Are you Catholic? If so, test your knowledge on my handy Catholic Faith Checkup. Read each statement and simply decide if is true or false. The answer key and how to interpret the results follow.
- The Holy Bible is the sole source of God’s truth.
- The Bible is “self-interpreting” and needs no interpretation by others.
- Catholic Bibles have more books because we added several to the original.
- We are saved by faith alone.
- “Works” play no role in our salvation.
- We believe that once saved, always saved.
- Since Jesus died for our sins, salvation is ours if we lead good lives.
- Our souls have existed for eternity.
- Some people have had past lives.
- Not all human souls are immortal.
- Sin is acting against one’s own conscience and circumstances.
- Sins are acts against others.
- What is sinful or not in the eyes of God is determined by each Christian denomination.
- People sometimes sin accidentally.
- We no longer believe that suicide is a mortal sin.
- Purposefully missing Mass is a venial sin.
- It is sinful to be attracted to a person of the same sex (“same sex attraction”).
- As a matter of personal conscience, fairness and in Christian charity, it is wrong to discriminate in marriage for committed, loving, gay couples.
- Married couples may use artificial birth control when necessary as a matter of private conscience.
- Catholics may not divorce even for good cause.
- Validly married Catholics who divorce for good cause (e.g. abuse or infidelity) can receive an annulment in order to remarry.
- Sex outside of marriage is not sinful in certain circumstances (e.g. in a monogamous, consenting, loving, committed relationship of a man and a woman).
- Cells immediately after conception are not yet a human person (i.e. 100% equal in human dignity to a fully developed, born baby).
- Abortion is a difficult decision, but ultimately a matter of personal choice.
- Abortion is acceptable only in cases of rape or incest.
- Medical treatment of a mother with an unavoidable side-effect resulting in the death of her unborn child is still abortion.
- More than just a symbol, the Eucharist brings the real presence of Jesus spiritually, but not literally (i.e. not His body, blood, soul and divinity).
- We must receive both the body and blood of our Lord to receive him completely.
- Catholicism is one common shared theology, Protestantism is another.
- As Christians, Protestants and Catholics share the same truths of the Gospel.
- We are not “born again.”
- Jesus was partially man and partially divine.
- Mary remained a virgin only through the birth of our Lord.
- Mary had additional children after our Lord’s birth.
- Mary shared the taint of original sin with the rest of humanity.
- Although Mary is the mother of Jesus, she is not the mother of God.
- It is possible that one day, archaeologists could theoretically find Mary’s remains.
- Beseeching the dead to pray for us (“necromancy”) is an abomination to the Lord (Deuteronomy 18:11-12).
- The Vatican’s policy against ordaining women could one day be changed.
- It is impossible to determine if anybody specifically has gone to heaven.
- We know of some people who have definitely gone to hell.
- People in hell can eventually enter heaven.
- Purgatory is another name for hell.
- One difference between Catholics and Protestants is that we also worship Saints.
- At first there were only Christians but later, denominations into Catholics and Protestants occurred.
- When necessary, our doctrines have been changed (e.g. Vatican II or the doctrine of limbo).
- Our faith stays relevant, evolving through infallible declarations of the pope.
- We re-sacrifice Jesus in our liturgy of the Mass.
- The purpose of excommunication is to punish people.
- People who are excommunicated are removed from the Church and are no longer Catholic.
All done? Have you considered each question and determined if it is true or false? Great! Here is the answer key: they are all false! Yup, not a true statement in the batch. Surprised? How to interpret your results depends on a couple of variables:
If you are not Catholic but are comparing this list to your beliefs, you probably would say at least some of these are true. All Protestant denominations would in fact say that some are true, but not agree with each other on which ones.
If you are Catholic and thought that some were true, you are not alone. Our secular, relativistic culture constantly bombards us with false perspectives at odds with the vast treasure and fullness of the Christian faith. We all are called to continuous learning and conversion. The main thing is that you are open to learning and accept the revealed truth of God as taught by Christ’s Church.
If you are Catholic, feel that some are actually true and simply believe that the Church is wrong, that is a different matter. In that case you are denying the truth and denying the authority Jesus gave to His Church. You are not in full communion with Holy Mother Church and all that she teaches, as you promised at confirmation. I urge you to pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance and to study faithful Catholic teaching. The eternal consequences are of the utmost gravity.
Everyone – feel free to leave comments or to contact me privately. I am happy to answer your questions and provide pointers to more information.