Have Presbyterians ever thought disfavorably about Catholics?

I remeber a teacher once telling us that he dated a Presbyterian girl once and he never told her parents he was Catholic was b/c of the unfavorable views that they they about Catholics and esp.the Pope.I was wondering if this is still true to some extant and if so for what reasons and since when?.

On a different note,I remember years back when I found out that Mr.Rogers was also Presbyterian minister which I think really explains his personality.That unyieldingly kindlyness is something that all clerics got go for,am I right:thumbsup:?

My experience tells me that some Presbyterians see Catholics as quite ignorant. Some Presbyterians also see them in a very unfavorable light. John Calvin, an originating founder of Presbyterian theology had some pretty disparaging views regarding Catholics, and many Presbyterians today draw from his theology quite heavily. The passing down of his thoughts as well as his Catholic prejudice unfortunately informs some Presbyterians today. Members of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, the denomination Dr. Scott Hahn came from, may not see Catholics too highly, depending on who you meet. Members of the Presbyterian Churches in America also may not see Catholics too highly, again, depending on who you meet.

Clerics? Some are kind, some may be quite bitter. Hopefully all clerics are striving to be examples of Christ’s love. Hopefully…

It depends on the sub-denomination of Presbyterianism. Churches like the PCUSA are a mainstream Protestant, and are not all that bothered by Catholics that much… then there are churches like the Free-Presbyterians, and Orthodox-Presbyterians, who look upon Catholics unfavorably, some even consider the papacy to be the Antichrist of revelation. If you ask me, people on both the Catholic and Protestant side need to get with the times, and try to get along. The Reformation is over guys, stop living in the past.

In my area, I’ve heard the Presbyterians are not very nice towards Catholics but that is only an example of one place.

I was raised in the Presbyterian Church, in a town that was roughly evenly split between Latino and Anglo Catholics, and Protestants. Probably because of the makeup of the town, I don’t recall having ever heard a malicious word about Catholics or the Catholic Church, either from the pulpit or from the everyday people. The most I ever heard was my mother saying Catholics were “weird”, because she didn’t understand why they did what they did (makes sense, as she was never Catholic). That’s not too bad, I wouldn’t think, but probably other places that are more solidly WASP-y than my little N. California town was have other stories and more complex relationships between their churches. It’s kind of hard to demonize your neighbors and friends, y’know? And thank God for that. :slight_smile:

John Know founder of the Presy chruch in

John Knox founder of the Preby church in Scottland called his Cathollic queen Mary a “papist whore”, but things have cooled a lot since then.

It really depends on the church. The one I came from was really intellectual and heavy into theology, and insisted that it’s doctrine was flawless and complete. Many a sermon felt like sitting through a theology class. A lot of explanations began with “Some people think x, but actually y is true” and so forth. It was only after I left that I realized that many of the x positions were catholic. As far as thinking unfavorably of Catholics, I never witnessed anybody treat/talk about someone unkindly for being catholic (or any other kind of Christian). I asked one of the pastors about Catholicism once (long before I thought I’d ever join!), and his response was that catholics are definitely Christian, but that a lot of their theology is “whack.”

My experience with a Presbyterian Church (was PCUSA, now ECO of Presbyterian) was that there was no overt hostility toward the Catholic Church. Having said that, many of the false claims used against the Catholic Church (selling of indulgences, worship of Mary etc.) were sited by the senior pastor a number of times. This from a man who has a doctorate in “church” history.

I have meet individuals in that church who were very anti-Catholic but on the whole the people were very understanding of my “problem”.

One half of my family comes from the presbyterian part of Ireland the other from the catholic in county caven and I have never heard a bad word about Catholics they actually had a higher opinion of them than other groups(?). So I guess it depends on where they aware from.

As a Presbyterian I can say that it depends on who you talk to. I can say that at least every Presbyterian should treat any human being with respect and love, ideally speaking of course. Fundamentalists are far more belligerent towards Catholics. We at least seek to understand just what it is that Catholics believe in order to criticize and distance ourselves from them. Calvin along with most Reformers used language that was very harsh towards Catholics. We must try to understand these remarks, and there was no shortage of Catholics doing the same at the time, in their historical setting. No Presbyterians today really believe that the Pope is the Anti-Christ.

I can say this I have noticed a marked misunderstanding of Presbyterian, Reformed, theology among some Catholics. I even heard on Catholic Answers once or twice questions about Calvinism that the answers were very much a caricature of Calvinism and not a very good understanding of it. Also I have heard statements such as this “Calvinism says X but the end result of Reformed thinking is Fundamentalist belief Y, therefore it is wrong”. That is just bad reasoning and an unfair set up because no connection was given between belief X and belief Y. I am not grinding an ax here only pointing out that misunderstanding comes from both sides. At least Reformed (Presbyterian) scholars seek to treat Catholic, or any, theology fairly and not resort to caricatures of any kind. We do not always remain true to this but we try.

All the ex-Presbyterian Catholics that I know will tell you point blank that anti-Catholicism is built right into Presbyterian theology.

If by this you mean theologically than yes we are “anti-Catholic”. But we are not “anti-Catholic” in the same sense as Fundamentalists are, they accuse us as being “Catholic” as well.

LOL, my theology professor at my "catholic’ college was a presbyterian minister of Iranian-American descent. I must say he taught Catholic teaching and was more respectful of the Catholic Church than the ‘sisters’ that some of my classmates had as professors. So I tend to have a high view of presbyterians in general, (of course acknowledging that there is a wide variety of those whom consider themselves presbyterian).

How does Presbyterian and Evangelical Reformed beliefs differ? I have noticed Fundamentalists seem to have a low view of mainline Protestants along with Catholics.

Much, Presbyterian Reformed Christian’s belief in a robust confessional faith (there are different confessions for different denominations. Some are, you can look these up on the internet, the Westminster Confession of Faith and the 3 Forms of unity. If you look them up by these names you will get them) that has deep historical and traditional roots. Fundamentalists are by and large non-confessional, non-historical, and non-traditional.

Evangelicalism is a different beast all together. You really could give a highly scholarly answer to this. I can provide two resources that I hope will help. I will elaborate briefly on the differences but the answer will necessarily be complex. First off the Evangelical movement sought to gain as many followers as possible so it reduced everything down to a lowest common denominator type belief system. Armenians and Calvinists, you can look these up online, disagree over how the “new birth” happens. So to cooperate they simply reduced such doctrines down to simply being “born again”. But they differences are fundamental.

Here is a link to my blog, I hate patting myself on the back but I am doing a series comparing Evangelicalism to the Reformed tradition, and a discussion by a Presbyterian critiquing Evangelicalism. I hope you enjoy.

My blog:

The discussion:

Yes, yes.

The result being, more than anything else, a dogma of hatred and even a belittling of the pope, or at least the office of the papacy.

I vividly recall a local newspaper article written by a Presbyterian pastor after the death of Pope John Paul II where the pastor implied JPII was in hell.

But hey, that goes with the job.

That doesn’t surprise me at all. Not every Presbyterian will be the way I am describing. Most Presbyterians I meet are indifferent to the pope, there is no hatred or admiration.

Same here. My experience has been one mainly of indifference to Catholicism. I guess it depends on where you are though. Catholics are like 4% of the population here, so we don’t get much attention from local churches :slight_smile:

Unfortunately you guys and gals have always had that problem in America. I can say that I personally have a very high regard for Karl Rahner, Hans Kung, and Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI). Also above all I love Hans Urs von Balthasar and Henri de Lubac.

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