So someone on Facebook posted links to this anti-Catholic website called gotquestions, and while most of it is the same old anti-Catholic rhetoric, there’s a tract from it that make some “interesting” claims that’d I’d like someone here to address:
This one claims the Catholic Church didn’t exist until Constantine legalized Christianity (another tract on the website further claims Catholicism is a mixture of Christianity and Paganism), but a part I find interesting is it claims:
“The term Roman Catholic was defined by Emperor Theodosius on February 27, 380, in the Theodosian Code. In that document, he refers to those who hold to the “religion which was delivered to the Romans by the divine Apostle Peter” as “Roman Catholic Christians” and gives them the official sanction of the empire.”
Did the term “Roman Catholic” first come into being in the Theodosian Code? Wikipedia says the absolute earliest it was used was in 1208 after the East-West Schism.
This tract also claims, “The vast majority of churches in the first four centuries derived their authority and doctrine from the Bible and traced their lineage directly back to the apostles, not to the Church of Rome”, which gotquestions basically claims is the origin of “Bible-Believing Christians” that exist today. It’s as if they believe they existed at the same time of the Catholic Church for its first 1500 years. But one would think if Bible-Believing Christians existed at the same time Catholics did, that’d be HUGE news, and would easily be verifiable by neutral history books. But it’s not. So where did this idea Sola Scriptora Christians are the true “first” Christians and have thus existed for 2000 years come from?
Finally, this tract lists a bunch of “teachings” of the Catholic Church and compares them to “Biblical Teaching.” Could anyone address the accuracy of their Catholic Teachings? I should note gotquestions actually has a tract (gotquestions.org/Catholic-questions.html) that addresses Catholics complaining their presentation of Catholic doctrine is inaccurate, which it counters with they receive many compliments from former Catholics claiming their articles about Catholicism are true, and that all their articles are written by former Catholics and others with “extensive experience with/knowledge” of the Church. So you could say their sources for backing up their claims are nothing but anonymous ex-Catholics and self-appointed experts.