Josh H.

Hi Practicing Catholic Ask Me Anything

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Hello. I'm Catholic. If you want ask me anything about my faith. Tough/controversial questions welcome. I will do my best to answer anything asked. God Bless.

Edited by Josh H.

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Hi and welcome Josh H.  This isn't an argue/bash board, so if you're here for invigorating debate or something, you might need to look elsewhere.  But welcome anyway!

I think Catholics rock.  My old neighbors (who had about 9 kids, now I think they're up to an even dozen) were great examples of deep faith.  That many kids in a house where bedrooms are a premium, and they still decided to devote one large area to a chapel/meditation area.  Cool people.

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Howdy @Josh H.!

Welcome to the site :)  We're a friendly anti-bashing group of folks, who love chatting about Christ and random stuff.  We've had practicing Catholics on here over the years, and many former Catholics as well.  Several of us (including me) are on Catholic boards as well.  I've had many many great Catholic friends over the years, semi-studied the Catholic church for a decade, and hard-core studied it for a year.  Many good things and people there.

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Hi Josh H.,

Welcome!  I grew up in the Catholic Church in the Philippines - which is different from the Catholic Churches in the USA.  For example, there's no such things as Flores de Mayo or Misa de Gallo rites in the USA.  And Holy Week is very different.  When I was a little kid, I was an angel for the Flores and the Dagit (an angel would take the black veil of the statue of Mary at midnight on Easter Sunday to signify the end of her mourning).  I miss these traditional expressions of our faith.  It was so majestic, especially to a little kid.

So here's my first question - what Catholic traditions do you most enjoy or you hold most dear to you?

 

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8 hours ago, NeuroTypical said:

Hi and welcome Josh H.  This isn't an argue/bash board, so if you're here for invigorating debate or something, you might need to look elsewhere.  But welcome anyway!

Hi NeuroTypical. Not here for confrontational debate or dialogue. I do think respectful debate is a good thing. 

 

7 hours ago, Jane_Doe said:

Howdy @Josh H.!

Jane_Doe Hello! Thanks for the welcome. God Bless.

 

7 hours ago, anatess2 said:

So here's my first question - what Catholic traditions do you most enjoy or you hold most dear to you?

Hi Anatess2. Not sure about what traditions of the Church I enjoy or hold dear. I will say what has kept me Catholic despite the never-ending child sex abuse and cover-up stuff is Christ in the Eucharist. I believe he's fully present. Also his promise in scripture that the gates of hell would not prevail against the Church. Devotion to Mary has been key for me as well. I've had some experiences that to me prove she is there interceding in my life and others.

 

5 hours ago, Jane_Doe said:

What particular part of your beliefs brings you joy today?

-- What brings you here?

The part of my beliefs that brings me joy is God's forgiveness when we repent. Also his promise of heaven for eternity. 

What brings me here is I found the forum while bored and searching the internet.

Edited by Josh H.

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1 hour ago, Josh H. said:

Also his promise in scripture that the gates of hell would not prevail against the Church.

 

Also thought it would be cool to discuss things with you guys we disagree on.

That one is a good one to discuss between Catholic and LDS. 

Although I don't think it's really a "disagree on" but more like different interpretations of it.  So, in Catholic interpretation, this scripture is mainly interpreted as evil can't go through the gate to defeat the Church.  In LDS interpretation, this scripture is mainly interpreted as the gate to hell (spirit world of the dead) can't stay closed against the revelation that Jesus is the Christ.  Same scripture, different interpretations, different gospel impact.

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2 hours ago, anatess2 said:

That one is a good one to discuss between Catholic and LDS. 

Although I don't think it's really a "disagree on" but more like different interpretations of it.  So, in Catholic interpretation, this scripture is mainly interpreted as evil can't go through the gate to defeat the Church.  In LDS interpretation, this scripture is mainly interpreted as the gate to hell (spirit world of the dead) can't stay closed against the revelation that Jesus is the Christ.  Same scripture, different interpretations, different gospel impact.

So as a Catholic I understand it as Jesus said he would build his Church on the rock of Peter and the gates of hell would not overcome it. Catholics believe this promise is pertaining to the Catholic Church. Although all baptized Christians are the Church as well. But there is a visible structural Church. In my understanding Joseph Smith essentially said that the gates of hell had overcome the Church and that it was in apostasy. And he restored it. I think that is impossible because Christ himself guaranteed that wouldn't happen.

Matthew 16:18 
And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
Edited by Josh H.

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30 minutes ago, Josh H. said:

So as a Catholic I understand it as Jesus said he would build his Church on the rock of Peter and the gates of hell would not overcome it. Catholics believe this promise is pertaining to the Catholic Church. Although all baptized Christians are the Church as well. But there is a visible Church. In my understanding Joseph Smith essentially said that the gates of hell had overcome the Church and that it was in apostasy. And he restored it. I think that is impossible because Christ himself guaranteed that wouldn't happen.

Matthew 16:18 
And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

Okay... so Joseph Smith did not say "the gates of hell had overcome the Church" because we don't have that same understanding of what the gates of hell is.  But yes, the Church (not just the Catholic Church) went into a period of apostasy.

If you interpret "the rock of Peter" as the Catholic Church, then you'd interpret that Christ guaranteed that wouldn't happen.  But if you interpret "the rock of Peter" as "Revelation from the Father that Jesus is the Christ" (read Matthew 16:17 with Matthew 16:18), then Jesus did not guarantee that the Catholic Church will not lose the authority of revelation but that the Revelation that Jesus is the Christ can be received even by people who died without it being revealed to them.

Edited by anatess2

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2 hours ago, Josh H. said:

What brings me here is I found the forum while bored and searching the internet. 

Now that's an honest answer!  

(I think I like this dude thus far).


I was going to write pretty much the exact same "gates of Hell" thing @anatess2 did, but she beat me to it. Different understandings of the same scripture.

Edited by Jane_Doe

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4 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

Okay... so Joseph Smith did not say "the gates of hell had overcome the Church" because we don't have that same understanding of what the gates of hell is.  But yes, the Church (not just the Catholic Church) went into a period of apostasy.

If you interpret "the rock of Peter" as the Catholic Church, then you'd interpret that Christ guaranteed that wouldn't happen.  But if you interpret "the rock of Peter" as "Revelation from the Father that Jesus is the Christ", then Jesus did not guarantee that the Catholic Church will not lose the authority of revelation but that the Revelation that Jesus is the Christ can be received even by people who died without it being revealed to them.

How do you understand Jesus when he said you are Peter and on this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell will not overcome it? Seems pretty straightforward he's talking about the Church he's establishing right there. And also making it clear he will not let the devil overcome it.

Edited by Josh H.

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Just now, Josh H. said:

How do you understand Jesus when he said you are Peter and on this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell will not overcome it? Seems pretty straightforward he's talking about the Church he's establishing right there. And making it clear he will not let the devil overcome it.

It's not referring to a earthly institution, but rather a principle: the gates of the spirit world (the place of dead sprits) can't stay closed against the revelation that Jesus is the Christ.

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2 hours ago, Jane_Doe said:

It's not referring to a earthly institution, but rather a principle: the gates of the spirit world (the place of dead sprits) can't stay closed against the revelation that Jesus is the Christ.

Okay. But that seems as if it's taking his words way out of context. The Eucharist was established at the earliest part of the Church. Starting with Jesus at the last supper when he said do this in remberance of me. Apostle Paul speaks of the Eucharist in Corinthians and cautions against taking it unworthily.

1 Corinthians 11:27 
So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.

Corinthians 10:16-21.

The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?

 

https://www.wordonfire.org/resources/blog/the-eucharist-and-what-jesus-meant-by-is/

Edited by Josh H.

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Going for a big picture note:

LDS Christians acknowledge Catholic Christians as being Christians.  That kind of sounds like a "no duh" when I say it, but it is important to say.  Both churches don't believe that the other has Christ's valid priesthood authority, but that doesn't mean there's not very good things and people therein.  As you'll see here, LDS Christian folks readily acknowledge the many good things about Catholic people and Catholic faith.  

To get a few things out of the way: no we don't think your heathen, no we don't think you worship Mary, no we don't think you worship the pope.  Praying for the dead is cool.  Celebrating Christ and His words is awesome.  We likewise value life so you won't find much argument on the abortion front.  There's nothing to argue with about on the sexual abuse front, only things to cry and mourn together about (this plague affects all of society).   Valuing the family and marriage is super super important.  

So...yeah... if you were excepting pitchforks here... umm, sorry?  Don't have any.  

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3 minutes ago, Josh H. said:

Okay. But that seems as if it's taking his words way out of context. The Eucharist was established at the earliest part of the Church. Starting with Jesus at the last supper when he said do this in remberance of me. Apostle Paul speaks of the Eucharist in Corinthians and cautions against taking it unworthily.

1 Corinthians 11:27 
So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.

Corinthians 10:16-21. 

The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?

You're viewing things from a Catholic Christian lens :)

LDS Christians aren't Catholic Christians and have different understandings of different verses.  

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11 hours ago, Jane_Doe said:

Going for a big picture note:

LDS Christians acknowledge Catholic Christians as being Christians.  That kind of sounds like a "no duh" when I say it, but it is important to say.  Both churches don't believe that the other has Christ's valid priesthood authority, but that doesn't mean there's not very good things and people therein.  As you'll see here, LDS Christian folks readily acknowledge the many good things about Catholic people and Catholic faith.  

To get a few things out of the way: no we don't think your heathen, no we don't think you worship Mary, no we don't think you worship the pope.  Praying for the dead is cool.  Celebrating Christ and His words is awesome.  We likewise value life so you won't find much argument on the abortion front.  There's nothing to argue with about on the sexual abuse front, only things to cry and mourn together about (this plague affects all of society).   Valuing the family and marriage is super super important.  

So...yeah... if you were excepting pitchforks here... umm, sorry?  Don't have any.  

No wasn't expecting pitchforks. LDS people are some of the kindest I've met. There are some big differences in what we believe though.

John 4:24 

 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Like for instance the Catholic Church doesn't accept LDS Baptism. I don't think you accept ours either? I know the reason the Catholic Church doesn't accept LDS Baptism is because of how they understand the Trinity and God's nature. God the Father has always been. He's spirit. Existence. He was never a mortal man. He never had a God above him. That is pretty blasphemous. Again I love the LDS people. This is not an attack on the people. Rather doctrines and how it describes God and his truth. And Church.

 

Edited by Josh H.

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3 minutes ago, Josh H. said:

How do you understand Jesus when he said you are Peter and on this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell will not overcome it? Seems pretty straightforward he's talking about the Church he's establishing right there. And also making it clear he will not let the devil overcome it.

Yes, it's very straightforward.  But, you have to read Matt 16:16 -18 to get the context.  So here from English Standard Version of the Bible:

16Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

 

So, I want you to read those verses replacing all the pronouns that refer to the Revelation with the noun it represents:

16Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed (the Revelation) to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18And I tell you, you are Peter, and on (this rock of Revelation) I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against (the Revelation).

 

Also very straightforward, isn't it? 

Now, gates of hell - why gates of hell?  Why not say hell or evil shall not prevail against it?  Why gates?  Gates only have two functions - to open and let in, or keep closed and keep out.  So the gates of hell being open doesn't really matter if the gates of heaven are still closed to whoever came from hell that heaven doesn't want to come in, right?  So, it could be that somebody from the heaven-side wants to enter hell, and the gates to hell can't keep them away.

 

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1 minute ago, Josh H. said:

No wasn't expecting pitchforks. LDS people are some of the kindest I met. There are some big differences in what we believe though.

John 4:24 

 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Like for instance the Catholic Church doesn't accept LDS Baptism. I don't think you accept ours either? I know the reason the Catholic Church doesn't accept LDS Baptism is because of how they understand the Trinity and God's nature. God has always been. He was never a mortal man. That is pretty blasphemous. Again I love the LDS people. This is not an attack on the people. Rather doctrines and how it describes God and his truth. And Church.

 

And despite know thing difference, us LDS Christians are still going to acknowledge our Catholic Christians as brothers & sisters in Christ. So to the difference on the Trinity, here's my standard sum up of it.  Feel free to ask anything more in depth, as this is a topic.  

 

LDS Christians and Athanasian Christians (aka Christians that believe the Athanasian Creed) both believe:

Every single word about Christ in the Bible.

The Son of God, Jesus Christ is 100% divine.

The Father is 100% divine.

The Holy Spirit is 100% divine.

The Father, Son, and Spirit are all without beginning nor end.  

The Father is not the Son, nor vice verse. Christ doesn’t pray to Himself.  Neither of them are the Spirit.  They are 3 different persons.  

The Father, Son, and Spirit together are 1 God (are monotheists).

Christ was/is the great I Am, the Only Begotten Son of God.

Christ was one with the Father before the Earth was created.  He then created the Earth, was born of a virgin, lived a mortal life with lots of suffering, took the world’s sins upon Himself, died on a cross, rose again on the 3rdday, later rose to heaven, and is coming back again.

 

The difference comes in:

LDS Christians believe that the Father, Son, and Spirit are 1 God through unity (the same will, the same goodness, the same truth, the same mercy, etc).

Athanasian Christians believe that the Father, Son, and Spirit are 1 God through consubstantiation (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consubstantiality). 

 

What difference does this make in the day to day:

Not much.  The day to day it really doesn't affect a person's faith in Christ or discipleship of Him.  

As to the baptism thing: in ~2002, the Roman Catholic Church did decide that is a reason to count LDS Christians as non-baptized-non-Christian but... *shrug* .  The baptism thing honestly I won't really care about.  LDS Christians define being a Christian as being disciple of Christ (see Acts 11), so when a LDS Christian here's someone say "you're not Christian", it sounds like the speaker is completely denying the other person's relationship with Christ.  But, at the same time I'm friends with another Catholics and study Catholic doctrine enough to know what that's not what is meant when those words are said.  So, *shrug*

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But you guys believe God the Father was a mortal man correct? And that he had a god above him? And on and on....?  So that would explain why the baptism would be invalid. Because the understanding of God is completely different.

Edited by Josh H.

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1 minute ago, Josh H. said:

But you guys believe God the Father was a mortal man correct? And that he had a god above him? And on and on....? 

Not in any way your'e thinking of.

There's no LDS Christian definitive doctrine that deals with the Father's past.  There's some speculation, but nothing definitive at all, and you'll find LDS Christians with a wide variety of views on it, all sitting at the same pew.  To go into any of those views requires a long long list of theological discussions before we can get there.  

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Just now, Jane_Doe said:

Not in any way your'e thinking of.

There's no LDS Christian definitive doctrine that deals with the Father's past.  There's some speculation, but nothing definitive at all, and you'll find LDS Christians with a wide variety of views on it, all sitting at the same pew.  To go into any of those views requires a long long list of theological discussions before we can get there.  

I thought it was definitive. Interesting. Can I ask what you believe on this subject?

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Just now, Josh H. said:

I thought it was definitive. Interesting. Can I ask what you believe on this subject?

Not definitive at all :)

To give any of the speculative views requires a LOT of theological discussion, starting by examining *how* the Father, Son, and Spirit are ONE God (see my earlier long post on it).

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12 minutes ago, Josh H. said:

But you guys believe God the Father was a mortal man correct? And that he had a god above him? And on and on....?  So that would explain why the baptism would be invalid. Because the understanding of God is completely different.

No.  Although the concept is not contrary to LDS belief, there is no revelation that states this.  From our perspective, the Father has always been God.

Where the difference in understanding occur is the Catholic interpretation of what it means to be God being different from the LDS interpretation.  In Catholic interpretation, what makes God a God is his entire substance of being (ousia).  In LDS interpretation, what makes God a God is His state of being.

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34 minutes ago, Josh H. said:

No wasn't expecting pitchforks. LDS people are some of the kindest folks I've met. There are some big differences in what we believe though.

John 4:24 

 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Like for instance the Catholic Church doesn't accept LDS Baptism. I don't think you accept ours either? I know the reason the Catholic Church doesn't accept LDS Baptism is because of how they understand the Trinity and God's nature. God the Father has always been. He's spirit. He was never a mortal man. That is pretty blasphemous. Again I love the LDS people. This is not an attack on the people. Rather doctrines and how it describes God and his truth. And Church.

 

Actually, the reason the Catholic Church doesn't accept LDS baptism is the same reason the LDS Church doesn't accept Catholic baptism.  And it goes back to those same verses in Matthew 16... but this time we need to expand the context to include Matthew 16:19.  That verse we see Jesus specifically give Priesthood authority to Peter.  Therefore, Catholics don't just let anybody baptize anybody and become Catholic.  The baptism has to be done with the proper authority (bishops, priests, deacons).  In emergency situations, due to Catholic belief that baptism can only be done in mortality, they extend the authority to anybody.  Now, people who are baptized outside of the Catholic Church will need to be examined if the authority of baptism can be extended to their specific case.  Mormon baptism used to be accepted by the Catholic Church until Pope John Paul II sent out a clarification that Mormon baptism is invalid due to the ordinance not having been done for the purpose of cleansing original sin (Mormons don't believe in original sin).

Now, the LDS Church only holds the Priesthood Authority of the LDS Church as valid, so baptisms done by any other authority is invalid.

 

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