Pope Benedict XVI Resigning as Pope!!

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Lorac, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Messages:
    15,897
    We had Confession and Communion together for the reasons Skittl said.

    And definitely I had Confirmation before High School because I was out of that church by then. My parents stopped making us to go Church when I was 11 and I was already confirmed by then. I went back at 13 then left again at 14 when we moved and I went to a Quaker high school.

    I approve of having Confirmation in High School though.
  2. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    11,072
    Our church had confirmation in High School because that was an age where we could understand the decision we are making. Apparently it can be done from age like 7 onward according to the Catechism, so having it with Communion is no big deal. I also read that Confirmation can be offered to babies being baptised if there is immediate threat of death. I didn't know that, I just thought the baby had to be baptised.

    I was born a premie, and my Mom and Grandfather had a huge fight because she wouldn't allow a priest in to baptise me right away (for fear of germ exposure), when they still weren't sure I was going to make it. She kept telling him she was sure if it was the wrong decision God would punish her and not a baby. He was insisted that if I died I was going to hell. I didn't die, so I can't report who was right...
  3. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Messages:
    3,538
    No more insufferable that you…I’m sure many Catholics would find you not believing in God, not agreeing with their practices and not wanting to raise your kid’s catholic insufferable, especially when you ‘hesitantly’ ask to use their church for your wedding. Unless your husband is 100% Catholic and wouldn’t have it any other way? :rolleyes:

    90%+ of the population identify themselves with being Catholic, fine; but you clearly don’t. Getting married in a Catholic church with as much disdain as you seem to have for it (regardless of what your culture dictates) is disrespectful to not only the church you were married but to the religion in general.
  4. Southpaw

    Southpaw Saint Smugpawski

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Messages:
    11,867
    I received my sacraments in this order:

    - Baptism (don't remember it)

    - Communion (2nd grade, I remember my ill-fitting veil well)

    - Penance (4th grade)

    - Confirmation (8th grade)
  5. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Messages:
    17,363
    Baptised as infant. Confirmation at 12 or 13 (8th grade). The Sunday after Confirmation, First Communion. I don't know if this is typical of all Episcopal churches, but our church believed that you should be confirmed before receiving communion.
  6. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2002
    Messages:
    20,569
    This is a very good and interesting point. Religion is closely linked to culture and has many social aspects which are important even if you disagree with the church on many issues.

    Jesus was a socialist, a radical, a troublemaker, who stood on the side of the oppressed and the rejected. Catholic Church has absolutely nothing to do with his teachings.

    'Tis ok, I'll make a killing selling cheap made in China plastic Virgin Maries that I'll queer by painstakingly decorating them with pink glitter. :glamor:

    Same in Poland.

    Not like Catholic Church and logic go together. :p

    That's a very idealistic and black and white point of view which ignores actual social reality.
  7. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Messages:
    15,897
    My experience is that most Catholics in areas where being Catholic is as much a cultural thing as a religious thing are very familiar with attitudes like this and don't find it particularly insufferable. It's actually a natural outcome of the religion morphing into a cultural phenomena. There are way too many people who put on the trappings of the religion without believing the dogma in this situation so mostly people don't probe too much as long as you are willing to go along with the outer expressions.

    Most friends and family would be far more horrified by her not getting married in a Catholic church by a priest than by getting married in one when she doesn't believe. This, in fact, is a large part of the problem IMO. There is huge pressure on people to get married with a Catholic ceremony and so they will say and do what they have to in order to make peace with the people who are important to them even lying about how they are going to raise their children -- who haven't even been born yet!

    The thing is, the Church makes a big deal about how all it's sacraments are only for Catholics. It's all built into the dogma and there are plenty of writs and writings about it. Only Catholics can have the sacraments except under very specific circumstances mostly involving imminent death and not being able to get to the practitioner of your choice. (I.e., if you are Catholic and can't find a priest, you can get Last Rites from a non-Catholic official and vice versa.)

    It's only in the area of marriage that they go around these rules even though the rules are pretty clear and they pretty much only do it because getting non-Catholics to agree to raise their kids in the Church helps grow the Church. At least that's my opinion on why they do it. To me, it's as unethical as letting people buy absolution, which used to be an extremely common practice as well.
  8. Andora

    Andora Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2002
    Messages:
    10,631
    I think you're being rather harsh. I get that for many Catholics it's strictly a question of religion/faith, but I wouldn't discount how heavily influenced/tied some cultures are by the church. It's not an easy separation and I don't think it's fair to assume it would be.
  9. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2002
    Messages:
    10,741
    For me it was baptism as an infant, then confession and first communion the same weekend when I was in 3rd grade (which was late -- most of the kids in my first communion class were in 1st and 2nd grade), and confirmation when I was 13 and in 8th grade. Since in those days we were taught that eating meat on Friday was a mortal sin (I did wonder at it being given the same gravity as killing someone) and there were many other sins that were deemed worthy of confession, I recall having quite a heavy burden of guilt going into my first confession. :shuffle:
    When I was a high school senior, I was my youngest sister's confirmation sponsor (not sure if that is the correct term).

    ETA: My sister and I managed to infect most of our first communion class with measles. :shuffle: My sister was already feeling unwell and had chills -- I remember my mother having a heated argument with one of the nuns about my sister wearing a light-weight white cardigan over her organdy communion dress. It was a draw -- my sister wore the cardigan walking the block from the school to the church in the procession and my mom removed it as she entered the church. That and the scratchy net veils are my strongest memories of the event.
  10. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    11,072
    Mortal sins aren't all equal. I mean, they are all damning, but the penance needed to clear them isn't the same. I think I remember someone once telling me that due to 'honor thy father and mother' and 'though shall not kill' it would be worse to kill your parents (since that is two commandments) than a stranger. Um...

    According to wikipedia (good source right) the Catechism actually addresses gravity of mortal sin. It is worse to murder than to steal, for instance.
  11. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Messages:
    13,674
    This is the usual order/procedure in my Episcopal church, also.
  12. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    Messages:
    4,757
    Catholicism is also a very real link to ethnic and cultural tradition for immigrant groups, even many generations removed. I see that very much in how my husband's Polish family has their ethnicity and cultural tradition rooted in church tradition. Even those in his family that do not regularly attend church see the church as part of their cultural identity as Polish-Americans.
  13. DarrellH

    DarrellH New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Messages:
    4,763
    Hence the term "Non-practicing Catholic".
  14. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2002
    Messages:
    10,741
    There was nothing about differences in the gravity of mortal sins taught by my catechism teachers -- a mortal sin was a mortal sin and the eternal punishment was the same, no matter what If you died with an unconfessed mortal sin and didn't make a deathbed act of contrition, you went straight to hell. To me that seemed rather extreme punishment for eating a hot dog at a Friday ball game. :lol: Of course, since I long ago stopped believing in hell, it's rather moot now.
  15. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    11,072
    They didn't cover it fully then. When I say "in the Catechism" I mean the official document of the church, not the CCD or CCE or whatever they called them each year.
    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM


    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P6C.HTM
    See 1858.


    Edit: 1457 might be interesting to anyone who is practicing and their children are going to first confession after their first communion. I would definetly ask the parish for explanation! "Children must go to the sacrament of Penance before receiving Holy Communion for the first time."
    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P4D.HTM
    I don't believe this, but if you were devout, allowing that to happen could put your child's afterlife in danger should s/he die before they get that first confession.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  16. AnnieD

    AnnieD Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2001
    Messages:
    812
    When I was a child we had baptism first, then we made our First Confession and Holy Communion when we were in Primary 3 (aged about 7) within weeks of each other. Then confirmations were held once every two years and all the Primary 6's and 7's (anything between about aged 10 and 12) were confirmed. They're doing all three main ones in Primary 4 now in the space of a year. I think 8 years old is very young for confirmation, although I'm presuming there's some reason that it's been changed here.
  17. bek

    bek Guest

    To be honest I do struggle with the whole Catholic marriage thing. My brother has a Catholic girlfriend. He is not Catholic, although he has talked about becoming Catholic so he could say he was Irish Catholic. My parents were Catholic married in the Catholic church and left. We were never baptized Catholic but a lot of our extended family is Catholic. My brother in someways would like to be a nominal Irish Catholic. That's why I'm so comfortable about saying nominal because for some it is a cultural thing.

    However, his Girlfriend is Catholic, they are living together. Now personally I would like to see them getting married. She is such a great girl... However, I will be put in a position if they get married outside the Church. Because if its outside the Church the marriage is invalid.. And I do believe this in a way. Especially considering the fact if your going to say divorce isn't possible. One could argue a Catholic who is not necessarily practicing their faith, isn't in the right place to make this life decision. I.e she comes back to the faith and then is stuck with this choice before.

    But I'm in a position where I could go to the ceremony and not be part of it... Or the church may so no to the marriage because of the living together. (Personally I think if they want to make the relationship right before the Lord, let them make it right). There are some practical problems here.

    I do personally think the concept of mortal sin being "full consent is important". I.e someone may be convinced they aren't really sinning.

    Hopefully they will get married in the Church and/or she just won't ask me to be in the wedding. But I will not like being the position of not being able to be in the wedding because I'm really afraid she'd consider it a rejection of her. And well I want my brother to marry her; she's a sweetheart.

    For many Catholic is like being Jewish. Its part of the culture...
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 14, 2013
  18. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Messages:
    15,897
    So it's okay for them to live together but not get married outside the church? I don't see the logic in this.
  19. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    11,072
    If they are in a civil marriage, she could get divorced. The church doesn't consider it to be a marriage, so the divorce isn't real. According to the church, since they are not 'married' they would be living in sin, but they already are... At least this way they would be eligible for insurance, survivor's benefits and other things marriage entitles one to from the government.

    I don't think it is a good idea to go into marriage considering the conditions for divorce though.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  20. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    Messages:
    4,757
    Not quite. As I understand it, marriage between two baptized persons is considered valid and civil marriages are considered valid unless it is demonstrated otherwise. An annulment is required for a divorced Catholic to remarry in the church or for a Catholic to marry a divorced non-Catholic in the church. A friend married a non-Catholic in a civil ceremony because he is divorced and refused to go through the annulment process. He has never been baptized in any denomination and she was told that the annulment process would have been very simple but still required, yet he still refused.
  21. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    11,072
    PDilemma- do you have some sources on that? I believe you, but I really thought an annulment was only required when the divorce resulted from a valid marriage, and a civil marriage isn't a valid marriage (though I think any Christian marriage is considered valid.)
  22. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Messages:
    3,535
    "This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church." ;)
  23. Spiralgraph

    Spiralgraph Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2002
    Messages:
    596


    Some Non Catholics may participate and receive Holy Communion in a Catholic church, and Catholics may receive Communion in certain Protestant denominations. When I was in my church choir many years ago we sang songs from the Messiah in a Lutheran church with their choir and some of us received Communion there. Our priest accompanied us (and even celebrated Mass in the Lutheran Church's basement hall) A week or so later their choir traveled up to our church and they received Communion in our church and nobody was excommunicated.

    The times are changing in the Catholic church (but I admit at a snail's pace)
  24. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    11,072
    What non-catholics are you talking about? I know that non-Catholics may come to the alter during mass for a blessing, but they aren't supposed to take communion, the Catholic communion is closed.

    I know many protestant denominations are open to Catholics receiving their communion, but Catholics are not supposed to take it by their own beliefs.
  25. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2001
    Messages:
    15,964
    If they get married outside the church, they can get their marriage blessed by a priest, which can either be done in quite the formal ceremony inviting everyone, or done in private, takes 20 seconds. So she is in no way "stuck", as you said, with this choice. She is always, always welcome to make it right in the eyes of the church.

    The church will not say "no" because they are living together. In fact, the church would welcome them, because they'd be putting the situation right. This will not be an issue. Not at all, not in the modern era.

    I think you should talk to your priest about this. IMO, your not attending their wedding because you feel your church won't allow you to participate in it might drive your brother further away from the church, and that is not what the church wants. Perhaps talk this over with your priest, telling him all of this, and see what he suggests. I'd just hate for your behavior, although well intended, to drive your brother and his future wife away from the church. Just something to think about.
  26. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    11,072
    The church actually can deny it because they are not prepared for the sacrament. Most likely, the priest would tell the Catholic of the relationship to make a full penance and for the couple to live apart in preperation of the marriage. Many priests would interpret it like you said "put it right" by them getting married, but not all. It's like the priests who won't give Eucharist to Democrat politicians because they support abortion availability. Even though they didn't GET an abortion, by helping to make them available, the church sees them in state of sin and they are not eligible for a sacrament. Not all priests will interpret it this way, but those who do are supported by the catechism.
  27. Spiralgraph

    Spiralgraph Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2002
    Messages:
    596

    In my experience, it was Lutherans who received Communion. I think other denominations may be able to receive Communion as well, but offhand I can't think of which ones.
  28. Southpaw

    Southpaw Saint Smugpawski

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Messages:
    11,867
    OK, give me a couple of those Virgin Marys and a half dozen of those pączki shaped like John Paul II.
  29. bek

    bek Guest

    Whoa! I would never not attend the wedding. I just couldn't particpate. I would attend but I couldn't sing or be a part of the wedding. There are some Catholics who want perhaps not attend. But not me. I will go but not participate.
  30. allezfred

    allezfred Prick Admin Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2003
    Messages:
    42,660
    Now I understand. Nothing like the zealousness of a convert. :scream:

    I'll think you'll find it's not.
  31. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    Messages:
    4,757
    Any wedding of two baptized persons is considered valid, the exception being if one party is Catholic and the marriage is outside the church and no dispensation has been given. (That can be rectified by the marriage being blessed by a priest as someone already explained) Baptism in the name of father-son-holy spirit is valid for Catholicism regardless of how, where and by who it is done. Converts properly baptized in any other denomination that baptizes in the name of the trinity are not re-baptized in order to convert; they are merely confirmed. My RCIA group (conversion class) had 13 people converting and only two of us had to be baptized. Any marriage is presumed valid until proven invalid in the annulment process simply because they don't take your word for it. If two never before married non-Catholic baptized people marry in a civil ceremony or other religious ceremony and later convert to Catholicism, it is a valid Catholic marriage. If a unbaptized non-Catholic marries in any kind of ceremony, later divorces and wants to remarry a Catholic, the first marriage would be deemed invalid. But it would have to be proven in the annulment process.

    I got all of this in RCIA because on the night we went over the sacraments of marriage and holy orders one of the engaged women who was converting asked endless questions about what constitutes a valid marriage and what the easiest grounds for annulment are. She also took copious notes on the answers. We all wondered what her intentions for her marriage really were and if we'd be called to provide information for her annulment case in the future. It was very strange.
  32. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    11,072
    PDilemma- isn't the exception that you mentioned exactly why I said that the marriage wouldn't be valid? One of the participants (the girlfriend) is Catholic, and dispensation has not been requested. So if the marriage is invalid, I don't think the church cares if there is a divorce, because to them, there is no marriage.
  33. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    Messages:
    4,757
    The only reason the church would care is if the person wanted to remarry in the church. Then there would have to be an annulment process to ensure that the marriage was invalid as opposed to a priest merely taking the person's word. My friend who wanted to marry someone who was never baptized and divorced was told that the annulment process would be quick and simple--a matter of a month or so to be checked and processed, but her now-husband refused to do it. On the other hand, a friend who was married to a Catholic in a Catholic ceremony is trying to get an annulment and the process is about three years in and not done yet.
  34. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Messages:
    15,897
    No they can't. It's against the rules. Except for some carefully delineated exceptions:

    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Can_you_t...s_a_non_Catholic_but_baptized_adult_Christian

    ETA okay I noticed you said "some". It depends on what you mean by "some". You have to believe in transfiguration for one thing -- that the Eucharist has literally been transformed into the blood and body of Christ. And it is supposed to be an extraordinary circumstance as well.
  35. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    11,072
    transubstantiation :)

    I don't think Harry Potter does communion.



    It is my understanding some Lutheran's believe in consubstantiation, which isn't the same thing. I think there may be some Orthodox churches that can take Roman Catholic communion, but no Protestants, at least, they shouldn't.
    IceAlisa and (deleted member) like this.
  36. nlloyd

    nlloyd Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2005
    Messages:
    260
    While I don't agree with the theological positions you espouse Bek (official Catholic teaching), it is interesting to read your perspective because it represents that of a portion of Catholics I don't often encounter. I guess what those of us engaged in this discussion are talking about is different sources of authority for our beliefs (or lack of belief). Wesley's quadrilateral is quite useful here -- scripture, tradition, reason, and experience -- although there are also other possibilities. You, like many conservative Catholics, emphasize tradition with a particular focus on the Pope and other church leaders.

    If I was still a Christian, I would emphasize "imago dei," the leading of the Holy Spirit, the church as a hermeneutical community, and the bible as an account of peoples' not-always-successful attempt to discern God's way. I would see Christians as forging responses to contemporary social and ethical challenges - and these are only going to get more complex - using the reason, compassion, and creativity God has given them (their "made-in-the-image-of-Godness"), the guiding of the Holy Spirit who lives within them, reading the bible in the light mentioned above, and coming to conclusions together with other Christians in the churches to which they belong. The diversity of churches would not worry me too much because churches do make mistakes and when they recognise that, it is always good to see the different paths that others have taken.

    I respect the reasons that inform your decisions, but I also feel quite sad that the relationship with God that you value so highly, was removed from me and others because the cost of conforming to the Church's official teachings was too high.
  37. Moto Guzzi

    Moto Guzzi Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2002
    Messages:
    1,721
    http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...8EDD203D52A00BE569068E&view=detail&FORM=VIRE1 "Two, four, six, eight, time to transubstantiate!" ;)

    My main memory of preparing for my first communion was the big fight with my older sister about wearing her first communion dress. My mother made her dress--it was white dotted swiss--and wanted me to wear it but my sister flatly refused and put up such a fuss about it my mother ended up making a new one for me. I was very happy to have something that wasn't a hand-me-down for a change. It was white organdy with layers of ruffles for the skirt, and I thought it was the most beautiful dress of all. I was so proud of my mother for making me a dress instead of ordering one like most of the mothers did. At the time I didn't know that my parents couldn't afford to buy a frilly dress for me. I was lucky my mother knew how to sew and how to make a little girl feel beautiful and special.
  38. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Messages:
    15,897
  39. Angelskates

    Angelskates Active Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Messages:
    12,791
    This is one of my major issues with Catholicism. There's people in between you and God, making the rules. What if God tells you something different to the Pope?

    From bek:
    And this is where we differ. I think if you're not sure about Scripture, you should look at what God, the Holy Spirit, says to YOU, NOW, not what He said to the Early Church throughout time (interpreted by humans, who are imperfect, compared to the perfect Holy Spirit). We didn't receive faith from the church, we received faith from GOD. What if God tells you something different to the Pope? Would you consider it wrong (or you instead of God), just because it differs from what the Pope says?

    What will you do when there is no Pope? He's resigning, and there will be a time in between Popes. What if something comes up?
  40. bek

    bek Guest

    Yes, they are fallible human beings. But I also am a fallible human being. And how can I not be sure that I'm not reading my own preconceptions, biases, wants and desires into Scripture?

    In terms of God, well it seems to me there quite a lot of Christians quite a bit convinced that the Holy Spirit is telling them one thing, and others convinced the Holy Spirit is telling them the exact opposite... The Holy Spirit doesn't contradict Himself. And one could argue maybe the Holy Spirit is just saying something different to each individual and that's fine. But what about the Church as a whole? Surely there are things that the Church as a whole is going to have to come to agreement on. And who decides on these issues? And who is going to decide on some of the essential questions about the Gospel?

    For example amongst Protestants there's some big issues about well can people lose their salvation-I because I know for a fact that Protestants don't agree on said subject. Do people have free will? You may think these are minor things but you know what people might live their lives differently based on the answers to these questions.

    Or things like Baptism? What is to be done with children of believers? Can they be baptized just like Jewish boys were circumcized? If children must be of a certain accountability than what is said age? Because Scripture after all does not tell us. You may say this baptism issue is nothing but I can tell you that in my undergraduate. There was a Christian group that was going around and the Pastor would preach on and on about how people who were baptized as babies, weren't really baptized. I was part of an interdenominational Methodist group at the time (even though I was Pentecostal) and he'd specifically get in on it when the folks in the Methodist group would come to watch their friends get baptized.

    And you know what, I can tell you said Pastor's words created quite a lot of hurt. And quite a lot of division too. Now one can argue is it really a big deal and I can see that point. But I can argue it is a big deal if Christians are not able to recognize each other's baptism.. Its a very big deal especially when Scripture says "there is one faith, and one baptism" So yes there's a big problem here.

    And for all of these issues I heard people get into their little Scripture wars for years. And I know people who I respected who I knew really loved Jesus have some disagreements.. And it was never that I didn't have my own opinion about the subject but rather a matter of how I can be sure my opinion is so right when someone over here is so wrong, when its the Holy Spirit who is guiding each of us????

    We Catholics take the early Church's beliefs in account so highly because they were closer to Christ's teachings and the apostles than you and are. We are 2,000 years away from Christ? But a lot of the early churches were much closer to the time period. Also there's the fact that Scripture didn't come to us in a neat package all bundled up. Jesus never handed us the Bible and said "there you go the Word of God".

    For the first couple of centuries there was actually some real discussion about what books belonged in Scripture and what books didn't? Do you think maybe now you can go and decided the book of James doesn't belong like Luther questioned because you don't like some of the words it says? And what about some of the books that were left out-why not add some back in? Or do you think that we take the Early Church decision on these books because we figure they were closer to the time period than we were. Closer to Christ closer to the Apostles and so maybe very well should by proximity they might have a better idea of which books of the Gospels were authentic and which ones aren't.

    So we Catholics would ask if you take them seriously on Scripture, than why do so many Protestants ignore their teachings/on other things. I .e argue they are completely wrong on everything else. Wrong on the decisions that were eventually made about baptism, wrong on the subject of Communion being Christ's Body? To me if these people are near unanimous about something, they by proximity to Christ should be heavily taken into account.

    I decided if I was clear on something, that I should look at what the early church said and I was mainly thinking of Communion because personally, I don't want to go with what I "want Communion to be" I want to go on what Christ wants communion to be. I don't want Baptism to be what I "want Baptism to be" I want to go with what Christ wants baptism to be.

    And even if Christ is say choose, I personally think these issues need to be resolved. Christ said I pray they may be one so the World will believe my Message' that's pretty serious stuff. Christians were commanded to be in agreement.

    In terms of my own personal life I believe God's going to tell me not the Priest what job I should take, who I should marry etc. But I don't think He's necessarily going to let me decide if priests should be married, how people are to be baptized etc.

    The Pope/bishops are there basically because if there's disputes there has to be means of resolving them. Period. And I think God wants this, us having a means to resolve are issues rather than fighting back and forth and dividing Christ's body. Because that's what I feel very strongly, its not really about ME.. Its about Christ's body as a whole.

    As for what will we do without the Pope. As I said before the pope doesn't really get into my Personal relationship with. When I have to make my day to day decisions that's between me and God. If the Church has a major issue well, the Church normally doesn't make a decision right away, rather a lot of prayer/study comes involved. Church councils can at times take a very long time. Somehow I suspect during that time the Cardinals can find a moment to elect a new Pope.

    The Church has managed for 2,000 years popes dying. I think we can handle one man resigning. And in fact that's one thing I like about what Pope Benedict is doing. He's illustrating the Papacy is an office- an office central to Church. But its not one man or about one personality.. He is not indispensible. No one is.