Hi, guys —
I have three questions I would like you to
- Regarding Idols: the 2nd Commandment
states neither shalt thou bow down to them
nor worship them. I understand that the
Church teaches the cross, icons, crucifix,
and statues are a visual depiction of a
lesson or situation; however:
- I noticed that Catholics bow when
a cross passes by and
- I've heard Nuns refer to the statues
and crucifix as Jesus or Mary and
refer to them as living (i.e. He's
home, if I could just touch the statue
I'll be healed, etc).
How is this not idolatry?
- The only Catholic parish in my county
has aligned itself with a Methodist Church
to carry out many of their events. Although
the Church accepts all baptisms from any
protestant church as valid, it still teaches
they're heretics and not in Communion.
Isn't this alignment counter productive
to the ministry of the Catholic Church?
- The same church in question 2 has a ministry
for corporal works: feeding, clothing and
helping the poor; however, when Protestants
go for help, they're chastised, reported
to Social Services, and told they only
help once or twice and all other assistance
are for Catholics only. Their 990 charitable
records show excessive gains, profits for
the nuns, benefits, and aid for the Nuns
running the charity.
Is this apostasy, or within Catholic
And if it is acceptable, how is it within
the teaching of the Gospel?
I'm asking because I'm pulled between my Baptist
heritage, the calling I hear for the Catholic
Church, and the acts of local Catholics. If
I do convert, I would be joining the only
45 miles; it's the one I referenced here.
Their are wolves in sheep's clothing everywhere,
but I'm confused from what is taught and what
is represented by the ordained.
Thank you for your help!
does the Church explain and reconcile these
issues within its doctrine? }
Hi, Michael —
A bow when a cross passes by is most
likely the custom of bowing the head
at the name of Jesus, which is a
Catholic practice based on Scripture;
the person is probably praying His
name as it passes. Otherwise, it
may simply be a gesture of respect,
as one does when greeting or acknowledging
someone. As for referring to statues
as living, that is pious metaphor
and the people who engage in it know
that very well. It is no different
than saying of portraits:
"my grandfather is here and
my mother is there, but my grandmother
is out getting her frame fixed."
The Catholic Church works together
with many groups for social justice
purposes. That does not compromise
the faith, but works on the basis
of the beliefs we have in common,
which are significant, when you think
- The same
church in question 2 has a ministry
for corporal works: feeding, clothing
and helping the poor; however,
when Protestants go for help,
they're chastised, reported to
Social Services, and told they
only help once or twice and all
other assistance are for Catholics
only. Their 990 charitable records
show excessive gains, profits
for the nuns, benefits, and aid
for the Nuns running the charity.
Is this apostasy, or within
And if it is acceptable, how
is it within the teaching of
I doubt very seriously that they
are chastised or reported. There
is probably a misunderstanding here,
something I have encountered when
I worked with charitable groups.
The clients are given immediate help
and then referred to Social Services,
as are Catholics. Most emergency
aid, like the St. Vincent de Paul
Society, has a limit on the number
of times a person can be helped in
a quarter, so that people don't use
the service at the expense of the
more needy. People are also encouraged
to come up with part of what they
need themselves, through friends
and family. As for the 990, the records
of the charity are different from
the Church records, though the Church
may include them as part of its budget.
The gains of the Church may be for
the purpose of a building fund or
other needs, including salaries.
The nuns need to live, also, and
need to pay social security taxes.
Church monies to support Church workers
is logical and based in Scripture: (St.
Paul: "the laborer is
worthy of his hire". 1 Timothy
5:18.) Also: Matthew 10:10, Luke
We should always be slow to believe
an evil report, and give the benefit
of the doubt. Even if this Church
were misbehaving, it does not affect
the Word and Sacrament it offers
you, and think of this:
perhaps God is calling you to
help change things!
Hi, Michael —
I just wanted to add to my colleagues
In your second question you said:
Church accepts all baptisms from
any protestant church as valid,
Your statement has to be clarified
a bit. While many baptisms are viewed
from the Church as valid, especially
from those that believe and teach
in the Trinity, the Church does not
necessarily accept all baptisms from
all protestant churches. The local
pastor will be able to discern a
valid baptism from one that is not.
If the parish is unsure, the unbaptized
may be conditionally baptized. e.g.
the priest will say:
"If you have not been baptized,
I baptized you:
- in the name of
the Father, (he pours water
over the head of the infant
- the Son, (he
pours water over the head of the
infant or adult again),
of the Holy Spirit." (he pours
water over the head of the
infant or adult a final time.)
Hope this helps,