I have always had a deep interest in Catholicism and its practices. Coming from a family who used to be devout Catholics, I was always interested in their doctrine & beliefs. I never understood why Christianity had hundreds of different denominations, but Catholicism seemed to be a religion of its own. Don’t Christianity and Catholicism both believe the Bible is the word of God?
Catholicism contradicts the Bible
I would like to begin by saying that I have the deepest respect for Catholics & Catholicism. Having been to Catholic mass multiple times, I genuinely appreciate the sincerity and reverence these people have for God. Having also spent time abroad in Central America (which is predominantly Catholic), some of the nicest people I have ever met identified as Catholic. This article is by no means meant to bash or ridicule these people. I am merely trying to point out the contradictions between Catholicism and the Bible.
1) Salvation through works
One of the main doctrines of Catholicism is works – that is, doing good deeds to work towards salvation. The first work a Catholic must do is to be baptized. After this, he or she must maintain their salvation by continuous works throughout their life to remain in a state of grace.
However the Bible clearly states in Ephesians 2:8-9 :
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
And also in Titus 3:5 :
5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
And in Galatians 3:10-11 :
10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
And yet again in Romans 3:19–20 :
19 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.
20 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.
2) Salvation through baptism
Baptism is a crucial element to salvation and is practiced with infants.
However in 1 Corinthians 1:17-18, we see that baptism is not required for salvation:
17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
3) Calling the priest “Father”
Catholics refer to their priests as “Father” as a sign of respect. The priest is looked at as a religious authority, hence he is referred to as such.
However this is clearly forbidden in Matthew 23:9 :
9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
4) Praying in repetition
In Catholicism, members are taught to say “Hail Marys” repeatedly in a row. However the Bible teaches us that we should not do this.
In Matthew 6:7 :
7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
5) Praying to the virgin Mary & Saints
The Catholics believe that Mary is a deity who should be worshiped and prayed to.
But in Luke 11:27-28 when someone wanted to praise Mary for giving birth to Jesus :
27 And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked.
28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.
The Pope even teaches that Mary is the mediator between God and man!
However this concept clearly contradicted in 1 Timothy 2:5 as well praying to anyone but Jesus / God :
5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
Additionally, praying to anyone who is dead is strictly forbidden in the Bible and considered witchcraft or necromancy. Multiple times the Bible condemns mediums and sorcerers who contact the dead and other spirits. We see this illustrated in Deuteronomy 18:10-11 :
10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.
11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
6) Everyone who is Christian is already a saint
A common practice of Catholics is also prayer to saints. Certain saints from the Bible like Peter, John, Paul, Thomas, etc. are given special religious authority. But what makes these Christians different from the rest of us?
The Bible explains that all who have put their faith in Jesus are already saints, so there is no difference between us and the Catholic saints!
Ephesians 1:1 :
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
Romans 1:7 :
7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:2 :
2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their’s and our’s:
7) Priests are not Biblical
In Catholicism the priest acts as an intermediary between the person and God. Catholics use priests to confess their sins to, when there is only one person we ask for forgiveness from – Jesus.
The Bible clearly states that our high priest is Jesus himself, not another man. In Hebrews 4:14-16 :
14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Also Mark 2:7 states:
7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?
In fact, the Bible goes even further to say that we Christians are priests!
1 Peter 2:9 :
9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;
Revelation 1:6 :
6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Revelation 5:10 :
10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
8) Worshiping idols and graven images
It is very common to enter a Catholic cathedral and see numerous images and statues depicting Mary, Jesus, and various “saints”. Not only that, but many Catholics also bow to these statues and even kiss them!
In Exodus 20:4-5 we see that these images and statues are considered idols:
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
These are a few of the contradictions between Catholicism and the Bible. Check out a similar article I wrote about Pope Francis wanting to change the Lord’s Prayer.