Talk:Roman Catholicism

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This is a rough start and others will need to help

I'm out of my depth here. I really wanted to write something that explains that "Catholic Church" and "Roman Catholic Church" are not synonyms. I think what I've written is sorta-kinda-roughly correct, and I'm not knowingly trying to push any particular point of view. If I've inadvertently stepped on any Roman Catholic, Orthodox, or Anglican toes here, my apologies, and please fix whatever I've gotten wrong. (Try to keep it "as simple as possible, but no simpler.") Dpbsmith 13:15, 12 March 2007 (EDT)

Generally, catholic (lowercase) means "universal", whereas Catholic refers to the RCC, by default. If speaking of an Orthodox Catholic church usually it's denoted as to which branch is being discussed. Crackertalk 13:39, 12 March 2007 (EDT)
Actually, "Catholic" doesn't refer to the Roman Catholic Church. The "Roman Catholic Church" refers to a specific Rite of the Catholic Church. It's the largest rite, by far, but is not the only rite in the Catholic Church. (These rites are also distinct from the Orthodox Churches. They have little to do with the Great Schism.) I'll try to see if I can clean this up a bit. As it now stands, it's more wrong than right. Kolbe 22:17, 20 March 2007 (EDT)
In the last edit, we lost the information about non-Roman and non-Latin rites:
Catholics, on the other hand, believe that the Roman Catholic Church, as the single true church founded by Christ, is the universal Catholic Church. Some prefer not to refer to their own church as the "Roman" Catholic Church, on the grounds that such formulations implicitly deny this point of doctrine.
I'd argue that it's not the Roman Catholic Church that is the single true church, but, rather, the Catholic Church. I understand that in the US (and in the west, in general) the two terms seem interchangeable, but I'd rather not lose the distinction between Roman Catholic and Catholic.Kolbe 03:01, 22 April 2007 (EDT)

Moved here, until sourced:

Findings of an investigation determined that sexual abuse of children could probably be almost halved if women were allowed to be ordained in the church.

I've never seen any such study, and I'm not sure how it would even be determined. I also changed hebephilia to ephebophilia, which is more commonly used (both words mean an attraction towards adolescents). Kolbe 22:06, 26 March 2007 (EDT)

Lone sentence

Roman Catholics claim to be the apostolic successors of Saint Peter, who was given authority over his flock in the Bible.

Can this be merged? Was at Roman Catholics. --Ed Poor 18:35, 25 March 2007 (EDT)

This should be attributed to the Pope, not specifically to Catholics themselves.Hengineer 10:14, 25 April 2007 (EDT)

==Second Vatican Council== This should be its own subsection as "The Church" prior and post to the Council were almost two different churches?Hengineer 10:15, 25 April 2007 (EDT)

Oops, wrote too soon, I didn't realize the "Roman Catholic Church" article already existed.Hengineer 10:16, 25 April 2007 (EDT)


I dont know if it is so smart to put that in yet. I mean like put some factual stuff then put in the controversy, because making an article negative is not very appeasing to a reader. --Will N. 08:41, 3 May 2007 (EDT)

What do you expect on this site? Conservapedia has a deeply unhealthy obsession with paedophiles and gay sex. Really makes me worried about a lot of the editors. --Bible Mike 10:27, 3 May 2007 (EDT)

lol i do not have an obsession witht that. that is nasty. ew why would you ever say that? --Will N. 10:29, 3 May 2007 (EDT)

This paragraph is just a bad copy of wikipedia and media, in their obvious attempt to discredit the Roman Catholic church and the worthy work in education of children. Child abuse is a mortally sin, no doubt and deserves severe prosecution, but where are the facts showing that child abuse happens more often by catholic clergymen than by other teachers or male relatives? --schifra 18:09, 24 May 2007 (EDT)

To do a little nitpicking, I'm not sure child molesting has ever been given formal recognition as a mortal sin in any way recognised by the Roman Catholic church. Though it doesn't really matter - fornication definatly is a mortal sin, and since child molesting means implicit fornication... it makes no difference at all, the result is still hell unless confessed. Recognising child molesting as mortal sin has about as much practical effect as imposing a death penalty for suicide :) NewCrusader 18:38, 14 September 2008 (EDT)
As the last sentence of this paragraph says, it is a societal issue and not one connected with religion in general, or Catholicism in particular. The existence of such a section in an article on the theology of Catholicism is discordant and irrelevant, and it should be removed. Bugler 06:15, 21 October 2008 (EDT)
I think removal of the section entirely would be innapropriate and it would make us look like we are trying to hide the facts. You are right, the priests probably didn't molest the boys because they were Catholic, as no religion teaches that molesting young children is ok. However, popular coverage and public knowledge came about because of the abuse in the Catholic church, not because of general societal abuse. HelpJazz 11:39, 21 October 2008 (EDT)

I agree with Learn Together, plus there were controversies throughout its' existence. While a controversy section may be required, it does not have to dwell on just one bad instance.--Jpatt 13:53, 24 October 2008 (EDT)

From my personal point of view, we have an opportunity to present information in a form that it is not often found -- and that is certainly our goal versus removal. Anyone not living in a cave has heard about the scandal extensively so simply ignoring it only makes us look bad, but how many people are aware of the extra information that we have added that is commonly suppressed from press reports? Our readers need to see that extra balanced perspective. Learn together 14:32, 24 October 2008 (EDT)
As another general rule, when our article has an extensive history from many editors to take its current form, including 9 sysops and the site owner, then it is best to work within the structure that has formed before resorting to complete section removal. Sometimes drastic measures are needed, but it is unlikely that would be true in this case. Learn together 14:32, 24 October 2008 (EDT)
I disagree. This section is insulting to the Roman Catholic church, and implies that there is an institutional basis to abuse, rather than abuse being the deeds of a very small minority, and something that is common to all faiths and denominations, and to all organisations which work with youing people. There is no equivalent section in Protestantism, or Methodism, or Baptism; yet nonconformist ministers have been guilty of child abuse. That this article should have such a section is vilainous bigotry and an insult not just to the Church but to Conservapedia also. Drastic measures are needed in this case, LT. Bugler 17:17, 24 October 2008 (EDT)
I will add: drastic measures are necessary because anti-Catholic bigotry is a sad fact of life, and has been expressed on this site as well, and these people will argue and obfuscate and delay to prevent necesary and real change. Indeed, the whole abuse scandal has been whipped up by bigots to slander the Church - otherwise, why have not Protestant churches received the same consideration? unless this site examines similar scandals in other denominations, the section should go. This is not a site for Catholic-beating. Bugler 17:22, 24 October 2008 (EDT)
Is the section lying? I'm all for taking out lies from the article, but if the truth "insults the Catholic church", then that's the Church's fault. If the same thing is happening in the protestant churches, then instead of censoring this article, add to the other ones. HelpJazz 17:24, 24 October 2008 (EDT)
We would then end up with every denominational article carrying these sections - all because a handful of bad apples among millions of caring, God-fearing clergy. It would be totally disproportionate, and give the impression of CP as a religion-bashing site. Bugler 05:15, 25 October 2008 (EDT)
- ::Well, I think there is a right to a Controversy section, though the scope and depth of that scandal is ridiculous. As I said early, the Church has had scandals since the beginning. If we were to add all those as child-abuse was added, there would be no credible page left. Maybe the section deserves its own page. Trying to educate others on Roman Catholicism is not helpful with this section. It becomes, trying to educate on why to avoid Catholicism. --Jpatt 17:25, 24 October 2008 (EDT)
Sound sense as ever from Jpatt. Let the section become a separate article. Bugler 17:28, 24 October 2008 (EDT)
There was a scandal in the Catholic Church. It was huge and had far reaching ramifications. It is not anti-Catholic to acknowledge that. The Church itself has acknowledged such. The fact is there are very few people in any part of Western culture who have not heard of the scandal and haven't developed a bad taste in some form because of it. Our goal is to present truth. There is much that was left out in the way it was presented in the press and we should present that missing information. We can actually help to educate others. Any solution that simply removes the scandal, as was done, is inappropriate. I take no formal position on whether it should be moved to a different location. If that is the belief, then that is fine, but if it can no longer be found on our site, then we are running from truth -- and that is not something that conservatives do. Learn together 04:51, 25 October 2008 (EDT)
"A" scandal? Are you referring to all the various cases collectively? Philip J. Rayment 05:07, 25 October 2008 (EDT)
Yes Learn together 05:10, 25 October 2008 (EDT)

I've been slow to comment because I don't claim any particular expertise in this area, but my impressions are as follows:

  • Much of the criticism of the Catholic church on this issue is anti-Christian beat-up. But that's not to deny that there's truth behind it.
  • The Catholic church has had more instances of this sort of problem than other churches. I may be wrong here; perhaps that is due to the beat-up, but that is my impression.
  • Other churches have handled the situation better. That is, if a pedophile minister is found in the Baptist or Anglican churches (for example), they take proper action, including relieving that minister of his duties. By contrast, the Catholic church has (probably more so in the past) tended to simply shift the offending priest to another parish and otherwise ignore the problem.

So on the basis of my impressions (assuming they reflect reality), I would say that the section should stay, although not be as major an issue as some (anti-Christians) would like to make it. And to point out the anti-Christian magnification of it.

Philip J. Rayment 01:39, 25 October 2008 (EDT)

I propose moving that section to a separate article, linked from the Roman Catholicism page. If anyone strongly opposes, please say so; or I will make the change this evening (ie in about 12 hours from now). Thanks, Bugler 05:15, 25 October 2008 (EDT)
I oppose the move, on the grounds of there not being sufficient reason to do so. I don't strongly oppose it, but then I'm not sure that that should be a requirement. If it is moved, then there should be a summary left in this article (i.e. not just a link). Philip J. Rayment 05:55, 25 October 2008 (EDT)
I fail to understand your reasoning. This article should describe the theology, the essence of Catholicism, those things intrinsic to it. Abuse allegationa are not essential to an understanding of the faith, and have been played up by anti-Catholic bigots. I am not accusing you of being one, Philip, but you are playing into their hands. Your objections would be more credible were you to add a section about abusive pastors of your own denomination to the relevant article. Bugler 07:44, 25 October 2008 (EDT)
Why should this article be limited to the theology of Catholicism? Why can't it include the history of the church (which is already there), the spread of the Church, and other aspects, including criticisms and controversies? The Bible doesn't whitewash its leading characters, and I see no reason to whitewash the Catholic Church (or any other church) by failing to mention this aspect and/or other failings. As for "my own" denomination, first, as I said above, my impression is that most other denominations have handled the situation better, so that it's never been the same issue as it has been with the Catholic Church, and second, although I currently attend a Baptist church (and have for about 12 years), I'm not an expert on the Baptist church, it just being the latest of several I have regularly attended in my life, so don't know enough about its failures to write about them.
On the other hand, I see that this article links to Catholic Church, which is also about the Catholic Church (!), so perhaps this article should be just about their theology. If that is the decision of the editors here, then I could happily agree to taking this issue (and anything else that is not related to their theology) out of this article and transferring it to the other article.
Philip J. Rayment 10:17, 25 October 2008 (EDT)


Currently, the article states:

To belong to the Catholic Church one must accept as factually true the gospel of our lord Jesus Christ. "The chief teachings of the Catholic church are: God’s objective existence; God’s interest in individual human beings, who can enter into relations with God (through prayer); the Trinity; the divinity of Jesus; the immortality of the soul of each human being, each one being accountable at death for his or her actions in life, with the award of heaven or hell; the resurrection of the dead; the historicity of the Gospels; and the divine commission of the church. In addition the Roman Catholic Church stresses that since the members, living and dead, share in each other’s merits, the Virgin Mary and other saints and the dead in purgatory are never forgotten."

I might argue some of those points. Primarily, to be Catholic is to be baptized (including, possibly, a baptism of faith) and to participate in the sacraments. I'd accept creedal statements along the lines of the Apostles' Creed or the Nicene Creed as possible requirements of faith. Belief in the existence of God, sure. In Jesus, in his death and resurrection, sure. In the resurrection of the body, in the communion of saints in life everlasting, sure. But the historicity of the Gospels? The divine commission of the Church? Sure, these are things that are taught by the Church. But I don't know that they're necessary to being Catholic. (I'm not sure why one would be Catholic if one didn't believe the divine commission of the Church, but still...) And, more importantly, I'd say that to belong to the Catholic Church is to participate in the sacraments--to receive the Eucharist, to be baptized, to be reconciled to God, and so on. The church is at least as much a sacramental church as a creedal church (and, I'd argue, it's more a sacramental church than a creedal church). Kolbe 23:34, 11 May 2007 (EDT)

Catholics not as Christians?

Do we really need that part? It just doesn't really sound very encyclopedic. According to two websites Catholics aren't Christians, but according to some other websites out there aliens are secretly in control of the government. I feel I have to raise a question concerning that bit. Recomend it is deleted, or the contention be in some way justified.Jnl001 14:49, 22 May 2007 (EDT)

It's a matter of definitions. They are christian in the loosest sense - they worship Christ. But many protestants consider that this definition is too loose, the RCC cannot be considered 'true' christians because they do not follow some of the fundamental teachings contained in the bible (eg, salvation by faith alone) or because they introduce some major elements that are not present in the bible (eg, a succession of popes, infant babtism, a church heirachy). Conversely, the Catholic Church will not recognise any *other* church as Christian formally, except the Orthodox church, because they consider a church is not legitimate unless it can trace ancestry back to Peter. Personally, I think the Catholic church isn't Christian in the most important sense of all: It's members are not Saved, because they are placing their faith in the church organisation and their rituals rather than in the personal salvation of Jesus. For this reason, while I will admit they are Christian, I personally consider them misguided and unintentionally extremally dangerous, and an organisation I am obliged to oppose. NewCrusader 07:36, 14 September 2008 (EDT)

What a load of B.S. We are the original Christians. If we did not exist, Protestants would not exist either. Your Reverend telling you guys we are evil demons again? Don't listen to him. Also, we beleive that you must be good your entire life to go to heaven, unlike most of the protestants who think that if you aren't baptized or aren't Christian, you go to hell, and that if you are baptized but then kill a guy- you go to heaven. It is statements like this that make me wonder how much the Protestants must brainwash their followers. --Rockstone 16:09, 20 October 2008 (EDT)

I believe you are mistaking the position of the Catholic Church, which is odd since you are apparently Catholic. Are you trying to say that Catholics believe if you are good you will go to heaven? Catholics believe in good works, but merely doing good works does not mean one goes to heaven. There is more. Learn together 17:51, 20 October 2008 (EDT)
Much more. --User:Joaquín Martínez, talk 18:56, 20 October 2008 (EDT)
No, I'm saying that one must do more than just accept Christ: they must live him throughout their life and must do what is right. I think I made a mistake in my previous point. Also- I think the most amazing thing about the Catholic Church in recent years is how it became so much more accepting of evolution and other science.--Rockstone 22:39, 20 October 2008 (EDT)
Hmmm, you seem to have as wrong an idea about Protestants as you think Protestants have about Catholics. To first of all mention my "credentials", I was raised in an evangelical Protestant Christian home and have been involved with several different Christian denominations and groups essentially all my life (which, odds are, is longer than yours). I have never understood, nor have most others that I'm aware of, that what gets you to heaven is baptism. Rather, you get to heaven if you have accepted Jesus' gift of forgiveness for your sins, even if those sins include murder. (Any sin against a perfect God is sufficient to separate us from God; so whether He forgives us for a "white lie" or murder is pretty much the same thing; in either case we are forgiven.) And it is a gift, not something you earn from doing good works. If you truly love God, you will want to help others, so good works are a natural consequence of being a Christian, but not a requirement.
As for Protestants not existing if it weren't for Catholics, I would put it somewhat differently. That is, the true church, which became known as the Catholic (universal) church, gradually became corrupt, and Protestantism was merely a return to the true church. So in that sense, Protestants are the "original" Christians (which is not to say that they are perfect, of course, and some of them have become quite corrupt).
The Catholic church hasn't become more accepting of science. It was always a big supporter of science. Rather, it has become more accepting of the anti-biblical philosophy of evolution.
Philip J. Rayment 06:04, 21 October 2008 (EDT)
Mr. Rayment (and my apologies in advance if that is an inappropriate title), I am curious about two statements here. First, the historical evidence seems to suggest that the Catholic Church was very much against science in its infancy. History is replete with examples of it censoring new discoveries when they didn't sync with its teachings. An excellent case study is the drama that ensued with Kepler and Galileo (though Kepler's inflammatory remarks certainly didn't help smooth things over). And the Church condemned evolution when it was first proposed, so I would definitely say that it has become more accepting of science, though the causes for that shift are beyond my expertise.
Second, and I know I'm getting into treacherous waters here, but you assert that it has become more accepting of the anti-Biblical philosophy of evolution. To start with, I would like to assert my own claim that evolution is not anti-Biblical per se, but as that is an extended argument better placed elsewhere, I will simply make that assertation and leave it. What I want to disagree with here is that the Church has become more accepting of an anti-Biblical movement. I will simply say that this is not quite correct. Instead, the Church has asserted the independence of Biblical Truth from scientific domains. In other words, the Catholic Church holds that the Bible should not be used as a scientific authority, but rather as a spiritual authority.--Thinker 15:33, 24 October 2008 (EDT)
As far as Galileo is concerned, an in-depth look at the situation is here, but in a few words, the problems were not due to his science. As for the more general question of the Church and science, see the section titled Christians and the foundation of science in this article.
The Bible records that the entire period from the appearance of the universe to the appearance of man was six days. Evolution completely contradicts that, so is anti-biblical. Jesus said (John 3:12 ) that if you don't believe the earthly things (e.g. history and science) that he tells us, why should we believe heavenly (spiritual) things? Much of the Bible's teaching is based on its claims about history (e.g. Mark 10:5-9 ). Give that history away to "science", and you've given away the foundation for the "Biblical Truth".
Philip J. Rayment 01:58, 25 October 2008 (EDT)
I have read both the Church's official records of the Galileo incident and Galileo's personal writings on the matter. has an interesting article, but it simply doesn't reflect the historical documents. In them, the Catholic Church explicitly states that Galileo was on trial specifically because his advocation of the heliocentric model of the universe was contrary to church teaching. This period is also very interesting because Galileo's response to the trial is among the oldest advocations of a quasi- or even non-literal interpretation of the Bible. So after reading the primary sources, I have to say that the Galileo incident is an example of the Church quaffing science that didn't agree with them. It wasn't the last time, either: Kepler's mother was tortured under accusations of witchcraft until he recanted his own heliocentric views (though in defense of the Church, Kepler had it coming...he wasn't the most diplomatic person in the world), and the writings of every heliocentrist were officially banned for almost two centuries.
I also want to address your second point. The Bible does record creation as having taken place over six days in the first creation story, but evolution is only anti-Biblical if you accept that Scripture is always meant to be taken literally. If we make that initial assumption, then I completely concede that evolution is anti-Biblical. However, I would argue that that assumption is unneccessary, because the instances of the Bible relying on its own accuracy are not reliant on the details of creation week. Specifically, I am referring to your citation of Mark 10:5-9. The only thing this passage relies on is the fact that God made humanity as man and woman...the details don't matter here. Now, there are certainly plenty of places where the Bible does rely on its historicity (I am thinking especially of the prophecies), but in those cases it relies on sections which are undoubtedly meant to be taken as historical narrative. And because this is the case, ceding the historical accuracy of Genesis would not undermine the foundation of Truth, because all that the Bible relies upon from Genesis is that it happened, not really when it happened. (I'm not arguing here that we should cede history from Genesis,, because that is a separate argument. I want to assert only that doing so would not undermine Biblical Truth)
As an aside, your citation of John 3 interested me, because I read the entire passage as an overt delineation between material and spiritual reality. "What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit" - John 3:6. That's really all I can say on that...John is such a highly metaphoric Gospel that I can't interpret it any more than on a personal level.
And I see that the page is getting too long, so perhaps we should move this debate?--Thinker 11:22, 25 October 2008 (EDT)

Insight into the Church and Galileo can be found at this page I created Robert_Bellarmine. --Jpatt 11:58, 25 October 2008 (EDT)

Although overall a very good page, the section on Galileo does not agree with either the Church's official records of the time nor Galileo's personal statements in that regard. In short, it doesn't agree with the primary evidence. --Thinker 12:37, 25 October 2008 (EDT)
CreationOnTheWeb's "article" is actually a paper from a peer-reviewed journal. Would you mind asking them about how the paper doesn't (according to you) reflect the historical document?
But the main point was that the Church was supportive of science, regardless of whether they supported or suppressed particular scientific ideas.
You don't need to accept that Scripture is always taken literally for evolution to be non-biblical, only that the creation account is to be taken literally.
I quoted Mark 10:5-9 as an example of the Bible relying on its history generally, not specifically on the creation account, but in fact it does do that. It is specifically referring to the creation of Adam and Eve, and the fact that Eve was made from Adam: they were originally one flesh, so in marriage they become one flesh. Another example is the week, which is based on the six days of creation and one day of rest. Should we really be working for six millions years and then a million years off work? But perhaps the most important one is that of sin and death. The whole reason that Jesus came was to save us from our sin, which began when Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden. It was this sin that introduced death into the world, and Jesus showed his authority by overcoming death. But evolution proposes millions upon millions of years of death prior to the appearance of man.
" those cases [prophecies] it relies on sections which are undoubtedly meant to be taken as historical narrative.": Did you read creation week? It shows that the creation account is "undoubtedly meant to be taken as historical narrative".
"...all that the Bible relies upon from Genesis is that it happened, not really when it happened.": That what happened? That Eve was made from Adam's side, for example? That Adam was made from the dust of the ground, not from an ape?
"(I'm not arguing here that we should cede history from Genesis,, because that is a separate argument. I want to assert only that doing so would not undermine Biblical Truth)": It would undermine any "Biblical Truth" that relies on the creation account, and that includes the basis of sin, salvation, death, clothing, the week, sacrifice (substitutionary atonement), marriage, and so on.
Your comments about John 3:12 seem irrelevant. Okay, so it was drawing a distinction between the material and the spiritual. John 3:12 wouldn't have made sense without there being a distinction. If you don't believe one, you won't believe the other. If the two weren't distinct, that would make no sense.
Philip J. Rayment 01:08, 26 October 2008 (EDT)
I use "article" to refer to anything written, peer-reviewed or not. A paper is merely something which consumes an inordinate amount of time for little to no demonstratable progress:-) (can you tell I have a deadline looming?). I am using my own interpretation of the primary documents, and it is possible that there has been something lost in translation from the original Latin. As far as how they might have mis-interpreted the primary documents, I freely admit that I might have misinterpreted them, though they are faily straightforward. But the fact remains that the Church actively suppressed science precepts which disagreed with it.
I think I can sum up the other portion of our other debate more simply now that we have both fleshed out our arguments. I assert that the inerrancy of the Bible comes in the term of "big picture" items. What is important is that God created the universe, that man (or perhaps creation in general?) was marred by sin, and that Christ died for our sins. When and how these particular things came about is irrelevant to me, because in the end, everything goes back to God.
Your arguments, on the other hand (and I really hope I am not mis-representing them), assert that all the details of the Bible are Truth, because it is the sacred word of God. If I have summarized the arguments accurately, then further debate would entail debates over our individual religious foundations, which I wish to avoid. With that in mind, and given that this debate probably doesn't belong on the Roman Catholicism talk page, I think it may be better if I at least moved on. I don't want to "give up," but I'd rather not step on too many toes. --Thinker 11:25, 26 October 2008 (EDT)
My beliefs about the Bible are that everything is true, but allowing for it truthfully recording the lies of people, allowing for metaphor and figures of speech, parables, and so forth. As per evidence such as that in creation week, I am totally convinced that the creation account does not fall into any of those categories, but is literal history. Philip J. Rayment 07:24, 27 October 2008 (EDT)
I admit I'm young, but I find that interesting. How does one decide which of the bible is literal, which is figurative; which is Truth, and what has been altered. I believe, in my heart of hearts, that good men, inspired by God wrote the Bible. But that like all things of this earth, humans are imperfect, and can be affected (effected? I never know the difference, sorry) by ego, temptation, misjudgment, error, misunderstanding, desire to connect to the common folk, etc. I would like that over time, I talk with enough pastors, read enough books, and pray on my own enough to begin to understand the Bible in the best way possible.--JeanJacques 10:20, 27 October 2008 (EDT)
It's a bit harder for us than it was for the people back then as we're a bit more removed from the culture, but basically understanding comes through reading and study. Based on the manuscripts that we have and finding earlier copies to reference against, the uniformity of the Bible is what is striking so it is generally believed that while small sections may have come down incorrectly, such as possibly the last half of the last chapter of the book of Mark, the work as a whole is remarkably true to its original form. No human is ever going to get it completely right when reading the Bible, but that's ok, and there's a lot to learn. One of the differences between the Bible and other ancient works is just how much the people in it, even when writing about themselves, look bad, or at least flawed. You don't see much of the ego that accompanies other works. I have a friend who has been a Christian for 16 years. He first became a Christian while reading the book of Hebrews and each year rereads it on the date of his coming to Christ. And each time he reads it he sees something new that he didn't see before. As his place in life on his journey has changed, similar to a diamond, he looks at it from a different place and sees new facets. Learn together 13:19, 27 October 2008 (EDT)
As Learn together touches on in his first sentence, it's "simply" a matter of understanding the language and culture. When you read something written in a modern publication, you know when metaphor is being used, and you know when people are being literal. If someone says that 'it's raining cats and dogs', you know that they are not being literal because you recognise that as a euphemism. The same applies to the Bible. Most of the time you can tell from the language and the context whether something is literal or non-literal. Some of the time it does help to be familiar with things such as ancient Hebraic euphemisms and the like. And sometimes the translators help us out anyway. For example, in the Old Testament somewhere, it literally says (from memory, and according to the Authorised Version translation) that Saul went into a cave and covered his feet. That was a common euphemism for urinating and/or defecating (I forget which), because their robes which normally came down to their ankles and left their feet exposed actually covered their feet because they crouched. I forget how the NIV translates that, but the Living Bible, at least in its first edition, paraphrased that with an American euphemism for the same thing ("Saul went into the cave and used the bathroom"), which to an Australian sounds weird, because we don't use that euphemism, and to us the phrase refers to a literal room, which you would not expect to find in a 10th century BC Palestine cave! Philip J. Rayment 21:47, 27 October 2008 (EDT)

Roman Catholicism

The Title of this Entry should actually be Latin Rite Catholicism. The Latin Rite ("Roman Catholic") Church does not actually identify itself as "Roman Catholic", it Calls itself the "Latin Rite" of the "Catholic Church"

This said their needs to be a separate entry for "Catholicism".

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Pyranima (talk)

Are Roman Catholics Christians?

Now, I have been thinking about this for some time. As seen from many sources like Wikipedia, the Roman Catholics are indeed Christian. However, according to many Christian fundamentalist sources, the Roman Catholics are not Christian because they believe in many unbiblical things such as the infant baptism, sacraments, Mary worship, etc.

My question is, should the articles in Conservapedia concerning Christianity have the idea that Christianity is really a "biblical, based-on-the-Bible Christianity", not just a religion whose people are Christians just because they say "We are Christians"?

(To any born-again Christians, you may understand my question)


I understand the question. Whether or not someone is a Christian depends on their own relationship with God, not on what church they belong to. Also, probably no Christian has a perfect set of beliefs: probably every Christian believes something that is contrary to biblical teaching. So "believing many unbiblical things" does not, of itself, mean that someone is not a Christian.
I would classify the Roman Catholic Church as "Christian", because it holds that Jesus is God, but I would also think that many people who are members of the church are not Christians, partly because many are members of the church out of tradition rather than conversion, and partly because there is insufficient emphasis on faith-based conversion. But that doesn't mean that there are not (many?) Christians in the Roman Catholic church.
I feel that some "fundamentalist" Christians are too harsh on Catholics, although that is not to dismiss their valid objections to many Catholic teachings, such as the ones you mention. And I would ask, is the Catholic church any worse than many liberal churches that reject the historicity of the creation account, accept homosexuality, reject miracles, etc. etc.? I do feel that there is a fair bit of inconsistency there.
Does Conservapedia handle this issue the best way it can? Probably not, but then Conservapedia's not perfect either!
Philip J. Rayment 05:22, 27 April 2008 (EDT)

(This is a discussion that may take a long time and much effort. I try not to talk too much on it, although I would like to clarify all doubts in this issue)

Hmm, here is my answer.

First: I do believe that some Catholics may be indeed Christians, that is receiving Jesus as their own personal Savior, as many Protestant fundamentalists say. However, if a Catholic is a Christian, his "Catholic" status is just a label. I see many people in Malaysia that are practically Christians, but have "Islam" status in their citizenship cards because of discrimination to the ex-Muslim converts in the country. The same thing may apply to some Catholics.

However, folks, this kind of case whereby a "Catholic" is a Christian is very unlikely to happen. A person, if saved and a Christian, knows the truth of salvation (except if he is an infant). For practising Catholics, do you really think they are Christians if everytime they think they are born again, it is because they are baptized (sprinkled)? Or, do you think they are Christians if everytime they think they received Jesus as Lord and Savior, it is because they eat the wafer god?

Second: I agree that the Catholics are no different with the liberal "Protestants". There is such a thing as true converts and false converts. (See Ray Comfort video for that one)

Third: If we have to classify Roman Catholicism as a Christian church, I think we have to define what Christianity means. My belief of Christianity is the biblical teaching of Jesus and the Bible. The "Christianity" mentioned everywhere else and the more common one is a collection of my biblical Christianity and the so-called pseudo-Christianity. Even if we have to choose the more common "Christianity" as the definition, I hope the term is defined first. Otherwise, some people including me will be upset with the statement like "Christianity comprises you-know-what".

This will be a tricky one. What one church considers an indisputable fundamental of the faith, another will consider heresy. There are even some who claim to be Christian, yet deny the miracles described in the Gospels. About the only thing that everyone who calls themself a Christian can agree on is that Jesus was important, somehow. Obviously we need a defintion just to stop the really strange churches from declaring themselves in. NewCrusader 07:36, 14 September 2008 (EDT)


I think that this is a prime canidate to be a debate page, and though I`m not clear on how to make a debate page, maybe someone could for me

Just a thought but this article implies that the catholic church is the church that followed on from the ministry of Jesus. This isn't the case. The early Catholic church (it is alleged)known by scholars as the Pauline church (as it subscribed to the teachings of Paul of Tarsus,) engaged in a power struggle with what was at the time the established "Jerusalem Church" led by Jesus' brother James the Just. After the killing of James by a follower of the Pauline tradition (by throwing him off the corner of the temple mount and finishing him off with a fullers mallet)the Jerusalem church fled into the diaspora and the catholic church has done its best to suppress its existance ever since. Would this be a worthwile edition? The article is fairly scanty on the catholics role in evangalism accross the globe and its repository of history and knowledge particularly after the collapse of the Roman Empire. I realise that website is conservative in nature and the rift between The episcapalian ministry and The catholic church run's pretty deep in america and conservapedia tends to see people or groups with either a white hat or a black one, but surely Catholocism's influence on art, histiography and western culture in generalneeds to be acknowledged.


Conspiracy theories that are not supported in the ancient documents will not get play here. You are taking a historical event, the death of James the brother of Jesus as recorded in history, and then adding on a fanciful addition of a "Pauline" cause. No. Learn together 13:08, 4 September 2008 (EDT)
I am Catholic. We are Christian. Don't believe me? We; along with the Greek Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox and several other Orthodox Churches, were the first Christian Church Ever to exist. If not for us, all the protestant churches would not exist. If not for us, Christianity would not exist, nor would there be such thing as a Protestant entirely (Protestants come from the word Protest). --Rockstone 22:38, 20 October 2008 (EDT)
See my comments above in the Catholics not as Christians? section. Philip J. Rayment 06:07, 21 October 2008 (EDT)
Excuse me, MARY WORSHIP? You have no idea how inaccurate (not to mention INSULTING) that is to millions of Catholics around the world. We do not and have never "worshiped" Mary, or anyone other than God for that matter. Protestants of all stripes have many doctrinal differences from me, but I do my best to respect everyone I feel to be a sincere fellow Christian. ShlomSaydetLibnan 00:26, 12 February 2009 (EST)

What a waste of time

I've tried three times to correct egregious mistakes in the Early History of this section and each time they've been reverted by a sysop with no explanation. The moral of this story is, if you write factual content that the people who run Conservapedia (which doesn't at all mean the same thing as people who are politically conservative, as understood anywhere outside the USA) find uncomfortable, the Conservapedia hierarchy will simply make an ex cathedra pronouncement that you're wrong and zap your edits.

I really can't be bothered arguing with them any longer. If their attitude to something as abstruse as the early history of the Catholic Church is that they'll believe what they want to believe, not what modern scholarship has discovered, then you can't believe a single word you read in this so-called encyclopedia about much more important subjects, like global warming or USA Presidential candidates. KennyMac 09:47, 12 September 2008 (EDT)

You have chosen to alter the article to put your own spin by simply removing enmasse what you did not like and adding what you wished, without discussing in talk, and without sources. When you were told this was not the way we operate and to rework it, you refused and simply put back the same unacceptable material. Even now you have an aggrandized view of yourself by putting this at the top of the talk section and not appending it to the bottom of the page in chronological order like everyone else has done. (I have move it for you). You do not work with others for the bettermen of the article. When you are serious about article improvement then you will be welcomed to return, but until that time, your departure will not be mourned. Learn together 11:49, 12 September 2008 (EDT)
All my edits were aimed at improving the factual content on the article. Much of the section of this article dealing with the early period is basically the agreed mythology of the church and has little connection with history. If you're seriously interested in the history of the early church, you should read 'The Formation of Christendom' by Judith Herrin (1987, Fontana). Professor Herrin is one of the leading scholars of church between 400 and 800 AD. But I warn you, this isn't a comfortable read for anyone who wants to believe in a myth of a unified church with Constantine the Great establishing an benign empire based on Christian principles.
Anyway, Learn together, I've seen here and from many other edits you've made to other articles, that you - like most of the Conservapedia sysops (Philip J Rayment being an honourable exception - there may be others but I haven't seen them) - are perfectly happy to revert factual corrections to articles made by others if they happen to disagree with the cosy world view of American "conservatives", without explanation of any kind. Now, there may be many facts which are uncomfortable for the world-view of American "conservatives" (I repeat that this has very little connection with conservative politics outside the USA) but you and the other conservative sysops have to decide if you want to construct an encyclopedia of knowledge or an encyclopedia of approved prejudices for American "conservatives".
I'm going to correct this article once more (this time, I'll add the Herrin reference). If you revert my edits, I'll conclude that facts which conflict with American "conservative" prejudices aren't welcome here. Your choice.KennyMac 17:42, 13 September 2008 (EDT)
What I see is that you are simply reinserting the same information, again without discussion as to individual merit, and basically saying that should be enough and any effort to revert it will look poorly upon me - no. I also have to ask what edits of Philip's in Roman Catholicism or the other articles you have edited led you to your conclusions?
I have allowed you to stay because you do have knowledge which I believe could be beneifical, but your approach must improve. Learn together 03:13, 14 September 2008 (EDT)
That's an improvement on your first contribution to this discussion. Which, if you recall, was to block me for a fortnight and label my contribution as vandalism, simply because I had corrected some serious errors in the article. KennyMac 18:01, 14 September 2008 (EDT)
Oh, everyone gets banned by an overzealous admin. I've been there. With so many trolls sneaking around here, it's to be expected - have to keep on the alert, and take action at any suspicion. That, and this is a conservative encyclopedia - we are quite open in admitting we have a political agenda to advance. NewCrusader 18:31, 14 September 2008 (EDT)
Understood, but what does any particular view of the history of the Catholic church have to do with conservatism in a political sense? KennyMac 19:02, 15 September 2008 (EDT)

St Paul: SECOND most prolific writer?

St Paul is pretty obviously the most prolific author in the New Testament, even if you believe that Acts was written by Luke and Revelation by the same John as the non-synoptic Gospel. I'm going to change it and if anyone disagrees I would love to hear your opinion, so make sure to address it here if you do? Thanks! ShlomSaydetLibnan 00:29, 12 February 2009 (EST)

Abuse section: MSN cache source link is dead

You may want to re-source the Abuse section. The MSN cache link is dead. danq 22:40, 14 March 2009 (EDT)

Renaming this article to the Catholic Church

There is a current debate on Wikipedia that I think we should follow. While I am a Catholic- my reasons for this proposal is not because of my belief- as much as it is about what all encyclopedias should probably follow.

First of all- the official name of the Catholic Church is Catholic Church. Other churches may claim to be Catholic as well- but only the Catholic Church actually has named itself the Catholic Church. It is the same way that other churches claim orthodoxy- but only the Eastern Orthodox Church is called the Orthodox Church.

Anyway- it is just a suggestion. I hope you guys like my idea and god bless. --Rockstone 22:11, 17 June 2009 (EDT)

Actually I agree, since the article is called "Roman Catholicism" but the bold name in the article itself is "Roman Catholic Church." I think we should rename it either "Catholic" or "Roman Catholic" Church. AddisonDM 22:35, 17 June 2009 (EDT)

two articles ?

we should merge this with Catholic Church RJJensen 17:47, 2 October 2009 (EDT)