Niko's Nature

“Whatsoever thy soul shall say to me, I will do for thee.”

Posts tagged Catholic

6 notes &

Anonymous asked: Do non-Christians in very isolated societies go to hell for not believing in the Christian god, even though they lever learned about it and were unable to do so?

Hello Anon,

For questions such as these, we must consider both scripture and Church teaching.

In John 4:16 Christ says, 

"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

And this has been reiterated throughout tradition so that we know that it is only through Christ that one is saved.  Furthermore, because Christ chose the Church to be the method through which salvation occurs, we know that it is only through the Church that one is saved.  This doctrine rendered in Latin is extra Ecclesiam nulla salus or “Outside the Church there is no salvation.”

Does this mean that those outside the visible structure of the Church are damned?  No.  For we recognize that Christ through the Church draws to Himself even those who are not visible members of His Church.  Those outside the visible Church, who demonstrate great virtue, and seek the good may be saved.  It is eminently clear that there is no contradiction here, for we recognize that all good comes from the grace of God through the Church, and so those who do good, are clearly receiving that grace, though they themselves may not be conscious of it.  

This is why it is important for all Christians to pray for the salvation of the whole world, knowing that it is they, the Church, who bear the responsibility of being chosen by God as conduits for the sanctification of the Earth.  It is our prayers and our works of mercy which may aid God in leading others to the truth.

In parting, one last anecdote from scripture is particularly relevant here.  In Acts 17:22-31, Paul goes to Athens and speaks upon the Areopagus (“Mars Hill” a large rocky hill, which seemed to function as a multi-purpose place for court cases as well as being a place of worship.)  In this speech, considered one of the greatest sermons of Paul recorded in scripture, Paul tells the gathered masses that the “unknown God” they built a temple to there was actually the one true God.  There are many things worth noting about this speech, but the one most relevant here, is that these people who worshipped what they did not know, were worshipping, imperfectly, but still worshipping.  Thus, the many who do not know God, yet still honor and hunger for the truth, are in fact giving imperfect worship to Christ. 

Therefore, for those who know God, they must evangelize to others and seek to win souls for Christ through the gifts God has given them.  Those who do not know God, are called to seek the truth, for God is the truth, and in seeking it, they will find Him, and as Christ tells us, all who seek, will find.   I hope this answers your question.

God bless,

Niko

Filed under Catholic Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus Christianity

14 notes &

Anonymous asked: hello, i hope you're doing well. lately i've been getting thoughts of leaving the faith, mainly because of the sexual abuse scandals. many of my classmates have put me down because of this. i have always respected them, their religions, their opinions etc. but i just can't take it anymore, their comments hurt me a lot but what hurts me the most is the thought of me renouncing my faith. i don't know what to do anymore..

Hello Anon,

In the end, you have two choices, leave the faith or not leave it.  Many people have chosen to leave the Church because of the sex abuse scandal.  They saw the Church as being hypocritical, and since people don’t like being associated with hypocrites, they found it best to leave.  I’m sure many more will follow them, either for the same, or different reasons.

However, I think it’s important to point out, no one should be surprised that there’s going to be hypocrisy in the Church.  The Church is made up of people, and because we are all fallen due to original sin, we are all sinners and hypocrites.  So yeah, there’s going to be hypocrisy in the Church, because the Church exists in the world.  But, there’s also hypocrisy anywhere else you go.  So, if you’re trying to get away from that by leaving the Church, I don’t know where you plan on going.  

What the Catholic Church is though, is the only organization that fights against the hypocrisy of the world.  Even though we are in the world, we are fighting the world.  We are God’s rebel outpost behind the Enemy’s lines.  Are we going to fall, yes, we’re only human, but because we are protected by the Holy Spirit, we are going to get back up, and the gates of Hell will never prevail against us.  Specifically regarding the sex abuse scandal, you can already see this process has begun.  The Catholic Church has apologized profusely, aided the victims, and instituted the toughest child security policies in the world.  We’ve addressed the problem, and other organizations are only beginning to realize that they are infected with the same cancer we had, and they’ve begun covering it up.  

So, as a Catholic, of course I’m going to tell you that you shouldn’t leave the faith because it is the Church, and only the Church, which offers the life-giving body of Christ.  And as a human being, I’m going to tell you that if you want to join the fight against our fallen sinful human nature you can try to do it alone, but you won’t get very far.  Or you can stick with the Catholic faith and join your brothers and sisters who are all striving to make a better Church and a better world, and in the end, isn’t that what it means to be human? I hope this helps.

In Christ,

Niko

(PS, tell your classmates to bug off.  Friends are supposed to be there to build you into a better person.  If they’re not doing that, you don’t need them in your life.)

Filed under Catholic Catholicism Sex abuse scandal

53 notes &

Anonymous asked: Hey :) are catholics christians? And can christians and catholics date/get married?

Hi QAC,

I happened to come across your post in the Catholic tag and was curious as to what you thought.  You make a few good points, and some other points I’d like to respond to, just for clarification.  Hope that I can explain these things for you.

One of them is the praying to saints, especially to Mary and almost elevating her status to be like Jesus Christ himself. The Bible tells us that “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:5).

This is true.  Jesus Christ is the sole mediator between God and mankind.  But, this does not mean that we cannot ask other people for our prayers, which is what we do when we pray to saints, we are asking them to pray for us.  And the bible even commands it.

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16

and who is righteous than those already in heaven?

Regarding the Blessed Virgin Mary, as the Mother of God, she is blessed among women.  The Hail Mary prayer is completely biblical: “Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with you.  Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” quotes the angel who appeared to her during the Annunciation.  ”Holy Mary, Mother of God” is simply her title, “pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death,” is just asking us to pray for us.  We don’t worship Mary, we venerate her.  She is like the moon.  She does not create light herself, but reflects the light of the Sun/Son.

Roman Catholics also believe that the word of the pope is infallible. That is false. The only thing that is infallible is God’s Word, which is the Bible. 

We believe that the Church is infallible on matters of faith and morals because God gave Her that infallibility, and as the Church’s head, the Pope often expresses that infallibility.   Jesus told Peter, (and the rest of the apostles, later)

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”  Matthew 16:19

The bishops, as the successors of the apostles, receive this same grace.

Also, you say the bible is infallible.  But why is the bible infallible?  The bible doesn’t say the bible is infallible.  It doesn’t even say the word bible!  In fact, it was the Church that made the bible, and the bible’s infallibility comes from the infallibility of the Church.  Even the bible says:

but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth. 1 Timothy 3:15

God’s word is Christ, John 1:1 And Jesus did not give us the bible.  He gave us a Church.  It is the Church which gave us the bible.

questionsaboutchristianity:

It depends on who you ask. I am not going to say what I believe only because I don’t want to start arguments on this topic. Catholics believe many of the same doctrine that Christians do. Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox were the first two branches of Christianity. In essence, Catholics believe in Jesus and the trinitarian God, as do Christians. There are a few flaws in their doctrine that poses problems. One of them is the praying to saints, especially to Mary and almost elevating her status to be like Jesus Christ himself. The Bible tells us that “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:5). Jesus is the only one we need to pray to because he is the only one that can bridge the relationship between man and God. To put someone on the same level of Jesus should not be done because Jesus is God’s only begotten son. Roman Catholics also believe that the word of the pope is infallible. That is false. The only thing that is infallible is God’s Word, which is the Bible. It has been a while since I’ve taken a class on this but I believe Catholics also believe in purgatory which they believe is a place of purification before going to heaven. There are still many more differences but when it comes down to it, personally, I see a lot of Roman Catholics that were raised in the church but don’t actually have a personal relationship with God. They go to mass and read the Bible, say the rosary, and even attend Bible studies, but they lack in the idea that it isn’t about how much you know about Jesus, but how your relationship is with him. It’s sad to see so many people who go to mass and do all these things routinely but not have a relationship with the Lord and Savior. I’m not saying that all Catholics are like this, but I have personally seen a lot of people who fall under this category. I believe that Catholics can go to heaven but God will be the only one who will judge us all and know our hearts and motives.

Part 2 to your question. Can Christians and Catholics date and get married? Sure. Is it the best idea? I don’t know. It really depends on whether or not both the guy and girl have a deep relationship with Christ and can strengthen each other and encourage growth in Christ. It will definitely poses its challenges because of the differences in doctrine. I would say perferably it is not a good idea to date a Catholic if you are a Christian who follows after Christ. Doesn’t mean things won’t work out, but it can be more difficult at times. Hope this answers your question!

I see a lot of Roman Catholics that were raised in the church but don’t actually have a personal relationship with God. They go to mass and read the Bible, say the rosary, and even attend Bible studies, but they lack in the idea that it isn’t about how much you know about Jesus, but how your relationship is with him. 

This is true, there are a lot of Catholics who don’t have a meaningful relationship with Christ.  But people like that exist everywhere.  There are a lot of Eastern Orthodox, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Methodists, Baptists, Pentecostals, Seventh Day Adventists, and Nondenominational Christians who all lack a meaningful relationship with Christ.  So, you’ll find people like that everywhere.  In fact, every single one of us can strive to improve their relationship with Christ.  

However, I am Catholic because the Catholic Church offers me the opportunity to have the closest possible relationship with Christ.  Because in the Catholic Church, I have the opportunity to receive the Eucharist, which is Christ’s body and blood, offered to us, every mass.  I can receive the true body of Christ, the same body he offered during the Last Supper, and on Calvary.  There is no relationship that is closer than that.  

Filed under Catholic Protestant Saints Mary Eucharist

3 notes &

Anonymous asked: According to the Church, how far apart should two people be related to get married at a minimum? (Not that I or anyone I know is planning upon marring a close cousin, but I'm curious as to know this)

Great question!

Canon law says:

Can.  1091 §1. In the direct line of consanguinity marriage is invalid between all ancestors and descendants, both legitimate and natural.

§2. In the collateral line marriage is invalid up to and including the fourth degree.

§3. The impediment of consanguinity is not multiplied.

Unpacking that:

Paragraph 1 tells us that it is wrong for anyone to marry someone they are directly related to, ex. a parent, grandparent, great-grandparent, child, grand-child.  That’s easy.

Paragraph 2 is more complicated.  The Church uses a method of calculating relationships using degrees which we are not really used to.  We usually say first cousin once removed and stuff like that.  Luckily someone made a chart which can help us understand this:

image

Basically, the trick is to figure out how many people are involved in the relationship between two people (leaving out the common ancestor.)  

So, in a relationship between Bob and Sarah who are brother and sister, there’s Bob and Sarah, and they are related because of their parents.  But you leave out the parents because those are the common ancestor, so you have “2.” So you would say that there are two degrees between Bob and Sarah.  Canon law would forbid that.

Bob and Sarah have a cousin named Joe.  They are related because their Grandparents had at least two kids, Bob and Sarah’s parent, and Bob and Sarah’s parent’s sibling who would be Joe’s parent, and each parent had one kid with their spouse.  So, count 1 Grandparent, 1 Parent, 1 Uncle/Aunt, 1 for Joe, and 1 for Bob and Sarah = 5 subtract one for the common ancestor (grandparent) and you get 4.  Canon law forbids that as well.  

So, the closest the Church allows marriages is the 5th degree of the collateral line which includes 1st cousins once removed (Your cousins’ kids or your 2nd cousins’ parents.)  I suppose it would also include Great-Grand Nephew/Nieces, i.e. Your brother or sister’s great grandkids, but please, do not marry your brother or sister’s great grandkids. 

I hope this helped!

Filed under Catholic Canon Law Marriage Family

17 notes &

Anonymous asked: Where was God throughout the early years of humanity?

Dear Anon,

Where wasn’t God throughout the early years of humanity?  Look at any civilization, any culture, even the ones we know virtually nothing about, and you’ll see they all had some idea some image of God.  Were they perfectly refined ideas of God as the “I am who am,” who’s essence is existence, manifested in triune unity?  No, of course not, but neither did they know that light could be observed as both a wave and a particle, yet observe light they did, and just as they observed light without understanding it, so too do we see that they observed religious practices towards God, though not always with understanding.  

The fact that for almost the entire history of mankind, man has had some image of God speaks to God’s movement in the world, for where else could the idea of God have come from, but God Himself?  And the unanimous testimony in distant lands throughout the ages of God’s presence in the world can only be seen as the concurrence of thousands of independent experiments, and in each one, we find the null hypothesis, that God exists, has never been rejected.

Thus, the question to ask is not “Where was God throughout the early years of humanity?”  But “Where was atheism?”  If atheism is supposed to be the natural state of humanity and theism is merely some fabrication, then why should we find theism in all cultures, and atheism in virtually none?  It does not make sense.  Therefore, Beloved, rejoice in the knowledge we who are born in Christ through baptism are blessed to have, that the God that walked the vast oceans of eternity before the formation of the Earth, worshiped in some form by all peoples, is the same God that walked on the waters of the sea of Galilee as Jesus the Christ.  

In Amor Christi,

Niko

Filed under Catholic Christianity Catholicism Atheist Atheism

341 notes &

varangoi:

egiru:

varangoi:

christconquers:

catholicliving:

From the Catholic Memes FB page

Oh yeah… Right after the Papists abandon the Papacy

The band never broke up, one of the lead guitarists just decided to leave and start his own.
We just gave the lead to the other guitarist.

FRICK!! PEOPLE, DONT FOCUS ON WHO LEFT WHO
ADMIT IT, THE BREAK OF THE CHURCH WAS BOTH SIDES FAULT YOU KNOW


THE POPE EMISSARIES FOR NOT WANTING TO TALK AND EXCOMMUNICATING THE PATRIARCH. YES, THAT WAS OUR FAULT, BUT THEN THE PATRIARCH EXCOMMUNICATING THE POPE ONLY MADE THINGS WORSE. ITS BOTH SIDE FAULT.
WE CHRISTIANS HAVE ENOUGH BY FIGHTING AGAINST THE HEDONISTS LIBERALS OF OUR AGE, PLUS FIGHTING AGAINST THE PROTESTANT, AND THEN TO BE FIGHTING BETWEEN CATHOLICS AND ORTHODOX.
DO YOU KNOW WHATS IMPORTANT??? THIS:

THIS IS WHAT TRULY MATTERS, TRYING TO GET BACK TOGETHER, FIGHTING THIS WORLD TOGETHER
IM SORRY FOR THE RANT BUT COMMENTS LIKE THE ABOVE MAKE ME SAD/MAD
WE ALREADY HAVE WAAAAY TOO MANY ENEMIES TO BE FIGHTING BETWEEN OURSLEVES

We can talk together, but the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church did not cease to exist after the schism. Whatever politics were involved, it was the Roman Church that changed, and it was the Roman Church that demanded the Eastern Bishops to bow to it.
We do not need to get back together. Against Liberalism we may fight as groups with a common goal, but at the end of the day, it is the Orthodox Church that has retained truth.
Claiming that both of us are the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church robs us both of the title. It means Christ’s Church has been defunct since 1054.
But that is not the case. Not the case at all. Let’s focus on the canons, let’s focus on our theology, rather than emotional wishes for a “reunification”. If you believe the Roman Church to be the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, you should rightfully believe us to be schismatics and heretics who must rejoin her fold. And if I have any true allegiance to my Church, then I declare it to be the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. Undivided. And the Latins must rejoin us.

Aye, that is precisely the situation we have.  And it is this situation that shows most clearly that in fact it is the Roman Church which is the one Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, from which the easterns separated themselves.
For if hypothetically we were to “join” the East, by what measure would we consider whether we have joined?  Do we look to Jerusalem or Moscow?  Constantinople or Antioch?  The Orient?  The matter is unclear.
However, if hypothetically, the Eastern churches wished to join the West, there is no unholy confusion, it is clear that Rome is the standard by which their orthodoxy is judged.  
"And last, the very name Catholic, which, not without reason, belongs to this Church alone, in the face of so many heretics, so much so that, although all heretics want to be called ‘Catholic,’ when a stranger inquires where the Catholic Church meets, none of the heretics would dare to point out his own basilica or house" - St. Augustine - (Against the Letter of Mani Called ‘The Foundation’ 4:5 [A.D. 397])."
The Easterns divided by beliefs and nationalities cannot call themselves one in the same way the Church can say that She is one.  The Easterns, in many competing voices, cannot say they are set apart, [holy] from all other churches in the same way the Catholic Church can say She is set apart from all other Churches.  And it would be wrong to call the Roman Church the Roman Orthodox Church as if it were merely counter the Russian Orthodox or the Greek Orthodox, rather She is the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church of every nation.  Thus, it is only the Roman Church which can claim to be truly Catholic.

varangoi:

egiru:

varangoi:

christconquers:

catholicliving:

From the Catholic Memes FB page

Oh yeah… Right after the Papists abandon the Papacy

The band never broke up, one of the lead guitarists just decided to leave and start his own.

We just gave the lead to the other guitarist.

FRICK!! PEOPLE, DONT FOCUS ON WHO LEFT WHO

ADMIT IT, THE BREAK OF THE CHURCH WAS BOTH SIDES FAULT YOU KNOW

THE POPE EMISSARIES FOR NOT WANTING TO TALK AND EXCOMMUNICATING THE PATRIARCH. YES, THAT WAS OUR FAULT, BUT THEN THE PATRIARCH EXCOMMUNICATING THE POPE ONLY MADE THINGS WORSE. ITS BOTH SIDE FAULT.

WE CHRISTIANS HAVE ENOUGH BY FIGHTING AGAINST THE HEDONISTS LIBERALS OF OUR AGE, PLUS FIGHTING AGAINST THE PROTESTANT, AND THEN TO BE FIGHTING BETWEEN CATHOLICS AND ORTHODOX.

DO YOU KNOW WHATS IMPORTANT??? THIS:

image

THIS IS WHAT TRULY MATTERS, TRYING TO GET BACK TOGETHER, FIGHTING THIS WORLD TOGETHER

IM SORRY FOR THE RANT BUT COMMENTS LIKE THE ABOVE MAKE ME SAD/MAD

WE ALREADY HAVE WAAAAY TOO MANY ENEMIES TO BE FIGHTING BETWEEN OURSLEVES

We can talk together, but the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church did not cease to exist after the schism. Whatever politics were involved, it was the Roman Church that changed, and it was the Roman Church that demanded the Eastern Bishops to bow to it.

We do not need to get back together. Against Liberalism we may fight as groups with a common goal, but at the end of the day, it is the Orthodox Church that has retained truth.

Claiming that both of us are the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church robs us both of the title. It means Christ’s Church has been defunct since 1054.

But that is not the case. Not the case at all. Let’s focus on the canons, let’s focus on our theology, rather than emotional wishes for a “reunification”. If you believe the Roman Church to be the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, you should rightfully believe us to be schismatics and heretics who must rejoin her fold. And if I have any true allegiance to my Church, then I declare it to be the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. Undivided. And the Latins must rejoin us.

Aye, that is precisely the situation we have.  And it is this situation that shows most clearly that in fact it is the Roman Church which is the one Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, from which the easterns separated themselves.

For if hypothetically we were to “join” the East, by what measure would we consider whether we have joined?  Do we look to Jerusalem or Moscow?  Constantinople or Antioch?  The Orient?  The matter is unclear.

However, if hypothetically, the Eastern churches wished to join the West, there is no unholy confusion, it is clear that Rome is the standard by which their orthodoxy is judged.  

"And last, the very name Catholic, which, not without reason, belongs to this Church alone, in the face of so many heretics, so much so that, although all heretics want to be called ‘Catholic,’ when a stranger inquires where the Catholic Church meets, none of the heretics would dare to point out his own basilica or house" - St. Augustine - (Against the Letter of Mani Called ‘The Foundation’ 4:5 [A.D. 397])."

The Easterns divided by beliefs and nationalities cannot call themselves one in the same way the Church can say that She is one.  The Easterns, in many competing voices, cannot say they are set apart, [holy] from all other churches in the same way the Catholic Church can say She is set apart from all other Churches.  And it would be wrong to call the Roman Church the Roman Orthodox Church as if it were merely counter the Russian Orthodox or the Greek Orthodox, rather She is the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church of every nation.  Thus, it is only the Roman Church which can claim to be truly Catholic.

Filed under eastern orthodoxy Catholic Eastern Orthodox

14 notes &

Archbishop Cordileone's Awesome Response to Gay Marriage Supporters

"Please do not make judgments based on stereotypes, media images and comments taken out of context. Rather, get to know us first as fellow human beings. I myself am willing to meet personally with any of you not only to dialogue, but simply so that we can get to know each other. It is the personal encounter that changes the vision of the other and softens the heart. In the end, love is the answer, and this can happen even between people with such deep disagreements. That may sound fanciful and far-fetched, but it is true, it is possible. I know it is possible, I know this from personal experience. When we come together seeking to understand the other with good will, miracles can happen."

Filed under Catholic Christianity Gay Marriage Homosexuality Archbishop Cordileone

0 notes &

Anonymous asked: I was asking about the picture with the Pope on the left sitting on his chair and the Poor boy on the right so skinny naked and undernourished. I was just asking because I just want to know where these kids are and why doesn't any one who is able, with so many rich people in this world help them. I am planning to start a charity organization and this really touches my heart to see children like this who are born and not at fault for their situation. Let us all pray for them. Thank you.

Well, I don’t know specifically where that photo was taken.  However, there are many hungry people all over the world.  Almost 850 million people worldwide do not have enough to eat.  Here are some more facts about hunger.  

Luckily there are a lot of aid organizations who are trying to help.  Catholic Relief Services is one of the best, and there are many ways to get involved with them.  Another great way to get involved in the fight against hunger is to volunteer your time at a local soup kitchen or food pantry (and obviously donate what goods you can to them.)  I recommend one run by the St. Vincent DePaul society, if you have one local.  They’ve operated for hundreds of years and are great at what they do.  

And of course, as you said, we can, and should, always pray for an end to hunger.  

In Christ,

Niko

Filed under Hunger Catholic Christianity Social Justice World Hunger

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