Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Great Deception

I guess it is time again for Candy's scheduled post about Catholicism. Candy claims to have done a great amount of research on Catholicism, but she recycles the same tired points over and over again. She claims to have a heart for saving Catholics, but she is utterly uninterested in engaging knowledgeable Catholics such as Joy, Milehimama, or Elena and myself. Clearly, by tossing out what is essentially the same article over and over again, she hopes to stag a few souls with as little effort as possible.

But hey, it's a nice day. I'll be glad I don't have to spend a lot of my time writing out elaborate responses.

Many people, professing to be Christians, have left their Christian churches, to join the deceptive Roman Catholic Church.

I guess she missed all the news earlier in the summer about the latest Pew Forum Study. She really has no need to worry, because our "great deception" really isn't that convincing to most people.

Nearly one-third (31.4%) of U.S. adults say they were raised Catholic. Today, however, only 23.9% of adults say they are affiliated with the Catholic Church, a net loss of 7.5 percentage points. Overall, roughly one-third of those who were raised Catholic have left the church, and approximately one-in-ten American adults are former Catholics.

The Landscape Survey finds that 2.6% of U.S. adults have switched their affiliation to Catholicism after being raised in another faith or in no faith at all. Nevertheless, former Catholics outnumber converts to Catholicism by roughly four-to-one.
Roman Catholic bishops are not allowed to marry, but the Bible commands that Christian bishops are supposed to marry.

Elena has already answered this one below. You can also read my defense of priestly celibacy for more information on the issue of celibacy in general.

If Candy feels this verse commands bishops to be married, then does she believe we must have a bishop in the church? The two churches Candy attends most often are an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist church, and a Four-Square Gospel Baptist church.

According to this website, the IFB believes "The local pastor is the shepherd (bishop), overseer, or leader of the congregation."

Information on the Four-Square Gospel church was more scarce, but I couldn't see that they have any bishops, either.

We could look at this two ways. Either the Bible tells us that we must have bishops, and therefore, Candy's churches are in error. Or, the bishop is the pastor, in which case the Catholic Church should have married priests. We do have married priests in the Eastern Rites, and a growing number of married priests in the Latin Rite, therefore we are not in error.

Furthermore, RCs have certain days where they are not supposed to eat meat.

The verse which Candy quotes does not say "forbids meat on certain days." It says "commanding to abstain from meats." Catholics are not required to be vegetarians, unlike another church. I think we are fine on this point, too.

As pictures all over the internet show, hoards of Roman Catholics bow down to created statues of Mary, all over the world. Mary was the creature, Jesus was the Creator.

A picture doesn't explain theology. It doesn't explain why someone might kneel before a statue, or that the Catholic Church prohibits idolatry. I find it amusing that the way Candy worded those sentences implies that kneeling before a statue of Jesus would be acceptable.

The Roman Catholic Church's official stand is evolution.

Another one of Candy's assertions without any sort of citation. If it is our official stand, then where is that stated? The Catholic Catechism is silent on evolution.

Cardinal Shoenborn, editor of the Catechism, writes "Evolution in the sense of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense - an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection - is not. Any system of thought that denies or seeks to explain away the overwhelming evidence for design in biology is ideology, not science."

Many fundamentalist bloggers are up in arms about the Catholic evolution issue because of stories that the Vatican will be holding a conference in honor of Darwin next March. However, this is actually a debate.

The debate, part of a Vatican-sponsored project called STOQ (Science, Theology and the Ontological Quest) which seeks to explore the relationship between science and ethical and moral questions, is said to have the full blessing of Pope Benedict, a fervent advocate of what he views as the compatibilty of faith with reason. The March conference is being jointly organised by the Pontifical Gregorian University of Rome, and Notre Dame University, Indiana.
They have destroyed the foundations - "In the beginning GOD CREATED..."

If the Catholic Church ends up deciding that some theories of evolution are compatible with Christianity, it will begin from the point that there is a God, and He created the heavens and the earth. If He created it in such a way that included evolution, then that is His choice, and part of His plan.

Rather than destroying the foundation, we affirm it. You can read this in the Catholic Catechism. I'll get you started:

279 "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Holy Scripture begins with these solemn words. The profession of faith takes them up when it confesses that God the Father almighty is "Creator of heaven and earth" (Apostles' Creed), "of all that is, seen and unseen" (Nicene Creed). We shall speak first of the Creator, then of creation and finally of the fall into sin from which Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to raise us up again.

280 Creation is the foundation of "all God's saving plans," the "beginning of the history of salvation" that culminates in Christ. Conversely, the mystery of Christ casts conclusive light on the mystery of creation and reveals the end for which "in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth": from the beginning, God envisaged the glory of the new creation in Christ.

282 Catechesis on creation is of major importance. It concerns the very foundations of human and Christian life: for it makes explicit the response of the Christian faith to the basic question that men of all times have asked themselves: "Where do we come from?" "Where are we going?" "What is our origin?" "What is our end?" "Where does everything that exists come from and where is it going?" The two questions, the first about the origin and the second about the end, are inseparable. They are decisive for the meaning and orientation of our life and actions.

283 The question about the origins of the world and of man has been the object of many scientific studies which have splendidly enriched our knowledge of the age and dimensions of the cosmos, the development of life-forms and the appearance of man. These discoveries invite us to even greater admiration for the greatness of the Creator, prompting us to give him thanks for all his works and for the understanding and wisdom he gives to scholars and researchers. With Solomon they can say: "It is he who gave me unerring knowledge of what exists, to know the structure of the world and the activity of the elements. . . for wisdom, the fashioner of all things, taught me."

284 The great interest accorded to these studies is strongly stimulated by a question of another order, which goes beyond the proper domain of the natural sciences. It is not only a question of knowing when and how the universe arose physically, or when man appeared, but rather of discovering the meaning of such an origin: is the universe governed by chance, blind fate, anonymous necessity, or by a transcendent, intelligent and good Being called "God"? And if the world does come from God's wisdom and goodness, why is there evil? Where does it come from? Who is responsible for it? Is there any liberation from it?

285 Since the beginning the Christian faith has been challenged by responses to the question of origins that differ from its own. Ancient religions and cultures produced many myths concerning origins. Some philosophers have said that everything is God, that the world is God, or that the development of the world is the development of God (Pantheism). Others have said that the world is a necessary emanation arising from God and returning to him. Still others have affirmed the existence of two eternal principles, Good and Evil, Light and Darkness, locked, in permanent conflict (Dualism, Manichaeism). According to some of these conceptions, the world (at least the physical world) is evil, the product of a fall, and is thus to be rejected or left behind (Gnosticism). Some admit that the world was made by God, but as by a watch-maker who, once he has made a watch, abandons it to itself (Deism). Finally, others reject any transcendent origin for the world, but see it as merely the interplay of matter that has always existed (Materialism). All these attempts bear witness to the permanence and universality of the question of origins. This inquiry is distinctively human.

286 Human intelligence is surely already capable of finding a response to the question of origins. The existence of God the Creator can be known with certainty through his works, by the light of human reason, even if this knowledge is often obscured and disfigured by error. This is why faith comes to confirm and enlighten reason in the correct understanding of this truth: "By faith we understand that the world was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made out of things which do not appear."

287 The truth about creation is so important for all of human life that God in his tenderness wanted to reveal to his People everything that is salutary to know on the subject. Beyond the natural knowledge that every man can have of the Creator, God progressively revealed to Israel the mystery of creation. He who chose the patriarchs, who brought Israel out of Egypt, and who by choosing Israel created and formed it, this same God reveals himself as the One to whom belong all the peoples of the earth, and the whole earth itself; he is the One who alone "made heaven and earth".

288 Thus the revelation of creation is inseparable from the revelation and forging of the covenant of the one God with his People. Creation is revealed as the first step towards this covenant, the first and universal witness to God's all-powerful love. And so, the truth of creation is also expressed with growing vigor in the message of the prophets, the prayer of the psalms and the liturgy, and in the wisdom sayings of the Chosen People.


Rachel said...

:::yawn::: Her recycled posts are so old. I have a theory on why she does this - to capture NEW visotors since the old one have her all figured out!


Claire Isabel Nelcielo said...

Where does she get these videos? And HOW does she believe them? They offer no support, just tired and useless statements.


Claire Isabel Nelcielo said...

I tried to explain my point of view, in a "decent" manner. However, as of today, I'm banned from commenting.

Double oye.

Kelly said...

Check back in a day or two, claire, she usually doesn't ban people for long.

I rarely try to post comments there anymore, because she is very quick with the banning. It's easier to write rebuttals if I can actually access her page, so I save my remarks for over here.