This is a very difficult subject for me because I am an ex Catholic and many people who I love are still Catholic. I do not want to hurt anyones feelings. Not Muslims, Catholics or people of no faith. I say all of this with compassion in my heart and tears in my eyes:
I find the Catholic churches Catechism 841 very disturbing, it says, 'The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."'
I shall put a link in for anyone who wants to explore this:Catholic Catechism
Sounds wonderful doesn't it? If you are not a follower of Christ or have no faith at all or are a Muslim this could be wonderful news! Is it good news for muslims? I honestly don't know!
Link to Pope Benedict prays with muslims in a mosque facing Mecca
I believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ and I know Muslims find this utterly unacceptable. Fair enough, thats their right. But as a Christian it is the very heart of my faith. If Jesus says he is God, if he accepts the title from others and shows by his actions in the bible that he is who he says he is, then for me as a Christian he is God.
But for a worldwide Christian organisation to say this is shocking! Are they saying you do not need to believe in the death and reserection of Christ? Thats what muslims say too! Christ did not die according to the Quran! So Catholics accept they are worshiping the same God as Islam. Muslims think that too. Do you know what is written inside the mosque on the dome on the Rock? The one built on top of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem? The pretty blue building with the golden dome?
It says "O you People of the Book, overstep not bounds in your religion, and of God speak only the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, is only an apostle of God, and his Word which he conveyed unto Mary, and a Spirit proceeding from him. Believe therefore in God and his apostles, and say not Three. It will be better for you. God is only one God. Far be it from his glory that he should have a son."
The Catholic church accepts this? Wow!
Link to: Catholic Answers: Did the Pope pray towards Mecca?
I believe the only part of the bible I cannot trust is the apocrapha. It is the part which catholics put in and other churches reject. Simply because it introduces purgatory. The medieval catholic church offered salvation from eternal damnation in return for money! This is unbiblical and Jesus thought very little of those who tried to make Gods house into a market:
In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money.So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, "Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!" (John 2:12-16)Roman Catholic idea of PugatoryHistory of Catholic indulgences and abusesCatholic teaching on contraception Divorce and Annulments in Catholisim
Prayers for the dead are not what Jesus preached.
Prayers to Mary are not what Jesus preached in fact it says in Luke 11:27-28
As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, "Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you." He replied, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it."
Catholics beleive Mary was a virgin for all of her life when it clearly says in John 2:12:'
After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples.'
The statues are beautiful but I think they are idols nevertheless.
I think the pope is just a man just as I think the Archbishop of Canterbury is just a man.
In fact all bishops, vicars, priests and pastors are just men to me!wikipedia the infallibility of the pope to catholics
I feel that Intersession by saints is pointless because we can all pray/talk directly to God with no set prayers. This happened when the curtain in the temple ripped as christ died. At that momment we all gained direct access to God!! Thats why christians can happily walk around the dome on the rock and jewish people are forbidden by the torah! Lest they might tread on the holy of holys which as christians we have complete access to because Christs death allowed us into Gods presence! Quick bible reference..Mark 15-38 The curtain of the temple
The catholic church believes Mary was a virgin all of her life and did not die and was taken up into heaven.
I hope this helps in your understanding.
May God bless you,