Do Protestants have "Faith"?


I believe the Catholic Catechism answers in the affirmative, however, I know of at least one Catholic bishop who says “No. They have simple human belief.” I think the bishop’s response is a fair and accurate answer since the definition of Faith given in the CCC necessarily excludes all non-Catholics by virtue of their open rejection of Church teaching, not to mention open rejection of the Vicar of Christ which is tantamount to rejection of Jesus Christ (He who hears you, hears Me. He who rejects you, rejects Me.). The fact that Faith is Truth, and a gift from God necessitates one accepting Catholic truth. Since all non-Catholics (including Protestants) are in open rejection of Truth, they cannot have Faith. I’m open to correction.


More anti-protestant blather…

I don’t reject the catholic church, I didn’t know it actually existed until a few years ago. I grew up in the protestant community that never really spoke of catholocism (either good or bad) so how I could reject something I knew nothing of is beyond me… It’s not an open rejection and I am offended by the blatant generalization that protestants are all doing this.

How would you like it if a protestant went around saying that catholics have no Faith? Oh that’s right, some do and it isn’t looked too kindly on around here. I guess it’s more accepted when it is on someone other than catholics…

Rant over, I am done… I just don’t like being told I am an idiot for believing I have Faith but in all actuallity it is just human belief… Like I am so stupid as to not realize the difference…


I don’t think this is a helpful thread.:frowning:


I don’t think so either and while my response is a bit harsh (especially since I see that the OP is new to the boards) I really get tired of the hypocrasy that protestants can’t make sweeping generalizations but catholics can…

Ask the question in the spirit of seeking Truth, not tearing another group down… :blush:


Why not. If you don’t believe your Church is the only way to go and everyone else is headed for Hell on false faith, why bother devoting yourself to it.

I would rather have Catholics be honest and say everyone else is damned forever, rather than pretend otherwise just to be nice.


It’s a simple question really “Do you have faith in God?”… yes is yes and no is no. The more specific question is “Do you have faith in the Church of God”?

Therefore it is correct to say that protestants(and even some Agnostics) have faith in God, but probally not his church.


I think the idea is, if you are a real believer you are a member of God’s real Church. And then if you aren’t a member of the real Church then you aren’t really a believer, you are just deluded into thinking you believe.


I find this offensive too and I’m Catholic… Sure some of the ideas are meaningful, but not ecumenical and the presentation comes across as quite uncharitable. And I’d be the first to throw a stone…not really. But you should consider the confessional as a place to put this before the priest. I mentioned something about my Catholic family and their strong resistance to Catholic teaching and was told to leave them alone, strongly worded too. So I think that if that’s family we should be extra careful with non-family, especially those that aren’t Catholic.

My thoughts, but you do what you want.


I will follow the teachings of the Church and the bible “do not judge unless you be judged”. For what I require is Jesus’s Mercy not His Judgement for if I am judged by my failings and sinful nature it’s all over. Judgement here is not my decision nor something I will worry about. I will evangalize and spread the news of the Catholic Church. I will try hard to follow God’s and Jesus’s directions through the Church and the Holy Spirit. I will repent my sins and ask for forgiveness as I forgive those who trespass aganist me. Once one has heard and does not listen then I will leave that up to Jesus.


Well can you have salvation without the Church and being a Catholic, or not? That’s the real question. If not then it’s better to be honest and tell non-Catholics you think they are going to Hell.


We believe that all who are saved are saved because Jesus Christ, God the Son, became man, died and rose from the dead.

We believe that God the Father wants us all to accept Jesus and the church he established.

We don’t think just being a Catholic means you will go to heaven.
We don’t think just being non-Catholic means you will go to hell.

We cannot say who is going to hell.


If true believers are the true Church and there is only one true Church, what does that say about people who aren’t members of that Church?

Catholic Encyclopedia says,

In the preceding examination of the Scriptural doctrine regarding the Church, it has been seen how clearly it is laid down that only by entering the Church can we participate in the redemption wrought for us by Christ.

So here it says if you don’t enter the Church, and according to most Catholics there is only one true Church, then you cannot be redeemed by Christ.

If you can’t be saved by Christ, where do you go when you die? Damnation, right?


Well now…where to begin.


Your emotion laden gibberish is difficult to decipher, and therefore, hard if not impossible to respond to in any rational sense. I, literally, don’t know what to say.


Don’t change the question. It’s not a matter of "faith in God,…or His Church ". It’s a matter of having Faith, period. Faith is the theological virtue by which one, 1) believes in God, 2) believes all that He has said, and 3) believes all that the Church proposes for his belief. That’s what I’m talking about. Since all non-Catholics fail on at least one of these conditions, then they cannot have the theological virtue of Faith.


Apparently you find catechesis unecumenical. Could you possibly define “ecumenism” for us?

Claire from DE,

Your second reply is such liberal mush. Almost no clarity of doctrine whatsoever. This type of sentimentalism would be shocking to me if it wasn’t so common in today’s church life.


Perhaps we should clear up the “Faith” issue before launching into the salvation issue. I know they’re related, but I think the Faith issue might need to be resolved first.

Since I have been accused of harshness, I thought it would be opportune to provide the quotes below. Enjoy!

"One cannot believe in Christ without believing in the Church, the Body of Christ. Be faithful, then, to your faith without falling into the dangerous illusion of separating Christ from His Church. The fidelity promised to Christ can never be separated from fidelity to the Church: "He who hears you, hears Me!"

"There is only one Christian faith, that is: Catholic.

"Heretics think false things about God and call it their "faith."

"Neither the true faith nor eternal salvation is to be found outside the Holy Catholic Church."


You can but without the fullness of the faith your chances are unlikely esspecially if knowing of the Catholic faith and not becoming part of Christ’s Church make it almost impossible. An understanding of the fullness of the Catholic Church is to refuse Christ in the Eucharist-

My body is true flesh and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my body and drinks my blood will have eternal life. Whoever does not eat my body and drink my blood shall have no life within them.

Whose sins you forgive are forgiven those you retain are retained.

First, though faith involves assent to propositions, it cannot be reduced to merely intellectual study. The science of faith is the highest of sciences because by faith man looks at the world from God’s point of view, but it is unlike human science because it depends on the movement of the will to the one revealing. Faith always involves a personal relationship with Christ.

Second, faith is never merely a fulfillment judged by human need or human science. God is not in the dock to be judged on the basis of how meaningful he is to me. I am judged by how meaningful I am to him. God’s reason is the standard, not man’s


For then they put God to the test not themselves. Once saved always saved mentality.


Tell me, how is a Protestant supposed to respond when I view this OP. I’m really in a quandry here and quite confused. Help me out here.

(1) I could conclude that the OP is a cafeteria catholic
who plainly defies the example of his own pope JPII (when he called Billy Graham his brother), his own catechism, and the clear teaching of Vatican 2. Given my understanding of Catholicism, that would be my inclination. But maybe I am wrong here.

(2) Maybe the OP is correct, and everything that y’all have told me and everything that I have read is incorrect and just putting a nice front on things. Maybe we just are scum-of-the-earth heretics (no better than non-believers) and nothing else. In other words, maybe I have to revisit my opinion of Catholicism. How would I know the OP is incorrect.

(3) Or maybe Catholicism is so ambiguous that both the assertions of the OP and what the rest of y’all tell me are in line with Catholic teachings. That would confirm my suspicion that Protestants disagree with what the Bible teaches while Catholics disagree with what the church teaches.

(4) How can I believe in “Catholic Unity” when Catholics can’t agree amongst themselves on whether Protestants have faith.

What other options are there that I haven’t thought of.


I am saddened by the OP…

If the CHURCH teaches that protestants also have faith (something I OVERWHELMINGLY STRONGLY agree with) then why on earth would someone wish to think that… well… no they don’t because XYZ…

If the OP got this teaching from a pastor or a bishop… then the priest/bishop needs to be rebuked…

More than likely however is that the OP misunderstood what the Bishop was saying…

By becoming ultra traditionalist in the way you describe… you actually become “protestant” yourself in that you reject the CHURCHES teachings…

by the way…

Though our protestant brethren would disagree, if they are baptized in the name of the father son holy spirit, they are members of the Catholic Church as far as the Catholic Church is concerned…

something to remember…


Post in the charity Christ compels us to…

In Christ


I can’t believe this thread is still up and not locked.

This is the most bigoted, anti-Protestant, mean-spirited thread yet. Nice.


thanks … I’m a Protestant and I think that some of the posts here are quite tough against us, with generalizations and so on ; the fact that you are a Catholic and that you don’t agree with the tone of the first message on this thread warmens my heart …


Singingbeauty, that is precisely the reason why I only make brief appearances on this forum … I come with ecumenical thoughts and if I stay too long I become less and less ecumenical because of the aggressivity of some posts ( for instance when somebody wrote : Protestants are not only unbelievers, they’re infidels too … with some assertions of this kind, how can some Catholics think we will get nearer to them ? ) … that is why I leave when I feel it is the case …
some Catholics on this forum keep complaining about “Catholic bashing” but there is a lot of Protestant bashing on these threads, as if the fact that this is a Catholic forum gave some the right to say anything they want about us, and we can’t always defend ourselves …
I’m in France and the Protestant-Catholic relationship is much better, more peaceful, than in your country if this forum reflects reality …


This is my understanding of the Catholic Church position. Am I correct, or is the OP correct? How would I know? Who decides?

It would seem that when Pope JP called Billy Graham “his brother” that Pope JP believed that Billy Graham had faith.

My Catholic friends that I know in the flesh believe that I have faith.

If my understanding (and yours) is correct, then wouldn’t this be just as much an example of “cafeteria Catholicism” as Catholics for choice?

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