh, ok.
Yeah, I know she has a weird sense of humor, which is why I like her, but in this case i thought she was being a little mean.

reply from: BossMomma

Maybe it was because that I was trying to convince you when I was really trying to convince myself?
Probably, usually those who spout bullsh*t know it's bullsh*t deep down.
I know I was hard on her too, but I really shouldn't have been. I don't agree with what she's doing, but this is not an easy thing for her, and she doesn't have to share it, so I think we should be a little compassionate because this is a very painful thing she's going through.
I'm not being hard on her, I'm agreeing with her and I'm glad she's not some little catholic sheep bleating out the same crap that everyone else is whether or not she agrees with it. She's actually capable of independant thought.

reply from: scopia19822

"Yeah, I know she has a weird sense of humor, which is why I like her, but in this case i thought she was being a little mean. "
I would know if she was being mean and she was not.

reply from: Faramir

I don't know any Catholics like that. The "sheep" that I know believe what they say they believe. They are not phonies or hypocrites.
It takes "independent thought" to become or remain a Catholic, since everyone else in the world is telling you to do something else.
There is no way I could not have gone from Protestantism to Catholicism without thinking outside of the box and doing my own thinking. Otherwise, I would have remained where I was and believed what I believed simply because that's how I was raised.
We're not all mindless robots, you know. In fact, I have yet to meet one in the Church.

reply from: scopia19822

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN ORTHODOXY AND ROMAN CATHOLICISM?
By Father Michael Azkoul
St. Catherine Mission, St. Louis, MO
Copyright, 1994 St. Nectarios American Orthodox Church
Reproduced with permission from The Orthodox Christian Witness, Vol. XXVII (48), Vol. XXVIII (6) and (8), 1994.
May not be reproduced without permission
This question has been asked many times. Most Orthodox, in attempting to distinguish between Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism, usually mention the Pope or Purgatory, sometimes the filioque. Historically, the differences, however, are far more numerous and quite profound.
Also, in modern times, since Vatican II of thirty years ago, that major, if not tragic attempt, to "update" Roman Catholicism (e.g., the revision of canon law), the differences between Orthodoxy and the followers of the Pope have widened.
In our present discussion, however, the concern will be those differences which have grown since Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism separated almost a thousand years ago.
1. Faith and Reason
Following the Holy Fathers, Orthodoxy uses science and philosophy to defend and explain her Faith. Unlike Roman Catholicism, she does not build on the results of philosophy and science. The Church does not seek to reconcile faith and reason. She makes no effort to prove by logic or science what Christ gave His followers to believe. If physics or biology or chemistry or philosophy lends support to the teachings of the Church, she does not refuse them. However, Orthodoxy is not intimidated by man's intellectual accomplishments. She does not bow to them and change the Christian Faith to make it consistent with the results of human thought and science.
St. Basil the Great advised young monks to use Greek philosophy as a bee uses the flower. Take only the "honey," ---- the truth --- which God has planted in the world to prepare men for the Coming of the Lord.
For example, the Greeks had a doctrine of the Logos. The Gospel of John opens, "In the beginning was the Word (Logos, in Greek). For the pagans, the Logos was not God, as He is for Christians; rather he is a principle, a power or force by which "God: formed and governs the world. The Fathers pointed to the similarity between the Logos or Word of the Bible and the Logos of Greek philosophy as a sign of Providence. The difference between them, they attributed to the sinfulness of men and the weakness of the human intellect. They remembered the words of the Apostle Paul, "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ" (Col. 2: 8).
Roman Catholicism, on the other hand, places a high value on human reason. Its history shows the consequence of that trust. For example, in the Latin Middle Ages, the 13th century, the theologian-philosopher, Thomas Aquinas, joined "Christianity" with the philosophy of Aristotle. From that period til now, the Latins have never wavered in their respect for human wisdom; and it has radically altered the theology, mysteries and institutions of the Christian religion.
2. The Development of Doctrine
The Orthodox Church does not endorse the view that the teachings of Christ have changed from time to time; rather that Christianity has remained unaltered from the moment that the Lord delivered the Faith to the Apostles (Matt. 28: 18-20). She affirms that "the faith once delivered to the saints" (Jude 3) is now what it was in the beginning. Orthodox of the twentieth century believe precisely what was believed by Orthodox of the first, the fifth, the tenth, the fifteenth centuries.
To be sure, Orthodoxy recognizes external changes (e.g., vestments of clergy, monastic habits, new feasts, canons of ecumenical and regional councils, etc.), but nothing has been added or subtracted from her Faith. The external changes have a single purpose: To express that Faith under new circumstances. For example, the Bible and divine Services were translated from Hebrew and Greek into the language of new lands; or new religious customs arose to express the ethnic sensibilities of the converted peoples, etc.; nevertheless, their has always been "one faith, one Lord, one baptism" (Eph. 4: 4).
The fundamental witness to the Christian Tradition is the holy Scriptures; and the supreme expositors of the Scriptures are the divinely inspired Fathers of the Church, whether the Greek Fathers or Latin Fathers, Syriac Fathers or Slavic Fathers. Their place in the Orthodox religion cannot be challenged. Their authority cannot be superseded, altered or ignored.
On the other hand, Roman Catholicism, unable to show a continuity of faith and in order to justify new doctrine, erected in the last century, a theory of "doctrinal development."
Following the philosophical spirit of the time (and the lead of Cardinal Henry Newman), Roman Catholic theologians began to define and teach the idea that Christ only gave us an "original deposit" of faith, a "seed," which grew and matured through the centuries. The Holy Spirit, they said, amplified the Christian Faith as the Church moved into new circumstances and acquired other needs.
Consequently, Roman Catholicism, pictures its theology as growing in stages, to higher and more clearly defined levels of knowledge. The teachings of the Fathers, as important as they are, belong to a stage or level below the theology of the Latin Middle Ages (Scholasticism), and that theology lower than the new ideas which have come after it, such as Vatican II.
All the stages are useful, all are resources; and the theologian may appeal to the Fathers, for example, but they may also be contradicted by something else, something higher or newer.
On this basis, theories such as the dogmas of "papal infallibility" and "the immaculate conception" of the Virgin Mary (about which we will say more) are justifiably presented to the Faithful as necessary to their salvation.
In any case, the truth of these dogmas have always belonged to the Christian Tradition. They have been present from the beginning of that Tradition as "hints," seeds that only waited for the right time to bloom.
3. God
Roman Catholicism teaches that human reason can prove that God is; and, even infer that He is eternal, infinite, good, bodiless, almighty, all-knowing, etc. He is "most real being," "true being." Humans are like Him (analogous), but we are imperfect being. The God of Roman Catholicism, born in the Latin Middle Ages, is not " the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but the God of the savants and the philosohers," to adapt the celebrated phrase of Blaise Pascal.
Following the Holy Fathers, Orthodoxy teaches that the knowledge of God is planted in human nature and that is how we know Him to exist. Otherwise, unless God speaks to us, human reason cannot know more. The saving knowledge of God comes by the Savior. Speaking to His Father, He said, "And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom Thou has sent" (John 17: 3).
Roman Catholicism teaches, also, that, in the Age to Come, man will, with his intellect and with the assistance of grace, behold the Essence of God. The Fathers declare that it is impossible to behold God in Himself. Not even divine grace, will give us such power. The saved will see, however, God as the glorified flesh of Christ.
Historically, the Roman Catholic theology never made the distinction between God's Essence (what He is) and His Uncreated Energies (by what means He acts). St. Gregory Palamas tried to explain this distinction through a comparison between God and the Sun. The sun has its rays, God has His Energies (among them, Grace and Light). By His Energies, God created, sustains and governs the universe. By His Energies, He will transform the creation and deify it, that is, He will fill the new creation with His Energies as water fills a sponge.
Finally, Roman Catholicism teaches that the Holy Spirit "proceeds from the Father and the Son" (filioque). In so doing, it spurned the Apostolic Tradition which always taught that God the Father is the single Source ("monarchy") of the Son and the Spirit. Thus, the Latins added words to the Nicean Creed
"I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father and the Son . . .
They made this change on the authority of the Pope, in the 11th century, not any Council of the whole Church (Ecumenical Council).
4. Christ
Why did God become man? The Roman Catholic answer to this question differs from the teachings of the Holy Orthodox Church.
Following the holy Fathers, Orthodoxy teaches that Christ, on the Cross, gave "His life a ransom for many" (Matt. 20:28). "For even the Son of man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45). The "ransom" is paid to the grave. As the Lord revealed to the Prophet Hosea (Hosea 13:14), "I will ransom them (us) from the power of the grave, I will redeem them from death." In a sense, He pays the ransom to the devil who has the keeper of the grave and holds the power of death (Heb. 2:14).
The man Christ voluntarily gave Himself on the Cross. He died for all ("a ransom for many" or "the many"). But He rose from the dead in His crucified body. Death had no power to hold Him. It has no power over anyone. The human race is redeemed from the grave, from the devil. Free of the devil is to be free of death and sin. To be free of these, we become like God (deification) and may live with Him forever.
According to Roman Catholic theology, God became man in order to satisfy the divine Justice which was offended by the sin of Adam. In other words, by his sin Adam offended the infinite God and, therefore, his sin had infinite consequences. It was not within the power of sinful and finite man to make amends, for the sin of Adam ("original sin") passed to us; but it is our obligation to do so. Only Christ, Who was God and man, could pay this "debt of honor."
He pays the debt by dying on the Cross. His death makes up for what Adam had done; the offense is removed. God is no longer angry with man. Christ rises from the dead, the promise or "earnest" of the believing man's future. For a long time, the Latins, whether among ordinary Catholics or intellectuals, little attention was given to the idea of deification. Not much attention was devoted to the concepts necessary to understanding this doctrine.
Roman Catholic theology is customarily legalistic and philosophical. For example, a "valid" (legal term) baptism into Christ is the result of the right intention (having the same understanding of baptism as the Church) and using the correct formula or words during the ceremony or rite. Thus, even an atheist, under certain conditions, could baptize a person. "Sprinkling" of water (effusion) over the head of the baptized is reasonable and sufficient.
Lately, some Latin theologians are rethinking the Christian teaching of salvation (soteriology). They are beginning to take the idea of deification (baptism as the first step) very seriously. They rightly insist that it belongs to Christian tradition, including "St. Augustine" and other Latin Fathers. In point of fact, a revolution in its theology is necessary if it is to become Scriptural and patristic; if it ever hopes to achieve the right understanding of Christ and His salvation.
5. The Church
The Roman Catholic view of the Church (ecclesiology) differs from the Orthodox teaching on this subject in several ways.
The Latins teach that the visible head of the Church is the Pope, the successor to St. Peter, who was appointed to that sacred position by the Lord Himself with the words, "Thou art Peter and upon this rock I shall build my Church . . . " (Matt. 16:18).
The Pope is, then, "the Bishop of the Catholic Church," her teacher, the vicar (agent, deputy) of Christ on earth. He is the interpreter of the Christian Tradition. When he speaks for the whole Church (ex cathedra), the Holy Spirit does not permit him to err. He is, therefore, infallible on matters of morals and doctrine. Other bishops are his lieutenants. He is the symbol of the episcopate's unity.
The Orthodox Church teaches that all bishops are equal. To be sure, there are different ranks of bishops (patriarch, archbishop, metropolitan, bishop); nevertheless, a bishop is a bishop. Such differences apply to the administration of a church or group of churches, not to the nature of the bishop. The president of a synod of bishops is called archbishop (Greek custom) or metropolitan (Russian custom).
According to Latin ecclesiology, each local parish is part of the universal or whole Church. The totality of Catholic parishes form the Body of Christ on earth. This visible Body has a visible head, the Pope. This idea of the Church implies that the local parish has two heads: the Pope and the local bishop. But a body with two visible heads is a monster. Also, the local bishop seems stripped of his apostolic authority if the Pope may contradict his orders. Indeed, he cannot become a bishop unless the Pope allows it.
Orthodoxy teaches that every bishop, "the living icon of Christ," and his flock constitute the Church in a certain place; or, as St. Ignatius the God-bearer says, the Church of Christ is in the bishop, his priests and deacons, with the people, surrounding the Eucharist in the true faith. All bishops and their flocks so constituted, together composing the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
In other words, there can be no Church without a bishop, no bishop without the Eucharist, and no bishop or Eucharist without the true faith, the Apostolic Faith, "the faith once delivered to the saints." (Jude 3) "The Church is in the bishop and the bishop in the Church," wrote St. Cyprian of Carthage.
Put another way, there is no Church where there is no bishop, and there is no bishop where there is no succession of bishops from the Apostles (apostolic succession); and there can be no succession from the bishops without the faith of the Apostles.
Also, there can be no Church without the Eucharist, the Sacrament of unity, because the Church is formed through it. The Body and Blood of Christ unites the Faithful to God: This fellowship or koinonia is the whole purpose of Christianity. At the same time, there can be no Eucharist - and no other Mysteries - without a bishop who teaches the true faith to the baptized.
6. The Holy Canons
A canon is a "rule" or "guide" for governing The Church. Canons were composed by the Apostles, the Fathers, the local or regional and general or ecumenical Councils (in Latin) or Synods (in Greek). Only the bishop, as head of the church, applies them. He may use them "strictly" (akreveia) or "leniently" (economia). "Strictness" is the norm.
Unlike the Latins, the Orthodox Church does not think of canons as laws, that is, as regulating human relationships or securing human rights; rather, Orthodoxy views canons as the means of forging the "new man" or "new creature" through obedience. They are training in virtue. They are meant to produce holiness.
The Latins continue to change their canons, ignoring the old for the new. Not more than two decades ago, Rome revised its Canon Law. It composes new canons to keep up with the times. On the other hand, Orthodoxy, albeit adding canons from time to time and place to place, never discards the old ones, for they, too, are inspired by the Holy Spirit. In any case, human problems and spiritual needs do not really change. New canons are generally simple refinements of old canons.
7. The Mysteries
Both the Orthodox and the Roman Catholics recognize at least seven Sacraments or Mysteries: The Eucharist, Baptism, Chrismation, Ordination, Penance, Marriage and Holy Oil for the sick (which the Latins have traditionally called "Extreme Unction" and reserved for the dying).
Concerning the Sacraments in general, the Orthodox teach that their material elements (bread, wine, water, chrism, etc.) become grace-filled by the calling of the Holy Spirit (epiklesis). Roman Catholicism believes that the Sacraments are effective on account of the priest who acts "in the person of Christ."
At the same time, the Latins interpret the Sacraments in a legal and philosophical way. Hence, in the Eucharist, using the right material things (bread and wine) and pronouncing the correct formula, changes their substance (transubstantiation) into the Body and Blood of Christ. The visible elements or this and all Sacraments are merely "signs" of the presence of God.
The Orthodox call the Eucharist "the mystical Supper." What the priest and the faithful consume is mysteriously the Body and Blood of Christ. We receive Him under the forms of bread and wine, because it would be wholly repugnant to eat "real" human flesh and drink "real" human blood.
According to Roman Catholic teachings about the Sacraments (mystagogy), a person becomes a member of the Church through Baptism. "Original sin" is washed away. Orthodoxy teaches the same, but the idea of an "original sin" or "inherited guilt" (from Adam) has no part in her thinking. More will be said later on this matter.
Roman Catholics speak of "Confirmation" and the Orthodox of "Chrismation." "Confirmation" is separated from the Baptism and is performed by the bishop and not the priest; but "Chrismation" is performed with Baptism by a priest who has received "chrism" from the bishop. The Sacrament of "Confirmation" and "Chrismation" both mean the giving of the Holy Spirit. The Latins delay "confirming" (with "first communion") baptized infants not more than seven years, that is, until the time they have some appreciation of the gift of God.
The Orthodox Church links Baptism, Chrismation and Holy Communion, first the threefold immersion into sanctified water, the "new Christian" rising from the water into the fellowship of the Holy Spirit which leads to union with God. Such is the purpose of membership in the Church.
Ordination is the ceremony which, by the grace and calling of God, elevates a man to the priesthood. The sacerdotal priesthood has three orders: Bishop, presbyter (elder) and deacon. All Christians are priests by virtue of the baptism into Christ Who is priest, prophet and king - for which reason St. Peter refers to the Church as a "royal priesthood" (I Pet. 2:9). The bishop is the "high priest," the "president of the Eucharist and all the Mysteries. Presbyters and deacons are his assistants. The Latins hold that the presbyter acts "in the person of Christ" when, in fact, he does no more than represent the bishop who is "the living icon of Christ."
Strictly speaking, Penance - sometimes called "Confession" - should only be received by the believer as a means of re-admission to the Church. For a long time, Penance, or confession of sins, prayer and fasting was employed only for those who had been expelled from the Church ("excommunication") or who had voluntarily departed (apostasy). The present practice is to receive Penance from a bishop or presbyter for some serious sin before receiving Holy Communion.
Both the Orthodox and the Roman Catholics consider Penance as a Sacrament. Each has different customs surrounding it, such as the confessional booth so common among the latter.
For Roman Catholics, Holy Matrimony is a binding, ostensibly an unbreakable, contract. The man and the woman marry each other with the "church" (bishop or priest) standing as a witness to it. Hence, no divorce under any conditions - no divorce but annulment of the marriage contract if some canonical defect in it may be found which renders it null and void (as if it never took place).
In Orthodoxy, Holy Matrimony is not a contract; it is the mysterious or mystical union of a man and woman - in imitation of Christ and the Church - in the presence of "the whole People of God" through her bishop or his presbyter. Divorce is likewise forbidden, but, as a concession to human weakness, it is allowed for adultery. Second and third marriages are permitted - not as a legal matter - out of mercy, a further concession to human weakness (e.g., after the death of a spouse). This Sacrament, as all Sacraments or Mysteries, is completed by the Eucharist, as St. Dionysius the Areopagite says.
As already mentioned, the Latins conceive Extreme Unction as the final Sacrament, the Sacrament which prepares the believer for death, purgatory and the Age to Come. In Orthodoxy, Holy Oil is received for healing. Often sickness is caused by sin; therefore, Holy Oil or Unction involved Confession of sins. At the end of the rite, the anointed receives Holy Communion.
The Orthodox Church also recognizes kingship, monasticism, blessings of the water, etc. as Mysteries.
8. The Nature of Man
Human nature was created good, even in communion with the blessed Trinity which made "him." Male and female were created "in the likeness and image of God" (Gen. 1:26): "likeness" in virtue; "image" meaning to rule the earth rationally, to act wisely and freely. The woman was made as a "help-meet" to the man (Gen. 2:18; I Cor. 11:8-9). They were to live together in harmony and mutual respect.
So far Roman Catholicism agrees with the Church; it differs with Orthodoxy on the nature of man's fall and the human condition. Following Augustine of Hippo, the Latins teach that Adam and Eve sinned against God. The guilt of their sin has been inherited by every man, woman and child after them. All humanity is liable for their "original sin."
Following the Holy Fathers, the Orthodox Church holds that when Adam sinned against God, he introduced death to the world. Since all men are born of the same human stock as Adam, all men inherit death. Death means that the life of every human being comes to an end (mortality); but also that death generates in us the passions (anger, hate, lust, greed, etc.), disease and aging.
Roman Catholicism has ordinarily paid little attention to the Orthodox conception of man as slave to death through his passions as manipulated by the devil. In fact, the devil has been pushed to the background. Thus, the Crucifixion has been understood by the Latins as Christ suffering punishment for the human race ("vicarious atonement"), when, in truth, Christ suffered and died on the Cross to conquer the devil and destroy his power, death.
In any case, Orthodoxy has always put great stress on "mastery of the passions" through prayer (public worship and private devotions), fasting (self-denial) and voluntary obedience and regular participation in the Eucharist (sometimes called "the Mysteries"). Thus, the highest form of Christian living ("the supreme philosophy") is monasticism. Here all human energy is devoted to struggle for perfection.
Monasticism, in this sense, among Roman Catholics has all but disappeared. As a "supernatural religion" so-called, it has become increasingly "this-worldly." Therefore, it has abandoned its medieval heritage, and its understanding of man, his nature and destiny has become increasingly secular.
9. The Mother of God
The doctrine of the place and person of the Virgin Mary in the Church is called "mariology." Both Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism believe she is "Mother of God" (Theotokos, Deipare) and "the Ever-Virgin Mary."
However, the Orthodox reject the Roman Catholic "dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary," which was defined as "of the faith" by Pope Pius IX, on the 8th of December 1854. This dogma holds that from the first instant of her conception, the Blessed Virgin Mary was, by a most singular grace and privilege of Almighty God, and in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of the human race, preserved from all stain of Original Sin. It is a doctrine revealed by God, and therefore to be firmly and steadfastly believed by all the faithful (from the Bull Ineffabilis Deus).
Such a theory has no basis in the Scriptures nor the Fathers. It contains many ideas (such as "the merits of Christ") likewise without apostolic foundation. The idea that the Lord and His Saints produced more grace than necessary. This excess may be applied to others, even those in purgatory (see below).
But to return: the Church does not accept the idea that the Mother of God was born with the (inherited) guilt of Adam; no one is. She did, however, inherit the mortality which comes to all on account of Adam's Fall.
Therefore, there is no need to do what Latin theologians have done. There is no reason to invent a theory to support the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. There is no need to teach that, on account of "the merits of Christ," the Holy Spirit was able to prevent her from inheriting the guilt of Adam.
In fact, she was born like every other human being. The Holy Spirit prepared the Virgin Mary for her role as the Mother of God. She was filled with the Uncreated Energy of the Holy Spirit of God in order that she might be a worthy vessel for the birth of Christ. Nevertheless, several of the Fathers observed that before the Resurrection of her Son, she had sinned. St. John Chrysostom mentions the Wedding at Cana where she presumed to instruct Him (John 2:3-4). Here was proof of her mortality.
Receiving the Holy Spirit once more at Pentecost, she was able to die without sin. Because of her special role in the Divine Plan ("economy" or "dispensation"), she was taken into the heavens, body and soul. She now sits at the foot of her Son, making intercession for all those who implore her mercy. The Orthodox Church honors the miracle of her "assumption" with a feast on 15 August; likewise, the followers of the Pope.
Both also believe in the intercessions of the Virgin Mary and all the Saints. Such intercessions reflect the unity of the Church in heaven and the Church on earth.
Both also believe that there is a sense in which the Mother of God is the Church. The Church is the Body of Christ. Those who belong to the Church are identified with Him. But He is also our "brother" (Rom. 8:29). If Christ is our brother, then, the Virgin Mary is our mother. But the Church is our mother through Baptism. Therefore, the Virgin Mary is the Church.
10. Icons
The icon is an artistic depiction of Christ, the Mother of God and the Saints. God the Father cannot be painted, because He has never been seen. God the Holy Spirit has appeared as a dove and as "tongues of fire." He may be shown in this way. God the Son became a man, and He may be painted in His human form.
Icons are more than sacred pictures. Everything about them is theological. For example, they are always flat, flat so that we who inhabit the physical world will understand that the world of the spirit where Christ, His Mother, the angels, the saints, and the departed dwell, is a world of mystery which cannot be penetrated by our five senses.
Customarily, Roman Catholicism has historically employed statues in its worship. The statues are life-like and three-dimensional. They seem to imitate the art of ancient Greece. Both arts are naturalistic. The Latins portray Christ, the Mother of God, the saints, even the angels, as if they were in a state of nature. This "naturalism" stems from the medieval idea that "grace perfects nature."
The person or persons are represented on the icon as deified. He or she is not a perfect human being, but much more: They are transfigured and glorified. They have a new and grace-filled humanity.
Important to remember is the Latin theory of grace: It is created by God for man. Orthodoxy teaches, as we recall, that grace is uncreated, and impacts all creation. It is a mysterious extension of the Divine Nature. Orthodox iconography reflects this truth, even as Roman Catholic statues reflect its idea of grace.
Again, icons are a necessary part of Orthodox piety. The Orthodox honor and kiss icons, a devotion which passes from the icon to the person or persons represented in them. Icons are not idols and the Orthodox do not worship them. Worship is reserved for God alone. The statues set up in Roman Catholic temples are not commonly venerated; they are visual aids and decorations.
11. Purgatory
Purgatory is a condition of the departed before the final judgment. According to Roman Catholic theology, those souls destined for heaven (with a few exceptions) must endure a state of purgation, or purification. They must be cleansed of the sins committed on earth. The rest go to hell for eternal punishment.
Moreover, from a "treasury" of merits or extra grace accumulated by the virtue of Christ, the Virgin Mary and the saints, "indulgences" may be granted. The grace is applied to those in purgatory in order to shorten their time there.
Orthodoxy teaches that, after the soul leaves the body, it journeys to the abode of the dead (Hades). There are exceptions, such as the Theotokos, who was borne by the angels directly into heaven. As for the rest, we must remain in this condition of waiting. Because some have a prevision of the glory to come and others foretaste their suffering, the state of waiting is called "Particular Judgment."
When Christ returns, the soul rejoins its risen body to be judged by Him. The "good and faithful servant" will inherit eternal life, the unfaithful with the unbeliever will spend eternity in hell. Their sins and their unbelief will torture them as fire.
12. Other Differences
There are other minor differences between the Orthodox Church and Roman Catholicism.
The Orthodox do not fast on Saturday (except Holy Saturday) or Sunday. Roman Catholics experience no such restriction.
Orthodox do not kneel on Sunday; Roman Catholics do. Orthodox have no "Stations of The Cross;" Roman Catholics do.
Orthodox presbyters and deacons may marry before ordination; Roman Catholic clergy are celibate.
Orthodox worship towards the East; Roman Catholics, not necessarily.
In the Orthodox Liturgy, the "bread" of the Eucharist is "leavened" (zyme); in the Roman Catholic Mass it is "unleavened" (azyme).
The Orthodox faithful receive both the "body" and "blood of Christ" in Holy Communion; Roman Catholics receive only the "bread," a wafer.
There are no orders of Orthodox monks (male and female) as there is among Roman Catholics (Jesuits, Dominicans, Benedictines, Cistericans, etc.). More recently, many Roman Catholic monks and nuns have put away their traditional habits.
Orthodox clergy wear beards; Papist clergy are generally beardless.
There are many other differences, often the product of culture. Also, it is noteworthy that many of these differences, whether profound or not, do not apply to the contemporary religious situation. Ecumenism has brought great confusion, so that it is not

reply from: BossMomma

I don't know any Catholics like that. The "sheep" that I know believe what they say they believe. They are not phonies or hypocrites.
It takes "independent thought" to become or remain a Catholic, since everyone else in the world is telling you to do something else.
There is no way I could not have gone from Protestantism to Catholicism without thinking outside of the box and doing my own thinking. Otherwise, I would have remained where I was and believed what I believed simply because that's how I was raised.
We're not all mindless robots, you know. In fact, I have yet to meet one in the Church.
You know, most mental patients deny they have issues too.

reply from: BossMomma

A new priest at his first mass was so nervous he could hardly speak. After mass he asked the monsignor how he had done. The monsignor replied, " When I am worried about getting nervous On the pulpit, I put a glass of vodka next to the water glass. If I start to get nervous, I take a sip." So next Sunday he took the monsignor's advice. At the beginning of the sermon, he got nervous and took a drink. He proceeded to talk up a storm. Upon his return to his office after the mass, he found the following note on the door:
1) Sip the vodka, don't gulp.
2) There are 10 commandments, not 12.
3) There are 12 disciples, not 10.
4) Jesus was consecrated, not constipated.
5) Jacob wagered his donkey, he did not bet his ass.
6) We do not refer to Jesus Christ as the late J.C.
7) The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are not referred to as Daddy, Junior and the spook.
8 ) David slew Goliath, he did not kick the **** out of him.
9) When David was hit by a rock and was knocked off his donkey, don't say he was stoned off his ass.
10)We do not refer to the cross as the "Big T."
11)When Jesus broke the bread at the last supper he said, "take this and eat it for it is my body." He did not say " Eat me" .
12)The Virgin Mary is not called " Mary with the Cherry,.
13)The recommended grace before a meal is not: Rub-A-Dub-Dub thanks for the grub, Yeah God.
14)Next Sunday there will be a taffy pulling contest at ST.Peter's not a peter pulling contest at St. Taffy's.

reply from: Faramir

I don't know any Catholics like that. The "sheep" that I know believe what they say they believe. They are not phonies or hypocrites.
It takes "independent thought" to become or remain a Catholic, since everyone else in the world is telling you to do something else.
There is no way I could not have gone from Protestantism to Catholicism without thinking outside of the box and doing my own thinking. Otherwise, I would have remained where I was and believed what I believed simply because that's how I was raised.
We're not all mindless robots, you know. In fact, I have yet to meet one in the Church.
You know, most mental patients deny they have issues too.
Wow, I've been very respectful towards you, and your thanks is a low blow like that...

reply from: Faramir

Scopia,
That's a very long article about very superficial differences.

reply from: BossMomma

I don't know any Catholics like that. The "sheep" that I know believe what they say they believe. They are not phonies or hypocrites.
It takes "independent thought" to become or remain a Catholic, since everyone else in the world is telling you to do something else.
There is no way I could not have gone from Protestantism to Catholicism without thinking outside of the box and doing my own thinking. Otherwise, I would have remained where I was and believed what I believed simply because that's how I was raised.
We're not all mindless robots, you know. In fact, I have yet to meet one in the Church.
You know, most mental patients deny they have issues too.
Wow, I've been very respectful towards you, and your thanks is a low blow like that...
That was a joke dude not a "blow" I have something of a cynical sense of humor.

reply from: Faramir

I don't know any Catholics like that. The "sheep" that I know believe what they say they believe. They are not phonies or hypocrites.
It takes "independent thought" to become or remain a Catholic, since everyone else in the world is telling you to do something else.
There is no way I could not have gone from Protestantism to Catholicism without thinking outside of the box and doing my own thinking. Otherwise, I would have remained where I was and believed what I believed simply because that's how I was raised.
We're not all mindless robots, you know. In fact, I have yet to meet one in the Church.
You know, most mental patients deny they have issues too.
Wow, I've been very respectful towards you, and your thanks is a low blow like that...
That was a joke dude not a "blow" I have something of a cynical sense of humor.
Yeah, I know. I was joking back in my own way...
(Not really, but I feel stupid admitting that I took it seriously, but I'm glad it was a joke, since I really do like you, and for a minute my feelings were really hurt).

reply from: scopia19822

Superficial? I thought it was a well written article explaining the difference between the EC and RCC.

reply from: BossMomma

I don't know any Catholics like that. The "sheep" that I know believe what they say they believe. They are not phonies or hypocrites.
It takes "independent thought" to become or remain a Catholic, since everyone else in the world is telling you to do something else.
There is no way I could not have gone from Protestantism to Catholicism without thinking outside of the box and doing my own thinking. Otherwise, I would have remained where I was and believed what I believed simply because that's how I was raised.
We're not all mindless robots, you know. In fact, I have yet to meet one in the Church.
You know, most mental patients deny they have issues too.
Wow, I've been very respectful towards you, and your thanks is a low blow like that...
That was a joke dude not a "blow" I have something of a cynical sense of humor.
Yeah, I know. I was joking back in my own way...
(Not really, but I feel stupid admitting that I took it seriously, but I'm glad it was a joke, since I really do like you, and for a minute my feelings were really hurt).
Heh, sorry. It's been a long day. I'm on my second week of college which is why I'm almost never around anymore. Me and 15 other MA students take turns injecting each other, drawing blood off each other, checking each others vitals..heh, I found out I have an abnormal heart beat and low blood pressure or some sh*t like that. We jokingly call our lab the crack house because all we do is shoot each other up and yes, we all have tracks to show for it. Plus there's pulling 8 hours a night 6 days a week in the state pen. managing sociaties "finest" so you can see where I get my gallows humor.

reply from: Faramir

Superficial? I thought it was a well written article explaining the difference between the EC and RCC.
But these "differences" aren't all that substantial as I see it.
What are the differences that pertain to you and your situation? In what way is this Church better for you?
Don't you think they'll have issues with your husband and his marriages too?

reply from: scopia19822

Superficial? I thought it was a well written article explaining the difference between the EC and RCC.
But these "differences" aren't all that substantial as I see it.
What are the differences that pertain to you and your situation? In what way is this Church better for you?
Don't you think they'll have issues with your husband and his marriages too?
I do not believe in Purgatory or the Immaculate Conception of Mary. The EO is more into the mystical and spiritual rather than the legal and philosphical. My husbands prior marriages will have to be dissolved by the EOC but they will look at what happened during the marriage rather than before. My husbands first wife decieved him and was abusive and committdd adultery. His second wife cheated on his as well, so that will be grounds for an ecclastical divorce. We both would have to do a penance but remarriage would be permitted.

reply from: Faramir

Your husband will still have a problem if he wants to be a practicing Catholic. He still needs the annulment in the Catholic Church.
You're sure the EO does not accept Purgatory or the Immaculate Conception?
It would be hard for me to believe they don't accept Purgatory.
If they don't teach the Immaculate Conception, my guess is that they do not deny it, either--that they have not yet defined it as the Catholic Church did fairly recently.

reply from: scopia19822

"Your husband will still have a problem if he wants to be a practicing Catholic. He still needs the annulment in the Catholic Church."
He will get his annullments. Whether I stay or go has no impact on that
"You're sure the EO does not accept Purgatory or the Immaculate Conception?"
They do not believe that Mary was concieved without original sin. They do accept her perpetual virginity. They do not believe in Purgatory in the Catholic sense. They believe that all who die go to Hades until the Final Judgement. Those who are rightous will get a foretaste of Heaven, the unrightous will get a fortaste of hell.
If you would like to understand the EOC do a google search on them.

reply from: Teresa18

Scopia, I'll respond more later, but did you try contacting Father Serpa?

reply from: scopia19822

I have not had the chance and I really do not see the point in it as I went to my former parish priest and told him that I renounced my Catholic faith and why. I have made my decision. I have made an agreement to pay back the money they paid for my trip to Ireland to be with my uncle in monthly installments as I do not think it is right not too. Other than making those payments my relationship with the RCC is over.

reply from: galen

How does one make a claim on this "right"?
It's a nice thought, but at best all we can have is the right to seek it. Finding it and holding onto it is another story.
__________________________________________
you are a truely depressing individual.

reply from: GodsLaw4Us2Live

That's great news that you are leaving the Roman Catholic Church, an organization that has adopted a lot of strange rituals and beliefs.
Purgatory, Immaculate Conception, Trinity, Mary Worship, what a bunch of hooey!
What's this thing with baby baptism anyway? Only a fully mature person can make a decision to bury the old man in the watery grave and come out to live as a new creation, one who follows Christ. (This is what baptism is.)
I do have the little booklet from my infant baptism in the Roman Catholic Church. I've read the ceremony rites and am really touched that concerned individuals stood in my place to accept baptism for me in fear for my eternal soul. However, I believe it was totally ineffectual.
Catholics are a superstitious lot. Just love God and love your neighbor.

reply from: lukesmom

We do love God and our neighbor. Do you? I think not after reading your post.

reply from: Faramir

How does one make a claim on this "right"?
It's a nice thought, but at best all we can have is the right to seek it. Finding it and holding onto it is another story.
__________________________________________
you are a truely depressing individual.
How come?
I'm just trying to be realistic.
Do you really believe someone has a "right" to be happy?
I do remember that the absolute happiest time of my life was when I joined the Catholic Church, so it's a strange idea to me that leaving the Church could make someone happy, and even stranger that another Catholic would suggest it could lead to happiness.
But the Founding Fathers understood what I was asking.
We have the right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
They understood well the elusive nature of happiness, and did not see it as a right to possess, but a right to pursue.

reply from: Faramir

Hey, nice of you to show respect for beliefs other than your own. Do all of the 5 people in your cult feel the same way?
BTW, there is no "Mary Worship" in Catholicism.

reply from: Faramir

PS ALL of Christianity embraces the concept of The Trinity, dude--not just the Catholic Church.

reply from: Yuuki

Well in America we have the right to PURSUE happiness. This implies self responsibility and drive. You'll have a chance to be happy if you TRY, but happiness doesn't just fall from trees.
I believe almost any situation can become a happy one.

reply from: GodsLaw4Us2Live

Hey, nice of you to show respect for beliefs other than your own. Do all of the 5 people in your cult feel the same way?
BTW, there is no "Mary Worship" in Catholicism.
Purgatory - seems to be some half-way station where sins are cleansed from the soul before the deceased comes into blissful prescence with God. A bunch of hooey.
Immaculate Conception - claims that Mary was Immaculately Conceived, a perfect Holy Vessel that would be used to hold Christ. What Holy Book did Catholics get that out of. what a bunch of hooey.
Trinity - God is not three entities in one. God is One in that Father, Son, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters shall all be One; united in mindset and puropse. We ourselves are God's offspring, we ourselves are gods, and shall be united in the God Family.
Mary Worship - What's the "Hail Mary" prayer? The last best card you can play when the chips are down? What are all these Mary statutes in the yards of Catholics, scaring away the evil spirits?
What is with worshipping on the Day of the Sun (Sunday), celebrating the birth of the sun God and all the god heros of old born (or reborn) on the winter solstice (formerly December 25)? What's with the celebration of Ashtar, now called Easter? Your days of celebration are nothing but ancient pagan days of worship that people were already celebrating.
How about looking at the prophecies outlined in the parables of the harvests and workweek in the Bible? How about looking at our Spiritual Exodus out of slavery to sin (also called Egypt) outlined in the Books of Moses?
There have always been thousands, ten of thousands, and now hundreds of thousands in the latter days who believe as I do. Catholics were proficient at harrassing, punishing and killing those of contrary view during the dark ages. Revelation says this whore has the blood of saints on her hands and her offspring (Protestant Churches) are as unfaithful to the coming bridegroom (Christ) as the Mother Church. The Whore will not be marrying Christ when he returns. Only those who have prepared themselves in clean and white linen. The clean and white linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Those who commit sin are naked and in shame.

reply from: Faramir

I'd need to write a book to refute all the bs you're throwing, and won't bother trying because you'll only respond with more.
It's too bad you can't hold your own beliefs without being so blatantly disrespectful of the beliefs of others, but you're not the only jackass on this board, and it's something I will suffer as a pennance for my many sins.
"Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with the..."
(That part comes from the Gospel, btw).

reply from: GodsLaw4Us2Live

We are in a life and death struggle during this lifetime. I'm not throwing softballs. Life and death is on the line.
Jesus, Paul and the other disciples were considered so obnoxious, such "jack@sses" that people repeatedly got whipped up into murderous rages against them. Jesus told people to their faces that they were murderers who desired to do the works of their father Satan. Paul told people they were worshipping worthless idols. The idolmakers and idol worshippers wanted to tear Paul and his companions apart for denigrating the use of idols, use of idols is something done liberally in the Catholic Church today.

reply from: GodsLaw4Us2Live

We are in a life and death struggle during this lifetime. I'm not throwing softballs. Life and death is on the line.
Jesus, Paul and the other disciples were considered so obnoxious, such "jack@sses" that people repeatedly got whipped up into murderous rages against them. Jesus told people to their faces that they were murderers who desired to do the works of their father Satan. Paul told people they were worshipping worthless idols. The idolmakers and idol worshippers wanted to tear Paul and his companions apart for denigrating the use of idols, use of idols is something done liberally in the Catholic Church today.
I grew up in the Catholic Church. My brothers were alter boys. As a teenager I began reading the Bible and I found I could not reconcile the traditions and practices of the RCC with what was in the Bible. I've since learned that many of the rites, ceremonies and beliefs of the RCC are from ancient traditions of men. The Bible says the Ancient Babylonian Mystery religion is the well-spring from which many "religions" obtained their beliefs and practices. The Greeks, Persians, Romans and others adopted many ideas that go back 4000 years ago from today. Many of these ideas came from Nimrod's ancient Babylon. The Roman Catholic Church followed that tradition.

reply from: scopia19822

"I do remember that the absolute happiest time of my life was when I joined the Catholic Church, so it's a strange idea to me that leaving the Church could make someone happy, and even stranger that another Catholic would suggest it could lead to happiness. "
You are a convert, you came into the RCC of your own free and it is only natural that you are happy. Frankly for me after this whole sitatuion the message I got was that the Church offer redemption and forgiveness and all are supposed to be worthy of forgivness and redmeption that Christ gave us, but only if you meet our man made prerequiste criteria. My husband is in an unsacremental marriage and yet because he had prove of a valid baptism they let him in under certain conditions, which let me tell you he has not abided by. Yet because of the paperwork fiasco, they will not even condtioanlly baptise me and admit me into their Church. Im not worthy to be given grace and redemption because it is only available through the sacraments and only those who meet the criteria can recieve them , so am I and the rest of the world bound for Hell? IME with the RCC you either have to be born into it or they put you through hell to get into it. The RCIA is a gauntlet let me tell you. No thank you, I will go somewhere else whether it be the EO or a Protestant Church. I have even pulled my son out of CCD classes and my husband is not too happy with that at all.

reply from: Faramir

Your problems with the Church are much deeper than a paperwork fiasco.
And that could all be resolved with a little effort and patience.
I wish you well with your new journey, but I hope you some day end up back where you started, back where you belong, and back where you will be most content.

reply from: scopia19822

"wish you well with your new journey, but I hope you some day end up back where you started, back where you belong, and back where you will be most content."
It is much deeper than the paperwork. I basically have been told I am not worthy of forgivness and redemption because I married a divorced man and that "sin" is enough to keep me from being forgiven of all of my other sins. I do not belong in the RCC and I will not be most content there. Too many manmade rules. Can you not accept that some people are happy in other places and religions other than your own? I can accept the fact that you are happy where you are, but the RCC is not the Church founded by Christ, if any is it is the EO.

reply from: GodsLaw4Us2Live

Follow Christ. Obey him. Serve God and man and you will be saved.
You don't have to take the wafer and do confessional in an RCC Church to be saved.
Bend down and wash your neighbor's feet like Jesus did and you shall be saved.
Following God is something you do seven days a week. It's not big magic in a building on Sunday.

reply from: Faramir

Being together with a divorced man does not make you unworthy of forgivness of your sins, but it does keep you in a continual state of sin until the annulments, or unless you live like brother and sister until all that is resolved. Apparently your husband is not doing his part, so he's responsible for a lot of the turmoil and conflict you're going through.
Anyway, I'm not trying to talk you out of anything. I know you've made your decision, and IMHO you're taking the harder road, since you could fix all this if you really wanted to.
BTW, I said I WAS happy when I joined the Church. I've had some hard challenges the past few years, and some of them because of my Catholic beliefs. I could make myself a lot happier in the short term by just walking away from the Church and shedding some of the burdens I must bear if I wish to remain true to my faith. It's not always easy to be a Catholic and happiness was never promised in this life as part of the deal. What WAS promised is that I too would have to "carry the cross," and I can't say that I like it, but I'm insightful enough to realize that if I rebel against one cross, I'll eventually end up with a heavier one.

reply from: lukesmom

I don't know any Catholic who would disagree with you, so what is the big deal with you about Catholics?

reply from: GodsLaw4Us2Live

I don't know any Catholic who would disagree with you, so what is the big deal with you about Catholics?
I believe Catholicism does mankind a disservice.
Nobody goes to heaven. Jesus alone has gone there; and he'll be returning with our reward that is reserved for us in heaven.
We are to be given positions of rulership here on the earth.
We should be preparing to serve our neighbor...not hoping to float off to "heaven". There is work to do here on the earth, our inheritance. The meek shall inherit the earth.
Ancient pagan religions concentrated on the perfections in the heavens and the lack thereof on or near earth. Heaven is an ancient concept predating Christianity, and I don't mean the Old Testament. There is not a mention of residing in heaven in the OT. Enoch and Elijah were relocated to avoid their untimely death at the hands of enemies - Elijah actually being carried by a whirlwind through the heaven that the birds fly in to another location (concerned individuals thought the wind may have tossed Elijah upon a mountainside.). We read that Enoch died after God relocated him and Elijah after being carried away by the whirlwind later wrote a letter to a King. They did not go to reside in the heaven where God resides. (There are three heavens: earth's atmosphere, where the stars are, where God is.)
I just don't think the Catholic hierarchy is very smart. They are not very good at solving a puzzle. Did you know the bible is a puzzle, written as a parable so you would not understand it?
It is written: "A good understanding have all they who keep Your commandments." If you are not called, not obeying God, the Bible is just an unsolved riddle, a puzzle that makes no sense.
Cecilia has confidence the rocks masterminded themselves into a complex living system. They wrote their own DNA blueprint, don't you know?

reply from: Shenanigans

You are aware, are you not, the early Christains only tacked on the OT to give their young faith more crediance and the appearance of age, thus attempting to gain more respect from the Romans who didn't think much of the early religion.

reply from: GodsLaw4Us2Live

Unfortunately, many people do act as if the New Testament is entirely different from the Old Testament and the Old Testament is null and void and of little value.
A person cannot be saved without understanding the Old Testament. All Scripture is profitable.

reply from: lukesmom

I don't know any Catholic who would disagree with you, so what is the big deal with you about Catholics?
I believe Catholicism does mankind a disservice.
Nobody goes to heaven. Jesus alone has gone there; and he'll be returning with our reward that is reserved for us in heaven.
We are to be given positions of rulership here on the earth.
We should be preparing to serve our neighbor...not hoping to float off to "heaven". There is work to do here on the earth, our inheritance. The meek shall inherit the earth.
Ancient pagan religions concentrated on the perfections in the heavens and the lack thereof on or near earth. Heaven is an ancient concept predating Christianity, and I don't mean the Old Testament. There is not a mention of residing in heaven in the OT. Enoch and Elijah were relocated to avoid their untimely death at the hands of enemies - Elijah actually being carried by a whirlwind through the heaven that the birds fly in to another location (concerned individuals thought the wind may have tossed Elijah upon a mountainside.). We read that Enoch died after God relocated him and Elijah after being carried away by the whirlwind later wrote a letter to a King. They did not go to reside in the heaven where God resides. (There are three heavens: earth's atmosphere, where the stars are, where God is.)
I just don't think the Catholic hierarchy is very smart. They are not very good at solving a puzzle. Did you know the bible is a puzzle, written as a parable so you would not understand it?
It is written: "A good understanding have all they who keep Your commandments." If you are not called, not obeying God, the Bible is just an unsolved riddle, a puzzle that makes no sense.
Cecilia has confidence the rocks masterminded themselves into a complex living system. They wrote their own DNA blueprint, don't you know?
You believe "Catholicism does mankind a disservice" and I believe your idea of religion does the same, yet I don't disrespect your religion or your beliefs. They are yours and they are sacred to you same as my religious beliefs are sacred to me and others of my religious faith. I also don't agree with Cecilia's beliefs but she can worship whoever and however and whatever gets her off. I don't care as long as it doesn't hurt anyone. Your statements particularly regarding the Catholic religion come off as extremely angry and vindictive and not at all as Godlike.

reply from: GodsLaw4Us2Live

I don't know any Catholic who would disagree with you, so what is the big deal with you about Catholics?
I believe Catholicism does mankind a disservice.
Nobody goes to heaven. Jesus alone has gone there; and he'll be returning with our reward that is reserved for us in heaven.
We are to be given positions of rulership here on the earth.
We should be preparing to serve our neighbor...not hoping to float off to "heaven". There is work to do here on the earth, our inheritance. The meek shall inherit the earth.
Ancient pagan religions concentrated on the perfections in the heavens and the lack thereof on or near earth. Heaven is an ancient concept predating Christianity, and I don't mean the Old Testament. There is not a mention of residing in heaven in the OT. Enoch and Elijah were relocated to avoid their untimely death at the hands of enemies - Elijah actually being carried by a whirlwind through the heaven that the birds fly in to another location (concerned individuals thought the wind may have tossed Elijah upon a mountainside.). We read that Enoch died after God relocated him and Elijah after being carried away by the whirlwind later wrote a letter to a King. They did not go to reside in the heaven where God resides. (There are three heavens: earth's atmosphere, where the stars are, where God is.)
I just don't think the Catholic hierarchy is very smart. They are not very good at solving a puzzle. Did you know the bible is a puzzle, written as a parable so you would not understand it?
It is written: "A good understanding have all they who keep Your commandments." If you are not called, not obeying God, the Bible is just an unsolved riddle, a puzzle that makes no sense.
Cecilia has confidence the rocks masterminded themselves into a complex living system. They wrote their own DNA blueprint, don't you know?
You believe "Catholicism does mankind a disservice" and I believe your idea of religion does the same, yet I don't disrespect your religion or your beliefs. They are yours and they are sacred to you same as my religious beliefs are sacred to me and others of my religious faith. I also don't agree with Cecilia's beliefs but she can worship whoever and however and whatever gets her off. I don't care as long as it doesn't hurt anyone. Your statements particularly regarding the Catholic religion come off as extremely angry and vindictive and not at all as Godlike.
The Priest in my boyhood community molested children, murdered men and committed suicide. This was years after I left the area and years after my brothers served as alter boys. The molestation and murders happened in another community. But the Catholics moved this dysfunctional child molester and murderer around to other communities. The Priest when I went to Catholic youth classes was AWOL and didn't teach us a thing. The students just sat around and visited. I learned when to kneel at the right time in the pews and how to repeat back the right phrases at Church. I had low respect for the entire spectacle that I saw.

reply from: Faramir

Really?
Where in the Bible does it say that?

reply from: Shenanigans

I'm sorry you had a crap time with Catholicisim. But there are just over a billion of us, you're bound to run into a few bad ones.
Me - the priests and nuns I was taught by were fantastic, they were generous with their time, friendly, funny and Godly. The Catholic churches I've attended have been warm, open and certainly didn't tolerate any kind of dodgey priest in their midst - not that we've had any.

reply from: GodsLaw4Us2Live

Really?
Where in the Bible does it say that?
The entire Bible is authored by the Word, also called Jesus the Christ. This is how Revelation works: "The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants...He made it known by sending his angel to his servant." Jesus sends the message to Holy men through angels.
How did Jesus convey his message:
Matthew 13:10-13 "Then his students came and said to him, "Why do you speak to them in parables? And he answered them, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away."
Matthew 13:14 Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: "You will indeed hear but never understand...."
From Genesis through Jude the Bible is a parable. Physical stories are meant to represent Spiritual truth. The grain harvests respresent the Spiritual harvests. The ox treading out the grain is a minister.
Why is the Bible a parable? Because God has commanded that man be left alone for six workdays (six thousand years) to build his own government and societies.
God is, however, calling a few to positions in the future Government of God. The Sabbath represents the thousand year rule of the Government of God during which men rest from the work of building their governments.

reply from: lukesmom

Every religion, nationality, race, gender group, etc has it's group of beings that don't follow the rules, have psych issues, peophiles. Catholics are no different. Catholics are humans same as you and everyone else and therefore make human mistakes. I am truely sorry for what happened to you. I was molested by a vegtable farmer but I don't hate every vegtable farmer and the people who work for him and the people who happen to buy vegtables. I also teach religious ed and can tell you what we teach is the love of God and how to apply that to your life, your community and your religion. You have painted a whole religion and a huge group of very sincere, loving and giving individuals with the same brush as the very disturbed molester and some very ignorant superiors. Unfortunantly, the only one suffering is you because you can't allow yourself the blessing of forgiveness.

reply from: scopia19822

I have met Catholics and Protestants good and bad. Just because I left the RCC and have issues with what is taught as dogma does not mean I think all Catholics are bad.

reply from: GodsLaw4Us2Live

Really?
Where in the Bible does it say that?
The entire Bible is authored by the Word, also called Jesus the Christ. This is how Revelation works: "The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants...He made it known by sending his angel to his servant." Jesus sends the message to Holy men through angels.
How did Jesus convey his message:
Matthew 13:10-13 "Then his students came and said to him, "Why do you speak to them in parables? And he answered them, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away."
Matthew 13:14 Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: "You will indeed hear but never understand...."
From Genesis through Jude the Bible is a parable. Physical stories are meant to represent Spiritual truth. The grain harvests respresent the Spiritual harvests. The ox treading out the grain is a minister.
Why is the Bible a parable? Because God has commanded that man be left alone for six workdays (six thousand years) to build his own government and societies.
God is, however, calling a few to positions in the future Government of God. The Sabbath represents the thousand year rule of the Government of God during which men rest from the work of building their governments.
Matthew 13:34 "All these things Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed, he said nothing to them without a parable. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet: "I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter what has been hidden since the foundation of the world."
The entire Bible is a parable. Jesus, The Word, speaks in parables. Why? So the prophecy of Isaiah may be fulfilled,; "You will indeed hear but never understand, you will indeed see but never perceive." "With their ears they barely hear, and their eyes they have closed."

reply from: Faramir

So where does it say in the bible that the entire bible is a parable?

reply from: Faramir

Every religion, nationality, race, gender group, etc has it's group of beings that don't follow the rules, have psych issues, peophiles. Catholics are no different. Catholics are humans same as you and everyone else and therefore make human mistakes. I am truely sorry for what happened to you. I was molested by a vegtable farmer but I don't hate every vegtable farmer and the people who work for him and the people who happen to buy vegtables. I also teach religious ed and can tell you what we teach is the love of God and how to apply that to your life, your community and your religion. You have painted a whole religion and a huge group of very sincere, loving and giving individuals with the same brush as the very disturbed molester and some very ignorant superiors. Unfortunantly, the only one suffering is you because you can't allow yourself the blessing of forgiveness.
IF his story is true.
EVERY critic of the Church has some kind of horror story it seems, and I'm not inclined to believe this one.

reply from: Shenanigans

In the appendix, its just after the glossary and before the picture section.

reply from: churchmouse

Sorry these posts are late, been taking care of dad.
God would not be pleased that we are arguing over labels and theology.
Like Concerned said, when Christ walked the earth there were no denominations. The theif on the cross, what was he? He was a believer.
I have great issues with the RCC but I also know Catholics that are loving and caring and I know their hearts are right with God. They read the bible for themselves and they have accepted Christ and guys thats all that matters.
You are right. It is a sad fact isnt it? Sad I mean because the rest of Christiandom does nothing for the unborn child. Our mega pastors that head our mega churches do nothing. NOTHING. I picket PP clinics....and the majority, the overwhelming majority of those there are Catholics. I love my Catholic friends, they have such passion. There is much positive in the Catholic Church. No person or Church is without perfect. But then Christ came for those who are not perfect. I think that includes us all.
Faramir your post was not nice.
And what about annulments?
How can a church give annulments to people after they have children in their marriage. Its like saying the kids are illegitamate, that you never had a relationship with the father/mother. You have a marriage covenant, children, then because you want a divorce and to remain faithful to the CHURCH, you need to get an annulment. The relationship is null and void it never existed.
Ridiculous. So one minute its Divine and the next it isnt. If this is not hypocrisy I dont know what else is.
Boss so funny.......we have to sometimes laugh at ourselves.
A new priest at his first mass was so nervous he could hardly speak. After mass he asked the monsignor how he had done. The monsignor replied, " When I am worried about getting nervous On the pulpit, I put a glass of vodka next to the water glass. If I start to get nervous, I take a sip." So next Sunday he took the monsignor's advice. At the beginning of the sermon, he got nervous and took a drink. He proceeded to talk up a storm. Upon his return to his office after the mass, he found the following note on the door:
1) Sip the vodka, don't gulp.
2) There are 10 commandments, not 12.
3) There are 12 disciples, not 10.
4) Jesus was consecrated, not constipated.
5) Jacob wagered his donkey, he did not bet his ass.
6) We do not refer to Jesus Christ as the late J.C.
7) The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are not referred to as Daddy, Junior and the spook.
8 ) David slew Goliath, he did not kick the **** out of him.
9) When David was hit by a rock and was knocked off his donkey, don't say he was stoned off his ass.
10)We do not refer to the cross as the "Big T."
11)When Jesus broke the bread at the last supper he said, "take this and eat it for it is my body." He did not say " Eat me" .
12)The Virgin Mary is not called " Mary with the Cherry,.
13)The recommended grace before a meal is not: Rub-A-Dub-Dub thanks for the grub, Yeah God.
14)Next Sunday there will be a taffy pulling contest at ST.Peter's not a peter pulling contest at St. Taffy's."
No one said it better than godslaw did......."Follow Christ. Obey him. Serve God and man and you will be saved.'

reply from: Faramir

And what happens when there are children in two marriages (or three or four)?
Both marriages are valid? Both have been joined by God?
And it is not saying the children are illegitimate. An annulment simply says that the marriage was not a sacramental marriage. It does not cancel that there was a civil union or legal status of the children.
At any rate, Scopia's husband is the one who needs the annulment, and not from her but from his previous marriage. He and Scopia have a child together, but that did not invalidate his previous marriages. And if you are concerned about children, what if he had fathered a child in one of his previous marriages as well?
How would you sort that one out?
No. And we don't use the word "divine" regarding a marriage. An annulment simpy declares that the necessary ingredients for a sacramental marriage did not exist at the time of the marriage.
Much of your criticism and insulting comments you make about Catholicism is based on incomplete knowledge and distortions.

reply from: Faramir

I don't think the Catholic Church started until after the Resurrection when Christ said to the Apostles, "Who hears you hears me," etc.
There were no denominations until some sects broke away from the Church, the most tragic one being when Luther rebelled, instead of remaining within and reforming from within.
It is unfortunate there are many doctrines, sects, denominations, and factions, but the Church has been the same Catholic Church since day one, and all the other sects and denominations continue to keep splitting off, doing their own thing, and interpreting scpriture each in their own way.

reply from: GodsLaw4Us2Live

Mark4:11-12 "All things come in parables, so that 'Seeing they may not see and perceive, and hearing they may not hear and understand; lest they should turn, and their sins be forgiven them.'"
Proverbs 25:2 "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter...."
If you would have read the Bible, it is self-evident that it is written as a parable.
Isaiah 6:8-11 I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us? Then I said, "Here I am! Send me." And He said, "Go, and tell this people: keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive...." Then I said, "Lord, how long?" And he answered, "Until the cities are laid waste and without inhabitant, the houses are without a man, the land is utterly desolate... and the forsaken places are many....But yet a tenth will be in it...."
Until 90% of human life is wiped out and all cities destroyed, it is commanded that men not understand.
Do you think God is kneeling down by your side at the desk going over your lessons with you?

reply from: Banned Member

I was confirmed at the age of 33 after one lengthy meeting with my priest and no religious instruction classes. My priest never even asked for my baptismal records.
A Catholic person who is living with someone who does not yet have an anullment cannot be married and to another and can only be and continues to be the husband to the person to whom he is married to in the Church until and only until and IF an anullment is granted.

reply from: Faramir

Mark4:11-12 "All things come in parables, so that 'Seeing they may not see and perceive, and hearing they may not hear and understand; lest they should turn, and their sins be forgiven them.'"
Proverbs 25:2 "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter...."
If you would have read the Bible, it is self-evident that it is written as a parable.
Isaiah 6:8-11 I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us? Then I said, "Here I am! Send me." And He said, "Go, and tell this people: keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive...." Then I said, "Lord, how long?" And he answered, "Until the cities are laid waste and without inhabitant, the houses are without a man, the land is utterly desolate... and the forsaken places are many....But yet a tenth will be in it...."
Until 90% of human life is wiped out and all cities destroyed, it is commanded that men not understand.
Do you think God is kneeling down by your side at the desk going over your lessons with you?
Where does it say in the Bible that the entire Bible is a parable?
Where do you get the 90% figure?
Do you belong to a church or denomination? If so, what is it called?
How do you know for certain that your interpretations are correct and that the Christian churches are incorrect?

reply from: scopia19822

"At any rate, Scopia's husband is the one who needs the annulment, and not from her but from his previous marriage. He and Scopia have a child together, but that did not invalidate his previous marriages. And if you are concerned about children, what if he had fathered a child in one of his previous marriages as well?
How would you sort that one out?"
My husband has 2 children from his 2nd marriage. He was not a Catholic when he married his exs or me. They were civil marriages and he has to get both of them annulled. Any civil marriage no matter how many have to be annulled. I have heard some cases of marriages being annulled and the woman getting a letter from the bishop decalring her children illegtiment and they and her are excommunicated.

reply from: Faramir

That's pure and unequivocal BS. It's bad enough when non Catholics make ignorant comments, but much worse when Catholics (or ex Catholics) do it, because it unfortunately makes your comments more credible.
Your husband has only one marriage to deal with and not two. If he were to move on and divorce you, he would not have to have the marriage to you annuled. It's not a valid marriage, and neither are BOTH his previous marriages.
All I can think is that to be cautious, they might require an annulment for both if they are uncertain which one is valid, but it does not make much sense.
There would never be a letter from a Bishop declaring children illegitimate. An annulment has nothing to do with that. Where did you dig that one up? And the children would not be excommunicated and neither would the spouse. I can't believe you're saying this stuff.

reply from: sheri

Every time i think i should respond i see that Farimir has already done so in a very eloquent way, Thanks for that. I will be praying for a good outcome here. Scopia, have you ever tryed the Catholic answers site, they have a good forum that covors alot of your issues. Good luck and God bless you and your family.

reply from: scopia19822

That's pure and unequivocal BS. It's bad enough when non Catholics make ignorant comments, but much worse when Catholics (or ex Catholics) do it, because it unfortunately makes your comments more credible.
Your husband has only one marriage to deal with and not two. If he were to move on and divorce you, he would not have to have the marriage to you annuled. It's not a valid marriage, and neither are BOTH his previous marriages.
All I can think is that to be cautious, they might require an annulment for both if they are uncertain which one is valid, but it does not make much sense.
There would never be a letter from a Bishop declaring children illegitimate. An annulment has nothing to do with that. Where did you dig that one up? And the children would not be excommunicated and neither would the spouse. I can't believe you're saying this stuff.
I hear about this BS on 20/20 a few years back there was a bishop in Denver doing it. A spokesmen from the Vatican said that is not true. . I dont know what diocese you are in, but in ours both have to be anulled because they were not done in the RCC. He has 2 to contend with, not one. Both have to be annulled. If we were to divorce he would most certainly have to get the marriages . Where did you get his degree in canon law BTW? The priest of my former parish is a Roman trained canon lawyer and a former secular attourney. He has spoken the Bishop and Bishop DiLorenzo concurred that both have to annulled.

reply from: Faramir

I said I don't know about the two marriages. It seems unusual to me, but I suppose it's possible.
What I mainly object to is your statement that children could be declared illegitimate or even be excommunicated.
Can you back that one up?

reply from: scopia19822

I said that I heard cases of that being done and those it was done too were given an apology from the Vatican. This happened in Denver back in the 80s and 90s.

reply from: Faramir

I said that I heard cases of that being done and those it was done too were given an apology from the Vatican. This happened in Denver back in the 80s and 90s.
Then of what relevance is it?
It seems you're going overboard to discredit the Church.
You've made your decision to leave. If you must go, could you please go gracefully?

reply from: scopia19822

I said that I heard cases of that being done and those it was done too were given an apology from the Vatican. This happened in Denver back in the 80s and 90s.
Then of what relevance is it?
It seems you're going overboard to discredit the Church.
You've made your decision to leave. If you must go, could you please go gracefully?
Are you telling me that I must shut up about what is wrong within the RCC and learn my place? There is wrongs in every religion and if I had left a Protestant Church I would be doing the same thing. When I see hypocrisy and wrongs I dont just keep my mouth shut like some mouse and turn a blind eye. I speak out firmly against the RCC child molestation scandal and am disgusted at the whole matter.

reply from: Faramir

LOL
No, I'm telling you to stop telling fairy tales about the Church.
The only thing in your case that's wrong is that you cannot deal with whatever sacrifices you must make to make things right.
So do what you have to do, but as a Catholic, I don't appreciate seeing my church being misrepresented by someone on the way out.

reply from: Faramir

No, please jump in. I need your help!
I'm up to my neck in the bull sh*t that keeps flying faster than I can dig my way out.

reply from: scopia19822

Fairy tells about the RCC? So they whole child molestation fiasco and the cover up is just a fairy tell. What happened to me was not right, they kept the fact that they could not find my baptismal certificate from my old parish for almost a year and they admitted my husband into full communion when he is in the same boat as I am. He and anybody else should be held to the same standards as I should be held too, that is what I am pissed off about. They lied to me and are telling me that I am not worthy to be baptized and forgiven of my sins because I married a divorced man. The fact that they withheld information from me is dirty and deceitful. The fact that they are holding my husband to a different standard is just wrong. I would have had no problems making "sacrifices" if my husband was asked to make them with me and had to wait as well. In other parishes/diocese they coule have worked around this mess by simply performing a conditional baptism and admitting me in on the condition that we abstain from relations. My husband of course if on the the side of RCC as he is very zealous as most converts I have met are. I told him that I will no longer regard him as my husband since in the eyes of the RCC we are not. So does that mean that I can go hook up with another man and it wont be adultery in the eyes of God, but only fornication.

reply from: Faramir

I would be happy to help you with this and be a source of support in real life. I would be happy to make calls on your behalf. I would be happy to offer whatever help I could to get you in touch with the right people who could sort everything out.
I'm sure Sheri and Theresa would offer the same.
I'm sure there are people right in your parish would would help you.
It just seems though that you are using all this as an excuse. Your mind is made up to leave, and you would rather keep throwing up these circumstances as justifications for leaving.
There is not one thing you mentioned that could not be dealt with and fixed.

reply from: Shenanigans

Heard of them from the grapevine or actually KNOW the people involved?
I mean really, if that were the case I would never have been baptised seeing as I'm a bastard, as is my sister, albeit adopted.
The church ruled years ago that children are not to suffer for their parents' annullments.
My best friend and my cousins have both had their parents' marriages annulled, and they've all become ministers of the eucharist and in completely different parts of the world.

reply from: scopia19822

"It just seems though that you are using all this as an excuse. Your mind is made up to leave, and you would rather keep throwing up these circumstances as justifications for leaving."
I have sent a letter to the Bishops office in Richmond. I am not trying to justify anything, I have just reasons for leaving if anything. I will however contact the Charelston SC dicocse as well to see if maybe just maybe they can find the record as I was baptized in a hospital NICU not a parish church. With the exception of the women I do sidewalk counsling with I want nothing to do with the people from my former parish and that is another story. If it was not for my "husband" pleading with the parish priest I would not have gotten the money to go be with my uncle in his last days. Intially my request was denied even though this parish takes in about 15,000 dollars in donations for the offering every week not to mention other generous donations from extremely wealthy parishoners. My uncles death is finally starting to hit me, this is too much in such a short period of time. I talked to my moms Presbyterian minister and he is more than willing to baptize me so I think I might take him up on it.

reply from: scopia19822

Heard of them from the grapevine or actually KNOW the people involved?
I mean really, if that were the case I would never have been baptised seeing as I'm a bastard, as is my sister, albeit adopted.
The church ruled years ago that children are not to suffer for their parents' annullments.
My best friend and my cousins have both had their parents' marriages annulled, and they've all become ministers of the eucharist and in completely different parts of the world.
I have heard reports of it and this issue has come up from many people inquiring about joining the RCC. Catholic answers said this is a fallacy, but it would have happened in the cases of royalty centuries ago.
ttp://ezinearticles.com/?Critical-Analysis-of-the-Annulment-of-King-Henry-VIII-and-Katherine-of-Aragon&id=418851

reply from: Faramir

Hey, the Church can't be all bad if they funded your trip. And I'm sorry about your uncle and what you have been going through.
But you've already been baptized. You don't need another one.
Why Presbyterian, anyway? You're headed for the Orthodox Church, aren't you?
Anyway, believe it or not, I do care about you, and I think it's best for you and for the sake of whatever happiness is possible in this world, to remain and work things out.
I've not been good about praying for others of late, but I will do my best to remember you and keep you in my prayers.


2017 ~ LifeDiscussions.org ~ Discussions on Life, Abortion, and the Surrounding Politics