Can a person be Catholic and not believe the Bible?

During an RCIA class an instructor said we don’t have to believe the Bible. I was shocked. Isn’t that contrary to the Catholic Catechism?

Catholics vs Protestants do not believe in Sola Scripura which may have been worded slightly off?

We also do not take the Bible literally on everynote. Clearly not every word that is uttered is in a literal sense.

Like “4 corners of the earth” is clearly a matter of speech etc…

I would pressume if he was not in error he meant soemthing about these two items.

Catholics must believe in the Bible; it’s part of divine revelation.

On a cell phone so… Catechism 101-141 should answer your question

Peace and God bless

Hi, Joe!
Best I can tell you is to report this heretical teaching to the Pastor; people who take such liberties should not be allowed to hold positions where they would dismantle rather than build the Body of Christ.

Maran atha!


What did he mean?

Was he talking about a literal reading of Genesis or the crucifixion?

What was the contest? Was he talking about the creation stories? Adam and Eve…what?
I find it hard to believe that he would have tossed out Scripture. That tosses out most of the Mass
Go back and ask for clarification.

Is it possible ask for clarification on what he/she meant by this statement?

The Catholic Church put together the Bible. Everything in the Bible is what we believe.

As you should be.

Perhaps you misunderstood? Or the RCIA instructor did not make their statement clear. They could have meant something like the literal versus the other senses of scripture, or something similar and perhaps chose their wording poorly.

It’s something to ask them about, if you are confused others are likely confused as well.

Yes. As well as an entire document of Vatican II: Dei Verbum.

Or maybe just ask the person before you start accusing them of heresy. It’s not unheard of that someone misunderstands something along the way. So let’s not go throwing around “heresy” where there might just be “hearsay”.

This is exactly what I would do. I would also share with the OP the following free MP3 download from John Martignoni.
Which Came First, the Church or the Bible?

Absolutely false.


Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition are foundations of the Church. To deny either of them is ridiculous and heretical.

That said, what exactly did the instructor say? Was his statement as bald as what you quote here, or did he say something like “you don’t have to believe everything literally” (which is legitimate where poetic metaphors or literary devices are used, but still dodgy?) :confused:

If you were told you don’t have to believe in the Bible to be Catholic, you were told something that is false.

The topic in class was sections of the Old Testament including some of the Kings of Israel and several Prophets. After the RCIA instructor said “You don’t need to believe in the Bible to be Catholic”, I asked him aren’t we suppose to believe those things in Scripture that pertain to our salvation? He looked at me but didn’t say anything. The other instructor said the class in going overtime and had us say some prayers and dismissed us. Next time I see him I’ll ask for clarification.

Thank you all for the very helpful replies. I’m glad and reassured that faith in the Bible indeed is important to Catholics.

On the surface he really sounds like this is someone with no business being a RCIA instructor.

RCIA instructors are so critical to the Church so this is very alarming to me.

. . . :coffeeread: . . .
ON NOVEMBER 18, 1965


  1. The Church has always venerated the divine Scriptures just as she venerates the body of the Lord, since, especially in the sacred liturgy, she unceasingly receives and offers to the faithful the bread of life from the table BOTH of God’s word and of Christ’s body. She has always maintained them, and continues to do so, together with sacred tradition, as the supreme rule of faith, since, as inspired by God and committed once and for all to writing, they impart the word of God Himself without change, and make the voice of the Holy Spirit resound in the words of the prophets and Apostles. Therefore, like the Christian religion itself, all the preaching of the Church must be nourished and REGULATED by Sacred :bible1: Scripture. …

  2. Easy access to Sacred Scripture should be provided for all the Christian faithful. …

  3. The bride of the incarnate Word, the Church taught by the Holy Spirit, is concerned to move ahead toward a deeper understanding of the Sacred Scriptures so that she may increasingly feed her sons with the divine words. Therefore, she also encourages the study of the holy Fathers of both East and West and of sacred liturgies. Catholic exegetes then and other students of sacred theology, working diligently together and using appropriate means, should devote their energies, under the watchful care of the sacred teaching office of the Church, to an exploration and exposition of the divine writings. This should be so done that as many ministers of the divine word as possible will be able effectively to provide the nourishment of the Scriptures for the people of God, to enlighten their minds, strengthen their wills, and set men’s hearts on fire with the love of God. (1) The sacred synod encourages the sons of the Church and Biblical scholars to continue energetically, following the mind of the Church, with the work they have so well begun, with a constant renewal of vigor. (2)

Sacred theology rests on the
written :bible1: word of God,

with sacred tradition,
as its primary and perpetual foundation.

By scrutinizing in the light of faith all truth stored up in the mystery of Christ, theology is most powerfully strengthened and constantly rejuvenated by that word. For the Sacred Scriptures contain the word of God and since they are inspired really are the word of God; and so the study of the sacred page is, as it were, the soul of sacred theology. (3) By the same word of Scripture the ministry of the word also, that is, pastoral preaching, catechetics and all Christian instruction, in which the liturgical homily must hold the foremost place, is nourished in a healthy way and flourishes in a holy way.

  1. Therefore, all the clergy must hold fast to the Sacred Scriptures through diligent sacred reading and careful study, especially the priests of Christ and others, such as deacons and catechists who are legitimately active in the ministry of the word. This is to be done so that none of them will become “an empty preacher of the word of God outwardly, who is not a listener to it inwardly” (4) since they must share the abundant wealth of the divine word with the faithful committed to them, especially in the sacred liturgy. The sacred synod also earnestly and especially urges all the Christian faithful, especially Religious, to learn by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures the “excellent knowledge of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:8). **“For ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.”**95) … And let them remember that pray:gopray2:er should accompany the reading of Sacred Scripture, so that God and man may talk together; for "we speak to Him when we pray; we hear Him when we read the divine saying." (6)

It devolves on sacred bishops “who have the apostolic teaching”(7) to give the faithful entrusted to them suitable instruction in the right use of the divine books, especially the New Testament and above all the Gospels. …

  1. In this way, therefore, **through the reading and study of the sacred books **“the word of God may spread rapidly and be glorified” (2 Thess. 3:1) and the treasure of revelation, entrusted to the Church, may more and more fill the hearts of men. Just as the life of the Church is strengthened through more frequent celebration of the Eucharistic mystery, similar we may hope for a new stimulus for the life of the Spirit from a growing reverence for the word of God, which "lasts forever" (Is. 40:8; see 1 Peter 1:23-25).[/INDENT]+
    :compcoff: **Link: **

[RIGHT]. . . all for Jesus+
. . . thank You Divine Spirit of our Holy God+
. . . thank you Holy Mother Church+[/RIGHT]

Yes that would be contrary to the Teaching of the Church if taken at face value. Yes a Catholic must believe the Bible in what it actually asserts (taking into account various modes of speech, genres, etc)

The best thing to do is ask the instructor personally.
If still not clear, ask the Director of RCIA, then the zpastor.
Although we can try…its kind of hard for people who were not there to answer.

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