I remember the first time that someone questioned me about the biblical basis for Catholic doctrine. I wasn't sure how to answer. Now, I had been raised in a Catholic family. Some people commonly refer to people such as myself as "cradle Catholics." For almost each of the first sixteen years of my life, I had undergone some type of Catholic instruction.
I knew enough about the Bible to "know" that some of the beliefs which my interrogator held, were indeed unbiblical. Here I was though, searching my memory for some reference to Scripture, which supported the belief which was in question. I came up blank. This was before Google, Yahoo, or Bing, but after I had graduated high school, long after I had stopped attending Mass, and very long after I had "finished" my faith formation.
This created a quandary. Here were two opposing groups. There appeared to be some Biblical truth to the claims of each, and some appeared to be contradictory to one another! My post-Vatican II Catholic education had not prepared me for these challenges to my faith.
To compound matters, my parents had recently divorced. My parents, especially my Mother, had been my spiritual role models until this point. If you know anything about Catholicism, divorce is kind of a big no-no.
I was at the beginning of a very dark period in my life. Not only had my belief in Catholicism been clouded in doubt, but Christianity as a whole. This book, the Bible, appeared to contradict itself with every turn of the page. Relative morality crept in to my conscience when my parents divorced.
I subsequently spent thirteen years away from my home, the Catholic Church, and most of that away from Christ. If "The Bible Papist" has no other message, it is this: This does not need to happen to anyone else!
To non-Catholic Christians: In your efforts to evangelize Catholics by "proving" Catholicism "wrong," it has been my experience that this does more damage than good.
To Catholics: If you ever face questions such as "Where is that in the Bible?," or "If you were to die today, are you certain that you will go to heaven?," there is a Catholic answer! But more than that, Catholicism is a rich, beautiful faith.
Welcome to "The Bible Papist," and thank you for joining me on my faith journey!