The following studies contain no
commentary, but simply compare
Praying to the Dead
Salvation by Works
Shrines & Statues
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ:
for it is the power of God unto salvation
to every one that believeth..."
Is Catholicism Christian?
Many assume Catholicism is Christian because it claims the name of Christ. However, many cults -- i.e., Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses -- do the same. "Not all who call me 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom," Jesus said.
If you still are unsure, check out the following, in light of the
teaching of Scripture.
of the Catholic Church
Vatican Web Site
The Mary Page
Catholic Info Center
Vatican II Site
Our Lady of
I did everything Catholicism required, and more... Still, my life was empty.
Religion was an abstract and impersonal "duty" I performed out of ritual and
habit... God was, I (mistakenly) thought, too busy running the universe to
be concerned with me.
Why I Left Roman Catholicism
© 1999 by Diane S. Dew
Life without God is a long, hard road. Although I was reared in a strict, Roman Catholic family, and for years attended Mass six days a week, sang in the choir, had a good, Catholic education, cleaned the convent, participated in the parish perpetual hour of prayer, and knew
all the memorized answers to catechism questions, still something was missing and I knew it.
Life seemed senseless and meaningless to me, with no purpose or direction. Nothing I did and no one I knew could fill the emptiness within me. I didn't know God cared so I didn't either.
It was not until I came to the point when everything was falling apart in my life that I decided it had to be all or nothing. Either I had to find out the meaning of my existence--or life as I knew it was not worth the living. Religion, to me, was an abstract and impersonal "duty" I had been
performing out of ritual and habit--certainly nothing that offered any solution to the "real" problems of this life. God was, I
(mistakenly) thought, too busy running the universe to be concerned with me.
Then one night in my desperation I cried out to God and for the first time in my life actually talked to Him! After all, wasn't that what prayer was supposed to be? All the novenas and creeds I had so well learned from memory had been only "vain repetition" to me, and meaningless. Here was something tangible, something of life and hope: this talking to God, it was something that I, in all my religious and educational training, had never been taught to do.
As I spoke to him, I just knew he was listening and cared. A peace and calm came over my being as I felt the assurance of his love and forgiveness. No priest or confessional had ever been able to provide me with that. He reminded me of Calvary and of all he willingly took upon himself, for me! It was a
a revelation I had never learned at Mass, the continual re-enacting of that sacrifice.
For the first time in all my life I felt peace with God. Love had always been something so abstract to me before: something
I had never really known. But this was real. All my years of religion, without the relationship to back it up, had proven futile and empty, a "dead end," so to speak. With too many unanswered questions
no priest or nun could answer, it had become a burden rather than a help to me because it had disillusioned me into thinking I was doing all the "things" I was supposed to be doing for God (penance, sacraments, etc.) -- yet with no results, no fruit, and no peace with
I began to turn to Jesus for comfort and guidance, to his Holy Spirit for counsel, his Word (the Bible) for instruction. He made me feel all "brand new" inside (2 Corinthians 5:17), and all I knew was, I wanted to serve God for the rest of my life. He had given his life for me; now I wanted to live mine for him.
It was amazing to me then that, for all the years I had so "faithfully" attended Mass and seen re-enacted over and over again the sacrifice of Calvary, still in all that time and in all those religion classes no one ever told me God loved me or that I could know that I could have eternal life. (John 5:24) No longer did I think of God as some distant, almighty being way up there somewhere. Rather, here was a personal, loving Father Who had given his all, his only Son, for me! A different Lord, indeed! One I really needed desperately and wanted to get to know at all costs.
And I will spend the rest of my life doing just that.
Scripture? or Tradition?
Here's what Catholicism says about the authority of Scripture and the hierarchy of Rome:
"The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him." Catechism of the Catholic
Church, p 30
Here's what Peter (Catholicism's "first Pope"?) said in Scripture about Scripture:
"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed as unto a light that shineth in a dark place ... Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy
Ghost." (2 Peter 1:19-21)
A Personal Note
In second grade, as part of our preparation for our First Holy Communion, the parish priest came in weekly for religious instruction.
A couple statements in the little catechism, our textbook, bothered me. So when the priest asked if there were any questions, I raised my hand.
Mary was the only person ever born without original sin, it said.
"What about Jesus?" I asked.
The priest got very angry, mumbled something to Sister, and tried to dismiss the question.
I then asked, "How do we know Mary was born without original sin?" (I really wanted to know. I was not challenging authority; I was 7 years old. It was a simple question).
"Because the church says so," he replied. To be Jesus' mother, she
had to be born without original sin, he explained.
I then asked, "Then St. Anne had to be born without original sin, to be Mary's mother -- and St. Anne's mother would have had to be born without original sin, to bear her, etc -- all the way back to Adam & Eve. But the catechism says
only Mary was born without original sin. And sin was passed down from Adam and Eve, not
perfection traced back to our first parents. How can that be? I asked. The priest was frustrated, with no answer. He just changed the
When I began reading the Bible at 16, I noticed the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (her rising into the sky, escaping natural death) was nowhere in
Scripture. I asked our parish priest (a really nice, elderly man) why. He explained it was recorded in a writing not accepted into the Bible. So we don't really know if it happened then?
I asked. He said, Correct. Then I asked, Well, how can all these churches -- and even a holy day of obligation -- be dedicated to it, if we don't even know it happened? "What the people don't know won't hurt them," he said. I couldn't believe my ears. I looked at him and said, if there's arsenic in that coffee you're drinking (we were in the rectory, at the dining room table), won't it hurt you? He looked at me and said, "You keep reading that Book."
I did try to attend the "charismatic" meetings in our parish, as suggested by this same pastor. But it got all weird when someone gave a spontaneous "prophetic" utterance saying, "My children I love you.... [followed by all kinds of other stuff God the Father might say to his children...but ending with] ... thus saith Mary, the Mother of God."
That was too weird for me. I never went back. It especially bothered me that the parish priest, who was supposedly "spirit-filled"
and supervised the whole thing (it was held in the church's school building) did absolutely
nothing to correct it. No discernment.
P.S. I am in NO way "anti-Catholic." I have a burden to see the Truth taught. Catholics need the assurance of salvation through the complete work of Calvary. They need to know they can run to
Jesus with their problems, not all these patron saints, etc. They need a relationship with him, not with Mary or any other dead people, holy as they may have been. God is a jealous God. He loves Catholics and wants them to know the Truth. How shall they know, except we tell them? Should we shield them from the truth to protect their feelings?
"Am I therefore your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" (Galatians 4:16)
Q & A: 'Tearing down' the Catholic Church on the Internet?
Diane Dew's MAIN