"Of all the many religions and belief systems in the world, how can you be so sure the Catholic Church is the true one?"
Because only the Catholic Church possesses the fullness of the means of salvation (CCC, para 816).
"Could you be wrong?"
I can't see how I could be wrong. Having weighed up all the available evidence, I honestly can't see how Catholicism could be wrong. I am as sure as I can be. Catholicism is, beyond reasonable doubt, the one true religion.
"Do you realise that you sound very arrogant when you say that only Catholicism is the only completely true religion?"
I hope I don't sound arrogant. I certainly don't intend to come across as arrogant. I'm truly sorry if you think that. But, if in a classroom exam, or a sports meet, or a competition of any kind where an undisputed winner results, is it arrogant for the winner to claim to be the winner?
Certainly, a winner should be gracious in victory, but it would be false humility to deny being the best in that particular situation. It's only boasting if you can't back it up, and Catholicism can certainly back it up. But this doesn't mean Catholics are superior. We are all in need of the redemption of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
"Many Catholics don't adhere to your extreme Catholic views." It is true that today many Catholics do not assent to the authentic teachings of the Catholic Church as enunciated by the Pope and those bishops who are in union with him. This compiler has sought to present only that which the Church authentically teaches (hence the index at the back which provides links to the Catechism of the Catholic Church - CCC).
So, what you are really saying is that the authentic teachings of Catholicism are 'extreme'. Therefore, please first be sure your knowledge of Catholicism is accurate before judging it. There's nothing wrong with being passionate about the truth as long as one's passion does not become fanatical; faithfulness is not extremism.
"How can anyone be sure that the one true religion is not still to come sometime later in the future?"
Because the one true religion (Catholicism) has already proved itself to be true. Your question proceeds from a lack of understanding of the one true religion. When you actually study Catholicism's teachings and those people who fully lived up to its ideals (they're called saints) you will realise that the one true religion is here and so there is no need to look for another. 2 + 2 = 4.There is no middle-ground to this answer. 4.1 or 3.9 are close but they are not good enough answers; they're not correct. Only 4 is totally right. 4 is Catholicism. It either is or it isn't. Therefore, put Catholicism to the test. Remember, don't judge it by its sinful members. Its teachings, its faith, its morals will reveal its truthfulness. No religion has an all-perfect membership.
"So why then is everyone not Catholic?"
People are not Catholic because: 1) Catholics have not been practicing what their Church preaches and have therefore scandalized others with their sinful conduct; 2) they don't know what the Church teaches and so build up false ideas of Catholicism; 3) they don't want to know what the Church teaches so as to persist in some lifestyle that is contrary to the truth of Catholicism.
"Catholicism is your truth, but it's not my truth. Catholicism is your reality, but it's not my reality. Truth is whatever I believe it to be. Reality is subjective."
The belief that truth is different for different people is false because it is based on an inherent contradiction. What you're really saying is that there is no absolute truth for everyone except the â€˜absolute truth' that there is no absolute truth! If nothing is true, then neither is the statement that nothing is true. If the statement that nothing is true is not true, then something must be true. And so, truth must exist, and it must also necessarily exist for everyone.
And since Catholicism alone possesses the fullest measure of truth on Earth, Catholicism necessarily exists for everyone. If reality really was subjective, we could change it by wishing. But we can't. For example, if we think we don't need food, we'll starve. Reality is not â€˜all in the mind'. We are (we exist), therefore we think; not vice versa.
"Will Catholicism make me a better person?"
It should. To come into possession of the fullness of revealed truth really ought to make you a better person, since by knowing more truth than before ought to be beneficial to you personally. However, you are still free to refuse to act on the fullness of truth that you acquire by becoming Catholic.
"But I'm a nice, sincere person who doesn't need Catholicism."
Neither niceness nor sincerity fulfills the criteria for our salvation. Being your own judge is a very risky business.
"Am I ever going to give you a question the Catholic Church cannot answer?"
I honestly know of no question pertaining to factors essential to our salvation of which the Catholic Church cannot provide an answer. Wherever possible, reference to original sources of information has been given. The compiler has included personal thoughts from time to time, but most of this compilation is from far greater minds. Please read on and show me where Catholicism is wrong. Everyone wants Truth.
"Why this book?"
Because I don't want anyone to mistakenly believe that any one of the issues this book raises is a reason for not entering the true Church. There really is no good reason for everyone not being Catholic. This book is by no means exhaustive, but it has been compiled in order to give the reader a glimpse of the truth of Catholicism by refuting some of the most common errors and misconceptions that are currently assailing the Catholic Church. Please compare your truth with Catholicism.
"Sum up the teachings of Catholicism in one sentence."
The teachings of Catholicism are the teachings of Christ.
References: SOME USEFUL SOURCES OF INFORMATION: ewtn.com contains a Q+A forum in the FAITH section of their menu; JOHN XXIII Fellowship Co-op. Ltd., ph/fx 03 9578 2706; Cardinal Newman Catechist Consultants â€" ph/fx 02 4829 0297; IGNATIUS Press, ph 07 3376 0105; St Joseph Communications, ph 08 9572 4343; Paulâ€™s Family Books, ph 08 92791964; San Juan Seminars, PO Box 5253, Farmington, NM 87499-5235, USA, ph (505) 327-5343.
* Please note that this text should be read in the context of the whole work and in recognition of the appropriate paragraphs of the Catechism of the Catholic Church highlighted in the index.