Folks who marry a Catholic spouse I can understand, but why do folks who are otherwise socially liberal do so? Even more confusing is that I know a gay guy who did so (his family are mainstream Protestant); we have never discussed why he did so exactly, as I met him long afterwards.
It is the one and only true Christian religion and the Pope is the direct representative of the Lord here on Earth. The other "Christian" religions are simply not legimate and if you belong to one of them, you are not part of a real church.
That's what I was taught in first grade of Catholic school, R1. By the time I was in high school I realized it was was all man-made bullshit propaganda.
Believe what you want, but sure as fuck don't expect anyone else to.
I never understood converting to another religion for the following two reasons:
1.) If you were deeply or even only fairly committed to your own original religion, then why would you convert?
2.) But if you were only somewhat, hardly or not at all committed to your own original religion, then why would you convert to another religion and likely be uncommitted to the new religion too?
1.People find a great deal of comfort in the consistency of the Catholic Mass. Nearly every protestant that I know bitches that their service is always changing. Passing of the peace will be at the beginning of the service on week, and at the end the next. The confession of sins will be before the children leave for Sunday school one week and after the next week. The Catholic Mass is nearly always the same, week to week.
2.You don't have to worry about the church becoming too Secular Humanist. It is always Christ centered
3.Communion is celebrated at every Mass as opposed to once a month as in many protestant churches.
4. There is less responsibility. Many protestant congregations require a great deal of involvement by the congregation, from the basic running of the church to hiring the ministers. In the Catholic church a s great deal is done for you. I know several people who would change to Catholicism just to avoid being on another Search Committee for anew minister. Heck, the even have a Cantor to tell you what to do during the service.
5. The music is often quite good
Just for purposes of balance, while vilifying the admittedly absurd Catholic church, at least recognized that other "mainstream, Orthodox" Christian denominations have their own silliness. Missouri Synod Lutherans, the second-largest Lutheran group in America, officially consider the pope to be the Antichrist and Catholics to be minions of Satan. Of course that doesn't prevent them from teaming up with Catholics to scream about gay rights, reproductive rights, and other devilish signs of Hell's hold on Earth.
I converted, OP. I liked the rituals, the sameness of every Mass (as stated above), the sing-song quality of the Mass (cantor sings, congregations responds), the "smells and bells."
My priest knew I was gay when I did the RCIA, and I often took dates to Mass with me. Talk about separating the sheep from the goats! That's a great way to find out if someone is serious about a LTR.
R5, is this the group of Lutherans that threw a hissy fit because one of their ministers participated in an interfaith service for the victims of the Newtown school shootings. Apparently, they are not permitted to appear with other clergy as that validates other denominations.
Why would anyone become Catholic when they could choose to be gay instead?
R4 -- those points are apply pretty much to Episcopalians as well.
R6 -- I have a great deal of trouble with the compartmentalization of "my parish iz waykewl" and refusing to "claim" the horrible hierarchy and "official" church positions, which strikes me as hypocritical.
Where are you getting that Catholics are the only true church? I have never heard such bullshit.
R9, That is true, but Episcopalians tend to be very WASPy and money oriented, or at least perceived that way. I think if one not of that group, one would choose Catholicism. I feel weird writing this, but in many ways, Catholics are more down to earth.
That was a "thing" to do in England in the 20's and 30's. Lots of writers converted: Evelyn Waugh, Muriel Sparks, and others (the guy that wrote Our Man in Havana, can't think of his name). I don't know why that was and, being a Catholic myself, I don't see the attraction. Especially since they were High Anglican to start with. Not a big difference, really. Do any DL'ers know? Has anyone ever researched this? Do tell.
[quote]I often took dates to Mass with me
WORST. DATE. EVER.
R10, it's bullshit propaganda taught to Roman Catholics.
R14, Isn't there part of the Mass that goes, "the one true, holy and Apostolic Church." Not sure of the punctuation. It may be "one, true.."
That's hilarious, R1. I am the son of a Church of Christ preacher. My father was raised Catholic, went to Catholic school from kindergarten through college. He met my evangelical mom, was already disillusioned with the Catholic Church, and converted to the Church of Christ with so much conviction that he became a preacher/ evangelist.
Growing up I was taught that we are the one true church that was established in the first century on the Day of Pentecost. We were also taught that the Pope was essentially the antichrist in a dress and gilded slippers. Everything from the way Catholics baptize, to the institution of confession, to the "worship" of Mary, to the granting of indulgences, to the Lord's Supper not being administered every Sunday was all against the word of God. The Catholic Church the Whore of Babylon.
Of course, now I'm an atheist who thinks its all bullshit. But at least you guys have some pretty churches, at least in Europe. As an art history buff, I considered converting just to have a better understanding of some of the art. But, damn, conversion takes a long fucking time. At my father's church, a boozed up stranger can stumble through the door in the middle of a Wednesday night prayer meeting, request salvation, and be baptized as fast as they can fill the baptismal. Nothing to it. If the guy leaves, buys meth and beats up an underaged tranny hooker, oh well. The church members would just say the baptism "didn't take." Catholic conversion seems to require much more assurance that the convert is going to stick with it.
R12 -- you're thinking of Graham Greene. Beryl Bainbridge also converted - at 17! Those writers had been raised as Anglican, but I understand were more agnostic before actually opting for Catholicism. I guess they liked the "certainty" of it, as expressed in Brideshead Revisited.
R11 -- Episcopalians aren't as WASPy as they used to be. My parents' minister was an RC priest (Italian-American) who left.
Is Church of Christ different from United Church of Christ? Because that sure as hell doesn't sound like the UCC.
Totally different, R18. Also different from the Church of Jesus Christ LDS. Mainly, the Church of Christ is the one true church and everyone else is going to burn in a lake of fire for all eternity, remaining conscious all the while. I was taught that people who, in good faith, truly thought they were practicing Christianity but did something wrong like, say, let a woman speak in the assembly or sprinkle baptize rather than get fully immersed, they would actually be dealt with as harshly as a mass murderer. There was no difference between allowing musical instruments in the church and committing genocide. Seriously.
For R10 and R14:
Gospel According to Saint Matthew
 And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.
But has anyone ever done study of that Reply 12? I can't believe Waugh as agnostic after reading Brideshead. And Muriel Spark always included a 'Catholic' element to her work. Has anyone ever done a study of this? I've noticed it and I am just a 'casual' reader of these authors.
I can understand why people would be into the pomp and pageantry of the Catholic Church. There is something comforting about the "Shepard leading his flock" mentality as well.
Eccentric flamer Ronald Firbank, himself a convert, said it was "for the passion of the ritual."
For R12, there are several studies of Catholic converts among literary and other circles. At link is a review of one of them:
R21 ... I was part of a discussion on "Brideshead Revisited" not long ago. Ryder represented Waugh, a skeptic throughout the book, who was eventually "won over" by the Marchmains' example of pure faith.
R22 ... those folks seem to gravitate to being High Anglicans more than RC.
I was raised Episcopalian. I was told that in America people who "get religion" go born-again, in England they go Catholic. Given the history of Catholicism in England, I suppose that makes sense.
With Episcopal priests, nuns, confession and all the same sacraments as the Catholic Church - I can't see why any Episcopalian or Anglican would bother converting. Just for the Pope?
If you're converting to please a spouse or something, well, it's so easy to be a bad Catholic!
The more enthusiastic Protestant denominations demand enthusiasm, witnessing, emotional involvement. But you can be a Catholic who just shows up and goes through the rituals, and you're good.
OP, your opinion of the Catholic Church is vastly superior to the opinions of the one billion faithful.
I came for the earrings
I converted for the caftans!
R1 and R20 are correct. Peter was the first Pope. Jesus gave him the keys to the kingdom to be the head of his church here on earth. Peter passed "the keys" to his successor and so on in an unbroken chain down to the current Pope. Catholics believe members of all other christian faiths are lost and confused children who need to be brought home.
[quote]On the basis of Mark 3:16, 9:2, Luke 24:34 and 1 Corinthians 15:5, the Catechism of the Catholic Church describes Peter as holding first place among the apostles. It speaks of Peter as the rock on which, because of Peter's faith, Christ said in Matthew 16:18 he would build his Church, which he declared would be victorious over the powers of death. In Luke 22:32, Jesus gave Peter the mission to keep his faith after every lapse and to strengthen his brothers in it. The Catechism of the Catholic Church sees the power of the keys that Jesus promised to Peter alone in Matthew 16:19 as signifying authority to govern the house of God, that is, the Church, an authority that Jesus after his resurrection confirmed for Peter by instructing him in John 21:15–17 to feed Christ's sheep. The power to bind and loose, conferred on all the apostles jointly and to Peter in particular (Matthew 16:19) is seen in the Catechism of the Catholic Church as authority to absolve sins, to pronounce judgments on doctrine and to make decisions on Church discipline.
[quote]Peter passed "the keys" to his successor and so on in an unbroken chain down to the current Pope.
except for the great schism of the 14th century, and the occasional usurper
R18, the UCC is a fairly liberal bunch. Some of my family are members and they've surprised me with their beliefs.
The joke about the Church of Christ is that it's a god will strike you dead sin if you have sex standing up because someone might think you're dancing. Anything that's joyful is sinful.
I lived in a city where people talked openly about the powerful head of the Church of Christ who was a known pedophile and had been at it for many years without repercussions. I'm sure he's dead now, but like so many in the Catholic clergy, there were always people who covered for him. Apparently it was not against his version of god's law for him to fuck little boys.
Church of Christ and the similar Methodist types are outgrowths of Calvinism from the 16-17th centuries. He was a very awful person. That's where the US gets its prudish traditions. Catholics, Orthodox, and Jewish faiths are full or music, ritual, fun times. They all drink and sing. God gave you life to celebrate. In my town, 3/4 of all beer picnic licenses are issued to the Catholic churches and their organizations. It's not a sin to sing, drink and dance. Best weddings ever.
Converting is a great way to meet eligible priests.
Hey, r1, what did your Jesus say about all that? Wasn't it something like as long as 2 or more of you are gathered in my name?
I think your savior would be quite appalled at the pomp and wealth of the Catholic church.
Who exactly wrote the Bible? When? What was excluded or conveniently "forgotten"?
In some cities the Catholic society is good for very boozy and somewhat upper crust fun. A Catholic Mass is, as mentioned above, a ritual that has a pleasing sensibility. There's a consistant pageantry and even something that approaches camp at times. Plus, Catholic boys are often beautiful and all American in an elegant and athletic way. People convert to this brand because it has its ways. Make no mistake, it IS a brand.
I say this as someone who uncovered his atheism early on and spend a few years holding negative opinions on Catholicism and being a Catholic boy.
Of course, there's also a working class version that sells well too. Jim Carroll's "Catholic Boy" does more to describe this than anything I could author.
If you were born and raised catholic, it's hard to be anything else. Protestant services just don't feel right (why don't they kneell???). During the pedo priest scandals of the 90's, I became disillusioned, so I tried out several different ones. I even joined an episcopal church for a while, because it felt the most similar to the catholic faith. After a while I started to want to go back to mass at the catholic church because all the others just felt inauthentic.
Also, THIS x 1000:
[quote]There is less responsibility. Many protestant congregations require a great deal of involvement by the congregation, from the basic running of the church to hiring the ministers. In the Catholic church a great deal is done for you.
I quit the episcopal church when they started pressuring me to join committees, teach Sunday school, etc. The final straw was when they bitched me out because I didn't have time to join a group of volunteers who were going to spend an entire weekend painting the narthex. Bitch please! I hire painters to do work in my own house, I'm not going to paint the church.
If you're catholic, you can just go to mass, throw your money in the plate (as much or a little as you please) and go about your life. There are plenty of opportunities for volunteering and spiritual counseling/education, but no one pressures you to do any of it.
Also, catholics have a sense of humor about themselves and their faith. They make fun of it as much, or more, than anyone else. But they love it too and take great pride and comfort in it.
R32 you are so very wrong about Methodists and Church of Christ being similar. They are not.
"Peter was the first Pope. Jesus gave him the keys to the kingdom to be the head of his church here on earth."
This is Catholic nonsense and in no way justified by any plain reading of the New Testament.
Jesus' brother James clearly led the earliest church from Jerusalem. Peter was his second, responsible for field missions, primarily to Antioch and that area. It was only after James' death and the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem that the center of the church moved out of Jerusalem, though it was always considered one of the Patriarchs well into the medieval period, on an equal standing with Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, and Alexandria.
The Roman church was not founded by Peter (nor Paul for that matter).
[quote]This is Catholic nonsense and in no way justified by any plain reading of the New Testament.
R40, is there some reason you were unable to read the quote box @ R29?
You might as well just say that the all the words Jesus spoke are "Catholic nonsense."
I'm not sure what you mean, r41. I read the quote box and responded to it.
Saying Peter was the rock on which Jesus built his church is not anointing Peter Pope. Peter was never called Pope. No one was called Pope for generations.
The reason I said this was "Catholic nonsense" is because Catholics do not speak for all Christians and not all Christians consider Peter the first Pope.
I am quite educated on this topic and I'm not sure what you are saying. Are you saying the Bible is clear Peter was the first Pope? Are you saying all of early Christianity is "Catholic nonsense"? I don't understand your position.
OP, you must have misunderstood. It's PERVERTING to catholicism. Not converting.
Well, of course if the bible says something, it must be TRUE.
Anglicans get awfully snooty for a group that started because some king couldn't get a divorce from the pope.
R40, please try to understand the following:
Gospel According to Saint Matthew
 And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; AND UPON THIS ROCK I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.
In my neighborhood all the churches are gay friendly except the Catholics and the Nazarenes.
(The one evangelical church says you have to believe in the Bible, but nobody can impose a Bible interpretation on you).
But gays so love to play dress up that Lutheran, Episcopal, and even Methodist services are a horror of robes, sashes, and weird rituals, kissing of Bibles and that sort of thing.
Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus.
I know the verse well, r46. Nowhere does it say, "And you will be the first Pope. And you will establish the Vatican as the center of the Church. And after you die, bishops will select a new Pope." And on and on.
So, I repeat. Peter was not the first Pope. Catholics do not speak for all Christians.
It's the one true religion on Earth. The one holy Catholic and apostolic church. Everyone else is just pretending.
R49, Pope, comes from the Latin word "papa" which means "father". When Jesus tells Peter that he will build his church upon him ,he is making Pater father of the church.
So, Peter = Pope
If there even is a god, he is no doubt laughing at all this "one true religion" BS.
It's funny how so much of what Christians believe doesn't come from Christ at all. The idea of different sects arguing that they're "the one true religion" and maligning others' beliefs would probably be repugnant to him.
Peter WAS the first Pope (the rock) upon which the church was built. R49, are you really so dim as to require that Jesus use the exact word "Pope"? The meaning is the same---Peter was invested by Jesus with the power to make church rules ("I give you the keys to the kingdom" & "what you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven"). And yes, that includes church doctrine, such as where the the center of the church is located and how subsequent Popes will be elected.
I often took dates to Mass with me
Well, you're not supposed to eat in the church.
[quote]The idea of different sects arguing that they're "the one true religion" and maligning others' beliefs would probably be repugnant to him.
Oh, naive little R52. Jesus himself is very clear in saying over and over again that true Christians (Catholics) will have an uphill battle in defending his church (The Catholic Church) against pretenders. He is also clear in stating that his church will not fall--ever.
"and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
Religion appeals to people who have something terribly wrong with how their brains are wired. They are mostly powerless to imaginary thinking, fascism, and believing in fairy tales!
I can't believe we are having this discussion on Datalounge. Either someone is pulling my leg or we actually have a lunatic Catholic here.
Yes, Jesus calls Simon, Peter. Yes that saying about building his Church on the Rock is in the New Testament.
What is not in the New Testament is any of the Catholic nonsense you keep spouting. There is nothing in the New Testament to suggest Peter was ever in Rome. Calling Peter the rock (i.e., foundation) of the Church in no way implies Popes, Vatican, infallibility, or anything else the Catholic Church believes in.
It's a ridiculous argument, and really quite non-Catholic. It is by tradition that these things are believed to be true, not the Bible. Catholics just use the Bible to support tradition, not the other way around.
The church holds that sacred tradition was/is divinely inspired in those who Jesus invested with the power to make all the rules for his church (his apostles and specifically Peter--the first Pope), R57.
This is exhausting is right.
If you believe this stuff, you are a loon and you shouldn't be on a gay website in the first place.
If you think all Christians believe this stuff, you are a loon and uninformed.
Aren't all religions trying to get to the same place? They all claim they are the one true church.
Religious idiots are all fucking cunts.
Cram it, Churchy!
R4, that's partly why I became an Episcopalian. R11, I'm an Episcopalian convert. Given that I live in rural Kentucky, Episcopalians I know aren't WASPy, old money types. Parish is quite diverse; we're united by the inclusiveness and progressiveness of our views and reverence for the liturgy. Actually most are middle class. The idea that Episcopalians are a bunch of rich, blueblood snobs doesn't mesh with reality. There are rich parishes and poor parishes.
In perhaps the most Libertine of cities, New Orleans, virtually everyone Black and Caucasian are Catlick.(the local pronunciation)
In a weird way, it is way less judgmental and demanding than Protestant churches. Everyone does as they please, attends mass at least once a week, confesses at least once a month and they're good to go. The rituals are comforting and they're always there for you. You will never hear a priest bloviating during mass about stick up the ass subject matter which predominates Protestant sermons.
[quote] 2.You don't have to worry about the church becoming too Secular Humanist. It is always Christ centered
I don't "worry"; I think secular humanism is a definite plus.
R55--cram it, churchy. You sound like a fucking loon, do you know that?
Dollars to donuts 99% of the Catholic defenders are closeted priests. They'll suck cock on Saturday but read the latest anti-gay screed from the pulpit on Sunday. They're horrible hypocrites.
I was raised episcopalian-Saint Minks and all Cadillacs in Dallas.
"For those without faith, no answer will do. For those with faith, no answer is necessary."
Google "casuistry", R68.
Lines like that are LOL-funny to thinking adults.
The Church was well established before anybody wrote anything about Peter. Of course, the church as it exists today was remade by the Byzantine political authorities and has no relationship to whatever may have been done in ancient times.
I always found the life and career of John Boswell, the Yale historian, very interesting. He was born into an Episcopalian family, but converted to Catholicism at age 16. Despite his dissenting views with the church hierarchy, he attended Mass daily.When he died of AIDS related complex, his funeral was held at the Yale Chapel with the Catholic chaplain as chief celebrant
Boswell's speciality was medieval history, specializing in sex and religion in the Middle Ages. His two books on homosexuality and medieval Christianity were reviewed by major periodicals and are still available in book stores
Of course even later the church was taken over by the CIA in 1978 so anything that happened before that time is more or less irrelevant.
A Protestant converts to Catholicism when s/he wants to it feels the need to have a more orthodox practice.