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God asks us to do
....I just didn't know where that came from. The perpetual virginity is something that I am familiar with, but I wasn't aware of any claims of not giving birth to Christ.
The papal definition of Mary's continued virginity during the birth of Christ refers to the event that at the appointed time of birth, Jesus left the womb of Mary without the loss of Mary's physical virginity. The Church understands Mary's virginity during the birth of Christ as an absence of any physical injury or violation to Mary's virginal seal (in Latin, virginitas in partu) through a special divine action of the all-powerful God. This divine act would safeguard Mary's physical virginity which is both symbol and part of her perfect, overall virginity; a virginity both internal and external, of soul and body.
The Fathers of the Church overwhelmingly taught the "miraculous birth" of Jesus that resulted in no injury to the Blessed Virgin Mary's physical integrity. St. Augustine stated: "It is not right that He who came to heal corruption should by His advent violate integrity." Pope St. Leo the Great proclaimed in his famous Tome to Flavian: "Mary brought Him forth, with her virginity untouched, as with her virginity untouched she conceived Him." Later, St. Thomas Aquinas, the Church's greatest theologian, would defend the miraculous (and therefore painless) nature of Christ's birth. So as light passes through glass without harming it, so too did Jesus pass through the womb of Mary without the opening of Mary's womb and without any physical harm to the tabernacle of the unborn Christ.
Originally posted by Dermo
Catholics don't pray to saints in the traditional sense - its more to ask them for help in gaining forgiveness for sins, ask them to help protect against Evil and the work of the Devil and thank them for their efforts.
And worshiping Idols
The crucifix is not worshipped, its the person that is on it that is worshipped...ie Jesus. To Catholics, the crucifix represents Jesus, his struggle and death for anyone who believes.
As with statues of the Virgin Mary, they are not worshipped, they are there as a reminder to live a good life.
This is also an issue that a lot of non-catholics seem to have all wrong. The pope is not our connection to God. He's just a religious leader, borne of a democratic vote by cardinals. He gives his views on how we should live morally (as any religious leader does) and we personally choose whether we agree or not.
So yes, I believe that when it comes down to it, Catholics are extremely Christian (with a lot of the unnecessary Frills that follow organized religion)
Originally posted by MikeboydUS
Would you say that Christianity and Islam who both use Jewish Mythos as their foundation are technically Jewish? What about Gnostics or Satanists who also use Jewish and Christian mythos as a foundation?
Originally posted by Robhaidheuch
tjetbone, your theory on Simon Magus has absolutely no historical foundation.
Legend tells that St. Peter was challenged by Magus to a display of power in front of the Roman Emperor. Simon Magus levitated, believing he was doing so by his own power. Peter knelt down, made the sign of the Cross, the demons supporting Magus fled, and he plunged to his death. I understand that the Church of St. Mary Major, Rome was later built over the spot where Peter had knelt.
I'm amazed at the number of postings that display little knowledge of early Church history, the development of liturgy, and tradition prior to the Catholic Church compiling the authoratative books of Holy Scripture that we call the Bible, or the writings of the Early Church Fathers.
The Protestant Reformation removed 1st and 2nd Book of Maccabees and the Book of Tobit from the old Testament. 2nd Maccabees contains the teaching on praying for the dead, thus indicating that some souls may be in a state not yet worthy of Heaven but saved from Hell. The saints who are now in Heaven can, like any other Christian, pray for others, and logic would presume that their souls being in a state fit for Heaven, and in the immediate presence of God, their prayers would be more efficacious than all earthbound Christians whose souls are as yet in a much inferior state due to the effects of sin. Requesting a saint in Heaven to join with one in prayer to God is not worship by any means.
Some may consider this over the top but it is the truth of how I feel and see this subject.
Catholics go one step further, they claim that all Christians are Catholics, so I guess we'll have to live with that.