Wanna Help Me with my homework?


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.


Where does the protestant church fit into all of this? The protestant church was created in the early 16th century, when one of its monks, Martin Luther, began the protestant reformation. In Luther’s time, the bible was not available for the average person to read. Luther, being a monk, was taught to read Latin, and began to question certain church practices. Specific among these was the sale of indulgences. Indulgences related to Purgatory, in that they could be bought to reduce ones time there, before death. Frustrated at what looked like a price tag on salvation, Luther nailed to the church door a list of 95 theses regarding indulgences, and other various problems with the Catholic Church.
Although originally, many believe it was not Luther’s attempt to split the church, it soon came to light that this was the path that was taken. As time and theological battles wore on, Luther began to develop the idea of Sola Scriptura. Sola Scriptura is Latin, simply meaning that only scripture, or the bible, should be regarded as a spiritual authority. Like the Catholics, Luther’s argument had roots in scripture itself.

16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. (2 Timothy 3:16)

***The main argument here, was that Scripture could be interpreted by individuals, and still be correct. Again using a parallel in the United States’ government, the idea that conflicting viewpoints and conflicting parties keep each other in check. Through this constant struggle, Christians could be assured that neither side could stray to the extremes without objections from the opposition. ***

However, what ensued from Luther disagreements with Catholicism cannot be referred to as a church. Unfortunately, splinters arose between different beliefs, and differing interpretations of the bible. Presently, it is difficult to pin down exact beliefs of protestant faiths, because they differ so greatly, from protestant faiths that look more “New Age” than Christian, to the Lutherans, who, because of their proximity to the core split between Catholic and protestant, closely resemble the Catholic Church in most of their practices. In this work, I will attempt to highlight moderate contemporaries for examination against the Catholic Church, although this may become difficult.

The specific beliefs of these protestant churches are actually similar in a few core areas, to the Catholics. They agree that Jesus was the Christ, and that he is the only way to salvation. They believe in the infallibility only of the bible, and although humans may be occasioned with instructions directly from God, these instructions must align with the bible, or they are considered void. Other common beliefs include the idea that the Eucharist, the bread and wine that Jesus shared with his disciples, was metaphoric, as apposed to actually his body and blood. Salvation for protestants follows the biblical passage that “…if [anyone confesses] with [his] mouth that Jesus is lord, and believe[s] in [his] heart that God raised him from the dead, [he] will be saved” (Romans 10:9 NLT, Crosswalk) This basically surrounds the idea that all a man needs to do to become saved is to confess that Jesus is his Lord and Savior to become a Christian.

Salvation is actually a very key issue where the two faiths disagree. The Catholic Church maintains that salvation or becoming a Christian, requires both faith, and works. This was actually a struggle that arose in Luther’s time. Protestant rebels of the time argued that one could not earn salvation, and that it was dangerous to require Christians to do good works. They feared that this would lead to examining ones self as being “good enough” for God, when the truth that both Protestants and Catholics believe is that no human can be good enough for salvation. The basic idea behind salvation is just that, being saved. If you are good enough to save yourself, then there is no need for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross in the first place. Catholics, still maintain their beliefs under this heavy fire, but are attempting to walk a very fine line, between the responsibilities as a Christian to do good works in Christ’s name, and doing works simply to be saved.


In modern days, however, Catholics have many “protests” against their protestant brothers. The largest one retreats back to the core of catholic faith. Observers on the outside of Protestantism, note that it is so fractured and split, it has strayed from being one true church, something that the Catholics value so much. Unfortunately, the common protestant response only perpetuates this idea, by each faith saying that it is the right faith, and that it should not be measured up against all the other beliefs that have fallen by the wayside. Catholics often claim that the reason all these churches are fractured, is because they have strayed from the original true church. Most Catholics don’t condone the actions of the church during Luther’s time, saying at the very least that the sale of indulgences is a difficult area to comprehend. Many, however, feel that Luther’s choice to leave the church was in a sense, throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Luther’s irresponsibility in separating a unified church, some say, is what has dampened the power of any modern church.
Many smaller, less important, but still painful issues arise between the Protestant and Catholic faiths. Mary, the mother of Jesus, is one great instance. Catholics place a greater importance on Mary and saints than do the Protestants. Patron saints are saints who have been known to be particularly skilled in some area of prayer, be it healing for a certain ailment, or perhaps a certain profession. After these saints have then passed on, Catholics then pray and ask these saints to intercede, or simply to pray for them. Catholics claim that protestant practices of asking friends to pray for certain ailments are no different. Protestants, on the other hand, claim that these actions border on idol worship. Protestants having always been more direct to God, claim that prayers asking other saints to pray for us are unnecessary. Modern business men have incited protestant fury by selling statues of saints, specifically Saint Joseph, that are supposed to facilitate prayers for that saint. The view of the church is once again to walk a fine line in regards to this. Apologists have said that if ones intention is to buy the statue, and continue to pray fervently, then there is no problem. However, if an individual were to attribute the statue in itself with spiritual power, they would be engaging in idol worship.

Mary is a hot topic, specifically the simple details of how she lived. Although most Protestants believe that she was indeed a virgin mother, there are some fringe groups who refuse to believe that a miracle of that sort could have happened. However, the question for many is not whether she was a virgin before Jesus, but rather if she and her husband Joseph had any children after Jesus. The passages in question are where Jesus refers to his "mother and brothers”. Catholics have pointed out that the term brother in the bible can actually be translated also as friend, or comrade, and that Jesus did not necessarily have siblings. On the surface, the idea behind this argument seems very superficial. Whether Jesus had brothers or not seems to have little or no bearing on whether or not any individual will go to heaven. However, upon closer examination, this issue is everything. The original assertion that Jesus had no brothers was made by a Pope. Because Catholics believe that the pope is infallible on issues regarding religion, on this issue he is once again correct. Protestants however, point to this issue as an example. Although the Pope may be a good Christian, they argue, he is not infallible. They argue that he is no better than any other man. They say that because his teachings don’t align with the bible, than he is not infallible. If this is true, then the entire structure of the Catholic Church fails, and the validity of any church institution can now come under fire. Catholics, in response to this, fervently go to work proving that the pope and the bible agree on this issue.


Sacrifices on both sides would be necessary to see these two groups meet in the middle. The Catholic Church would need to revoke the undeniable infallibility of the Pope. Although he could be regarded as a good man, and could even receive instruction directly from God, Catholics would have to test the validity of any of his statements. Catholics would essentially have to open themselves up to criticism and attacks from those within their ranks. And although the church would not be required to follow every suggestion offered up to it, The Church would have to work like a Democracy, using the church to interpret the bible, and holding even the president by its standards.
Protestants would be much more difficult to reconcile. To start with, every protestant group would need to unite. Unification being no small task, not every church practice would have to be given up. However, a protestant nation would have to agree upon basic principals. Also, they would have to put themselves under some sort of central authority, to assure that another reformation does not occur. The best cure for this would probably unification with the Catholic Church. Protestant faiths would have to agree to abide be the final ruling of the church, and denouncing their precious held freedom.

Unfortunately, the promise of a church that could do more good united than separate is not enough to sway the hearts of either side. It seems to be an eternal deadlock. Each side claims justification, only they claim it by the same book. Each side claims God, but claims almost exclusive rights to that God. Yet, at the fall so differently from each other, that reconciliation between the two seems nearly impossible.


was metaphoric, as apposed to actually

Sorry you cant get 100% on your paper I found a mistake.

So whats wrong with you? No crusades, no Inquisition? How can someone give a fair account of Catholics and Protestants?
I would have to give it an “F”. The “F” stands for Fantastic. (I remember when I used to have to tell myself that when I got back a few tests)
Just kidding about your F, it was A quality. It was great.

So what did the teacher/class say. Were they jealous of you?

(I remember in HS when I would never get my work done on time and get the papers in late for 10-20% off the grade.)


I think you did a great job. There are some minor things that are a little off, but overall I think it is a very insightful paper.

One thing I would point out is that Indulgences were never actually for sale. However, almsgiving was “strongly suggested” as part of the indulgence process.

Unofficially, individual priests probably did “sell” indulgences. This was, rightly, viewed as abuse that needed correcting.

Luther diverged from “reforming abuses”, however, and began asserting his own theology.

If you are really interested in a great book on the Reformation, I suggest How the Reformation Happened by Hillaire Belloc. The Reformation was, at its heart, much more political than theological.


At the begging of your paper you wrote this sentance. "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.

You say Catholics and Protestants have been DEBATING. I don’t think so! Tell me of the great debates between the Catholic Bishops and the Protestant Leaders. I do not htink there were any debates. ( You may be referring to “over the back fence” jabbering).
You say “holds the PROPER IDEOLOGY”. What is “proper”? Who will say what is proper? Proper can be relative, while the Dogmas of Holy Mother Church are not relative, they are Eternal Truths.
“IDEOLOGY”. Use your Dictionary. The Catholic Church does not have an IDEOLOGY !! We have the teaching of the Magesterium ( thghats church teaching)
You wrote “proper ideology”, chose different words. For a Junior High Student you are getting pretty deep. Are you in a Public School? I am surprised you can write about religious things.


At the begging of your paper you wrote this sentance. "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.

You say Catholics and Protestants have been DEBATING. I don’t think so! Tell me of the great debates between the Catholic Bishops and the Protestant Leaders. I do not htink there were any debates. ( You may be referring to “over the back fence” jabbering).
You say “holds the PROPER IDEOLOGY”. What is “proper”? Who will say what is proper? Proper can be relative, while the Dogmas of Holy Mother Church are not relative, they are Eternal Truths.
“IDEOLOGY”. Use your Dictionary. The Catholic Church does not have an IDEOLOGY !! We have the teaching of the Magesterium ( thghats church teaching)
You wrote “proper ideology”, chose different words. For a Junior High Student you are getting pretty deep. Are you in a Public School? I am surprised you can write about religious things.


As to the last post, i’m a junior IN high school, not in junior high. Sorry about the confusion.

For all of you that asked, it hasn’t been turned in yet. I had the day off, and i just finished writing the rough draft of it today.
Yeah, it’s a public school, but I can write about anything i want for the junior research paper, provided there’s enough conflict to fill about 8-10 pages(ya think i had trouble finding enough material… NOPE)
Although i could refer to the teachings of the catholic church as “eternal truths”, what would i refer to the protestant teachings as. You have to remember, i’m supposed to stay neutral here(personally i think i did an all right job)
What i’m most concerned about, is that this all sounds right to you as a catholic. If i said something like “Catholics believe that sex is evil”, i’d want you to call me on it.

For whoever it was that mentioned that the actual “sale” of induldgences was probably a more under the table deal, thank you. I knew that, I just forgot to highlight it in the paper. I’ll change it in the final draft
once again, thanks for the help.


You might be interested in this link, I think there’s some debates between protestants and catholics included also…



In my opinion, you are one smart egg!



I really liked it. I read the whole thing intently. The only concern I would have is that it sounded to me like you were saying we believe the pope, as a man, is infallible. You did mention something like infallible in religion. He is only infallible when he speaks “from the chair.” There are many occasions throughout history where popes showed their very fallible nature. I don’t know if I just read it wrong, but that popped up as a concern in our beliefs.

That being said, where were you when I was in high school? Wow, what a paper!! Most of the stuff we turned in was nowhere near this insightful. I would give you an A. :thumbsup: :clapping:


why thank you. I can’t take all the credit, most of that is stuff that i have picked up on these forums before we started the paper. Being a Protestant, i was worried i would come off as unfair to the catholic side. I really appreciate all of your support.

However, the problem with gathering all my information from personal experience is just that, it’s all personal. For a research paper, i have very little hard copy research. Any places where i can find statments that back up my data?


Well done. The only thing I can suggest is that you research Mariology a bit more deeply. It is scriptural; it’s just not blatantly obvious (much like the concept of the Trinity). As far as the Blessed Virgin Mary is concerned you need to do two things. First understand that she is not God or an angel nor does she have any power of her own, she is merely the most exalted creature (and she was saved by Christ Jesus her son, just in a necessarily different way). Secondly, consider the groundwork laid in the Old Covenant and compare it to what is revealed in the New Covenant.

For starters:

  1. Luke 1:35 "And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."
    This verse explicitly establishes a link between Mary as bearer of the New Covenant and the Ark of the Old Covenant. The Gk. word for “overshadow” (“episkiasei”) was used of the bright cloud at the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ (Mt 17:5; Lk 9:34) and is reminiscent of the Shekinah of the OT, which represented God’s Presence (Ex 24:15-16; 40:34-8; 1 Ki 8:4-11). Mary became like the Holy of Holies in the Temple, where God dwelt. God gave extremely detailed instructions on constructing the ark, since it was to contain His Law (Ex 25-30 and 35-40). Mary had to be that much more holy, since she was to carry the Word of God in the flesh (Job 14:4). Further parallelism between Mary and the Ark is indicated in comparing Lk 1:43 with 2 Sam 6:9, Lk 1:44 with 2 Sam 6:14-16, and Lk 1:39-45,56 with 2 Sam 6:10-12.

Mary had to be sinless in order to be in such close proximity to God Himself. The whole Bible teaches this (e.g., Ex 3:5; Deut 23:14). God’s Presence imparts and requires holiness (1 Cor 3:13-17; 1 Jn 3:3-9). The Jewish high priest entered the Holy of Holies (where the Ark and God’s Special Presence were) only once a year, under threat of death if God’s instructions were violated (Lev 16:2-4,13). The Ark itself was so holy that only a few were allowed to touch it (Num 4:15; 2 Sam 6:2-7). Thus, Mary, due to her ineffable physical and spiritual relationship with God the Son, the Holy Spirit (as “Spouse”), and God the Father (as “Daughter of Zion”), necessarily had to be granted the grace of sinlessness from conception, just as we all will be cleansed utterly in order to be present with God in heaven (Rev 21:27). Seen in this light, the Immaculate Conception, though still technically a deduction from the Bible, is a very biblical doctrine indeed.

from [/font]http://ic.net/~erasmus/RAZ153.HTM by Dave Armstrong copyright reserved by author


Hi again Egg,

I would use www.vatican.va and The CCC. (Catechism) as places to look for statements to back up the data. I have a link to a good CCC site but I am not good at making links work. usccb.org/ then click on catechism at the top. The Conference of Catholic Bishops’ site allows you to search Scripture, CCC and other documents related to U.S. Catholics.

On that note, I will say I tried to do a paper in college using Scripture as my resource. I was graded down for it with the comment, “The Bible is not a reliable resource and should not be used to site facts.” She was a weird professor who said during class one day that she was so “mad at Christians because [her] dying father is joining them in a last ditch effort to save himself.” At the time I thought “Wow, save himself? Does she even know what she is saying?” I sat in the front row of her class and later realized I sub-conciously would touch and hold my Miraculous medal when she lectured. I probably put myself on her hit list. :smiley:

Please keep us posted. My prayers for you have been that this might be a part of a deeper search.


That’s one damn good paper… I could’ve used it for my senior high school paper and still got an A+ (I’m not anymore, btw). You sure you’re still a junior?

anyways, here’s some observation:

I know you don’t want to assert that Catholics hold the “eternal Truth” to be fair, but know that we believe that that’s the case. Already-defined dogma and doctrines are sealed with the Holy Ghost and infallible. So I’m afraid revoking some stance (like you suggested toward the end) like infallibility of the Pope (which, btw, only works when the Pope speaks ex cathedra) is as imposible as revoking the doctrine of the Trinity.

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