Wacky keynote addresses at annual assemblies of the LCWR (Leadership Conference of Women Religious) speak volumes.

As anyone who’s a member of a large organization knows: leadership is often way, way out in front of those they lead. . .sometimes too far out.

Read ’em (and weep)

This Week’s Ask Alice: Important things to keep in mind when visiting non-Catholic websites.


Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer as many questions as possible,
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

Jola Writes: This site, http://www.gotquestions.org, has some interesting subjects, particularly on Catholic things, like going to confession. It may inspire you, possibly?  They seem to have an answer for everything !!!

Alice Answers: “GotQuestions.org” is a Protestant website. Its homepage explains that the statements about Catholicism were written by FORMER Catholics. Consequently, the opinions of these lapsed Catholic volunteers are not consistent with authentic Catholic beliefs, teachings and practices … particularly about the Sacrament of Penance … and they reflect an often subtle, yet consistent, anti-Catholic bias on most other things, as well.

Catholics must confess their sins to a priest because Jesus instituted the sacrament of Penance, which gave His apostles (and their duly ordained successors) the power to forgive sins: “If you forgive men’s sins, they are forgiven them; if you hold them bound, they are held bound.” (John 20:23)

Jesus also gave priests the authority to reconcile sinners with the Church: “All this has been done by God, who has reconciled himself to us through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:18)

The apostles were our first priests. Jesus instituted the sacraments of Holy Orders (the priesthood) and Holy Eucharist on Holy Thursday, at the Last Supper.

Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Then why does the Protestant website you cited, deny the need to confess one’s sins to a priest?

Most Protestants do not believe in an ordained priesthood, nor do they believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

Our Catholic religion is the oldest and ONLY Christian Church that was ever personally founded by Jesus Christ, while he still walked the earth, some 2000 years ago.

The oldest Protestant denomination was founded 1517 years later by Martin Luther, an excommunicated priest who broke away from the Catholic Church, to start his own religion.

Methodists, Baptists and Presbyterians are splinter groups that broke away from the Lutheran religion, while Catholicism is the only religion that maintains an unbroken line all the way back to Jesus Christ. This is known as “apostolic succession”, while the divine truths that have been faithfully handed down to us Catholics from Jesus and the apostles, are known as “the sacred deposit of faith”.

Only Catholics can trace our faith directly to Jesus Christ, who appointed St. Peter as His earthly successor, the Pope. By contrast, Martin Luther, John Wesley, John Smyth and John Knox are founders of modern, novel, Protestant religions, which do not recognize the Catholic hierarchy of the Pope, bishops and priests, and which also deny or misconstrue many other eternal, Christian truths.

Since Protestants do not have ordained priests, they also reject previously mentioned Biblical passages about confessing sins to a priest (as well as a host of other things.) In short, they simply choose to interpret the Scriptures differently than Catholics, based on purely personal beliefs and feelings, a state which is manifest today by many thousands of different denominations.

Meanwhile, in spite of recent difficulties, Catholics continue to confess one creed, and faithfully participate in the one, holy, universal and apostolic church of Jesus Christ. Why? St. Peter probably explained it best:  “And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68)

We are called to love our Protestant brothers and sisters in Christ, with whom we one day hope to be united in Heaven. Until then, we probably shouldn’t waste too much time arguing over doctrinal differences, but instead, spend each day focused on loving one another.

We should also be eternally grateful that our Catholic Church contains the fullest possible measure of all God’s grace and truth.

Jola, you were wise in choosing this authentically Catholic website, “Ask Me About God” to answer your question.

In Christ’s Love,

Alice

Five Things That I Don’t Know How Non-Catholics Live Without

1. The Sacraments.

The Eucharist wins this one, obviously. How many religions do you know of where there’s a room you can go to, pretty much any time you want, and God is waiting there—like, physically—hoping you’ll stop in and talk to Him?

Confession is a close second. It’s a pain in the neck, it’s embarrassing, and there’s always some mantilla’d old lady who is taking way longer than she obviously needs to, but nothing beats this moment: the one time in ten when you go in there, whether you’ve done something epically stupid or just pedestrian stupid, and realize that behind the screen—if it dropped suddenly, you’d see Him—is Jesus himself, listening and understanding. Melancholic that I am, I sometimes need actual permission to feel okay about everything, and when Jesus/the priest says “go in peace,” then brother, I’ve got it. Actually, that brings us to:

Read more

Questions and answers about marriage between Catholics and non-Catholics.

This site contains and extensive collection of questions and answers about “mixed marriages” between Catholics and non-Catholics.

You’ll find a wide variety of different opinions, but you’ll most likely find the answers you need, as well.

Feel free to write us here, if you need some clarification … or talk to your local priest.

Interfaith Marriage Questions/Answers

General Catholic Q&A Forum

Side by side comparison of Catholic and Non-Catholic?

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Q: Side by side comparison of Catholic and Non-Catholic?

A: Catholics received their faith directly from Jesus Christ and the apostles … not from a book.

Only the Catholic Church has Jesus as its’ head and the Holy Spirit as its’ constant advocate and arbiter of all divine truth. The others can’t even agree on whether or not baptism is necessary for salvation.

Catholics compiled and certified the Old Testament, and Catholics wrote the New Testament of the holy book that all the others now claim as their own. Unfortunately, the others still can’t agree among themselves on what it says, or really means.

Catholics have 2000 years of the finest and most complete sytematic theology the world has ever known to guide them in their faith, the bulk of it certified as infallible by the Holy Spirit.

The others have their “preacher of the week”.

Catholics have an authentic chief pastor, occupying a holy office that was personally established by Jesus Christ, while he still walked the earth.

The others have committees.

Catholics have the work, worship, sacraments, devotions, and all the other awesome resources of the only Church that Jesus ever founded, for the purpose of our salvation.

The others have the novel beliefs and practices of their own particular denomination, which was typically started within the last 200 to 500 years, by some disgruntled fellow, for one trumped up reason or another, and with no authority from God, at all.

Most importantly, Catholics enjoy the real and substantial presence of Jesus Christ in the authentic Holy Eucharist. The others get grape juice and a cracker.

The difference? God will be the judge.

About Sacred Scripture

Many fail to realilze that it was the Catholic Church that originally decided to compile all of the sacred scriptures, that the Catholic Church wrote ALL of the New Testament scriptures under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that the Catholic Church certified ALL of the sacred scriptures as authentic, officially declared the scriptures to be the inerrant, inspired Word of God, translated the scriptures from the original languages into the common langauge of the people, and did all of this by the end of the 4th century.

Furthermore … since the New Testament was written by Catholics and for Catholics, it necessarily reflects only authentic Catholic beliefs and practices. This is something non-Catholics often overlook, to their detriment, and at the expense of the truth.

Everyone interested in the Bible … Catholic or not … should spend some time reading this authentic Catholic Church document, on the nature of sacred scripture:

DOGMATIC CONSTITUTION ON DIVINE REVELATION … DEI VERBUM