Anonymous: I am a vegetarian, because I believe that animals are also God's creatures and to eat them would be a sin. It concerns me that that Catholic church does not also view this as a sin and, in a way, condones the consumption of animals. Please enlighten me as to why this is. Thank you!
Consider Acts 10:9-15:
The next day, while they were on their way and nearing the city, Peter went up to the roof terrace to pray at about noontime.He was hungry and wished to eat, and while they were making preparations he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something resembling a large sheet coming down, lowered to the ground by its four corners. In it were all the earth’s four-legged animals and reptiles and the birds of the sky. A voice said to him, “Get up, Peter. Slaughter and eat. But Peter said, “Certainly not, sir. For never have I eaten anything profane and unclean.”The voice spoke to him again, a second time, “What God has made clean, you are not to call profane.”
God has given us the right to eat meat. I hope this answers your question.
Interesting video, and I appreciate the politeness through out it. However I do wish to clarify a few things about Catholicism.
If a person is truly living the Life Christ calls us to live then the person is not being a good person out of fear but out of love; Love for God and love for his neighbor. Love is desiring the good for the other person which means that the true believer would do good things, not to get to Heaven, but because he knows it is what is right. If the believer only does good things to get to Heaven then who is he really loving?
The Church has her reasons as to why certain things are sins. I would say that most of the reasons are self evident to the non-believer whether they wish to acknowledge it or not. But there are other reasons that tend to be more Theological, which is where the non-believer will disagree, and this leads me to my last point.
Your opening words about religion being something to be selected when you are older seems to indicate that as long as a person is happy with his religion and keeps it to himself then he is free to practice. Throughout the video you say “for me….”, insinuating you have your set of beliefs and truths that others may or may not agree with.
But Religion cannot be something you “subscribe to”. It is something that is True, or is not. You cannot say “Christianity works for Person A, and Hinduism works for Person B, thus they are both true.” The two religions contradict.
But what is Truth? How does something become True? Is Truth Universal? Barack Obama is President. Is that True? Of course it is, and this Truth is also Universal. It is not an opinion, it is fact. Science proves things to be True. Why does it rain? Because the sun evaporates the water, it condensates until it precipitates. That is truth. If someone were to say “Because there is a faucet in the atmosphere that releases water” you would immediately correct their reasoning because the Water Cycle is a Universal Truth.
If something is not Universal then it can not be True, it becomes an opinion. Morality is not opinionated. Killing is either right or wrong. Stealing is either right or wrong. If these two moral issues are Universal Truths, then any other moral issue has to have a Universal Truth. Moral Truth cannot be some Universal and some not.
Lastly, if I believe in a certain religion it is because I know it to be True. And since I know it to be True, why would I not encourage others to seek this same Truth? Why would I not want my children to live in this same Truth? That’s the point of Christianity. God—being the Ultimate Truth—has revealed Himself to us as a God of Love. Why wouldn’t I want others to embrace this relationship with Him?
Anonymous: I read that Canon law says Catholics must abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year (unless there's a Solemnity), but that "The conference of bishops can determine more precisely the observance of fast and abstinence as well as substitute other forms of penance." The USCCB's website says that US Catholics are *encouraged* to abstain from meat on all Fridays, but are only required to do so during in Lent. Does this mean that US Catholics don't have to abstain from meat outside of Lent?
You are correct: it means that U.S. Catholics are not required to abstain from meat on Fridays outside of Lent.
This American rule is an exception to the law and life of the Church, not the norm.
The U.S. Bishops sought a special indult from Rome to allow Catholics to substitute “other penances” on Friday besides abstaining from meat, but even that “encouragement” does not bind us on pain of sin (so if you’ve never made Friday a day of penance, you haven’t sinned.)
However, the U.S. Bishops have also recently begun encouraging Catholics to return to the practice of Friday penance. They have also called for, during the Year of Faith, Catholics to dedicate year-round Friday penance and prayer for the protection of the family, religious liberty, and the unborn.
Of course, now that we’re entering Lent, all Fridays are days of abstinence from meat. (There are no Friday Solemnities in 2013, so no exceptions this year.) The two required days of fasting (eating less than one full meal per day) are Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Details on the Lenten fasts and abstinences here and here. Further resources here.
Anonymous: You mentioned a while ago that "The Confiteor at the beginning of Mass (like any Act of Contrition) forgives all venial sins." Does that mean that if one says the Act of Contrition privately in their own home, their venial sins are forgiven, or must it be said within the context of a Mass?
Yes. Venial sins may be forgiven by private acs of contrition, good works, and reception of the Eucharist.
However, it is still good to confess venial sins when one goes to confession, for it is a healing sacrament. Here is a good link. Does this answer your question?
Anonymous: If I failed to mention a sin because I was embarrassed, does that make my confession not valid?
Refraining from admitting a sin in Confession is actually committing another sin.
I first learned this from Nuns when I was in CCD and I didn’t want to believe them. But when you think about it..who are you going for Confession? You’re confessing to God! If you refrain from admitting a sin you are still trying to hide from God. Does He know your sin? Well yes of course He does. He also knew Adam’s sin, but Adam still hid:
The Lord God then called to the man and asked him: Where are you?
He answered, “I heard you in the garden; but I was afraid, because I was naked so I hid”.
God went looking for Adam even though He knew Adam sinned. It is just for us to go before God and admit we failed so that He can smile at us and say “Your sins are forgiven, go and sin no more”.
furnishedtower: You say that Catholics shouldn't partake in eating the Body of Christ if we don't believe in everything the Church stands for because what the Church and Christ stand for are one in the same, yes? Well, why then does the Church have view points on birth control and homosexuality (those are just the easy ones to mention) if Jesus didn't tell us anything about that, not directly or in a matter of speech? If Jesus didn't say something was wrong/right was does the Church say it is?
The Church isn’t limited to just what Jesus specifically said. Jesus gave the Church authority to bind and loose things here on earth. So even though Jesus never explicitly mentioned topics such as homosexuality and birth control, we can form teachings on those topics based on what Scripture has to say, based on what Tradition has to say, and through prayerful discernment with the aid of the Holy Spirit.
For example: Jesus explicitly told us that God made man and woman for each other, that a man is to leave his family and become one with his bride (Mk 10:1-9, Mt 19:1-6). In Genesis the man and woman are to be fruitful and multiply. Based on these verses and prayerful reading of Song of Songs, and meditation on what God intended sex and marriage to be, John Paul II wrote Theology of the Body which outlines the Church’s teaching on contraceptives and touches on homosexuality.
So the Church can make teachings as long as they are in-line with the Message of Christ. But even then, the Church doesn’t make the teaching, She just relays what God has revealed.
I hope that made sense, if anyone else has a better way to put it feel free!
Olivier: I’d like to point out that every single thing that the Church teaches is based on Jesus’ commandment to “love one another as I have loved you,” “love one another as you love yourself,” or even more plainly, “love one another.”
Every single Church teaching on sexuality (and every teaching for that matter) is based on the notion that humans are created in the image of God, that man and woman are made for each other (as Javi said), and that there is a distinction between using someone (wrong) and loving someone (right).
When the Church teaches sexual ethics, it all stems from the fact that we must love one another. Church teaching is the authoritative source of answering applied ethical questions (such as “why is birth control immoral” or “why are homosexual actions immoral”) for the reason that Javi stated, and as I’ve said multiple times, all detailed explanations come from the fact that we were made out of and for love, and we were made to love. I hope this helps.