Concise answers to fundamental questions about the Catholic faith

Do Catholics worship Mary? Why do Catholics emphasize Mary so much?

Timothy it says Jesus is our sole mediator, yet we pray to Mary and the Saints. Is that going against the Bible?

In Romans, chapter 3, it says that none is righteous and that all have sinned, but the Catholic Church teaches that Mary is without sin…could you explain that in light of Romans 3?

Why do Catholics call Mary the Queen of Heaven? Doesn’t God rebuke the Israelites in the O.T. for worshipping a false goddess called the Queen of Heaven? Should we not refer to Mary with that title, therefore, since it is the title of a false goddess?

The Bible clearly says that Jesus had brothers and sisters, but the Catholic Church teaches that Mary was a perpetual virgin…how can you reconcile those seemingly different positions?

See the answers to these questions and more

Faith and reason vs. emotions and feelings

by Doug Lawrence

After answering literally thousands of questions about the Catholic faith, on-line and via email, at least one thing has become perfectly clear to me: Religious belief is based on both emotion (feelings) and intellect (reason) … but emotion trumps intellect, just about every time.

A case in point:

A non-Catholic reader asked: Why do Catholics believe in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist, when the scriptures are clear that Holy Communion is nothing more than a symbolic commemoration?

I responded with a dozen Old Testament and New Testament Bible verses, some of them quoting none other than Jesus Christ, proving that scripture not only anticipates the Real Presence, but proves beyond a doubt that Jesus and the Holy Eucharist is the divine New Testament fulfillment of all the Old Testament prophecies.

I followed that up with numerous citations from the writings of the early church fathers, all of whom are in unanimous agreement that Jesus is truly present in the Holy Eucharist.

I mentioned the decrees of various church councils, the practices and beliefs of all the various Orthodox churches, and the fact that until the 15th century, every Christian on earth believed in the Real Presence.

Then I dealt with the various scientific and metaphysical aspects of the issue, followed by a definition of the word “sacrament”, along with some good examples of the most well known Eucharistic miracles.

Next, I explained the purpose and order of the Mass, and the central role of Jesus Christ and the Holy Eucharist in the everyday life of the world-wide church.

Finally, I pointed to the unanimity and consistency of belief, over a span of some 2000 years, on the Catholic side, vs. the many, varying, and often widely diverging opinions of the Protestant reformers.

Having responded in a clear, well organized, thorough, historical, theological, scholarly, polite, sensitive, charitable and forthright Christian manner, I clicked “send”.

A few days passed, and a reply to my original email had indeed arrived. It read:

Why do Catholics believe in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist, when the scriptures are clear that Holy Communion is nothing more than a symbolic commemoration?

Since I could clearly see the full text of my earlier response incorporated into this email reply, I assumed that the reader had also seen it.

Once again,  I responded … but this time, on a more emotional level:

Catholics understand, based on all available evidence, that anyone who refuses to believe in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist is almost certainly destined to spend an eternity in hell. Thanks for writing!