What Catholics Really Believe - 52 Answers To Common Misconceptions About The Catholic Faith

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What Catholics Really Believe by Karl Keating


Have you heard these common misconceptions?

  • Whatever the pope says is the gospel truth.
  • At every Mass Jesus is sacrificed again.

The popular apologist and best-selling author of Catholicism and Fundamentalism addresses fifty-two of the most common misconceptions about the Catholic Faith that are held by many Catholics and Protestants. Drawing upon Scripture and the Catholic tradition, he not only shows the logical errors in these positions but clearly spells out Catholic teaching and explains the rationale behind frequently misunderstood doctrines and practices. An excellent guide to what Catholics really believe and why.

About the author:

Karl Keating is the founder and president of Catholic Answers. He had been working as an attorney for several years when, on leaving Mass one Sunday, he found anti-Catholic tracts on the windshields of the cars in the church parking lot. He wrote his own tract in reply and distributed copies of it at the Fundamentalist church responsible for the anti-Catholic tract. That was the start of what has become the country’s largest lay-run apologetics and evangelization organization.

Catholic Answers was incorporated in 1982, and in 1988 Karl left the practice of law and went into apostolic work full time. That year marked the publication of his Catholicism and Fundamentalism, the first book to deal extensively with challenges posed by “Bible Christians.” Other books followed: What Catholics Really Believe, Nothing But the Truth, The Usual Suspects, and Controversies. He is at work on several more titles.

For nine years Karl served as the editor of This Rock. He has been a columnist for the National Catholic Register and the Canadian Catholic Review and has written for many other publications. Each Tuesday he answers questions on “Catholic Answers Live.” His avocations include backpacking (his favorite locales are the High Sierra and the Grand Canyon) and flying.

"Catholics and others who want to play with a full deck will welcome the fifty-two explanations provided by Karl Keating in What Catholics Really Believe. He deals with each question crisply and clearly. Readers can await the last trump with equanimity."
-Ralph McInerny, University of Notre Dame

"With erudition, wit, and charm, Karl Keating explains some of the most common misunderstandings of the Roman Catholic Church. I highly recommend this work to Catholics seeking better to understand our Faith."
-Cardinal John O'Connor, Archdiocese of New York

"Keating is simply one of the best Catholic apologists alive. He writes in the tradition of, and as a worthy successor to, Frank Sheed and Fulton Sheen. He is thoroughly orthodox, reasonable, clear, and interesting."
-Peter Kreeft, Author, Fundamentals of the Faith



Book One: The Teaching Church and Its Authority

  • The pope can change doctrine.
  • Infallibility means that everything the pope says is true.
  • Vatican II teaches that the Church should be like a democracy.  That's why we have parich councils.
  • Vatican II was such a watershed that it's now a waste of time to read the book written before the Council.
  • Catholics who leave the Church will go to hell.
  • The Church teaches that as long as a Catholic goes to Mass and confess any serious sin, they will go to heaven.
  • We shouldn't spend money on building fancy churches

Book Two: The Bible - Its Inerrancy and Authenticity

  • Before modern times, paypeople weren't allowed to read the Bible.
  • Because of ecumenism Catholics may now read any Bible.
  • Only priests or qualified religious can teach Scripture classes.
  • The Gospels contain lots of inconsistencies.
  • All right, but the Old Testament has lots of contradictions and people and people have known that for at least a century.
  • Catholics don't believe in the inerrancy of the Bible.

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