18 Common Protestant Misconceptions About Catholic Beliefs

SharePinEmailAs there are so many denominations in religion, it is no surprise that many don’t see eye to eye. The historic feud between Protestants and Catholics goes back many years, chiefly due to their differing views on faith. These misunderstandings still exist today and are exacerbated by social media and news outlets. The Pope is…

As there are so many denominations in religion, it is no surprise that many don’t see eye to eye. The historic feud between Protestants and Catholics goes back many years, chiefly due to their differing views on faith. These misunderstandings still exist today and are exacerbated by social media and news outlets.

The Pope is Flawless

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The Pope occupies a high position and many Catholics respect what he says. However, while he may be seen as faultless when he is speaking about faith and morals, he is still held to a normal standard regarding what he does in his everyday life.

Catholics Worship Mary

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There is a common belief held by Protestants that Catholics worship Mary since they reject doctrines such as the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption. However, they ultimately worship God instead of Mary. With Mary, they show her respect and reverence but don’t worship her.

Catholics Are Hypocrites

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In today’s society, many scandals have been exposed within the Catholic church. This has resulted in many Protestants believing that Catholics are hypocritical, preaching kindness and compassion while practicing the opposite. However, these controversies are only reflective of a minority of Catholics.

Jesus is Re-crucified at Every Sermon

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Protestants who have never been to a Catholic mass service may falsely believe that Jesus is re-crucified every time. However, during mass, the re-crucifixion of Jesus is more of a metaphor and a representation of his crucifixion, recalling the original event.

Christianity is Not Related to Catholicism

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Even though some Protestants believe there is no relationship between Catholicism and Christianity, the reality is that Catholics are Christians. This is because they believe in the Trinity, the divinity of Christ, and the resurrection; all of which are core parts of Christian faith.

Catholics Think Only They Believe in an Afterlife

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Protestant people often think that Catholics consider that they alone will be granted salvation. However, Catholics are aware that everyone on Earth has the power to win eternal life. Many different types of people share this belief as about two hundred years before Jesus, Jewish thinkers began to believe that there had to be something beyond death.

The Bible is an Afterthought For Catholics

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Although not every Catholic has read the Bible, they still take it very seriously. Even if they have not read it page by page, they are still exposed to the Bible in their community or mass as biblical passages are read out. Some devout Catholics will read the Bible regularly as a part of their study.

Catholic Priests Have the Power to Absolve Sins

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A lot of Protestants believe that Catholic priests hold divine power, enabling them to forgive the sins of those Catholics to confess to them. However, they are representatives of God who ultimately has the power to bestow forgiveness.

Praying To Saints is Common For Catholics

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While some Catholics will pray to specific saints when they need help with a particular issue, it is God to whom they normally direct their prayers. Saints are seen as intermediaries to God, meaning that their prayers are always said with God in mind.

Guilt and Fear Rule Catholic People

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Throughout history, most Catholics have been expected to keep silent, never speaking up when injustice is occurring. Protestants may believe that Catholics are governed by fear and guilt in their lives. However, especially today, Catholics have become vocal about what they believe in, championing the rights of others without worrying about the religious repercussions.

Catholic People Think Everything is a Sin

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Sins are embedded within Catholicism as Catholics have been taught about both venial and mortal sins. However, Catholics aren’t as rigid with the idea of sins as Protestants might believe. Many Catholics regularly break things that are deemed as sins in the Bible such as remarrying after divorce or wearing mixed fabrics.

There is No Room For Doubt in Catholicism

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Even today, many Protestants view Catholicism as punitive and restrictive, forbidding Catholics to question their faith. However, Catholics do not simply absorb the material they read in the Bible or are told by religious leaders. They will speculate about biblical passages and then formulate their ideas.

Catholic Rituals Are Pointless

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Partially because Protestants don’t understand how Catholic rituals operate, they will dismiss them. Yet, these rituals hold a lot of meaning for Catholics who see them as a way of bonding with God, solidifying their faith, and connecting with others through faith.

Catholic People Can’t Have Money

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For a long time, there has been an association of money and wealth with unbelievers, making having more money feel like a grievous sin for Catholics. However, the Bible only warns about the effect of having a lot of money, and never explicitly states that Catholics should not have it.

Masses Are Said in Latin

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Some Protestants still hold the belief that Catholic services are said in Latin. However, that is extremely rare as the majority of these masses are conducted in the local language. While Latin is dropped into these services occasionally, it will only be a small portion of the mass.

Catholicism is Performative

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In every religion, there are a select few who will boast about their faith to get credit from others. Despite this, the majority of Catholics take their faith seriously, applying the lessons they learn from the Bible to their everyday lives without thinking about how it looks to others.

The LGBTQ+ Community is Condemned by Catholics

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The Catholic church, in its doctrine, still rejects same-sex marriage as “intrinsically disordered.” However, many Catholics are accepting, inclusive, and welcoming of these LGBTQ+ people as they believe in being kind to others regardless of their sexuality or identity.

Science is Rejected By Every Catholic

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Science and religion have always had an unstable relationship. In reality, the Catholic Church supports scientific inquiry and has a long history of contributions to various scientific fields, despite what many Protestants might believe.

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