I need help answering some questions!

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I have some protestant friends that believe Mary had other children. I know she didn't, but they want biblical proof. Also, they think it's wrong to pray to saints even though the early Christians prayed to the people that died Christian. They say it interfeers with your relationship with God. They think baptism and baptism in the Holy Spirit are two different baptisms. The water baptism gets you into Heaven and Holy Spirit baptism is so you can perform miracles. I think that's dumb and I'm convinced that they are wrong, but they want proof. One of them doesn't think that he Catholic church decided what books to put into the New Testament, she said that that is just my opinion. How am I supposed to show her proof for that one. They think that because it doesn't say Pope in the Bible that we shouldn't have a Pope. One of them is convinced that her side of the family that is Catholic worships the Pope. They think that there nondenominational church is the right way to go, I think that's dumb. Who's supposed to stop them from making an error if there is no authority. In my opinion, when you let people run around believing what ever you get wierd religions like Mormonism and Jahovas Witness and that group that drinks poison and picks up deadly snakes. Also, they want to know why people get stigmata. They said God doesn't want people to suffer so stigmata must come from the devil. They say it's decitfull, because the people get holes in there hands instead of there wrists, and since God doesn't decieve then stigmata must be evil. I think they're full of crap and that stigmata is a gift from God, but they want prove or at least logical reasoning to show that.

-- Chris Fox (martinaj@sprynet.com), January 08, 2001


Since you are sure about your faith you could ask them to prove you are wrong. Ask them proof as a basis for their faith. Karl keating's Catholicism and Fundamentalism will be a good book to start.

-- Babu (dbcdani@hotmail.com), January 08, 2001.

Dear Chris, If you must associate with these people, you should resign yourself to their deliberate blindness, and not discuss anything religious with them. Not because you would grant them any tacit agreement; make it clear you reject their false belief but will not interfere with them. When somebody expects you alone to come up with all the proof, then they are simply being fanatical, and don't have the right to free discussion of religion. All they will do is distort the scriptures to fit their biases. As a good Catholic you should pray for their conversion very fervently. Show the depth of your faith by example. It is completely in God's hands to bring them to conversion. Going over chapter and verse of the Bible with that type is a fool's game; they will not see it your way, because they simply hate the Catholic Church.

I realize some in this forum will disagree with me on the last part. But, in some perverse cases (you seem to have found one here) that is the foregone conclusion, at least to me. I've been there, and I know.

-- eugene c. chavez (chavezec@pacbell.net), January 09, 2001.

In parting with your friends, Chris, you may want to consider giving them the following quotation -- directly from the article about your Catholic Church, found in the highly respected (and definitely not Catholic) "Encyclopedia Britannica":
[The Catholic Church is a] "Christian church characterized by its uniform, highly developed doctrinal and organizational structure that traces its history to the Apostles of Jesus Christ in the 1st century A.D.."

The truths that you believe, Chris, come directly to us from the Church's founder, Jesus, through his apostles and their successors, the bishops. The various things that your friends believe which contradict our doctrines are the products of human error (usually misinterpretation of scripture), and most of those things were first thought and spoken less than 500 years ago (a few closer to 1,000 years ago, and a few still longer ago). They mean well, and they have some of the truth ... but they are missing so much. God wants them to have it all.
By contrast to them, you and I and Eugene believe what has always been believed, for 20 centuries, and always will be believed. If our Church were false, it could never have lasted 2,000 years. Remember what the rabbi Gamaliel told his fellow Pharisees, who wanted to quash our Church's apostles: "So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this undertaking is of men, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!" [And so, have confidence, and realize that your friends are opposing God when they are opposing you.]

God bless you.

-- J. F. Gecik (jgecik@desc.dla.mil), January 09, 2001.


-- Chris Fox (martinaj@sprynet.com), January 10, 2001.


Protestants believe that Mary had other children because of certain scriptures that refer to Jesus' brothers. Now the Catholic Church says that the word brother was commonly used for cousin. However we have the problem that the Bible refers to cousin as just that, 'cousin' as in Mary's cousin Elizabeth. I do not understand why Mary couldn't of had children; it was indeed a natural thing for a husband and wife to have marital relations wasn't it?

As far as being baptised is concerned I think the Protestant view on that is that the word baptise comes from the word baptismo which means to immerse not sprinkle or whatever. This was done immediately after a person had confessed the Lord Jesus. Some protestants believe that full water baptism is essential for salvation and others believe that it was a command of Jesus' that was mean't to be carried out once the person had received the Holy Spirit and not essential to salvation although asked to be done by the Lord.

There are Protestants who believe that the miracle of Fatima was a satanic apparition because of what the apparition of Mary said, mainly the line 'make reparations to Mary' instead of to Christ. It is possible that they could be perfectly right about this.

As far as stigmata is concerned we have the problem that it usually seems to occur on a persons hands. However people were crucified through their wrists not their hands. Go figure as the youngsters say these days.

-- Cedric Philips (cphilips@clearnet.com), January 12, 2001.

What is the miracle of Fatima?

-- Chris Fox (martinaj@sprynet.com), January 12, 2001.

Let's see what Cedric Phillips thinks it was, Chris. Ought to be interesting.

-- eugene c. chavez (chavezec@pacbell.net), January 12, 2001.

Chris, look it up on a good search engine such as www.google.com. My point of view doesn't matter on this.

-- cedric philips (cphilips@clearnet.com), January 12, 2001.

Your point of view? Did a shining cloud from the heavens come over you, and give you the point of view; so now you know the real baptism, the facts about stigmata and the like, and Protestant megillah about Mary's sex life, and all that Mary revealed at Fatima? Nevertheless you wouldn't want to give that point of view, it doesn't matter? Dear Cedric. What are you doing here? Why don't you go and play with your toys?

-- eugene c. chavez (chavezec@pacbell.net), January 12, 2001.

Eugene, I don't quite know what you are going on about but it certainly sounds most un-Christian like.

-- cedric philips (cphilips@clearnet.com),), January 12, 2001.

Hi, Cedric.
My message is not to comment on the way Eugene addressed you, but only to marvel at your criticism of his words.
If you would go back and read what you wrote about Catholicism (almost all of which was inaccurate) and if you would consider the terminology you used (even involving the possibility of the demonic), perhaps you could understand the displeasure that Eugene experienced. In other words, what you wrote came across as unChristian to others. So, please, let us not have the "pot calling the kettle black."

I invite you to investigate the three years of old threads at this forum's site [click here] and/or to stop in at www.catholic.com. Just about all objections to our faith are refuted at these sites. Our old threads and the "Catholic Answers" site will help you to learn what we believe and why, and that will help prevent you from making hasty and offensive statements, such as those you made to Chris.

God bless you.

-- J. F. Gecik (jgecik@desc.dla.mil), January 13, 2001.

Hi again, Chris. I saw your question ("What is the miracle of Fatima?")
I can't tell if you have some familiarity with the subject of Fatima but just want to know about a specific miracle -- or if are you not familiar with Fatima at all. So I will give you a link here to a reliable page that will give you the information you need to know. The subject matter is a "private revelation" of the 20th century. Although it has been judged to have nothing contrary to our faith, we are not required to believe that anything supernatural happened at Fatima. [I do believe, as does Eugene.]

God bless you.
PS: Since the events of Fatima began to take place in 1917, there has been a lot said and done with reference to it since then. If you come across anything about Fatima that is supported by the pope and/or Fr. Robert Fox (of the Fatima Family Apostolate), you can rely on its accuracy. If you come across anything related to Fr. Nicholas Gruner (of the Fatima Crusader), put it in the "round file" (trash can) as soon as possible.
PPS: Chris, would you mind telling us your age and sex? I'm thinking that you are a female student -- correct?

-- J. F. Gecik (jgecik@desc.dla.mil), January 13, 2001.

Dear John,

Thank you for taking the time to answer. I did not intend to upset anyone I was merely responding to the question that Chris had asked. This was answered not from a catholic perspective, obviously but was an attempt to give to the best of my knowledge an answer from what I know of the protestant perspective. I am not a protestant incidentally; but first and foremost a follower of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I have no church affiliations as such although I do attend church (different denominations).

I am sure the statements I made were not un-Christian like but if you or Eugene perceive them to be so then I am sorry that is so.

Peace and goodwill in the name our Lord Jesus Christ to you all.

-- Cedric Philips (cphilips@clearnet.com), January 13, 2001.

Thanks for your nice words, Cedric.
You say that you are "not a protestant incidentally." However, it is an inescapable fact that (except for a few tiny groups mainly near the Holy Land) Christians come in only three basic "flavors" -- Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant. Even a cursory study of history or consulting the Encyclopedia Britannica (not a Catholic work!) will reveal to you.
Catholics and Eastern Orthodox trace their history back to the days of the Apostles. They differ on very few things.
Protestants, however, cannot trace their history back any further than 1517, when they began to explicitly reject certain Catholic/Orthodox doctrines. You attend their worship services, and I believe that you reject (and "protest" against) certain Catholic/Orthodox doctrines. Though you are resistant to the word "protestant" (with good reason), you simply cannot avoid wearing that badge.

I have the perfect solution to you. Avoid being called "protestant" by ceasing to reject and to protest. Our door is wide open. Your ancestors were once Catholic. You certainly can be too.

God bless you.

-- J. F. Gecik (jgecik@desc.dla.mil), January 14, 2001.

Dear John,

Protestant, according to my dictionary says 'belonging to any branch of the Western Church outside the Roman Catholic Church. Well I don't belong to any branch of any church except the 'Body of Christ' which is made up of all true followers of Jesus Christ including those Catholics, Protestants and others who have made that personal commitment to Christ. I could be termed non-denominational. I hope that you too have that personal relationship with Christ that is available to everyone.

Take care John.

-- Cedric Philips (cphilips@clearnet.com), January 14, 2001.


Thanks be to God, Cedric, that I do have "that personal relationship with Christ that is available to everyone." But I also have that communal relationship with Christ that he desires and makes available in the Catholic Church. Even a casual reading of the New Testament should make clear to anyone the fact that Jesus founded the Church as not just the mystical "Body of Christ" (which some might call "invisible"), but also a body with ministers, rules, a creed, etc., prominently visible within society. I don't know how you missed that in your reading. Not long after the last book of the Bible was written, that visible body was being called the Catholic Church.

You stated that the word "protestant" in your dictionary means "belonging to any branch of the Western Church outside the Roman Catholic Church." However, that is not a valid definition, because protestantism is not a group of "branches" of any Church. Only the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox communions are fully joined to the Church Jesus founded, because they have preserved apostolic succession (validly ordained bishops). The Church of Jesus is found in "local churches" (dioceses) headed by bishops. Protestant "churches" have only an imperfect communion with the Church of Jesus -- a greater or lesser communion, depending on how much they have in common doctrinally and in other ways.

A much better definition of "a protestant" is "one who belongs to any of the thousands of different named (denominational) or unnamed (non-denominational) ecclesial (i.e., quasi-church) communities of Christian believers, who are brethren separated from the Catholics and Eastern Orthodox."

And so, Cedric, you are a "non-denominational Protestant," until such time as you decide to name your denomination (which currently has just one member, if I'm not mistaken).
God bless you.
PS: As almost always happens when the flawed 16th-century theory of "sola scriptura" [Bible alone, with unguided private interpretation] is followed, Cedric, you have fallen into an incorrect understanding. The Bible does not teach what you wrote -- namely that "the Body of Christ ... is made up of all true followers of Jesus Christ including those Catholics, Protestants, and others who have made that personal commitment to Christ." That is from a theology of your own composition, part of your non-denominational creed.
PPS: Please realize that, by writing all of the above, I am not making a person judgment of you or trying to downplay your commitment to Jesus. You strike me as a very nice person, and I'm glad to be conversing with you.

-- J. F. Gecik (jgecik@desc.dla.mil), January 14, 2001.


Jesus wanted his followers to be in a church community, so that they would follow the same beliefs and not be led astray. I hate to keep bringing it up, but the John 6 apostasy is really under-read IMHO. People decided they didn't want to follow *all* of Christ's teachings (while he was still ALIVE) and so left the faith.

People today who believe in Jesus but want to do so on their own have a very easy slide into believing in the parts they *want* to believe in or *feel comfortable* with. There is no one there to correct them if they err, or to straighten their path if they deviate.

Beware Cedric, Satan is clever. What may at first seem to be a harmless aversion to something or a minor exception may eventually lead you to a bad end, that you wouldn't end up in staying in Christ's community, and not on your own.

Good luck,


-- Someone (ChimingIn@twocents.cam), January 15, 2001.

Beware Cedric, Satan is clever. What may at first seem to be a harmless aversion to something or a minor exception may eventually lead you to a bad end, that you wouldn't end up in staying in Christ's community, and not on your own.

See? He was jumbling my words! ;-) Anyway, change that last bit to:

Beware Cedric, Satan is clever. What may at first seem to be a harmless aversion to something or a minor exception may eventually lead you to a bad end, one that you wouldn't end up in staying within Christ's community, but are more likely to fall into on your own.



-- Someone (ChimingIn@twocents.cam), January 15, 2001.

It bothers me to see you all arguing like this. What started as a simple question has turned into personal attacks against eachother. You all beleive the same thing but are arguing over it. This is how wars begin, people getting worked up over little things, things that can easily be solved. I don't know all that much about christianity but I love God more than anything and I don't think he would like to see perfectly intelligent people being like this to eachother.

-- Liz Gill (spizzanoid0@hotmail.com), July 16, 2001.

Dear Miss Gill,
Peacemaker you may be; but why reawaken this thread after six months? The subject matter stated at the top is:

proof vs. opinion, how Mary had other (?) children, different baptisms, the Pope's authority or lack of it, stigmata coming from Satan, all anti-Catholic vs. Catholic.

I contributed this:

''When somebody expects you alone to come up with all the proof, then they are simply being fanatical, and don't have the right to free discussion of religion. All they will do is distort the scriptures to fit their biases. As a good Catholic you should pray for their conversion very fervently. Show the depth of your faith by example.''

Then I set a bad example, with a sarcastic note about Cedric's motives in our midst. I'll take some blame for that. --But how you can say these are all unimportant differences, ''little things that can be easily solved'' (by whom?) --I guess by those who choose to back down from defending their faith, is that who? Have you ever defended your own faith? If there's one thing Our Saviour clearly denounced in His own Church, it was lukewarm faith. (Rev. 3, :15-:21)--There was nothing personal about the ''attacks'' in the thread. In fact, there were no attacks; let's try not be squeamish.

-- eugene c. chavez (chavezec@pacbell.net), July 17, 2001.

Eugene, I hadn't realised that this issue was so old. I came across this by accident, it just seemed that you were being so sarcastic and patronising. I know this reply is late, I didn't want really want to be a pert of this discussion. I'm just curious. I wasn't saying that these were 'unimportant' differences I think it is important to talk about things like this but without the sarcasm. Thats all.

-- Liz Gill (spizzanoid0@hotmail.com), September 13, 2001.


Sometimes these threads stay on track and are a great source of information. Some threads derail into pointless argument and name calling. That's how it goes. On the whole though I think I've benefitted here more than not.


-- Someone (ChimingIn@twocents.cam), September 14, 2001.

Is Liz Gill in contact? I would hate to lose her attention now. I'll get to the point:

Yes-- I have a bad habit of speaking too harshly. A habit of sounding sarcastic. I'm a lover of irony. This means ''laughing'' at what I think is absurd. It might be my major fault.

But I'm not important. What is more important is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. No one that hears the Good News is able to ignore it any more. It may fall on deaf ears. It may inspire great devotion to Jesus Christ, and even vocations to sainthood. The one thing it can't ever leave behind is indifference.

The Gospel means to light a fire. A fire of love for the Son of God; who returns our love for Him with a torrent of love! He isn't LUKEWARM, Liz! He loves us so much that death on a cross was no problem!

Indifference and lukewarmness is an affront to Him. Jesus must wonder; is this all? Don't my Christian followers care to defend their faith in me? Is that faith so superficial and disposable when it's challenged?

Christ is understanding and merciful. But He knows the difference between tolerance and indifference, Liz. Indifferent Christians don't stand up for Jesus and his Church, and the Truth. They bend. They suffer from a lukewarm faith. In Revelation, 3 -- Jesus says to the church at Laodicea: ''I know thy works; thou art neither cold nor hot. But because thou art lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I am about to vomit thee out of my mouth.''

Maybe I'm intolerant sometimes, and heavy-handed. But I won't be lukewarm. Plenty of others will fill the gap between my point of view, with a lot of sentimental, breathless, chummy Christian chat. There's a place for them too. Everybody doesn't have to catch fire.

Bless us and keep us all, Beloved Saviour; Our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen!

-- eugene c. chavez (chavezec@pacbell.net), September 14, 2001.

I'm not answering any qustions. We have a new Jahova's Witness (Church?) near our home and I'd like to know what your beliefs are. Thank you.

-- Kathy Fisher (kkfisher@cyben.com), July 04, 2004.


I don't quite follow you. You want to know what "Catholic beliefs" are? That's a pretty broad subject. And what does it have to do with a new Jehovah's Witness hall near your home? Could you be a bit more specific about what you are looking for?

The basic beliefs of Catholicism are listed (but not explained) in the Apostles Creed. You can read it here:


-- Paul M. (PaulCyp@cox.net), July 04, 2004.

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