Defending Catholicism

I wrote these series of articles (see menu sidebar to the left) as a Catholic for Catholics, but I no longer accept Catholic teaching as the authoritative source of truth.I have not attempted to align these articles with my current views.

Thanks for sending me the printouts of your Catholic internet research. You certainly spent quite a bit of time collecting it all. It has taken me a while to write up answers for all your objections. My brief comments:

Regarding historical abuses, inquisitions, etc. - a few points:

Regarding freemasonry:

Regarding Crusades:

Regarding the feast of the Holy Rosary:

Regarding relics and idolatry:

Regarding prayers for the dead:

Regarding purgatory:

Regarding degrees of sin (mortal vs. venial)

Regarding grace:

You objected to the statement that the church has made no decision about whether souls in purgatory pray for us who are still alive. I think your objection is that the church does not have authority to decide matters of truth or morality.

Regarding your objection to a statement in the Catholic Encyclopedia that a pious church member "prefers to offer his prayers through the medium of the Virgin Mary and the saints."

Regarding your statement that "Catholics do not ask Christ to come into their hearts":

Regarding your statement "Mary. . . , the only bridge of God to men" from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

Regarding apparitions and miracles:

Regarding your objection to certain religious orders which have rules about how many prayers to say, etc.:

Regarding the rosary:

Regarding the Catholic position on homosexuality and sex in general:

The Catholic Church has a high regard for consecrated singleness (as well as for marriage). In fact, the church has the concept of vocation, which is a lifelong commitment. Examples of vocations:

The church emphasizes chastity even within marriage. For married people chastity means:

Regarding your comment about the sacraments — "grace only through Christ":

Regarding holy water:

You objected to a statement in the Catholic Encyclopedia about the sacrament of confirmation: "A prayer is added [by the priest] that the Holy Spirit may dwell in the hearts of those who have been confirmed. . . ."

The Catholic Church acknowledges that all believers form a kingdom of priests.

The Catholic Church strongly encourages its members to read the Bible daily. The first half of every mass is Bible reading.

Catholics don't need a priest to have a living and active relationship with God and with Jesus. But the priest provides very valuable services. For example, when I started confessing my sins before the priest I stopped all those secret sins — the sacrament of Confession / Reconciliation gave me the power to resist the temptations.

I believe I have addressed the topics you raised. There is much more that could be said and there are many other topics that you did not bring up at all. I wanted to keep my response brief.