Catholics are Christians (Protestants say different?) A series of events at my University


#1

I go to a Christian University that is Church of Christ based (they do not force this upon us in classes /education part but you can feel the pressure when you aren’t a protestant by peers and some professors). I hear these statements A LOT and it confuses/upsets me. And I’m just like, well, Catholics ARE Christians. Christianity is the umbrella, we are under it. Am I correct for addressing it this way or how should I properly address this? Are they correct?

  • I was Catholic but now I’m Christian.
    -Oh, I’m not Catholic I’m a Christian.
  • I converted from Catholicism to Christianity.

#2

It makes Catholics sound inferior. Christianity is the way of Christ, and without the Catholic Church, there’d be no Christians of any kind.


#3

I frequently hear that as well, primarily from more of the charismatic Protestant movements, many of which do not have a formal system of education for their pastors. Its a sad commentary for them. Catholics are absolutely Christian, as are Protestants, although obviously we have our doctrinal differences on some important issues.


#4

There are some Protestants who believe that Catholics do not worship Christ. Some of them think we worship Mary and statues.

They need to be educated about our faith.


#5

Several years ago I noticed some people identifiying themselves, “I’m a Catholic Christian.” At first it disturbed me, because Catholic is Christian. But I think it originated with this Catholic-or-Christian perception among some Protestants. It still disturbs me, but I don’t think it’s a terrible idea.

A couple of things you might wish to recognize before you choose your intentional approach: people who “convert” from Catholicism to Christianity 1. didn’t know their Catholic faith (they think Catholic isn’t Christian!), and 2. sometimes harbor deep and very painful wounds that drove them from Catholicism. As irate as it makes us to be spoken of as “other,” and as challenging as that is, we have a responsibility to act from our love of Christ, rather than our irritation (though I’m not saying you’re doing the latter).

Another thing you might consider is that Catholics are wired toward a group-orientation. Protestants are wired toward individualism. A Catholic who changes camp will often denounce anything they are asked to in order to fit into this new group. To an individualistic Protestant, that looks like a freely offered proof that Catholic does not equal Christian, when in reality, it has a lot to do with a Catholic being uncomfortable on his own, and needing to do whatever it takes to “belong.”

Fulton Sheen said, “There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.” You might wish to educate.

Many Protestants have never known a practicing Catholic. Furthermore, when they are in groups of Protestants, they may speak quite harshly of Catholics, as if that doesn’t in any way conflict with their professed beliefs. You might identify yourself and watch how that unkindness changes. Most people, once they personally know someone from an “other” group, become much more tolerant.

You’ll also find that the Protestant idea that, “we believe these core things and anything else is a matter of opinion,” irrational though it is, should work very much in your favor, if it is an honestly held belief. You will find some people who want to fight and won’t listen to reason, but you may also find some unexpected friends; and you can sharpen each other, even though you come from different perspectives.

I guess your approach will partly be determined by just how “practicing” you are. And in such a hostile environment, it seems like you’d have to be pretty “practicing” just to hold your ground. If you’re not already part of one, I would highly suggest joining a strong Catholic community - whether campus ministry or local parish - and spending some time there developing relationships. Also, if you’re not in the habit of Eucharistic Adoration, you might give it a shot. The Blessed Sacrament doesn’t have to be exposed to adore - if the tabernacle lamp is lit, you’re good to go.

I prayed for you, that Jesus will draw you toward the approach that is best suited to his will in your life.


#6

just say something like … “the Catholic Church is the only one who claims that Jesus Christ is present, body, blood, soul and divinity at each and every Mass throughout the world and at all times”

or, just keep it simple, “Catholics are Christ-Centered”


#7

Unfortunately, the Church of Christ as a denomination (or non-denomination, in their view) doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all theology on some of these things. They’re congregationalist, so each local church group can be more or less strict than the neighboring one about how they apply their teachings. I have 4-5 congregations near me, no two quite the same in that respect. One will say that they are the only Christians, while another takes a more Catholic approach in that they alone have the true understanding of Christian faith, but others are trying to get there and doing OK. Point being, I’m not sure which variety runs your college, but I’d guess the stricter ones. You’ll not convince them, unfortunately; just pray for their understanding - and that they leave you in peace! I used to be one of them :grinning: I was practically ostracized from my hometown when I became Catholic, but over several years of awkward, sometimes heated conversations, I’m actually now on peaceful, neighborly terms with their “speaker” (that’s pastor, to most of us, but not in their vocabulary).

Praying for you.


#8

This is simply another method of attacking the Catholic Church.

A simple way to combat this is to ask your Protestant friends, “If you were a Christian in the first 1000 years after Christ, what religion would you be?” The answer is CATHOLIC because there were no other notable Christian sects during those centuries. And the Protestants didn’t even exist in those centuries! They only need to look at any history book to confirm this.


#9

Thank you all! It was nice to get some insight from others as this is something I face almost daily. I am president of our Catholic organization here on campus and we get a lot of backlash. You all have been very helpful. Many blessings to you all.


#10

The Catholic Church is the only Christian Church.


#11

Unfortunately, I’ve known several cradle Catholics who didn’t think of themselves as Christian, or who didn’t even know that Christianity encompassed Catholicism. A damning statement on the failures of catechesis, and of parenting. When such cases leave the Church and say things like “I was Catholic, but now I’m Christian,” it’s not their new church that we should be enraged at.


#12

This! Many Protestants belong to heretic sects founded less than 100 years ago and have the audacity to say that the Church founded by Christ himself is not Christian!

That’s not exactly true. The Orthodox churches, despite being in schism, are true churches; the Protestant sects can’t be classified as churches since they have no apostolic succession or sacraments (besides baptism, of course).


#13

And part of the challenge for us, as Catholics, is to use language in ways that allow folks to make distinctions that are invalid.

So, I’d gently suggest that the action you’re talking about here is a conversion from Catholicism to Protestantism, not from Catholicism to Christianity. (Or, if you like, “from Catholic Christianity to Protestant Christianity”.)

To say “from Catholic to Christian” really does agree – explicitly! – with the claim that the OP was complaining about, that Catholics aren’t Christians!


#14

Please note the quotation marks I used around “convert,” as shown in the quote you’ve included in your post.


#15

Hello,

I’m glad to see that even in a non-Catholic Christian school you are involved with other Catholics on campus. Be strong and continue to study the faith. I’m not sure what you do as a Catholic organization but here is an excellent resource, the Institute of Catholic Culture and of course Catholic Answers. The institute of Catholic Culture is free to join and it’s library has many video on talks about the faith (apologetics, sacraments, history, theology, etc.). Many guests from Catholic Answers Live have given talks at the Institute. The institute was founded by Fr. Hezekias (Sabatino) Carnazzo. A former “fallen away Catholic” now Melkite Greek Catholic priest.

Blessings,
ZP


#16

Catholics are Christians. Invite those who say otherwise to Mass. They will see very quickly that the Catholic Church preaches, teaches, believes and lives the Word of the Lord.


#17

Yep, I saw them. Still, though, don’t we want to use terms properly, as a sort of teaching moment for those who don’t?


#18

No, we would like to directly reference what these people are sayingg, the better to make our point, which immediately follows.

[edits are of individual words to increase precision…]


#19

Catholics are Christians. We Catholics are baptized and accept Jesus Christ as our personal savior.


#20

Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Living Son of God. Because Christ is God, He cannot lie. Here is what Christ Himself had to say and we believe is TRUTH:

1. Peter’s Confession About Jesus.*
• Matthew Chapter 16: 13-19

2. The Bread of Life Discourse.
• John Chapter 6: 22- 71 Especially 53-58

3. The Lord’s Supper
• Matthew Chapter 26: .26-28
• Luke Chapter 22: 19-20
• Mark Chapter 14: 22-24
• 1 Corinthians Chapter 11: 23-32

4. Christ’s First Appearance to His Disciples after His Resurrection:
• John Chapter 20: 21-23:


Christ selected His Apostles and gave them His authority which is passed down through the Catholic Church. The Protesters, including the Church of Christ, did not start to come into existence until 1,500 years after Christ. If the C of C is indeed THE church Christ established, have them show the line of authority from Christ to today.


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