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Full Version: I don't know if I believe in the Catholic Chruch anymore :Infallibility
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I grew up in a very conservative Novus Ordo family. Lost my faith as a teen for the most part but reverted in college in a big way. I was actively involved in the Novus Ordo, going to mass everyday, praying a holy hour and rosary everyday. I was trying to be perfect. This point in my life, when very active in the Novus Ordo, is when I felt closest to God.

Then some modernist things started to bother me. I didn't like JPII kissing the Koran and hinting at the possibility of universal salvation, among  so many other things. I started going to an indult mass and eventually attended an SSPX parish for many years.

But the SSPX's disobedience to whom they called the pope started to bothered me. I began to read more and more about sedevacanitism and eventually became convinced. It appeared that the Novus Ordo really was teaching a different religion than the religion St. Francis followed. I ended up moving very far away so that I could live close to a sedevacantist parish.

But eventually after many years some questions about sedevacantism began to bother me. How can we get a new pope? What about the problem of Ordinary Jurisdiction? It states in canon law that priests must be acting under Ordinary Jurisdiction for certain sacraments, like confession, to be valid. But if there are no valid bishops alive today who have ordinary jurisdiction where does that leave us? The sedevacantists are very vague on this. They just believe "Oh there must be at least one validly ordained Bishop somewhere in the world who holds the true faith (rejects all VII and the new mass, etc) and therefore still possess Ordinary Jurisdiction. Umm ok, where is this Bishop? Why doesn't he speak up?  It's 2016 now. The number of Bishops alive who were consecrated in the pre-1968 rite is shrinking by the day. And none of them are speaking up in defense of sedevacantism.

So...I started to doubt the sede thesis. And I've overall just been very uninspired for the past 5 years or so. I started missing Sunday mass occasionally.  Where should I go to mass anyway? I went back to the indult for a while but now for the past year I haven't been going at all.
I went on Easter and Christmas and that's it for this past year.

And probably largely as a result of my never going to mass and never praying I've started to have a lot of doubts. Specific doubts about Catholicism and then, to a lessor degree, doubts about religion altogether.

I'm not going to lay down any quotes here. Everyone is perfectly capable of researching this themselves. The issue is the way modern Novus Ordo Catholics talk about Baptism of Desire is totally different than what the mind of the church used to be. It was heavily debated and contested at the Council of Trent over whether or not unbaptized catechumens could be saved. At Trent they were talking about people who had already begun the program to receive baptism and join the Catholic church but somehow died before actually receiving the water baptism they didn't know if they had a chance at salvation. Then sometime in the 18th century the idea of invincible ignorance came around.  But this teaching directly contradicts former ex cathedra statements that no one could be saved without baptism into the Catholic Church and total adherence to all of its tenants. And what's been taught in the Novus Ordo church since Vatican II is that basically any person in any religion, or no religion at all, can attain salvation. The modern Church of today teaches a fundamentally different religion then was taught at Trent. There have been so many "infallible statements" about needing to be baptized into the Catholic Church and total adherence to the pope. At the very least this casts extreme doubt on the doctrine of infallibility. In fact this contradiction makes infallibility impossible if the modern Catholic Church is the true Catholic Church.

I just don't know if I can dance around that issue anymore. Infallibility seems to be provably false. The church formally taught infallible things which it now contradicts.

And then there's other questions I have. Why doesn't God make his existence easier to demonstrate to non-believers?  Why would God make it so hard for modern people to know him? There's no proof of God's existence. We have to have faith. Why did God give us an intellect if what he really wanted was for us to shut off our minds and just except that he exists?

In the ancient world there was all types of horrible things that took place. Human and child sacrifice were common. All manor of wickedness was part of so many cultures. Why didn't God reveal himself to these people? Why reveal himself to only the Jews? And why wait 195,000 years after human beings have been on earth to even reveal himself to the Jews?

Moreover, why would God mandate, or even merit, that you believe in him to be on the "good side of the fight," to begin with? I mean, what sense does that really make? What sort of loving god would make salvation depend upon believing in Him on bad or non-existent evidence?

And we believe that Jesus walked on water, turned water into wine, cured the blind, died and rose from the dead based upon texts written by people who saw none of this with their own eyes. What about the blind and sick and starving today? Why not cure them? And the text also talks about a talking bush and magical giants who were fallen angels that slept with human women and a flood that covered the whole earth. And this all started because a rib-woman ate an apple from a magic tree at the behest of a a talking snake.

And before he did any of this stuff with the Jews he created this giant monsters called dinosaurs just for kicks? What was the actual point of that? Just to fill us with wonder?

And why did God order the death of so many men, women and children in the Old Testament?

Quote:In Genesis 7:21-23, God drowns the entire population of the earth: men, women, children, fetuses, and animals.
In Exodus 12:29, God the baby-killer slaughters all Egyptian firstborn children and cattle because their king was stubborn.
In Numbers 16:41-49, the Israelites complain that God is killing too many of them. So, God sends a plague that kills 14,000 more of them.
In 1 Samuel 6:19, God kills 50,000 men for peeking into the ark of the covenant.
In Numbers 31:7-18, the Israelites kill all the Midianites except for the virgins, whom they are allowed to rape as spoils of war.
In 2 Kings 2:23-24, some kids tease the prophet Elisha, and God sends bears to dismember them.

These questions make me wonder if man creates religions to make sense of things. I mean Christians must believe that all the other thousands upon thousands of religions that have ever existed are all made up by people. Only Christianity is actually true and weren't we lucky to be born in this 1% of human history that Christianity existed. Weren't we lucky to be born into a country that predominately is only this faith. I mean if we were born in Iran we would probably be Muslims, if we were born in Thailand we would be Buddhists. But we just happen to be lucky enough to be born in the right place and the right time in history to know the only true religion that has ever existed.

I want to know the truth only. I knew it without a doubt before that Christianity was true. I want that back or I want to be done with it completely. I still believe in God but I'm starting to wonder if I even believe in Christianity anymore. The only thing that stops me from saying I'm no longer Christian is personal experiences when I was really trying to live a Christian life. When I was going to daily Novus Ordo mass thats the best I ever felt in my life. And I did witness certain small miracles at that time. Things happened that were just too unbelievable to be mere coincidence. 

I'll leave it at that because this post is getting pretty long. I'm kinda lost these days.
I'll let people with more experience and learning answer some of your more complex questions and concerns, but as for this:

" I mean if we were born in Iran we would probably be Muslims, if we were born in Thailand we would be Buddhists. But we just happen to be lucky enough to be born in the right place and the right time in history to know the only true religion that has ever existed. "

This is not necessarily true. There are whole villages in the Middle East reporting sights of Jesus in their village or dreams of Him and converting to Christianity. Some of them were very content imams preaching in mosques. As for the Buddhists, Sister Briege Mckenna told a story once about how a busload of Buddhists and other people were brought in for a talk, and she told them that for Catholics, the consecrated Host was not simply bread, but Jesus Himself, and those Buddhists reported a powerful feeling go through them when they encountered the Eucharistic Jesus.

God provides the gift of faith. We have to be receptive to it. God is not going to violate our free will in order to make us believers if we are not open to this gift, but if we show the tiniest receptivity, that's enough to begin to notice the signs around us.

As for God not revealing Himself, over the Church's two thousand year history, He has demonstrated visibly His own flesh and blood, to the point that we know the blood type of God Himself. We know it's AB. How do we know this? Because the Church's approved Eucharistic miracles point to a wounded heart (which beat like a living heart in the 1990s for a doctor testing a sample from Argentina, a sample that Pope Francis himself oversaw the study of when he was Fr. Bergoglio of Buenos Aires) from the myocardium, the left ventricle wall. The blood types of these miracles always, always, always come back as AB. Whether it's Lanciano in the eighth century or the miracle recently approved in Poland, they are all exactly the same in their essence.

We have to become like little children, Jesus said. Jesus always works with the simple, humble soul, rather than the one who has a PhD and demands to have all the answers to these things.
You and I are in the same boat. I'm interested to see where this topic goes. I'm very tempted to drift towards deism as of late, mostly because I can no longer believe that any god who claims to be as intimately involved with their creation as our God does would allow so much meaningless evil, death and downright misery. I know the whole St. Thomas Aquinas thing on the problem of evil, that God can make good come out evil, but as one who has suffered some horrible sh*t in life and seen things that most people in first world countries, living their cozyy little lives will never see, I have a VERY difficult buying into it anymore.
I'm watching this debate right now and so far it looks like the Christian is winning by far.



I'm really liking his revamp of the first cause argument. The Kalam Cosmological Argument

I've never really had a hard time believing in a creator though. I'm just wondering about Christianity in general and Catholicism specifically.
I suggest you go back to the daily Novus Ordo.
Would you believe me if I told you that your doubt can be a good thing?

I am often envious of my husband - I sometimes accuse him of being Catholic by habit, but in truth he simply doesn't question it. He has always believed, even when he doesn't understand. He's capable of just accepting things on faith. That doesn't mean he's stupid or not knowledgable about his faith, but he works from a premise that it's true and good and not understanding something doesn't negate the true and good.

I suspect you are like me... simple belief is not enough. You must understand. That always seems to be my downfall too. I must understand before I can believe.

Like you, I was a revert. I grew up nominally Catholic, but wandered into Atheism as a teen. I eventually hooked up with Pentecostals in my late teen/early 20's only to come home when I was 25. I had a point in my life, say around 30, that I was happy and content in the NO and life was good. But I had nagging questions that needed answering, and the more answers I got the more unsettled I became.

This pontificate has been difficult. I find myself wondering if I have an "exit strategy" if things turn really bad in the Church. You are not alone.

Maybe try looking at things from a different perspective.

The reason that we can take note of the fact that certain things about the current pontificate (or the post-conciliar Church) are amiss is that we have the entirety of the Church's teaching to which we can compare.  In other words, it is our faith in the infallible things in the past that even allows us to recognize that the things going on at the present aren't quite right.  So, yes, the Church taught infallible things.  And people in the Church contradict those things.  But the Church itself has not taught contradictory things -- that is pretty amazing considering the brazenness of the people running the show over the last few decades... Consider...

It is a rather miraculous thing that nothing about the post-conciliar Church has been presented in a binding way.  Think about that for a second -- the very leadership that has done so much to destabilize the faith through making the Church a big tent has thereby not stated anything definitively for our belief.  That is a paradox that can be explained by the protection of the Holy Ghost.  More concretely, imagine if the pope had said that Vatican II was binding in some specific way, we'd be in a real difficult position explaining things.  As it is, we had the pope saying precisely the opposite: this is just a pastoral council.  That is amazing to me.
Brogan, you just wrote my biography for the past 6 or 7 years!  Seanipie, I'm leaning towards deism as well.

Brogan, I can really relate to the last bolded statement you made: When I was going to the Novus Ordo, I felt the best in my life.  After all my years of doubting and searching, last year, I began to feel the same way about my Melkite parish.  When I was going there every week and believed everything as surely as I believed the sun would rise tomorrow, I never felt better in my life.  So I started to go back regularly, and am still going regularly.  I hope I don't alarm you, and maybe your experience will be different, but that feeling doesn't come back.  After a few months I realized that that feeling is dependent on lack of doubt.  Once the doubting questions enter your mind, you can never get rid of them. In a sense, we've lost our faith virginity; once it's gone, it's gone.  I don't think that means we can never be faithful Christians again, but I think it will probably be important for you to understand going back in that your experience of Christianity will probably never be the same as it was before.
(05-19-2016, 11:06 AM)Melkite Wrote: [ -> ]Once the doubting questions enter your mind, you can never get rid of them. In a sense, we've lost our faith virginity; once it's gone, it's gone.  I don't think that means we can never be faithful Christians again, but I think it will probably be important for you to understand going back in that your experience of Christianity will probably never be the same as it was before.

I think you've captured the essence of my experience too. The idea of "faith virginity" is a new one to me, but seems very apropos. I had actually forgotten how confident and reassured I felt back then (~2009ish) until I came across some old writing of mine.
I don't want to sound like a tin foil hat wearer, but I would encourage you to look up 'Alta Vendita' and/or 'Bella Dodd'. Bella talks about an infiltration into the priesthood. All this confusion from the hierarchy today can be explained pretty easily by this. Dr. Alice Von Hildebrand also attests to a Church infiltration. Also, keep in mind the fact that the Church's being rocked in our time, as it has throughout history, is a clear sign of being the true Church of Jesus. We aren't part of a cushy megachurch that promises big homes and cars to believers. We're part of a suffering Church. The Church has to suffer like her Bridegroom. The upside to this is that the Church will also rise like her Bridegroom. Jesus told us that we will be persecuted, and it is no wonder that Satan would want to attack the priesthood. Stay, watch, and pray. This is not the final destination of the Church. It will get better.
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