Quick & Easy Catholic Apologetics

This section is for those who want a brief, direct, and Scriptural answer to common questions about the Catholic faith (see essays in other sections for more detailed answers).


Bible Alone (Sola Scriptura)? - Calling Priests "Father" - Divorce & Remarriage - The Eucharist - Faith Alone? - Mary - The Papacy - Purgatory - Repetitious PrayerSin: Deadly Or Not? - Statues


Bible Alone (Sola Scriptura)? - Is the Bible the sole authority and foundation of truth for Christianity?  No, the Church is the "pillar and bulwark of truth" (1 Timothy 3:15) and the final authority (Matthew 18:17).  Furthermore, there are traditions to be observed which are on equal footing with Scripture for not everything the Apostles taught or Jesus said, was written down (1 Corinthians 11:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:15; 3:6; John 21:25).

Calling Priests "Father" - Isn't calling a priest "Father" in violation of Matthew 23:9?   No, in this passage Jesus is using a hyperbole (exaggerated literary expression) to make a point.  Otherwise, St. Stephen the first martyr (Acts 7:2) and St. Paul would be in violation of this command (Romans 4:1, 12, 16; 9:10; 1 Corinthians 4:15; 10:1).

Divorce & Remarriage - Is divorce and remarriage permitted in Christianity?  No, Jesus Christ and St. Paul both forbade a divorced person to get remarried while their spouse was still alive (Matthew 5:32; 19:9; Mark 10:11-12; Luke 16:18; Romans 7:2-3; 1 Corinthians 7:10-11, 39).

The Eucharist - Are we to eat the literal Body of Christ and drink His Blood?  Yes, Jesus Christ meant for us to literally eat His Flesh and drink His Blood as He Himself repeated and emphasized the literality of this teaching by using the words "verily, verily" and "indeed" in describing it.  If He did not mean this teaching literally, He surely would not have allowed disciples to stop following Him over this (John 6:51-71).   In addition, why would St. Paul state that anyone who accepted the Eucharist unworthily is guilty of the blood of Christ if it were only symbolic? (1 Corinthians 11:23-29)

Faith Alone? - Is the only thing we need to do to be saved is believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior and the Son of God?  It would seem not, as Jesus condemned as "evildoers" those who believed in Him ( Matthew 7:21-23).  The people mentioned in these passages obviously believed Christ to be the Lord as they address Him as such.  They also perform miracles and cast out demons in His Name yet Jesus says "Away from me, you evildoers."  That is because one cannot just believe in Christ to be saved, one has to stop/avoid doing evil (sin) and to do the "will of the Father" as in good works (feed the hungry, care for the sick, etc.)

Mary - Is Mary the mother of God?  Yes, for St. Elizabeth herself calls her "the mother of my Lord" in Scripture (Luke 1:43).  Jesus Christ is God (Hebrews 1:8) and Mary is His mother, therefore, Mary is the mother of God (the Son) for Christ was both God and human in the womb of Mary.  Did Mary remain a virgin her whole life?  Yes, for the "gate" in which the Lord passed is closed to all others (Ezekiel 44:2).  The brothers of the Lord spoken of in the Gospels are most likely St. Joseph's children from a previous marriage or Jesus's cousins as there is no word for "cousin" in the Aramaic language.  In addition, Jesus is mentioned as "the" son of Mary, not "a" son of Mary in Scripture (Mark 6:3).

The Papacy - Was St. Peter the first "pope" as the Catholic Church claims?  Yes, for Jesus Christ said it was upon St. Peter that He would build His Church and Christ gave him authority over His whole "flock" (Matthew 16:18-19; John 21:14-17).

Purgatory - Does a cleansing state of the soul exist before entering Heaven for those who need it?  Yes, for Scripture says nothing unclean or impure will enter into the kingdom of Heaven (Revelations 21:27).  St. Paul mentions the saving of a person's soul, but through fire (1 Corinthians 3:13-15).  In addition, Jesus mentions being forgiven for sins in the next world (Matthew 12:32) and that we shall not be released until we have paid for all our sins (Luke 12:59).

Repetitious Prayer - Is reciting the same prayer over and over again a sin?  While repeating a prayer in vain is useless, repeating a prayer in faith is not, for Jesus Christ Himself repeated prayer (Matthew 26:44) and the angels in Heaven continually repeat "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come" (Revelations 4:8).

Sin:  Deadly Or Not? - Is there no degree of seriousness when it comes to committing a sin?  Yes, there are sins that are more serious in nature that deprive the soul of communion with God.  These are called "mortal" (deadly) sins (1 John 5:16-17).  Even Jesus Christ distinguished between lesser and greater sins (John 19:11).

Statues - Isn't having statues of Jesus, Mary and the saints in violation of Exodus 20:4-5?  This passage is in reference to pagan idols and graven images which the Israelites would have been prone to worship at the time.   For if it were in reference to all graven images, God would not have commanded angelic cherubim of gold be put on the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 25:18-19).   Nor would Moses have made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole (Numbers 21:8-9).  In addition, the temple had several graven images decorating it (1 Kings 6:23-29; 7:25-45).


CHURCH BELIEFS & ISSUES


WHAT THE EARLY CHURCH BELIEVED


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Reference Materials


Biblical quotations on this web site are either from the King James Version or the Douay-Rheims Version of the Bible.

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