I have a few, random questions that I would appreciate your
- Do Catholics accept that anyone who professes Jesus Christ
as their Lord and Savior is saved (i.e., Heaven-bound)?
In general Catholicism does not affirm with absolute certainty that
anyone is saved, even Catholics. If you are baptized and die in the friendship
of God, that is, not having knowingly and deliberately committed any
grave sins, that you did not either repent of, motivated
out of love for God (as opposed to fear of Hell), or else repented of
and took the sin to sacramental Confession, then you are saved. It
is possible for someone who professes Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior
to commit sins afterwards which would exclude them from Heaven, so
those would not be saved absent adequate repentance. Also, if you know
that the Catholic Church was founded by God as necessary for salvation
but refuse to either enter into, or stay in, it you cannot be saved.
In general, we do not believe that non-Catholics cannot be saved,
only that it is much more difficult for them to be saved. Forgive me
for sounding a bit contradictory but I can't do it justice here; do a
search on our site for "no
salvation outside" (Exact
Phrase) for some other articles.
I have Church of Christ and Baptist friends who espouse that
they don't need to pray to Saints to talk with God. They go
directly to Jesus through prayer. This is a good point.
you explain why Catholics pray to Saints?
- Jesus is held above
This is also covered in
our archives. Briefly, yes, of course, Jesus is above the saints, and
yes, we can go directly to Jesus, but just as you ask your friends to
pray to you in addition to praying for Jesus, so we ask the saints in
Heaven to pray for us in addition to praying to Jesus, for the
prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective (James
5:16), and the saints are perfected in righteousness (Hebrews 12:23).
When we pray to saints, by the way, what we
are doing is merely asking them to pray for us to God. That's it! They
don't have their own power. They are merely intercessors. The word in
Latin for pray is the same as the word to ask.
In English, people tend to think it implies worship but in Latin this is not so and it is not the way we Catholics use it.
See this posting:
- Why do Episcopalians allow young children to receive communion
but Catholics do not?
Eastern Rite Catholics do. The rationale behind doing this in the Roman
Rite is they want the children to be able to distinguish the Host from
ordinary bread so that they appreciate that it is sacred and the Body,
Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ.
- How is the use of birth-control reconciled in Catholicism?
It isn't, I'm not sure I understand your question?
control is forbidden in Catholicism. It is permissible to make strategic
use of abstinence to avoid pregnancy. This is because it works
naturally with the body and not against it. For that reason, it [abstinence]
Looking through the Book of Prayer I see that
Episcopalians do not believe in Purgatory.
- Why do Catholics
believe in it and is there a citation in the Bible that would
Check our archives, search for Purgatory.
What other major differences are there between Episcopalians
and Catholics besides:
- priests can marry and
- they do not believe in
Married priests are allowed in the Catholic Church, as well, under limited
conditions, (Lutheran and Episcopalian converts, and in the Eastern Rite
in those areas), although priests and deacons already ordained are not
allowed to be married, as this would present a pastoral problem of clergy
dating lay people.
Explaining the differences between Episcopalianism and Catholicism would
be too difficult as Episcopalianism is all over the map doctrinally. There
is little agreement or consistency over doctrine.
- Some Episcopalians are
virtually identical to Catholics.
- Some Episcopalians are nearly identical
- Some Episcopalians are nearly identical to Unitarians.
It all depends on where you're coming from.
- How much of Catholicism belief and direction is based
on the Bible and how much comes from central controls, e.g.,
the Pope, Cardinals, etc.?
Catholic belief doesn't come from the Pope and Cardinals. It comes from
Scripture and Apostolic Tradition. Everything we believe to be true we
believe to be revealed by Christ to the Apostles in the first century.
The role of the bishops (among which includes the Pope) is merely to
protect that Tradition and faithfully guard it. See:
Direction on a day to day (or more likely, century to century) basis does
come chiefly from the Pope and, to a lesser extent, the bishops, based
on the principles of Scripture and Apostolic Tradition.