Does anyone have information on Catholicism?
I am a nondenominational Christian but am interested in Catholicism. What are the basic beliefs of Catholicism? How do Catholics view Mary and the saints? What is the difference between Protestantism and Catholicism and why did the Protestants split off from the Catholic Church? Also, are there any reliable websites on Catholicism?
Answer by Aleria
Hi, please ignore Matthew, Dan and Jesus Saves, they have shown themselves to be quite anti-Catholic and have no understanding of (or want to understand) Catholicism.
The best way to say what the basic beliefs of Catholicism is is to quote the Creed:
“We believe (I believe) in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, and born of the Father before all ages. (God of God) light of light, true God of true God. Begotten not made, consubstantial to the Father, by whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven. And was incarnate of the Holy Ghost and of the Virgin Mary and was made man; was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered and was buried; and the third day rose again according to the Scriptures. And ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, and shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, of whose Kingdom there shall be no end. And (I believe) in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father (and the Son), who together with the Father and the Son is to be adored and glorified, who spoke by the Prophets. And one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. We confess (I confess) one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for (I look for) the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.”
Views on Mary and the Saints:
Mary is considered the highest of the Saints, but certainly not God, divine or anything else of that sort. She is the handmaid of the Lord, the Mother of God, the Arc of the New Covenant (the old Arc held the staff of the High Priest, the manna from Heaven and the Word of God. Mary held within her THE High Priest, THE living manna from Heaven and THE living Word of God), the Queen of Heaven (Jesus is the King and in the Davidic Kingdom–which He restored–it is the mother of the king who is the queen) and our spiritual mother (As God is our Father, Jesus is our Brother, so too is Mary our mother).
The Saints are viewed as alive and sinless now that they abide in Heaven. They are our family and so we believe they can pray for us–through Christ, the One Mediator–and assist us in our prayers.
This is hard to go over because there are 38,000 Protestant denominations (this includes non-denominationalism) and each one has varying beliefs–from slightly to grossly–from each other and from the Catholic Church. To state the differences, one must first discuss which Protestant denomination you want to compare. Why they split off…well, Luther had some good reasons to bring to the attention of the Pope and originally Luther stated that he wanted to reform the Church from the inside out, but he disliked the pope and so broke off. He later is quoted on his death bed saying “I meant to rid one pope, but instead I have created a thousand”, this statement is quite true because now each pastor decides what the church believes. I’m sure if you visited a few of the churches that go by the same name as yours you will find doctrinal differences. Some might be small, but some could be large.
As for websites, I will give you some good ones:
http://www.beginningcatholic.com/ –This one has some great articles and information on how to find out more. It gives Scripture, explanations and Catechism references on our beliefs.
http://www.scborromeo.org/apol.htm –This one has some great stuff as well. I suggest you click on the “I’m Glad You Asked”, which is a book on common Catholic questions and answers.
http://www.scripturecatholic.com/ –This one is good, while it doesn’t explain a lot, it’s all the Scripture and Early Church Father teachings on Catholic beliefs. I would recommend you order John Salza’s Book “The Biblical Basis of Catholicism”, that is a great overview.
Lastly, I would recommend you do this:
Contact your local Catholic Church and tell them you are interested in Catholicism. Right now there is a class going on for those interested in learning and/or converting to Catholicism. You will not be pressured into converting at all and you can leave at any time if you want to, but this way you can listen and ask questions regarding Catholicism–and you can ask them ANYTHING. It is great way to learn about Catholicism in a classroom setting.
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