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Scots Catholic

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Former Anglican priest reveals why he believes the Catholic Church is the only true Church

Posted on February 13, 2015 at 8:08 AM Comments comments (24)
 
There are many wonderful stories of people converting to the Catholic faith and there are many reasons why people do this.  But for one Anglican priest it was the concept of authority which most influenced his decision to convert; for he found that only the Catholic Church had the authority of Christ. 
 
In his conversion story Father Dwight Longenecker reveals how the question of the ordination of women in the Anglican Church led him to a real consideration of authority in the Church and that this ultimately led him to understand and accept the authority of the Catholic Church.
 
Father Longenecker recalls a conversation he had with the Abbot of Quarr Abbey on the Isle of Wight on the subject of the ordination of women.  He said that what the Abbot said hit the nail on the head and was the catalyst for a deeper exploration of the authority of the Catholic Church.
 
The Abbot told Father Longenecker that 'Sometimes we have to deny some lesser good in order to affirm the greater good. I think you have to deny women’s ordination in order to affirm the apostolic ministry. If the apostolic authority says no to women’s ordination, then to affirm the greater good of apostolic authority you will have to deny the lesser good of women’s ordination. Because if we deny the greater good, then eventually we will lose the lesser good as well.'
 
As he studied the history of the Catholic Church in more detail Father Longenecker discovered that there were twelve crucial traits of Church authority and while other Christian churches could lay claim to some of these traits, only the Catholic Church could evidence all twelve.
 
The twelve traits are:
 
Rooted in History
Adaptable
Objective
Flexible
Universal
Local
Intellectually Challenging
Accessible to the Uneducated
Visible
Invisible
Both Human and Divine
Built Upon the Rock
 
To read what Father Longenecker has to say about these twelve traits and how the Catholic Church demonstrates each of them, click this link to read his article at catholic.com: http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/how-do-we-know-it%E2%80%99s-the-true-church
 

Is there really no salvation outside the Catholic Church?

Posted on February 9, 2015 at 9:26 AM Comments comments (1)
Is the Catholic Church the only way to eternal life?
 
Tim Staples, Director of Apologetics and Evangelisation at Catholic Answers, considers this most crucial question in his latest blog piece at catholic.com. 
 
In a thoroughly detailed and considered view on the matter, Tim comes to the following important conclusions:
 
1. No one who knowingly and deliberately rejects the truth will be saved. It doesn’t matter how good of a Muslim, Jew, Baptist, or anything else he may be. If anyone rejects the truth of Christ and his Church—even one definitive teaching—they will be lost.
 
2. Religions that have as tenants of their respective faiths the rejection of Jesus and his Church have no power to save anyone. It is “the truth that makes us free” (cf. John 8:32), not falsehood.
 
3. In the case of one who is ignorant of the truth of the Catholic Faith, “through no fault of [his] own,” he can be saved, if he is truly “invincibly ignorant, [is] given the supernatural virtue of faith and [has] perfect charity in [his heart]” (cf. Instruction of Holy Office of Dec. 20, 1949).
 
4. We must remember that we are not the judges of salvation. God is the sole and final judge. We do not know who is truly “invincibly ignorant” and who is not. Therefore, we must be careful to “evangelize all men” as the Catechism commands us and leave the judging to God.
 
5. “Whatever good or truth is found amongst [other world religions] is considered by the Church to be ‘a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life’” (Lumen Gentium16). And if they seek the true God given the light they have received, they have the possibility of salvation.
 
6. This does not mean they are not in need of the Eucharist! Without the grace that comes from the sacraments, one is at a decided disadvantage to get to heaven. And if one has rejected the truth, then there is no way he can merit heaven apart from repentance and the acceptance of the truth. The Church makes very clear: “The words bind and loose mean: whomever you exclude from your communion, will be excluded from communion with God; whomever you receive anew into your communion, God will welcome back into his. Reconciliation with the Church is inseparable from reconciliation with God” (CCC 1445).
 
 

Don't ever be afraid to share the Good News (Dwelling on the Word of God, Sunday 8th February 2015)

Posted on February 6, 2015 at 12:42 PM Comments comments (1)
Even the design of St Peter's Square tells us to evangelise
 
Sunday’s Second Reading (1 Corinthians 9:16-19,22-23):
 
‘I do not boast of preaching the gospel, since it is a duty which has been laid on me; I should be punished if I did not preach it! If I had chosen this work myself, I might have been paid for it, but as I have not, it is a responsibility which has been put into my hands.  Do you know what my reward is?  It is this in my preaching, to be able to offer the Good News free, and not insist on the rights which the gospel gives me.
So though I am not a slave of any man I have made myself the slave of everyone so as to win as many as I could.  For the weak I made myself weak.  I made myself all things to all men in order to save some at any cost; and I still do this, for the sake of the gospel, to have a share in its blessings.’
 
 
Do you think that it is only priests who are duty bound to proclaim the Word of God?  What about you? 
 
In order to find an answer to this question we need to consider the role of the Church and the role of its members; people like you and me.  What is it we are called to do as Catholic people?  Well, praising Goda nd surrendering to His Holy Will would certainly be a good start.  Abiding by His Commandments and following the example of Christ is also fundamental.  But we are also called to be in the business of saving souls for Christ.  The Church is a church of mission which means it needs to always be reaching out to people. That’s why St Peter’s Square is designed the way it is; with open arms stretching out to the world, inviting all people to come to know and to love God!  And a critical part of our mission to save souls is to evangelise.  But how do we evangelise, you might ask?  Simple….by speaking the Word of God and revealing its unrivalled beauty! 
 
Do you ever wonder why the Church grew so quickly in the years after Jesus’ death and resurrection? It was because people like Paul preached the Word of God.  Today is no different.  We are still called to preach the Good News of God’s Word to all people in order to bring them closer to God and into a real and personal relationship with Him. And this doesn’t just apply to strangers and people who we know to be non-believers.  This evangelising also needs to take place in our own homes, in our families and among our friends.
 
And, of course, it won’t be easy.  It certainly wasn’t easy for St Paul when you consider the kind of barriers he faced two thousand years ago; being mocked, abused, tortured and ultimately put to death for his faith.  But if we fall in love with the Word of God, as Paul clearly did, we too can bring people to God.  We too can evangelise the world so that others may come to know the beauty of living a life in the Catholic faith.  We are members of the Church founded by Jesus Christ two thousand years ago!  It is, to this very day, the very same Church, and it is still preaching that same Word of God proclaimed by St Paul in his letter to the Corinthians.
 
Don’t ever be afraid to proclaim God’s Word as you go about your daily life.  You are part of a huge family of God which spans the whole of time and has among its number a multitude of saints enjoying the glory and splendour of the Father’s Kingdom.  It is a family which, at this very moment, numbers 1.2 billion on planet Earth. Your family is huge!  Why are you afraid?  Remember, God is on your side.  Go out and win people over to Him and find joy in being a true disciple of Christ.
 

Pope Francis warns against indifference to God and neighbour in his Lenten message

Posted on January 27, 2015 at 10:59 AM Comments comments (0)
 
Pope Francis, in his 2015 Lenten message, has warned people to avoid indifference to God and indifference to the plight of our neighbour.
 
The Pope said: “God is not indifferent to our world; he so loves it that he gave his Son for our salvation. In the Incarnation, in the earthly life, death, and resurrection of the Son of God, the gate between God and man, between heaven and earth, opens once for all. The Church is like the hand holding open this gate, thanks to her proclamation of God’s word, her celebration of the sacraments and her witness of the faith which works through love (cf. Gal5:6). But the world tends to withdraw into itself and shut that door through which God comes into the world and the world comes to him. Hence the hand, which is the Church, must never be surprised if it is rejected, crushed and wounded. God’s people, then, need this interior renewal, lest we become indifferent and withdraw into ourselves. To further this renewal, I would like to propose for our reflection three biblical texts.”
 
The Pope then outlines three biblical texts for reflection, each relating to an aspect of Christian living; the Church, parishes and communities, and individual Christians.
Click this link to read the full Lenten message of Pope Francis: http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-warns-of-globalization-of-indifference-in-len

Despite our lack of faith and human weakness, there is always hope

Posted on January 5, 2015 at 7:21 AM Comments comments (1)
 
Ever feel far from God? Or do you sometimes feel unworthy to be in His presence?
 
Consider this....
 
There was once a man who tried to walk on water but ended up very wet because his faith was weak.
 
There was once a man who promised Jesus that he would die with him and just a few hours later he would deny The Lord three times.
 
There was once a man who tried to convince Jesus not to go to the Cross and who was rebuked by the Saviour who said: "Get behind me, Satan!"
 
That man? Well, it is the same man who was entrusted with the keys to the Church and who would become the first ever pope! It is the same man who is now a saint! He is Saint Peter!
 
So never be discouraged. All people struggle with faith and human weakness. Even the greatest saints!
 
Just trust in God and persevere in your faith, striving always to do God's will. That way you cannot fail.

Pope Francis at Angelus: Jesus is our Joy

Posted on December 15, 2014 at 7:01 AM Comments comments (19)
 
Pope Francis, in his Sunday Angelus address, told the thousands gathered in St Peter's Square that Christians are called to live and to witness to the joy that comes from the nearness of God and from God’s presence in our life. He said that Christian joy is not simply the fullness of joy that we will experience in heaven. Rather, it begins even in this life, it is experienced even now, “because Jesus is our joy.”
 
Click here to read the full story at news.va: http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-at-angelus-jesus-is-our-joy
 
 

Pope calls all people to holiness (oh, and he has another pop at gossiping!)

Posted on November 20, 2014 at 7:16 AM Comments comments (33)
 
Pope Francis, during his General Assembly on Wednesday morning, called all people to a life of holiness, stating that holiness is not something that is exclusive to bishops, priests and religious.
 
The pope said: "We are all called to be saints...it is by living with love and offering Christian witness that we are called to become saints… Always and everywhere you can become a saint, that is, by being receptive to the grace that is working in us and leads us to holiness.”
 
The pope also had yet another warning for those inclined to gossip, suggesting that where people meet and the conversation descends into gossip we must resist and say "No, no, no I will not gossip about anyone."
 
Click here to read the full report on Wednesday's General Audience at news.va: http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-at-audience-the-universal-call-to-holiness
 

Pope Francis: Christians must never cause scandal and must always be prepared to forgive

Posted on November 10, 2014 at 8:55 AM Comments comments (0)
Pope Francis warned against scandal at his morning homily in Casa Santa Marta
 
Pope Francis has emphasised the need for Christians to avoid scandal and to live out a Christian life in everything they do.  The Pope said that scandal "is to proclaim and profess a way of life - 'I am a Christian' - and then live like a pagan, who does not believe in anything". He said that this is scandal "because there is no witness," while "the faith is professed - Pope Francis reiterated – by the way you live your life”.
 
The Holy Father also reminded us that we must be prepared to forgive, always!  He said that we must be prepared to forgive, and forgive "forever". 
 
 
 

Pope Francis insists we need bridges not walls as he delivers yet another warning about division

Posted on November 10, 2014 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (0)
 
Pope Francis, in his Sunday Angelus, has recalled the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and has stated that the world needs bridges, not walls.
 
Click here to read what the Pope had to say: http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-angelus-we-need-bridges-not-walls
 
 

Pope Francis: Fear of God's Gratuity Can Lead to Selfishness

Posted on November 4, 2014 at 9:03 AM Comments comments (0)
 
Pope Francis has said that a fear of God is leading people to find excuses not to go to Him which in turn leads them down the path of selfishness.
 
In another powerful warning about modern day attitudes to faith, the Pope suggests that some people want to be Catholic, but not too Catholic; and some want to trust in the Lord, but not too much.  The Pope suggests that this kind of attitude 'belittles us'.
 
In encouraging people to go to God and to trust in Him completely the Pope, in referring to today's Gospel, said we must look to the crucifix as it is on the crucifix where everything is paid for.  Therefore, we should accept God's invitation to the banquet and accept His kindness.  There is nothing to be afraid of.
 
Click here to read the full article at news.va: http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-at-santa-marta-fear-of-gods-gratuity