Are Catholics Christians?
Whether or not Catholics are Christians is a concern between the believer and Christ on an individual basis. What it ultimately comes down to is whether or not the name of each individual believer is found in the book of life (Revelation 20:15). The late Dr. Walter Martin, one of the foremost authorities on Christian cults, considered Roman Catholicism to be Christian in its central doctrines, including the deity of Christ, the Trinity, and the atonement of the cross of Jesus. Christianity owes much of its history, enacted and recorded, to the Roman Catholic Church. It was the Catholic Church which determined the canon of the New and Old Testaments at the Council of Rome in A.D. 382, under Pope Damasus I, and it was the Church which provided unity beyond the first generation of Christian apostles during Roman persecution and when heretical Christian sects began to cause dissention. Along with advances in theological reasoning, the Catholic Church also contributed greatly to western culture, including the areas of art, architecture, and higher learning. Although the Catholic Church was the primary orthodox Christian church throughout many centuries of Christianity's history, the Protestant Reformation that began in 1517 provided a departure from some of its more objectionable beliefs. Since then, fundamental and evangelical Christian movements have shed more light on the dogmatic tenets of Catholicism from a purely biblical perspective (Acts 17:11), something the Catholic Church has attempted to counter with its own "apostolic" authority.
"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
The Roman Catholic Church (a 19th century British coinage used to distinguish the Church of Rome from other Catholic churches) claims its true origins with Matthew 16:18, when Jesus said of Simon son of Jonah that his name would be Peter, "and on this rock I will build my church." The pope has become the successor of Peter (the vicar of Christ on earth), with the bishops as successors of Christ's apostles under the supreme authority of the pope. The term "catholic" (Greek katholicos) was first used by Ignatius of Antioch in A.D. 110, both as a description of the primitive Christian churches being the "universal" Church of the inhabited world and as a distinction between the true Church and those that were becoming heretical. By the second century, Christianity had become an organized, hierarchical institution with authority based in Rome. Christianity was tolerated by the Roman Empire in the early fourth century under Constantine the Great and became its official religion by the end of the fourth century. The Patristic period (roughly A.D. 50-600), was the foundational period of the Church by the early Church Fathers -- those apostles, saints, apologetics, and theologians who helped construct its primary doctrines, creeds, and canons. Originally considered "One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church" (Nicene Creed of 325), around the beginning of the 11th century the Church split into the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church. The Roman Catholic Church continued to be the dominant religious force throughout Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire, throughout the Middle Ages (600-1300), and during the Renaissance, from the sixth century through the sixteenth century. The Catholic Reformation began in the late fifteenth century with revivals in monastic orders. The Protestant Reformation began in 1517, which forced the Catholic Church into further reformation of its own. The Catholic Reformation then grew into the Counter Reformation, which sought to purify the Roman Catholic Church and define its doctrines against those of Protestantism.
The Catholic Church confesses itself as the one true Church of Christ and is composed of those living persons who receive the sacraments (Eucharist, baptism, confirmation, penance, matrimony, reconciliation, and holy orders) and who obey the commands of the Church. The pope, who inherited the keys of the kingdom of heaven from Peter, is the infallible head of the church of Christ on earth and the bishops under his authority are successors of Christ's original apostles, endowed with spiritual authority over the living. The souls of the dead who were members of the Church go through purgatory, a temporary punishment where they are purged of all unrepented sins, before being raised from the dead and joined with Christ in heaven. Authority for the Catholic Church comes through Holy Scripture (comprised of the Old and New Testamants and the Apocrypha), the keys of the papacy, the teachings of the Church Fathers, and apostolic tradition. The saints in heaven are petitioned by those on earth for their prayers, while the Virgin Mary, considered the greatest of saints and Queen of Heaven, is the mother of the Church and co-redeemer of mankind with Christ. The basic confession of the Catholic Church may be summed up in the Nicene Creed:
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, |
maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
The only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,
begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father.
Through Him all things were made.
For us men and our salvation He came down from Heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
He was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man.
For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
He suffered, died and was buried.
On the third day He rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures;
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and His kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
Who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son He is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Vulgate Bible, translated between C.E. 382 and 405 by Jerome (Eusebius Hieronymus Sophronius
), a monk and secretary to Pope Damasus, from the original Hebrew and Aramaic into Latin. This became known as the versio vulgata ("common translation") of the Catholic Church and was the standard Bible of the Roman Catholic Church for over 1,500 years. It is known simply as the Latin Vulgate.
Deuterocanonical Books ("books added to the canon"), including Baruch, Sirach, 1st and 2nd Esdras, Judith, Paul to the Laodicaeans, 1st and 2nd Maccabees, Manasseh, Psalm 151, Tobit, Wisdom of Solomon, and 2nd Psalms. Originally excluded by Jerome in the Latin Vulgate, these apocryphal books (Greek Apocrypha, "hidden things"), which were part of the Greek Septuagint, were canonized in 1546 by the Council of Trent.
Douay-Rheims Version of the Bible, translated to English from the Latin Vulgate. The New Testament was published in 1582 by the English College at Rheims, France, and the Old Testament was published in 1609-10 by the English College at Douay, France. Most modern translations come from a revised version by Bishop Richard Challoner in 1749-52. The Douay-Rheims Version also includes apocryphal scripture from Manasses, Abdias, Iude, and the third and fourth Books of Esdras.
Other Bible translations commonly used include: Revised Standard Version Bible, Catholic Edition; New American Bible; Ignatius Bible, Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition. For Catholics, the Bible is not the only written authority for guiding, instructing, and governing Christians. Following are just some of the more formal Catholic sources of writ, many of which bear the same spiritual weight as Holy Scripture:
Catechisms are outlines of Catholic doctrine arranged in question-and-answer form for the purpose of instructing catechumen, or new believers, prior to accepting the sacraments. Based on orally transmitted tradition as instruction for those to be baptized, they are now generally written, simple instructions for explaining Church doctrine. Each church may have its own specific catechumen more in tune with local culture and ecclesial concerns. The following quote comes from Pope John Paul II from the Vatican's website: "A catechism should faithfully and systematically present the teaching of Sacred Scripture, the living Tradition of the Church and the authentic Magisterium, as well as the spiritual heritage of the Fathers and the Church's saints, to allow for a better knowledge of the Christian mystery and for enlivening the faith of the People of God. It should take into account the doctrinal statements which down the centuries the Holy Spirit has intimated to his Church. It should also help illumine with the light of faith the new situations and problems which had not yet emerged in the past." (http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_jp-ii_apc_19921011_fidei-depositum_en.html)
Catechism of the Catholic Church, a publication of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council (1962-65) under Pope John XXIII, is a catechism or compendium of all Catholic doctrine regarding both faith and morals, to be made accessible to everyone. It was compiled over a period of six years for the purpose of highlighting the Church's apostolic and pastoral mission. The following exerpt is taken from the Prologue of the Catechism: "This catechism aims at presenting an organic synthesis of the essential and fundamental contents of Catholic doctrine, as regards both faith and morals, in the light of the Second Vatican Council and the whole of the Church's Tradition. Its principal sources are the Sacred Scriptures, the Fathers of the Church, the liturgy, and the Church's Magisterium. It is intended to serve "as a point of reference for the catechisms or compendia that are composed in the various countries". This work is intended primarily for those responsible for catechesis: first of all the bishops, as teachers of the faith and pastors of the Church. It is offered to them as an instrument in fulfilling their responsibility of teaching the People of God. Through the bishops, it is addressed to redactors of catechisms, to priests, and to catechists. It will also be useful reading for all other Christian faithful." Text of the Catechism can be found online at http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc/ or at http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/ccc.html.
Code of Canon Law is the body of laws and regulations that govern the Catholic Church as a society, in conformity with Divine and natural law, comprised of council ordinances, papal encyclicals, episcopal statutes, biblical scripture, and apostolic writings, but also incorporating Roman civil law (the non-secular laws are often referred to as ecclesiastical, sacred, or Divine law). Historically, these laws, consisting primarily of loose collections of legislative texts accumulated since the fifth century, were first compiled into a printed collection entitled the "Decretum" by Johannes Gratian circa A.D. 1148 (which was actually a judicial treatise that used the texts as reference material). Since then, other collections have been published in varying styles (such as the Penitentials, Ordines, Formularies, Capitularies, Institutiones, Decretals, and the False Decretals), while many, often used by local diocese, remain unpublished. To date, there is no one, complete, official publication of all canon law, although an attempt was made between 1904-17 under Pope Pius X with the development of the Code of Canon Law -- a codification, reformation, and modernization of Western canon law consisting of 2,414 canons in five books. The Code was renewed in 1983 under Pope John Paul II. The Code in its present form can be found at http://www.intratext.com/X/ENG0017.htm.
Papal Encyclicals are letters from the popes to bishops and other Church officials addressing matters that effect the welfare of the Catholic Church. Other papal letters include constitutions (decisions addressed to all the faithful, usually determining matters of faith or discipline), decrees (pronouncements), decretals (pontifical decisions), rescripts (replies to queries or petitions), priveleges (exceptions to the canon law for clergy, concecrated objects, or sacred places), and bulls (letters sealed with lead). Pastorals, or apostolic letters, are letters written by bishops to their local diocese. Search for and read papal encyclicals online at http://www.papalencyclicals.net/.
Documents of Ecumenical Councils are held in regards as official dictates of the papacy. Councils are legally convened assemblies of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts for the purpose of discussing and regulating matters of church doctrine and discipline, often in response to rising crisis or attack, either from within or outside the Church, and usually with the outcome of reform or definitive clarification. The outcome of Vatican II (1962-65), the 21st and last council to date, included a solemn definition of papal infallibility and authority of bishops, vow for renewal of religious life and the means of social communication, along with a challenge to adapt to the conditions of modern times. The documentation generated from Vatican II included four constitutions, nine decrees, and three declarations. These may be viewed online at http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/index.htm.
Roman Missal (Missale Romanum of 1969), is a work in progress of the purpose of the Catholic Liturgy, the steps involved in participating in the Eucharist, and instructions for carrying out Mass. General instructions may be found online at http://www.intratext.com/X/ENG0012.htm and at http://www.christusrex.org/www1/mcitl/girm.html.
"Surely you have heard about the administration of God's grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading this, then, you you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God's holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence."
Much of what the Catholic Church regards as doctrine came about not directly through the teachings of the original apostolic fathers, but from the writings of the third and fourth generational succession of apostolic fathers who began to delve into the theology of their understanding and interpretation of those teachings, aided by philosophy, supposed revelation, and support by the Church of Rome, an entity empowered from the fourth century on by its unity with the Roman and greater European state to make Christianity a dominant world religion. Factions within the Church, such as the Great Schism and the Protestant Reformation, proved on a large scale that the Catholic Church was not infallible. Much of the attacks on the doctrines and practices of the Roman Catholic Church in the last few centuries have had little or no effect in altering them and much of the biblical criticism of Catholic dogma seems frivolous. If anything, the Catholic Church is guilty of making Christianity too religious, embellished, and institutionalized. Had Jesus' original apostles knew that his Second Coming would not be for over 2,000 years after his resurrection and ascension, would they have continued to preach simply "Christ and Christ crucified" (1 Corinthians 2:2), with simple rules for the Gentile converts (Acts 15:24-29), or would they have looked further and focused their efforts on establishing the Catholic Church in its present form?
Following are just some of the questions which "Protestants" have about the doctrines and beliefs of the Roman Catholic Church:
Is the pope the head of Christ's church on earth?
Is Mary the mother of God?
What is the basis for transubstantiation in Communion?
Is there such a place as purgatory?
Why are priests referred to as Father?
Why must sins be confessed to a priest for absolution?
Why must priests remain celibate?
What is the purpose of the Rosary?
What is the authority for marital annulment?
Why are infants baptized?
Why is Catholicism steeped in tradition and ritual?
Why does Catholicism use a lot of icons and imagery?
What is Catholic mysticism?
Why are prayers said to saints?
What is the Eastern Orthodox Church?
Does salvation come only through the Roman Catholic Church?
"What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe -- as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded accorded to his own labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building... All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future -- all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God... Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, 'Do not go beyond what is written.' Then you will not take pride in one man over against another."
(1 Corinthians 3:5-9, 21-23, 4:6)
More information about Catholicism and the Roman Catholic Church may be found online at the following websites:
The American Catholic Truth Society
"Your Catholic Apologetics Portal -- Francis Marks founded the Arizona Catholic Truth Society in 1966 to promote the Catholic Truth in the Diocese of Phoenix. This was largely in response to the changes that were taking place since the recently consumated Second Vatican Council... To challenge my convictions I began "debating" local Protestant apologists on Bible Foundation BBS (bulletin board system - the precursor to Internet)... I became so involved with apologetics that in 1989, I was forming an email list and my own BBS (a subboard on the All Nite Cafe BBS in Phoenix, run by Mike Middleton) devoted to Catholic Apologetics. I needed a good name for the list and Francis said, "how about Acts?" He explained it was the acronym he started back in the 60's and I loved it, so ACTS was reborn in the electronic medium."
Andrew Apologetic Ministries
"Hello, my name is Catherine. Welcome to AAM, sometimes just ANDREW, on various message boards. When I started visiting message forums I noticed that sometimes anti-Catholics posted their messages with little or no response from the Catholic community. Immediately I felt compelled to make the case for the true faith. Encouraged and sometimes instructed by my priest spiritual director, I did so. While I started out alone, a number of like-minded Catholics gathered to defend the faith. What has been most surprising is how often the things said against Catholicism are not accurate. There is much ignorance and bigotry on the Internet. This website is a collection of some past posts. I hope it will inspire others to better appreciate the gift of Catholic faith that is ours. Many blessings to all."
Ask Father Mateo Archives
"Father Mateo faithfully responded to questions from 1987 until his death on July 18, 1996. The following are from archives of his messages which will be supplemented from time to time. Father was on the job right up to the end, his only request was that we pray for him. Father Mateo said that it had been his greatest pleasure to answer letters for correspondents on CIN for over 9 years."
"This page is dedicated to the promotion of Jesus Christ and His Church through the understanding of the Catholic Faith. Our faith as Catholics flows first from our faith in God. For us, God is not just an idea, theory or principle, but a living Presence, a Person to be encountered, known and loved. God is not just "true", but is Truth Himself. We recognize God, this Truth, in the historical person of Jesus [Y'shua] of Nazareth. We acknowledge that "God has revealed Himself fully by sending His own Son'", this Jesus, "in whom He has established His covenant forever. The Son is his Father's definitive Word." [Catechism of the Catholic Church, no.73] In desiring to know Jesus and to serve him, we accept the witness of those who knew and served him in the flesh. These Apostles and saints who learned at Jesus' feet and communed at his table are the foundation of his assembled people, the Church [Ephesians 2:19-20]. The Apostles, in turn, "handed on" to succeeding generations of Christians "by the spoken word of their preaching, by the example they gave, by the institutions they established, what they themselves had received-whether from the mouth of Christ, from his way of life and works, or whether learned at the prompting of the Holy Spirit." [Dei Verbum, 7]. This is the living Church...One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic! We accept also that firm witness put down in written form "by these Apostles and other men associated with the Apostles who, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, committed the message of salvation to writing." [Dei Verbum, 7] These writings, along with the Hebrew Testament, constitute the Bible."
"Berean Beacon Ministries proclaims the Good News of Salvation (the Gospel of Jesus Christ). The President and founder is Richard Bennett, a former Roman Catholic Priest. A number of articles are posted to help those in Catholicism to find the true Gospel of Jesus Christ."
Biblical Evidence for Catholicism
"Dave Armstrong is a full-time Catholic author, apologist, webmaster, and evangelist, who has been actively proclaiming and defending Christianity for more than twenty years. Formerly a campus missionary, as a Protestant, Dave was received into the Catholic Church in 1991, by the late, well-known catechist and theologian, Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J. His conversion story was published in the bestselling book Surprised by Truth... His large and popular website, Biblical Evidence for Catholicism (http://www.biblicalcatholic.com), has been online since March 1997, and received the 1998 Catholic Website of the Year award from Envoy Magazine. (Dave was also nominated for Best New Evangelist by the same magazine). It is also consistently rated as one of the most-visited Catholic apologetics websites on the Internet, according to the web-rating site, Alexa Web Search (affiliated with amazon.com)."
Black Catholic Information Mall
"The Black Catholic Information Mall (BCIMall) is a project of the Catholic African World Network to establish a constant flow of communications among the 200 million Catholics of African descent in the world today. The BCIMall Home Page is a 'Virtual Global Parish Bulletin' for Black Catholic populations throughout the world. This 'Virtual Global Parish Bulletin facilitates the search for valuable news and information. In establishing the Black Catholic Information Mall (BCIMall), the Catholic African World Network hopes to expand its communication services in evangelizing the Black community in the global 'Virtual' village."
"Catholic Answers is one of the nation�s largest lay-run apostolates of Catholic apologetics and evangelization. Its mission statement explains its purpose: Catholic Answers is an apostolate dedicated to serving Christ by bringing the fullness of Catholic truth to the world. We help good Catholics become better Catholics, bring former Catholics �home,� and lead non-Catholics into the fullness of the faith. We explain Catholic truth, equip the faithful to live fully the sacramental life, and assist them in spreading the Good News. Catholic Answers began in 1979 after a Fundamentalist church in San Diego, California, decided to leaflet the cars at a local parish during Mass. The fliers attacked the Eucharist and were riddled with misinformation. Upon coming out of Mass and finding one on his car, attorney Karl Keating was annoyed and drove home with a modest goal: to draft a tract that would present basic Catholic beliefs and refute anti-Catholic charges. Keating signed the tract �Catholic Answers,� opened up a post office box in that name, and then placed his rebuttal on the windshields of cars in the Fundamentalist church�s lot."
Catholic Apologetics Information
"Jesus Christ came to the earth with the full authority of God. He appointed apostles, and gave them the Holy Spirit to guide them into all truth. They spread through the world, teaching the truth imparted to them by Christ. Our Lord gave His authority to the apostles, promising them the Holy Ghost. They spread the faith and established churches, over which they ruled. To aid them in shepherding the flock, they appointed successors. These successors, the presbyters (Sacedos - Priests) and bishops (episcopus) inherited their authority by the gift of the Holy Ghost, received by the laying on of their hands. Now the (depositum fidei) deposit of Faith was recorded in the various letters which we eventually recognized as the Church's inspired Scriptures, that is, the written Word of God which could be read aloud at the liturgical assembly. These successors also ordained successors, and this has continued through this day. These successors, the bishops in union with the successor of St. Peter, the pope, are guided by the Holy Ghost to infallibly teach the very same depositum fidei which was once and for all handed down to the saints. As time goes by, the Church grows in her understanding of doctrines already revealed. When the pope makes a decision about a doctrine which is part of the depositum, intending for that decision to be obeyed by the whole Church, the decision is infallible. In areas not pertaining to doctrines or morals, but to discipline and laws of the Church, the pope is not infallible, but the Catholic is still bound to obey according to a prudential judgment. Jesus has promised that His Church will continue to exist and to teach infallibly until the end of the world."
Catholic Biblical Apologetics
"Apologetics without apology! What does the Roman Catholic Church teach about ...? ... and why? This book surveys the origin and development of Roman Catholic Christianity from the period of the apostolic church, through the post-apostolic church and into the conciliar movement. Principal attention is paid to the biblical basis of both doctrine and dogma as well as the role of paradosis (i.e. handing on the truth) in the history of the Church. Particular attention is also paid to the hierarchical founding and succession of leadership throughout the centuries."
"The historical details of the early centuries of the Church founded by Jesus Christ and the development of dogma (dogma = scripture interpretation) are fascinating. There were many possible dogmatic, theological, and philosophical permutations... Studying the early centuries of the Church, it is apparent how precarious and difficult is the balance between clear correct theological definitions, dogma, and formal heresy. Indeed, without the guidance of the Holy Spirit (Matt 28:20), the Church (Bark of Peter) would have become shipwrecked. With all the possibilities of doctrinal error over the centuries, the Catholic Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit has never fallen into doctrinal error on matters of faith and morals. The true Church founded by Jesus Christ is a pillar and foundation of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15)."
"Catholic Exchange is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charity. We rely on donations from the general public for our support and maintenance. Catholic Exchange was organized exclusively for religious, charitable, and educational purposes. Specifically, Catholic Exchange is endeavoring to evangelize the world via the Internet with the Good News of Jesus Christ in the Catholic Church in obedience to Pope John Paul II's call for a "Springtime of World Evangelization." This is in response to the need for greater catechesis and revival of the lay faithful in a time when materialism and relativism are marginalizing Biblical principles as the basis on which people make moral choices."
"CatholiCity.com began as one of the very first Catholic "supersites" on the Internet, and remains a world-leader in serving Catholics online as the official Internet site of the Mary Foundation, our parent organization. If you're new here, the free high-quality books, tapes, and interactive services we offer will probably strike you as too good to be true, especially if you consider that worldly "free offers" are usually junk or clever ploys designed to entice you into buying something else. That's simply not the case here. We aren't selling anything. We offer the Truth... We believe that the Catholic Church is the one, true, holy, universal, and apostolic Church of Jesus Christ. We believe that Jesus Christ infallibly guides His Church through John Paul II, and those bishops who teach in accord with the Pope. We believe that we, as laymen, are called by the Holy Spirit to take a principal role in bringing about the mystical Kingdom of God in the world. We are responding to the imperative for all Catholics to answer John Paul II's call to begin the New Evangelization."
"Concerns About Issues Relating to Catholicism -- Since I left the Roman Catholic Church to join a Scripturally based Protestant church, I have wrestled with various issues relating to Catholicism. Some papers have emerged from that struggle. I hope that you will find them informative.
If you have difficulty with some of the things that I have said, I understand how you feel. A few years ago, I would have had difficulty with it myself. The important thing is what God thinks about the papers � not what you or I or anybody else thinks about them. I have asked God to show me how He sees them. You might want to do the same. By Mary Ann Collins (A Former Catholic Nun)."
"In 1996 Dr. Jeffrey A. Mirus founded a web site called PetersNet to help guide Catholics through the conflicting claims about the Faith on the Internet and to provide a reliable source for Church documents and Catholic analysis. By 2001, users had expressed a practical desire to apply PetersNet's resources to daily family life. In response, the staff began assembling resources to help live the liturgical year in the home�that is, to sustain and develop the culture of the domestic Church. The result is CatholicCulture.org. The work of PetersNet continues at CatholicCulture.org through a growing body of web site reviews, now numbering 827 �all of which are updated annually. In addition, the PetersNet document database provides the basis for the new CatholicCulture Library, now larger and significantly easier to use. And there is much more to come! CatholicCulture.org has plans to continue to build and craft the best Catholic resources available on the Internet, as well as to provide valuable services to its supporters."
"Catholic Information Center on the Web -- Our Mission:
To bring Jesus Christ; the Way, the Truth and the Life; to all who will follow, to all who will hear, to all who will live, in accord with scripture and holy tradition, as handed down by the Magisterium of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, guided by the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit."
The Catholic Goldmine
"3,000 links and growing."
The Catholic Legate
"Bringing Catholic Apologetics to Canada and the World . The mission of The Catholic Legate is to advance and propagate the truth of the Catholic faith to everyone. Our apostolate seeks to be broad in scope dealing with issues which affect today's society and their impact on Christianity and the Catholic Church. Issues related to Apologetics, Philosophy, History, and Morality are some of the areas we shall seek to cultivate in the coming years. Following the Holy Father's call for a new evangelization, our Apostolate seeks to revitalize the Catholic faith in Canada so that an authentic Christian culture can begin to develop. Please keep us in your prayers as we win souls for the Bride of Christ."
The Catholic Liturgical Library
"The Catholic Liturgical Library has partnered with Catholic Online to provide even more Catholics with accurate liturgical information...
This site is dedicated to providing accurate historical and current information about the liturgies of the Latin (Roman) rite of the Catholic Church. Currently this includes the missal of 1970 (Novus Ordo) and the missal of 1962 (Tridentine)."
"Catholic.net is the new, successor site to the Catholic Information Center on the Internet (CICI), one of the pioneering Catholic web sites since its inception in 1995. In the new Catholic.net, you'll find everything you've come to expect from CICI - access to leading Catholic magazines and newspapers, papal encyclicals, Church documents, helpful devotional services - all in a new, smartly-designed and streamlined format. But there's more. Every day, you'll get the latest Catholic news from around the world, straight from the highly-regarded, Rome-based Zenit News Service. And on a weekly basis, you�ll get a sampling of the most relevant and stimulating Catholic content, culled from hundreds of Catholic publications and web sites. They�ll be highlighted in our newsletter, delivered weekly to your e-mail box. What's more, you get our guarantee that the content will be 100% in accord with the teachings of the Pope and the living Magisterium of the Church."
"The Mission of Catholic Online is to Serve as a Center for the Exchange of Information for Catholics and All People of God, to Help them Deepen their understanding of Our Catholic Faith. Catholic Online is here to Help Guide All People of God back to the Community of Christ. For it is God's will to bring all human beings into one people, united in Christ, overcoming all that now divides Mankind. Catholic Online is here to Serve the World Wide Catholic Community.
Catholic Online proudly declares our desire always to be distinguished and well-known for a particularly "Catholic" Christian character. We openly proclaim our faithfulness to the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II and his successors, in union with the Catholic Bishops throughout the world. The Catholic laity and clergy who administer and staff Catholic Online are convinced that, in the tradition of the Church's always bold willingness to make use of means of social communication available in every age of her mission of evangelization, the new and challenging medium of the Internet and cyberspace must have a strong, visible and above all faithful Catholic presence embracing both the Eastern and Western Catholic traditions and Churches. Therefore, Catholic Online seeks to provide Internet users with resources and connections to sites and information which are truly Catholic. In doing so, we are guided by the time honored principle that in all those things which must be embraced with Catholic faith we must have unity, in those things which are doubtful or open to discussion we must have liberty, while in all things we must foster and manifest true Christian charity."
"My name is Gary Hoge (which rhymes with vogue). Welcome to my website! If you want to learn more about the Catholic faith, you�ve come to the right place... My goal for this site is simply to try to explain the Catholic faith in a way that�s easy to understand, and to explain why I think it makes more sense than the alternatives. So, if you�re a Protestant who wonders why his Catholic friends confess their sins to a priest and kneel before the Eucharist, or if you�re a Catholic who wonders the same thing, this site is for you. Together, we�ll cut through the myths and the misconceptions, and spell out as plainly as possible what the Catholic Church really teaches. I think you�ll be pleasantly surprised by what you learn here."
"This site is a personal web site that started as a hobby and still is! We have no staff! All the web design and page coding is done by hand by the webmaster, Paul McLachlan... This site is not an official site of the Catholic Church. As a layman, and as a private apostolate, it does not require the approval or supervision of the Church. However, we take great pains to ensure that nothing which promotes disobedience or dissent is to be found on the site. We take very seriously the Lord's admonition that we would be better to have millstones around our necks than lead the innocent (or ignorant) into error. If you want a site that will give "both sides" of an argument, then this site isn't for you. This site wants to show you the brilliance and the splendour of Catholicism."
A Catholic Response
"We are a lay Catholic apostolate group, who are loyal to the Catholic Church. Our aim is to disseminate (spread), with the approval of the Local Ordinary (e.g. Bishop), the Truths of the Catholic Faith in common but orthodox language by simple and inexpensive means, relying on the providence of God."
"CATHOLICSOURCE is dedicated to Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church, and following official teachings of the Church as contained in Scripture, Sacred Tradition, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the Magisterium"
Chester's Catholic Index
"Welcome to Chester's Catholic Pages. This site contains three parts. The first are the pages for the Blessed Sacrament Knights of Columbus council #7357. The second section is a comprehensive directory of Catholic resources that are accessible online. The third portion of this site is devoted to housing writings by various everyday Catholics. You are welcome to contribute any essays or public letters you have composed."
Chick Publications -- Roman Catholicism
"Does Jack Chick hate Catholics? Quite the opposite. In the mid-1970's, when he first began to understand what Roman Catholicism really teaches, he knew it was unscriptural. He also knew that to speak out against it would be unpopular and hurt his publishing company. After much prayer, he made the decision that, no matter what it cost him personally, he would publish the truth that Roman Catholicism is not Christian. He did it because he loves Catholics and wants them to be saved through faith in Jesus, not trusting in religious liturgy and sacraments. He paid a price for that decision in many ways, as priests and nuns entered Christian bookstores screaming and making a scene, demanding that the store owner not stock Chick tracts. Some "Christian" media have even refused to accept advertising from Chick Publications, fearing any "controversy" that might hurt their cash flow. But God has been faithful (as He always is) and has protected Chick Publications over the years. Jack Chick has made it clear that if he had it to do over again, he wouldn't change a thing. The letters from so many Catholics who have read Chick's anti-Catholic material and have gotten saved carry one theme: "Thank you for loving us enough to tell us the truth!" Those precious people make it all worthwhile."
Christus Rex et Redemptor Mundi
"Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again! Christus vincit! Christus regnat! Christus imperat! CHRISTUS REX, INC. is a a private, non-profit organization dedicated to the dissemination of information on works of art preserved in churches, cathedrals and monasteries all over the world. We intend to assemble a collection of images that will constitute a visual representation of the Bible, ad maiorem gloriam Dei! (for the greater glory of God!) We are in the process of building the data base for a world wide tour of churches and monasteries, comprising in excess of 10,000 images."
Corunum Apologetic Web Site
"This Web page is dedicated to the defense of Catholic doctrines within Patristic thought. The Catholic rule of faith consists of three coordinate and complementary authorities: Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition and the teaching Church. The Church Fathers used both Scripture and Tradition to explain and defend the Catholic faith. Corunum's mission is to present the outline of Catholic doctrines as they appear in the writings of the Church Fathers. Corunum Apologetic Web site does not contain a library of the writings of the Church Fathers... Inside you will find testimony from the Church Fathers on various Catholic doctrines listed in chronological order. Corunum's goal is to provide one new doctrinal topic with the accompanying traditional pedigree every month."
Defending the Bride
"This web site is dedicated to explaining and defending the truths that God has revealed through the Church that He founded, the Catholic Church, the Bride of Christ."
Early Church Fathers
"The Early Church Fathers is a 38-volume collection of writings from the first 800 years of the Church. This collection is divided into three series, Ante-Nicene (ANF), Nicene and Post-Nicene Series I (NPNF1), and Nicene and Post-Nicene Series II (NPNF2). These files have the majority of the text printed in the actual books, but the indexes are not included."
"A Layman's look at the journey of faith... Each week we bring you the best Internet resources for information regarding Faith Formation, Family Ministry, Youth and Young Adult Ministry, Social Outreach, Justice/Peace and Prayer & Reflection. It is our hope is that our site will enable all who visit to come into a closer relationship with Jesus Christ, a deeper love of the Roman Catholic Church, and a better understanding of the need to transform our society into a world of greater compassion and justice."
"Envoy magazine is the award winning bi-monthly journal of Catholic apologetics and evangelization, edited by Patrick Madrid... While there are a few other periodicals that deal, at least ostensibly, with this subject area, Envoy. magazine is distinct from them in every way -- graphically, editorially, and in content. It presents the truths of the Catholic Faith in a fresh, contemporary style, featuring today's top Catholic writers, full-color graphics, and an upbeat, innovative format. The Holy Father's call for a "New Evangelization" requires that the Catholic laity be not only knowledgeable about the Faith, but also prepared to explain it intelligently, defend it charitably, and share it effectively. Envoy. is an instrument at the service of the local and universal Church to accomplish this task. Because of the paucity today of apologetics and evangelization materials for a poorly catechized laity, and in light of the serious inroads by proselytizing sects, Catholics are eager for a magazine like Envoy. - one that will prepare them to "be always ready to give a reason for the hope that is in them" (1 Peter 3:15). Envoy. magazine will equip Catholics to respond to Christ's call: "As the Father has sent me, so I send you" (John 20:21). We promise our readers our unswerving commitment to journalistic excellence, aesthetic quality, fidelity to the magisterium, and a charitable and winsome presentation of the Catholic Faith."
Eternal Word Television Network
"Eternal Word Television Network, Inc. maintains this site to provide the user with information about EWTN, its services, and to provide information to facilitate the user�s understanding of the Catholic Church and its teachings."
"Ever since the Reformation, Protestant thinking and attitude towards the Catholic Church has been poisoned by the belief that the Pope/Papacy is the Anti-Christ and the Catholic Church is the Whore of Babylon. This belief was virtually written into the creeds of the various Protestant Churches to justify their break from the Church, and has been passed down over the past 400 years in their various traditions to the present day. This belief not only explains the general hatred towards the Catholic Church, but it has resulted in a vicious propaganda campaign against Catholicism, a campaign that cares little for truth or reasoned discussion. Whatever their differences (and they are many and serious) far too many Protestants unite in opposition against the Anti-Christ and the Whore and relish and enjoy portraying the Church's teachings in a distorted and caricaturized manner. This surely rates as one of the longest, most sustained propaganda campaigns in History... Numerous Catholic Apologetics sites explain the true teachings of the Catholic Church to those individual Protestants who dare to break away from their traditional view and look at the Church in a calm and reasoned manner. Some of those sites are located on my Apologetics Sites page. This site is not one of those sites. Rather, this site will generally examine Protestantism and the centuries old propaganda campaign against the Catholic Church."
Freedom From Catholicism
"Becoming free from Roman Catholicism involves more than just intellectually recognizing that many of its doctrines are contrary to the Bible. There are also issues of loyalty, fear and the habit of obeying the priests and the Pope. These issues sometimes trouble ex-Catholics long after they have left the Catholic Church. The Bible says "Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1)." Weights from Catholicism can be hidden and heavy. This article should help former Catholics get rid of them."
The Holy See
Official website of the Vatican.
In Defense of the Roman Catholic Church
"This web site was developed mainly for non-Catholic Christians, but is also for Catholics who want to explain their faith to Protestants and non-Christians. Most often, this "defense" is against "Bible" Christians and Fundamentalist Christians. Since the majority of non-Catholic Christians incorrectly believe the Holy Bible is the sole or final authority for Christian beliefs (Sola Scriptura), this web site will explain Catholic beliefs in reference to the Holy Bible. In addition, the doctrine of the Catholic Church is explained by what is NOT stated in the Bible and what is just plain God-given "common sense." In addition, quotes from the "Catechism of the Catholic Church," "The Early Church Fathers" and "The Doctors of the Church" are cited. This web site will help you learn and prove that there is a Biblical basis in even the most controversial issues that the Mother Church has taken a stand on."
The Internet Padre
"A Roman Catholic Resource on the World Wide Web. This site is dedicated to St. Joseph,
Guardian of the Redeemer, Patron of the Universal Church. Praised be Jesus Christ! Welcome to the Internet Padre Website. It is my prayerful hope that here you will find support for your faith in Jesus Christ and affirmation of Catholic teaching. The primary aim of this site is to provide a trusted resource for all those who desire to know the Church's authentic profession of faith. All direct links touching upon Church teaching have been chosen for a thoroughly Catholic perspective."
Just for Catholics
"This evangelical site is dedicated to Roman Catholics who are eager to know how to be saved. It is our sincere desire to proclaim to you the Good News of Jesus Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to all who believe."
The Mary Page
Welcome to the Mary Page, maintained by The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute at the University of Dayton in Ohio. We are an international center of research and study on the role of Mary in Christian life. The Marianists founded the University of Dayton in 1850. Since 1943 it has been a home to the Marian Library, which holds the world's largest collection of printed information on Mary, the Blessed Virgin. It has developed into a center which engages in many activities. Our goal is to present information about the Mother of Jesus and to lead people to a loving knowledge of her who is the first and most holy of the faithful. We call her Our Lady, Madonna, Notre Dame, Domina. Learning more about Mary, we develop a fuller knowledge of Christ who is the fulfillment of human existence.
Nazareth Resource Library
"My name is James Akin, and I am an apologist working for a ministry named Catholic Answers, where I am also a contributing editor to This Rock magazine... I wanted to pick a biblical name for the site since I am bound and determined to do as much as possible to show the linkage between the Bible and Catholicism. I am also bound and determined to make the point that Catholics are Christians. In fact, we are the original, Christians and possess the Faith of Christ in its fullness. Having spent so much of my life as a Protestant in circles where Catholics were not even considered Christians, this is a point I am determined to make. Far too often people speak of "Christian bookstores" when what the mean is Protestant bookstores or "Christian radio stations" when what they mean is Protestant radio stations. There are Catholic bookstores and Catholic radio stations too, and they are just as much Christian as the others (in fact, moreso). For this reason, I wanted to give my site a name that was generally Christian rather than specifically Catholic."
"Summa Theologica: The theological masterpiece of St. Thomas Aquinas. Church Fathers: Letters, speeches and books from the earliest Christians. Catholic Encyclopedia: More than 11,000 articles on Catholic topics. The Catholic Encyclopedia, as its name implies, proposes to give its readers full and authoritative information on the entire cycle of Catholic interests, action and doctrine. What the Church teaches and has taught; what she has done and is still doing for the highest welfare of mankind; her methods, past and present; her struggles, her triumphs, and the achievements of her members, not only for her own immediate benefit, but for the broadening and deepening of all true science, literature and art -- all come within the scope of the Catholic Encyclopedia."
Papal Encyclicals Online
"Your guide to online Papal and other official documents of the Catholic Church. A Papal Encyclical is the name typically given to a letter written by a Pope to a particular audience of Bishops. That group may be bishops in a specific country or to all bishops in all countries."
"Providing scriptural evidence for the teachings of the Catholic faith. Scripture Catholic.com provides over 2,000 Scripture citations from the Old and New Testament that explain and defend the teachings of the Catholic Church. Each citation is followed by a brief exegesis of a point of Catholic teaching and assumes the reader has some understanding of the Protestant position... From a Catholic perspective, having to rely on the Scriptures alone to prove the teachings of the Church is illogical and "unbiblical." This is because we only know of the inspiration of the Scriptures due to the teaching authority of the Catholic Church, who determined the canon of Scripture at the end of the fourth century. Nothing in Scripture tells us what Scriptures are inspired, what books belong in the Bible, or that Scripture is the final authority on questions concerning the Christian faith."
Upon This Rock
"A site for Christians willing to consider the compelling scriptural and historical evidence for the Catholic faith. Questions about the Catholic Church and its teachings are most welcome."
"ZENIT is an International News Agency. Our mission is to provide objective coverage of events, documents and issues emanating from or concerning the Catholic Church. ZENIT's articles are reproduced in hundreds of publications worldwide and are used by numerous radio and TV stations. Our coverage includes:
-- Activities of John Paul II, such as his travels, documents and audiences
-- The Vatican, including diplomatic activity, humanitarian efforts, and profiles of Church leaders
-- Interviews with and features about leading lay Catholics, including researchers, politicians, writers and entertainers"
"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."
Reference sources: Catholic Answers (http://www.catholic.com); The Compact History of the Catholic Church, by Alan Schreck, ©1987 by the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Office, published by Servant Books; ReligiousTolerance.org - Early Christian History as Viewed by Roman Catholics (http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_hirc.htm); Fast Facts on False Teachings - Roman Catholicism (chapter 14, pp 211-232), by Ron Carlson and Ed Decker, ©1994 by Harvest House Publishers; New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/); Wikipedia (http://www.wikipedia.org/)