12 Simple Differences Between Catholics and Protestants

By Wendy Thomas Russell | June 10, 2013 | 158 comments

The rapid rise of the “Nones” — those unaffiliated with religious groups — was back in the news this week, when the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released its most recent study on American religiosity. Here’s what Pew had to say:

The number of Americans who do not identify with any religion continues to grow at a rapid pace. One-fifth of the U.S. public – and a third of adults under 30 – are religiously unaffiliated today, the highest percentages ever in Pew Research Center polling… Their ranks now include more than 13 million self-described atheists and agnostics (nearly 6% of the U.S. public), as well as nearly 33 million people who say they have no particular religious affiliation (14%).

In addition, the group emphasized that, for the first time in history, there is no Protestant majority in the United States. That is, Protestants have dropped to 48 percent, whereas they comprised 53 percent of the public as recently as 2007 — a drop of 5 percent in five years. (Catholics, by comparison dropped 1 percent during the same time period — to 22 percent). As you all know, Protestants are Christians who broke off from the Catholic Church 500 years ago. Although there are more than 33,000 (!!) Protestant denominations, all of them still operate in ways that are separate and distinct from the Catholic Church. But what are the differences, really? I mean, all Christians Churches hold the same core value: Jesus Christ was the son of the God who died for our sins, arose from the dead, and ascended to heaven. Isn’t the rest just window-dressing?

Well, here, you decide.

Twelve Differences Between Catholics and Protestants:

1. The Pope. Catholics have a Pope, which they consider a vicar for Christ — an infallible stand-in, if you will — that heads the Church. Protestants believe no human is infallible and Jesus alone heads up the Church.

2.  Big, Fancy Cathedrals. Catholics have them; Protestants don’t. Why? Well, Catholicism says that “humanity must discover its unity and salvation” within a church. Protestants say all Christians can be saved, regardless of church membership. (Ergo… shitty, abandoned storefront churches? All Protestant.)

3. Saints. Catholics pray to saints (holy dead people) in addition to God and Jesus. Protestants acknowledge saints, but don’t pray to them. [Note: There is much debate about the use of the word “pray” in this context, so let me clarify: Saints are seen by Catholics as an intermediary to God or Jesus. Although Catholics do technically pray to saints, they are not praying for the saints to help them directly but to intervene on their behalf. They are asking the saints (in the form of a prayer) to pray for them. It’s like praying for prayers. Hope this helps.]

4.  Holy Water. Catholics only.

5. Celibacy and Nuns. Catholics only.

6. Purgatory: Catholics only.

7. Scripture: The be-all, end-all for Protestants is “the Word of God.” For Catholics, tradition is just important as scripture — maybe even more so.

8. Catechism: Protestant kids memorize the Bible. Catholic kids get catechism.

9. Authori-tay: In Catholicism, only the Roman Catholic Church has authority to interpret the Bible. Protestants hold that each individual has authority to interpret the Bible.

10. Sacraments: Catholic are the only ones to have the concept of the seven sacraments (baptism, confirmation, the Eucharist, penance, anointing of the sick, holy orders, and matrimony). Protestants teach that salvation is attained through faith alone.

11. Holidays: Catholics have 10 Holy Days of Obligation (which mean they must go to Mass). Protestants are more like, “Just come to church on Christmas, that’s all we ask.”

12. Communion: In Catholicism, the bread and wine “become” the body and blood of Jesus Christ, meaning that Jesus is truly present on the altar. In Protestantism, the bread and wine are symbolic.

This post originally appeared in October 2012.


158 comments

  1. Jovic says:

    Dear brethren.
    Need not to debate but love one another and pray for one another. Let not the confusion clouds your mind. Let those who have ears hear. Everyone got their questions and doubts. God will answer and reveal the wisdom to those who diligently seek Him and humble. The pure in heart will able to see Him.
    Let not your faith be bound by the man made law but the Word of God. For His pure love unto us is the salvation through Jesus Christ.

    John 3:16. You will find the answer.

    May God’s will be done here on earth as in Heaven. All glory to God. Thank you Jesus. Amen

  2. mama jie says:

    in islam theres syiah sunni wahabi @ kristian we havr protestan catoluk momons n so on@ but kristians seldom2 get physical whereas Moslems kill each other @ what the hack !! @ Atheist are on the fence @ Everybody wants Heaven n Nobody wants Hell @ So whats the catch here ???

    • Crankypants says:

      After all is said and done there are two things that will never change and makes all created equal. By the way, these facts can’t be disputed. 1. We never asked to come into this world. 2. The sperm of a man united with the egg of a woman to create us.

      No matter how much I agree or disagree with a ones
      religion, political beliefs, economic conditions etc. I always keep the above two things in mind as I look at a person or read what someone says in a post to a forum.

      There is not room enough here to go into the possible results of this but suffice to say that if we treat each other equal i think it would make the world a lot better.

  3. charles S says:

    Having a fierce argument with an atheist is a waste of space. Just as Jesus is No 1 Catholic/Protestant, Adolf H. is No.1 Atheist. Hated Christianity as felt he would escape damnation for his crimes against the world/humanity. Amen.

  4. guy180090876 says:

    i am an athiest i just came to this page for a school project. i read this a second time (to copy paste it into power point) and i realized most of this is bias… i wont go into detail but this person (wendy thomas russell) seems to be protestant and disbeliveing in roman catholics

  5. ebony says:

    I’m very offended .let me explain y some of the commenters are wrong first :some as U call them Catholics are bad but they aren’t real Catholics ! Prods do bad stuff to doesn’t mean all prods R bad .everyone would just say they aren’t TRUE prods. Next U say we pray to saints maybe 1 out of 100 catholics do this ur just trying anything U can find 2 b mean .next we didn’t think of the pope as Jesus R U a complete i wont even finish. He’s just some one 2 make the dessions .i do agree tho the churches should be plainer but we make the house of god beautiful isn’t a good thing? I could go on and on but almost all of the comments are just spiteful. Just please don’t be such an ass . I’m from the north of Ireland U my or not no that chatholics were treated very badly there and still are. A man called Ian passley called out the names of children men and women on the street and when they went to burn them .little children burning crying on one tried to help them why would they, they pray to Saints! they are children dam it !my great aunty went mad thinking Ian was after her . And to this day people praise him wanting his signature no joke . Those children dead and U go on like this there is no need people please wake up can’t U see their past suffering .that was only an example. Much more happened and continues happening. MUCH MORE. You think U think ur greater ur not ! Ur just Catholics who find it to hard to have enough faith . That’s the differents prods don’t believe in every thing in the bible . U say u have to except Jesus into ur heart to go 2 heaven what if a Hindu died a Hindu that never hurt any one a Hindu that lets say gave up his life for others yes God would really let him burn in ever lasting fire . Sorry but these offended me greatly just don’t be so spiteful . Oh and im a 13 year old girl just so u know. let us love and live in harmony xo

  6. Atheist666 says:

    I DONT CARRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEE

  7. Anonymous says:

    1. God, the Father, is absolute Perfect.
    .
    2. Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God, is the Light, the Truth, and the Way.
    No one goes to God the Father but through Him.
    .
    3. The Holy Spirit, the Enlightener, 3rd Person of the Blessed Trinity, descended as He was given to us by Jesus Christ…since Jesus ascended to Heaven in a glorified Body.
    .
    Saul, a pagan Roman soldier, was re-named “Paul” by God upon a VERY profound ENLIGHTENMENT from God.
    He then was and is in GREAT favor with God…and was one of the STRONGEST, widest preachers of the Christian Faith…despite enduring MANY years of being scorned, tortured, imprisoned, and enduring MANY other tribulations.
    He fought the “Good fight” to the end of his life…and is St. Paul.
    .
    The Divine Mystery…3 Divine Persons in One:
    God, the Father…God, the Son…God, the Holy Spirit.
    .
    This Divine Mystery was illustrated to convert the pagans by St. Patrick with a 3-leaf clover.

    Paul, formerly Saul, was and is in GREAT favor with God

  8. Amanda says:

    This post seems to be more biased towards Protestants. Just saying

    • Greg says:

      totally, we Catholics need your help – Crankypants, ( I get this image of a person whose sleep is being disturbed) is a tough nut to crack.

      • Anonymous says:

        MY COMMENT IS TO ALL, RE: “CRANKYPANTS”…
        .
        Over the past few months, several of us have vigorously and clearly TRIED to explain our Catholic Christian Faith to him. We did so out of our obligation, but primarily our LOVE and FIRM belief in our ONE, TRUE FAITH, founded by Jesus Christ in 33 A.D….which has and will ALWAYS remain untainted and intact.
        .
        One teaching that I personally brought to his attention is: NOT to debate or argue the Holy Bible, aka, God’s Eternal Word.

        Yet, he alone continues to insist on debating / arguing Scripture, ie, our SOLID beliefs STRAIGHT from the Holy Bible and believed by BILLIONS of faithful over the centuries.

        And he defies the Pope!
        .
        I explained to him about the fallacies Protestants thrust on our Faith…and the FACTUAL fallacies of Protestantism. Yet, he continues to ignore.
        .
        I derived from him that:

        – he does not attend any Church.

        – he is truly NOT interested in learning about our Faith.

        – his HARASSING mission is to TRY to prove our Faith AND God wrong!
        .
        Taking ALL of the above into consideration:

        I have concluded that he is intentionally obstinent, and totally SELF-serving. And he is also leaning towards BIGOTRY!
        .
        In conclusion: it has long been time to do as Jesus tells us: “Shake the dust off your sandals.”
        .
        May God have mercy on his soul.

        God bless ALL who defended our ONE, TRUE FAITH!

  9. bjay says:

    @ crankpants
    -it is also written in the scripture that we are all gods.

    • Greg says:

      No, that we are indowed with the holy spirit, which is the third nature of God. Why would you want to be God, don’t you have enough on your plate as it is.

  10. sam says:

    jesus of the buybull was not perfect he was only a man..he ate food and pooped in the woods…he ordered those who deny him to be killed luke 19 27….he also said ‘the greatest commandment is to worship only the one god with all your heart and souls’ same was taught by adam noah Abraham moses and Muhammad…paul taught ‘god a triune 3 in 1 god and ggod deeds are like filthy rags useless’…this is what satan teaches paul was deceived oy vey

    • Greg says:

      sam, I want you to get your mind out of the woods, and consider the dual nature of Jesus. Divine but a man tempted in every way as you and I. It’s all right there, oh, and try looking it up in a bible, not that other book to which you refer.

  11. Ella says:

    One last thing to add to crankypants, what came first the Bible or the Church? And I’m referring to the bible as we know it today new and old. Well…the church came first, what church? The Catholic Church it was a catholic bishop who decided to put the books together who choose the four gospels that were inspired by the Holy Spirit. This was in the year 398 almost 400 years after Christ. Also too, if you study the first fathers of the church all of them believed in Mary like us catholic still do, venerated the first saints the apostles and all the martyrs who were killed for their faith and guess what all those people who died didn’t even have a bible. If you think about it and reason at the end of Matthew Jesus tells the apostle to go preach what they learned and baptize in the name of father,son and Holy Spirit. He didn’t send them to go write bibles and for everyone to believe in him and interpret how ever they want. Even one of the founders of Protestant believed in Mary, matin Luther. And where did he come from he was catholic because there was no other church. And here’s the last thing, the bible is important but we know that it’s not all there. God came to save all of us not just a few, not just Catholics and what saves us is not just being catholic. At the end of our days when we stand before him in the last judgement he not going to judge us for the amount of faith we have but for how much love we had for the people we encountered. If you are here visiting this site, you are looking for answers…look for the truth and you will find it. I was in your same place three years ago I was looking for the truth and by the grace of God I found that Jesus founded one holy church and it was the Roman Catholic Church and I found not one error. May God bless you and show you who are looking the way and the truth.

    • Crankypants says:

      Ella, your references to the Gospel of Luke regarding Mary are fairly accurate. As I read Luke 35 though it says “ The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born[d] will be holy; he will be called Son of God. This is God doing the work no one else. As I read John 3:16 God gave His only begotten Son. God can do mighty things as we know and the birth of John (to elderlhy parents) and Jesus (to a virgin) are number one.

      As far as the Holy Spirit, if you read Luke and the account of John being conceived verse 15 says “for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink; even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

      In Luke 1:28 Mary states that as a result of her service all generations will call me blessed. This is not a statement of pride, but is a remembrance of what the angel had already told her. When the angel Gabriel appeared, he proclaimed in verse 28, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women” .

      As far as Jesus honoring His mother what about Luke 11:27-28. when Jesus reveals that His followers can be even more blessed. At one point, when He is teaching, a woman shouts out from the crowd, “Blessed is the womb that bore you…” Jesus responds by saying, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep it!”

      Matthew 22:34-40 Jesus says the greatest commandment of all is to love God with all your heart, soul and mind. All writings in the Bible tell of how great God is and how we should worship Him and for me it doesn’t mention Mary.

      • Anonymous says:

        CRANKYPANTS,
        1.Since you are Protestant, you are most likely following the KJV, “the” Bible that was RE-translated by King James to glorify is sovereignty…the King James VERSION.
        – You most likely believe the FALSE doctrine that Mary, the Perpetual Virgin Mother of God, had other children.
        Truth: Mary’s womb was the PURE VESSEL that carried the Son of God. Her womb was NOT defiled by carrying humans with original sin, ie, NO other children.
        – You VERY unfortunately do not believe in the Transubstantiation…the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
        – But you believe in the so-called “Rapture,” invented by John Darby in 1830…a FALSE doctrine. (research it)
        Believe me, the “Rapture” is NOT going to happen.
        So if anyone is believing stuff thought up by men, you got it.
        ***At the end of Revelation, God FIRMLY warns not to add or change His Eternal Word!*** (IF your bible contains that.)
        3. Catholics do NOT worship Mary. NO Catholic says that we worship Mary. Catholics worshipping Mary is a FALLACY spread by Protestant faiths.
        4. Mary (Jesus’ Mother) and John (His favorite Apostle) stood at the foot of His Cross…and He said to John: “Behold your Mother.”
        Therefore, Jesus gave His Mother to us.
        5. Jesus performed His first miracle at the wedding feast at Cana>>>>at the request of His Mother. She interceded with a request for their hosts.
        Therefore, we HONOR Mary as our Mother and ask her to intercede for us in prayer. And she does.
        6. There is much more PROOF about Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, with Catholic beliefs, but you need to abandon your beliefs in FALSE man-made “doctrines” first and then grasp TRUE beliefs that have remained and will remain untainted and solid…in the Catholic Christian Faith.
        *******************************
        Would you mind stating your specific denomination…who founded it…and in what year was it founded

        • Crankypants says:

          First, the Bible is my church and my denomination.

          Second, in an effort to understand Catholics and Mary explain this:(Catechism 968-970, 2677) CO-MEDIATOR ‑- Mary is the Co-Mediator to whom we can entrust all our cares and petitions.

          1 Timothy 2:5-6 says “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus: Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

          Now, maybe somewhere in historical writings it explains Mary but until someone shows me I cannot believe she should in anyway be exalted as the
          Catholics do.

          Lastly, there is only one person who died on the cross for our sins and that was Jesus. Mary did not do that. So, when a pope calls out for Mary to help him in time of need, I cannot for the life of me, accept anything that comes from the Catholic church.

          Yes I am Protestant and proud of it. I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and that he died for my sins past current and future. I do not need to say rosaries, I don’t have Holy Days of Obligation and on and on. These are man made things.

          What I do have is the Bible and no matter how it was translated the message is still there. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be save. Plan and simple no frills.

          • Anonymous says:

            CRANKYPANTS, I have explained about Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, over and over and over and over….and supplied biblical reference.
            .
            Your problem ALL along has been and is: you don’t want to admit to being WRONG…due to your arrogance and obstinence….(or is it PRIDE and EGO)…..which both sets are TOTALY UN-Christian!
            .
            That is the way you present yourself…along with PROVING your TOTAL IGNORANCE of the Catholic Faith…while thinking you know it all.
            >>>>Is that what you are proud of?<<<<
            And it seems that you do not even attend Church….
            ….so you have NO room to talk at all!
            .
            Meanwhile, AGAIN, you most likely believe in the KJV….King James VERSION, his RE-translated bible…..and who knows what other man-made beliefs you have…most likely for one: the ridiculous rapture.
            Did you research any of the above? NOOOOOOO!
            (if you did and discovered the truth, you wouldn't admit it anyway.)
            So, again, YOU have NO room to talk!…or point fingers.
            .
            Anyway, us TRUE Catholics are humbly proud of our ONE, TRUE Faith: the Catholic Christian Faith….and we have EVERY TRUTHFULLY supported biblical reason to be proud.
            And believe me, you are NOT going to change Catholic dogmas or doctrines EVER! IF you think so, your ego is beyond inflated!
            .
            Now, go research your fallacies.
            And start with: the bible and "Christian" faith according to Crankypants!

          • Anonymous says:

            ps: if you truly were content with your faith, you would not be OBSESSED with the ONE, TRUE Faith: the Catholic Christian Faith.
            .
            Something must be stirring inside you causing a conflict as you keep to TRYING and FAILING to prove us wrong…because deep down, subconsciously, YOU really KNOW that you are wrong!….and you are trying to fight it.

          • Anonymous says:

            There are actually numerous translation from the original texts.

          • Anonymous says:

            It’s so hypocritical how you are talking about your Universal Catholic faith when you only care about yourself being a ‘TRUE’ Catholic and calling people ‘WRONG’ and ‘IGNORANT’

      • Greg says:

        Good to see you’re back – you should check in more – you’re to only one coming forward with some intelligent remarks.

    • Crankypants says:

      Ella, once again I have to disagree with you. Church:The word “church” as rendered in the New Testament comes from the Greek term ekklesia which is formed from two Greek words meaning “an assembly” and “to call out” or “called out ones.” In summary, the New Testament church is a body of believers who have been called out from the world by God to live as his people under the authority of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23). This group of believers or “the body of Christ” began in Acts 2 on the Day of Pentecost through the work of the Holy Spirit and will continue to be formed until the day of the rapture of the church.

      You can believe all you want about the dogma from the Roman Catholic Church but it is just that dogma. Rules and regulations thought up by men as time went on making their own interpretation of the writings of the apostles and others recorded in (the Bible).

      • Anonymous says:

        33 A.D…Jesus ordained Peter to be the head of His Church on earth when He said to Peter (which means “Rock”):
        “Upon this Rock I will build My Church and the gates of
        h e l l will not prevail against it.”
        .
        Jesus gave Peter the Keys to His Kingdom when He said to Peter:
        “What ever you bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven.
        What ever you loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.”
        .
        As Catholics, we have had a continuous, unbroken line of Peter’s successors to this very day: the Popes….who FIRMLY and consistently maintain Catholic dogmas and doctrine according to the Holy Bible.
        And we will continue to have continuous Papal successors until the end of time…
        …as JESUS GAVE AUTHORITY to Peter and the Apostles and Peter’s successors to make decisions guided ONLY by the Holy Spirit.
        .
        The Popes are STRICTLY guided by the Holy Spirit
        As humans, they are fallible…but NOT with Catholic Faith Dogmas and doctrines…
        …which are STRICTLY based on the unchanged Holy Bible.
        .
        So our beliefs are NOT “man-made.”…unlike….
        Historical FACT: PROTESTant leaders, founded numbers of Protestant faiths after Martin Luther’s HERETICAL separation…the Reformation in the 15th century…from the Christian Faith under the guidance of the Pope…as was initiated by Jesus Christ in 33 A.D.
        And they conduct their Protestant faiths with their OWN personal beliefs. (research it)
        .
        Just to mention: my comments are not for the purpose of debate or argument.
        My comments are FACTS that I am relating, as in teaching.

    • Greg says:

      A good reminder of the history behind the writing of the bible and how it is a living document that still speaks to our society in present time, leading the way to salvation.
      These last three years were probably amazing for you, Ella. God Bless

  12. Austin says:

    I noticed that the article does kind of throw the protestant church to the side instead of being equal… “Ergo… shitty, abandoned storefront churches? All Protestant.” Also, no resources? I know I am Christian and I like to know this for sure. It’s not right to say all this with no real visible proof as to say all this of Christians. God knows it all, and what is right and wrong. I am not to correct, but to recognize and point that out. God knows it all, as I said, and something tells me something up the there is way off for both views.

  13. khay says:

    its not about the difference and the similarities of the church it about the faith that we have on through God and jesus .

  14. Greg says:

    sorry typo “Godwinks”

  15. ashli says:

    helped me on my history homework.

    • Greg says:

      Why not, God knows each one of us personally, as if noone else existed but you and God. I believe there is a book called “Bodwinks”, – happenings or coincidences that lead the believer with faith to say “God just introduced himself into a certain context of my life”. I call them spiritual miracles – they cause me to think about and praise God.

  16. Spandana says:

    I believe in life after death!!!
    I believe that the saints were very close to God n Jesus when they were alive n are closer to God even after their death!!!
    I ask my family n friends to pray for me… Similarly… I don’t think it is in anyway wrong to ask the saints to pray for me!!!
    If u really want to know what is right n wat is wrong… Why don’t u ask Jesus??? He will tell you!!! Why argue??? Why condemn????
    Ask the holy spirit to guide you!!
    God never wanted separation amongst his children!!! I wonder when we all will together call ourselves “CHRISTIANS” instead of Catholics and Protestants!!!!

    • Ali says:

      the saint and pious peoples was to follow, following their actions and teachings.

      They came as role model, to show right path.

  17. Glenn says:

    God paid too big of a price by the sacrifice of Jesus so we can have intimacy with Him. We are called children of God those who have accepted God’s gift for payment for sins. He did this so we could come directly to Him. He (God) is welcoming our approach to His throne. Can you imagine a Father that would receive request only by other siblings. He wants your heart (thoughts) to be made known.The Bible said that we are to call Him, Abba.

  18. Savio says:

    As Scripture indicates, those in heaven are aware of the prayers of those on earth. This can be seen, for example, in Revelation 5:8, where John depicts the saints in heaven offering our prayers to God under the form of “golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” But if the saints in heaven are offering our prayers to God, then they must be aware of our prayers. They are aware of our petitions and present them to God by interceding for us.

    • Crankypants says:

      Savio, from what I read the bowls of incense are all the prayers that have been made by all the saints (you and me and those who believe in God). BUT, this is an event that will take place at a future time. It is not an on going event.

      • anonymous says:

        God is always in the present…therefore, God’s Eternal Word is always in the present.
        There is no “time” with God and prayers.
        Prayers said long ago don’t have a time limit from the “past” and are not held to the “future.”

  19. Protestantism is far easy;simple;short to understand;follow than Catholicism.It’s
    more open;liberal;& welcomes & respects all other faiths religions like Hindusm.

    • anonymous says:

      Catholic means “Universal”…so indeed it is a TOTALLY welcoming Faith to ALL.
      .
      “Protestantism is far easy, simple, & short”
      Catholicism mostly focuses on Spirituality…to raise our heart, mind, and total being to God. After all, we are primarily Spiritual beings…and we should be primarily concerned about our eternal after-life than this fleeting, temporary world.
      .
      Understanding Catholicism comes through the grace of the Holy Spirit and the person’s willingness to accept His grace. It’s really not difficult at all.
      .
      Unlike some Protestant faiths that actually teach their members to openly criticize and judge Catholics to condemnation, Catholics respect and do not bash other faiths.
      .
      “open & liberal” is the opposite of “straight and narrow.”
      The pathway to Heaven is straight and narrow / God’s way….not man’s way.

      • Greg says:

        Yes, I used to watch the Billy Graham Crusades when they were live. Always deeply moving, as the whold stadium would rise to their feet and come down to Reverand Graham – “do you want to be sure, sure that you are saved, then come down now, because Jesus always wanted an open and public proclaimation that he is Lord.” And, I, being Roman Catholic, agree but, down deep, in my core, and in my reason, I feel I need to take it one step further. The Catholic religion seems to support this core sensability I have. The Protestant Religion seems to say “nope, you’re good, you made the conversion and yeah try to live a good life. But, the conversion is enough.” Not for me, I need to satisfy this spiritual craving I have that I believe was put there by God, (would this feeling come from the devil?)to find ways to live a life that openly problaim that I take seriously the words of Jesus when he says “take up your cross and follow Me”. Aah, and there’s the rub. “Follow Him”, what does that mean? The lives of the Saints, humans like us, are spiritual studies on their one special way they tried to take up a cross and folow. I will even go back to David, it is written “he was a man after God’s own heart.” Oh, how I want to be like him! I ask you, Did David love God, of course, did he do more than make a person conversion? The Holy Scriptures that his life reflected his desire to pursue and penetrate the wisdom, knowledge and love of God” I ponder this Protestant question “where in the bible does it say that Saints can answer prayers” to see where it goes wrong. The Saints, by their lives, can instruct us so we too can be called friends of Jesus. And, then, just as we read about the intercession of Saint Mary, the Mother of God, (Jesus from the cross, “Behold Thy Mother”,) at the wedding of Cana, sees the need of her friends and asks her son, the Saviour of the World, Jesus, to help them. I ask you, do you really believe, Saint Mary, Our Mother, in Heaven, has stopped being the intercessor for us that she was on earth I find great spirtiual comfort and inspiration believing that Saint Mary is even more so in Heaven.
        Peace

        • anonymous says:

          Greg, such lovely, refreshing comments!..deeply faith-filled and strongly witnessing! I read them several times!
          I’m probably “singing to the choir,” but anyway…
          I love our Faith, and I thank God for giving me this precious Gift. And I thank God that you received and accepted His precious Gift too!
          Our Faith is tremendously rich in graces, blessings, and Spirituality. Our Dogmas are untainted and firm.
          There’s no need to wander or feel like we are wandering.
          And, yes, our Blessed Mother is a VERY special Gem!
          God bless you always!

          • Crankypants says:

            Anonymous,
            I realize posting comments leaves a lot to be desired because we always can’t say what we mean. I know this is my downfall.
            However, when you say ” our Blessed Mother is a VERY special Gem!” and never stated God’s sons name Jesus I wonder where your focus is.

            1. God sent his only begotten son Jesus to die for our sins ..not Mary.
            2. As the apostles were chosen so was Mary
            3. “Our Dogmas are untainted and firm” Be careful there. Much of Roman Catholic dogma was instituted by man not God.
            4. If God hears all prayers why ask Mary?
            5.Look in Wikipedia and see the history of Maryism. All developed by man.
            6. Follow what Jesus and the Apostles recorded in the Bible.

          • anonymous says:

            Crankypants, I’m getting more convinced that you are only trying to disprove Catholic beliefs…with your clear lack of knowledge about them…moreso than you really want clarifying answers. But, again, you NEVER will disprove our beliefs because they are strictly from the Catholic Holy Bible, aka, God’s Eternal Word.
            .
            As Catholics, we believe in God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit…the Holy Trinity…the mystery of 3 Divine Persons in One….and Mary, the Mother of God.
            .
            I have been a Catholic for over 60 years, I know my Faith very well, and I love my Faith.
            So I have no need for you to tell me what to believe or how to believe or what to research about our Blessed Mother (Wikipedia of all ridiculous places)…especially since our dogmas are NOT tainted and have survived firmly intact…since the pre-announcement of Christ’s Birth…and the founding of our Faith by Jesus Christ Himself in 33 A.D….until the end of time.
            .
            I can answer your questions and statements VERY well, but if you TRULY want to know the One, True Faith, Catholicism, then I suggest that you join a RCIA program in your nearest Catholic Church….which will clarify any and all erroneous beliefs that you have learned in what ever your denomination is…which was founded by man.

        • Crankypants says:

          Your quote “Protestant question “where in the bible does it say that Saints can answer prayers” to see where it goes wrong.   The Saints, by their lives, can instruct us so we too can be called friends of Jesus.  And, then, just as we read about the intercession of Saint Mary, the Mother of God.” But I do not see where you quoted scripture to support your stance.

          My interpretation of how the word “saints” is used in the Bible means followers of Christ.

          As far as prayer goes: romans 8:26 says “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” and 1 Timothy 2:5 says: For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

          I can’t really see where asking deceased saints to pray for us or where asking Mary to intercedes for us is valid. Wouldn’t the Bible state that?

          • anonymous says:

            Our teaching: Catholics are not in the habit of quoting Scripture…not because we don’t know it…but because it can lead to arguments / debates, “weapons,” and misinterpretations taken out of context by others.
            I’m not sure if you really want to know the answers or are you trying to disprove our beliefs –which will never happen– because the entire source of our Faith is the Catholic Holy Bible.

          • Greg says:

            Anonymous – I have had similar experiences – and when you do provide citations, well then, now the focus becomes interpretation. Our Lord encountered this many times, there he stood in front of the self righteous and they refused to believe, “they will have ears, but will not see, they will have eyes, but will not see.”

          • Greg says:

            With due respect, CP, it stated in the bible, in order to have eternal life, you must eat the body of Jesus and you must drink the blood of Jesus. Citations are numerous, yet Protestants interpret this language as symbolism. I believe that when the crowd walked away, knowing exactly what he meant, Jesus, turned to his apostles and said, will you too walk away. And then words of Peter, that revereberate in my hear constantly, “and where would we go?”

          • Anonymous says:

            TO GREG…..I really appreciate your support…especially Jesus’ quote. His quote was / is SO right on!
            I wish we could get connected to have a nice chat.

            Yes, it gets very exasperating when quotes from Scripture are especially right in front of them (in articles online); and they still cannot…or will not…see the true foundational, solid, factual reason for our TRUE beliefs.

            I guess you and I are getting a small taste of what Jesus experienced…and He was in Person yet!
            God bless you always!

          • Ella says:

            Crankpants-
            God sent his son into the world but he choice Mary. Luke 1 the visitation of the Angel to Mary. Hail Mary full of grace (which was a royal greeting) and full of grace… Meditate on that. Continue reading when that chapter and when Mary goes to visit Elizabeth, it says she was filled with the Holy Spirit. Wait for a second, if Elizabeth gets filled with the Holy Spirit then the next words are the Holy Spirit who is speaking and not Elizabeth and what does she say? Blessed are You and blessed is The Fruit of Your Wound! Putting Jesus and Mary at the same category. Then she says what did I do to deserve the mother of my lord to visit me. Wow the mother of my Lord, who? God. She was the first christian it’s thanks to her yes that he have our savior. Don’t make Jesus a sinner by thinking he would not honor his own mother (4th comnedment). God bless you and give you understanding this beautiful mystery.

          • Greg says:

            Amen, Ella, and Amen.

      • Stephen says:

        “Catholicism focuses on spirituality to raise our hearts, minds, and souls to God.” True indeed, but why is it that majority of the followers of Catholic are immoral, and criminals ? I’m not judging, I’m just stating the fact.I was a Catholic but I converted myself to Protestantism.

        • Anonymous says:

          Stephen, your name reminds me of St. Stephen, the first martyr of the Church, who was stoned to death for refusing to deny his love and commitment to our Faith, to God.

          Moving along, do you have unbiased, documentation for your “not judging” “fact” statement? Or is it truly only your opinion?
          I really think the later.
          .
          ALL of us are sinners…and Jesus asked:
          How can you see the sliver in your brethren’s eye while you have a log in your own eye?
          .
          The Holy Spirit is the ONLY Accuser of our sins….NOT each other.
          So how can YOU (or anyone) determine and have the authority to say which group of people have the most sinners…”immoral and criminals?”
          .
          Once baptized as a Catholic, one is ALWAYS a Catholic…as the Mark of Christ is indelible on the soul…no matter what other faith you practice.
          .
          It’s VERY, VERY unfortunate for you that you have (hopefully only temporarily) abandoned God’s GREAT Gift to you:
          the One, TRUE Faith.
          .
          You abandoned the MOST Precious humble honor in the universe of receiving Jesus Christ’s Body and Blood through the Transubstantiation in the Holy Mass, Christ’s unbloody Sacrifice.
          You abandoned the sacraments instituted by Jesus Christ, and so much, much more.
          .
          And now you believe in a denomination of faith with heresies and errors that was founded by someone(?) after Martin Luther’s Reformation in the 15th century, when he separated from the TRUE Church that was initiated by Jesus Christ in 33 A.D.
          .
          You are believing in man’s word according to their personal agendas and beliefs. Very, very sad.
          .
          May the Holy Spirit enlighten you.
          God bless you.
          Admirable is the Name of God.

        • Greg says:

          Stephen, do you remember Jesus’ teaching that if you have broken even the smallest commandment in the law of God, you have broken the whole commandment. Then we are all sinners. If you are looking to convert to the religion with the least amount of sinners, you may be looking for a long time.

  20. anonymous says:

    It doesn’t say anywhere in the Holy Bible that I know of that saints can answer prayers….and neither do Catholics say that.
    We pray to the saints (our favorite saint, a spiritual friend) to ask them to pray to God for us, our needs sometimes…since they are most in favor with God.
    If something is granted through them, we thank God.
    The saints’ lives were dedicated to serving God, helping others…and they don’t stop helping just because they are not on earth anymore.

    • Greg says:

      Yes, I believe it would be nice to spend time with you talking about our faith. Lately, I wandered over into the atheist area of the blog and I got roughed up, but I really appreciated getting the other side’s point of view as well. It’s nice to come back over to this area and so happy to see your posting. Please let me know your idea on the when and where to chat.
      Peace

      • Anonymous says:

        Hi, again, Greg, (lol) I hear ya!
        I had just been dealing with a VERY exasperating atheist online too for days off and on. Then it was time for me to shake the dust off of my sandals.
        So reading your post today was SO refreshing to me! : )
        .
        I don’t know if the creator of this site will do it, but…
        >>>I give Wendy Thomas Russell permission to give you my email address.<<<
        .
        If not, you can go to Belief.net
        …I'll find you on there…and we can go from there. : )

  21. chris says:

    Quote from above: [Protestants are more like, “Just come to church on Christmas, that’s all we ask.”]

    Question: Where on earth did you get your information from?

  22. Crankpants says:

    it is an admission by the Roman Catholic Church that the Scriptures do not teach in any direct way their dogma of praying to the saints.  The Roman Catholic Church must infer this from scripture and read it into the text in order to support its error.
    It is only God who knows all things, and only God can grant anyone to hear or know what the prayers are of those who pray in silence.  Let’s not give the saints superhuman powers similar to omniscience

    • Greg says:

      Your response lacks a maturity of spirit and knowledge of our Lord and his holy Scritpure. In the next few months, I will try to help you grow in your holiness as I sense this is what has drawn us all to this blog.

      • Crankypants says:

        I got my info from the internet which I admit can be a little “doggey”.

        However Greg, I look forward to what you have to say.

    • Anonymous says:

      Crankypants, may I kindly suggest…instead of believing and spreading fallacies about the Roman Catholic Faith…that you truly objectively research the historical FACTS and ERRORS of your denomination’s faith.
      That would be your valuable time WELL spent.
      May the Holy Spirit enlighten you…
      God bless you.
      Admirable is the Name of God.

    • Anonymous says:

      Crankypants, I don’t know where you get the info from for your erroneous statements about the Roman Catholic Christian Church,…unless it’s your own misinterpretations from what you read, but anyway, moving along…
      .
      Catholics do NOT give or even allude to giving saints “superhuman powers similar to omniscience.”
      .
      Catholicism is a VERY deep and vastly Spiritual Faith.
      God is ALL-powerful…and we, with our human minds, cannot put a limit on His abilities.
      .
      ALL citizens in Heaven are “saints.” (which means “holy”)
      They are ALL ONE with God…and permeated with His Love.
      Some saints are canonized by the Vatican.
      What ever God allows through His saints, is HIS Will.
      Again, the saints are ALL ONE with God.

  23. Greg says:

    Jesus said feed my lambs to Saint Peter.

  24. paul says:

    Catholics pray all the time to Saints for help. Many pray to St Anthony for lost items, which I pray directly to Jesus. Where in the Bible does it say that saints can answer prayers?

    • Debbie says:

      To paul, from 8/29/14 (reply button not working)

      The Bible doesn’t say that saints can answer prayers. Why do you ask your friends to pray for you in time of need?

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Due out in March 2015, Relax, It's Just God: How and Why to Talk to Your Kids About Religion When You're Not Religious offers a well-researched look at a timely subject: secular parenting. With chapters on avoiding indoctrination, talking about death, vaccinating kids against intolerance, dealing with religious baggage, and getting along with religious relatives, the book offers a refreshingly compassionate approach to raising religiously literate, highly tolerant and critically thinking children capable of making up their own minds about what to believe. The book may be pre-ordered by visiting Brown Paper Press.
 

      Natural Wonderers is a new blog hosted by Wendy Thomas Russell and published by the Patheos faith network. An extension of Russell's previous blog — Relax, It's Just God — Natural Wonderers offers stories and advice on raising curious, compassionate children in secular families.
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