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Old 11th July 2014, 04:31 PM
Shane Shane is offline
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Ireland
Posts: 936
Exclamation 'No Longer Hoping' - From an ex-Catholic


In the past few days homes around Ireland have been getting a pamphlet in the mail called 'No Longer Hoping' by a man named Dick Keogh. When I read it, I was disturbed by it, and it is anything but Catholic. He seems to be a Catholic who has rejected the Church, the Sacraments and the Magisterium. It's also available online, and I thought I'd share it here so that we could comment critically on it, because if these are being sent as 'junk mail', the potential for scandal and confusion is huge. Here is the 'testimony':


For many generations, our family had been devout Roman Catholics. In our home we regularly knelt down together and said the Rosary.

My school days began at the local Convent. After receiving my First Communion, I attended the Christian Brothers’ School. One of the boys in my class was a Protestant. We came from different backgrounds and traditions but were great friends. We had one thing in common: both of us HOPED we would go to Heaven when we died.

I HOPED my Baptism, Confession of my sins to the priest, Communion, Confirmation and regular attendance at Mass would secure a place in Heaven for me.

My friend HOPED his Baptism, knowledge of the Catechism, attendance at Sunday School, Confirmation and membership of the Protestant Church would get him to Heaven.

After I left school, I got a job with an undertaker. At both Roman Catholic and Protestant funerals the priests, ministers and mourners were HOPING the departed souls were gone to Heaven. They were all HOPING, but none of them actually knew.

I wondered what would happen to me. I could picture myself on my death-bed, HOPING I would go to Heaven instead of Hell. What a fearful situation to be in when you are dying.

Then, in November 1975, I met a friend who told me he KNEW for definite he would go to Heaven when he died. He said he was NO LONGER HOPING, but had obtained assurance of salvation through believing the Scriptures. He encouraged me to read the Bible for myself.

I read in John’s first Epistle, in Ch. 5 v 13, these words: “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life...”

I was amazed at the words, “that ye may KNOW.” I had been HOPING, but now I could see that according to God’s Word it is actually possible to KNOW that you have eternal life.

But who were these things written to, I asked myself? They were written to those who believe what God said concerning His Son. Verse 11 reads, “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” According to the Scriptures, eternal life is in the Person of Jesus Christ and His work on the sinner’s behalf. For the first time in my life, I was confronted with the fact that eternal life is in a Person, and not in a Religion.

In the Gospel of John, Ch. 14 v. 6, I read: “Jesus saith unto him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’” I began to realise the importance of believing in and depending upon this Person. In John’s Gospel, Ch. 3 v. 16 I read: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

“God so loved the world.” But did that include ME? Did God actually love me? I knew I was a sinner, and my sin had to be paid for. I read in Romans Ch. 3 v. 23: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” I knew I was certainly included there! But when I read Romans Ch. 5 v. 8, I was encouraged. It says: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Peter, in his first Epistle, in Ch. 2 v. 24, writes, concerning the Lord Jesus Christ: “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree…” The fact that Jesus bore OUR sins, and gave Himself for US was outlined so clearly in what I had read. But the important question was this; Did God love ME, as an individual?

My question was answered in Galatians Ch. 2 v. 20: “…The Son of God, who loved ME, and gave himself for ME.”

I could now see that God did love me. He loved me so much that He sent His Son to suffer and die on the cross on my behalf. Jesus became my substitute and paid in full the penalty for the guilt of my sin so that I could be forgiven.

In Titus Ch. 3 v. 4 - 5, I read: “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us...”

According to God’s Word, it did not matter what Church I belonged to, what good works I did or what efforts I made to save myself. None of these could save my soul. Salvation was bestowed because of God’s mercy.

In Titus Ch. 2 v. 11, I read: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.”

These words make it very clear that Salvation is by Grace. It is God reaching down to the helpless sinner, revealing to him that He loves him so much that He sent His Son to the cross. There, He took the sinner’s place by becoming his substitute. He paid the penalty for sin that the sinner should have paid.

The words of Romans Ch. 3 v. 24, summed it all up. They read: “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” I could now see that Salvation was given FREELY by God to sinful man. The sinner was not required to work for it.

I reached out to God, saying, “Lord, I know I am a sinner, deserving of Hell. I know now that dependence upon the Church or my own efforts cannot save me. Thank you for showing me that Salvation is free gift from God to the sinner. Thank you that you not only loved the world, but you loved ME enough to send your Son to die for me.”

I have repented of my sin and have been forgiven. I have put my faith in Jesus Christ and I am trusting Him as Saviour. I am NO LONGER HOPING, but now I KNOW I will be in Heaven when I die because I am depending upon what Jesus did on my behalf as He suffered and died as my substitute upon the cross.


Aside from the fact that he has blatantly misunderstood the theological virtue of Hope (He seems to portray it derogatively, like a sort of blind, baseless hope), there is a subtle message to reject the Church that Christ founded (indeed, any church!). Also, there is no account for personal sin, and that on his presumption and complacency, we are all going to Heaven no matter what we do.

The fact that he was baptized a Catholic is particularly serious. I have a good mind to write to him, but I'd like some comments from other members first.

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Old 11th July 2014, 04:45 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,755

His view is that of a fundamentalist Protestant. It's a vast oversimplification of Biblical teaching. He is actually HOPING that his interpretation of Scripture is correct.

The virtue of Hope is always accompanied by the virtues of Love and Faith. So we are not merely hoping. We KNOW by faith that salvation is offered to all and that God wants all to be saved. We love God and neighbor, and we know by faith that if we persevere in that LOVE, we will have eternal life.

In fact, by possessing the state of grace, which always includes LOVE, FAITH, and HOPE, we already possess eternal life and heaven within our souls.

His views on salvation theology are a severe distortion of Biblical and Church teaching. See my book on the topic:
Forgiveness and Salvation for Everyone
Ron Conte
Roman Catholic theologian
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Old 14th July 2014, 07:40 PM
Brother Brother is offline
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,798

The main reason why Catholics leave Christ’s Church to become Protestants is because of ignorance; and, if there are other reasons, then the motive is worse. There are sufficient clear and reasonable proofs that the Catholic Church is the one and only that our Lord Jesus Christ has instituted for our salvation on His Rock Peter, His Vicar, and the Apostles. Why would a learned and faithful follower of Christ leave His Church, the Sacraments that He Himself has established for our salvation, for a man made denomination? It is inconceivable.

St. Peter, our fist Pope said:

[2 Peter]
{3:16} just as he also spoke in all of his epistles about these things. In these, there are certain things which are difficult to understand, which the unlearned and the unsteady distort, as they also do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
{3:17} But since you, brothers, know these things beforehand, be cautious, lest by being drawn into the error of the foolish, you may fall away from your own steadfastness.

We should not leave the interpretation of Sacred Scripture at the sake of our own limited understanding because many things of an Unlimited, Eternal and Omnipotent God may not fit in our small, limited head. If we follow and trust on our limited understanding of doctrine more than the way God has established of how it should be done, it is dangerous for our own salvation, we are all fallen creatures, so we must be guided by the group of persons God has called to be our shepherds, and they were the Apostles with Peter as the main shepherd and his respective successors, this is the Sacred Magisterium left by Christ. Our Lord confided it to Peter, so that he is His representative here on earth. We should follow what Christ has established and obey what He has ordered, which is for our own benefit, by the way. This is Good.

If there would have been a better way for us to obtain salvation, then He would have done and told us so, but He has decided through His Church.

[Matthew] {16:18} And I say to you, that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.
{16:19} And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound, even in heaven. And whatever you shall release on earth shall be released, even in heaven.”

He said, “I will build My Church”, NOT “My Churches”. There is only One True Church of Jesus Christ, the one that He Himself has built, all other Protestant denominations are man made, all of them, and we know when and by who.

Here is a situation that goes along with it:
A woman’s husband dies, fifteen years later, she becomes pregnant. Is this the child of that husband?

Of course not, her husband died fifteen years ago. That child is from another man. The same situation with all Protestant denominations, they all started 1,500 years after Christ died and resurrected, and it is clear that He did built His Church when He was among the Apostles. Before the Protestant Reformation, there were heresies here and there, but not an established denomination such as the Protestantism that started with Martin Luther in the 1,500’s. All those churches are not the ones that Jesus founded. The Catholic Church has that firm Tradition starting with His first Pope, and we have the list backed by tradition and history all the way to our current Pope Francis.

{21:15} Then, when they had dined, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
{21:16} He said to him again: “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
{21:17} He said to him a third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was very grieved that he had asked him a third time, “Do you love me?” And so he said to him: “Lord, you know all things. You know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my sheep.

It is obvious that Peter was going to have successors since he would not be physically living until the end of time, and Jesus said “I’ll be with you until the end of time”, so it is clear that he, Peter and the Apostles, were going to have successors all the way until the end of time.

If we say that we should not follow Peter’ successors, who have the same authority that was given to Peter and the Apostles by God, it is like saying: “I know better”, “Jesus was wrong”, or “Jesus lied” which is worse. If Jesus tells me to trust Peter, as my shepherd and His representative here on earth, then why should I not trust Him and trust my own?, don’t I want to be a sheep? don’t I want to have the one that Jesus has entrusted to me here on earth?, If Jesus tells me to trust someone, then He has His reasons, and He is God, He knows better than I could ever possible know, I’m trusting what God has told me to do, and He cannot err. Jesus, I trust in You!

{6:54} And so, Jesus said to them: “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you will not have life in you.
{6:55} Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
{6:56} For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.
{6:57} Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.

Now, should I trust on my own interpretation of Sacred Scripture, and leave receiving Communion, leave the Church that He Himself has built and established the Sacrament where I can eat and drink of His Body and Blood so I can have eternal life? How can I do that? How can a faithful follower of Christ do that? To leave Christ’s Church and trust on what I THINK is better, right or wrong? To think that whatever I understand must be correct, and whatever does not fit in my head must be wrong? That is arrogance. A faithful follower of Christ wants to become one with Him by eating of His body and drinking of His blood because He Himself wants it to be that way for our salvation, it is for our own convenience. To confirm that the consecrated Host is truly His Body, God has performed different Eucharistic miracles throughout the globe, among the most famous ones is the one that occurred in Lanciano, Italy. This without mentioning the other Sacraments which empower us in our path to Heaven.

There are other things that confirms that the Catholic Church is the one that Jesus built. Archeology confirms it, the bones that are below St. Peter’s basilica are located in his tomb. According to Margherita Guarducci, one of the top archeologists of our time, has said that the possibilities that those are the bones of St. Peter is 100%. I would also recommend learning about or visiting the house of our Virgin Mary in Loreto, Italy, among other sites.

Now, regarding this pamphlet, according to what it’s written here, it is about a person who was baptized (but this doesn’t mean much, jails are filled with baptized people. The seed was planted, but it needs to be watered in order to grow. Jesus told us the parable of the seed that fell on different kind of grounds), he also learned about the basic Catechism for children in order to get his First Communion, but then he stayed on that Sunday school knowledge, and perhaps learned a little bit after that, but not much, and the fact that he stayed close to Protestant companion does not help much and says more about his learning.

The impression he gives on the way he writes many times about HOPING going to Heaven, the ‘hope’ to go to Heaven (implies avoiding Hell) and not writing about HIS love of God, is that he has more attrition than contrition. He only writes about the love of God TO HIM, he seeks more his convenience, but he hasn’t written here about his personal love TOWARDS GOD. In other words, it looks that his behavior is more inclined towards being rewarded, which implies avoiding the punishments of Hell (which is not bad) than for love of Christ, which is better. It is better to avoid sin because that offends God who we love the most and He loves us much and that we don’t want to offend Him anymore, than just to avoid the punishment due to sin, so we are fine.

But in any case, if he had some doubts on Catholic doctrine and if he is sincerely seeking the truth, it would have been of great benefit to him to seek guidance from a learned and pious priest, or learn more of Catholic teaching from an ADULT Catechism of the Catholic Church, or the Compendium, there are many books of the Saints available as well, I would also recommend Ron’s books, a learned Catholic theologian, books such as: Catechism of Catholic Ethics, Forgiveness and Salvation for Everyone, or God is One Eternal Act, he can also learn by reading his blog, but not to stay on the Catechism for children, for as we grow, our knowledge of Catholic doctrine also needs to grow, or does our children clothes still fit today?. He needs to seek and learn more about Catholic doctrine and not to rely on Protestant ideology, there is also the Vatican website which is filled of catholic teachings, Encyclicals, Apostolic Letters, etc., for free.

Our Faith is reasonable, backed by science (I’m talking about unchangeable scientific facts [not mere scientific propositions or theories that can be changed by another more actualized scientific propositions] with dogmas), archeology and history, but if there is something that we still don’t get it, we should be faithful to what God has entrust us, which is His Church built on His Rock Peter, for God knows better than us and, therefore, follow the example of the Virgin Mary “I don’t get it, but be it done according to Thy Word”.
John 3:27; John 15:5; Matthew 19:26

Last edited by Brother : 14th July 2014 at 07:49 PM.
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