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Responses to Random Anti-Catholic Claims

It’s been a while since I’ve gotten one of these messages, and since lots of Catholics have to deal with random and baseless accusations everyday, I figured I’d go through each point here rather than in messages. I will supply each of his claims verbatim and then respond accordingly. Consider it a learning experience for all of us (because some of these are new for me too).

Claim 1: Catholics worship “another jesus and another gospel” per 2 Cor 11:4 and for FAR too many reasons to list here.

Response to point 1: You allude to 2 Corinthians 11:4 (For if some one comes and preaches another Jesus than the one we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you submit to it readily enough.) without making any actual accusations as to how Catholics worship “another Jesus.” This isn’t even really a claim, just a baseless accusation.
The Catholic Church springs from Jesus Christ; son of Mary; born in Bethlehem; circumcised in accordance with the Law of Moses; raised in Nazareth; baptized by John in the Jordan; who preached in Judaea and Samaria; who healed the blind; cured the lame; made the deaf hear and the mute speak; who raised the dead and multiplied the loaves and fishes; who was convicted unjustly by Pontus Pilate on false testimony of the religious leaders of Jerusalem; who was crucified, died and was buried; who rose again on the third day; who appeared to His apostles and commissioned them to spread His Gospel; who ascended into heaven; and who will return to judge the living and the dead. That is the Jesus we worship, and that is the Jesus that the Catholic Church has shared around the world.

Claim 2: Suffice to say that it is a FACT: Catholicism CANNOT tell us how many Bible verses she has officially defined

Response to claim 2: The Church doesn’t generally “define” a Bible verse. The Church, in her 2000 year history, has developed many principles of sound interpretation, and recommends those principles to read the Bible through. What Catholics have is sometimes referred to as the three legged stool of biblical interpretation and analysis: we have the scriptures themselves, sacred tradition and the teaching magisterium of the Church. With these three legs of the stool, we can read and interpret for ourselves and we’ll stay within sound doctrine. Unlike other Christian groups or sects that have no such principles and so interpretation takes wildly different directions and ends in the thousands of denominations that disagree over even the most basic things.

Claim 3: or tell us how many times the Pope has spoken ex-cathedra

Response to claim 3: this one is actually an easy one. The Pope actually rarely issues an ex-cathedra declaration (a technical term referring to the Pope’s ability to bind and loose doctrinal and disciplinary matters in the Church see these posts for more on this Here and Here). The pope can define doctrine, but he never invents doctrine. He fleshes it out and clears up misconceptions if necessary, but even the pope doesn’t possess the ability to just think up a new doctrine alla Joseph Smith. The pope has only dogmatically defined teachings in an ex-cathedra way twice; once when Pope Pius IX’s definition of the Immaculate Conception in 1854, and when Pope Pius XII defined the dogma of the Assumption of The Blessed Mother in 1950. But those are the only ex-cathedra official definitions, technically the Pope has taught in a binding and authoritative way many more times, because every canonization uses the phrase “we declare and define that Blessed N., is a saint” as so is making an official declaratory statement, about a point of faith, and in the name of Christ’s universal Church. (See https://jimmyakin.com/2004/06/two_instances_o.html and my article The Communion of Saints for more)

Claim 4: nor can they give us an infallible list of traditions that are on the same level as Holy Writ as she claims.

Response to Claim 4: This one is kind of splitting hairs, and is almost the same as the previous question, just with the added twist of a sola sciptura flair. The teachings of the Church can never contradict scripture. If you think you’ve found a contradiction between the two you are not read one or the other, or maybe both, in the proper context. One mistake that many non Catholics make is to assume that all teachings must come from the Bible, but they then ignore the fact that the Bible in its current form didn’t exist for the first few centuries of the Church, and yet the Church existed and thrived in those times. They believed what the apostles taught them, and passed that along, and then when the Bible was finally compiled into its single volume like we have today, it was in perfect harmony with what the Church believed because the Holy Spirit led and guarded the deposit of faith.

The Bible came from the Catholic Church, the Catholic Church didn’t come from the Bible. ( see Jimmy Akin’s book The Bible Is A Catholic Book)

Claim 5: Therefore, to insist that an infallible pope is necessary to run the church, yet be unable to produce infallibly that which he has taught infallibly, is to deny the ability of the pope TO CONVEY his teachings, or his people to receive them. Hence, his office is not only unbiblical, but for all intents and purposes, useless.

Response to claim 5: Another non-claim. You say that based on your previously unproven predicated, the office of the papacy is unbiblical and useless. You could maybe make the second point if your previous assertions were accurate, but they in no way prove that the papacy is unbiblical. The papacy is based upon Jesus selecting Peter as the prime apostle. This one point could take a book length treatment to work through, so I’ll just link a couple of my previous articles (Saint Peter podcast and A matter of authority ) and a link to Steve Ray.

Claim 6: Count on it then: the case for Catholicism can EASILY be thrown out of court if brought before a judge and jury, and happily, it WILL be, on Judgment Day, which will no doubt be a shock to your system when you come to find out EVERYTHING you believed in was a sham and a hoax.

Response to claim 6: I do appreciate how you end your list of grievances with the Church with this rhetorical flourish to make it sound as if you’ve presented a compelling case that would surely hold up in court, but you’ve done no such thing.

This final claim, essentially the eternal damnation of all Catholics, is baseless and unproven just like all your previous points. If I understand your argument correctly, you’re saying that if Papal infallibility isn’t true, the whole system crashes to the ground? I actually somewhat agree with you here, but for reasons different than your own. If you take the time to read my conversion story or the previous links I’ve given you about the authority of the Church, then you’d know I struggled with this idea myself and eventually overcame these objections partially because of the disunity and disarray of the Protestant movement. There are thousands of separate Protestant churches, that believe wildly varying and divergent beliefs, and yet Jesus promised His church would be guided into “all truths” by the Holy Spirit. So how can that be? That promise only makes sense if the Church He is speaking of has a unified teaching authority, and doesn’t teach contradictions (the adherence to these teachings by individuals notwithstanding).

If the Church wast the “pillar and foundation of truth”, then we couldn’t know for sure what Christian belief was true and what wasn’t. This would be akin to Jesus abandoning His Church, and I don’t believe He ever would, because that would make Him a liar. I don’t know about the Jesus you believe in, but the “Catholic Jesus” is fully God and fully Man, and is incapable of lying because He is truth itself.

Summary

Even though my tone may sound adversarial at times, I do mot want to give the impression that I think non-Catholics are worthy of contempt or derision. The fact of the matter is that if you believe Jesus is the Son of God, suffers and died for the atonement of sins, was raised for our justification, and will reign eternally in heaven, then you are my brother (although separated to a certain degree), and I will pray that your eyes are opened to the fullness of Truth that is found inside the Church that Christ founded. The one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.

God bless you.

One comment on “Responses to Random Anti-Catholic Claims

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