Protestants: Why aren't you Catholics?


I just thought that in response to the “Catholics: Why aren’t you Protestants” thread, I’d invite any protestants here to answer the same question except from their own point of view (no offense intended at all to the latter thread).

Note: This is not intended to be a Catholic vs. Protestant thread. Rather, I simply want to survey the other side’s reasoning. The issues themselves are constantly being discussed elsewhere, anyway. :wink:


There is already another thread on this topic. See this one.


In regards to that other thread…

First: My question is more directly aimed towards protestants only so that the discussion is more centered around conflicting interpretations.

Second: I didn’t include the “(yet)” which might create a negative atmosphere towards protestants.

Third: This thread is intended to be the direct oppossite equivalent of the “Catholics: Why are you not Protestant?” thread.


I am not Catholic as I can not in good conscience accept all the teachings that the church says must be believed.
Among these are Papal Infalibility, the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption. I cannot accept that new dogmas such as these can be proclaimed more than 1800 years after Jesus. I do not believe that God has changed his requirements simply because the church decided to proclaim it as a dogma. Either it was required all along or it is not required.
There are other teachings that I cannot accept such as the propitiary nature of the Mass. It is said that it is the same sacrifice as made on the cross. If that were the case it should have the same consequences. However the sacrifice on the cross forgave all sins while the assertion is that the Mass forgives only venial sins. How can it be the same sacrifice with different results.
I also cannot accept that there is a diference between grave and venial sins. All sin is sin and the wages of sin is death. We are saved from that punishment by Grace. I could go on.


Do you think that God has done nothing new in 2000 years? God is love and love is active and moving forward. God established his Church (the CC) and has been doing new things in it all through history. God was never limited to the Bible and it’s scriptures. He may even do something new today if he chooses. The fact that nothing new ever comes from God all through protestant church history is what should be questioned and looked at.



God has done many new things in the last 2000 years. However I do not believe that one of those things was to change the requirements for salvation. Those are the same now as they were at the beginning of the church age. Did God suddenly decide in 1870 that it was necessary to believe in Papal Infalibility? If it became a requirement then what happened to those who didn’t believe it and died between the time the declaration was made. No instant communications then.


Papal infallibility - protestants believe in their own infallibility but don’t call it a dogma:)

Catholic Church can proclaim dogmas because She was given authority and power by Jesus himself. Jesus never forbade proclaiming any dogmas and never changed his mind in this case.
Why is it all right to believe in the dogma of the Holy Trinity (proclaimed in 325!) while it’s improper to believe in dogma proclaimed in the XX century? Until which year it was ok to proclaim dogmas?

In Lourdes Mary said to a French girl: I am the Immaculate Conception and confirmed the dogma. I know it’s hard to believe it for you because protestants are not given any apparitions, but in the CC such evens are not so unusual, I’ve heard about many of them.

Assumption - why is it such a problem for protestants? Mary as mother of God couldn’t simply die be buried just like ordinary people.

Mass -

The wages of sin is death - indeed. But I’m really surprised you see no difference between grave and venial sins. Imagine you promise to clean the dishes and you don’t do it - it’s not as bad as killing somebody.:slight_smile:


Do we as Catholics believe it is necessary to believe in Papal Infalibity to achieve salvation? I don’t know so I thought I would ask.


The requirements for salvation have always been the same - to live according to the teaching of Jesus, which means - to obey His only church (Catholic Church). I mentioned it many times before - Peter was the first pope, Jesus gave to him (and to all other popes) the keys to heaven, what they bind on earth is bound in heaven.


When do the new dogmas take affect? Do they apply retroactively? If not why add to what must be believed? Wasn’t the deposit of faith given once as stated in Jude? There has been no new public revelation since the Apostles and I know the Church accepts that. If it is retroactive, what happens to those who didn’t believe the dogma before the proclamation? In Immaculate Conception says that Mary was free from sin from the time of her conception. Thomas Aquinas denied that she was free from the taint of original sin before she was born but not from conception. Close bu the dogma is quite explicit that she was free from any taint of original sin from conception.

But the Blessed Virgin did indeed contract original sin, but was cleansed therefrom before her birth from the womb.

Summa Theologica Part 3 Question 27, reply to Objection 2.

We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful."[29]

Hence, if anyone shall dare – which God forbid! – to think otherwise than as has been defined by us, let him know and understand that he is condemned by his own judgment; that he has suffered shipwreck in the faith; that he has separated from the unity of the Church; and that, furthermore, by his own action he incurs the penalties established by law if he should are to express in words or writing or by any other outward means the errors he think in his heart.

Ineffabilis Deus
Would Aquinas be caught by the condemnation?


I believe so.

faithfully adhering to the tradition received from the beginning of the christian faith,
to the glory of God our saviour,
for the exaltation of the catholic religion and
for the salvation of the christian people,
with the approval of the sacred council,

we teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that

when the Roman pontiff speaks EX CATHEDRA,
that is, when,
in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians,
in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority,
he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole church,
he possesses,
by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter,
that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals.
Therefore, such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the church, irreformable.

So then, should anyone, which God forbid, have the temerity to reject this definition of ours: let him be anathema.


That belief would be incorrect. You can find the Catechism of the Catholic Church online at either the Vatican’s website or this one:

I prefer the site that I linked to because it is more easily searchable then the Vatican site. However I always read the official document at the Vatican site before I post.

The document that you linked to does not say that believing in Papal Infallibilty is necessary for Salvation.


Perhaps you could explain what anathema means, and if a dogma proclaimed by an ecumenical council is not a required beleif, what then is required?


Well, I think you know what anathema means…but if not it, in this case it means a formal denunciation by the Church.

I thought you were referring to belief in Papal Infallibility as being necessary for salvation…which it is not. Whether Catholics believe in Dogma and Doctrine is a separate matter altogether and one where the Catholic Church expects us to follow our conscience. One serious obligation of every Catholic is to develop and form our conscience so that we can then follow it.


Sorry, one other thing…here is one of the many things the CCC has to say about salvation:

169 Salvation comes from God alone; but because we receive the life of faith through the Church, she is our mother: “We believe the Church as the mother of our new birth, and not in the Church as if she were the author of our salvation.” Because she is our mother, she is also our teacher in the faith.


The Church proposes certain matters for belief. If you do not accept them then Canon Law calls it heresy.

Can. 750 §1. A person must believe with divine and Catholic faith all those things contained in the word of God, written or handed on, that is, in the one deposit of faith entrusted to the Church, and at the same time proposed as divinely revealed either by the solemn magisterium of the Church or by its ordinary and universal magisterium which is manifested by the common adherence of the Christian faithful under the leadership of the sacred magisterium; therefore all are bound to avoid any doctrines whatsoever contrary to them.

Can. 751 Heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him

The doctrine of Papal Infallibility is one that the First Vatican Council has set out as divinely reavealed.


You have left your initial supposition, that a Catholic’s belief in Papal Infallibility is necessary for Salavation. Am I to assume that you now concede that you were in error in that belief? Let us stick to the initial point…believing in Papal Infallibility is not necessary for a Catholic’s Salvation. If you would like to start another thread on what a Catholic should believe then go ahead and do that.


I’m still not sure how this thread is different than the other one mentioned but I’ll answer here, too.

Unfortunately my reasons are not clear cut. My thoughts and studies concerning Catholicism vs Protestantism are filled with “hmmms” and “what ifs” and “what the?” and “I’m not sure” and “well i guess it could be” and “I’m just not used to that.” I won’t fill up yet another post with my misty, non-concrete answers. Just a vague concern, hovering somewhere between acceptance and flat out denial, between belief and clinging desperately to Protestant roots, concerning nearly every Catholic doctrine.

I won’t bog you down with my utter inability to articulate anything properly.



No worries…:slight_smile:


Hi Sycarl,

I find your point of view reasonable, inasmuch as you believe that Jesus left us with a precise set of beliefs that we must adhere to.

However, Jesus did not leave us this set of beliefs. What He said was, “Whoever listens to you , listens to me” and “I am with you until the end of time.”

Catholics do not have a set of beliefs. Here is our act of faith :

Act of Faith

O my God, I firmly believe that thou art one God in three Divine Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; I believe that thy Son became man, and died for our sins, and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths the Holy Catholic Church teaches because Thou hast revealed them, who canst neither deceived nor be deceived.

What the Catholic Church teaches does not change, but it evolves in the sense that it becomes explicit or is derived from other revealed truths.

The Church is the living Christ, teaching us every day.


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