Question:

Hello,

As a fresh convert to Catholicism I have some questions regarding the information on your site.
What I learned directly from my parish priest contradicts several things you state in "What is wrong with Catholicism?" , particularly at the end of your article. I want to say right now that I am not the most articulate debater, so forgive the simplicity of my statements.

The discrepancies I found are as follows:

Children inherit Adam's sin and are thus born sinful
Children do not inherit original sin. We are born imperfect, thus with the inclination towards sinful actions. A baby has not yet had the chance to sin and is not sinful. Baptism shortly after birth comes from a belief that if the baby should die unexpectedly their soul might not make it to heaven.

Forgiveness of sins comes by confessing those sins to a priest. The priest then assigns acts of penance, which when completed will remove the consequences of those sins.
This is correct in part, however you neglect to mention that Catholics believe that all sins are forgiven by God, not the priest directly. It was made very clear to me that the priest is a vessel for the forgiveness and not the source. As my instructor put it, simply looking up to God and saying sorry is not enough, the penance is given by the priest as an act one can do to display genuine remorse for having sinned.

Past saints, especially Mary, are venerated. Catholics believe they serve as mediators between the living and God.
We do pray to Mary, however I'm unsure where the idea of mediators comes from.
I read on another site that Catholics have added Mary to the Trinity, which is absolutely not the case. I know this is not what you said, I was just thinking of it, so I thought I'd add it in.

Today there are Catholics calling for the acceptance of abortion, priest marrying, and women being allowed to enter the priesthood. When these issues are eventually accepted, others will take their place and the departure from the truth will continue.
I attend the Tridentine Mass (Latin Mass) and no one, absolutely no one in the parish agrees with any of this. There are "Catholics" who follow the Novus Ordo (New Rite courtesy of the 60's) that feel this way. I would argue that they are corrupting the faith; attempting to bend God's word to man's will. I would also like to say that it is an injustice to pick part of a group and plaster it over the entire group. You cannot make modern "Catholics" into an example of Catholicism because a good majority of them practice something that is not 100% Catholic (i.e. those that use contraceptives). What you are labeling as Catholic faith is not pure Catholicism. Perhaps you should speak with a priest who practices the Traditional Rite, in my view the correct rite, before you make assumptions.

I'm not trying to be rude or combative, I'm curious as to where exactly you came up with your facts because mine vary and I consider my instructor to be a very learned man. He was a convert himself, in fact. I'm also not saying that other religions are inferior (although nothing I said above gives this impression as I'm re-reading). I'm simply trying to figure out where you're coming from.


Answer:

The statements I made were based on what the Roman Catholic church teaches about its beliefs. I realize that it is such a large organization that frequently its members take and teach variations on this official stances.

Original Sin:

"(1) The sin of Adam has injured the human race at least in the sense that it has introduced death ... (2) Adam by his fault transmitted to us not only death but also sin, ... (3) Since Adam transmits death to his children by way of generation when he begets them mortal, it is by generation also that he transmits to them sin, ..." ["Original Sin," Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent].

Forgiveness of Sin:

The claim that asking God for forgiveness is not enough, supports the point I was making. The Bible says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9). The confession in this context is to God and not to a priest. There is no passage that says more is required. Roman Catholicism admits this: "Auricular confession is nowhere expressly mentioned in the Bible" [Question Box, 1929, p. 287].

Mary as a Mediator:

"Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation.... Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix" [Catechism of the Catholic Church]. The word "mediatrix" means a female mediator. The reason it is considered an issue is that the Bible says, "For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time" (I Timothy 2:5-6).

I cannot answer for the material on other sites.

Changing Beliefs:

The point I made and to which you agree is that there are forces within the Catholic church that pushes for changes. I'm not saying that Roman Catholicism today officially supports issues like priests marrying, women priests, or abortion. My point is that changes do come over the years. Roman Catholic beliefs do evolve. The fact that elements push for change and yet remain a part of the Roman Catholic organization is considered a good thing within Catholicism. The list given in "What is wrong with Catholicism?" shows that evolution of belief.