Sometime last month on Linda Ikeji’s blog, I read a post saying that His Holiness Pope Francis grants Catholic priests the right to “forgive” women who have had abortions. Read the post here.
Before I proceed with today’s post, let me just say how naive and uninformed we Nigerians can be. As a blogger, how can you not research the accurate information before posting it for millions of people to see?
Fellow Catholics would have obviously caught this error in the post headline while non-Catholic’s will definitely misconstrue the headline for exactly what it says which is totally against what the Catholic church represents.
Just for clarification for non-Catholics, Reverend Fathers or Priests of the Catholic church DO NOT “forgive” sin. They merely ABSOLVE you of your sin meaning they set or declare (someone) free from blame, guilt, or responsibility by giving absolution and penance for (a sin).
Please do not be misinformed and do not get the wrong idea of the Catholic church. Only God can forgive sin. Catholic priests HAVE NEVER and WILL NEVER be able “forgive” sin.
Today’s post does not entirely reprimand our Nigerian bloggers but rather it discusses some of the irregularity, incongruity and somewhat absurdity of the Catholic doctrine. I am a die hard, dedicated Catholic but even I sometimes question the doctrine the Catholic church teaches.
I am going to touch on the few mentioned in today’s topic one after the other.
Like we must have read in the link I embedded to Pope Francis’ declaration, Catholic priests have now been granted permission from His Holiness to ABSOLVE (not forgive) the sin of abortion.
Yes, abortion is a sin. Abortion is murder! I totally agree with that BUT why were Catholic priests not able to “absolve” the sin of abortion from someone who comes with a contrite heart and is truly sorry for her sins?
I find it to be totally wrong that those who commit abortion are more or less “condemned” to Hell and expelled from the Catholic church.
I am a firm believer that sin is sin and no sin is greater than the other but the Catholic church doesn’t agree with me on that – will touch more on the different types of sin according to the Catholic church later on in this post.
I remember one time growing up and the priest did an altar call for those who have committed abortion or supported a friend in committing abortion. Initially, no one was willing to come out as they were all afraid of getting “excommunicated” from the Catholic church.
The priest had to assure them that there would be no adverse punishment for coming out and that he simply was creating an opportunity for those living with such sin to bare their burden and free their hearts from sin.
It definitely took a bit of courage but eventually people started coming out all claiming to have “supported a friend” in committing abortion lol
Now, doesn’t it seem wrong that people are scared to ask God to forgive their sins? The Bible says in James 5:16 that “confess your sins to each other and pray for each other, so that you may be forgiven” – this is the backing of the Catholic church for “confession of sin” to a priest.
It doesn’t say “confess your sins (except abortion)”. It clearly says confess your SINS!!!! As many as can be.
I believe Pope Francis is the Pope of the people and I know that he is going to effect changes in some of the most rigid and unpractical rules in the Catholic church, starting with abortion.
Next is BIRTH CONTROL
Before I got married, I had to endure THREE MONTHS of marriage counseling and teachings about the Canon Law and what have you.
A particular topic that caught my attention then is the issue of Birth Control. The Catholic church frowns on any means of Birth Control. From pills, to condoms, implants, anything that you take in order reduce or terminate the effect of the sperm or egg is completely unacceptable in the Catholic church. WHY?
Birth control is so unacceptable that the priest who presided over our marriage counseling class was literally teaching me how to “count” my ovulation cycle. Apparently, that is the only method accepted by the Catholic church, ABSTINENCE.
So during marriage counseling, you are taught how to count your cycle and asked to abstain from sex whilst ovulating so you do not risk getting pregnant or committing “sin” by using a condom or taking birth control pills.
Yes, I believe in the counting method 100%. I’ve already taught you how to do that. Click here to learn how to count your ovulation cycle if you do not know how.
But I just like Albino Luciani (Pope John Paul the first) who was murdered just 33 days after being elected Pope DOES NOT agree with the Catholic church on their stand against Birth Control.
Pope John Paul the first was in total support of birth control and was going to pass the bill for the Catholic church to support it just before his demise. Unfortunately, in the Catholic church, as long as the Pope hasn’t made a public declaration, regardless of if he had already compiled the paperwork, such changes CANNOT and WILL NOT be implemented.
My hope really lies in Pope Francis and I pray he rescues us sooner than later from this misconception of birth control being associated with sin.
Lastly, THE SIN OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
In the Catholic church, there are three types of sin. Venial sin e.g: lies, Mortal sin e.g: murder and sin of the Holy Spirit e.g: Blasphemy.
The Catholic church teaches that if you deny the existence of God, make mockery of God or commit blasphemy, amongst others, that you have committed the “sin of the Holy Spirit”. And that sin is believed to be absolutely unpardonable and leads straight to the pit of hell.
I really hate to say this but who are we to judge?
Yes, it is wrong to deny the existence of God but even Peter in the Bible denied Jesus three times and still got forgiven.
So if Peter could be forgiven, why cant we?
I understand that sometimes the Catholic church gives these teachings so as to scare people away from committing sin at all. In the sense that when you realize you will go straight to hell if you deny the Lord your God, you will endeavor not to.
Regardless of the motive, I believe the entire teaching is wrong and needs to be changed.
People should be able to ask for forgiveness of their sins without worry or fear of condemnation, excommunication or “going to Hell”. Let God be the judge of that.
For example, I believe Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus in the Bible would have had a chance at eternal life if he had simply asked God for forgiveness for betraying his Lord and master rather than sentencing himself to condemnation by committing suicide. I believe suicide was his personal choice and THAT led to his condemnation not his betrayal of Jesus Christ like the church sometimes teaches.
There are so many other doctrines and teachings of the Catholic church that are questionable but I handpicked these three and decided to throw more light on them.
Like I said, I am a die hard Catholic but nothing can make me actually believe that God cannot forgive ANY and EVERY sin. I believe that no sin can condemn you to death except of course you do not genuinely ask for forgiveness from above just like Judas.
Do you know any other anomaly in the Catholic church?
Feel free to comment and share your opinion and suggestion.
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PHOTO CREDIT: THE KINGDOM OF GOD OLD CATHOLIC CHURCH