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Featured Roman Catholic Church

Discussion in 'Interfaith Discussion' started by Watchmen, Mar 14, 2018.

  1. Watchmen

    Watchmen Well-Known Member
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    I’ve attended mass a couple of times and absolutely loved it. I was born and raised Mormon, but admitted to myself I do not believe in its history and teachings. I left and never thought I’d find myself in any church again. I was (and probably still am) agnostic. That said, I’ve found myself at mass a couple times and it feels like real worship. I really enjoyed it and now I’m curious.

    I’d like to know what your thoughts and experiences are regarding Catholocism. I’m looking for all thoughts, whether Catholic or not. Thank you.
     
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  2. Buddha Dharma

    Buddha Dharma Dharma Practitioner

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    I find most Catholics very reasonable, enjoyable people to be around. I appreciate the Church's mystic and philosophical traditions. That being said- I don't too much care for some of their stances on social issues.

    That is really my only problem with Catholicism. It doesn't make Catholicism utterly irredeemable or unworthy of consideration.
     
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  3. Axe Elf

    Axe Elf Prophet

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    Catholicism is great if the "religion" of your faith is important to you--and it is, to some people.

    But for me, they are too much about formality, rules and ritual, and less about the "heart" of the faith. I think they do some things completely wrong, too--like calling priests "father."

    "And do not call anyone [in the church] on earth father, for you have one Father, Who is in heaven." --Matthew 23:9 (Amplified Bible)

    I don't think it's about using that name or title, per se; it's more about not needing any intermediary between yourself and God, other than Jesus. So there should be no need to confess your sins to another man; just talk to God about it.

    So all that formal stuff kind of turns me off, but I do think it is a legitimate form of worship, and in general, its adherents are truly seeking God.
     
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  4. Frater Sisyphus

    Frater Sisyphus Contradiction, irrationality and disorder

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    Funny enough, it's the only thing I like about it......
     
    #4 Frater Sisyphus, Mar 14, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
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  5. Buddha Dharma

    Buddha Dharma Dharma Practitioner

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    Funnily enough it's the mysticism and ritualism I find appealing about it, of the things I do. I find religions without ritualism and pageantry kinda dull, frankly. It just lacks a certain aesthetic for me.

    I often say that Protestant churches are very bland and plain- like courtrooms.
     
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  6. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    Hmm. I wasnt raised religious but a roman catholic friend introduced me to her church. We went for years. I made a premature jump and should have listened to the priest who said wait and became catholic. That was about five years ago and about seven in practice. I love everything. I didnt have all basic christian tenents so I stopped taking the sacranents.

    Ive always been atheist. I never knew what a god is apart from jesus and the biblical depiction and sacraments. I dont know the islam, jewish, nor bahai. That and human sacrifice and taking history class, as well as reading the bible gave me an uncomfortable feeling I left. If I followed christ I'd definitely be catholic.

    I dont see anything wrong with you going to mass. I try to go on easter vigil and celebrate those comming into the church. In my opinion as long as you dont take the sacraments and just recieve the priests blessings instead (bowed head) you're fine.

    That or if you are catholic you can still worship. Its not a "you must" but a growing devotion. Very different than a protestant church were you must be christian first to get the full chabang..
     
    #6 Unveiled Artist, Mar 14, 2018
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  7. Buddha Dharma

    Buddha Dharma Dharma Practitioner

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    There are psychological reasons why most people like ritualism, pageantry, icons, and such when it comes to matters of the religious. It's because lack of ritualism and pageantry seem ordinary. Whereas religions see themselves as dealing in out of the ordinary things and forces, more often than not. It makes the space seem holy and directs the adherent's mind when they're surrounded by these things.

    I know not everyone feels that way though. There are exceptions to every rule.

    Traditional Christians inherited from pagans the love of ritual and pageantry as an assist I think. As I said, there's nothing intentionally sinister about that. Human psychology typically places religious matters with this kind of display.
     
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  8. Buddha Dharma

    Buddha Dharma Dharma Practitioner

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    @Carlita I sometimes get invited by my friend to her Episcopal church, and I'll go. I enjoy seeing something outside my usual frame of reference. I'm like you- I was raised irreligious. Agnostic.

    I have come to appreciate the art and such of religions. I wish we had Buddhist temples here where I live that are like the ones in traditional cultures. I know Buddhism isn't fundamentally about that, but there is a psychological dimension. Plus, the icons and images of the Buddha can be used for merit- if one accepts such a thing. Especially in Mahayana Buddhism.
     
  9. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Well, I've got to admit that I could much more readily become a Catholic than a Protestant. ;) I have been to a few masses (one as recently as yesterday, actually). I agree that it is generally a spiritual experience. Obviously, I don't believe much of what the Catholic Church teaches, but I can go along with more of it than what Protestantism teaches. Besides, Catholics are generally nicer. ;)
     
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  10. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein I'm not deaf, I'm just a real bad listener
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    I have a very negative view of it as an institution. I cannot abide its sexism, homophobia, transphobia, stupid and harmful teachings on birth control, abortion and divorce, authoritarianism, corruption, the abuse of children and how they threw the victims under the bus, lust for worldly power, petty infighting, alliance with far-right regimes, involvement in persecution and genocide, etc. They have their own set of fanatics and fundamentalists. I find its leadership to be morally bankrupt.

    The mysticism and liturgy have their beauty but it is also very morbid and sadomasochistic. It is very depressing. More traditional Catholics are just as hellfire and brimstone as an evangelical Protestant.

    I cannot even be a member in good standing if I wanted to because trans people are destroying God's creation in their eyes and we cannot even be Godparents. Thankfully I lost my faith in their nonsense doctrines and no longer have any desire to force myself to believe and be part of such an ugly group.

    That's my opinion and I am angry when it comes to this. If you enjoy Mass, by all means.
     
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  11. Axe Elf

    Axe Elf Prophet

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    Absolutely and rightfully so! I have a Master's degree in Psychology, and while I expected to be doing research in neuropsychology (specifically sensation and perception), I kind of "minored" in the psychology of altered states of consciousness (along with substantial independent field studies, but I digress). So yes, I understand that for most people, church is their only opportunity to chant, meditate, and do all those things as a group that one might do individually in order to alter their consciousness, and experience the ecstasy thereof. Without those things, church would be ordinary, as you said.

    But I call myself a "zen Xian" because zen is a philosophy (already associated with other religions) that seeks to apprehend the true essence of things as they exist beyond the symbols by which we are forced to comprehend them. "The zen that can be spoken is not the true zen." So although my faith is couched in the symbolism of Christianity by default (I was raised in it), my desire is to not to be reminded of the symbols of my faith on a weekly basis, but rather to seek God by devaluing the symbols, the rituals, the religion of it all--in favor of a more direct understanding of reality (including God) by experience or reason. The God that can be spoken, talked about, comprehended, sung about, etc.--is not the true God.

    So that's why Catholicism is not for me. All those reasons by which people are attracted to the pageantry of religion are anathema to me. For many, a Catholic mass is a portal to spirituality, but for me, it is a snare of symbolism. To each his own.
     
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  12. Buddha Dharma

    Buddha Dharma Dharma Practitioner

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    Interesting. I understand where you are coming from.

    I don't necessarily want to pursue a debate about Zen and imagery, so I won't go too much into that. I belong to Tendai, the parent school of Zen in Japan, in a manner of speaking. I'll just say that imagery is more important in historical Zen in ways that might surprise you. Zen belongs to the East Asian subset of Mahayana. Those schools all treat imagery as very essential.

    We can start a thread about it, if you like.
     
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  13. Axe Elf

    Axe Elf Prophet

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    I've never been very big on history, so I could hear what you have to say, but I doubt if I would have much to offer you in return.
     
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  14. Buddha Dharma

    Buddha Dharma Dharma Practitioner

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    Well we don't have to discuss it :)

    I only thought I'd mention it for something to think about. Because I am a very traditional Buddhist, I sometimes feel an almost impulse to speak on the behalf of these schools.

    In short, images are seen as gates to Nirvana by the eastern schools of Mahayana that treat the Buddhas as actual Dharma bodies.

    Whenever you ponder Amida seated in his Pure Land for example- you're contemplating real Nirvana attributes. From the outlook of East Asian Mahayana.
     
    #14 Buddha Dharma, Mar 15, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
  15. james bond

    james bond Well-Known Member

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    They do a lot of this "wrong" in their version of Christianity, but they also make the most money. Out of all the Christian sects, they have 50% following. That said, their mass and church is more elaborate than most Christians churches, so I can see why outsiders would view that interesting. I would think they want you to spend more time with their religion using the seven sacraments, stations of the cross, receiving baptism and communion and the like. I have to admit I can appreciate the art and relics they have collected whether true or not, i.e. The Shroud of Turin, . No other Christian church compares.
     
  16. Axe Elf

    Axe Elf Prophet

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    Perhaps not in showmanship and riches, but I would hope that's not the only standard by which one would judge a church.
     
  17. Epic Beard Man

    Epic Beard Man Bearded Philosopher

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    Coming from a Baptist background Catholicism, especially mass was boring....I understood in the pews you had to get on your knees as far as worship, but it was seriously boring....BUT, I've prayed in Catholic churches in the quiet where I felt just a brief moment where God was and is. I will forever be grateful to the Catholic woman who showed me another way towards God.
     
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  18. Srivijaya

    Srivijaya Active Member

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    Absolutely. It's for this very reason I love Eastern Orthodox churches with their icons, sacred Byzantine liturgy and the whole shebang. Added to which they have the desert fathers on board, a gradual path of theosis, a unique take on the trinity and an apostolic tradition which blows the meagre Sola Scriptura (Jesus-Saves-touch-the-TVscreen-style-Christianity) out of the water. I don't even see how anyone can call themselves a Christian if they don't partake of the Eucharist - which many protestant sects don't. Without it they are not in communion with the Church aka the body of Christ.

    ... and all that from a dodgy Buddhist.
     
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  19. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    I grew up (or tried to) in a fundamentalist Protestant church that taught about the "evils" of evolution and Catholicism, but when I went with a girlfriend of mine to mass when doing my undergraduate studies, I saw something quite beautiful in both.

    Eventually, I married another woman who was and is Catholic, and I've attended mass with her for over 50 years now, and I really love it. The slower pace of the mass gives me the time and the peace to meditate, and the church teaches about the absolute necessity of helping the poor and downtrodden.

    No religion or denomination is perfect, and contrary to popular belief, there actually is substantial freedom of thought that's allowed. Even though I'm not Catholic, I've been treated as if I am. I'm very active in the church, including even helping with the teaching because of my Jewish background.
     
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  20. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    The root words are different in Hebrew and Greek ("abba" v "presbyteros"), but got meshed when translated into English.
     
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