Why is Anglicanism typically less guilt-ridden than Roman Catholicism?

Discussion in 'Questions?' started by Traveler, Sep 30, 2021.

  1. Traveler

    Traveler Member

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    I'm probably making a sweeping generalization in this thread's title, but I assume you get my point. Anglicanism doesn't have the reputation of guilt that the Roman Church does. If you agree at least in a general sense, what do you think the reason is? I suspect mandatory confession is part of it.
     
  2. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    Maybe. I don't know. Never been Catholic. Our general confession is just as valid as their private confession though
     
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  3. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I think that a big reason for it is, the Roman Catholic doctrine of justification requires your work… and if you don’t do holy things or lapse, it means you’re less justified in God’s eyes… so the pressure is really on for you to never lapse

    Also the carousel confessional in the Roman church is a famous instance of something which produces guilt in the penitents
     
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  4. Matthew J Taylor

    Matthew J Taylor Member

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    Personally as a puritan-adjacent staunchly-Reformed Anglican, I actually appreciate descending right into the darkness of oneself and meditating upon one's sin, so as to fathom a taste of the great mercy of God.
    As such, I think I cultivate guilt more often in myself than most RCs that I know.
    However, the "guilt culture" shall we say of RC is I suspect a consequence of the legacy of Salvation by Works.
     
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  5. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Consider how the RCC portrays a RC's relationship with God. If the RC misses (or even is a few minutes late!) to Mass on Sunday (or a "holy day of obligation"!), that person is so lost in sin he'd go straight to hell if he died right then. How can a RC view himself as a genuine child of God, in a right relationship with his heavenly Father, if God is so 'on the fence' about whether He's accepting of the person!

    I never once heard the RCC teach the importance of these scriptures:
    2Co 5:19-21 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

    Rom 4:4-5 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

    There's a good reason why the angels who spoke to the shepherds on the night of Jesus' birth proclaimed, "Peace on earth, good will toward men." They were announcing the coming restoration of peaceful relations between God and man and a renewal of God's good will toward men, after a long period of man's estrangement from God due to sin. When Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead, He made a way for each person to receive by imputation God's own righteousness by grace through faith. The RCC does not teach about this. Instead, they keep their people in a sense of spiritual insecurity and in dependence upon the absolutions of their priests for some comfort and hope that maybe, perhaps, they'll be lucky enough to die without another mortal sin on the conscience and get to suffer in purgatory instead of the fires of eternal damnation.
     
  6. Traveler

    Traveler Member

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    You couldn't have said it better.
     
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  7. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Been there, done that, got the scapular. :cheers:
     
  8. Traveler

    Traveler Member

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    Ah, the scapular. I take it from your response that the Anglican Church doesn't believe in the scapular. Is that correct?
     
  9. Annie Grace

    Annie Grace Active Member

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    Traveler, as a former Catholic, I know there is an attachment to a lot of the sacramentals that the Catholic church has. I think they are great little reminders to us but in some ways, I also think they can become superstitions. Placing too much power into an inanimate object just seems counterproductive to me because it can stir up dependencies that are just basically self-imposed.

    That being said, no reason to throw out everything that gives you comfort. I no longer pray the Rosary (although I have no problem with repetitive prayer, it is soothing sometimes), I don't wear a scapular or do any of the many little things that I used to do as a Catholic. That makes me happy. But there doesn't seem to be any reason why you can't continute with the things that seem important to you. The Anglican church seems to be very accepting of a lot of different points of view.
     
  10. Traveler

    Traveler Member

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    I've never worn a scapular, but just wondered about the Anglican view of it when the topic came up. A crucifix or cross on a necklace is the most I'd wear.
     
  11. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I'm not really sure if any Anglicans wear scapulars (I've been Anglican for about 3 years only). Maybe some do, for all I know. I wouldn't, myself. I recall receiving a scapular when I made my first communion at age 7 in the RCC, and to me it speaks of Roman Catholicism. But I don't know, maybe Orthodox or some Anglicans wear them also. I was just playing off the old line, "been there, done that, got the t-shirt," with a twist. ;)
     
  12. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    I have come across Anglican's wearing scapulars, though I think there were all in religious communities. Franciscan, Clare and Benedictines I have known have all worn scapulars. In the main the purpose as I understood it was to keep the habit cleaner when working.
     
  13. Spiritus

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    I'm sorry but what you said is completely untrue. In order to commit a mortal sin you have to know that the action is in fact a sin, and deliberately commit it with full consent of the will. The only time missing Sunday mass or a Holy Day of Obligation would constitute a mortal sin is if you knew missing was a serious matter and you deliberately chose to miss mass. If you know that you're likely to miss mass for a good reason you can even get a dispensation from a priest or bishop like what has happened during the pandemic. Showing up late or being sick or getting stuck in traffic doesn't cut it.
     
  14. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    "Completely untrue" is a bit of an overstatement. You provided a minor but valuable clarification that "you have to know that the action is in fact a sin, and deliberately commit it with full consent of the will." I have no disagreement with that. Nor do I disagree that being sick or unavoidably made late (by traffic, for example) is also an exception. I apologize to one and all if I inadvertently gave the impression that a RC could lose his salvation over missing mass due to illness or some such.

    Every RC who has been properly catechized knows that deliberately missing or being negligently late for mass is a "serious matter," for they are mortal sins sufficient to damn the RC if he were to die prior to making a perfect act of contrition. This stands in stark contrast to the beliefs of Anglicans and other Christians, and it was that contrast which I wished to highlight. Anglicans don't believe God would altogether condemn them over such a failure.

    It was good of you to mention the finer points of RC doctrine, but not necessary to suggest that I wrote an untruth.

    By the way, does the RCC still teach that it is a mortal sin as well for a RC to participate in a church service of any other denomination? They did so teach in the (pre-Vatican II) catechism text I was taught from as a child, but perhaps they've changed their stance since then?
     
  15. Traveler

    Traveler Member

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    As I've seen with some other differences between the Anglican and Roman Churches, the trend seems to be that Anglicans have flexibility in practicing devotions typical of Rome, the East, and protestant denominations. For example, some Anglicans pray the Roman rosary or read a "Catholic Bible." A Roman Catholic, however, would probably need to ask a priest before doing anything that isn't specifically RC (and would more than likely be told no). Would you agree, if just as a generalization?
     
  16. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    It is not a sin for a Catholic to attend another service as long as they don't take part in the sacraments unless the church teaches that those churches have valid sacraments.
     
  17. strelitziaflower

    strelitziaflower Member

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    Confession in the Catholic Church was never about guilt and shame, Catholics turned it into this idea.

    In the book of James it says "...and you will find happiness".

    Happiness is an act of the intellect, just like religion is about behavior and choices that stem from beliefs. Prayer is talking to God.

    It is a big risk not to go to church, but remember you can always do good for others.
     
  18. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Could you tell us where in James you have read this, and what Bible version you're reading from? I don't see that statement (or anything resembling it) in any of the versions I've checked.
     
  19. strelitziaflower

    strelitziaflower Member

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    I see what you mean.

    I have, in all humility, underlined verses, in James 1:17, "So with faith; if it does not lead to action, it is by itself a useless thing."

    What the passage is trying to say IMHO is that wisdom is about faith AND doing works, and the book of James goes even further to say bluntly about "taking care of widows and orphans" which links back to the Old Testament as well.


    @Rexlion I think that the message I was trying to convey came from a priest's sermon, so I may have bias reading these passages.

    I came to this forum to see and hear about how broken people can DO good deeds, in other words friendship, I guess?
     
  20. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the Holy Spirit led James to caution us that if we are not motivated to do good deeds, our faith in God probably is not genuine. On the other side of things, the Holy Spirit led Paul to warn us against doing good deeds out of a desire to justify ourselves before God (because we are saved by God's gift of grace through genuine faith in Him and never by the works we do, Galatians 3 and Ephesians 2). We walk a narrow road with a deep ditch on either side, and each ditch is a different error. On our narrow Way of faith in Christ, as we place all of our trust in God, the indwelling Holy Spirit "works in [us], both to will and to work for his good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13); consequently the works which God has inspired and enabled us to do for His glory will simultaneously fulfill our faith and make our justification visible to others ("You see that a person is justified by works," James 2:24).

    In other words, we seek God's will in prayer: "Lord, what would you have me do?" As He leads us by the 'inner witness' of the Holy Spirit, we sense peace and joy in doing certain good works, so we do them and God is glorified. On the other hand, if we think of doing something that normally seems like a good deed but we don't have peace and joy about doing it, there is a good chance God is not leading us to do that thing and it is only our own idea. Things we do of our own ideas, in our own strength, are not the things which please God even though our natural mind thinks they are good things to do.

    For example, God might lead you to give money to a poor person you see one day, and you will perceive God's peace and feel the joy of giving. But another day if you see a different person and think about giving them money, but the peace and joy are absent, then it is not God's will for you to do so. Why? Perhaps that person would misuse the money to his or someone else's harm, or perhaps there is some other reason. We try to be led by the Holy Spirit so our good works will bear eternal fruit, and above all we should never do our good works in the hope that we are helping to earn our justification before God, for all our works will be judged one day by our Lord and the works done for the wrong reasons will come to nothing:
    1Co 3:13-16 each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation [of Jesus Christ] survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?

    That is how imperfect Christians should do good deeds. I hope that is of some help to you. Peace.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2021