What do Protestant really believe about the Catholic Church?


Any group of Anglicans may do that. And any may not. Motley be the breed.

Save (theoretically) for the clergy of the CoE, by Act of Parliament, which functioned originally as a sort of job description for CoE clergy.


Among others.


[What do Protestant really believe about the Catholic Church?]

The Protestant friends that I have hold a couple of things in common:

The CC got off the track and has accumulated human encrustations aka “tradition” (as if protestants somehow don’t…)

Almost all of them work Emperor Constantine into the syllabus of error. ok…Christianity was pure until Constantine. Doesn’t make much sense given Peter’s denials.

They believe the CC is just plain strange: we have statues and stuff, like we worship dead people as thought they were alive (and all the while protestants profess the resurrection, does that make sense?)

To a man/woman, none of my protestant friends really understand Catholicism.
I recently sat down with one of my closest friends who is a UCC pastor, and we resumed our conversation on theology. He always believed he objects to the Catholic Church and takes special pains to point out all the usual canards.

I finally got him to see that his problem is really with fundamentalism, and the Catholic Church is simply the one Church that can serve as a punching bag for his objections to fundamentalism. No other church has enough coherence or is visible enough or takes consistent stands to serve as a punching bag for him.

Many people simply have nowhere else to focus their theological problems other than the CC.
Which might be another proof that Christ is fully present there.


Hello GKMotley, as a follow up before I really check out of this thread for the time being, the vast majority of the Global South (and by extension the vast majority of Anglican Churches) also uphold the authority of the 39 Articles and the 1662 BCP. But, at the end of the day, the “Anglican” formularies are of limited authority as you note. The ancient faith of the Catholic Creeds of the Church and-above all-Sacred Scripture itself, is the ultimate doctrinal authority for any one who slaps silly labels like Anglican or “Mere Christian” on themselves (whether they’re real Anglicans or impostors like me). Anyone who rejects this ultimate authority may be an “Anglican” (or, an Archbishop), but they’re not a Christian (sorry for the downer).

That said, you could be a little messy around the edges in applying this ancient Creedal/Scriptural faith–e.g. thinking that Sacraments are mere signs or that contraception is really great–but you’re still in. But if you think that Jesus was only a man who said progressive things like “don’t judge” and “be ye tolerant”–you might be a really good Spongonian, you might be a warlock, or you might even be an Anglican. But…your religion has nothing to do with Christianity.

Finally, as you would appear to agree (given your name), motley’s not always bad–it can be a beautiful thing. I must say for all the motleyism of Anglicans (and other non-Roman Catholic folds of Christ’s Church)–I’ve found similar traits of motleyism within the RCC fold itself. Further, I’ve found that the RCC motleyism surpasses (in a bad way) the motleyism I’ve seen between the many stripes of God-fearing, Bible-believing Protestants. This RCC motleyism ranges from the Nancy Pelosi(s) to the Antonin Scalia(s) of the world–and is found both in the clerical and non-clerical realms. The ironic thing is that conservative Roman Catholics often have far more in common with the motley crew of Bible-thumpers lurking outside their Church doors (we only lurk when we have to) than they do with the liberal Roman Catholic sitting beside them at Church and even teaching in their pulpit.


So that lurkers do not get the wrong idea.

It doesn’t make sense because of what Constantine did. From the LCMS:

May 21
Constantine, Emperor, and Helena, his mother
Constantine I served as Roman Emperor from A.D. 306 to 337. During his reign the persecution of Christians was forbidden by the Edict of Milan in 312, and ultimately the faith gained full imperial support. Constantine took an active interest in the life and teachings of the church and called the Council of Nicaea in 325 at which orthodox Christianity was defined and defended. His mother, Helena (ca. 255-329), strongly influenced Constantine. Her great interest in locating the holy sites of the Christian faith led her to become one of the first Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land. Her research led to the identification of Biblical locations in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and beyond, which are still maintained as places of worship today.

Apparently the original Protestants disagree with the view they express. Hence, the use of the term Protestant in regards to doctrine and practice is folly.



From my reading on the subject it isn’t so much as Constantine set out to change Christianity. However, the result of Constantine interest and acceptance of Christianity causes a fundamental shift in Christianity because of the tremendous number of people who converted to Christianity, not because of any real religious or spiritual prompting, but because it was a way to gain favor of both the emperor and the aristocracy that followed the emperor.


Whatever the facts are, most any protestant I know reflexively asserts that Christianity was “true” until Constantine came along and the Church got in bed with Satanic forces. And it went off the rails from there.

Another constant among them is the special place of Wycliffe and others who “saved” the bible from the CC which supposedly hid the scriptures from the masses.

There are 5 protestants in my Friday study and they are all great people, and they all have unfounded prejudices toward the Catholic Church.


Not a small number aren’t particularly fond of any sacramental / liturgical churches. And if they knew more about Orthodoxy, they’d not like them much, either.
On the other hand, most laity in the pews couldn’t care less, I suspect.


Motley is in my user name as a nod to the number of times I use it. it’s descriptive merely, not approbative. In any sense.

The Communion, and the 3rd World portion of that especially, is far more evangelical/ reformed than Anglo-Catholic. And hence take a more supine posture before Elizabeth’s political policies. In the Continuum, it’s somewhat different. I’m in the Continuum.

But bottom line. Autocephalous entities (in the Communion or the Continuum) can take the Articles as they please. I’m no great fan of Lambeth, but in 1968 that toothless assembly
made some useful recommendation, anent the Articles:
“The Conference accepts the main conclusion of the Report of the Archbishops’ Commission on Christian Doctrine entitled ‘Subscription and Assent to the Thirty-nine Articles’ (1968) and in furtherance of its recommendation:
(a) suggests that each Church of our Communion consider whether the Articles need be bound up with its Prayer Book;
(b) suggests to the Churches of the Anglican Communion that assent to the Thirty-nine Articles be no longer required of ordinands;
© suggests that, when subscription is required to the Articles or other elements in the Anglican tradition, it should be required, and given, only in the context of a statement which gives the full range of our inheritance of faith and sets the Articles in their historical context.”

This passed. And following this TEC moved them into a new section of the 79 book. Historical documents.

What that recognizes is that there is not a single attitude toward the Articles throughout the Communion, but variable ones. And that should be reflected in how the Articles might be viewed. IOW, Anglicans are a motley crew. And to find out what attitude any take toward them, one needs to inquire of the particular Anglican entity. Anglicans, generally (meaning, without further explication) may interpret, affirm, deny, or partially affirm or deny, the Articles. Or cut them from the Prayer Book and use them to kindle the new fire at Easter. You need to ask.

Not to worry about the downer. The demise of orthodox Anglicanism, in the Communion, is the downer that tops all other downers.

I do try to keep my doctrinal edges nice and neat.


Hello GKMotley, I really appreciate the Continuum. Obviously, I have disagreement on certain “Anglo-Catholic” propensities of the Continuum–such as the acceptance of many in the Continuum of prayers to saints…But what’s a little necromancy among friends :slight_smile: . (Seriously though, as Scripture shows, no Christian–and by extension, no body of believers–is immune from spiritual idolatry and witchcraft of the heart. I think this inward idolatry and witchcraft often far outstrips the outward acts which I keep protesting against in this thread).

On a final note, one of my greatest points of respect for the Continuum is their faithful stand against the void ab initio “ordination” of priestesses, etc. Conversely, this is one of my greatest points of unhappiness with many outside of the Continuum.

p.s. Steve-b and guanophore–I hope to have time in the next couple of weeks to respond to your posts. I really enjoy the discussion–unfortunately, it looks like I’ll have to kick that discussion down the road at least a couple of weeks because of work.


p.p.s. Here’s one last post before signing off (is it not a little post? :slight_smile: )…Lest I come off as simply being a reactionary against all things “Anglo-Catholic”, I must say this is far from the case. I see the Anglo-Catholic stream in many ways as a needful correction to any watered down teaching on the fundamental “Catholic” aspects of the faith (such as the importance of the Sacraments, Tradition and the Church herself in the Christian life—as even Calvin himself affirmed in his quote of Cyprian—No man can have God for His Father who does not have the Church for His Mother).

In my view, one of the greatest blessings that traditional Prayer Book Anglicanism brings to the Church universal is its strong historic embrace (on paper and imperfectly but in large measure even in practice) of both the “Evangelical” and “Catholic” aspects of the Christian faith. Have a blessed Lord’s Day.


We will. A couple of confirmations tomorrow, in our (as the sign says out front) Catholic and Evangelical, parish, in the Anglican tradition.

GKMotley, Anglicanus Catholicus.


Amen GKMotley, on that note I was intending to edit my post to state that I certainly believe there are many “Anglo-Catholics” who are far more faithful in both the “Evangelical” and “Catholic” aspects of the faith than some losers (like me) who critique certain “Anglo-Catholic” aberrations.

p.p.p.p.p.s. Since I’ve been talking about it so long, I was wondering what that big word “Anglo-Catholic” means anyway? :slight_smile: For argumentation purposes I’ve arbitrarily defined it as lying somewhere between mostly and pure evil. However, for reality purposes, I and any person who lines up with traditional prayer book Anglicanism would almost certainly agree with a typical member of this mystical force of “Anglicanus Catholicus” on a vast majority of doctrinal issues. I’ve even heard that certain members of the Anglo-Catholic clan refer to themselves as traditional prayer book Anglicans (among other things). It seems Anglicans are a motley crew after all…

Have a great week.


Like a box of chocolates.


…couldn’t have said it better. Now, go hence and in the words of those pesky old Anglican formularies (Book of Homilies II, Homily 13 to be precise), “receive our Savior and Maker in His blessed Sacrament, to our everlasting comfort, and health of soul”.


That’s the plan.


We feel that Jesus laid out a simple plan for salvation. I am sorry to say, but Jesus was living as a man of simple means while on the earth and preaching. No fancy hats or robes. So as Christians, shouldn’t we follow preachers and teachers who do likewise? We don’t hate you, but wonder if all of the fanciness of the Catholic Church is what the Lord did when he was here. No offense intended.


There is one true church, that is the Catholic Church. Protestants are simply lapsed Catholics in my opinion.


There are simply too many kinds of Protestants to allow for any single coherent answer to this question. The answers range from the irenic to the extraordinarily in-your-face. Sorry to dismiss your question, but you’ll need to narrow it if you hope for anything approaching a coherent answer.


Hello Le_Cracquere, I agree there are a variety of differences in the approach of Protestants towards Roman Catholics (similar to the range of approaches of Roman Catholics towards Protestants). While I am a member of a particular local church, I have attended Protestant churches from across the spectrum and have been blessed by what I’ve received from each Church I’ve attended. I’ve also enjoyed in my spare time studying the doctrinal positions from across this spectrum. Despite differences on secondary matters–which is common even among conservative Roman Catholics–Bible-believing Protestants are almost all in substantive agreement on the fundamental matters of faith (and even in agreement on the vast majority of secondary matters of faith).

Further, as noted above, I would argue that conservative Roman Catholics actually have greater agreement in many ways with Bible-believing Protestants than they do with the liberal wing of the Roman Catholic Church.

It looks like I’ll be off the thread for a couple of weeks, so have a great week.

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