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This entry is my response to the blog post: We are Christians, not Catholics because we choose to follow Christ

The article above ( unfortunately, the link to it has been broken) is full of misconceived ideas. A sad problem that I see in a lot of former Catholics, specially in America. But this problem has deep roots, as most former Catholics had never really known their Catholic faith as they decide to leave the Church. In my experience, this is true in 99% of the cases, more often then not their opinions on Catholicism are not based on facts, but on their personal (mis) perceptions and experiences.

It is interesting when someone says: “As a Catholic I didn’t know Jesus and the Bible”, as though it was the Church’s fault they didn’t! No Christian person should feel they can blame others for their own failure in building a relationship with the Lord. 

I always try to prompt former Catholics and critics of Catholicism to ponder on the fact that although we have the Liturgy of the Word at daily Mass, the Catholic worship is not a Bible study assembly. Mass is a thanksgiving celebration to God the Father that includes the Liturgy of the Word, along with the Eucharist (thanksgiving in Greek).  However, to deny that the study of the Scripture is an important part of the Catholic faith is to declare  that one doesn’t know what takes place at Mass.  The Church goes through the entire Bible in the course of two years, with no repeating passages read each day. Every Sunday the readings include at least one passage from the OT, plus the Psalms, which are carefully selected to shed light on the NT readings.  At daily Mass two NT passages are read and explained in the homily.

Everyday many millions of Catholics listen to the readings at Mass and then come home and open their own Bibles to reflect on the teachings that they have read in Church. I guess what I mean is that it takes a personal commitment to follow Jesus. Unfortunately,  these days people have grown more and more comfortable with the notion of pointing fingers, rather than taking responsibility for their actions or inactions.

On the other hand, I have seen numerous protestant Christians who, in their search for the truth, have joined the Catholic Church either because they could no longer bear the weight of division within Protestantism, the diversity of scriptural interpretations accepted and professed by the different churches, or simply because when they learn what Catholic Christianity actually teaches  they are taken by surprise by the richness of the Church’s Scriptural foundations.

The article I am debating here, at a first glance, seems to be calling people to be true followers of Christ, which is great and clashes in NO shape or form with what the Catholic faith teaches.  However, a closer look tell us that in fact the poster has an agenda and his  focus is not simply to promote discipleship of Jesus, but to incriminate the Catholic Church and indirectly discriminate her members.

Christ is the centre of the Catholic Faith. We believe that salvation is a free gift of God, and that faith in Jesus is necessary for salvation. Therefore, imitation of Christ is a core belief of Catholicism. Obedience to His teachings and the keeping of God’s commandments are the fruits of our faith. In other words, Catholics are called to be true disciples of Christ not only through their faith but also in their actions.

Clearly,  prejudice against Catholicism is a problem that cannot be tackled only through ‘apologetic efforts’.  I suspect that giving a true witness of the Gospels would be considerably  more effective. However it may be,  I am a follower of Christ and a proud Catholic. Amen!

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