Top 15 “Catholic” Beliefs of John Calvin

It’s usually thought that, among the founders of Protestantism, Martin Luther was the most (relatively) “Catholic” and “traditional.” That is true; however, it may surprise many to know how many traditional (literally or substantially Catholic) beliefs that John Calvin also retained. He was probably even more influential on the history of subsequent Protestantism than Luther was.

I don’t intend to imply that Calvin agrees with Catholics in every jot and tittle of all the following categories. What is agreed-upon is what is actually stated in these particular comments, which may sometimes be a part of a doctrine or practice. Two parties can agree, for example, on the basic fundamentals of a question, and then go on to differ on more minute particulars that each feels are a logical extension of the premises.

Interesting. From the article:

  1. Calvin accepted the traditional Catholic and scriptural belief of the perpetual virginity of Mary
  2. Calvin held that contraception was gravely sinful
  3. Calvin believed that there was a profound causal connection between Holy Eucharist and salvation
  4. Calvin approved of bodily mortification as a spiritually beneficial practice
  5. Calvin accepted the notion of baptismal regeneration
  6. Calvin believed that human beings could be distributors or mediators of salvation
  7. Calvin taught that there was such a thing as a holy, sacred place
  8. Calvin thought that sacraments produce real, beneficial effects
  9. Calvin utterly detested denominations and sectarianism
  10. Calvin believed in the indefectibility of the Church
  11. Calvin accepted the primacy of the Roman Church in early Christian history
  12. Calvin believed in the primacy of St. Peter
  13. Calvin thought weekly Holy Communion was the minimum frequency
  14. Calvin believed that there was no salvation outside the Church
  15. Calvin thought that the Church had the power of excommunication
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