Is anyone not Catholic for Theological Reasons?

Since there was a question already on the forum if there was anyone who was not Catholic for Non-Theological reasons, I thought that perhaps some would want to share if they are not Catholic for Theological reasons.

The majority that hold to a traditional faith, but do not want to join Rome are that way for the “big three” theological reasons. The Dogmas of Immaculate Conception of Mary, Papal Infallibility, and the Assumption of Mary.

Rome actually had a decent sized split on the second one because the Old Catholics started then.

Other than those three, I’ve only really seen arguments based on little to no understanding of a certain belief. It’s the “I heard that Catholics believe…” syndrome.

The big three…I like the way you put that…The Big Three.

The Orthodox Church which is just a tad older than the Roman Catholic Church as it was founded first in Jerusalem after Jesus’ Resurrection and Ascension before St. Peter and Paul established a church in Rome still maintains after nearly 2,000 years:

1 On the Immaculate Conception - We don’t believe what the Catholics now believe about Mary being Immaculately Conceived rather we believe she was by all means Immaculate as both she (and Jesus) never sinned a day in her life and she was born exactly the same as all of us - without inheriting someone else’s guilt of sin - but she like the rest of us was born into a fallen world which is fallen because of someone else’s sin and she like us (& like Jesus) experienced the affects/consequence/result of someone else’s sin, original sin, she died.

As for # 2 - the Orthodox Church still holds to the original Christian idea of the role of the Patriarch of Rome - the bishop of Rome is not superior to all other bishops nor his he infallible. He is one of several Patriarchs of the Christian Church and because of being in Rome (the ancient capitol of the Roman Empire - before it was moved to the city Byzantium that was renamed Constantinople) held a place of honor - “first among equals”. Christ Jesus is and remains the only Head of the Church as His Body / His Bride is not a deformed 2 headed monster.

3 that Mary after her death was taken to Heaven bodily by Jesus (aka Assumption). The details of this have been handed down orally, by word, for nearly 2,000 years. *2 Thess. 2:15 “Therefore, brethren, **stand fast and hold the traditions **which you were taught, whether **by word **or our epistle.” * The proof of this is easy to see…we, Orthodox (& Catholics), have always maintained the relics (incorrupt bodies or bones, clothing, etc.) of every Saint. Example at St. Anna’s (Mary’s mom - the Grandmother of Jesus) in Roseville, CA the Orthodox Church has a fragment of her bones. We, neither Orthodox nor Catholic have any part of Mary’s body. Orthodox do know where she was buried for the 3 days before St. Thomas the Apostle came and asked her tomb to be opened so he could venerate her - when they opened the tomb her body was gone - no thieves took it as people had been keeping vigil outside her tomb in mourning - Jesus took it.

I’m not sure I can separate “not being Catholic” or “being a Friend” from “theological” reasons.

Catholicism simply does not meet my spiritual needs…it does not “speak to my condition”…neither spiritually nor temporally.

I would say I am not Catholic because I believe the Lutheran Confessions teach the doctrine of the apostles faithfully. I would shy away from the notion that I am not Catholic simply because of what Catholicism teaches. That would be applied equally to any other communion whether Protestant or Catholic. If I had to come up with a “list” of reasons why I wouldn’t join the Catholic church it would be:

  1. Denial of justification through faith alone.
  2. The invocation/veneration of the saints
  3. The doctrine of the Mass (specifically the sacrificial aspect and Mass as form of “merit”)
  4. The doctrine of the papacy.

I don’t figure the Marian doctrines into it at all with the exception of invocation/veneration listed above. We do not confessionally teach one way or the other as to the immaculate conception, assumption, etc.

I’m certain the reason I’m not a Catholic is for theological reasons. I’m looking at Catholicism as an option, but if I were satisfied that the theology behind the Church’s existence were fully sound that would certainly seal the deal. For instance, I see there being ordained specialty ministers in the NT, but is that really like the structure of celibate priests and upward that is in the RCC today? I still have many questions to resolve.

I left the Catholic church for theological reasons yes.

If you are looking to Catholicism as an option are you also then looking to Orthodoxy as an option? Both Churches have Apostolic Roots - in fact of the of the Orthodox Patriarchates was founded by Peter before he stepped foot into Rome. The Orthodox Church still maintains both celibate (like the Apostle Paul) and married (like the Apostle Peter) priests.

You are welcome to share your reasons if you like.

Marina,

Yes, the Orthodox is an option too. I start with the RCC since that’s the way I’m baptized already so it seems like a convenient or natural way to start the process of theological investigation.

Thanks for sharing about the priests, by the way, I’ll keep that in mind.

The Immaculate Conception I do not believe.

The Assumption of Mary into Heaven I do not believe.

The perpetual virginity of Mary I do not believe.

The infallibility of the pope’s teachings (ex-cathedra) I do not believe.

I do not believe that many of the figures spoken of in the Bible are even remotely put into their proper perspective in the RCC especially Mary.

Orthodox teach the following:

  1. “Faith without works is dead” just like the Bible says: James 2:14 "What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? & James 2:17 “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

  2. Veneration & prayer to Saints…those who are called Saints in the Church have already been fully deified - they are in complete and total communion with God - their wills are completely conformed to God’s Will. They are our brothers and sisters - they are completely human and have lived here on earth - their lives are examples to us that theosis is possible. “The cloud of witnesses” which St. Paul in one of his NT epistles says that they are cheering us on in our race of salvation. Even in the NT, when one of the Apostles shadows passed over a sick believer, they were healed. This an other practices which the Orthodox Church maintains in regards to Saints are recorded all over in the New Testament - Protestant Pastors kind of glide over them or completely skip over them so the congregation won’t notice how Orthodox the New Testament is. I’d encourage you to read it on your own multiple times and keep your eyes open for miracles the Saints did.

  3. Mass aka Divine Liturgy isn’t a sacrifice, it is a celebration! Christ is Risen! Trampling death by death! Eucharist is from the Greek word that means Thanksgiving. We are celebrating a Thanksgiving during each Divine Liturgy!

  4. The current doctrine re: the Papacy is not what the early Church believed or taught. The Pope aka Patriarch of Rome is simply one of several ancient Patriarchs of the Church. Patriarch is the name/title given to the Bishop of a city which had ancient historical significance & newer Patriarchs are Bishops of cities which have current significance: Ancient ones are: Jerusalem (the first - founded by St. James), Antioch (founded by St. Peter), Alexandria (founded by St. Mark), Byzantium now known as Constantinople (founded by St. Andrew) and Rome (founded by Sts. Peter and Paul) - one of the newer Patriarchs is in Moscow (after Russia was converted to the Orthodox Church after investigating both Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches). Rome because of it once being the original capitol city of the Roman Empire was considered was given an honorary title of “first among equals”. All bishops are fundamentally equal and have no right to exercise authority in another bishops area. As one of the Early Church Fathers said, “Where the Bishop is, there is the Church.” not a part of the Church, but the whole Church. There are many Churches which make up the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church which is spoken of in the Creed produced by the Councils of Nicea and Constantinople - only the Orthodox Church maintains that Creed unaltered.

Please read some of my posts on here as I addressed all but the issue of The Perpetual Virginity of Mary…why would you not believe that?

Mary’s parents gave her back to God as a gift once she was weaned at 3 years old as they had promised God when in their old age God blessed then with a child. She lived in the Temple and had offered her Virginity to God as a gift long before she was betrothed to Joseph.

Mary was betrothed to Joseph at such a young age because women who had menses are not allowed in live in the Temple (Anna who lived at the Temple when Jesus was born had already gone through menapose - can’t spell).

The Orthodox Church still maintains the two parts to a marriage - the exchanging of the rings (this is the only part of the marriage ceremony celebrated in Catholic & Protestant Churches today) and then the Crowning. One is betrothed (which is not like an engagement today) once the exchanging of rings takes place - they are then married and can live together or not before the Coronation after which the couple would consemate the marriage. This is why people are "re"married in the Orthodox Church when they convert to Orthodoxy.

The New Testatment clearly states that Mary and Joseph were Betrothed and never once implies that Mary and Joseph ever Coronated.

When the ArchAngel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her she would be with child, she asked, “How could this be?” If she was planning on becoming married rather than maintaining her virginity vows than the idea of her ever getting pregnant would not have been confusing for her and she would not have asked, “How could this be?”

Oral Tradition tells us that Joseph, Mary’s betrothed, was a widowed elder and already had several children from his previous wife - who are named in the Bible as Jesus brothers as they were his brothers from his earthly “foster” or “step” father.

Jesus didn’t leave his mother to them as it was not their responsiblity to care for her as she wasn’t their mother and he gave her into St. John’s care as he was dying on the cross.

  1. Mass aka Divine Liturgy isn’t a sacrifice, it is a celebration! Christ is Risen! Trampling death by death! Eucharist is from the Greek word that means Thanksgiving. We are celebrating a Thanksgiving during each Divine Liturgy!

The Mass, at least, IS a Sacrifice.

Do Orthodox not believe that the Divine Liturgy is a re-presentation of Christ’s Sacrifice, done in an unbloody manner on the altar? I thought we agreed on this?

I was (the big three)- but have come to believe in the truth of the Catholic Church’s position on these, and other issues. A fair study and reading of church history will show these to be long held traditions of the Chrisitan faith.

I’m starting RCIA and hope I retain the courage to follow through on the course on which I am headed notwithstanding many non-theological barriers to crossing the tiber.

To those who do not suscribe to Church tradition on these or other issues - is it because you think the Chuch position is “contrary” to scripture, or just not provable from scripture? Scripture “alone” has been taken to the extreme and well beyond Luther’s original intent (and is itself not an accurate theology or scriptural statement - scipture doesn’t refer to “faith alone”).

As to scripture alone - if you are Protestant - do you celebrate Christmas or Easter? How about marraige vows within the Protestant tradition - are they in scripture? How about the doctrine of the trinity - is it in scriprture (the word - or an interpretation of scriptural verses?).

Blessings,

Brian

Not provable from Scripture. The Assumption, perpetual virginity, immaculate conception, etc, are not contrary to Scripture (though I believe the latter borders very closely upon it). There simply isnt anything there about them. If an individual, based on tradition, wishes to hold to any of these, I may disagree, but have no deep-seated quarrel. Making it an article of dogma that must be believed; that is wholly another story.

As to scripture alone - if you are Protestant - do you celebrate Christmas or Easter? How about marraige vows within the Protestant tradition - are they in scripture? How about the doctrine of the trinity - is it in scriprture (the word - or an interpretation of scriptural verses?).

Well, certainly, the Christmas and Easter stories are in Scripture :slight_smile: Scripture alone does not mean scripture only. Tradition has it’s place.

can you please tell me where in the scripture is december 25? :confused:

Well said my friend - not much to argue with in your reply. As to those Catholic doctrines not specified in, yet not inconsistent with, scripture, they are articles of Faith which I suppose ultimately turn on our respective views on Apostolic Succession and the authority of encyclicals and the papacy on spiritual and moral issues.

Thanks for the reply.

Blessings,

Brian

We do believe the Eucharist is the bloodless sacrifice, and eucharist does mean “thanksgiving”. I don’t know why anyone would deny the sacrificial nature thereof. The celebration of the Eucharist needn’t be either celebratory or sacrificial, it is both.

Nowhere. That is where the importance of tradition comes in (that and ticking off pagans for replacing the worship of a false deity with that of the Incarnate Lord).

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