Was St. Augustine a Catholic?


Just how Catholic was St. Augustine? Protestants revere this man, they hold him with as much as esteem as they do Luther and John Calvin, probably more so. They believe that Luther and Calvin were restoring the Church to it’s lost roots in Augustine.

Why do they believe this? Was not Augustine a devout Catholic? I’ve only read excerpts from Augustine from protestants themselves, but does anyone here have proof that Augustine was a devout Catholic?

Can Protestants claim him as one of their own? Can both Christian denominations claim him?

IF there is clear demonstration that Augustine was a Catholic, and a devout one at that, then how do Protestants, especially Calvinists, reconcile this? How would they ignore what he says when he is devoutly Catholic in his writings?


Anyone?? I hope I didn’t offend anyone.


I’ll offer two points:

First, St Augustine was a Catholic Bishop.

Second, he had much love for the Scripture. But he took his respect for the Scripture from the authority of the Church for he said, “I would not believe the Scripture except for the authority of the Catholic Church.”

Hope that helps!


Yes, he was. Nothing else to add.

On another point, was Muhammad a Muslim? :thinking:


Here is a good reading from the Word on Fire:




Was Jesus Catholic?


Now that’s difficult. We’re going to have to start a thread to answer that.


The way understand it is you are Catholic or your not. Don’t really think you can ask how Catholic someone is?

From my experience when you pick and choose from Augustine you can make him say whatever you want. Just like when you pick and choose from the Bible you can make Jesus and the Apostles say what ever you want.

Yes. Here’s one link…


It states…

Here are the facts. Augustine of Hippo (A.D. 354-430), bishop, apologist, and doctor of the Church, converted to the Catholic faith from Manichaeeism and was baptized in 387. He lived as a monk for a brief period and was soon ordained a priest. In the summer of 395 he was consecrated bishop of Hippo, the second largest diocese in Northern Africa at that time, and served as bishop for the ensuing 35 years.

I can claim to be the Pope if I want, doesn’t mean Christ gave me the authority to do so.

Like I said they tend to proof text Augustine and then read his words, which are clearly Catholic, through the lens of this proof texting.

Here’s another good article on the real presence…


Hope this helps

God Bless


I didn’t mean to sound so stupid, sorry. I was just wondering why on Earth do protestants claim him, and what specifically could I cite to show them that he was devout Catholic?

I was mostly asking about the cognitive dissonance.



Here’s an indepth article on Augustine that might help.

Here’s one quote in particular you might like…

Of course Lutherhad to admit that he did not find in Augustine justification by faith alone, that generating principle of all Protestantism; and Schaff tells us that he consoled himself with exclaiming (op. sit., p. 100): “Augustine has often erred, he is not to be trusted. Although good and holy, he was yet lacking in true faith as well as the other Fathers.”

There are no stupid questions.

Hope this helps,

God Bless



Wow, talk about being selective. Luther saying St. Augustine often erred? Luther couldn’t perhaps admit that it was he who was wrong, not Augustine?

The only way I can understand it is that Luther and the Calvinists were sort of working out the logic of the Bible from a purely rationalistic way. So we see the dialectic working itself out, back and forth, until what we have today with modern Calvinists and the Reformed who treat Christianity more like Newtonian physics than an actual religion. From what I’ve observed coming from this sort of background myself, I was taught to fully intellectually grasp the Bible, and then my mind would be renewed, then my heart would follow, and then I would be more like Christ. That is also why presuppositional apologetics is so popular among them too vs classical/evidential apologetics.

If you walk with the knowledge of the Truth, the renewing of your mind, all else will fall into place as it is the process of sanctification working through you by God.

The basis is an intellectual system and everything must be read through that lens.

I am just thinking out loud now. Sorry.


I’m pretty sure a Catholic bishop is a Catholic.


The original Christians were Catholics. Augustine was a Catholic. Many Protestants believe the original Church went bad in some way after Augustine and did not emerge again until the Reformation. Thus, they still claim Augustine.
I have taught some of Augustine’s works to Protestants and they tend just to ignore the more “Catholic” parts (which are many).


Hmmmmm, only if God predestined you to do so :crazy_face:


Protestants acknowledge that. They think the very early Church was ok, then lost it’s way, and then the reformers brought it back to Augustine. Which to me doesn’t make much sense since Augustine still very much seemed Catholic as can be.


Well technically Catholics teach predestination too, no? It’s just, I am assuming, different from the Protestant view.


Catholics do, from what I understand, however, what Catholics mean by predestination differs from what the Calvinists mean. Catholics have to affirm free will, which five point Calvinists reject (so did Luther, btw, see “Bondage of the Will”).


And btw, my predestination remark was meant to be humorous and not taken seriously.


All good.

I once read a pretty decent article by Jimmy Akin about the TULIP. He addressed the five points of Calvin and where there was partial agreement and disagreements with it. In the end, there was a sort of new five points he came up with that made it sound as though, Calvinists weren’t really bringing anything new to the table that Catholics had not already formed (as noted with their selective quoting of Augustine).

I was actually surprised by how much Catholics defended grace. Protestant and Calvinists are such purists that they say, wrongly, that Catholics deny grace, that there is no teachings or doctrine of grace in the Catholic Church. They focus so much on the works thing, that they mislead other Protestants into thinking that Catholics believe you just have to be good and do good works and you’ll go to heaven.


Akins article was based on the Thomistic theology of predestination, which is closed to the Calvinist. However, if you read the current Catechism it appears the church is teaching the Molinist position rather than the Thomistic.

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