I once told my Mom that being [born into a culture that is predominantly] Catholic is like choosing to register as a Republican. She was pissed!
Jesus lived 4 BC to 33 AD, although his ministry was only chronicled of the last three years of his life.
There were three different passover feasts over the course of Jesus' ministry. This implies that Jesus preached for a period of three years, although the Church's celebration of Lent goes directly into the Holy Week. What happened teh rest of his life?
Three of the four gospels in print were written about 65 AD, the other one 80 AD. The authors were not named until about 180 AD. There are nearly 20 other gospels that were not made public. What happened to the rest?
The Church as it exists defined the political and social structure of Europe during and after the decline of the Roman Empire.
Emperor Constantine first proclaimed religious tolereance, recognized Christianity as the State religion, then helped the first council of bishops define Christendom in the Nicene Creed in the 325 AD.
Charlemagne was the first to be crowned Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire by a grateful Pope in 800 AD. Every emperor had been the "Protector of the Church" since then.
Western Schism or Papal Schism, was a split within the Catholic Church from 1378 to 1417.
see also Habsburg Dynasty and "conspiracy" of 1450s.
European Wars of Religion took place in the 16th and 17th centuries, following the onset of the Protestant Reformation ending in the Peace of Westphala 1648 AD.
The [Authorized] King James Version was commissioned by the [Anglican] Church of England in 1604 as an alternative to the secular Latin used by the Vatican. It became the "official" version of the Roman Catholic Church world-wide. Eventually Mass would be held in English rather than Latin.
Key beliefs that go against what is "written" is what this is about.
"one, holy, catholic and apostolic church"
ONE, HOLY- Almost evey religion states that they are the one true faith, and that to be anything else will lead to eternal damnation.
CATHOLIC- is not limited to a time, place, race or culture.
APOSTOLIC- Jesus did send out his Apostles [who appointed more apostles] to spread his teachings, with a centralized heirarchy of bishops in key locations [or churches].
Son of God
YES Jesus is recognized as such, but not as BEING God. Even He says "My Father", "Our Father", "do not call me Teacher", etc. He never once stated Divinity, even evades the question during interrogation.
"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me [by the Father]"
"When you die you go to heaven, hell, or purgatory"
FALSE "Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return" (Genesis 3:19), and "..."there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust." (Acts 24:15).
Prayer to honor or prepare the dead for their journey to the afterlife is based in pre-history. But the concept of praying for the recent departed "to help the souls in purgatory by offering prayers in suffrage for them"was first mentioned in 200 AD.
Praying to saints to pass on requests to God.
WRONG "Jesus is the sole mediator between God and man" 1 Timothy 2:1-5
Kneeling amd bowing to images of saints made of wood and stone goes against the first set of commandments, which were never thrown out by Jesus in any of his teachings.
"Mother of God"
This doctrine was confirmed by the First Council of Ephesus in 431. Christians of the major ancient traditions including the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church believe that Mary lived a sinless life, and that she ascended into heaven, offer prayers to God through Mary and venerate her as intercessor and mother of the church. Again, this was a misinterpretation of Elizabeth proclaiming her "The mother of my Lord" NOT God.
I am one who believes, but nevertheless doubts
How I feel about my religion of choice, recently... July 2011
"Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!”
So why are votive candles sold within the church? Why are rosaries, figurines of wood, plaster, and metal being sold within its gates? Why are 'ministries' out there to shear their flock of material wealth to put in their coffers?
A church, basically, is a community of people, not a specific building or heirarchy. The early followers of Christ's teachings were persecuted for three centuries, so they secretly met in homes, later in catacombs. No longer persecuted, they moved those catacombs above ground, complete with graves, life size figures, and names of deceased (and contributors) inscribed on walls and even the floor. Secret markings and rituals are now taken for granted...INRI, genuflection at certain places. The biggest and best looking church building draw more attention, much as the tower at Babel did. Some even have gilden roofs [LDS] and a red light to ward off planes [INK].