Protestant view of Catholicism

Hi folks. I recently went to a talk by the Catholic professor/author/speaker/TV personality Scott Hahn.

Don’t worry, I won’t relate all the parts of the talk that I took notes on :), but I would like to mention one small part.

Hahn described a conversation with an old Protestant friend, which I’ll repeat in part (this isn’t an exact quote of course as my memory isn’t perfect):

… I decided, rather than launching into counter-arguments, to start with areas of agreement. So I said, “I agree with you that Calvary was a sacrifice and the Lord’s Supper is a meal.”

After a moment’s pause I heard a sigh. He said, “Wow that’s a relief, because for a while there I thought you had really become a Catholic.”

I’ll leave you to imagine the audience’s reaction and move on to my question: Have you had similar experiences, vis-a-vis Protestants’ notions of what it means to be Catholic? In other words, in Protestant minds what does it mean to “really be[come] a Catholic”?

When I converted from evangelical Protestantism to Catholicism a decade ago, one of my aunts sincerely told me “My only concern is that Catholics reject the resurrection of Christ”. That was her sincere belief - her perception of Catholicism for the first 40 years of her life. My correction did much to “warm” her to the concept that Catholics may actually be Christians as well. That wasn’t the only time I came across that opinion either. I think somehow some imagine the Crucifix to be an indication that we remember Our Lord’s death without acknowledging His resurrection.

Well, when I was a protestant my view of Catholicism was something like…

"The problem with Catholics is that they do not know or read their Bible or they would see how so much of what they do is unbiblical. They also try to earn their salvation by works. Dont they know that they do not have to because Jesus died for us? Dont they know that religion is not what saves us? Maybe some do, but most Catholics do not have a personal relationship with God like us “Christians” do (The height of my arrogance as a protestant) and they pray to Mary, which is wrong because you can only pray to God (I equated prayer to a form of worship) and they sin all they want and just go to confession and then sin all they want again and just go back to confession (While I could sin all I want but just confess it to God directly. Which made it easier for me to remain in sin added with the false security of believing in “Once saved always saved”)

Ignorance was bliss for a time I guess…

This one sentence reminds me of something else from Hahn (not that I’m trying to steer the conversation that way :getholy: :cool:), not from the talk I went to recently but from his conversion-story book that I read a long time ago. Around the time he became Catholic, a Protestant friend read and/or listened to a lot of his arguments. The friends afterwards admitted that he couldn’t find a flaw in Hahn’s thinking, but added that he wasn’t too worried because he was sure it was only a matter of time until the Pope kicked Hahn out of the church for being too biblical! (I’m uncertain how seriously he meant this remark, but in any case :D.)

Having grown up in a Catholic country (and living there for 30 years), I am still puzzled by the Protestant’s perception of Catholicism. Marcus Grodi’s “Journey Home” is a great learning source.

For my husband his idea of being a Catholic is letting the Pope lead you around on a string like a puppet. No amount of argument will change his mind. That’s it. Issue closed…

I have a tendency to speak more from the Bible than from the Catechism or Lives of the Saints. As a result, I’m confused with ‘born again’ Christian all the time. People have said, ‘‘l never would have guessed you were a Catholic, you know the Bible so well.’’

That is humorous! Thankfully that is changing rapidly as there are many excellent bible studies going on in many Catholic Churches. I especially like the one by Jeff Cavins that comes with a workbook, reading assignment from the bible, and questions to answer and discuss at the weekly meeting. We meet once a week for two hours, and the last 45 minutes if Jeff Cavins on DVD giving a wonderful talk with many new insights on what we just studied and discussed.

The discussions and input are very interesting, and community forms in the group as we go along each week. Some of the studies are ten weeks long, and many are twenty-five weeks.

That is hilarious! I am a big fan of Scott Hahn. I read a few of his books, including “Rome sweet home” I must have missed that quote or heard it but then forgot. Wish I could try to see if it was in Rome sweet home but I actually recently gave that book away to a friend.

If I wanted to ask Scptt Hahn a question how would I go about contacting him?

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