Catholicism vs Protestantism.

I recently left a form of Christianity, the exact branch I decline to say. However I am now now looking for a new sect to join and am analyzing both cases of Catholicism and Protestantism, I began by asking my good friend who’s a Baptist his take on Catholicism, his main points were:

  1. The Church is a money grab (From indulgences, to simony, to even today.)
  2. There’s an emphasis on Mary that takes away from Jesus Christ.
  3. Praying to the saints is unnecessary because through the Holy Spirit we can pray to God.
  4. Confession is taking away from Christ’s Crucifixion that we may be forgiven.
  5. Traditions supersede the Church.

I’m not well versed on the Catholic faith but have been to several Masses. He tried to bring up Faith vs Works however I was able to shut him down fairly well on that one. Most of his arguments seemed like misconceptions to me but can someone please clarify these assertions against the Church? And offer potential counterarguments? I’m just trying to find some answers in the world. I believe God supports both Protestants and Catholics however I want answers and would like to know which sect is more correct than the other.
Thanks and God bless.

I’d like to say that it’s good you’re coming to a Catholic forum to learn about Catholicism! :slight_smile: I’ll try to answer your questions, but keep in mind I’m human and my knowledge isn’t perfect.

  1. The Church is a money grab (From indulgences, to simony, to even today.)

There did used to be corruption in the Church, which included selling indulgences. However to my knowledge this was stopped and does not take place any more. There is tithing, which takes place in many Christian churches. So I’m not sure that’s a valid concern–if asking for money invalidated a church, there would be very few churches in existence.

  1. There’s an emphasis on Mary that takes away from Jesus Christ.

Catholics do have a higher veneration of Mary than other denominations, however, we do not worship her, nor do we devalue Christ because we love Mary as well. There are several tracts and radio shows on Mary that you can find on this site by searching Mary in the search bar. :slight_smile:

  1. Praying to the saints is unnecessary because through the Holy Spirit we can pray to God.

We ask the saints for intercession. It’s like asking your friend to pray for you!

  1. Confession is taking away from Christ’s Crucifixion that we may be forgiven.

Confession, also called Reconciliation, does not take away from the Crucifixion. It helps us become closer to God, and we are not confessing our sins to either the priest or God. It is a both/and–Christ is acting through the priest, so we confess to both the priest AND Christ. It also is a way to help clean your “spiritual glasses” so to speak. If your soul was a piece of glass, sinning dirties and clouds it. By going to Reconciliation, we can clean off that glass. It’s a wonderful thing.

  1. Traditions supersede the Church.

The Church holds that both Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture are important. They do not and cannot contradict each other. If your friend believes in sola Scriptura, that is Bible alone, you should ask what the early Church did before the Bible was written! :slight_smile:

I’d like to welcome you to the forums and pray for you as you learn. There’s a huge amount of resources available here!

You should follow your conscience and become Catholic if God is leading you to that Church.


  1. The Church does not sell indulgences nor do who practice simony as that is sinful. There was a time when an indulgence was given for donating to the Church which is where the term buy indulgences came from and that is now banned because of one corrupt Bishop.

  2. there is an emphasis on Mary because she is the mother of God. While she is held in an higher place of honor than other saints she does not take away from Jesus. Rather us honoring Mary keeps us away from idolatry because of her Son.

  3. Praying to the saints is not a mandatory requirement to be Catholic. However the saints are in heaven and right next to the throne of God and will intercede for you if you ask. It is the same as asking a friend to pray for you but they are in heaven.

4.Confession is a big one. Even in the first century people would go to the apostles and other minister to confess their sins however they where only mortal ones. It does not take away rather this is where Christ mercy can be felt to the fullest because Jesus is the one who instituted the sacrament of Confession into the Church.

5 I don’t know much about this one but it is true that some Jewish traditions that where given by God are practiced in the Church such as marriage. Also the liturgy has some roots back to temple worship during the time of the second temple of YHWH. However the Church, Traditions, and Scared Scripture are all equal

Hi. I just wanted to add something. The amount grace from Jesus’s passion and death is infinite and more than enough for a billion worlds of people. The sacraments are not extra graces; they give us access to that same grace that Jesus won for us on the cross. It is a matter of application. Jesus’s sacrifice was more than enough, but seven enormous channels of that very same grace come to us through the seven sacraments instuted by Jesus Christ and administered through His church. I hope that somewhat addresses your question about the sacrament of confession. God bless you!

Do you have a Catholic friend with whom you can discuss this? While we can help you as much as is possible through the Internet, having a person to consult would be good, to get “both sides of the story”, so to speak.

There’s a lot more to these arguments than I can present in these short answers, but I’ll do my best.

  1. The Church is a money grab (From indulgences, to simony, to even today.)

It is sadly true that indulgences were abused in the past, particularly in Luther’s time, by Johann Tetzel and other priests. However, this twisted form of indulgence never received approval from the Church.

  1. There’s an emphasis on Mary that takes away from Jesus Christ.

This is an unnecessary dichotomy, a thing which is common in the Protestant mindset. We honor Christ when we honor His Mother. He perfectly submitted to the Mosaic Law, though He was above it, and part of that law is to honor one’s father and mother. Therefore, as St Maximilian Kolbe once said, we can never honor or love Mary more than Christ did.

Also, Christ came to us through His Mother. Is it not fitting that we go to Him through her?

  1. Praying to the saints is unnecessary because through the Holy Spirit we can pray to God.

All members of the Church are members of the Body of Christ, even once they’ve triumphed over the world and obtain a place in Heaven. And, as St Paul beautifully puts it in 1 Corinthians 12, “If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the organs in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single organ, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.” And, “20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you,’ nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’”

Therefore, all the members of the Church need each other, for prayers, aid, and support.

  1. Confession is taking away from Christ’s Crucifixion that we may be forgiven.

To the contrary, in Confession, the redemptive effects of the Crucifixion are applied to us! In John 20:20-23, Christ commissions the Apostles to go out and forgive sin. Nowhere does Christ tell us that we can simply have faith or pray and be instantly and completely forgiven, as Protestants claim.

  1. Traditions supersede the Church.

Both Sacred Tradition and Sacred a Scripture are authoritative, binding, inerrant, and non-contradictory to each other, and the Church interprets both infallibly.

What was the first charge that Jesus gave to the Apostles on the night of the Resurection?
It was to forgive or retain sins. Without hearing the confession, how would they weather or not to forgive or retain the sin?

Thank you for giving us an opportunity to explain our faith. Your Bapist friend probably knows little of us other than what stories ( second or third hand ) he may have heard.

For reading, try Catholism vs Fundementalism by Keating. A good read and takes you from both sides.

The selling if Indulgences was NOT done by the CHURCH, but only by some power hungry bishops in the Church, mostly in England. God Bless. Memaw

Please talk to a Priest, he can help you so much better and answer all your questions. God Bless, Memaw

Why look for a sect to join? Why not look for the Church which Jesus Christ Himself promised to build? (Do remember, do not look for the mustard seed, but look for the mustard tree.)

  1. Selling of indulgences was outlawed long ago. Simony is has always been forbidden. Of course at some points in time you will have sinners in the Church (we have plenty) doing something wrong with money. That doesn’t invalidate the teachings though. (And honestly, every church has had/will have issues with money at some point in time.)

  2. Did the emphasis of the Ark of the Covenant in the Temple and in the Old Covenant take away from God? Absolutely not. The Ark pointed to God’s greatness, and pointed the faithful Jew to God. Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant, and she points to Christ. She takes nothing away from God.

  3. The Bible is pretty explicit that we are supposed to pray for each other. Does this take away from God, or our relationship to God? Of course not. The saints in heaven are continually praying for us on our behalf. They are the “cloud of witnesses” who bring our prayers to God. And this in NO WAY precludes or limits our ability to pray directly to God. It enhances it.

  4. The exact opposite. We are following Christ DIRECT commands, and faithfully going to the successors of the Apostles, who have the ability to forgive sins, to have our sins forgiven throug the power of Christ. This is how Jesus Himself set it up.

  5. On the contrary, the Church, Scripture, and Tradition all testify to each other about the truth of their unified message of the faith. (Do note there is a difference in Tradition and tradition. An example of Tradition is what books belong in the Bible. An example of tradition is fasting on Good Friday. One is part of the deposit of the Faith, the other is a practice of spiritual benefit for living out the Faith.)

Welcome to the forums and God Bless!

I think the other members posts are spot on & I can’t really add to what they all have said.
The only thing I can mention is with regards to the church being money grabbers
I was inspired to investigate non catholic Christian pastors wealth after a messy spat with a baptist who lead with claims of greed in the Catholic Church.
Without naming these 10 famous non catholic pastors as it may be unlawfully I will only say that their total combined personal wealth is over $300000000.
There is & always will be greed in the world unfortunately, even in the early days of the church.
I can’t quite recall where it was written but it’s when a church member was found to have been stealing money.
When the apostle confronted the man, he dropped dead.
His wife soon came & faced with the same confrontation, she dropped dead also.
I think my point is, although a bit off topic, is that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
Not that I advocate throwing stones at people :smiley:

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