1. “Catholics worship statues.”
This stereotype is painful to hear. Not only is this completely false, but it is ludicrous. Despite the fact that there are 801 million Protestants world-wide, according to the Pew Research Center, focus will be geared towards those in the United States. In this country, approximately 51.5% of people are Protestant Christians. Realistically, most of these families have pictures in their home, which is completely normal, right? They have pictures of their loved ones, both living and deceased. Is it not hypocritical then to say that Catholics are idol worshipers, when these families have portraits of their loved ones on the walls? If these Protestant families can have pictures of Uncle Bernie and Grandma hanging on the wall, then most certainly the Church can present pictures of our beloved Jesus, his disciples, and the saints.
2. “Catholics pray to Mary instead of God.”
This is a very common misconception throughout the Protestant community, and while it can be understood, it is also disheartened that many jump to such a harsh conclusion of the Catholic faith. Catholics don’t pray to Mary, we ask her to pray for us, just as a Protestant asks their deceased grandparent/parent to watch over them.
3. “The saints can’t hear your prayers, because they are dead.”
Not true. Since when is anyone who is in Heaven considered dead? Its call the “afterlife” for a reason. In fact, there is biblical proof the saints can hear our prayers:
-Revelation 5:8 “And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.”
-Revelation 8:3-4 “Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand.”
4. “Mother Mary isn’t important; she’s just like anyone else.”
If the Blessed Mother isn’t important, then every female would have had an immaculate conception. For this reason, that is why the declarative statement above doesn’t make sense. Of course Mother Mary is important, she gave birth to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. What is so amazing about the Catholic faith is the fact that we recognize the importance of Mary, and we honor her accordingly. She is a role model and saint for all Christians to look up to, because she submitted to God completely. Until the day another woman gives birth to Jesus or can claim to be The Mother of God no one will ever be just like Mary. She is a very special, holy woman.
5. “Catholics made up all their rules.”
Every single tradition in the Catholic Church, namely during Mass, has biblical roots. Not to mention the fact that Jesus was the founder of the Church. I don’t know about you, but Jesus doesn’t make mistakes.
6. “God said to confess sins to Him, not a priest.”
This is a good one. Drum roll please.
-James 5:16 “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”
It is true that we pray directly to God, and ask Him for forgiveness, however for sins (mortal) we do as Jesus commands and confess it to one another (our priests). Jesus said this directly to his disciples, so through Him, they were able to forgive sins. This power passed down to every priest, and so on and so forth.
7. “Catholicism is a cult.”
Jesus Christ founded this Church more than 2,000 years ago; therefore it should hardly call it a cult. For the first 1500 of the last 2000 years Christianity was Catholic
8. “Catholics aren’t Christians.”
The word Christian is associated with anyone who follows Christ’s teachings, and since the Catholic Church does just that then we are to be called Christians. Not to mention Catholics were actually the first Christians. Up until the 1500’s and the Reformation all of Christianity was Catholic!
9. “Catholics added books to the Holy Bible.”
This one is so hilarious it hurts. For 300 years there was no Bible, only random writings from the prophets like St. Peter etc., until the Catholic monks compiled and canonized what is now known today as the Holy Bible. (That is until the Protestant Reformation occurred, in which one man *Martin Luther* removed 7 books).
10. “Catholics believe you can pay your way into Heaven.”
We definitely do not. That is a huge misconception which occurred during the Protestant Reformation.
Despite the many stereotypes that hang over our faith, the important thing to remember is our Church has stood the test of time and remained for more than 2,000 years. Whether you are Catholic or Protestant– we are all followers of Jesus Christ, and He is the ultimate goal.
“The truth is like a lion. You don’t have to defend it, let it loose, and it will defend itself.”
-St. Augustine of Hippo