Contra Protestantism

The Visible Church

Written by Boniface

Though Protestants and Catholics have many points of disagreement, it seems the most fundamental area of conflict has to do with the nature of the Church. Is the Church a visible, physically identifiable reality with an institutional government that keeps guard over doctrine and discipline, or is it a kind of invisible, loose union of various communities of Christians with different opinions on doctrinal questions and no institutional reality beyond the local level? Both Protestants and Catholics acknowledge the Church has an invisible, supernatural element; Catholics, however, assert that in addition the Church has a physical, visible side - that it is physically identifiable on this earth. Protestants, following Luther, tend to view the Church as a fundamentally invisible reality. In this essay, we will examine the biblical passages that point to the Church as a physical, institutional reality in conformity with Catholic Tradition.

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Grandchildren for God? A Primer on Infant Baptism

Written by Boniface

A few years ago, I was having lunch with the Sarasota chapter of the Full Gospel Businessman's Fellowship, a group of Protestant businessmen who gather regularly to talk about business, politics, religion or whatever - it is largely a Protestant social networking organization. The conversation was light; I was the only Catholic among the group, and while I was willing to scatter seed where I could, it was not the ideal moment for an intense debate. All of the sudden, one of the older gentleman at the luncheon gazed at me and said, "Do you know what God has against the Catholic Church?" "Please tell me," I responded. "God said, 'Give me children', but the Catholic Church gave Him grandchildren." It took me a while to catch his meaning, but finally it dawned on me; he was referring to the practice of infant baptism. His quip about "grandchildren" referred to Catholic believers initiating their children into the faith when they are too young to make the commitment themselves.

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Is Halloween Pagan?

Written by Boniface

If you are Catholic, you know that the title of this is a loaded question. If we mean "is the liturgical commemoration of All Saints' Day upon which Halloween is based pagan?", the answer is an obvious and resounding no. But if we mean "is the modern popular celebration of Halloween, with its twofold focus on consuming immoderate amounts of  sugared sweets and glorifying everything bizarre and dark, a reflection of pagan sentiment?", then I think we could answer in the affirmative. Even if there is no historical connection between Halloween celebrations and pre-Christian paganism, the mass-marketed "Halloween" is certainly a manifestation of neo-pagan modernism.

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Fundamentals of Mariology

Written by Boniface

On this website we frequently deal with very intricate apologetical issues relating to Protestantism; the proper understanding of the Greek in the phrase "works of the law" used by St. Paul; specific rebuttals to accusations that Catholics believe the Virgin Mary died for our sins; a defense of the concept of Apostolic Succession against attacks that the teaching is contrary to St. Paul's complaints about disciples boasting that they are from Paul or Apollos. Sometimes the focus of our articles presuppose that our readership already possesses advanced knowledge of the points of dispute between Catholics and Protestants. Today, let us go back to basics and examine a very fundamental obstacle to Protestant reunion with the Church: the issue of Marian devotion in Catholic spirituality. For many Protestants, every other Catholic teaching can be accepted with the proper education and the working of grace. But aversion to the Catholic veneration of Mary is so strongly ingrained in Protestant tradition as to be extremely difficult to overcome for some Protestants, even when they positively will to join the Catholic Church.

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Protestant Implications for Doctrine and Unity

Written by Boniface

In this article, I'd like to break from my normal genre and speak directly to our Protestant friends for a moment. Not about any particular point of dogma, but about the concept of dogma itself, and how this relates to the question of Christian unity. What, for a Protestant, is dogma? How do you Protestants define it? For a Catholic, a dogma is a teaching that has been revealed by God and must be believed with the assent of faith that is due to God, who cannot lie and whose teaching is sure - and what falls into this category is defined by the Church's Magisterium. But for a Protestant, what is dogma? And how does it relate to the concept of Christian unity?

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