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Catholic belief questions?

(Note: I would prefer only catholic answers to these questions… tho i wouldnt shun some protestant input)
Hi, I am a protestant… sort of, at least I was raised protestant but in recent years I have had a sort of “spiritual awakening” not to sound all special or anything but for the longest time I just sort of believed it because thats what my parents believed, but now i really accept it and believe it as my own.
However now I am considering converting (if it is even called converting in this case) to catholicism but I have a few questions about it first.
1. I always thought that man was separated from God because the punishment for sin is death and we need a perfect sacrifice to atone for that sin (kind of like what they did in the old testament with the goats etc.). So my question is (a). Is this a correct way to view salvation? or do I have it wrong (b). Do catholics believe Mary (the mother of jesus) was sinless? and (c) If my interpretation of salvation is correct (and im not saying for certain it is if u can explain why not) then why couldnt mary have just died for our sins? (note: i do agree that we should respect and honor mary anyway)
2. Im not even certain if catholics believe this or not, i have a feeling my friend was wrong but thats why i am asking. Do catholics believe that the church IS (almost literaly) Christ on earth in his absence like a regent lord? and that it is impossible to be saved except through the church? (the second part of this I can accept but the first seems almost like heresy to me and i would need quite a bit of proof to accept that)
3. Do catholics still believe in purgatory? if so is there any scripural background for this? if you could give some that would be great =) or is it something that would make sense if i accepted tradition as scripture (which leads to my next question)
4. Is it true catholics value tradition as important as (or almost as important as) scripture itself? I am just curious since i could accept this too (but it would also take some getting used to)
As it stands right now there is like a 60% chance i will convert to catholicism, and these are the main issues stopping me, but right now i dont really know where i belong, just that i love Christ.
(sidenote: im 15 so i know some of you are probably dismissing my reasoning skills and all sorts of other things already but i would still like honest and preferably non-condescending answers or explanations to these questions)
I would prefer no rude comments, and i think i tried not to offend anyone but leme no if i did and if i did, i apologize already =(
thanks for the answers in advance

10 COMMENTS

  1. If you really want to get a good idea of what Catholics believe, go to an authoritative source of CAtholic beliefs. Such as a priest. there are lots of great sites where such peopel answer questions.

  2. Wow, you certainly have been thinking on it.
    I’m sorry for the inevitable “God is not real” crap you’re going to get, and I think its a good sign that you acknowledge the difference between “Christian” and “Protestant”.
    Sorry that I can’t be much help, though…

  3. To answer your questions would require more space than is allowed here. If you would like you can email me through my profile to discuss in great detail the answers to your questions. I think you are a very bright person from the context of your questions and although you are young I feel you and i would both greatly benefit from one-on-one discussion.

  4. im a protestant too and my biggest trouble with Catholicism is they don’t believe in sola scriptura. they believe in tradition as well which is were things like purgatory come in. nothing in the bible about it butt because they say so well i guess it must be true.. doesn’t hold much water in my view

  5. I’m going to take a crack at some of these from what I remember from the catechism, but I should warn you that I’m not a believer.
    1.) a.) somewhat. I think the better way to describe it was that through the perfect life of one man, all men were redeemed.
    b.) Catholics believe that Mary was born without the stain of original sin. She did not however lead a Christ-like life.
    c.) She didn’t. Hypothetical “could’ve’s” or “would’ve’s” are irrelevant.
    2.) No. Peoples of different faiths can attain salvation.
    3.) Yes, but it is a process and not, as is the common misconception, a location.
    4.) Yes, and I believe “Tradition” is supposed to be capitalized
    Hopefully a knowledgeable Catholic will show up and answer your questions better than I can. Maybe John S is out there.
    As always, you can find the answers to most Catholic questions here:
    http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/ccc_toc.htm

  6. My suggestion to you is to limit the amount of questions you submit in one thread…To answer all of the ones you’ve posed effectively would take me over a 1/2 hour and I just can’t dedicate that much time so I offer you a short version.
    1 a) Yes.. basically it is a correct view of salvation.
    b) Yes.. research the “immaculate conception”
    c) Mary is creature not creator, she was uniquely created with the single grace from God exempt from any stain of sin. Mary was not God… She couldn’t pay the price, She’s not God.
    2 Vatican II declared there is salvation outside the Church…but the Church does contain the “fullness of the truth”
    3 Purgatory yes! It’s scriptural especially if you accept the seven deuterocanonical books.
    4 Tradition edited and compiled the Bible..tradition AND the Bible make up Catholic theology.
    NOTE; You are still clinging to the erroneous “Sola Scriptura’ mindset. Read this linked question and rationally attempt to retain a “Bible Alone” Theology;
    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AktBpm0_C0mB.cZOXuNERNnty6IX;_ylv=3?qid=20090318122531AAW6Z2j

  7. Those are a lot of questions and cannot be answered satisfactorily all at once. You may try asking them one at a time. Most of the answers to your questions are answered on my blog here:
    http://fiatvolvntastua.blogspot.com/
    Check it out and if you have further questions email me and I will answer them. God bless!
    In Christ
    Fr. Joseph

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