For Roman Catholics

One of the hardest things I do at Willard is try to convince Roman Catholics as to what their Church actually teaches. This holds true even for the most serious of Roman Catholic students.


The Filioque
Many Roman Catholics I speak to do not believe their Church teaches that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son equally and eternally. This, and the teaching that the Pope is the head of the entire Church, is what originally split the Orthodox East and the Roman Catholic West.

Read these Orthodox Rebuttals: “The Filioque” (an essay by Gary Cattell) and “The Nicene Creed in the First Seven Councils” (from the Church Fathers)

Original Sin
Most Roman Catholics seem to no longer believe their Church teaches that babies are born guilty of sin. Please notice that if you are Roman Catholic and believe that only death and pains of the body have been passed down from Adam but not sin that you are anathematized.

Also pay careful attention to the condemnation of John Wyclif for saying that it is stupid to say that when the children of the faithful die without baptism they will not be saved. This seems to indicate that the Roman Catholic Church taught in an infallible ecumenical council that unbaptized babies go to Hell. Note the mistranslation of Romans 5:12. This may have been a contributing factor to their misunderstanding of Original Sin.

An Orthodox Response: “The Consequences of the Fall,” by Bishop Kallistos Ware

Papal Supremacy
The following councils [link] show that the Roman Catholic Church believes the Pope is the infallible head of the entire Church.

Read these Orthodox rebuttals: “Against Rome’s Claim of Supremacy”“Peter”, and “Pope Honorius” (a pope universally anathematized for the heresy of Monothelitism).

The Roman Catholic Church believes when the bread and wine are consecrated their substance no longer remains, but is wholly transformed into the body and blood of Christ.

This is opposed to the Orthodox view that after the consecration the bread and wine remain with the body and blood of Christ.

Position on the Orthodox Church
Many Roman Catholics today are being taught that there are no real doctrinal differences between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches. Those Orthodox who claim that there are substantial differences are being accused of not representing their church correctly. Hopefully this site will help to dispel that myth.

Additional Information

Notes from “Popes and Patriarchs”
Michael Whelton in his book Popes and Patriarchs describes the many of the problems he found with the Roman Catholic Church while converting from the Anglicanism, to Roman Catholicism, and eventually to Orthodoxy. The book’s strongest arguments are outlined here.

Questions and Answers
Quickly understand the major issues dividing Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy by reading an exchange between the Willard Preacher and an inquirer who rejected Protestantism and was looking into both Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism.