Thursday, July 7, 2016

When May a Catholic Disagree with Pope Francis?


Cathmom5's introduction: The following post was used in the Catholic Debate Forum discussion on whether or not Catholics are allowed to disagree with the opinions or non-infallible writings of Catholic magisterium. Mr. Conte’s post on When May a Catholic Disagree with Pope Francis? was used to dispute an atheist's argument that if a Catholic work has an imprimatur by a member of the Papal Biblical Commission, a Catholic had no right to disagree with it. As many members tried to point out, an imprimatur simply means "it may be printed." It basically means the bishop gave permission to the author to go ahead and print the project.  A Nihil Obstat says that there is nothing offensive or nothing to offend a Catholic in the book. Neither is a stamp proclaiming the work as  official Catholic teaching, but nothing seems to convince the atheistic of the error of his interpretation of Catholic phrases, documents, and doctrine. He believes he knows everything there is to know about what Catholics believe, and no one can tell him otherwise. The point several people have tried to make is that Catholics are free to disagree with a commentary; a commentary is not compulsory belief. All that aside, even if were "official" Catholic Teaching, I would not agree with his interpretation of what it said in the JBC or how he tried to apply it to an issue that had nothing to do with the commentary entry.

Anyway, I thought this article by Mr. Ron Conte was an excellent explanation of how and when a Catholic may disagree with the Catholic Magisterium (Pope Francis specifically, but it can and does apply to the magisterium in general).  I will make some comments to Mr. Conte's post just for purposes of pointing out some anti-Catholic people (Protestant, atheist, what have you) who like to claim that Catholics are mindless drones, or at the very least not allowed to think for themselves.

When May a Catholic Disagree with Pope Francis?
Pope Francis is a valid Pope. He is currently the only Roman Pontiff of the Catholic Church. Pope Benedict XVI validly resigned, and so he is no longer the Pope; that is why he is called “Pope emeritus”. Any Catholic who rejects Pope Francis as the valid and sole current Pope of the one true Church is in a state of formal schism, is automatically excommunicated, and may not receive any of the Sacraments (except Confession, once he is repentant). If you reject the Pope, you have separated yourself from formal communion with the Catholic Church.
One thing that Catholics are not allowed to disagree on is the Pope. The pope is elected by the College of Cardinals through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The process has been formalized and streamlined over the centuries but the ceremony does not take away the work of the Holy Spirit. In other words, Catholics are not allowed to disagree with the Holy Spirit. As Mr. Conte said, the Catholic who does not recognize the current, validly elected pope is in schism (no longer a Catholic). Unfortunately, there are many of them out there now--claiming to be Catholic but claim there is no valid pope. They are wrong and no longer Catholic.

For Catholics who accept Pope Francis as the valid Roman Pontiff, some disagreement is possible without heresy, schism, or other grave sin.
So here Mr. Conte wants to make it clear that not all of what the pope says is binding on all Catholics. Not everything he says is infallible. In other words, we are allowed to use our own brain. The following are conditions under which we may disagree.
1. Personal Opinion
When Pope Francis expresses his personal opinion on a matter of faith or morals (or any other topic), and given that the Magisterium has no definitive teaching on the subject, the faithful Catholic is free to disagree.
Pope Benedict XVI wrote and published a book entitled, Jesus of Nazareth: from the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration. In the preface of that book, he writes:
“It goes without saying that this book is in no way an exercise of the magisterium, but is solely an expression of my personal search ‘for the face of the Lord’ (cf. Ps 27:8). Everyone is free, then, to contradict me. I would only ask my readers for that initial goodwill without which there can be no understanding.” [1]
Here Pope Benedict XVI gives us a good example to follow concerning the expression of theological opinions by the Bishops and the Pope. Such expressions, no matter how emphatically they may be phrased, are not an exercise of the Magisterium, and so are not binding on the faithful. All are free to disagree with the Pope in any personal opinion that he expresses: about Jesus, about matters of faith and morals, and certainly on other matters.
Caveat: In all likelihood, the opinion of the Pope on any matter pertaining to faith or morals is better than your opinion. The mere opinion of the Pope is fallible, but so are all your opinions.
The pope's personal opinions, personal devotions, prayers, etc. are his own. Of course, I'd think that his opinion pulls much more weight than mine. Pope St. John Paul II's opinion on the death penalty made me look at it differently, and I eventually changed my opinions in line with his.  Eventually, he included his teaching on the subject in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae (the Gospel of Life) in 1995. This encyclical lends even more weight to his teaching. See below under prudential judgment.

2. Prudential Judgment
When Pope Francis issues a judgment of the prudential order, under his authority as Pope, but as a judgment not a teaching, the faithful Catholic is free to disagree.
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger: “Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.” [2]
Caveat: An official decision of the Pope under his temporal authority (the type of Church authority that exercises prudential judgment) may still be binding on you as a Catholic. So, for example, if the Pope changes the form of the Mass, you are free to think that the changes are imprudent, but you are not free to reject the Mass on that basis. Or if the Pope changes the rules for reception of Communion, you are free to argue that the changes are imprudent, but you are not free to reject the Mass or the Pope on that basis.
The changes in the Mass since Vatican II have been the basis of much disgruntlement among "radical traditionalists" sometimes called "rad-trads". These people refuse to go to Mass when the novus ordo (new order) Mass is said. They seek out traditional Latin Mass for the most part. The Latin Mass, per se is certainly not a bad thing, but neither is the Novus ordo. Since the radical changes to the new Mass in the 70's, the American Bishops have been working on tweaking the Mass, making it closer to the Latin Mass. The updates have been good. The point is that no practicing Catholic is allowed to forego Mass because there is not a Mass nearby that they believe is the right one. Even if you believe that everyone should attend a Latin Mass, you cannot skip Mass while on vacation just because you can't find a Latin Mass.

3. Non-infallible Teachings
Each and every teaching of the Magisterium falls into one of two categories: infallible or non-infallible. It is a common misunderstanding to think that all teachings of the Magisterium are entirely without error.
Pope John Paul II: “With respect to the non-infallible expressions of the authentic magisterium of the Church, these should be received with religious submission of mind and will.” [3]
The non-infallible teachings are reliable and have only a limited possibility of error, but they are NOT infallible. The errors possible in non-infallible teachings never reach to the extent of leading the faithful away from the path of salvation. But non-infallible teachings are non-irreformable. They are subject to a limited possibility of correction, improvement, and change.
“There exist in the Church a lawful freedom of inquiry and of thought and also general norms of licit dissent.” [4]
Here we see a very specific statement on when we have freedom of thought! from Pope St. John Paul II. "There exist in the Church a lawful freedom of inquiry and thought and also general noms of licit dissent." There is no doubt we are allowed to think for ourselves.
Non-infallible teachings are subject to a limited possibility of error and reform; therefore, they do not require the full assent of faith, but a lesser type of assent called the “religious submission of mind and will” [5]. What this means is that you are generally required to believe the non-infallible teachings of the Church. But there is some room for faithful dissent, called “licit theological dissent” [4]. To whatever extent a teaching might err, the faithful are free to disagree. God who is Truth never requires assent to false or erroneous ideas.
The non-infallible teachings of the Magisterium are full of truth. The number, type, and extent of the possible errors is quite limited.
An example of an error in a non-infallible teaching is found in the first edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in the definition of lying, which erroneously stated that an assertion is only a lie if the person (to whom you are speaking) has a right to the truth. That claim was removed from the second edition.
Caveat: The basis for the disagreement must be Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture, or teachings of the Magisterium of greater authority. Most Catholics who reject a non-infallible teaching of the Magisterium have no legitimate basis for that rejection.
Pay attention to this caveat. Well stated Mr. Conte.
4. Infallible Teachings
The infallible teachings are free from all possibility of error due to the work of the Holy Spirit. The infallible teachings require your full assent with the virtue of faith; obstinate disagreement is the grave sin of heresy.
The infallible Magisterium is exercised in any of three ways:
a. Papal Infallibility
b. Conciliar Infallibility
c. the ordinary and universal Magisterium
To reject an infallible teaching of the Magisterium is material heresy. To do so knowingly and deliberately is the grave sin of formal heresy, which includes the penalty of automatic excommunication. If Pope Francis or any other valid Pope teaches something under any type of infallibility, you are required to give that teaching the full assent of faith. Otherwise, you commit heresy and formally separate yourself from the one true Church.
Caveat: Do not be fooled by those blind guides who claim that the Pope can commit heresy himself, and thereby lose his authority. Doctor of the Church Saint Robert Bellarmine held it to be “probable” that the Pope could never commit heresy personally, nor teach heresy in any way. He also held it to be “certain” that the Pope could never define a heresy as a teaching to be believed by the whole Church.
The foolish today claim that IF a Pope teaches heresy in a way that would seem to fall under infallibility, the teaching is nullified because the Pope fell into heresy. To the contrary, Saint Bellarmine believed that a Pope could NEVER teach heresy in a way that would seem to fall under infallibility.
If all of this is true of the pope, so much more so does it apply to priests, bishops, archbishops, and Cardinals. We are free to disagree on opinion. 

by Ronald L. Conte Jr.  Roman Catholic theologian and
translator of the
Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.
Endnotes:
[1] Joseph Ratzinger, Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, p. xxiv.
[2] Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion, General Principles (sent by Cardinal Ratzinger to Cardinal McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington, D.C., and made public in July, 2004), n. 3; http://www.priestsforlife.org/magisterium/bishops/04-07ratzingerommunion.htm
[3] Address of Pope John Paul II to the Bishops from the United States on their ‘Ad Limina’ visit, 15 October 1988, n. 5.
[4] National Conference of Catholic Bishops (predecessor to the USCCB), Human Life in Our Day, “Norms of Licit Theological Dissent” n. 49 to 54; http://www.priestsforlife.org/magisterium/bishops/68-11-15humanlifeinourdaynccb.htm
[5] Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, n. 25.
 I received permission by email on 6/26/2016 to reprint Mr. Conte’s post. 

Recently the pope made comments about marriage and co-habitation. Some of his comments were misunderstood, but some of them were outright wrong. Here is a discussion about the pope's comments on The World Over, a news program on EWTN:
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLFyB-DxzmQ
Just in case it resets, the discussion starts about 27:51. Both guests Robert Royal, and Fr. Gerald Murray, disagree strongly with the pope's words. Guess what, they are free to do so, and under the category of "non-infallible teachings we see that they do have legitimate reasons to disagree with him. The pope was not making an official proclamation nor was he teaching on faith and morals from the chair of Peter. We are allowed to disagree with the pope when his teaching seems to conflict tradition Catholic teaching. We have had unorthodox popes in the past, and the magesterium has disagreed with a pope or two in the past, but the Church's dogmas and doctrines have never been changed in any material way by any reigning pope.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Catholic vs. Protestant -- why is there so much animosity? (Also published on Cathapol)

I found an article on gotquestions?.org. I thought this site was a neutral site on religion, but boy was I ever wrong. It is a Protestant site that holds nothing back. In the article "Catholic vs. Protestant -- why is there so much animosity?", I detected a lot of animosity toward Catholics.

That was the question. The author's answer and some of my comments.

This is a simple question with a complicated answer, because there are varying degrees of, and reasons for, animosity between the two religious groups.
Let's start there. What two religious groups? Technically speaking, both Protestants and Catholics are Christians, so we are actually the same religion. We just have doctrinal differences. And yes, some are doozies. Can we at least agree that we are all Christians? 
This particular battle is rooted in history. Degrees of reaction have ranged from friendly disagreement (as reflected in numerous ecumenical dialogues produced between the two groups), to outright persecution and murder of Protestants at the hands of Rome.
Yes, much of the animosity between the two groups of Christians in rooted in history. However, spreading the fictional propaganda that Catholics persecuted and murdered Protestants is not going to help ease such animosity. Neither Catholics, nor the Catholic Church persecuted or murdered Protestants wholesale. Did the Catholic Church believe Protestants did not receive salvation at one time in its history?--yes. Has there been a battle between Protestant rulers and Catholic ones?--yes. Has the Catholic Church ever advocated a war against Protestants in general?--no. Obviously, this author did not study actual history but a revisionist version with propaganda mixed in. He's probably heard this balderdash so many times, he really believes it to be true.

From the history I learned (I went to a public high school and a Baptist College), Catholics were not the aggressors in Protestant (Calvinist) Switzerland, nor in Henry VIII's, Edward VI's, or Elizabeth I's England, nor Northern France. Calvin was a lawyer turned "theologian" who left France during the Protestant uprising there. He went to Switzerland where he was instrumental in helping Protestants take over the government and the church there. It was a very restrictive society under the Protestants.

Voltaire wrote: "If they condemned celibacy in the priests, and opened the gates of the convents, it was only to turn all society into a convent. Shows and entertainments were expressly forbidden by their religion; and for more than two hundred years there was not a single musical instrument allowed in the city of Geneva. They condemned auricular confession, but they enjoined a public one; and in Switzerland, Scotland, and Geneva it was performed the same as penance." [This was my addition, not included in the gotquestions?.org article]

Neither society, nor Christianity was improved by Calvin, Luther, Zwingli and their ilk. There was no "reformation" only a deformation of the Church.
Reformation teachings that identify the Pope as the Beast of Revelation and / or Roman Catholicism as Mystery Babylon are still common among Protestants. Clearly, anyone with this view is not going to "warm up" to Rome any time soon.
It is the other way around, sir. Catholics are not going to warm up to Protestants who say such nonsense.  The Catholic Church, though its leader is in Rome, is not Rome. The pope is chosen by the Holy Spirit. Have there been terrible popes? Of course, they're human. Was the Catholic Church founded in the 16th century or later? No, but all modern Protestant churches have been. What does that tell you? The the Catholic Church has its foundation in Christ's teaching from 33AD to the present. The 16th + century churches were made from hole cloth by their founders (who were certainly not Jesus Christ). No, Catholics are not going to "warm up" to people who call them the beast or accuse them of murder.
For the most part, today at least, the animosity comes from basic human nature when dealing with fundamental disagreement over eternal truths.
I whole-heartedly agree. The problem that Protestants don't seem to see is that there can only be one truth. You can't have hundreds of different truths--as there are in Protestantism. Every preacher is his own pope, his own authority on "truth"; he is the one who interprets the Scriptures and preaches his own gospel in a church he figuratively or actually built.
Passions are sure to ignite in the more weighty matters of life, and one's faith is (or at least should be) at the top of the heap. Many Protestants think Roman Catholics teach a works-gospel that cannot save, while Roman Catholics think Protestants teach easy-believism that requires nothing more than an emotional outburst brought on by manipulative preaching.
1) Paul, the Protestant's favorite writer, says that he is working out his salvation, trembling. There are certain things we do need to do to be saved. The first work of salvation is FAITH. "Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." (Jn 6:29 KJV) We must believe, not as the demons do ("Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble." (James 2:19 KJV)), but as the saints in Heaven ("The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne (Rev. 4:10 KJV).

2) We do not believe that good works ALONE save us. This is what Protestants believe that we believe. No, Catholics do not believe that; do not preach that; do not advocate that. However, Catholics do believe that you must work out your salvation in the sense that Paul meant ("...work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." Phil. 2:12 KJV) -by the Sacraments (especially the Eucharist) and much prayer.  If Protestants don't believe that prayer is important in the plan of salvation (it is a "work" after all), why would they be doing it in the first place?

3) Many, many Protestant churches and individuals do believe in "easy-believism." When a church advocates the "sinners prayer" is all you need to be saved--what do you call that? Many Protestant churches don't believe there is any salvific merit in the "Lord's Supper" or baptism. Things that Jesus commanded us to do. "Do this in memory of Me." "Go into all nations, baptizing in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." (Both from memory) I, as a Catholic, don't understand why Jesus Christ's commands are not important to Protestants.
Protestants blame Catholics for worshipping Mary,...
Blaming Catholics for what? Accusing them you mean? This accusation started after the "Reformation", as all the leading "reformers" did respect and honor Mary.

Luther said, "The veneration of Mary is inscribed in the very depths of the human heart."
(Sermon, September 1, 1522)

And, "One should honor Mary as she herself wished and as she expressed it in the Magnificat. She praised God for his deeds. How then can we praise her? The true honor of Mary is the honor of God, the praise of God's grace . . . Mary is nothing for the sake of herself, but for the sake of Christ . . . Mary does not wish that we come to her, but through her to God. (Explanation of the Magnificat, 1521)

We honor Mary, ironically as Luther said, not for her sake, "but for the sake of Christ." We do not "worship" Mary. We worship God, in Holy Trinity, alone.
...and Catholics think Protestants are apparently too dull to understand the distinctions Rome has made in this regard.
I don't believe that to be true. Catholics, in my opinion, get tired of explaining the difference between honoring someone and worshipping them. Protestants aren't too dull, just too stubborn to see another side to the honoring of Mary but the erroneous opinion they believe it to be.
These caricatures are often difficult to overcome.
An "answer" like yours to this question, certainly will not help in overcoming the difficulties of this question, either.
Behind the particular disagreements over the role of faith and works, the sacraments (sic), the canon of Scripture, the role of the priesthood, prayer to saints, and all the issues surrounding Mary and the Pope, etc., lies the biggest rift between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism: the issue of authority. How one answers the authority question will generally inform all the other issues.
Again, I would whole-heartedly agree. The issue is authority, not any of those petty things Protestants gripe about. Our authority is Jesus Christ and His Apostles. Every point of dogma and doctrine is based in those two authorities. All the councils, all the popes, every Father and Doctor of the Church, every theologian, down to the priests today studied, prayed over, discussed debated, and argued over doctrine. Jesus promised His apostles that He would send someone (the Holy Spirit) Who would guide them into "all truth." He kept His promise--the result is the Body of Christ present in the Catholic Church today.

The fact that Protestants think that they know better than 2,000 years of Holy Spirit-guided Catholic theologians seems more like arrogance than truth. 
When it comes down to deciding a theological issue about defined Catholic dogma, there isn't really much to discuss on the Catholic's side because once Rome speaks it is settled. This is a problem when trying to debate a Roman Catholic -- reason and Scripture are not the Catholic's final authority; they can always retreat into the "safe zone" of Roman Catholic authority.
This statement is a little insulting. In my opinion, he is calling us too dull to debate--what he accuses us of thinking of Protestants. Catholics are too stupid to debate Protestants because they can always "retreat" to Catholic authority and not reason. Really? You really believe that all Protestants who debate Catholics debate more reasonably? All, and I do mean each and every, Catholic dogma has its basis in Scripture, and, yes, all "defined" Catholic dogma must be believed by Catholics. Otherwise, we would be Protestants believing any old opinion we happen to agree with.

All dogma, if not found explicitly in Scripture, it is found implicitly and became a dogma after much prayer, interpretation and study by theologians (many dogmas for centuries). All of Catholic dogma is reasoned and is Scriptural. All Catholic dogma has been debated for almost two millenia. The reason Catholics "fall back" on Catholic authority is because it is inspired, proven Truth.

Seriously, how can Protestants have the Truth when they all disagree on so, so many things. How can there be many truths? ie, on what one must do to be saved, on baptism, on versions of the Bible, on communion, on what day of the week to worship on, on when or whether or not to celebrate Easter, etc, etc, etc. How can there be a truth to any of these things, if Protestants, all claiming the guidance of the Holy Spirit? I'm sorry but I don't see that as "reason"ed.
Thus, many of the arguments between a Protestant and a Catholic will revolve around one's "private interpretation" of Scripture as against "official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church."
Protestants have and do, continually, rely on their "private interpretation" of Scripture, many times with Scriptures either taken out of context or proof-texted in such a way as to be a veritable quilt of theology--patched together but not necessarily going together. They piece their theology together and step back and think, that is perfect. When, in reality, nothing goes together.
Catholics claim to successfully avoid the legitimate problems of private interpretation by their reliance on their tradition. But this merely pushes the question back a step.
Actually, what Catholics claim, again my opinion, that the issues that they argue with Protestants has been argued and argued for a millenia and a half. They get tired of the same old Protestant interpretations and prejudices. Catholic theologians much smarter than the author of that article or me argued the very same theological points long before any Protestant came along. It certainly does not take a step back, in point of fact, it is skipping an unnecessary step--reinterpreting for the thousandth times thousandth time any theological issue has been argued.
The truth is that both Roman Catholics and Protestants must, in the end, rely upon their reasoning abilities (to choose their authority) and their interpretive skills (to understand what that authority teaches) in order to determine what they will believe.
Ok. At least here the author, accidentally, admits that Catholics do reason and have some skill in arguing. All Catholic converts I know (I am a convert to Catholicism) have reasoned and interpreted "to determine what they will believe."  I know that I, personally, challenged the Holy Spirit to convince me, if the Catholic Church were true. He, personally, answered my every challenge, including issues about the Blessed Virgin Mary. That is why I became a member of the True Body of Christ.
Protestants are simply more willing to admit that this is the case.
Not true. If this is your idea of dissipating hostilities, you run short sir. Catholics do reason, and learn to do so in religious education, Catholic schools, and Catholic universities and seminaries. The picture you attempt to paint of unreasoning, ignorant, or mindless Catholics is defamatory. I don't know any Catholic that thinks Protestants are dull (your word). However, I do believe that the fact that the vocabulary of the Protestants differs from that of Catholics and thus the misunderstandings.
Both sides can also be fiercely loyal to their family's faith or the church they grew up in without much thought to doctrinal arguments.
I would agree with this statement with one caveat: Catholics do not preach anti-Protestantism in their churches; many a Protestant pulpit, however, is used to malign Catholics and their faith.
Obviously, there are a lot of possible reasons for the division between Catholicism and Protestantism, and while we should not divide over secondary issues, both sides agree that we must divide when it comes to primary issues.
What are secondary issues? Mary? Baptism? The Eucharist? What are the primary issues that Protestants hold dear? The only one I know common to all Protestants is "Scripture alone" or is it "by faith alone" or "God alone"? I hear so many versions of so-called "sola scriptura" or Scripture is the sole rule of faith for Christians, that I can't tell what this "truth" is either.
Beyond that, we can agree to disagree and worship where we find ourselves most in agreement. When it comes to Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, the differences are just too great to ignore.
But...but, you just said "we should not divide over secondary issues." Now the differences are "just too great to ignore." Huh? Why aren't the differences in the many, many sects of Protestantism "too great to ignore?" In my eyes, it seems that Protestants think, "We are not Catholic, therefore we are all united in truth." That is just not a reasoned argument for the unity of the Body of Christ. The Body of Christ is quite physically visible in the Catholic Church.
However, that does not give license for caricatures or ignorant judgments – both sides need to be honest in their assessments and try not to go beyond what God has revealed.
Yet, you give several caricatures and ignorant judgments of Catholics in this article.

"Go beyond what God has revealed?" Nothing in Catholic doctrine is "beyond what God has revealed." All of it, in fact, was revealed by God the Holy Spirit.

He goes on to recommend a book on Protestantism compared to Catholicism--of course, from a purely Protestant perspective, and I believe would include the propaganda and "caricatures" revealed in this article.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Love This. He Loves Me, but condemns Me to Hell

I love to read all the nonsense people write about us, Catholics. This one is a doozy and I had to comment. I am putting my comments in italics interspersed in the text so those who don't see color will distinguish my comments from Mr. Stewart's. 

Why Catholics Are Going To Hell
By David J. Stewart | August 2006 | Updated October 2015
“And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.” —John 8:45
Since we do follow God's Word, this would not apply.
Following Men's Traditions Instead of God's Word
I do not hate anyone.
 I love how he says Catholics are going to hell, but he doesn't hate anyone. 
I do not hate any of the Popes. I do not hate any Catholics. They are sinners for whom Jesus Christ died, just as I am.
  For Mr. Stewart's information and all those who read his erroneous opinions, Catholics acknowledge their sins and say they are sorry for them every single time they go to Mass.

This is the Penitential Rite said at most Sunday Masses:
 Penitential Rite
The priest says: "Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins, and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries."

The people say: "I confess to almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do," [here one is to strike one's breast three times as one says:] "through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault; Therefore, I asked blessed Mary ever-Virgin, all the angels and saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God."

The priest then says: "May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life."

All: "Amen"

Priest: "Lord, have mercy."
People: "Lord, have mercy."
Priest: "Christ, have mercy."
People: "Christ, have mercy."
Priest: "Lord, have mercy."
People: "Lord, have mercy."
Need biblical support for the penitential rite in Church? How about these passages just to quote a few:

James 5:16: "Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful."
Rev. 3:3: "Remember then how you accepted and heard; keep it and repent."
I John 1:9: "If we acknowledge our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us of every wrongdoing." 
Tobit 8:4: "My sister, come, let us pray and beg our Lord to grant us mercy and protection." and in verse seven it says "...Send down your mercy on me and on her."
All of Psalm 51: (Verse 3) "Have mercy on me, God, in accord with your merciful love; in your abundant compassion blot out my transgressions."

I love Catholics, just as I love everyone with God's unconditional love. The love of God is unconditional. Christians who walk with God have God's love shed abroad in their heart, unconditionally loving others.
True of Catholics as well, since they, too, are Christians and follow Christ's teachings.
I don't mean to be unkind by saying that Catholics are going to Hell; but rather, to speak the truth and warn you of the judgment to come (2nd Thessalonians 1:8-9; Revelation 20:15).
The thing is, Mr. Stewart, that is not up to you to judge. We, too, believe in the Last Judgement. The difference between Mr. Stewart and Catholics is that we believe Christ, the King and Lawgiver, to be the judge.
1470 In this sacrament [Penance], the sinner, placing himself before the merciful judgment of God, anticipates in a certain way the judgment to which he will be subjected at the end of his earthly life. For it is now, in this life, that we are offered the choice between life and death, and it is only by the road of conversion that we can enter the Kingdom, from which one is excluded by grave sin.79 In converting to Christ through penance and faith, the sinner passes from death to life and "does not come into judgment."80
79 Cf. 1 Cor 5:11; Gal 5:19-21; Rev 22:15.
80 Jn 5:24.
 679 Christ is Lord of eternal life. Full right to pass definitive judgment on the works and hearts of men belongs to him as redeemer of the world. He "acquired" this right by his cross. The Father has given "all judgment to the Son".587 Yet the Son did not come to judge, but to save and to give the life he has in himself.588 By rejecting grace in this life, one already judges oneself, receives according to one's works, and can even condemn oneself for all eternity by rejecting the Spirit of love.589
 587 Jn 5:22; cf. 5:27; Mt 25:31; Acts 10:42; 17:31; 2 Tim 4:1.
588 Cf. Lk 21:12; Jn 15:19-20.
589 Cf. Jn 3:18; 12:48; Mt 12:32; 1 Cor 3:12-15; Heb 6:4-6; 10:26-31.
The modernistic idea that we should all refrain from criticizing anyone else's religion is a completely evil New World Order philosophy. I'm going to speak the truth of God's Word, even if it offends you.
As this will be your opinion of God's Word, we will take a deep breath and read on.
I am going to warn you that you are on a wrong road, headed for the bottomless pit, even if you hate me for it.
I don't believe I am headed down the wrong road. I believe the Catholic Church is the one founded by our Savior, Jesus Christ, as all educated Christians did until 1500 years after Christ's Ascension. I was once Baptist but saw how much that denomination was lacking. There, there was Scripture but not a real intimate relationship with Christ. I  like to say the Baptist Church gave me a love of  Scripture, but the Catholic Church gave me an intimate relationship with Christ.
I am telling you the truth. Catholicism is a manmade religion that cannot save you. There is NO salvation in the Catholic Church;
I will take you at face value that you are well meaning, but you are severely misguided in what you believe you know about the Catholic Church.  The center, the heart of the Church is Christ in the Eucharist. Then following the Commandments of Christ. Christ IS our salvation. The Church is the Body of Christ. 
776 As sacrament, the Church is Christ's instrument. "She is taken up by him also as the instrument for the salvation of all," "the universal sacrament of salvation," by which Christ is "at once manifesting and actualizing the mystery of God's love for men."199 The Church "is the visible plan of God's love for humanity," because God desires "that the whole human race may become one People of God, form one Body of Christ, and be built up into one temple of the Holy Spirit."200
199 LG 9 § 2,48 § 2; GS 45 § 1.
200 Paul VI, June 22, 1973; AG 7 § 2; cf. LG 17.
In just as genuine a way, I tell you, Mr. Stewart, that you have no idea what you are talking about.
only idolatry,
Since Catholics worship the one True God and Him only, this accusation of idolatry does not apply. We do not worship statues, pictures, images, or anything else as gods--which is the actual definition of idolatry. I know that this idea of idolatry has been pounded into your imagination over and over, but that does not make it true. The statues and pictures are simply images of our brothers and sisters in God's family. In many ancient Churches, Old and New Testament stories are emblazoned on canvas, tapestries, windows and stone. Literacy is a modern luxury; the Church put these images in places to educate the masses on the Scriptures and the history of the Church.

Mary, being the Queen Mother (her Son is the King of the Universe after all) is honored above all the saints. But, we do not worship her or the saints.
 
Idolatry
2112 The first commandment condemns polytheism. It requires man neither to believe in, nor to venerate, other divinities than the one true God. Scripture constantly recalls this rejection of "idols, [of] silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see." These empty idols make their worshippers empty: "Those who make them are like them; so are all who trust in them."42 God, however, is the "living God"43 who gives life and intervenes in history.
2113 Idolatry not only refers to false pagan worship. It remains a constant temptation to faith. Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God. Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods or demons (for example, satanism), power, pleasure, race, ancestors, the state, money, etc. Jesus says, "You cannot serve God and mammon."44 Many martyrs died for not adoring "the Beast"45 refusing even to simulate such worship. Idolatry rejects the unique Lordship of God; it is therefore incompatible with communion with God.46
2114 Human life finds its unity in the adoration of the one God. The commandment to worship the Lord alone integrates man and saves him from an endless disintegration. Idolatry is a perversion of man's innate religious sense. An idolater is someone who "transfers his indestructible notion of God to anything other than God."47
42 Ps 115:4-5, 8; cf. Isa 44:9-20; Jer 10:1-16; Dan 14:1-30; Bar 6; Wis 13:1-15:19.
43 Josh 3:10; Ps 42:3; etc.
44 Mt 6:24.
45 Cf. Rev 13-14.
46 Cf. Gal 5:20; Eph 5:5.
47 Origen, Contra Celsum 2,40:PG 11,861.
Here I underlined the terms of the definition of idolatry, none of which apply to a true Catholic Christian. 

Origen, Contra Celsum, Book 2, Chapter 40:

It is, moreover, in a very unphilosophical spirit that Celsus imagines our Lord's pre-eminence among men to consist, not in the preaching of salvation and in a pure morality, but in acting contrary to the character of that personality which He had taken upon Him, and in not dying, although He had assumed mortality; or, if dying, yet at least not such a death as might serve as a pattern to those who were to learn by that very act how to die for the sake of religion, and to comport themselves boldly through its help, before those who hold erroneous views on the subject of religion and irreligion, and who regard religious men as altogether irreligious, but imagine those to be most religious who err regarding God, and who apply to everything rather than to God the ineradicable idea of Him (which is implanted in the human mind), and especially when they eagerly rush to destroy those who have yielded themselves up with their whole soul (even unto death), to the clear evidence of one God who is over all things.
[I underlined the two passages from this early Church Father that would seem to apply to this author. He does have an "erroneous [view] on the subject of religion and irreligion" and regards "religious men as altogether irreligious."  And, he eagerly rushes "to destroy those who have yielded themselves up with their whole soul."]

worshipping of the dead,
Again, We do not worship the dead. We honor God's family members who have passed into the next world--Heaven--as examples of how to live good and holy lives. We ask them to pray for us.

958 Communion with the dead. "In full consciousness of this communion of the whole Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, the Church in its pilgrim members, from the very earliest days of the Christian religion, has honored with great respect the memory of the dead; and 'because it is a holy and a wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from their sins' she offers her suffrages for them."500 Our prayer for them is capable not only of helping them, but also of making their intercession for us effective.
 500 LG 50; cf. 2 Macc 12:45.
The Church has always believed that the apostles and Christ's martyrs who had given the supreme witness of faith and charity by the shedding of their blood, are closely joined with us in Christ, and she has always venerated them with special devotion, together with the Blessed Virgin Mary and the holy angels. The Church has piously implored the aid of their intercession. To these were soon added also those who had more closely imitated Christ's virginity and poverty, and finally others whom the outstanding practice of the Christian virtues and the divine charisms recommended to the pious devotion and imitation of the faithful.   -Lumen Gentium, 50
heathendom,
I'm not even sure what is "heathendom," but if he means we are heathens, that is absolutely not true. We are Christians and members of the Body of Christ. He has neither supported nor proven that Catholic Christians are heathens. Catholics belong to the Kingdom of God and no other (whatever)dom.
rituals,
Our worship of God has been ritualized, but that is simply a matter of traditional style.  In point of fact, somewhere in the neighborhood of 90% of the Mass can be seen word for word in the Word of God. And, what exactly is wrong with ritual? That is how children learn in school; it is how we live our lives. You have a daily "ritual", ie, you get up at a certain time, wash and dress, perhaps pray or read Scripture, get to work at a certain time. Ritual is how we worship together, pray together, and become God's family together.
vain repetitions
When St. Paul talked about vain repetitions, he was talking about non-Christians, not Christians. Praising God is not "vain repetition." Praying the Psalms is not "vain repetition." Repeating Jesus Christ's words from the Gospels is not "vain repetition." Besides, I can point to so called "vain repetitions" in many churches claiming to be Christian who are not Catholic: the Doxology for one, creeds, or even opening prayers that are repeated; I even saw a "preacher" on TV that holds his Bible up and repeats some kind of silly pledge to the Bible with everyone in his audience.
and doctrines of devils (1st Timothy 4:1).
Since there are no "doctrines" of the devils in Catholic doctrine teachings, this is a moot accusation.
Salvation is NOT found in any religion; but rather, in a Person, the precious Lord Jesus Christ!
Since that is what we, Catholics, count on -- "the precious Lord Jesus Christ" -- I would guess that we are good to go.
Billions of lost sinners are dying in their sins and plunging into Hell because of the lying Popes and priests who deceive them.
This blanket statement is overreaching quite a bit. Have there been bad popes or bad priests? Of course there have been. They are human beings! Have their been crappy Protestant preachers? Absolutely!!  The weaknesses of men have nothing to do with the Truth of the His Church.
Romans 10:3, “For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” Jesus warned about following the commandments of men (Mark 7:6-13). Here's a list of Catholicism's manmade traditions fabricated over the centuries. 
Matthew 23:13, “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.” Woe until the Catholic Church and their idolatrous worship of idols and images! Exodus 20:4-5 (the second of the Ten Commandment) strictly forbids even BOWING to images. The Vatican has deceitfully removed the 2nd Commandment in their Hellish Catechism!
Actually that is a completely FALSE statement. The Catholic version of the Ten Commandments existed for nearly a millenia and a half before it was changed by Protestants. Catholics did not remove the 2nd Commandment of the Protestant 10 Commandments; the Jewish 10 Commandments has the commandment "I am the Lord your God, your are my people..." 

Side by side comparison of the three different versions.

 In actuality, The Protestant version split the second Commandment of the Jewish Version to make their 1st and 2nd Commandment in a direct attempt at iconoclasm.  The Catholic Version leaves out the Jewish first commandment because it only applies to the Chosen people--Israel.  It also distinguishes between a neighbor's wife and a neighbor's goods, elevating women above possessions. Up until the Protestants changed it, the "Catholic" version was the only Christian version.  Since, there is NO numbering of the Ten Commandments in Scripture, the Protestant version is not any more or less Scripturally valid than the Catholic one.
 
Trusting Upon Works Salvation (self-righteousness)
Satan is a master of deception!!! 
Agreed. Every Catholic would agree with that!
The Word of God states in 2nd Corinthians 11:3-4, "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
Catholicism preaches ANOTHER GOSPEL and has ANOTHER SPIRIT. The Gospel (Catechism) of Catholicism
The Gospel preached and taught in the Catholic Church is the one it has always preached and taught--Jesus Christ's Gospel, witnessed and written down in the Books of St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke, and St. John.
REQUIRES a person to be water baptized into the Catholic Church to go to Heaven. 
Jesus Christ commanded, "Go and preach to all nations, BAPTISING them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."  We unapologetically obey Christ's commands.
Catholics are also REQUIRED to keep the Seven Sacraments to go to Heaven.
Jesus Christ instituted each and every one of the Seven Sacraments. We take that very seriously. 

Baptism: Matt. 28:19; John 3:22, 4:1-2; Acts 2:38-41
Confirmation: John 20:22; Acts 8:17, 10:44-48
Eucharist: Mark 14:22-25; John 6:48-58; Acts 2:42
Reconciliation: John 20:23; James 5:16
Anointing of the Sick: Mark 6:7-13; James 5:14-16
Matrimony: Mark 10:2-12; Ephesians 5:22-23
Holy Orders: Mark 3:13-19; Acts 6:6; I Timothy 4:14

These Scripture references are no where near exhaustive but are adequate to make my point. The reader will note that Mr. Stewart gives no support to say that the Sacraments are not valid. 
 These Sacraments include being confirmed by the priest,
Actually confirmation is done by the Holy Spirit through a bishop, not a priest.
regular confession to the priest,
Actually it is regular confession to Jesus Christ through the priest.
regular observance of the Holy Eucharist with the priest,
Not sure what the objection here is...Yes we have "regular observance of the Holy Eucharist" at every single Mass. We are celebrating the same, we mean the exact same, supper with Jesus at the Last Supper. In the Mass, the priest stands in Christ's stead as he calls on the Holy Spirit and says "This is My Body...This is My Blood."
last rites by the priest, et cetera.
One, Extreme Unction or "last rites", which was once only given in times of imminent death, has been replaced by the Anointing of the Sick. The sick AND the dying can receive grace in this Sacrament. Two, what is Mr. Stewart's objection to praying with someone who is dying? Does it not comfort or ease a person on his way to death? The priest allows the dying person to clear their conscience, prays with them, and gives them a blessing from God.
 The Catholic means of salvation; therefore, weighs heavily upon the Catholic priest
The "means of salvation" is not the priest, but it is the one he stands in for at Mass and in the other Sacraments--Jesus Christ. As for weighing heavily on the priest, is not the responsibility for his flock heavy on the shoulders of a Protestant minister? If it is not, what exactly is he/she there for in the first place?
Catholics are also REQUIRED to do good works to go to Heaven.
We are "REQUIRED" by Jesus Christ to "do good works" that is clear in Matthew Chapter 25. 
 Ask the average Catholic about faith verses works and they'll admit that they're trusting in FAITH AND WORKS to save them (which Romans 11:6 states is impossible). 
Actually, St. Paul was speaking about the people of Israel (see verse 7) and their attempt to follow the Law without actual love or respect for God but through outward works under the Law.  Again, I refer the reader to Matthew 25, but also the book of James. James clearly teaches that what we DO matures out faith and in James 2:18, Jesus's cousin and disciple says, "A man may say, 'Thou hast faith, and I have works.' Show me thy faith apart from thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works." (KJ21) The belief of the Apostles and the Church teachings found on Christ and the Apostles' teachings was that faith and works were both necessary. Faith, as in true belief in Jesus Christ and His mission, was shown by good works such as taking care of the poor, praying for each other, etc.  Scripture says you must back up your faith with works.
Romans 4:5 states in no uncertain terms, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
When James spoke of being justified by “works,” he was clearly speaking about being justified in the eyes of MEN ... “I will shew thee my faith by my works” (James 2:18). Also, James was writing to believers; not the unsaved (James 2:1, “My Brethren...”). With God we are justified by faith; but with men by works, because men cannot see our heart as God can (1st Samuel 16:7). 
 I addressed this error of Mr. Stewart's opinion above. James is speaking of our inward faith being manifested in works of mercy and spirit.
Here is PROOF that James wasn't teaching works salvation ... “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?” (James 2:21). Isaac? We read in Genesis 15:6 concerning Abraham, “And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.” Abraham was saved by faith alone in the Lord. Isaac wasn't even born until Genesis 21:3. Clearly, James is referring to two different types of justification here. In Genesis 15, Abraham is justified with God by faith ALONE; BUT in Genesis 22, Abraham's faith is justified by works in the eyes of men. 
Justification is justification. His faith was tested by God's command to Sacrifice his son. (As a foreshadow of what God Himself would do with His own Son). His inner faith was outwardly manifested in his obedience to God. His faith was justified by his work--period. One should not try to explain away the pure meaning of this Scripture.
 
Idol Worship!
Catholicism's spirit is one of idolatrous adoration of the Blessed Virgin Mary. 
One of the biggest prejudices Protestants have against Catholics is honoring of Mary. We do not worship Mary, statues of Mary, or put her on the same level with God. We honor Mary because she is the mother of our Savior. God chose to became man through the womb of a special woman--Mary. You cannot even imagine how awesome it would be to carry God in your womb! Having given birth five times, I can only imagine how special that would be. 

Just as in England the ruling king or queen is honored, the queen mother is also honored. Until her death at 101, Queen Mother Elizabeth was honored and treated as a very special person in England. The British people's reverence for her was only surpassed by that of Queen Elizabeth, her daughter.  She had a special place in the heart of her daughter, Queen Elizabeth, and the hearts of the people of England. So, too, does the subjects of the King of Heaven, Jesus, honor His mother as the Queen Mother. We hold affection for her and honor her but we do not worship her. 
In fact, it is a spirit of demonism (1st Timothy 4:1), as is evident by the vain repetition of 53 "Hail Marys" in a standard Rosary prayer. Jesus condemned vain repetitious prayers (Matthew 6:7). 
1. Jesus was talking about the vain repetitious prayers of heathens who did not worship the True God. Since we do worship the True God and claim Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior as all true Christians should, we do not fall under this condemnation.
2. There are 53 Hail Marys in a standard Rosary devotion. However, you fail to mention the praying of the Apostles' Creed, the five "Our Father"s, the five "Glory Be"s, plus meditations on the life of Jesus and Mary (There are 20 of them--all based on Scripture; five for each standard Rosary devotion).
3. It is a devotional tool developed by common people to replace the 150 Psalms traditionally prayed every day by monks. The Hail Mary is much shorter and easier to memorize. While you will be exposed to the Rosary in Church or at other meetings or gatherings of Catholics, the Rosary is not "mandatory". A good Catholic Christian could conceivably live a full Catholic Christian life without praying a single Rosary devotion.  
4. The "Hail Mary" is a prayer from Scripture:
 "Hail, Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee" (The name of Mary was added later) Luke 1:28
 "Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb." (The name of Jesus was added later) Luke 1:42
 "Holy Mary,..." based on Eph. 1:1, Phil. 1:1, and Col. 1:2)
"...Mother of God."  See John chapter One. If one believes that Jesus is God, one cannot object to calling His mother, His mother.  Catholics do not believe, never have believed, and do not teach that Mary is the mother of the Godhead. She is, however, the mother of God the Son.
 "...pray for us, sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen."  based on James 5:16 ("The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working"); Eph. 6:18 ("Praying at all times in the Spirit with all prayer and supplication..."); I Tim. 2:1 ("I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people..."); plus many more. Mary is more alive as we are, as she is in Heaven with God.
I don't know what Catholic culture you've been exposed to but there is not "moan"ing going on at all. Where did you get such an idea? 

The Rosary devotion concentrates on the life of Christ and His mother. The following are the "mysteries" Christians meditate upon when they pray 10 "Hail Mary's".

The Joyful mysteries: The Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38); The Visitation (Luke 1:39-56); The Nativity (Luke 2:1-21); The Presentation (Luke 2:22-38); and the Finding of Our Lord in the Temple (Luke 2:41-52).

The Luminous Mysteries (recently added to the Rosary by St. John Paul II). The Baptism of Our Lord (Matt. 3:13-16); The Miracle at the Wedding Feast at Cana (John 2:1-11); The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God (Mark 1:14-15); The Transfiguration (Matt. 17:1-8); The Institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper (Matthew 26).

The Sorrowful Mysteries: The Agony in the Garden (Matt. 26: 36-56); The Scourging at the Pillar (Matt. 27:26); The Crowning with Thorns (Matt. 27:27-31); Carrying the Cross (Matt. 27:32); The Crucifixion (Matt. 27:33-56).

The Glorious Mysteries: The Resurrection (John 20:1-29), The Ascension (Luke 24:36-53); The Descent of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-41); The Assumption of Mary (Song of Songs 2:2, 10-11); The Coronation of Mary (Gen. 3:15a; Rev. 12:1; Cor. 4:17)

If one looks at the mysteries or meditations objectively, one will see that the majority of the Rosary is concentrated on Our Lord Jesus Christ.
 
Catholics have statues galore. 
Yes, Catholics have statues, pictures, icons, paintings, stain glass windows, etc. which are exactly like the photo album and framed pictures scattered around your house! It is the pictures of our family, God's family. They are people we admire and want to emulate, and just like your earthly family members, Catholics find comfort in having our Heavenly families pictures around us. We know they pray for us (cloud of witness in Hebrews, incense is the prayers of the saints in Revelation, etc) and since they are with God, we find that a comforting thought.
Oh, how rebellious and sinful are the hearts of Catholics! They have religion without truth, churchianity without Christianity, and crucifixes without Christ. 
Very catchy and clever saying; none of which is true. Our hearts are filled with Christ and His Holy Spirit. We have the Truth--Jesus- in our "religion." Our Christianity is as obvious to those with eyes to see and ears to hear as any other Christian's actions. Our Crucifixes display the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for each and every human being on the planet. The Crucifix helps us remember His ultimate sacrifice for us.
“Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God...” —Exodus 20:5
1) The Catholics here, if they are true Catholics, are not worshiping Mary. They are asking Mary's prayers and intercessions (Scripture that says just that noted above). 
2) I believe that if Protestants were transported back in time to the Temple built by Solomon as prescribed by God, they would accuse the Jews of idolatry also. 


 
“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth” —Philippians 2:10
Every knee does bow in Mass. On the other hand, I have NEVER seen a single Protestant bend his or her knee for God. 
Don't tell me that Catholicism doesn't worship Mary!!! The above photo says it all. Pope John Paul II worshipped Our Lady of Fatima (Mary) and not the Lord Jesus Christ. 
 Wow. Do you all make this up as you go along? It sure seems that way. 

St. John Paul II did honor Mary very much and the message she gave at Fatima was personal to him.
Again below...
I know it is a hard, hard concept for Protestants to grasp, but kneeling in front of a statue of Mary does not constitute worshiping Mary, any more than holding a Bible while praying. Here St. John Paul II is asking Mary for prayers for his intentions (prayer requests) to her Son, Jesus Christ. ALL prayers to saints are asking them to pray for us to God just EXACTLY as a Protestant would ask another Protestant to pray for them to God. Yes, we can go directly to God with our prayers. Why ask anyone else to pray for you or your prayer intentions? You MUST, by Mr. Stewart's definition, be worshiping the person you asked to pray for you. You must think that you cannot pray to God on your own behalf if you ask someone else to pray for you. That is what your logic says. We "pray" in the old fashioned English sense of asking. We ask Mary and the Saints to pray for us. It is a totally biblical concept that Protestants, so far removed from the original Church founded by Christ, cannot seem to grasp.
The average Catholic is brainwashed with Catechism training and knows little about the Bible. 
 1. Catholics are not brainwashed any more than any Christian of any denomination are brainwashed.
2. Every bit of the Catechism is supported by, quotes from, and is footnoted with Scripture.
3. Catholics hear and learn about Scripture in Mass. Two passages from the rest of Scripture (usually one from the OT and one from the NT), a Psalm, and a reading from one of the Gospels are read at every Sunday Mass. Weekday Masses only have one Scripture passage along with the Psalm and the Gospel. If one attends Sunday Mass, one would hear the majority of Scripture in three years. If one attends weekday Masses, you would hear Scripture in its entirety. 
4. Scripture is an important part of the Mass and its reading at home is highly encouraged by the Church.
The Word of God is clear that we are to bow at the name of Jesus (and NO other).
“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven,
and things in earth, and things under the earth.” —Philippians 2:10
Churchianity without Christianity
We also read in 2nd Corinthians 11:13-14, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
Let me ask you a question friend. What religion, or group of ministers, are the above Scriptures warning us about?  Most people would agree that Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses are false prophets. BUT, what about Catholicism?  How does Catholicism compare to God's Word?  Not very well. 
Matthew 23:9 forbids addressing any priest as “Father.” 
 1. He was talking to Pharisees, not Christians. Admonishing the pharisees for their "holier than thou" attitude.
2. Jesus said not to call anyone Rabbi in Matt. 23:8 because their is only one Teacher; and said in Matthew 23:10 not to address anyone as Master.  Do you call anyone teacher? You do if you address anyone as teacher, rabbi, or even "Doctor," this too is a form of "teacher", so by the author's standards, forbidden.   Do you call anyone Mister? This is a form of the word master. By the author's standards, this too would be forbidden. Stop calling men mister and women mistress (Mrs). Indeed, Jesus did not forbid the use of the term father for a man. That is very far from the meaning of Christ's admonition of the pharisees.
3. Father used as a form of address is actually used quite frequently in the New Testament. If Christ was banning the use of "Father" for every man in every situation, one would think the disciples would have banned the use of the term also. They didn't, in fact, they used it routinely.

Acts 7:2:  St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr, addressed the high priest and others listening to him as "My brothers and fathers" and refers to "Our FATHER Abraham."
Acts 22:1: St. Paul addressed the crowd as brothers and FATHERS. 
I Cor. 4:15: St. Paul says "...in Christ Jesus, I became YOUR FATHER in the Gospel."
Phil. 2:22: St. Paul calls St. Timothy his child and he Timothy's father.
I John 2:14: St. John addresses some of his readers..."I write to you, fathers, because you know know him who is from the beginning."

These many references (there are more) are to spiritual fatherhood, and they refer to their followers as sons (St. Paul calls Timothy his "child" many times). The priest is the spiritual father of the "children" of the parish. It is right to call him "father."


1st Timothy 4:1-3 warns of false prophets who would teach "doctrines of devils." What are those devilish doctrines? 1st Timothy 4:3 tells us, “Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats...” 
Just a tiny bit of research would have shown Mr. Stewart that marriage is not forbidden in the Catholic Church. In fact it is one of the Seven Sacraments instituted by Christ. Priests are not "forbidden" to marry. They voluntarily vow to remain unmarried in order to devote their whole life to Christ.  Christ spent His whole life unmarried and devoted His time to His ministry. This is the example most Catholic priests follow. St. Paul said in I Corinthians 7: 8, "Now to the unmarried and to widows, I say: it is a good thing for them to remain as they are, AS I DO,..." He said it was better to remain unmarried like he was. However, it is important to point out that unmarried priests are a custom, not a dogma, and could change someday. I hope not, because I can't count the number of times I've heard about divorces, criminal children of, and scandals of clergy of other so-called Christian churches. A man is under double pressure from the Church and from a family to be all to each. Having said that (and this may come as a surprise to Mr. Stewart and many other Protestants) THERE ARE MARRIED PRIESTS in the Catholic Church. There is an Eastern rite of the Church that does have married priests and there have been exceptions in the Latin rite when married clergy have come back to the True Church. Exceptions to the discipline of unmarried priests have been and are made when necessary.
The Catholic Churches' practice of celibacy is DEMONIC! 
How is it demonic? It is demonic to dedicate your whole life to God and His Church? I find that heroic--to give your whole life to God 24/7. I guess St. Paul must have demonic also.
Catholics are not allowed to eat certain meats on Fridays. This teaching is DEMONIC!
This statement actually made me laugh out loud. A little research, please...Catholics are not forbidden to eat certain meats on Fridays. The DISCIPLINE of giving up red meat on Fridays is now only asked of Catholics ages 14-60 during Lent. This helps us remember those who are too poor to afford meat and hopefully use the money to give to a charity that feeds the poor. It is also a spiritual discipline to be thankful for what we do have. The rest of the year we are asked to give up meat on Fridays if we can or do some other act of charity for those in need on Friday. How giving to and thinking of others as our Savior Jesus Christ asked us to do is demonic is beyond me.
 Matthew 6:7 forbids praying in vain repetitions; but that is exactly what Catholics do. 
Actually it says, "But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, AS THE HEATHEN DO: for they think they shall be heard for their much speaking." (King James Version) Since, as I said before, we do not pray as the heathens do, this admonition does not apply to Catholics. 
Exodus 20:4-5 prohibits bowing to graven images;
Here Scripture is referring to graven images as gods. See verse 22: "Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold." None of the "graven images" in a Catholic Church are gods.  
It is also quite clear that God did not forbid all "graven images": 

The temple built by Solomon, I Kings 6: "In the sanctuary were two cherubim (vs. 10)...the cherubim too were overlaid with gold (vs. 28)... The walls on all sides of both the inner and the outer rooms had carved figures of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers. (vs. 29)...The two doors were of olive wood with carved figures of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers. The doors were overlaid with gold, which also molded to the cherubim and the palm trees. (vs.32) ...and had carved cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers, over gold was evenly applied. (vs. 35)  
I Kings 7: "Four hundred pomegranates were also cast [of bronze] (vs. 18)...The capitals on top of the columns were finished wholly in a lotus pattern (vs. 19)...[On "the sea"] Under the brim, gourds encircled it (vs. 24)...This rested on twelve oxen (vs. 25)...its brim resembled that of a cup, being lily-shaped (vs. 26)....On the panels between the frames there were lions and oxen, there were wreaths in relief (vs. 29)..On the surfaces of the supports and on the panels, wherever there was a clear space, cherubim, lions, and palm trees were carved, as well as wreaths all around (vs. 36)
I Kings 9: "The Lord appeared to him [Solomon] (vs. 2)...The Lord said to him, "...I have consecrated this temple which you have built; I confer My Name upon it forever, and my eyes and my heart shall be there always..." (vs. 3)
 
yet, Catholics defiantly bow anyway, and then have the audacity to blaspheme God by saying it's not idolatry. 
Bowing in respect is not the same as bowing in worship. We do do them differently. Just because Mr. Stewart and his ilk cannot wrap his head around that fact, it does not mean what they believe is true. Catholics do not worship saints or Mary, Mother of God (the Son).
There are 1,000 things wrong with the Catholic religion!
And the author has only named a tired few that are only opinion and not proven. In fact, with just a little research one can see just how far Mr. Stewart has gone afoul.
 
The Catholic Church is Straight Out of the Pits of Hell
Actually, it is straight out of Scripture.
If you'd like to learn much more about the evils of Catholicism, then I plead with you to search the links at the bottom of my Hail Mary! Hail Satan! page. I am being your friend by telling you the truth.
I understand that you THINK you are doing the right thing, but you are not telling the truth. Jesus is the way, the TRUTH, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by Him, not you (see John 14:6). Since we follow Christ's Commandments and practice the Sacraments He instituted, His Church cannot be evil.
 Catholicism is religion, no more. Religion won't forgive your sins or take you to Heaven. You need to be born-again by the Spirit of God. 
All Catholics are "born again" by water and the Spirit, as Jesus commanded. Jesus forgives our sins, not "religion."
Jesus plainly stated in John 4:24 that you cannot worship God in heresy. You MUST worship God in Truth! Jesus is the Truth (John 14:6). 
 "God is Spirit. His followers must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth." Since that is exactly what Catholics do at Mass, we are not worshiping "God in heresy" now are we.
God's Word is Truth (John 17:17). If you've never received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, then I plead with you now to trust upon the Lord to forgive your sins.
Another chuckle out loud...Practicing Catholics do believe in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Where Protestants get the idea that Catholics don't believe in Jesus or "trust upon" Him? One word: Propaganda.
Catholics are going to Hell because they have chosen to follow the traditions of men, instead of obeying the gospel of Jesus Christ.
All Traditions of the Church are based in Scripture. Scripture in actuality is the main part of Church Tradition. The Gospel of Jesus Christ was passed down orally by the Church, then written down by the Apostles, gathered together by Church leaders, and copied for all to read. We obey Jesus Christ's commandments much more closely than any Protestant "church" does.
 
How to Go to Heaven According to God's Word
Salvation is without works of self-righteousness (Romans 10:3-4; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5).
In Romans 10, Paul is addressing Israel. He is talking about works of the law versus the teachings of Jesus Christ. The "Law" was so stringent and so stiff that it was hard for God's Chosen to give it up for the salvation preached by the Apostles. Since Catholics do not depend on works of the Mosaic Law for Salvation but on Jesus Christ, this admonition does not apply.

Interesting how you ignore Ephesians 2:10: "For we are His handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the GOOD WORKS THAT GOD HAS PREPARED IN ADVANCE, THAT WE SHOULD LIVE IN THEM."  The statement of the earlier versus applies to the Catholic Church also. We live by faith, but we also live in the good works that God prepared for us to live in.

Since we DO acknowledge and pray for God's mercy for our salvation, Titus 3:5 absolutely can be applied to Catholics. We pray for God's mercy at every single Mass. 
Eternal life is a free gift (Romans 5:15; 6:23),
We believe that, too.
freely offered (Romans 10:13),
We believe that.
and freely received (Revelation 22:17).
Believe that too, but not by that verse.
We are saved by HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, i.e., the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ (2nd Corinthians 5:21; Matthew 6:33).
Actually, II Cor. 5:21 says we "become the righteousness of God in Him." and Matt. 6:33 says we are to "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness." Neither says what you say it does.
Our part is simply to believe on Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, to forgive our sins (Acts 10:43; John 20:31; John 1:12).
Since Catholics do believe in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, we do, according to your "proof" we are forgiven of our sins.
The Holy Bible teaches that is is very easy to be saved and go to Heaven. First, you must realize that you are a guilty sinner in God's holy eyes. You need to know what you're being saved from. God's law was given as a measuring stick, by which when men are compared, we all fall short and see our desperate need for the Savior, Jesus Christ. ...
Romans 3:19-20, “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”
If you admit that you are a sinner, then simply BELIEVE the Gospel and you will be immediately and forever saved. Here is the Gospel (Good News) according to the Holy Bible:
1st Corinthians 15:1-4, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
If you BELIEVE (rely) upon Jesus' dying on the cross for your sins, and that He was buried, and bodily resurrected three days later, you are saved!!! Salvation is a new birth. You cannot ever lose eternal life. Once you are born-again, it is irreversible and permanent.
Many people view religion as a good therapy, a necessary part of life; but they deny the saving power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, just as 2nd Timothy 3:5 says, “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” Religion cannot take you to Heaven. You need to be born-again by the Spirit of God, by the Seed of God's Word (1st Peter 1:23), by faith in Jesus Christ. Galatians 3:26, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” Eternal life is a free gift!
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” —John 1:12-13

The biggest difference between Catholics and Protestants, as I see it, is that Protestants ignore Christ's teaching and just about any other author but Paul. Paul seems to trump Christ.  But while belief is "easy" it is still only the first step. "The work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent." (John 6:29) In answer to the disciples question, "Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?...You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself (Luke 10:25 and 27)", Jesus said, "You have answered correctly; DO THIS and you will live." (vs. 28) He goes on to tell the parable of the Good Samaritan as an example of how to love your neighbor. He asked them who was the good neighbor; they replied, "The one who treated him with mercy." Jesus said, "Go and DO LIKEWISE." (vs. 37) Jesus did not say believe and then just sit around until time to go to Heaven. He constantly tells His followers to DO.  To treat people with mercy; to clothe the naked, feed the hungry, visit the sick, the old, the imprisoned, etc and you do this for Him; he said to go preach the Gospel baptising in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

What Protestants don't understand is that the Catholic Church does not teach that we get to Heaven by doing works (and certainly not works of the Law as Paul was speaking against) but by doing work along with our faith. These good works are meritorious in helping us to be more Christ-like, in showing mercy to others, in being witnesses to the teachings of Christ and what HE DID on Earth, in giving our lives for the good of others, like Christ. We don't believe belief is enough by itself because "even the devils believe", and I am pretty sure the author is not advocating that devils are saved through faith. Their works show us that they are not saved.