So... What's the Catch?
At this point you may be wondering: "If the Catholic Church has so much to offer, then... what's the catch? It seems too good to be true." You may have some common objections:
I have read some Church history and know that Catholics have done horrible things in the past...
This is true. No one denies that the Church is made of sinners, some of which have been a terrible scandal to the Christian faith. Pope John Paul II himself has invited the Church to “become more fully conscious of the sinfulness of her children.” She “acknowledges as her own her sinful sons and daughters” and encourages them “to purify themselves, through repentance, of past errors and instances of infidelity, inconsistency and slowness to act” (Memory and Reconciliation: The Church and the Faults of the Past 1.3). Yet the Church has also produced countless extraordinary saints throughout the ages - those who have faithfully lived the Church's life and teachings. They are the true children of the Church who best reflect the Church's nature to be the sacrament of Christ in the world. Despite the faults and weaknesses of Catholics, the Church remains no less the fount and source of Christ's life and love which He wishes to give you.
The Catholic Church just wants to control peoples' lives...
Quite honestly, 99.9999% percent of Catholics, including the clergy, will never know that you entered the Church. The pope does not get lists of names of the Church's latest "catches." The Church is not interested in controlling anyone; rather she is interested in the world's salvation, in obedience to the command of her founder to "go and make disciples of all nations," so that people may "share in the communion between the Father and the Son in their Spirit of love" (CCC 850) and turn from sin and death to joy and hope of eternal life.
I know many Catholics who are lukewarm or not even believers. I find much more life and faith in my Evangelical church...
It is true that many non-Catholic believers seem to have a more vibrant faith than many Catholics. These believers deserve praise for their living faith, hope and charity. Equally true is the fact that many Catholics are in dire need of being evangelized and converted back to God. Yet this does not change the fact that by remaining outside of the Church you are missing out on some of Christ's most important gifts which He gave to us, as we have seen above.
I have been to some Catholic churches where the priest is boring. I am not being spiritually fed by his sermons, and I sometimes wonder if he even has any faith at all...
Sadly, it is true that there are priests who are ineffective preachers, who have lost their own personal faith or even actively dissent from the Church's teachings. This is indeed a tragedy, and we must pray for these priests and even evangelize them if necessary. It is also tragic that there are some who are ineffective in teaching and preaching the Word of God. Sometimes it is possible to find another Catholic church in the area with a better priest. If this is not possible, even though such a situation is indeed a serious problem, it is important to know that even a "bad priest" remains empowered by the Church to validly administer the sacraments. And so it is not quite accurate to say that you are not "spiritually fed", since even a "boring priest" has the power to give you absolution from your sins in confession and to give you the Body and Blood of the Lord at Mass. As for teaching and preaching, the important thing is to be well versed in Scripture and in the teachings of the Church as summarized in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (and its Compendium). There are also countless books, and resources available on the internet, such as Catholics for Israel's Online Course, though which you can learn more about Scripture and the Catholic faith
I am Jewish. I will never betray my Jewish faith and heritage.
"You can't be more Jewish than to be Catholic!" Explore this website to find answers as to why the Catholic faith fulfills Judaism without abolishing it and how you can be fully Catholic and still live as a faithful Jew. Check out the following articles and resources:
- The Messiah in the Tanakh (the Old Testament) in the Light of Rabbinical Writings
- Messianic Prophecies* (PowerPoint)
- Can a Jew believe in Jesus and still remain Jewish? [coming soon!]
- Can a Jew become a Catholic and still remain Jewish and live an observant Jewish lifestyle? [coming soon!]