Bringing you the "Good News" of Jesus Christ and His Church While PROMOTING CATHOLIC Apologetic Support groups loyal to the Holy Father and Church's magisterium
Home About
AskACatholic.com
What's New? Resources The Church Family Life Mass and
Adoration
Ask A Catholic
Knowledge base
AskACatholic Disclaimer
Search the
AskACatholic Database
Donate and
Support our work
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
New Questions
Cool Catholic Videos
About Saints
Disciplines and Practices
Purgatory and Indulgences
About the Holy Mass
About Mary
Searching and Confused
Homosexual Issues
Life and Family
No Salvation Outside the Church
Sacred Scripture
non-Catholic Cults
Justification and Salvation
The Pope and Papacy
The Sacraments
Relationships and Marriage situations
Specific people, organizations and events
back
Doctrine and Teachings
Specific Practices
Church Internals
Church History

Matthew Johnson wrote:

Hey Mike,

I have a unique question for you:

  • Based on your observations of Catholics at large, what is something that Evangelicals or Protestants can bring to the community of Catholic believers by coming into full communion with the Catholic Church?

    This question is in the spirit of What Catholics can learn from Evangelicals?

We are supposed to be one family of believers under the headship of our Lord and I get the feeling that somehow (though I'm not sure exactly how), Evangelicals and Protestants can further purify and reform the Church by coming into full communion with Her.

  • Also, how would a pastor proceed to bring his congregation/church as a whole into Catholic Communion? and
  • How do I explain to people that Catholic doctrine does not condone worshiping or praying to idols or any form of idolatry? — in simple terms without directly mentioning latria or dulia.

Finally, I am considering RCIA, but I am concerned that becoming Catholic will cause my family great pain and heartache, which was experienced once before when a faction within our church caused a schism. I do not want them feel that this is a repeat of the apostasy of that schismatic and rebellious group of believers.

On a lighthearted note, I find the Sign of the Cross to be a pretty meaningful yet somewhat humorous hand gesture.

  • Is it (left to right) or (right to left) when you get to saying the Holy Spirit?

I hope to hear from you soon.

Regards,

Matthew

  { What can Catholics learn from Evangelicals and how do I notify my family without hurting them? }

Mike replied:

Hi Matthew,

Good to hear from you!

You said:
I have a unique question for you:

  • Based on your observations of Catholics at large, what is something that Evangelicals or Protestants can bring to the community of Catholic believers by coming into full communion with the Catholic Church?

    This question is in the spirit of What Catholics can learn from Evangelicals?

We are supposed to be one family of believers under the headship of our Lord and I get the feeling that somehow (though I'm not sure exactly how), Evangelicals and Protestants can further purify and reform the Church by coming into full communion with Her.

Catholics can learn a lot from Evangelicals. They can learn mainly to get off their ass and do what Jesus told them to do in Matthew 28:18-20! Seriously!

  • Do you see any Catholic evangelicals going door to door sharing the good news of Jesus and the Church He founded on St. Peter?
  • Do you see any Catholic pastors or priest supporting an effort like this?

  • Protestants
  • the Jehovah Witnesses, and
  • the Mormons

are great at out reach. We stink at it.

In light of the poor catechesis received at many parishes, we need a new approach. My approach would be to give them good, solid catechesis then immunize what they have learned by introducing Catholic Apologetics.

At the CCD or catechesis level, we have to instill in the faithful:

  • Why being Catholic is such a privilege.
  • How the word Catholic means the Christian faith according to its totality, and
  • How Catholic Christians are called to bring forth the full Catholic Christian Gospel to the next generation of Catholic Christians (as Jesus told us to — Matthew 28:18-20) and to non-Catholic Christians who are open to accepting it.

This can only be done by starting Catholic Apologetic support groups at the CCD or catechesis level.

Instead of RCIA participants leaving the Church because of the culture, you want a support network of Catholic Apologists, so when you get challenged by your Catholic faith, you can say,

I honestly do not know how to reply but I have friends from my local Catholic parish who probably know the answer to your question — let me get back to you.

Plus, though not mentioned at all from the pulpit, this is our obligation and right! Read what Canon law say are the rights of Catholics here.

You said:

  • Also, how would a pastor proceed to bring his congregation/church as a whole into Catholic Communion?

If a Protestant Minister wishes to bring his congregation into communion with the Church, he should contact the local Catholic bishop in his area. The Catholic Church in the United States is divided up into various districts called dioceses. The word diocese means household. After contacting the bishop, he will provide the appropriate guidance on how he and his community should proceed.

You said:

  • How do I explain to people that Catholic doctrine does not condone worshiping or praying to idols or any form of idolatry? — in simple terms without directly mentioning latria or dulia.

Keep it simple:

  • Faithful Catholics do not worship idols or statues. Period.
  • Faithful Catholics do not pray to idols or statues. Period.

Both:

  • Uncatechized Catholics, and
  • Anti-Catholics or fallen away Catholics, who never knew the faith

    probably do promote this but the Church does not believe this and would suggest anyone that does, go to Confession and confess these grave sins.

Worshiping idols or statues or praying to idols or statues has nothing to do with honoring those that:

  • are alive
  • have finished their earthly pilgrimage, and
  • wish to help and assist us.

From Mirae caritatis (On the Holy Eucharist) Pope Leo XIII

12. For the Communion of Saints, as everyone knows, is nothing but the mutual communication of help, expiation, prayers, blessings, among all the faithful, who, whether they have already attained to the heavenly country, or are detained in the purgatorial fire, or are yet exiles here on earth, all enjoy the common franchise of that city whereof Christ is the Head, and the constitution is charity.

You said:
Finally, I am considering RCIA, but I am concerned that becoming Catholic will cause my family great pain and heartache, which was experienced once before when a faction within our church caused a schism. I do not want them feel that this is a repeat of the apostasy of that schismatic and rebellious group of believers.

What this comes down to Matthew is their acceptance of what you personally believe. You can approach this situation the way you think is best, but I would use the historicity of the Church as the foundation for your change of heart. Just tell them the Catholic Church is the earliest Christian Church you have been able to find down through history and Jesus promised the Apostles in Matthew's Gospel that the gates of Hell would never prevail against His Church. If they question whether Catholics are Christians print out this posting for them to read:

Certainly, I don't want you to join the Church if you don't believe what we believe.

It would be similar to me asking a devout Atheist to join the Church.

The goal of my Catechism program and of all the work we do is not to convert people. No, the individual makes that decision. We just clarify the misperceptions and teach, as Jesus would want us to in Matthew 28:18-20.

As I may have said before, we should not join a Church because:

  • The Sunday services make us feel good
  • We are intellectually challenged on Church and Scripture teachings, or
  • We like the ministries that parish has.

No, we should join a Church because we have decided the Church is a truth-telling Church on issues of faith and eternal salvation.

Also, remember the difference in theology among Christians:

Protestant Christians base their theology on the question:

  • What must I do to be saved?

Catholic Christians base their theology on the question:

  • Who is Jesus Christ?

You said:
On a lighthearted note, I find the Sign of the Cross to be a pretty meaningful yet somewhat humorous hand gesture.

  • Is it (left to right) or (right to left) when you get to saying the Holy Spirit?

This posting should help:

I hope this helps,

Mike

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
© 2012 Panoramic Sites
The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.