I want to become a Roman Catholic .... but......?

I want to become a Roman Catholic, but I am wrestling with two things. The first is that although I understand the importance of the Papacy, I don't like the current pope , Benedict XVI - I get extremely bad feelings about him, especially when I read that he apperently played a major role in covering up the abuse of children by priests.

The second thing that I am wrestling with is with regards to the child abuse situation that was revealed, particularly in the USA. Even though I feel very strongly as if I am being called to become a member of the Roman Catholic Church, I am worried about joining a church where this sort of thing has gone on.

So.. should I follow my instincts/calling or not? I welcome all Catholics to help me here as I really am in a quandry. When I see someone like Tony Blair become a Roman Catholic, for example, when in my opinion he has blood on his hands and behaved in an extremely uncharistian manner, I get even more confused! Yet, I feel called.

Help!!

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    "This sort of thing" has gone on in every church! The press just doesn't give as much attention to Protestant preachers who commit such crimes as they do to Catholic priests. Even the Baptist preacher in Florida who had molested over 500 boys didn't get the attention that a priest gets if he is even accused of such a thing. If you are looking for a church in which the ministers are not sinners, forget it. There is no such church. If you are looking for a Church where you will receive the fullness of truth in spite of the sinfulness of its ministers; if you are looking for the one Church founded for you by Jesus Christ, not a mere human institution, the Church Scripture calls "the pillar and foundation of truth"; then the Catholic Church is where you belong.

  • 1 decade ago

    As a Practising Catholic i don't particularly like Pope Benedict but he must have something as he was pick to be pope. As for Tony Blair his wife has been a Catholic & the question i would be asking is :- Why did he have to wait until he left Labour to turn? The only answer i can give myself is we are run by a prodistent Goverment & he would have been thrown out of office if he turned before!

    If in your heart you want to become a Roman Catholic then you do it.

    I left the church for 5 years & know that i am back i feel much better within myself.

    If you want to talk just mail my.

  • Daver
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    First,

    The very fact Benedict the XVI was elected pope suggests he had NOTHING to do with the Clergy Sex Scandals.

    Second,

    You seem to regard the Greater Church as if it is a clubhouse of sorts for saint. That is wrong. The Church is a hospital for sinners, not a house of saints.

    Third,

    The fact there is controvery in the Church does not mean the Catholic Church is the wrong place to be. It says as much in the Bible:

    Matt. 13:24-30 - scandals have always existed in the Church, just as they have existed outside of the Church. This should not cause us to lose hope in the Church. God's mysterious plan requires the wheat and the weeds to be side by side in the Church until the end of time.

    Matt. 13:47-50 - God's plan is that the Church (the kingdom of heaven) is a net which catches fish of every kind, good and bad. God revealed this to us so that we will not get discouraged by the sinfulness of the Church’s members.

    Matt. 16:18 - no matter how sinful its members conduct themselves, Jesus promised that the gates of death will never prevail against the Church.

    Matt. 23:2-3 - the Jewish people would have always understood the difference between a person's sinfulness and his teaching authority. We see that the sinfulness of the Pharisees does not minimize their teaching authority. They occupy the "cathedra" of Moses.

    Matt. 26:70-72; Mark 14:68-70; Luke 22:57; John 18:25-27 - Peter denied Christ three times, yet he was chosen to be the leader of the Church, and taught and wrote infallibly.

    Mark 14:45 - Judas was unfaithful by betraying Jesus. But his apostolic office was preserved and this did not weaken the Church.

    Mark 14:50 - all of Jesus' apostles were unfaithful by abandoning Him in the garden of Gethsemane, yet they are the foundation of the Church.

    John 20:24-25 - Thomas the apostle was unfaithful by refusing to believe in Jesus' resurrection, yet he taught infallibly in India.

    Rom. 3:3-4 - unfaithful members do not nullify the faithfulness of God and the work of the Holy Spirit in the Church.

    Eph. 5:25-27 - just as Jesus Christ has both a human and a divine nature, the Church, His Bride, is also both human and divine. It is the holy and spotless bride of Christ, with sinful human members.

    1 Tim. 5:19 - Paul acknowledges Church elders might be unfaithful. The Church, not rebellion and schism, deals with these matters.

    2 Tim. 2:13 - if we remain faithless, God remains faithful for He cannot deny Himself.

    2 Tim. 2:20 - a great house has not only gold and silver, but also wood and earthenware, some for noble use, some for ignoble use.

    Jer. 24:1-10 - God's plan includes both good and bad figs. The good figs will be rewarded, and the bad figs will be discarded.

    1 Kings 6,7,8 - the Lord commands us to build elaborate places of worship. Some non-Catholics think that this is controversial and the money should be given to the poor, even though no organization does more for the poor of the world that the Catholic Church. We create our churches with beauty because Christ our King lives in the churches in the blessed Eucharist.

    Matt. 26:8-9; Mark 14:4-5; John 12:5 - negative comments concerning the beauty of the Church are like the disciples complaining about the woman anointing Jesus' head with costly oil. Jesus desires that we honor Him with our best gifts, not for Him, but for us, so that we realize He is God and we are His creatures.

    Matt. 26:10-11 - Jesus says we have both a duty to honor God and give to the poor - a balanced life of reverence and charity.

  • 1 decade ago

    There will always be those people in any church with whom you disagree or simply don't like. That's because churches are made up of human beings who have their flaws. That includes the current Pope, who may or may not have had anything to do with the 'cover-up' of abuses: that's the first I've heard of it.

    The child abuse issue is also one that you will find in just about every group and denomination on the planet. Many Protestant churches simply dismiss the pastor and let the problem die -- unless of course s/he's done something so terrible that it has to come out in the open.

    What should be important about choosing a church is whether or not God has given His approval. Considering that Catholicism is the only Church which can trace its roots directly back to the days of Christ and His apostles, I'd say it's hard to get more approval than that. Jesus built His Church on Peter, the "rock," and Peter handed down that authority to his successors, who became known as Popes.

    Remember, you're not looking at the people in the Church, but rather, what the Church teaches and practices. People will disappoint you and hurt you, but after 35+ years as a Catholic convert, I can tell you that the Church has never let me down. I think that once you know the peace and joy of the Catholic Church and the beauty of the Eucharist, you , too, will not regret making the choice to convert.

    Edit:

    Chris, your particular denomination isn't mentioned in the Bible, either. So I guess that makes you and your little group of "like-minded believers" non-Scriptural.

    Source(s): Catholic convert
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  • 1 decade ago

    First of all, I can certainly understand why you would want to be concerned about child abuse in any situation. I converted to Catholicism 5 years ago, at the height of the scandal, and honestly, if I hadn't already witnessed a cover-up in the protestant denomination I worked for, it would have hindered me as well. You see, it happens in other churches, schools, clubs, sports groups, and so on.

    You would likely take a lot of comfort in contacting your local Diocese to find out what provisions they have made to protect children. This is MANDATORY and has been since 2002. It's not like the situation has been left to fester.

    Even so, children need to be supervised at all times, no matter where they are. It's not a Catholic thing -- it's a "this world is getting really messed up thing."

    As for your misgivings about Pope Benedict XVI, I am not sure where you are getting your information from. He has never, ever condoned hiding pedophiles in the priesthood. What is this "major role" that you speak of? It is the local bishop's responsibility to weed these attackers out of the local clergy, and the pope has made it clear that this NEEDS to happen.

    Anyway, I think if you read some of Pope Benedict XVI's writings, you would recognize that he is a brilliant scholar who loves Christ deeply. Try his encyclical, "God is Love" for starters.

    Finally, about Tony Blair -- perhaps it is Catholicism that will help him deal with the blood on his hands and teach him to be more Christ-like. One must always remember that we are ALL sinners. Some of us are saddled with very public sins, while others of us have sins that go unnoticed. But we are all in the same boat. The best course of action is to "keep your eyes on your own work" and be as merciful as you can be. Tony Blair is not the author of Catholicism. One assumes he became Catholic to get the assistance of the Church in finding sanctifying grace. That's not a bad thing.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    A church is as good as its followers and members. I would advise you to be a little more open and objective. Only very narrow-minded people judge others on single issues. The Pope is one of the greatest scholars the catholic church ever had. He gave the predecessor the solid religious structure to become a popular first priest. He has in no way accepted or, as you say, covered up any abuses of children by priests. Try a bit more research and avoid the haters of the catholic church.

    If you feel an affinity to the catholic church then read a bit more and seek to talk to a catholic priest. The church does not need you. You need the church.

    Tony Blair had an opportunity to manifest his religious beliefs and he chose to join the catholic church. He may have - like we all have - failures, however, he is an extremely well educated professional and found his peace and freedom of mind and soul in the catholic church.

  • 1 decade ago

    You should listen more strongly to your personal calling than to what others have done to misuse their own callings.

    If you look at any large enough organization - doesn't even have to be a church - you'll find those who are bad examples. Go with one that claims a membership of 1/4th of the planet, and you'll have many public ones. Don't let those who are bad Catholics or apostate Catholics dissuade you from becoming a faithful Catholic.

    For what it's worth, Benedict XVI is kinda creepy-looking, but his theology is pretty excellent. He doesn't have JP2's charisma or sense of mission, and he's far more conservative. He's also dealing with a far-different world than his predecessor had at the beginning of his own papacy.

    The child abuse scandal bothers me greatly but in my mind and heart it makes me want to reform those things that allowed it to happen, rather than to reject all that is good in the Church. It also confirms something I have long suspected, that many priests are emotionally abandoned by their congregations. There is an uncomfortable distance that should not exist - and it was something a friend of mine, who is a deacon, found when he was assigned to a different parish than ours. In our parish, everyone knew him, hugged him and talked with him. In his new one, there's a cold separation.

    Again, this in my mind and heart is a call to strengthen our parish community and help to bring everyone more alive in Christ.

    Continue in your discernment and accept the answer that is correct for you, rather than for anyone else.

  • 1 decade ago

    First, I pray that God bless you with peace of mind and heart to guide you to His Holy Church.

    The thing you need to focus on is the Faith. It's horribly scandalous, the things that have happened in the Church. I won't deny it. But I also know that those actions are not because the Faith taught by the Church made them do this, but the sinfulness of men not keeping the Faith.

    Tony Blair may have done some bad things (which I don't know about), but isn't he an example of the point of forgiveness? Can't the worst of the worst go to God and be granted His mercy? I think this is one of the tests for all us faithful. So often we get comfortable, staying around people who we like, who are like us. Yet, God loves all. And forgives all... who seek His forgiveness.

    Focus on the Faith. Either it's the truth, or it's not. Let God's truth guide you, and not the actions of sinful men.

    Hope this helps. God bless. Write me anytime.

    Source(s): I am Catholic.
  • armfot
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    It sounds like you don't like the man, rather than the office he holds, and that can happen in any walk of life. Be careful not to confuse the two. Similarly, there have always been and will always be individuals who, like TB, seem to be unworthy of the faith in which they profess to believe; not that that makes it any more just or acceptible.

    Of course, if you feel that the current Pope has misused his position and that could, in turn, result in the church he represents being brought into disrepute, disrupting your ability to see the greater truths which you appear to believe I can only suggest that you think and pray carefully.

    Just one caveat - beware of over scrupulousness. It is easy to become locked into the search for the perfect answer to your reservations, to need a point by point, meticulous and Godly-wise answer. But, while we may try to change existence for the better, in the end we all live in the world as it is. We are all God's children, but that also means we are only human. To paraphrase a wiser man than I - Lord, give me the strength to change those things I can change, to accept those things I cannot and the wisdom to know the difference.

    Source(s): The answer, as in so many things, is probably inside you already, if you did but know it
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Seriously, ask yourself this. If you should become Catholic, will YOU instantly become perfect? The writer Evelyn Waugh was known for his curmudgeonly ways. When he converted, his fellow intellectuals criticized him, saying that if he was religious he should behave better. Waugh replied that if he were NOT religious he would behave EVEN worse.

    If you are looking to join an organization of perfect people then I can't help you. If you are looking to join a group of people who recognize they are not perfect AND that they need help to do better-- then you could do far worse than becoming Catholic.

  • 1 decade ago

    Speaking as a catholic and as somone who has been abused, not by a member of the catholic clergy though (in fact it was a priest who helped me); I can say I am very proud of the way the Church has handled the sexual abuse situation. Prepatators have suffered consequences, survivors have been counsled and reparation paid, the church has taken resposibility for this in a tangible way.

    Not perfectly, I think the first instinct was to hide it till it went away, and I would rather have seen more cutting edge therapy for both survivors and perpatrators, but the church is not perfect and this sort of threapy is not easy to find.

    We have taken measures to insure that not only do these things never occur again, but that children who may be survivors of abuse outside the church can be helped. In our diocese even to be a Eucharistic minister, someone how takes communion to those in nursing homes, we had to take a class and be certified by the diocese on awarness as a part of our traning. anyone who works or voulanteers has to take this course. Let, me assure you even though a miniscule number of clergy were involved the Chruch has taken this very seriously.

    I am proud of the way the chruch has handled this crises, and I am somone who is highly senitive to and knowledgable about this issue.

    I have heard these sorts of things occuring in protestant sects it never gets outside the congregtion. The alleged victim is either blamed or ignored.

    I think itr is no mistake that the church that Jesus founded has had to face this sort of thing head on, and responded with, at first denail, and then regret, remorse and action. We put our money where our mouth is.

    No matter what he did prior to becoming Pope, he certainly has done alot as Pope.

    I am glad you are being chosen by our lord to come to the church he founded, after this crises, I would run to the church, not be aprehensive.

    Welcome and the Lord be with you.

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