Why should people believe Catholicism is true?

When conversing with people who don’t identify with any religion, and may be atheist, agnostic, or otherwise, they will often ask why they should believe Catholicism is true.

What are some arguments for why someone should believe Catholicism is true?

Its the one true church established by Jesus Christ - God -

In it has centuries of experience, knowledge and blessings built up in it from the works of the saints and martyrs through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the spouse of Christ! It is loved, cherished and protected by God. It is the normal means in which God builds up His people and brings them closer to Himself. It has the fullness of revealed given by God and 7 sacraments that help transform and build up, and sanctify the lives of its children and offers food for the journey in the lifetime till we reach our heavenly homeland.

It was established by Christ and all people are called to become a part of it.

To be specific with someone and give them proofs for belief…you need to know that person. Evangelization takes communing with those who come to you. Tell them your story, what did it for you. Sympathize where they are at in their journey…Christ did this all the time when dealing with people He met. Be with them where they are and bless and pray for them.

God bless.

I’d say start searching for the truth. Of the Christian religions which one was first. Oh, and then I would start reading the new testament to see what this Jesus Christ said and professed. Then I would read the old testament to see how the dots connected to the children of Abraham, the children of Noah, the children of Adam… All of us have to begin the search. Often times it starts with a sentence that someone else spoke. For example, “Jesus died on the cross for your sins.” HUH? you may ask. Why did Jesus have to die? And thus begins the search of a lifetime!!!

Simple, the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

If they do not believe in Christianity at all, I would encourage them to really look into the history of the main religions. Discover the historical facts behind them and it will be clear that Christianity has the evidence to back it up.

If they do accept Christianity then I would encourage them to start looking at what happened after Christ died. Then, in their discovery they will hopefully see why the Catholic church is the true church of Christ. When they keep exploring history they will see that all of the other denominations broke off due to human disagreements and not true theological reasons. Plus, Christ made it clear in the Bible that he will not let his church fail. Even though the Catholic faith has gone through two centuries of bad Popes and corruption, the Church still stands.

Some key questions for them to ponder:
Who put the Bible together? How many years after Christ’s death?
How did people share the faith for the hundreds of years before the Bible was put together?
Is the Bible a literal interpretation of history or figurative? How do we know which is right?
Why do so many different people translate the Bible differently? Who is right? How are we able to settle discrepancies?
Why is sola scriptura not mentioned in the Bible itself? Doesn’t that alone not make sola scriptura false?
When did the idea of sola scriptura come in the play?

I could go on and on but I will stop. All I know that in my faith journey I did a lot of research and a lot of praying. I tried to keep my guard and pre conceived opinions suppressed so I could go off of facts and not past experiences or misconceptions.

The “Family Tree” argument.
Catholicism is the only religion that can trace its Family Tree back to JESUS. Find a list of popes and the years they served and you can go from Pope Francis to JESUS.

Now, when they counter with was JESUS true? Use the “True Prophesy” argument.
I have forgotten the number of prophesies made about JESUS “before” HE was born that have come true. But the number is beyond accidental or coincidence. And not one of the prophesies is missing that has not been fulfilled.

Now if that does not give them reason to pause and reconsider, then turn them over to the HOLY SPIRIT in prayer as they have chosen NOT to consider.

History.

Go back to the beginning.

Year Zero. Using our present calendar.

2000 years ago.

Trace the spread of religion from the time of Jesus.

Go back even further to see the history of Judaism and other faiths.

What was “different” about the “historical Jesus”.

Review The Bible Timeline.

Jeff Cavins, Tim Gray, Sarah Christmyer

Steve Weidenkopf, Alan Schreck

Also check this out:

youtube.com/watch?v=t_Qpy0mXg8Y

[quote=KildareBrigid]Discover the historical facts behind them and it will be clear that Christianity has the evidence to back it up.
[/quote]

Could you perhaps suggest some of the evidence for theshistorical facts that you think is particularly convincing in demonstrating the truth of Christianity?

[quote=Julian0404]I have forgotten the number of prophesies made about JESUS “before” HE was born that have come true. But the number is beyond accidental or coincidence. And not one of the prophesies is missing that has not been fulfilled.
[/quote]

Could you please give some examples of the prophecies for which we have evidence that the prophecy existed before the life of Jesus and for which we have evidence that He clearly fulfilled the prophecy?

Thank you all for the responses thus far, but I have to admit that in my experience with atheists, agnostics, and other non-religious they raise certain common objections to the things many of you are stating here.

Here’s a few objections they commonly raise:

-They say the Bible is not reliable as a source of truth and contradicts itself and so cannot be inerrant/inspired by God (they will point to things like the Census of Quirinius, the different genealogies in Luke and Matthew, the lack of historical evidence for the Exodus, etc. as reasons not to believe the Bible)

  • They say there is no credible evidence for the Resurrection and other miracles of Jesus. They don’t consider four gospels as enough reliable evidence to accept such an extraordinary claim.

  • They challenge the very worthiness of faith itself as a basis for belief. They will say that one should follow the evidence and not believe in spite of a lack of evidence.

I believe in Catholicism because I believe in Judaism up until 0 AD.

I’d say they are begging the question when claiming the Bible contradicts itself. This presumes that I (the objector) have the correct understanding of what was written. The Bible is a Christian book (Catholic, specifically). So, it would make sense to use the Catholic understanding…not the atheist, no?
Isn’t it reliable? Don’t we have other ancient writings that are FAR LESS copied and passed down that we take for granted as being reliable? Why should the Bible be less reliable for historical witness? Just because it’s the Bible??

  • They say there is no credible evidence for the Resurrection and other miracles of Jesus. They don’t consider four gospels as enough reliable evidence to accept such an extraordinary claim.

What evidence will they consider as “credible”? Where is Jesus’ tomb and His body? Will they accept “evidence” that someone stole Him away and buried Him somewhere else? And how is that “evidence” any better than the historical accounts recorded in the Bible, and the witness of those who died for the resurrected Lord?

  • They challenge the very worthiness of faith itself as a basis for belief. They will say that one should follow the evidence and not believe in spite of a lack of evidence.

Faith is not very worthy as a basis for belief? How much evidence do we have that any species in the world actually evolved into another species? Please show me the database that I can go to and see the actual evidence, excluding any belief (faith) of any scientist that isn’t backed by hard evidence…but on something he hasn’t actually observed. :wink:

[quote=ahs]Don’t we have other ancient writings that are FAR LESS copied and passed down that we take for granted as being reliable?
[/quote]

Do we? I’m not familiar with any that are taken for granted without support from other material. Could you please let us know which ancient writings you’re thinking of.

[quote=ahs]Why should the Bible be less reliable for historical witness? Just because it’s the Bible??
[/quote]

I don’t think that atheists consider the Bible unreliable just because it is the Bible. It is the lack of independent corroboration and supporting evidence that they point to.

[quote=ahs]Faith is not very worthy as a basis for belief?
[/quote]

Faith is fine as a basis for a belief, but it’s not a firm basis. Faith is not a path to truth. Can you think of any other aspect of your life in which you use faith instead of evidence when it comes to knowing the truth about something important?

[quote=ahs]How much evidence do we have that any species in the world actually evolved into another species?
[/quote]

I don’t understand where you’re going with this. Atheism is not dependent upon a belief in evolution by natural selection. The two issues are entirely separate. In any case, there is a huge amount of evidence for speciation by evolution and it’s readily available in books, peer-reviewed technical papers, journals, and on the internet. Evolution by natural selection is one of the most tried-and-tested scientific theories. I really think that trying this sort of argument will lose you credibility when discussing religion with any even moderately scientifically-literate person.

bethinking.org/jesus/ancient-evidence-for-jesus-from-non-christian-sources is a starting point.

The Symbolon series is a great resource that teaches the history of the Christian faith. Here is a snippet I found on Youtube. youtube.com/watch?v=l4Qx2i5yR_E

Why were they asking that question in the first place?

Only 2 Churches out there have the pedigree to claim they are the Church established by Jesus. Us and the Orthodox.

Not trying to slam the Orthodox as it’s a beautiful faith but they do not even have a universally decided upon canon. It’s sacramental but also undeveloped overall because like protestantism, separated itself from it’s roots, just to a lesser extent…

So now that we have established that there were was one Church throughout the ages with different degrees of protesters, let’s examine a few facts about Christendom overall…

All the Apostles less John lost their life for what they believed in. Since life has always been deemed to be very precious, it makes no sense that these folks were so willing to die for a lie.

The New Testament is 99.5% textually pure. We don’t have the originals but with that kind of accuracy, you don’t need to have originals.

Arguably 300 fulfilled Messianic prophecies from the Lord. The OT is God’s will concealed, the NT is God’s will revealed.

And while on the subject of prophecy, dig deeper into typology of Catholicism with the OT. It is truly incredible. You begin to understand that the Church didn’t just pull this stuff out of thin air. For example, there was a “chair of Moses”, likewise a “Chair of Peter”. You have the Ark of the old covenant in the OT and Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant. And on and on and on.

Catholicism is 2,000 years old and is often misunderstood from it’s critics.

Pax

Sure. I am speaking of those works attributed to Homer. This is not to say they tell a true story, but that no one questions whether current copies represent the original.
What material do we use to conclude that, when I read the Iliad, I am reading the “Iliad” as Homer intended it?
The Bible is no less a reliable source of what the Author (authors) intended to pass down. As to its historic reliability (whether it is historically accurate), I have seen zero evidence from any historian, ever, to refute it’s historic authenticity or reliability.

Also you avoided my question regarding whether the Bible contradicts itself: since the Bible is a collection of historic writings, written and collected by the religious (specifically the Catholic Church as regards the modern Canon), does it not make sense to go by the interpretation/understanding of those who wrote and compiled it? When coming to a conclusion about a passage(s) in the Bible, isn’t it illogical for someone to reject the understanding of the group who wrote/compiled it?

I don’t think that atheists consider the Bible unreliable just because it is the Bible. It is the lack of independent corroboration and supporting evidence that they point to.

Corroboration and supporting evidence from whom, and such as what? What evidence is acceptable? And how is that evidence any better than the historical accounts recorded in the Bible, and the witness of those who lived with and died for the resurrected Lord? (Maybe you didn’t know it, but the collection of writings within the Bible were historical documents before they were “The Bible”.)

Faith is fine as a basis for a belief, but it’s not a firm basis. Faith is not a path to truth. Can you think of any other aspect of your life in which you use faith instead of evidence when it comes to knowing the truth about something important?

Yes, I have faith that my wife will do her best to raise our children. I don’t need to see evidence to know that this is true. I have faith in who she is and in what she believes. I also have faith that when have an idea, that it originated within my mind. I cannot see my idea or my mind, but I know that my idea is mine, all the same, and that is was I who had it. I have faith that it is wrong to murder my children; I have no evidence for that…but I believe it.

I don’t understand where you’re going with this [evolution and lack of evidence for it]. Atheism is not dependent upon a belief in evolution by natural selection.

I know. Whether evolution happened or not, is not the point. (I happen to believe in evolution of one kind or another, and I happen to believe that evolution of any kind is perfectly compatible with Christianity.)
My point is, many (not all) atheists believe in evolution while decrying Christians for their “faith”. Meanwhile, I believe we have more evidence pointing to a Creator God than we do for evolution…on a scientific basis using observation of the world around us. (There are many threads that go into depth here, so I will not go further with this part. Suffice it to say that evolution may be “tried and tested”, but there is not a shred of actual evidence that you can actually touch or see…which makes it exactly the same as “faith” for those who believe it.)

But couldn’t someone say that you are begging the question here? From the perspective of someone unconvinced of the Church’s claims, you are presupposing both the authenticity of the Catholic Church and that authority over these writings belongs to the Catholic Church. The Orthodox would challenge this claim as would modern Jews who would say that the Old Testament scriptures are theirs and only they understand them correctly. Which side is the unaffiliated person supposed to believe and on what basis?

No, because I didn’t assert any authority on the basis of that authority. Remember, an accusation of contradiction in the Bible presupposes a correct understanding of the Bible…which presupposes someone who can correctly understand/interpret it.

I am using historical evidence of the source of the Scriptural writings (those that became “The Bible”), historical evidence that those writings were indeed written (otherwise they wouldn’t exist), and historical evidence that the Catholic Church indeed compiled what we know as “The Bible”. I also am relying on the historical authenticity, that what is contained in the Bible is accurate (historically).

If what the Bible says is historically accurate, then Jesus really existed, really founded a Church which really fulfilled ancient Judaism, with a hierarchy, and that Church really compiled what we know as “The Bible”…that Bible which the Church believes reveals its beliefs and God’s Word. It is only logical to say that this Church, then, would be the go-to “person” in coming to a proper Christian understanding of the Bible.

The Orthodox would challenge this claim as would modern Jews who would say that the Old Testament scriptures are theirs and only they understand them correctly. Which side is the unaffiliated person supposed to believe and on what basis?

In the case of the atheist, he can look at all sides. What he CANNOT do is claim a contradiction without presupposing the “correct” understanding of a book he didn’t write, and simultaneously rejecting the understanding of that group which he is arguing against.

In other words, it is logically consistent for me to believe in an authoritative interpreter of the Bible (using historical evidence), and then assert that any interpretation which goes against the authoritative interpretation is wrong. To show a contradiction, the person would first have to show why the authoritative interpreter got the interpretation wrong…and why this person is correct.

It is logically inconsistent to reject an authoritative interpreter, and then assert any interpretation as being correct. (I.e. My understanding is correct, which shows a contradiction in the Bible.) Before the person can assert that there is a contradiction, they have to show why their understanding is the correct one. How are they going to show that they are correct if they reject an authoritative interpretation? It’s all subjective at that point…and there is NO correct interpretation.

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