Every religion has some strange beliefs and Catholicism definitely has a few confusing ones. A lot of it comes from the fact that believers tend not to think about the more outlandish aspects of their religion too much. People have a tendency to just go along with whatever weird Catholic beliefs they grew up with and not question them any further.
Whether you agree with the religion or not, there are just some strange things Catholics believe. And that's beyond the politically incendiary issues like abortion or gay marriage— we're just talking some straight-up dumb Catholic doctrines, like thinking that bread and wine are sometimes way less appetizing than they normally are. It's a hard lesson to learn, but an important one: you need to take a harder look at some of the beliefs that you grew up with, as difficult as it can be to do sometimes. Because there's nothing wrong with being a believer, but an important part of that is being a critical and self-aware one. And when it comes to weird religious beliefs, Catholicism definitely has some whoppers.
Transubstantiation Means That Every Time You Receive Communion, You're Eating Christ
Transubstantiation is a big word for something you probably already know—during the Eucharist, when a believer is given bread and wine (or a wafer and wine), it's not really bread and wine at all. That it is actually the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ, despite still looking like break and wine. And presumably it must still taste like bread and wine, because it seems to go down pretty smooth.
But if transubstantiation means that wafer is actually the flesh of Jesus Christ, it also means that eating the flesh of someone is totally okay. As long as he's holy or something. Definitely a weird belief.
Someone Ate an Apple and Now You're Born Guilty
One of the reasons baptism is necessary is the idea that ever person is plagued by the original sin—you know, Adam, Eve, apple, snake. The story goes in the garden of Eden, there was one tree that God told Adam and Eve was forbidden. Eve, prompted by the devil, ate fruit from the tree and encouraged Adam to do the same, so they were banished from the garden. Fair enough, but according to Catholics, we've been paying for it every since. We are born guilty. Before we do or think anything, before we have full control over our necks or our bowels, we are guilty. How does that make any sense?
A Sprinkling of Water Can Save Your Soul
Baptism is a huge part of the Church—it's the first of the seven sacraments. Thought to remove the guilt of original sin, baptism "is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament." Which sounds really fancy, but the actual ceremony usually consists of pouring water onto a baby's head or just dunking it in completely. The idea that water, no matter how holy, can forgive you for the greatest, most fundamental sin seems a little crazy, especially when it's normally done to babies who have no say in the matter. It puts a lot of faith in water and not so much in free will.
A Biological Impulse Can Send You to Hell for Eternity
According to Catholic belief, "the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin, descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, eternal fire." So, nothing too intense, then. Now, there's a long list of things that constitute mortal sins, but amongst them is masturbation. The idea that something you have a biological impulse to do can also land you in hell for eternity is just cruel and unusual, especially considering how literally they view hell. Also, if God made us in his image, why do we have these urges?