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Daniel Wesseln wrote:

Hi, guys —

I left the Catholic Church a few years ago and now I want to make it official.

  • How do I remove my name as a member of the Church?

I believe that the Catholic census shows way more Catholics than there actually are — me being one of them.

I am property of God, not of the Catholic Church. I am not an atheist. I'm simply a follower of Christ that doesn't require a religious label. I'm not actively condemning the Church but have been led by Christ to worship elsewhere.

Sincerely,

Daniel Wesseln

  { How do I remove my name as a member of the Catholic Church? }

Mike replied:

Hi Daniel,

This is a question you can find in our searchable knowledge base. I searched the knowledge base for you and found these web postings that should answer your question:

You said:
I left the Catholic Church a few years ago and now I want to make it official.

  • How do I remove my name as a member of the Church?

I believe that the Catholic census shows way more Catholics than there actually are — me being one of them.

I am property of God, not of the Catholic Church. I am not an atheist. I'm simply a follower of Christ that doesn't require a religious label.

I am sorry to hear this.

  • Is there any specific (or set of) reason(s) why you left the Church?

Based on what you wrote, I think you have some misperceptions about what the Church teaches.

While in a certain sense you are the property of God, most of the time the term property is used it refers to inanimate objects that don't have an immortal soul. (Check out my Christian basics page, if you are interested.)

You have an immortal soul that is destine for eternity. What type of eternity you are destine for will be based on choices you make in this life. The reason why faithful Catholics believe in the Church is because we believe Jesus is True God and, at the same time, True Man, who can neither deceive nor be deceived. So when He says:

You are Peter, and on this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18)

we believe Him, the Alpha and Omega. Maybe you can tell us what problems you are having.

You said:
I'm not actively condemning the Church but have been led by Christ to worship elsewhere.

  • How do you know these congregations are the true Christ and not one of the false Christ's, Jesus and St. Paul warned us about before His Glorious Ascension into Heaven?

We should not join a Christian congregation because:

  • Sunday services make us feel better, or
  • their Bible Studies challenge us more.

We should join a Christian Church because we believe that Church is a truth-telling Church on issues of faith and eternal salvation.

As a single Catholic, I totally understand the temptations involved in today's culture whether being:

  • persuaded by non-Christian groups and the media that back them, or
  • a sexually-saturated culture.

Due to a lack of catechesis, Catholics of every age erroneously see the Church as the problem, when Her sacramental life accompanied by prayer, is really the solution.

I hope this helps,

Mike

Daniel replied:

Mike,

I appreciate your response but fear this dialog will be fruitless.

I will try to describe why I believe the Catholic Church is no longer the One True Church and is in a period of darkness. I believe if Peter were here today he would be in shock at things he would find like:

  • holy water
  • engraved images of God and the things in Heaven
  • wearing scapulars
  • praying as the pagans do by reciting prayers over and over, and
  • praying to Mary and saints.

    (Catholics try to deflect this by saying they go to her for intercession, but lets face it, repeating the same request 53 times in words is prayer by any reasonable definition. Mary would only be able to hear our prayers through God. So in short, your prayers would be received by God, handed over to Mary, and then back to God.)

He (Peter) would be appalled by the vaults of treasure at the Vatican, claims that statues are miraculous and the reverent treatment they are given. (I know because my parents hosted a statue for a week and church members came to our house to pray the Rosary in front of it.)

He (Peter) would be upset at the idea of indulgences or that the Pope or priests can forgive sins or can have the punishment for them absolved. (This is a biggie for me.) Even Peter pointed his listeners to Christ for forgiveness of sin and there is no record of him (Peter) forgiving sin anywhere in the Scriptures. Also, the Catholic Mass does not reflect the Early Church gatherings. The Mass is very repetitive and memorized. The singing is generally very dreary and uninspired.

  • How can God be pleased by this?

In my non-denominational church, people are excited to praise the Lord together and learn together. We don't attend church out of duty, but out of love for our Heavenly Father. (No act done outside of love will bear any fruit.)

Unfortunately, the Catholic Mass is so ritualistic (very pagan like) there is very little room for teaching and sharing. Praying for souls in Purgatory is another big no, no. Those souls are in God's hands now.

  • Was Christ's sacrifice not sufficient?
  • What happens to Catholics who don't have many friends?
  • Will they spend more time in Purgatory than Catholics with many friends?
  • How is this God's Will?

The Church will only say a Mass for a deceased member if a donation of money is made. My mom passed away in October of 2013 and her Catholic friends made a $30 donation. (This is the minimum I was told) to St. Edwards parish in Rockford, Illinois to have Masses said for her soul.

My family must have collected over $500 for this unholy practice. St. Peter would be furious at the whole notion. All the religious and empty pageantry including the monstrance. (Most don't even know what one is.) Catholics have literally passed out from seeing the pope in the he Pope mobile.

  • How is this healthy?
  • Why are Church members so afraid to speak out against such things?

Christ did found his Church on Peter His rock, but look what mankind has done to it since.
I believe this is why Christ allowed divisions, not destruction, in His Church. I'm not necessarily
a huge fan of Martin Luther but he was trying to correct wrongful practices in the Church and was ultimately excommunicated for challenging Church doctrine.

  • How does this lead to meaningful change?

God is unchanging but we should be willing to change when we discover truths we were previously blind to. It's obvious from history that Church dogma is not infallible and it is a vanity to claim so. Peter, I believe, would not take part in baptizing infants for they are not able to accept Christ of their own free will. There is not a single instance of baptizing infants in all of Scripture and the Bible references Catholics use to back their position are misleading. Christ was praying over children, not baptizing them. Christ never once baptized any one. He always had a follower baptize the newly converted. The word baptize comes from the Greek meaning to immerse in water, not dribble water, or pray over. I was baptized (by full immersion) in recent years as a consenting adult and now believe this to be necessary to be true to God's Word, even if you were baptized as an infant, as I was.

Please, please read the following web page. I truly want to hear your response. If you find yourself unmoved at least I did my best to shed light on our differences.

[web page hidden.]

I love all my Catholic brethren and wish you the best. Be open to the Truth as you read that web page and not a cynic in heart.

Love in Christ,

Dan Wesseln

Mike replied:

Dear Dan,

Thanks for giving me some more insight into where you are coming from. Even if you think my reply is fruitless, as a disciple of Jesus, I'm bound correct my Christian brethren when I can.

The first thing I did was read the web page you appended from Rev. Anonymous. To me, what I read was a man's personal theology solely based on the Bible.

Like the majority of Protestant ministers, he has many misunderstandings about what the Church teaches, especially on what the Word is and what the Catholic priesthood is. No one can judge whether he is doing this knowingly, or not, except him and the Lord.

As a faithful Catholic, I do find it extremely offensive that he has audio files on his web sites talking about what Catholics believe on certain Catholic issues — and he isn't even a faithful Catholic who knows what the Church teaches.

  • If I want to become a Baptist, do I go to a Methodist to learn what they believe?
  • If I want to become a Mormon, do I go to a Muslim to learn what they believe?
  • If I want to become a Hindu, do I go to a Catholic to learn what they believe?

  • Why would you trust a Baptist Minister for a correct understanding of what faithful Catholics believe?

Let true representatives like our colleagues at Catholic Answers (catholic.com) (besides us) tell you what we believe.

From what I read, he appears to be restricting the Word of God to the Bible alone.

This has no basis in Christian history though many Protestant ministers use it to establish their man-made congregation. The Bible is not a Catechism, a book of systematic theology, or book of teachings, in the strict sense. The Bible is a liturgical book, meaning it was compiled for use in the Catholic Mass, our worship service. Historically, it was written:

  • by Catholics and their ancestors
  • for Catholics
  • for use in the Catholic Mass, our worship service.

That's just History 101.

During the Reformation, Protestant Reformers took Catholic bibles, striped out what they didn't like, and published it as the Bible.

The Word of God consist of both the Written Word, the Scriptures, and the Sacred, Oral Tradition that has been passed down by word of mouth. (Luke 10:16, 2 Thessalonians 2:15) When you restrict what you believe about Christianity to the Bible alone, you will always end up with erroneous personal views. (2 Peter 1:20) When, as Catholic Christians, we use the Bible correctly, we have to make sure we use the Scriptures in context properly. This is why Jesus established a teaching authority of the Church. (1 Timothy 3:15) I think you will find my Scripture Passages page helpful, if not interesting:

http://www.AskACatholic.com/ScripturePassages

On the priesthood, neither Lutheran Ministers, or for that matter, any Protestant Ministers (including Anglican Ministers) have valid Holy Orders and therefore cannot absolve people of their sins. Thomas Cranmer changed the form for the administration of this sacrament. Besides all the Protestant Reformers denied a sacrificial priesthood which is key to a proper understanding of the Catholic priesthood.

Yes, there was extremely bad behavior among the clergy back then but what the Church needed was a true reformation, not a revolt, which is what happen.

In the sacrament of Holy Orders, no priest has or will ever, forgive anyone's sins. Period. He's just a man!

Though the sacrament of Holy Orders, Jesus uses the body of the man:

  • his arms
  • his legs
  • his voice, and
  • his mind

to absolve men and women of their sins, in the person of Christ. He is acting though the priest to absolve members of His Church of their sins. This is why you will never see women priests in the Catholic Church.

Jesus was A Man; so the Priest must be a man. Priests go to Confession themselves, just like us, regularly. They hear one another's Confession.

Because Rev. Anonymous has never taken the time to buy a Catechism of the Catholic Church and find out what we really believe he can sound either:

  • ignorant, or
  • anti-Catholic

If he sends me his postal address, I'll send him a Catechism for free — If he will indeed read it.
I hate sending out paper weights.

Somewhere in your reply or on his web page there was a mention of the Early Church and what the first Christians believed. I have created a web site, totally dedicated to their writings. Go and read for yourself what the very first Christians:

  • thought
  • taught, and
  • died for.
BibleBeltCatholics.com

They celebrated the Mass in the same form Catholics still do today! And if Rev. Anonymous believes I made these quotes up, he can:

Find out what you are giving up on Dan.

  • Boring pastor?

Not as boring as mine is; and his sermons are really soft with no meat on the bones.

  • Should I leave the Church because of:
    • poor homiletically-trained seminarians?
      Does this take away from the truth the Church teaches?

    No. It is only a manifestation of our human condition that every generation since Jesus' Ascension has struggled with. You have to separate true teachings from bad behavior.

Like I said below:

We should not join a Christian congregation because:

  • Sunday services make us feel better, or
  • their Bible Studies challenge us more.

We should join a Christian Church because we believe that Church is a truth-telling Church on issues of faith and eternal salvation.

  • Can Rev. Anonymous trace his congregation back to the Apostles?
  • If not, why wouldn't he be considered one of the false Christ's Jesus and St. Paul warned us about?

You said:
I will try to describe why I believe the Catholic Church is no longer the One True Church and is in a period of darkness.

If you believe the Church was once the True Church but is not longer the True Church, you don't believe Jesus is truly God. Re-read Matthew 16:13-20. If the gates of Hell have prevailed, Jesus lied to all Christians about His promise to Peter.

  • Do you believe Christ lied to us, or not?

Even Paul said: the Church is the pillar and foundation of truth (1 Timothy 3:15) He didn't say: the Church is the pillar and foundation of truth until a period of darkness decided by each individual.

  • Rev. Anonymous referenced Vine's, but why should I trust a Protestant translation
    (the New King James) version of the Bible on which this book is based on?

The translation may be fine but the poison can usually be found in the footnotes.

There are so many topics/misunderstands you brought up in your last reply that we have already addressed in our database.

As faithful Catholics, we are always prepared to give good reasons for the Catholic hope we have in us. (1 Peter 3:15), but respect people's free will to exercise as they wish. I would encourage both you and Rev. Anonymous to search our database of questions and answers. Our team has been doing this for over 15 years and have won 4 awards for our work.

There are over 4,483postings to search on. Just use this link to search the database, typing in key words of interest like:

  • Purgatory
  • Praying to saints
  • indulgences
  • paying for Masses
  • Purgatory
  • etc.

http://www.AskACatholic.com/SiteSearch

There are a lot of quick answers there, so give it a try. Also check out my Favorites page.

Take care,

Mike

Paul replied:

Dear Dan,

I only had time to skim your last comment as well as Mike's fine response.

The only thing Peter might be surprised about today, regarding the Church, is that it had a major split in the eleventh century and another schism in the sixteenth century creating Protestantism.

As for the sin in the Church you referred to, he wouldn't be at all surprised, for he himself had publicly denied Jesus three times. What he would be very surprised at, even shocked, is that there would be so many good-hearted people that misunderstand the Word of God. They think divine Revelation comes through the Bible alone. Peter would be shocked and heartbroken over such an error that was being championed by people that broke off from the One True Church Christ established and He, Peter, had first led.

Christ never came to write a book. We know of nothing He wrote. In fact, He came to establish a Church which, by the sending of the Spirit, would become His Extended Body on earth to continue His mission. Salvation is offered in a two-fold measure:

  1. Christ gives His divine Life (through the sacraments) and
  2. His Divine Word through His Church

. . . both of which St. Peter was intimate with. Peter knew the Word of God came through the Written Text and Oral Tradition. He didn't even have a written New Testament when He preached.

The Holy Spirit, who is the soul of the Church, keeps the deposit of faith handed down from generation to generation, which includes Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, from any error.

  • Why does the Holy Spirit do this?

So that all can have access to the means of salvation, through the Church which He established, leads, and guides through this desert into the promised land of Heaven.

The authority of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church, as does the fullness of the Truth. That Truth, who is Jesus, comes to us through the Church in Scripture, Tradition, and the Sacraments — all kept pure by the Magisterium (the successors of the Apostles, including the successor of Peter) by the power of the Holy Spirit and the promise of Christ, Our Blessed Lord.

Peace,

Paul

Daniel replied:

Thank you gentlemen for the time you took to respond.

My original question has been answered.

You must have a passion for Christ to do this work.

Dan Wesseln
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