Pope Francis has stirred up many questions from other denominations.These are the most popular misconceptions about Roman Catholics that people recite.
#1- Misconception: Catholics worship Mary and are, therefore, committing idolatry
In Catholic theology there are three types of prayer practices – one of which is condemned in the Bible if offered to anyone but God:
a) Latria – this is adoration which is given to God alone – giving this type of worship to anyone else is considered to be a mortal sin and it is the idolatry condemned in the Bible.
b) Hyperdulia – this is a special type of relationship and friendship given to Mary the Mother of Jesus – it is only given to her and it is not considered to be idolatry as it is not adoration, merely reverence(practice of keeping holy).
c) Dulia – this is the special type of worship given only to the saints and angels – it is also not idolatrous as it, too, is a form of reverence.
A Catholic who may kneel in front of a statue while praying isn’t worshiping the statue or even praying to it, any more than the Protestant who kneels with a Bible in his hands when praying is worshiping the Bible or praying to it.
#2 Misconception: Catholics aren’t Christians but Pagans
Catholics are Christian by virtue that they are followers of Jesus Christ. Opponents of the Catholic Church often attempt to discredit Catholicism by attempting to show similarities between it and the beliefs or practices of ancient paganism. This fallacy is frequently committed by Fundamentalists against Catholics, by Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and others against both Protestants and Catholics, and by atheists and skeptics against both Christians and Jews. Catholic doctrines are neither borrowed from the mystery religions nor introduced from pagans after the conversion of Constantine. To make a charge of paganism stick, one must be able to show more than a similarity between something in the Church and something in the non-Christian world. One must be able to demonstrate a legitimate connection between the two, showing clearly that one is a result of the other, and that there is something wrong with the non-Christian item. In the final analysis, nobody has been able to prove these things regarding a doctrine of the Catholic faith.
#3 Misconception: The Catholic Church is opposed to science and rejects evolution.
Many great scientific advances have come about through Catholic scholarship and education.Catholic Schools all around the world (including the US) teach scientific evolution as part of their science curriculum.
#4 Misconception: They call the Pope God and worship him.
Church Fathers recognized that Jesus made Peter the rock on which he would build his Church, that this gave Peter a special primacy, that Peter went to Rome, and that he left successors there. Actually Catholics do not worship him. The papacy follows that the Lord says to Peter: ‘I say to you,’ he says, ‘that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it. And to you I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever things you bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth, they shall be loosed also in heaven’ [Matt. 16:18–19]). … On him [Peter] he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep [John 21:17], and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair [cathedra], and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were also what Peter was [i.e., apostles], but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair. So too, all [the apostles] are shepherds, and the flock is shown to be one, fed by all the apostles in single-minded accord.
#5 They make up things and are not based on scripture.
The Catholic Church bases her teaching upon one source: The word of God. This divine revelation is transmitted in two ways: through Scripture and apostolic (from the Apostles)tradition. Many assume that only the writings of the apostles are the word of God. However, their oral transmission of the faith is also considered the word of God (1 Thess. 2:13).
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