Alright, so i’ve been on here a couple of times. I’m a protestant, and i really enjoy learning about other faiths, denominations, ect. Catholics included. I’m not trying to destroy the Catholic church, just foster some friendships across a very large seperation.
Anyways, i’m a junior in high school, and this year we do the infamous “JUNIOR RESEARCH PAPER”(scary music plays in the background). I did mine on Catholics vs. Protestants.(scarier music plays) It’s supposed to be free of bias, but I’m not sure how well i did that. Maybe some of you could tell me if i explained catholicism fairly. You don’t have to agree with the protestant views held here, just agree that they are protestant views.
I really appreciate you guys helping me with this. Thank you.
Since the early 16th century, when Martin Luther changed the face of Christianity, Catholics and Protestants have been debating on which group holds the proper ideology. Catholics will argue their truth comes from the founders of the church themselves—the apostles—and that rebellion against tradition is a rebellion against God. Protestants on the other hand believe past actions should not dictate the future, and the sole authority for Christians comes down to the bible alone. To reconcile these two groups, Catholics would need to renounce their dependency on tradition, and Protestants would need to accept infallibility outside of the bible. However, this is not a likely outcome of their fighting.
So who holds the correct viewpoints? The best place to start is with the Catholic Church, mainly because they were the first on the scene. In the arguments between Protestants and Catholics, Catholics are often quick to point this out. Before the early 16th century, there was no church besides the Catholics. Setting aside a minor schism between eastern orthodox and Roman Catholics, we’ll focus here on the Roman Catholics. Catholics like to say that being the original faith keeps them pure from the changes brought on by the whimsy of man. Simply put, since Catholics have not changed for since the first church, modern churches carry with them the same authority as the early church described in the bible.
To understand just where Catholics and Protestants split, however, we need to know exactly what they preach. As is core to any group that claims itself Christian, Catholics believe that Jesus was Christ, or the savior that was predicted in the old testament of the bible. They believe that he was both God and man, and that he came to earth to die, so that we could receive eternal life, or admittance into heaven. Specific of many other religions, Christians hold firm that Jesus is the only way into heaven. The Catholic Church also believes in a place similar to heaven, referred to as purgatory. Purgatory, is neither heaven nor hell, it is simply a place of waiting. Individuals who have come very close to heaven, and have yet, fallen short in their commitment to God during their final days, are sent to purgatory. Prayers for deceased as well as certain actions on earth could reduce time spent here, but because Purgatory is in the spiritual realm, time does not run as it does here.
The Catholic Church has very distinct ideas regarding infallibility. The Pope, say Catholics, is infallible, or never wrong regarding issues of faith and morality. Once again, their strong roots for this belief trace back to the early church. Peter, one of Jesus’ followers, was told the following while speaking privately with Jesus:
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Matthew 16:18-19 KJV, Crosswalk)
Catholics interpret this to mean that peter is to be followed by a line of human beings, given divine truth from God to share with his people. Catholics believe also, that the church is given the right to interpret scripture. Acting much like the supreme court of the United States does in response to the constitution, the Church acts keep individual interpretations from running rampant, and causing religious anarchy.