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Featured Pros and cons of Catholicism.

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Saint Frankenstein, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein Pyrphóros ⚡ Lux Aeterna
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    So lately I've been weighing out whether I wish to stay Catholic or not. There's things I love about it and things I don't like about it.

    I'll start with the cons (to me):

    - The Church's stance on LGBT people. I'm a trans man and identity as queer/pansexual. I have transitioned. Since I have transitioned, the Vatican's official line would be that I'm living a lie, perverting God's plan and that I can't even be a Godparent, let alone get married. So I can't really be a full member of the Church. I am also not really out at church and the thought is a bit daunting to me.
    - Sexual morality. I think the Vatican's sexual morality is outdated and unrealistic. I don't think things like masturbation, pornography, pre-martial sex or even sex work are necessarily mortal sins. I think things like artificial birth control and IVF are perfectly acceptable and that abortion is a sad necessity in some cases (health, rape, etc.).
    - The death penalty. I agree with capital punishment at least in principle. Some people can't be rehabilitated, such as full-blown psychopaths.
    - The male-only clergy. I think women should be allowed to be part of the clergy.
    - Corruption in the Church.
    - Big focus on suffering and sin, to the point that it can be quite depressing.

    Pros (to me):

    - Community. It's nice to have churches that you can go easily go to worship at. (Although this is tempered by me not being a full member of the community, as mentioned above.)
    - The Trinity. I find it a very beautiful and unique theology.
    - The Communion of Saints.
    - Holy icons and relics.
    - The vast history and scale of the Church.
    - Mysticism.

    There's also the fact that I continue to be quite drawn to Paganism (although I don't really like that word), especially Hellenic religion (I'm feeling quite drawn to Zeus lately). I do not wish to become a Protestant and Orthodoxy has much of the same problems. Episcopalianism is a possible choice, but I don't know.
     
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  2. Mindmaster

    Mindmaster Well-Known Member
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    Why do you have to make a choice? :D I mean there are plenty of "Christian Wiccans" that understand Christianity and Wicca as different interpretations of the same basic concepts. While the bible says "No god before me", we both realize it was written by men. Why can't you have your Jesus and Zeus if they both please you? Mostly, I am just speaking from experience here in that I feel drawn to deities from "Demonic", Celtic, and even Greek Pantheons to some extent. I don't choose, so why do you? :D

    Yes, that means you are at war with the orthodoxy of any religion but who cares it's better than constantly having an identity crisis or feeling wrong about what you are doing.
     
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  3. Carlita

    Carlita March 11th 2017 Equality PRIDE Flag!

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    Can I be totally honest with you?

    Okay. I really love the Church, I really do, but...

    This is only my opinion. Since (rather than IF) the Church cannot accept you for Who you are, not have ways to change you regardless of good intent, and generally push you away from the full body by no being able to participate in all the sacrament, unless (as I thought about years ago), god is more important than who you are as a person-and let god define you not the Church itself-I honestly feel you'd feel more damaged being a part of the Church (as in participating in the sacraments) than going there, being in one community, without needing to take the sacraments to be one with Christ. Many non-christians on RF still go to the Catholic Church, not because they are Catholic, but because they are welcomed and find sense of community there which the reasons depend on that person and situation not as a whole.

    I mean, I go to Easter Vigil every year to welcome people into the Church. I sign the cross to remember my baptismal vows. I pray to my grandmothers and let them know I haven't forgotten even though I choose not to follow.

    Do what's best for your spiritual health. Don't agree or conform with something that will harm your spirit and who you are as a person. You don't have to take the sacraments to be one body with the Church. That's one pro about the Church (depending on parish, though) is as a whole, they welcome you regardless because you are Catholic.

    I will be honest. If god is above and first then maybe reading scripture and finding out what god tells you about these things directly from scripture will give you an idea of what you should do. That, and are these things "deal breakers" in following the Catholic faith. There are many LGBT Catholics who take the Eucharist because their relationship with christ is more important than anything. While these things may be big to you, think about it. How big are they in the scheme of things?

    Likewise above. Instead, you can join the prison ministry and help prisoners so they don't have to go to capital punishment. You can help contribute to have less people die for sins that don't affect their afterlife if they have christ and continued forgiveness. Be part of the solution. You may differ in death penalty, but just because you don't mind capital punishment, does that mean you agree with it if someone you feel doesn't warrant the punishment? Be part of the solution.

    Another deal breaker. I wanted to be a priest before I knew this about the Church. Hopes were crushed but then a priest said that all Catholics are "priests." The only difference is you can't consecrate the Eucharist, marry, and listen to confessions. There are many vocations you can do that priests and deacons do. Explore your options.

    This is another thing I find sad about many of those who left the Church. Corruption in the Church is another way of saying Corruption in Christ and his body. Yes, Catholics believe everyone is a sinner and the body of Christ are made up of sinners, so if you are part of the solution, the corruption in the body of Christ should not affect your relationship with him.

    In my honest opinion, this is a very weak con of not being Catholic.

    This is an individual thing. Instead of focusing on your sins, focus on your resurrection. When you go to confession, you are "cleaning your soul" to live a sinless life. When you take the Eucharist (which you can) you are resurrecting your soul in Christ. If you see the Church as a way to cleanse your soul rather than accusing you of harming yourself, your soul, then maybe that will help being pressured to go to confessions and more live a vocation in the Church. Change your perspective.

    You can also walk through the Passion of Christ when they have it at your local parish. Focus on all the passion not just his death. Baptist, for example, focus on the resurrection. Catholicism doesn't teach against this. Expand your options.

    You can still take the Eucharist and be in full communion. Your gender identity doesn't prevent you from the sacraments of christ. Your action does. I can think of myself as an alien and still take the Eucharist but once I commit a sin without going to confession, then that's when I'm not in full body. If god is above how you define yourself and let him define you, you should be fine. If it's the other way around, I'd priorities in what is important. Things like that.

    What are your dealbreakers?

    Who is defining you as a person in christ-god or yourself?

    Are the sacraments of marriage important to you or something you want to take up in the future? If not, I think that's the only sacrament that you can't take technically. But where's your priority in the scheme of things?

    You can be in full body of Christ. I mean, with me, I want to be with a female so being full body will be hard on me. I don't know much about pansexuality but if you fell in love with a woman, the only thing that prevents you from marriage is your birth certificate. Marriage isn't a required sacrament to be a body of Christ. It's just one of many vocations in the Church.

    I'd read the bible as well. Sometimes you may hear things in the Church and then realize why the Church says X once you really read scripture.

    For example, (last one), I was very distraught when I found I couldn't marry in the Church. Then I found out marriage is a vocation (like many) and I also found that in the Church marriage is for procreation and it is a mirror of the Church (her) married to Christ (him). So, regardless of how I felt, because I am a female and the person I am with is a female, I can't change that. Male/female kept property way back when. A lot of economic and political reasons why male/female is advocated.

    Homosexuality (since transgender isn't in the bible) is about the actions. So, I don't see a problem other than not being able to marry in the Church. What prevents you from being in full body if god is above the things you disagree with the Church about (capitol punishment and all of that)?
     
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  4. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    The choice is entirely yours, Frank, and I hope you don't allow what other people think you should do to influence you too much. You have to be true to yourself, and you will never be happy constantly trying to mold yourself into something that someone else tells you you should be. Aside from your happiness, since you know how much I like you, the only thing I do hope is that if you do end up permanently leaving Christianity, you will remain as nice a person as you are as a Catholic. Sometimes, when you've moved away from Christianity in the past, you have let the pendulum swing so far in the other direction that I feel as if I can't relate to you at all. And it's not because of the change in your beliefs; it's because you seem like an entirely different person and one who hates everything about Christianity. Try to remember that you have Christian friends on this forum, and we'd still like to be friends with you if you leave the faith.
     
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  5. lovesong

    lovesong .little necromancer. .shaman in training.
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    Why can't you just be a Christian without church, or worship both Zeus and Yahweh? Why the need to wedge yourself into one pre-established label? Just merging the two is much more consistent than going back and forth all the time.
     
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  6. Stevicus

    Stevicus Well-Known Member
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    I was baptized Catholic, although my upbringing in the Church was somewhat tempered by the fact that my father was a convert and my mother had some serious misgivings about the Catholic Church that wouldn't really come to light until years later. She spent 12 years in Catholic school, and those were not years she looked upon with great fondness. My grandparents were devout Catholics though.

    A few years ago, I tried to go back to church, but it all just seemed so irrelevant to me. I don't really have anything against the Church, though. They do a lot of good charity and social work. I do recall that the local diocese ran into some financial trouble many years ago, which required intervention by the archdiocese to sort things out. It's a big organization to me, a large institution.

    One thing I noticed as different between the masses I attended in recent years versus what I remember as a kid attending church back in the 70s - there's a lot more singing and music than there used to be.
     
  7. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein Pyrphóros ⚡ Lux Aeterna
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    @Mindmaster

    Yes, that's useful advice. I shouldn't feel that I have to box myself into only one thing. I can "pick and choose" if I like. :D

    @Carlita

    You sound more Catholic than me. :confused: I just can't quite reconcile defending and being totally joyful about an institution that I can't be a full member of, unless those holding the power decide to change it. I want to be open about who I am and be accepted for it. I don't want to hide or feel this anxiety about it. When I marry, I want my religion to celebrate it along with me.

    @Katzpur

    Thank you for your kind words. Yes, I have fallen into anger and hatred towards Christianity at times. That's an issue I have and something I need to work on. I don't want to be like that and I apologize for my behavior in the past.
     
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  8. Carlita

    Carlita March 11th 2017 Equality PRIDE Flag!

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    Yeah. Sadly, that is one of the huge reasons I left the Church. It wasn't because they were not accepting and welcoming. Over here, they are more accepting then your everyday protestant. But most people put god first even at the expensive of sacrificing who they are rather than who god defines them to be.

    If I believed in god, I'd probably be in catholic therapy my whole life figuring it out. But, since I don't, it's a bit easier to take especially knowing why the Church feels the way it does.

    But, thank you for the compliment ;) I really don't feel that's going to change any time soon. If they did, I would be surprised. I know episcopalian doesn't have consecrated Eucharist but they do accept LGBTQ community and women priest. I know you'd have to divorce the Catholic Church to formally be part of the denomination. Other than that, I can't think of anything else.

    You said you are feeling closer to Zues. Have you thought of looking at the pantheons in his era? I have no clue of any Paganism. I guess it's something to look into though given it's similar to the saints but you're believing in multiple gods instead. -shrugs- dont know.
     
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  9. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein Pyrphóros ⚡ Lux Aeterna
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    It's just sad, because I'm out as being trans in all areas of my life except to the parish I go to. It really shouldn't have to be like that. I suppose I could find a more liberal parish, but that might only last as long as the hierarchy doesn't find out. Ugh.

    I am very drawn to the Hellenic pantheon. I could easily integrate my gender identity and sexuality with it, because most of the Hellenic Gods are queer and there's trans figures in it, too. Queer and trans people were considered holy in ancient Greece. So that's another thing to consider. I'm also interested in Druidry and Buddhism. Heathenry too, to an extent, but not as much as before.
     
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  10. Carlita

    Carlita March 11th 2017 Equality PRIDE Flag!

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    Have you tried looking up your local Universalist Unitarian Churches? Some congregations have CUUPs groups and you can explore that path with like-minded people. Here's a Druidry Groves in the states. Of course, you can ask Druids here. (Nudges @Quintessence ) they'd know more than me.
     
  11. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein Pyrphóros ⚡ Lux Aeterna
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    Apparently Zeus is greatly pleased with me, since there's a thunderstorm heading this way! :eek:;):D
     
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  12. KenS

    KenS Well-Known Member

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    I don't think that is the question. A deeper question is "Do I want to be a follower of Jesus".

    So transitioning isn't about one transitioning about who I think I want to be or adapting scripture to what I want but rather being cleansed by His Word and transitioning what I was into the image of Christ.
     
  13. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein Pyrphóros ⚡ Lux Aeterna
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    I admire Jesus and think that he's pretty cool. That's about all I can say right now.

    Okay, but I don't see what that has to do with medically and socially transitioning as a transsexual.
     
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  14. KenS

    KenS Well-Known Member

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    I think that is the crux of why one stays or leaves.

    At this point, it just sounds like you are saying (IMO) "I want to find a faith that simply matches my personal desires".

    Because one is doing what one wants to do vs what one should do according to what Jesus wants. Much like Adam when he did what he wanted to do vs what God asked him to do.

    HOWEVER, if one isn't a follower of Jesus, then you are free to find what suits your personal desires. You certainly have that freedom.

    My wife and I left the Catholic church because we felt like they were presenting something that Jesus didn't want us to do. We metamorphosed into what Jesus wanted. (Romans 12:1-2) Much like what Jesus said to the disciples "Now you are clean through my word".
     
  15. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein Pyrphóros ⚡ Lux Aeterna
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    I'm going to guess that you probably don't know what Jesus would want from me in that circumstance.
     
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  16. Carlita

    Carlita March 11th 2017 Equality PRIDE Flag!

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    Sorry @Saint Frankenstein have to address this.

    If Frank went back to Christ and Frank is a male not female, how do you choose to be someone you already are? If god created everyone who they are, and as a male, Frank transitioned physically as such, how is he doing what he "wants" when he is already male to begin with?

    What do you mean by doing as "he wants"?
    Have you researched what gender dysphoria actually is?

    Medical books seem to treat gender dysphoria as an illness; and, how and why would you consider a person suffering through that and wanting to be how god created him to be against the bible?

    That's (not you) just a horrible thing to say well-intentioned or not.
     
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  17. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein Pyrphóros ⚡ Lux Aeterna
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    Thank you. You said it better than I can. @Carlita , you may not identify as such, but you make a wonderful Catholic. I hope that those like you are the future of the Church. :hugehug:
     
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  18. Carlita

    Carlita March 11th 2017 Equality PRIDE Flag!

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    Thank you. I really appreciate that. (Made my night, actually... storms are-a comin') :hibiscus:
     
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  19. PopeADope

    PopeADope Habemus papam

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    Listen to your heart. Pray to the spirits you are drawn to and wait for an answer. Write down what your heart, conscience, and gut tells you. The spirits speak to the heart, not the ears. Let your heart guide you to destiny.
     
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  20. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein Pyrphóros ⚡ Lux Aeterna
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    I've pretty much decided that the cons outweigh the pros for me, in terms of the institution. I can also admire the things I like without being a Catholic. I can also go to Mass from time to time if I feel like it, simply because I enjoy it. After all, the ancient Greeks were quite the syncretists in the first place. No, I'm not going to go through an anti-Christian phase like before. I can integrate all those things within myself, while following my own personal spirituality. :)
     
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