Thanks for your question. You picked
While the issues you seek are vast
in scope, I'll do my best to cut
to the chase.
You ought to get a copy of Catholicism and Fundamentalism: The Attack on "Romanism" by "Bible Christians" by Karl Keating for a more in depth look
at these questions and more.
In discussing salvation:
will quote you Romans 3:28
is justified by Faith apart from
works of the law.
will quote you James 2:24:
how a person is justified by works
and not by faith alone.
(Please refer to your Bible and study
these verses and the surrounding
- Ouch, how can we make sense of this?
We Catholics believe that Luther
made an erroneous judgment about
what Paul was teaching in Romans
which led him to insert the word "alone" into
his translation of Romans 3:28. That word was not
in the Greek and is not implied.
If it was, it would obviously contradict
The Catholic view is that Faith and
works are complimentary and both
necessary as part of God's plan to
complete his work in us, the making
of us into his children in the fullest
One to the exclusion of the other
is wrong. Works without faith cannot
please God, and faith without works
is mere lip service (cf. Matthew 7:21; 2 Corinthians 5:10).
What would benefit you most is to
understand justification and sanctification
as understood by both Protestants
and Catholics. Keep in mind though
that there are many, many different
brands of Protestantism, all claiming
to hold the "true" interpretation.
We believe that the Catholic Church
is the authentic Church and therefore
the correct interpreter because Jesus
built His Church on his Apostles
and St. Peter. Peter alone was given
a unique role to guide and maintain
the Church much like a prime minister
functions in a royal cabinet. His
job was to shepherd (John 21:15ff),
hold his "brothers" together
despite the attacks of satan
(Luke 22) and "legislate" make
laws, codify teachings, etc. (Matthew 16:17ff). While all of the
Apostles were given authority, Peter
alone is handed the "keys" which
represents Christ's personal authority.
For a good Old Testament foreshadowing
of this, read Isaiah 22:20-24 and
note the parallel language. In the
Davidic kingdom, God elected a "prime
minister" to oversee the house
of David. In Jesus' new kingdom,
the boundaries don't merely cover
Palestine, but branch from heaven
to earth. This is why we have a Pope,
to work for Jesus in keeping the
Church together. There may be many
sins and divisions, but no man on
this earth is working harder to bring
peace and unity than John Paul II. If you
reflect on this you will see the
wisdom and grace of Christ's design.
Hope this helps,
Bob or (BK)