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Jerry White wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Without going into our differences about Mary, do I have to believe all the Church teaching about her to be, "In full communion with the Church"?

Jerry

  { Do I have to believe all the Church teachings on Mary to be, "In full communion with the Church"? }

Mary Ann replied:

Hi, Jerry —

You must believe all the Church's official teachings:

  • that she is the Mother of God, meaning the Second Person of the Trinity, Jesus
  • that she was free of original sin from the moment of conception
  • that she is ever Virgin
  • that she was assumed body and soul into Heaven
  • that she is the Mother of all believers
  • that she intercedes for us
  • that she is Model of believers and of the Church, and
    that she is Queen, by God's grace, the most perfect creature and human person.
    (Christ is the uncreated divine person).

Mary Ann

Jerry replied:

Thank you Mary for your response to my question.

As usual, it is always the same: the Catholic way, or the highway.

After many years of telling stories (from the written word of God, not the Pope's Word of God), explaining the Gospel, which we both believe, making us brother and sisters in Christ, and living the Gospel in my life, my grandson, after seeing how God changed a grumpy old granddaddy to the person I am today, asked how to be a Christian.

I explained the Gospel to him and he prayed to receive Jesus in his heart and was saved. Even the Pope agrees with that. Well, I said that you must be baptized which the Catechism says you must do before you die or you will go to Hell.

  • Why doesn't the Church just baptize him now so if he dies, he will go to Heaven instead of waiting until Easter?

I don't understand. By the way, I guess Jesus did it wrong to, so the Pope says.

  • Well, what do I tell an 11-year-old boy who's mom is Catholic and took him to be baptized in the Catholic Church when he asks was Mary sinless as you teach?
  • What am I supposed to do?

He is not quit ready to understand the division of the Church. If I sound angry it is because I am and I don't like being angry with my Catholic brothers and sisters. The Bible says love is not easily angered; but growing up in Maryland as a Baptist, where I married a Catholic, played with them, and went to school with them, I am now in a bind.

You know I think God just answered my question, he said:

"Jerry why don't you just trust me. Tell him the truth as I have taught you and I will do the rest."

I think I will. Pray for the unity of the church.

  • One more thing, where in the Catechism does it say I must believe every thing in it?
  • If I am baptized "In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit", am I Catholic but not be in full communion with the Catholic Church?

I don't understand.

  • When I receive communion at my Baptist church "in remembrance of Him" doesn't the Catechism say that, in some way, the real body and blood of Jesus is in our communion?

Praise be to God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jerry

Mary Ann replied:

Jerry —

You are mistaken in what you say the Pope says. Anyone who sincerely follows the light given him can go to Heaven, baptized or not. The Light is Christ, as the first chapter of John tells us. Since the first century the Church taught that those who died without baptism can be saved by martyrdom or by desire. St. Paul tells us as much.

As for Mary's sinlessness, it is due to God's grace and her faith (as is our virtue also) and it is for the sake of Christ, whose flesh is taken from her. It is fitting that the one of whom the man Christ is made, in the flesh, should be without sin.

God is right. Trust Him. Tell your grandson the truth, but not your squabbles. He will lead you both into truth if you humbly trust Him and desire truth without reservation.

Mary Ann

Mike replied:

Hi, Jerry —

You said:

  • Well, what do I tell an 11-year-old boy who's mom is Catholic and took him to be baptized in the Catholic Church when he asks was Mary sinless as you teach?

You tell him Yes, Mary was sinless. She was given the unmerited grace and privilege to be conceived immaculate in the womb of her mother, St. Anne, because her body would be the tabernacle or temple of the Word of God, Himself, Jesus, the Christ. Nevertheless, Mary was just a human person, where Jesus, Our Lord, is a divine person. <- A very important point.

If you wish, you can go on, and tell him that because the Ark of the Covenant in the Old Testament had to be pure and holy to hold the Ten Commandments, or Law given by God to Moses for the chosen people, so the temple of the New Testament, Mary, had to be holy to hold the Word of God, the God-Man Himself, Jesus Christ, Our Lord and God.

You can finish, by saying we have confidence in this, because Oral Tradition, which can be shown in the Bible, has passed this knowledge down to us from generation to generation.

You said:

  • One more thing, where in the Catechism does it say I must believe every thing in it?

Come on Jerry! There is no faith on the face of the earth where you are allowed to join and only believe part of what that faith teaches. If you do that, you really don't believe in that faith, though you may publicly say you do.

The Introduction to the Catechism states the following in:

Fidei Depositum

3. The Doctrinal Value of the Text

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved 25 June last and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church's faith and of Catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church's Magisterium.
I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion.
May it serve the renewal to which the Holy Spirit ceaselessly calls the Church of God, the Body of Christ, on her pilgrimage to the undiminished light of the Kingdom!

The approval and publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church represent a service which the Successor of Peter wishes to offer to the Holy Catholic Church, to all the particular Churches in peace and communion with the Apostolic See: the service, that is, of supporting and confirming the faith of all the Lord Jesus' disciples (cf. Luke 22:32 as well as of strengthening the bonds of unity in the same apostolic faith. Therefore, I ask all the Church's Pastors and the Christian faithful to receive this catechism in a spirit of communion and to use it assiduously in fulfilling their mission of proclaiming the faith and calling people to the Gospel life. This catechism is given to them that it may be a sure and authentic reference text for teaching catholic doctrine and particularly for preparing local catechisms. It is also offered to all the faithful who wish to deepen their knowledge of the unfathomable riches of salvation (cf. Ephesus 3:8). It is meant to support ecumenical efforts that are moved by the holy desire for the unity of all Christians, showing carefully the content and wondrous harmony of the catholic faith. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, lastly, is offered to every individual who asks us to give an account of the hope that is in us (cf. 1 Peter 3:15) and who wants to know what the Catholic Church believes.

.

.

Pope John Paul II

You said:

  • If I am baptized "In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit",
    am I Catholic but not be in full communion with the Catholic Church?

If you are:

  • validly baptized "In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit"
  • raised to know all the teachings of the only Church Jesus founded, the Catholic Church, and
  • practice the faith by your words and actions

you are in full communion with the Church.

If you are:

  • validly baptized "In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit" and
  • raised in some other Protestant denomination

the Church acknowledges that you are a Christian, and part of the Body of Christ, yet because you have never learned the fullness of the Christian faith, either through no fault of your own or willingly, you are not considered to be in full communion with the one Church Our Lord founded, the Catholic Church.

If you have willingly rejected learning about the Church Jesus founded, you not only reject the Church, but you reject Christ Himself.

Christ is the Groom; His Church is Her Bridegroom and in the same way a man and woman come together as one to bring forth new life e.g. their children; so Christ and His Church come together as one and bring forth the Holy Spirit for the salvation of all mankind from generation to generation until His Second Coming. The relationship among the Persons of the Trinity mirrors exactly the relationship within the Christian family life.

The conjugal love a husband has for his wife and vice verse mirrors the love Jesus has for the Church He founded on St. Peter and His successors, the Catholic Church.

In the family, the fruit is the children; in the Church, the fruit, with the help of the Holy Spirit, are disciples of the Lord.

You said:

  • When I receive communion at my Baptist church "in remembrance of Him" doesn't the Catechism say that, in some way, the real body and blood of Jesus is in our communion?

No, it doesn't. Only the Catholic Church and other Apostolic Churches like the Orthodox and some schismatic groups like the Old Catholics, have a valid Eucharist.

A sad outcome of the Reformation is that Thomas Cranmer changed the form that makes the sacrament of Holy Orders valid. This is why if a Protestant minister wants to become a Catholic priest, they have to be re-trained and receive valid Holy Orders from the Church.

Hope this helps,

Mike

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