Catholic Truth! Here is the first of many articles we are producing that answer many of the common arguments against the Catholic Church.
Whether through ignorance , negligence, or plain anti-Catholicism, the picture to the left is wrong in every aspect. I myself have shelves of anti-Catholic books. I have read and studied their arguments at length.
I know them inside and out. Contrast this with the majority of anti-Catholics who have never even read one, single, solitary book written by a Catholic.
It is no wonder they know absolutely nothing of Catholicism that I have studied and read; the sad but plain truth is that most anti-Catholics do not even read a single, solitary book written by a Catholic, and so they know absolutely nothing of the Catholic faith. This is the reason they present countless strawman arguments that are false and uninformed.
Thus, this article will debunk all of the above statements and add a proper understanding to them. These are some of the many arguments against the Catholic Church, and we will give the Catholic truth in return.
Answer to #1: “Call No Man Father” (Mt. 23:9)
Anti-Catholics state that Catholics call priests “father” but the Bible says not to. However, this is a very primitive and elementary understanding of Scripture. A person cannot take one passage out of context to prove a point the Bible itself is not trying to make. When we look at the rest of Scripture in context, it actually disproves the arguments that anti-Catholics make when using this verse. For example, just look at Mt. 15:4; Romans 4:1, 11-12, 16-18; Mt. 19:5; 1 Tim 5:1-2; 1 Jn. 2:13-14; 1 Cor. 4:13-15; Heb. 12:9; and many more. Romans 4 uses the word father 6 TIMES to describe Abraham as our father in faith,
All of the above passages, and more that could be cited, use the word father‘ to convey both a physical and a spiritual fatherhood. So clearly, if Matthew, Luke, Stephen, Paul, John, and even Jesus use the word father, and the word father is used all throughout the New Testament, then the way anti-Catholics use Mt. 23:9 is wrong.
It is being cherry-picked out of context. After all, Mt. 23:10 also says to call nobody a teacher, and yet we call people teachers all the time. This is because we know that Jesus was using Rabbinic Hyperbole to make a point to the Pharisees He was speaking to. He did not mean it literally in all cases as evidenced by all the scriptures quoted above. If you would like to watch my whole video on this topic, you can find it here:
Answer to #2: (Confessing sins to a Priest)
Confessing sins to one another (James 5:16) and to a priest is also a biblical teaching, one that many anti-Catholics overlook. Let us take just one example. Jn. 20:21-23 shows clearly that Jesus gave the power to ‘men’ to forgive sins in His name (among with other verses). It is still God (Jesus) who forgives the sins, but the priests are the vessels by which that forgiveness comes about. I made a whole blog post and a whole YouTube video on this found below.
Confession to a Priest – Longer (older) Version found here
Confession to a Priest – Shorter version found here
Answer to #3 (Prayers to “dead” Saints)
The picture above uses an Old Testament passage which happened before Jesus came and broke the power of death. He freed us from death, which is why Scripture states that, “God is not the God of the dead but of the living” (Lk. 20:37-38). Before Jesus came, nobody could go to heaven. They went to a “waiting place” known as Sheol or Hades (See 1 Peter 3:20, for example). However, now that Jesus has freed us, people go to heaven and are alive there, made perfect by Christ’s grace.
The Bible clearly shows that these people are alive in heaven, not dead. Just look, for example, at Revelation 6:9-11. It shows not only that people are alive, but that they are cognizant and remember what happened to them on earth.
Rev. 6:9-11: “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”
And there are other verses too. Many times, anti-Catholics have a very Old Testament and Jewish understanding of heaven instead of a Christian one. If you would like excellent resources to learn your faith or learn more about the real Catholic faith, see resources at the end.
Answer to #4 (Mary helped in the salvation process)
God had absolutely no need of Mary for anything. However, God, Eternal Wisdom, chose Mary to help in the salvation process. She did not die for us or shed her blood or anything like that, but she participated by giving birth to the Messiah. She gave Jesus His body, the very same body which would be sacrificed for the life of the world. *Only Jesus saves!* However, ‘all’ of us help in the salvation process in some way, whether it’s preaching to a sinner, calling out their sins, helping to bring them back to Christ, etc. We all have a part, though the work is all Christ and His grace. Even St. Paul said he was a “co-worker” with Christ. Does that mean He is equal to Christ? Of course not. And neither is Mary. She is only a mere human being, yet she was blessed to be chosen by God to have a special role in bringing forth the Savior of the world in a way that no one else did.
Answer to #5 (“Praying” to Mary)
Revelation 5:8 says the saints pray for us. In regard to Mary, we don’t “pray” to her as an end. No, in reality, we ask her to pray for us as we would a pastor, friend, or family member. They pray for us and we pray for them – and all without breaking the role of Christ as one mediator. He allows us to participate with Him and He is not threatened by it. Rather, He loves His children praying for each other and helping each other to heaven. Likewise, we can ask Mary and the saints to pray for us. And just as you, your pastor, or your family will all go to Jesus on your behalf, so Mary, the angels, and saints all go to Jesus on our behalf. And their prayers are much more powerful than ours because they are perfected in Christ’s righteousness.
For a quick 2 minute understanding of Mary and what Catholics believe, check out my video here.
Answer to #6 (“Idol” worship)
This is an argument against the Catholic Church that is just silly and misinformed. It comes no doubt from misunderstandings in Catholic practice. Idols are created things that are worshiped instead of God. Like the pagans had idols of gold and wood and other materials that they actually considered God. Catholics worship God only. If you do not know this, then you know nothing about Catholicism even at an elementary level.
I have read countless anti-Catholic books and all of their arguments hundreds of times over. In contrast, anti-Catholics have almost never even read one, single Catholic book written by a Catholic, and so know nothing about the real Catholicism. They are completely and totally ignorant relying on other ignorant anti-Catholics who have never heard the real truth of Catholicism.
Find me just one official quote written by the pope or in a Council document that says to worship idols. You will not find it. Both Scripture (Revelation 22:9) and the Catholic Church teach that we must worship and adore God only. Anyone who thinks that Catholics worship some plaster and marble, needs to study Catholicism. This is why I made a whole YouTube video on this specific topic.
Make sure to check out the resources at the end of this article if you want to learn more about your Catholic faith OR more about what Catholics actually believe.
The bottom line is that anti-Catholics are only anti-Catholic because they left the Catholic Church and are bitter, they have never studied the religion they attack so fiercely, or because they have been duped. They have received false information that they did not fact-check, and they believed the lies and half-truths told to them. We must pray for them to come home!
The Catholic Church was started by Jesus over 2000 years old, and it is found in every nation, tribe and tongue on the face of the earth. The Catholic Church is the very same Church that put the Bible together, copied it for a thousand years, and that gave it to the world. Come to know the Catholic faith, the real Catholic faith started!