So... I get to work and my sister has sent me an email with the subject line, "watch it all please with an open mind" and i just know its something to do with the church or its a joke. it was the former and in the body was a link to 666truth.org So... I decided to do so with an "open mind"; which I did, and then I decided to "reply" her. I also decided why not start a new mini series on it about why I am catholic because there is no way I'd respond to everything in one email, or as it may be here, in one post. Hence this is installment one of 'Why I am Catholic'. Be warned I am no scripture scholar so if I am wrong do post a comment... I sent her the following:
I have come across some of these "ideas" before this and I did read with an open mind, so here are some counter arguments. If you will allow me to do so I'll write this over time and give a bit of info in each session, I'll probably post on my blog as well :D I know its a long answer, but do read it, it may not be eloquent but I'll give it a bash, even the links are important so click through...
One main point raised is:
Only God can forgive sins - and I say right on! Yes only He can forgive sins, and He said anything you ask in my name will be granted you. During confession the priest says "May God forgive your sins in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy spirit...." we invoke His name, how is this different from someone who commands a devil or sickness to leave someone else in the name of Jesus... when we sin it is like a debt to God, if i have a debt to you can i give the money to someone else and say the debt has been paid? No! i have to give back to him i owe, to God who can forgive me my debt or accept the payment for it. He and He alone.
Here is a link from the catechism. It explains better what we actually subscribe to.
Our Lord tied the forgiveness of sins to faith and Baptism: "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved."Mk 16:15-16 Baptism is the first and chief sacrament of forgiveness of sins because it unites us with Christ, who died for our sins and rose for our justification, so that "we too might walk in newness of life."Rom 6:4; Cf. 4:25. After his Resurrection, Christ sent his apostles "so that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations."Lk 24:47.
This article is a bit more learned than I am :)
Another reason I'm catholic goes not only on what i believe, but what god has revealed over the ages. we do not discard lesson from Genesis anymore than we discard what He gave to the first Fathers of the church. Yes we move with the time as long as it does not move us further away from God. Confession brings us closer to God. For instance in this article God's truth does not change with the weather and fashions. But as with most churches now and even more Christians, even those who say they are catholic, being gay is OK and not a sin; contraception, most of which is abortive is OK and not a sin. I say we love the sinner not the sin! And my thinking is God is the same yesterday today and forever, what He calls sin is forever sin. How can i trust in someone or anything that changes doctrine at a whim? and the Lord said let there be leaders, judges, teachers, bishops among you, this is reiterated throughout the new testament, He gave the early apostles great power, why should i limit Him on giving that great power to His apostles today?
We say Christ is the church and the church is Christ for we are the body of Christ. Can we not forgive those who trespass against us and when we forgive them are we not extending God's forgiveness thereto... confession is not about someone saying you are forgiven because i say so; its about the priest being a conduit like the prophets of old, Elijah, Elisha, Isiah, its about being given a sacramental grace to help you not sin again, it also has its psychological benefits if you want to go all new age. We are charged in the bible to be held accountable for our actions by our brethren, so it forms a part of accountability, it also introduces humility into the picture. If you cant be honest in your confession and in examining your conscience, your soul and your actions using the ten commandments when can you be honest? Confession is also all about getting spiritual direction, where a priest who is a scripture scholar, spiritual director or anything along those lines can hep you discern what the Word tells us or tell you where to go. We are not always well equipped to interpret what the bible says and may not have the gift of interpretation which another has, are we not supposed to use our gifts for the body of Christ and hence partake of others gifts for the building of the same body?
Well I'll stop here for now and continue later and i think the next one will touch on contraception another reason I'm still catholic.... below are links i found useful so here's me hoping you read them... with an open mind :D
1. Sacrament of reconciliation - a large directory on the sacrament
2. some Catechism
3. on sin and an examination of conscience
4. another examination of conscience