How should Catholics deal with Protestants? The early church said not to associate but the doctrine has changed? (OP reached new poster limit for 7/10, but please keep answering!)


Can you define “recently”?


The last 100 years.


No. its right to look at how the Church is now. To look at what is needed today, not 1500 years ago


I guess I’m just worried that Vatican II is illegitimate. I’ve heard Traditional Catholics say that.


Wrong. Lots of wrong.


ah, there you go. Vatican 11 has done and been a wonderful council. Research it yourself. Read its documents.


Did the church define Protestants as heretics 100 years ago? What document was that in?


They are schismatic as far as I know. I think heresy is a whole other level. Mormonism and JW’s. Their beliefs are heretical.


there is a thread about the lutheran 500 yr anniversary. A Priest who used to post here, Don Ruggero, worked on the anniversary response at a very high level in the church.

Don Ruggero posted some great documents and addressed questions such as these. Do a search and read his posts and links


Protestants are in fact heretics. Not achismatics. Their theology is in and of itself in error. Even if they recognized the primacy of Rome, if they held their same theology they would be in heresy.

The Eastern Orthodox are considered schismatic and not heretical because their theology is in line with Rome but they don’t recognize the authority of the Pope.


Are you for real? You do know that some of us Catholics have Protestant parents and even Protestant spouses? If the Church didn’t want me associating with Protestants, then the priest wouldn’t have married me to one at a Nuptial Mass.

You can associate with anyone who isn’t influencing you to sin. It doesn’t matter if they’re Catholic, Protestant, non-Christian, or atheist.

And I hardly think the religion of your favorite band matters, unless maybe they’re Satanists or out to destroy the Church or blaspheming Jesus.


You just converted to Catholicism. Don’t get distracted by radical traditionalists who would lead you astray by doubting the Church and the Pope.

Protestants are Christians. They just don’t have the fullness of Truth or the Eucharist.

You love them and listen to them. They might have some great things to teach you. You might be a great witness to them of a Catholic who really loves Jesus. They need more examples of Catholics who live their faith.

Protestants are your Christian brothers and sisters, not some strange alien race. They don’t have cooties, I promise!

Be a friend like you would to anyone else. It’s not complicated.


If you just joined the Church and you’re focusing on this sedevacantist anti-Pope garbage instead of on building a relationship with Jesus like you should be, you’re really going down the wrong track.


Which is the GREATER LOSS?

Your Soul for eternity or your friends?

That said; it need not necessarily be that drastic; though the question needs to be taken seriously.

Being a Catholic does not mean not associating with non-Catholic-Christians. Indeed you stand the chance of being the only FULL-bible they may ever “read”.

Learn your New Faith well enough to be able to explain it; live it FULLY and publicly {do NOT be ashamed of it Jesus wan’t}; and learn to defend it factually with charity.

You do these things well and there is no need to separate yourself from family and friends.

May God guide your life-path,


Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, The Meaning of Christian Brotherhood, pp. 87-88:

“The difficulty in the way of giving an answer is a profound one. Ultimately it is due to the fact that there is no appropriate category in Catholic thought for the phenomenon of Protestantism today (one could say the same of the relationship to the separated churches of the East). It is obvious that the old category of ‘heresy’ is no longer of any value. Heresy, for Scripture and the early Church, includes the idea of a personal decision against the unity of the Church, and heresy’s characteristic is pertinacia, the obstinacy of him who persists in his own private way. This, however, cannot be regarded as an appropriate description of the spiritual situation of the Protestant Christian. In the course of a now centuries-old history, Protestantism has made an important contribution to the realization of Christian faith, fulfilling a positive function in the development of the Christian message and, above all, often giving rise to a sincere and profound faith in the individual non-Catholic Christian, whose separation from the Catholic affirmation has nothing to do with the pertinacia characteristic of heresy.
Perhaps we may here invert a saying of St. Augustine’s: that an old schism becomes a heresy. The very passage of time alters the character of a division, so that an old division is something essentially different from a new one. Something that was once rightly condemned as heresy cannot later simply become true, but it can gradually develop its own positive ecclesial nature, with which the individual is presented as his church and in which he lives as a believer, not as a heretic. This organization of one group, however, ultimately has an effect on the whole. The conclusion is inescapable, then: Protestantism today is something different from heresy in the traditional sense, a phenomenon whose true theological place has not yet been determined.”

Catechism of The Catholic Church

818 “However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers . . . . All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church.”

819 “Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth” are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: “the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements.”

"Christ’s Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him, and are in themselves calls to “Catholic unity.”

I defer to Pope Benedict XVI and the Catechism on this matter.


It sounds as though your recent conversion to Catholicism was not complete.


I really think you should talk to your pastor. You are developing some strange ideas and he is best suited to help you.


There is a difference between material and formal heresy. It’s much more nuanced than your quote suggests and the churches position hasn’t changed on whether or not they are in fact heretics.


Probably sedevacantists, who are basically just the Protestants of the 20th and 21st century - different doctrine with the same problem of protesting the Church to the point of separation.

Part of being Catholic is learning to trust and submit to the Church. We may not fully understand her teaching without a lot of study and prayer, but if we trust the words of Jesus (John 16:13) and the rest of Scripture (e.g. 1 Timothy 3:15), we would know that the Church won’t be led astray. Again, that doesn’t mean you can’t ask questions, but those questions should, like Mary’s, be asked from a place of humility and earnest seeking, not simply as a doubting challenge like with Zechariah.


I live with Protestant family & there’s nothing to it.

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