We receive quite a few questions from Catholics and about Catholicism. Let us be abundantly clear, GotQuestions.org is not a Catholic ministry. We strongly believe that the Bible is to be our guide for faith and practice. While we recognize the value of church traditions, we refuse to accept any tradition that is not clearly supported by the Word of God. Our "conflict" with Catholicism is in regards to the proper interpretation of the Bible. Listed below are the most frequent questions we receive from Catholics and about Catholicism.
We receive many "complaints" from Catholics that our articles about the Roman Catholic Church do not accurately present what the Catholic Church truly teaches and practices. We also receive many compliments from former Catholics stating that our articles about the Roman Catholic Church are absolutely true. For examples, please click here or scroll to the bottom of this page. All of our articles on Catholic topics were written by former Catholics who left the Catholic Church after comparing what the Catholic Church teaches and practices with the Bible, or by individuals with extensive experience with/knowledge of Roman Catholicism. The articles are thoroughly researched. We strongly believe them to accurately represent the doctrines of the Catholic Church. You may disagree with our conclusions, but they are the results of years of being Catholic, being taught Catholic doctrine, practicing Catholicism, studying Catholic theology, and conversing with Catholics. We are not bashing the Catholic Church, and we do not hate Catholics. We simply believe there are some serious doctrinal problems with the Catholic Church that need to be addressed Biblically.
There is also the issue that the practices of many Catholics depart from the "official traditions" of the Roman Catholic Church. For example, the Roman Catholic Church does not "officially" teach Catholics to worship Mary, but rather to honor and revere her. However, through observation, it is abundantly clear that many Catholics do in fact worship Mary. This is the result of the Roman Catholic Church not doing a good job of teaching and explaining its doctrines. Many Catholics are completely ignorant of what Catholic doctrines and practices truly mean and signify. Some of our Catholic-related articles may be responding more to the unbiblical practices of some (or most) Catholics, and not necessarily the "official positions" of the Roman Catholic Church.
Please note - GotQuestions.org is not a Christian debate site. Our ministry is to present what the Bible teaches on various topics. It is not our purpose to attempt to persuade you that all of our views are correct. We have presented what we believe to be the truth. If you have genuine questions about something we have said, we will be happy to answer them. However, if you only want to engage in debate, we will refrain from responding to your emails. Again, our ministry is to answer questions as Biblically as we can. We would much rather answer the genuine questions of people who are seeking for answers than engage in a fruitless discussion with someone whose mind is already made up. Thank you for understanding!
While he is not the author of every article on GotQuestions.org, for citation purposes, you may reference our CEO, S. Michael Houdmann.
I am a Catholic. Why should I consider becoming a Christian?
What is Roman Catholicism?
Is salvation by faith alone, or by faith plus works?
What is sola scriptura?
Is Catholicism a false religion? Are Catholics saved?
Are Catholic beliefs and practices biblical?
What is the origin of the Catholic Church?
What is the Catholic Bible?
What does the Bible say about the virgin Mary?
What is the Catholic sacrament of Holy Eucharist? What is the Catholic definition of celebrating Holy Eucharist?
What is the immaculate conception?
Is prayer to saints or Mary biblical?
Is worship of saints / Mary biblical?
What are the Apocrypha / Deuterocanonical books? Do the Apocryphal / Deuterocanonical books belong in the Bible?
What is transubstantiation?
Is apostolic succession biblical?
Witnessing to Catholics—what is the key?
Is praying the rosary Scriptural?
Are the seven Catholic sacraments biblical?
Should Catholic tradition have equal or greater authority than the Bible?
What does the Bible say about the pope / papacy?
What does the Bible say about confession of sin to a priest?
What does the Bible say about infant baptism?
What was the first / original church? Is the original / first church the true church?
What was the Protestant Reformation?
Is the pope, or the next pope, the antichrist?
What is the whore of Babylon / mystery Babylon?
What are Christian saints according to the Bible?
What is the Apostles' Creed?
What does the Bible say about purgatory?
What is moral theology?
What is the rock in Matthew 16:18?
Is the priesthood of all believers biblical?
What is extreme unction?
Was Saint Peter the first Pope?
Is the perpetual virginity of Mary biblical?
What is the Eastern Orthodox Church and what are the beliefs of Orthodox Christians?
What was the Great Schism?
What are indulgences and plenary indulgences and is the concept biblical?
Is papal infallibility biblical?
Catholic vs. Protestant - why is there so much animosity?
What is the difference between Catholics and Protestants?
What does the Bible say about liturgy? Should a Christian participate in liturgical worship?
Does the Bible teach mortal and venial sin?
Are apparitions of Mary, such as Lady Fatima, true messages from God?
Does the Bible support the Catholic practice of a marriage annulment?
Is the Catholic concept of a nun biblical?
What were the Inquisitions?
What does the Bible say about holy water?
What is the Assumption of Mary?
Sign of the cross - what is the meaning? Should Christians perform the sign of the cross?
Is the Pope the Vicar of Christ?
What does the Bible say about Limbo?
What does the Bible say about being a God-parent?
Does the Bible teach the celibacy of priests?
What is sacerdotalism?
Which of the 30,000 Protestant denominations is the true church of God?
Who is the Queen of Heaven?
Is the observance of a first communion biblical?
What is the correct interpretation of John 20:23?
What is the cause of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church?
What is the Holy See?
Who are the Jesuits, and what do they believe?
What is iconoclasm?
Do eucharistic miracles really happen?
Is it wrong for Catholics to refer to their priests as “father”?
What is the meaning/definition of the word Catholic?
What happened at the Council of Trent?
What is the Hail Mary that Catholics say so often?
What is the Vatican / Vatican City?
What is the Catholic catechism?
Is the Catholic concept of absolution biblical?
Why is the real presence of Christ in the Lord's Supper such a controversial issue?
What is beatification and canonization and are they biblical?
What is a novena?
Is penance mentioned in the Bible?
What was the Holy Roman Empire?
Do Catholics worship idols / practice idolatry?
What is a papal conclave?
Is Mary the mother of God?
Is Mary the co-redemptrix / mediatrix?
How are Catholics able to perform exorcisms if many of their beliefs are unbiblical?
Who are the Knights of Columbus?
What is the Catholic understanding of baptism?
Are baptism and communion means of grace?
Should a non-Catholic Christian participate in a Catholic Mass?
I want to thank you for the information you provide on your site. I was born and raised Catholic. In my early twenties I fell-away and was driven to the occult. I was "born-again" about 10 years ago (age 25), but accepted the claims of the Catholic church, made a general confession, and returned. For the better part of the past 10 years, and escalating with each passing year, I had questioned my Catholic faith while reading scripture. A few years ago I finally decided I couldn't in good conscience remain Catholic. Last year I found a good, biblical church, but still kept feeling drawn back to my Catholic faith. I think perhaps I was in denial, or I wasn't solid enough in my biblical knowledge (I've no doubt that is true!), or maybe a combination of both. After several episodes of falling back into my Catholic mindset, and after much dialogue with Catholic apologists, I developed a clearer picture of what the bible teaches, and realized that I couldn't go back again (to Catholic church). Anyway, I thought I would try to confirm some of my conclusions about what the bible teaches vs. Catholicism (specifically, the belief in sacraments conferring grace, and the Catholic claims of church authority [tradition] vs. biblical authority). In so doing, I came upon your website.
Somewhat of an abstract thinker, I wasn't exactly sure of what it was that was wrong with the Catholic system of sacraments, but I felt it had something to do with substitution. I felt very bound, as a Catholic, to the church. My faith and trust lied primarily in the church and its sacraments than it did in Christ. I knew that I had more of a relationship with the church than I did with Christ; feeling constantly that my attention was being diverted away from Christ and to something else (devotionals (special prayers...), sacramentalism (rosaries, relics, holy water...), seeking intercession of saints (in heaven), baptism and Eucharist as means of salvation... I couldn't fully lay it out in my mind or thoughts, exactly what it was that was wrong, and couldn't sufficiently verbalize it either.
I found your website to be the first (after many years of research) that properly represents the Catholic faith (and this, coming from a pretty knowledgeable, former, VERY devout Catholic). I see many misrepresentations of Catholicism among non-Catholics, but your site information is very accurate. I found, clearly and simply put, the inconsistencies of Catholic doctrine when compared with the Scriptures. This was such a blessing for me, as I was previously unable to verbalize the things I had conceived of in my own studies. Thank you for an honest representation of the Catholic faith, and a sensitive approach in attempting to reveal the truth, as God has revealed, in His Word. I hope that I can bless others with this new insight, and pray that it will more firmly ground me in my faith in God and His Word. Many thanks, and God Bless you and the ministry!
I was born and raised Roman Catholic and maintained myself as a practicing Catholic until a couple years ago when I joined a non-denominational church and married a Protestant woman. I still maintain an affection for many of the Catholic rituals and traditions. And often my wife and I discuss some of the many disconnects between Catholic teaching and that of strictly the Holy Bible. I have gained a great understanding first-hand the great need for people to develop a true relationship with Christ, whether within or beyond the walls of the Catholic church. I was relieved to visit your website where you have addressed the many differences very fairly and non-biased. Other websites address the Catholic church with bigotry, bias, and contempt. You on the other hand appear to confront the issues with factual data, and a loving, Christian heart. And I am grateful.
Questions about Cults and Religions