Protestant and Catholic Bible Study

Do you think it is right for a Catholic church to have a Protestant lead a Bible study for their young people? Would it matter if that Protestant was not anti-Catholic in any way, and if they on the side of many things we might classify as Catholic?

Answers, please. And give justification for your answers.

Are there denominations that would allow a Catholic to lead their Bible study?

Anyways to your question; even if you have someone who says that they are Catholic and are leading the Bible study you are still at the mercy of them that they are going to hold to the true teachings of the Church. As evidence from this weekend’s debacle at Notre Dame, just because some one says that they are Catholic, doesn’t really mean too much to me.

So, would I rather have a Protestant who had a more tradition doctrinal outlook, one who, morally anyways, affirms what the Church teaches on issues such as abortion, than someone who says they are Catholic, yet their beliefs were anything but? Yes. However, would I rather have a faithful Catholic, one who affirmed the faith of the Church over a Protestant? Yes. I am after all Catholic.

Is there a situation where a Protestant is leading a Catholic Bible study that has prompted you to ask this question?

How about this for a question; should the Lutheran Church allow a Baptist to teach one of their Bible studies? Or vice versa?

God bless

The first question is what kind of Protestant. The second is what materials or outline is being used. As pointed out, there are some denominations that are more likely to agree with Catholic thought. If the person is using a Catholic bible study outline, it may be fine. If not, then there are possible problems

Okay…I got a lot to address here. Great responses and questions by the way.

1.) I agree with the statement regarding a Protestant closer than a Catholic to the RCC’s teachings leading a study. I personally wouldn’t mind the opposite taking place in a Protestant church if the situation were the same. Catholic or Protestant, I wouldn’t have a problem with whoever does it as long as they are true to Christ’s teachings.

2.) I do know of a situation where this very thing is happening. The priest and youth leaders are okay with it, and the students are excited about the person who is doing it. In fact the priest told the dude leading it that they were more Catholic than many Catholics.

3.) They have given, at least as far as I know, an outline to use, but they have given the person doing it the freedom to teach it at their discretion (i.e, different methods for different lessons). I also know that the teen Cathecism is one source they will be using.

Thus far no controversies have erupted, so that is good. From what I have heard the priest and youth leaders have really big plans for this, but they made it clear that no matter what church the kids who come to it come from, there will be NO Catholic bashing.

I think the answer would have to have some definitions clarified. A Catholic is one who agrees with Catholic teachings on all points. There are some teachings that enable one to have their own beliefs (ie. evolution in creation) but even those have some parts that you must believe (ie. Adam and Eve were two real people in time and did not represent humans in general). So there are some people who are not Catholic who may be leading Bible studies and the “rules” of the Bible study in the Church would apply to these as well a protestant.

I think the “rule” of the Catholic Bible study should be that it adheres to all of Catholic teachings without the personal “insight” of the instructor if it contradicts with said teachings. Most protestants are protestants because they disagree with some Catholic teachings and so would probably have their own opinions on certain matters. If a protestant could keep with a lesson plan and not attempt to pass their own beliefs in this Bible study, I don’t think it matters who leads the study.

To answer your question, I think a protestant could lead a Catholic Bible study if they could be honest to the Catholic teachings and do an adequate job of portraying Truth without attempting to interject their own thoughts. There are different means available for debating teachings. A Bible study is not one of them as most come to learn their faith, not some other faith tradition.

This is an interesting question as I can give a real life example. A friend of ours is non-denominational and was just offered a teaching position at a local Catholic High School. She teaches the Bible to the students there and the school actually loves her teachings. The first observation she made was how out of touch the students were with scripture. They had virtually no knowledge of what the Bible stated at all. That’s not meant to be disrespectful just an observation.

2.) I do know of a situation where this very thing is happening. The priest and youth leaders are okay with it, and the students are excited about the person who is doing it. In fact the priest told the dude leading it that they were more Catholic than many Catholics.

Do you know what it is that the Priest and youth leaders hope to accomplish by having a Protestant lead the study? Obviously to better understand the Bible, but a Catholic could do this as well. Or is it one of those situations where there wasn’t a Catholic who stepped up so the job wen to someone else?

The first observation she made was how out of touch the students were with scripture. They had virtually no knowledge of what the Bible stated at all. That’s not meant to be disrespectful just an observation.

My observation… This could be said of most kids in any denomination. That is probably why there is a “Bible” class in the first place. I pursued history in College and enjoyed it, not because I knew everything about the subject, but because I didn’t, and still don’t. Your friend should be happy there are kids who need to learn, other wise she may be out of a job.

God bless

Thats a great observation… I have an observation as well. I went to an afterschool latch key program at a first Alliance church. As the only Catholic the women who ran it and taught the bible commented to my mom how well versed I was in scripture at such a young age (compaired to the other kids). As a public school kid I can say this was a result from being Catholic and going to Mass and learning at home. Point being if its not getting done at home… By the way in Columbus Ohio there are many kids going to Catholic school that arnt Catholic or their parents are not in Communion with the Church… IE they send them there for the education. (and not the Religious education)

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.