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About Alyosha

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    Member - Wise One

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  1. Alyosha

    Is birth control wrong?

    Yes, it is wrong. Using birth control basically means trying to circument God's purposes in human sexuality and it divides sexuality from reproduction, which is a grave offense against the natural law and also against positive divine law. The whole sexual revolution begins with birth control; once sexuality, pleasure and reproduction are no longer essentially joined. Once that's gone, the rest falls away to. If contraception is permitted, it then becomes inconsistent to prohibit sex before marriage, adultery, or homosexual activity. Back in the 19th century, all Christian denominations agreed that birth control was immoral. In the early 20th century, the Anglican Communion decided to leave it up to peoples' personal consciences. Shortly after the other major Protestant denominations followed, and soon all the mainline Protestants had gone totally haywire on Christian moral teaching. The Catholic Church is the only Church which has remained consistent on this issue.
  2. Alyosha

    What you denomination is about?

    The Catholic Church: the first Church, the original Church, the one and only Church founded by Jesus Christ, wherein subsists the fullness of the true Christian faith, outside of which there is no salvation.
  3. Alyosha

    Anyone know good guy books?

    Introduction to the Devout Life, by St Francis de Sales
  4. Alyosha


    Indeed, that Creed was developed and updated as doctrinal controversies proved the need to further clarify it. Furthermore it was adapted for liturgical use rather than as an anathematizing document.
  5. Alyosha


    Alright, you want a ‘broad sense’ of Christianity… well, that’s going to be difficult on a forum in which a very large number of sects and factions are represented (and I know, the presence of these many and diverse ‘denominations’ does not help our case). I’ll try to be as general as I can be, on the basis of a principle which must be kept in mind: Christianity is a historical religion. We believe that its central events occurred at a definitive time in human history and were recorded by living human historians. It was preserved by a unified human community throughout history, from its very beginning until this day. This human community, the Church, had to solve the various problems of understanding central Christian doctrine and discipline, and has done so over and throughout history. The Church, therefore, is the community in which the Scriptures, events, doctrines, sacraments and moral rules of Christianity are understood, interpreted, and put into practice. A basic summation of Christian belief can be found in the Nicene Creed, which was composed by the bishops of the Church at the Council of Nicaea in the fourth century, as has been upheld as the statement of essential Christian beliefs ever since. The Nicene Creed is as follows: Other creeds which summarise Christian doctrine include the classic Apostolic Creed or Athanasian Creed, which can be found easily online. Various Church councils also have produced concise summaries of the Christian faith throughout history, from ancient times through to today. Basically, we believe in God: one God, who is infinitely perfect in every way. We believe that God has created us out of His pure love, from His desire to share with His creation the perfect happiness of His interior life. However, we also believe that the human condition is inherently ‘fallen.’ God has created us for Himself, to know, love and serve Him forever in perfectly happiness and unity, but by our fallen condition we are unable to participate in God’s divine life. In our natural unaided state, we are cut-off from God, as it were. We believe that God became incarnate as Jesus Christ, truly God and truly man, to reconcile our human nature to His divine nature, paying the price for our sins which separate us from God, liberating us from death and sin, and opening the gates of heaven: that is, through Christ’s life, death and resurrection He made it possible for human beings to be lifted out of their fallen condition by sanctifying grace and thereby to participate in the life of God, the eternal life of salvation. Through Christ, God draws us into his life which is eternal and perfect. Our salvation begins now as soon as we assent to God’s plan for us and cooperate with his grace, being sanctified by his grace through the sacraments and prayer, and brought into holiness in this life and glorification in the next, in which our salvation is completed and we live for eternity in God’s heavenly kingdom. Yes, a Christian can also be a scientist or a follower of scientific research and theories. Science consists of explanatory theories which use observable evidence to produce hypotheses which explaint he available evidence. Christianity explains the greatest mysteries of life, the human soul, the purpose of life and the universe, the supernatural origin and end of mankind, morality, and the interior life of God. As such they don’t really have much of a cross-over; science and religion are not ‘two different attempts at the same thing’ – on the contrary, both explore separate questions in separate fields. There is no conflict between science and religion as far as I am concerned. Important bible passages? Read the Gospels. Read the letters of St Paul. Read and research the history of Christianity, the literature and intellectual tradition of the historical Church, and the controversies which the Church has dealt with throughout her 2000 year-old history. That will help you to understand the modern divisions of factions and sects and to make up your own mind on them.
  6. Pell's performance was indeed very disappointing, largely because he is inarticulate and hardly a philosopher or theologian. That is pretty much why the ABC broadcasting network picked him for the debate. There are far better Catholic theologians in Australia who could have given Dawkins a run for his money - instead they picked Cardinal Pell. He misrepresented or made ambiguous Catholic teaching on quite a number of issues so it was quite a disappointing performance, and frustrating to watch, even though he managed to score a few early points against Dawkins. In any case, though, he came out of it looking quite human and likeable, while Dawkins lost his temper a few times, and that sort of thing is the best one can hope for in a Q&A session, really.
  7. Very nice, i've been meaning to read it for a while now. I got it from the college library but I only got to book 2 so i'm reading The Double, which is really good.

  8. Hey! Sorry for the late reply, I haven't logged in for many months. Yes, my username comes from The Brothers Karamazov, one of my favourite books. :)

  9. Hi Alyosha! I was wondering, does your username come from Brothers Karamazov?

  10. I'm glad to see there are other Melbournites here. There are a few kids from Perth and Brisbane, but we're the rarities here.

  11. Alyosha

    Wrong not to belong to a specific denomination?

    Pope Boniface VIII, Bull Unam sanctam (1302): "We are compelled in virtue of our faith to believe and maintain that there is only one holy Catholic Church, and that one is apostolic. This we firmly believe and profess without qualification. Outside this Church there is no salvation and no remission of sins, the Spouse in the Canticle proclaiming: 'One is my dove, my perfect one. One is she of her mother, the chosen of her that bore her' (Canticle of Canticles 6:8); which represents the one mystical body whose head is Christ, of Christ indeed, as God. And in this, 'one Lord, one faith, one baptism' (Ephesians 4:5). Certainly Noah had one ark at the time of the flood, prefiguring one Church which perfect to one cubit having one ruler and guide, namely Noah, outside of which we read all living things were destroyed… We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff."
  12. Melbourne indeed. It's a pretty awesome city.

  13. So... Melbourne? I guess that makes 2 of us.

  14. Alyosha

    Catholics: A question?

    Your ex-girlfriend is poorly catechised, and her understanding is wrong. Her explanation is incorrect. Saints are not mediators. Christ is the only mediator, in that it is only Christ who has reconciled humanity to God through his Incarnation, Passion and Resurrection. Theologically speaking, Mary is the Mediatrix. No, this is not just a feminine word for 'mediator.' Mary is not a mediator; she didn't reconcile humanity with God. However it was through her that Christ came into the world, so Mary facilitated our redemption in a unique way. This is why we venerate her as the highest of all created beings, higher even than the greatest of the angels. The prayers of the saints aren't more important than the prayers of people on earth. Both are equally important. With regards to patron saints - this is an example of how Catholics approach God and the Christian life as a community across time and space. When you are baptised and confirmed, you pick a sponsor (a friend or family member) and a patron saint. Your sponsor and your patron saint are spiritual companions in prayer for you for the rest of your life. We're all in this together, so we move through our Christian lives as a community.
  15. Alyosha

    Catholics: A question?

    While I'm at it, I'd like to point out some other passages of scripture which you might find helpful. Look closely at Mark 12:26-27. "But concerning the dead, that they rise, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, "I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. You are therefore greatly mistaken." There are only two ways we can go with this verse: either Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are dead in the supernatural realm and God is not their God, which would make God a liar -- an impossibility! -- or Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are ALIVE and God is their God just as He said. In the Gospel accounts of the Transfiguration of Our Lord, you will notice that Christ appears talking to the propets Moses and Elijah. These saints had been 'dead' for hundreds of years, but they were fully alive with God in heaven. Jesus did not resurrect them out of their tombs like Lazarus. They appeared and spoke with him. The saints in heaven are truly alive, and they are not cut-off from us. Matthew 17:1-8 "And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only." Furthermore, The Revelation of St John describes John's vision of heaven, in which God is surrounded by his saints who are praying to him. Revelation 6:9-10 When he broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of all the people who had been killed on account of the word of God, for witnessing to it. They shouted aloud, "Holy, faithful Master, how much longer will you wait before you pass sentence and take vengeance for our death on the inhabitants of the earth?" (this is a very clear references to the saints in heaven, clearly praying to God) Revelation 8:3-4 And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar before the throne; and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God." 2 Maccabees describes Judah's vision in which St. Onias the high priest shows him Jeremiah the prophet, now in heaven: 2 Maccabees 15:14 "And Onias spoke, saying, "This is a man who loves the brethren and prays much for the people and the holy city, Jeremiah [bodily dead at the time of the Maccabbean Revolt], the prophet of God."" The Apostle James writes that the prayers of those who are particularly holy are especially effective. James 5:16 "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." In Heaven, there is not only God the Holy Trinity, but also the company of angels and saints which surround God in prayer, service and adoration. Hebrews 12:22-3 "But you are come to mount Sion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to the company of many thousands of angels, and to the church of the firstborn, who are written in the heavens, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of the just made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new testament, and to the sprinkling of blood which speaketh better than that of Abel." This quite clearly states that the spirits of the "just made perfect" (i.e., the saints - the 'just' meaning those who are saved" are with God in heaven. In the book of Tobit, the archangel Raphael mentions the prayers of the saints being brought to God. Tobit 12:15 "I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels who present the prayers of the saints and enter into the presence of the glory of the Holy One."