Catholics don't pray to saints in the traditional sense - its more to ask them for help in gaining forgiveness for sins, ask them to help protect
against Evil and the work of the Devil and thank them for their efforts.
The traditional defense of this practice. However, the word 'pray' is an oly English word that means to 'ask'. You are saying that you are not
asking for help, but are praying for intersession with God? From those who, according to the Bible, 'know nothing' until they are resurrected? With
the exception of those who were resurrected when Christ was.
And worshiping Idols
The crucifix is not worshipped, its the person that is on it that is worshipped...ie Jesus. To Catholics, the crucifix represents Jesus, his struggle
and death for anyone who believes.
As with statues of the Virgin Mary, they are not worshipped, they are there as a reminder to live a good life.
Again, definition. Worship; to declare the worth-ship of someone or something. Many are bowing down to, giving gifts at, and praying in the
direction, same as other idol worshippers. So if a Buddhist states he does not really think that rock is a god, is he not really an idolator? He is
just using it to represent some other thing, to help him focus. Neither of you is doing anything different. Proof is in the pudding. Have you ever
been to Europe? They consider the U.S. to be a prodigal son. There, they have little 'graven images' supposedly of 'saints' by the road sides,
all over. And people bring gifts to that 'saint', just like they used to in ancient Rome, to all the idols. Same practice, different excuse. I
don't buy it.
This is also an issue that a lot of non-catholics seem to have all wrong. The pope is not
our connection to God. He's just a religious
leader, borne of a democratic vote by cardinals. He gives his views on how we should live morally (as any religious leader does) and we personally
choose whether we agree or not.
Wrong! By official Catholic doctrine, the Pope is the Vicarious Filli Dei, the vice-regent of the Son of God. He is the ONLY one with the indwelling
of the Holy Spirit, even tho the Bible is clear that ALL people who accept God's offered forgiveness through Jesus death for us, are immediately
indwelt, and have become adopted Sons of God. That is why you have death-bed confessions; if you don't, you lose, and you can not be saved. Noone
living, except the pope, is actually 'saved'. Yes, a vote by the cardinals, and most of them are members of Opus Dei, an athiest group of Catholic
priests, and higher. He gives views, but when he speaks officially, it is supposed to be right from God. Ex Cathedra, I think, if I recall.
Unfortunately the true origins of the Catholic church will probably never be revealed, personally i believe that is stemmed from Rome to promote
peace, profit and power and even though our religious leaders have profusely apologized for past behavior, that past will always be there. But to
Catholics, the origin is not important, its the spirituality. Like with any religion, but our is based on the Idea that Christ died for us, that we
should follow his teachings and that we owe him.
So yes, I believe that when it comes down to it, Catholics are extremely Christian (with a lot of the unnecessary Frills that follow organized
I recall reading in the official works from the Vatican, and I don't recall what exactly it is called, but that the Pope did NOT want Catholics
to call themselves 'Christian', but CATHOLIC. He stressed that there is a big difference, and that Catholics should be proud to make the
distinction. That is official Catholic doctrine that you are messing with. Aside from normal usage as Catholicism being a Christian religion. It is
actually a blend of Roman paganism, with the new religion taking over in Rome, that threatened the Roman Emperor, Constantine. He even started a
legend; 'In Hoc Signo Winces'. Some don't even think he was a Believer in Christ. No evidence he was. 'Do not blend Holy with Unholy'. And the
witness is this, that God has given us eternal life. And this life is in his Son. He who has the Son, has the life. He who does not have the Son
of God, does not have the life'. No mention of any churches at all.