Aniblogger Testimony: Why Am I Catholic?

Although the main phase of the Aniblogger Testimony series has come to an end, I always welcome further additions.  Recently, Renato Barros Ezquerro submitted a post for this series.  The only problem?

He’s not a blogger.

Still, I’d be glad to call this post an “Otaku Testimony” if it meant I could fit in his writing.  I hope you’ll read it – I wanted to include it, especially, because it provides the point of view from someone whose native tongue is not English (I implore you to read through it, despite some grammar and word choice issues) and presents a Catholic point of view, one that hasn’t been expressed in the series.  He also addresses some questions I used to have about the Catholic faith and, on a more minor note, writes a little about Ef ~ A Tale of Memories, a series I’ve always wanted to post on. 🙂

Enjoy.

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First of all, I’ll answer you one question I had to answer myself first:

Why am I catholic?

But this question has different answers for different ages of my life, approximately:

0-12: “Because my family is catholic” was the answer
12-16: “The dark ages…Inquisition….why the heck I’m catholic? Why do I believe in this shit? Do I even believe? You know…as far as I know, Goku was reborn, too…Naruto walks on top of water…this all could be a RPG game that got into some fanatics…”

These questions had been on my mind a lot, until my 2rd grade in high school…at that time I finally answered these questions.

16-…: “Because it’s right”

“Woooooaaaaa!!! Stop right there! ” someone might say….”answer decently the questions please! I cannot take that as an answer! So do you agree with the inquisition?! Do you really believe in that shit of ‘papal infallibility’ ? ” and this sort of things that all the students here in Brazil learn in the high school…..to which I answer:

“I said: ‘CatholiCISM is right’, not ‘catholiCS are right.’ ”

Start there and you’ll have a whole new idea of catholicism…

And here may I make an observation: I’m not trying to convert you, I’m saying why I am catholic…and to answer that I have to answer all (but I’ll answer only 2) the questions that made me be a skeptic about catholicism…

So…one day I was REALLY upset about this whole thing and went to search…at that time I was just trying to finish the sentence “therefore I’m not catholic anymore”…but I couldn’t find the reason anywhere. Instead, I found the answers for all that I’d been upset about.

  1. The “papal infallibility” question: “The Pope is not an oracle; he is infallible in very rare situations, as we know.” by Pope Benedict XVI, july 2005 (for the more curious ones, see this link)
  2. The “So…I’m going to hell and you’re going to heaven” question: No. The catholicism says that we’ll go to heaven if and only if God wants to, regardless of our efforts:
    “If it is true that no one can save himself, it is also true that God “desires all men to be saved”, and that for him “all things are possible”. – Catechism of the Catholic Church – 1058

As a matter of fact, I’m a sinner, as you’re. Oh…yes…I sin…a lot…..XD

Ok…and what about animes?

Animes made me question! And, by questioning, searching for the answer!

Death Note with the “kill the bad guys” approach…
Ef a tale of melodies episode 6 with the “if there was a benevolent god, this woudn’t happen to me” approach…
H2O Footprints in the Sand with the “fragility of man” approach…

And I went on…every time I had a reason to doubt of my faith, I searched for the answer…and found it. Every “moral lesson” learned in animes would be confronted with my faith, reaffirming it, either by acceptance or rejection of the lesson. Because of this, I grew in knowledge, in faith…and that’s my history!

I hope you found my history interesting…and forgive my errors…English is not my main language… 🙂

TWWK

Husband. Dad. Occasionally Korean. Enjoys Star Wars, ASOIAF, and Meg Ryan movies. Tweets before proofreading. Ghibli. Oregairuuuuu. Jesus is King.

13 thoughts on “Aniblogger Testimony: Why Am I Catholic?

  1. I’m not entirely sure what to make of this post. First, I’m trying to clear my head of any odd word usage and forgive Renato because English isn’t his first language. So I’m primarily going to focus on his point 1 on papal infallibility. “The Pope is not an oracle; he is infallible in very rare situations.” My response to this is… then what’s the point? Pardon the oxymoron, but that’s some pretty fallible infallibility if you ask me. And then, how does anyone know when the Pope’s infallible moments come and go?

    Additionally, on the point of using ef – a tale of melodies to highlight the concept of people dealing with the problem of suffering, is that ef doesn’t resolve it like I hear most Christians talk about such issues. Christians I listen to on the problem of suffering typically say that we suffer because we are fallen and it’s our punishment for sin. But ef doesn’t solve it like that. Ef bites the bullet and deals with the problem rationally by looking for the beauty that comes from simply living and loving each other.

    Now a message to TWWK. I’d love to read an article you’d write about either of the two seasons of ef because those are among my favorite anime of all time and, as I wrote in my own aniblogger testimony, had a big influence on my transition away from Christianity. So please present your take on the immense amount of imagery and difficult issues presented in ef; I look forward to it.

    1. You bring up some great points (as usual). Papal infallibility has been (and will continue to be) a major point of dissension, between Protestants and Catholics as much as between others and Catholics. While you and I may not agree with the idea, I think one that thing that’s important is clarification on exactly what papal infallibility is and under what circumstances it holds.

      Regarding your question, the wording and definition is very important. This term applies to a specific edict or teaching, and is rarely given. It does not apply to the pope as a person. The link given in the post is for Wikipedia, which summarily presents the idea.

      As for Ef…ahhh…maybe I’ll do it one day. I really enjoyed the series (the first season – I did not watch the second) at some points, and was “bleh” about it on others. The main problem is that I’ve forgotten much or most of the series. And because of my laziness, I didn’t write about it when it was fresh in my mind. But I do want to revisit the series and write on it, so perhaps I’ll do so as time permits.

      Maybe YOU could include more editorial content on your site and write about Ef yourself! 😉

      1. I think It’s ok to watch the second season without remembering much of the first…it’s a very different arc, on the same setting and the same characters… 😛

  2. I am Protestant and we have always seen the pope as anti-Christ. The quotes of some of the popes is just heretical. “Don’t go to God for forgiveness of your sins, come to me.” -pope John Paul II

    The whole reformation is based on this. I’m not saying all catholics are not saved, those who believe in the Lord Jesus are, but thos who think the pope can save them or that you can work your way to heaven need to actually read the Bible. God Bless.

    1. Never heard of that quote…but just googled it.

      The only source I’ve found is an paid article on the latimes archive…released on Dec 12, 1984. Curiously, the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliation and Penance was released on Dec 2, 1984.

      “…the sacrament of confession is … being undermined by the sometimes widespread idea (of some catholics) that one can obtain forgiveness directly from God, even in a habitual way, without approaching the sacrament of reconciliation. (and this is not what the catholicism teaches) ” – Reconciliation and Penance

      Ten days later, the pope simply denied it all and thought he was God himself? Hmm…sounds like a fake quote…and even if he said exactly that, it’s quite obvious what he meant… 🙂

    2. The whole “Reformation” is based on rejection of any authority other than the self for the interpretation of Scripture and the Christian life. Any honest Protestant realizes that the Papacy, and the Catholic Church, is bound by a similar Trilema to our Lord Himself.

      The Pope doesn’t save me, though he points to the truths that will perfect the faith that does save me. Christ saved me through Baptism, is saving me through faith and the sacraments he gave, including the Eucharist (read John 6 closely. Very closely!). And as for my works, I can only answer you as St. James does, “show me your faith without works and by my works I’ll show you my faith.”[James 2:18]

  3. I wasn’t quite sure how to grasp it either. It seems his heart might’ve been in the right place, but where his english wasn’t great on top of the fact that he swore (that always throws me off when it’s in writing like this), so I wound up kind of skimming it.

    I like that he didn’t let his faith get totally butchered by the world though. That’s always encouraging to see. 🙂

  4. This is certainly an interesting and divisive topic. Although there are theological divisions between our churches, I would like to believe that Catholics are also chosen by God to go on their path in their relationship to Him because it is what works for them — either from their cultural perspective or life experience, the Catholic church spoke to their desire for salvation, just as our individual churches did for us. In the end, though, we are not the one doing the judging, and we are not capable of the perfect judgement. The Catholic church’s beliefs are moving, over time, closer and closer to that of protestant churches, such as using the scripture as source more and more. The differences that do exist (e.g., apostal authority passed down through the pope, saints, icons, confession) also can be verified by passages of the scripture depending on how one reads it. I would like to think of it as the Jews in Jesus’ time trying to understand the Old Testament: With a veil on their face. Now, we do have the Holy Spirit to show us the truth in the passage, but we still question the meaning of the passages.

    All in all, I would of like of to think of us both, protestant and Catholics, as part of the global church, as one body of Christ rather than two factions opposing each other, as a leg that is displeased with the arms. There are enough work on earth that needs to be done already — the spreading poverty, famine, income inequality, flood, lack of faith, illiteracy… — that Christians may be better focused on seeking God and doing the work he chose us for rather than fighting amongst ourselves.

  5. I am catholic but I am not really sure why anymore. I am on the verge to atheism. I never was a strong believer. For now I think it is something like this for me: “Because my family is catholic”. But even if I am like this I still go to church for special occasions and I like having a pope as our leader. Other than the protestants we have a guide who cares and that is great. I like the whole charity thing that our church does, too. At least some part of our church taxes are used well.

    Maybe there is still a little bit hope left for me…

    1. Thanks for the comments! You know, there’s a saying – draw closer to God and He will draw closer to you. I think if you take the steps to read scripture and pray and try to get to know God, that you’ll find your faith will grow stronger and that you’ll see the fruit in your life.

      You pay church taxes? Are you European (Norwegian?) by any chance?

      1. There may be some truth to that saying.

        And yes, I am European or more precisely German. By law every Jew, Protestant or Catholic has to to pay church taxes to their respective religious community.

        1. That’s really interesting – paying taxes to church is a foreign concept to most Americans.

          I lived in Germany, by the way, when I was very young. It’s a beautiful country – I miss it.

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