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[QUOTE=CarlSpackler]The Catholic Church is too powerful and too in love with its own history of influence. They should be a bunch of wandering preachers like Jesus, not a powerful organization trying to fix the world through their influence, power and wealth. As christians you are supposed to emulate Jesus, not worry about what some Pope thinks about todays world. I feel religion is more of a personal thing and not a devotion to a group of people, rather a devotion to God.[/QUOTE]
As a practicing Catholic I agree with you to an extent....you tend to cherry pick the poison parts of the religion and forget all the good it has and is doing...but you are right (and I've seen it first hand) that people put more importance in the Catholic religion, (or any other religion for that matter) then they do in Jesus Christ.
And again- it is across the line in all religions, not just Catholocism.
Religions are run by men, men are fallable and some will eventually use religion and God's name for explotation to benefit themselves...I've worked with a lot of born again Christians who consistently claim since they've accepted Jesus into their hearts they will go directly to Heaven- the fact they judge people at the snap of a finger, rip people off, etc, means nothing.
[QUOTE]I never said women wouldn't be FIT for priesthood. I'm also unsure what propaganda you're referring to. I DO separate tradition from faith. As a Catholic, however, I DO believe that the guidance we get is from God. It's not simply a bunch of guys sitting around and guessing at what God thinks. You can be a faithful Christian, but you can't necessarily be a faithful Catholic if you're picking and choosing what you believe. That's what Martin Luther did. As a Catholic, though, I believe that the Holy Spirit chose our Pope and I continue to believe that his guidance comes from God himself.
Catholicism IS a devotion to God, CS. It IS a personal thing. But, just because we live in an area that doesn't necessarily need "wandering preachers" doesn't mean it isn't happening in other countries. Areas South of the equator are full of your wandering preachers. Ok, maybe they don't wander SO much. People tend to respect people who show them respect. Someone who stops by while wandering is less effective than someone who stays put and helps in the community while spreading the Word through his/her speech and actions.
As far as priests giving marital guidance... they tend not to. They defer a lot of that to couples who are willing to help out in the Parish. Priests give spiritual guidance and help with what they can, but they don't pretend to know everything there is about relationships with women because, plain and simply, they don't.[/QUOTE]
Thats a very common way of seeing things. A lot of people believe, like you, that you can't just take all the things you like and throw away the things you don't like, and you're right. See, the thing is, I'm not cherry picking things to believe in, I am simply following what the bible says because I put a lot more stock in that than in what the present day church says or does. As for the Popes and them being "chosen from God", well that might be true every once and a while but there have been many, many bad popes. Alexander the 6th had 5 illegitimate children from a whole bunch of different mistresses and he had tried to promote one of his children up through the ranks of the church and set him up to be a pope. This guy obviously wasn't a great leader, he was the head of a church that he wouldn't even obey the rules. Its not like he got into the papacy, called for changes and then acted accordingly, he just basically said "F the rules, even though I am supposed to be the one setting the example". Furthermore, both the Crusades and the inquisition weren't great times for papal leadership, so I think its far to say that just because someone is the Pontiff or a high ranking official of the church doesn't mean they're put their by God to be the shepherd.
As for your point about Martin Luther, you're mistaken. He didn't want to secede from the Church, he actually just nailed a bunch of reasons about how the Church was screwing up on a church and suggested ways for them to change. Then after he was excommunicated and got somewhat in love with his own name, he made a sect. But when he hung his criticisms up, they were right. He hated the selling of indulgences and the ornate furnishings of the church heirarchy. And looking back, there is no doubt in my mind that he was right.
See as a Catholic we were raised to think the reformation was bad, but it was actually a good thing. Yes it did divide many christians but it was also can be looked at as a starting point for what needs to be done today. This guy was just a catholic scholar and priest and yet made the Church change through civil means. The church tried to execute him many, many times, just because he challenged them. The point I'm making now is that just because someone challenges a tradition of belief held by people for a long time doesn't mean their wrong. You have to be open to change with the times and to be able identify the difference between what Jesus was all about and what the Church is all about.
Jesus himself was a revolutionary, calling for reforms in the jewish heirarchy which was very corrupt in his time.
Bottom line: Always remember that being a Catholic isn't about being obedient to the church but rather being faithful to Jesus and trying to emulate him as much as possible.
Bottom line: Always remember that being a Catholic isn't about being obedient to the church but rather being faithful to Jesus and trying to emulate him as much as possible.[/QUOTE]
I couldn't agree with you more... the difference, I guess, is that I look to the church for that guidance while you don't necessarily. I know the church has had some dark days. I think those days were extreme and I'm not discounting them at all. They happened. I think we both agree on martin Luther. I'm not sure why you said I was wrong.
Love is the greatest gift God gives to us and marriage is your expression of love. The whole idea that priests are married to God is rather ridiculous.[/QUOTE]
When I read this line, I remembered when I was a kid, all the nuns would wear wedding bands and the response to why they did this was...they are married to god. Kind of bizarre now that I think of it. I don't remember priests wearing wedding bands (?) and don't know if nuns today still do this (?) I'll have to check that out next time in church.
Sometimes, upon realization that I've been staking superior insight to a 2000 year old religion currently followed by over a billion people, I see the impact of my intellect and feel a bit ridiculous myself.