Question on Catholic beliefs and practices for non-Catholics

So, I may not be the most versed and knowledgeable in apologetics but I know a good deal about Catholicism. I see posts that deal with what non-Catholics find objectionable about Catholic belief and practices. This, to me, really does not get to the root of the issue, but rather is just personal opinion, personal feelings, and personal interpretations of sacred scripture, not facts.

As a convert I know what most of them are so I guess my question would really be what are the Catholic beliefs and practices that a non-Catholic can cite as being inherently sinful, malevolent, or malicious in nature? References please.

I am not trying to start a “Negative” thread, but wanting to get some insight.

Is a belief that is incorrect necessarily inherently sinful, malevolent , or malicious in nature?

I believe it is wrong, plain wrong, to believe that one has to be in communion with the Pope in order to be saved (or be invincibly ignorant). That is as close as I can get to your parameters.

OTOH, I believe it is equally wrong to believe that those in communion with the Pope cannot be saved.


Thanks Jon for your response, I understand your position.

I am surprised this has not gotten much traction. Maybe that is a good thing :smiley:

The Catholic Church doesn’t teach that you must be in communion with the pope in order to be saved. The church teaches that if you know that the Catholic Church is the one true Church and you still reject the church then you can’t be saved because in essence w are rejecting Christ

Hi wmscott,
I cannot think of any Catholic beliefs and practices that are inherently sinful, malevolent, or malicious in nature.

Most P’s in my circle of friends don’t mention Catholicism much if at all, but if I were to ask them your question, I doubt they would cite anything that was sinful or malicious in nature within Catholicism, either.

However, they would probably express concerns over Catholic doctrines and practices that are not in the Bible and might consider them to be “traditions of men” because of that because many use scripture as their sole standard for what to believe, not *Scripture + Tradition *like Catholics do. There is also a high probability what they think they know about Catholicism is probably riddled with misconceptions handed down over the years, which was the case with me, at least.

One of the main things I have learned on CAF is that tradition has value and should not be looked down on or feared as a bad thing, because not every word of the Lord was recorded on paper and He did turn over authority to the apostles, and they turned the reins over to the early church fathers and so on and so forth.

Hi Wmscott

When I was a Protestant I don’t think I’d have gone as far as to say any Catholic beliefs were sinful, malevolent or malicious.

My biggest diifculties were disagreeing with papal infallibility, the non ordination of women, purgatory, Mariology and exclusive communion.

Other things, like asking for the intercession of saints, I just thought were strange and unnecessary - basically adding complications to a simple faith that didn’t need to be there.

Obviously I, or rather God, overcame these objections :slight_smile:

Hi wm,

Malicious and malevolent are similar, and tough to find in practice/doctrine , though some historic individuals, office holders, may be guilty here and there (2000 years is a long time).

Now “sinful” is another matter. Obviously differences in practice and doctrine can be declared to be “off the mark”. Not sure how to do that "factually’’ , apart from conviction of faith.


Thanks, Tommy, as a convert I can relate to what you have cited and appreciate your response and insight. I wanted to ask this question instead of “What are the Disagreement” as a different way to get a barometer check on the Protestant community since my conversion to Catholicism some 33 years or so ago.

Hi Kanade, I am a convert also and in my past I did shamefully attack the catholic Church and believe that many of the beliefs and practices were sinful, and malevolent. Obviously, I had a BIG turnaround. It is good to see so far that “MY” ignorance is not the rule. Thank You

Thanks Ben, appreciate the candor and do agree that 2000 years is a long time and the Great Deceiver has had plenty of time to work against men throughout history.

Thank you for opening the discussion :slight_smile:

I’m not sure that there’s much difference between someone who dismisses the CC out of hand and someone who actively attacks her doctrine - the result is the same, both are separated from her truth, so I wouldn’t see ‘your’ ignorance as being any worse than mine. Perhaps your strong reaction was a sign that they were working in you somehow (like St. Paul kicking against the goads Acts 26:14) :slight_smile:

Praise God that he bought you home :smiley:

Me too. My particular sect taught quite forcefully that the CC was the devil’s spawn that was leading innocent souls to hell. :eek: We were greatly influenced by the likes of the late Jack Chick. That changed over time, thanks be, but many still harbor feelings that the Church, if not the anti-Christ, is tradition-bound and encrusted with unnecessary trappings of religion.

Now, that’s not the usual stance by 99% of Protestants. Most never give the Church a second thought, especially those who are satisfied with their own faith communities or who are non-practicing modernists. The only time some of the non-practicing modernists think or say that the Church is bad is when they strongly disagree with her moral teachings. They could care less about her doctrines.

From Unam Sanctam

Therefore whoever resists this power thus ordained by God, resists the ordinance of God [Rom 13:2], unless he invent like Manicheus two beginnings, which is false and judged by us heretical, since according to the testimony of Moses, it is not in the beginnings but in the beginning that God created heaven and earth [Gen 1:1]. Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.

This doesn’t leave much wiggle room.

But accepting the fact that The Catholic Church defines its own teachings, not me, I understand what you are saying.


The document is dated 1302–a time when all Christians in the West were Catholics and long before Luther and the other Reformers lived. It was a specific document for a specific time. It’s purpose was to affirm the pope’s primacy among his fellow bishops. It wasn’t directed at Protestants because there were no Protestants at the time. It was an internal Church statement meant to settle the matter of papal primacy, and that’s all. Please don’t take statements out of context, both their documental context or historical context because doing so only seems to confuse things for you. :tiphat:

So when I first posed this question “What are the Catholic beliefs and practices that a non-Catholic can cite as being inherently sinful, malevolent, or malicious in nature” I wanted to ask it in a way that was different than the others e.g. what do you disagree with or what is your opinion of, type of question.

So far what I have seen is not to many responses or that there is an issue with the “administrative or hierarchical” aspects of the Church and not the beliefs or practices such as the Rosary, intercessory prayers, and so on. I guess this is a good thing in that there is not really that much that separates us other than organizational paradigms.

Malevolent or malicious would seem to me to indicate a practice which is done strictly for the purpose of harm to those who engage it. I can’t imagine that would apply to the practices of your church. However, if you’re using the term without motive behind it, that would be a different take. I will stick with the first term, inherently sinful and list those:

  1. That it denies that Scripture is sufficient for the purpose of leading the reader/hearer to salvation. Also that it is insufficient for worship, faith, life and practice. To put that in a positive sense, that it teaches that Tradition not found in God’s word written is necessary in addition to Scripture.

  2. That it denies that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

  3. The teaching that the Mass is a propitiatory sacrifice that remits the venial sins of the living and the dead. Under this heading would be indulgences, pilgrimages, etc.

  4. Adding the saints to the mediatorial work of Christ.

  5. Veneration of images, relics, asking for and/or giving the dead intercession.

  6. The doctrine of the papacy.

Thanks for the response, would you happen to have any documentation that supports your assertions? i would be interested in see them. thanks again.

What documentation are you looking for?

So if I understood your post correctly, the six items you listed are beliefs and practices of the Catholic Church that you are asserting as inherently sinful. If that is a correct understanding, I would be interested in any documentation you have to substantiate that position.

If I misunderstood your statement then I apologize. :slight_smile: