Criticism of the Catholic Church
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Criticism of the Catholic Church subsumes critical observations made about the current or historical Roman Catholic Church, in its actions, teachings, omissions, structure, or nature; theological disagreements would be covered on a denominational basis. Criticisms may regard the concepts of papal primacy and supremacy, or aspects of church structure, governance, and particular practices.
Criticism of the Catholic Church in previous centuries was more closely related to theological disputes. The Protestant Reformation (16th century in Europe) came about in no small part due to perceived deviation from Biblical teaching in certain of the Church's practices. These theological grievances were compounded by political disputes, and to this day the debate begun at the Reformation is reflected in the diversity of Christian denominations. Current criticisms of the Roman Catholic church tend to come from outside of Christianity, relating more to concepts in philosophy and culture e.g., Christianity vs. humanism.
Some critics of the Catholic Church have gone as far as claiming that the Catholic Church is the Whore of Babylon in the Book of Revelation. Others have claimed that one reason why unbiblical Catholic doctrine has not been completely removed is because modern Bible versions remove statements from the Bible that refute unsound Catholic doctrines or even add statements onto it to support them.
1 Historical controversies
1.1 Catholics considered as not being Christian
1.2 Catholic teaching considered as unbiblical
1.2.1 Church tradition
1.3 Papal infallibility
1.4 Use of Latin
1.5 Traditionalist and sedevacantist Roman Catholics
1.6 Ordination of women
1.7 Clerical celibacy
1.8 Human sexual behavior and reproductive matters
1.8.1 Opposition to birth control
2 Sexual abuse cases
3 See also
4 Notes and references
 Historical controversies
The present Church is accused by some of crimes committed throughout its history, such as during the Crusades and the Inquisition.
Aside from discussing specific cases, the Church's response (according to the Pope) is that Catholics are "fallen human beings" no less than non-Catholics, and that Church members, including the hierarchy, have been involved in and responsible for crimes, but that this individual guilt cannot be transferred to the body of the Church spanning centuries. In May 1995, Pope John Paul II apologized for certain historic excesses, and in 2000, he asked publicly for pardon "for the sins of Catholics throughout the ages".
 Catholics considered as not being Christian
Historically, many non-Catholics have openly declared Catholics to be "non Christian." Recently, however, this rhetorical device has lost favor, and it is rare that a non-Catholic will overtly mete out that judgment. Most major denominations that will venture to make public pronouncements on the subject will only go so far as to state that Catholics are "apostate Christians," meaning that Catholics are no longer Christians according to whatever standards (usually claimed to be Biblical) the accuser is using at the time. They argue that the Church is at variance with the Bible on any number of theological points, ranging from disagreement with veneration of the apostles and saints, to disagreement with the notion that baptism is necessary to salvation, to disagreement with apostolic succession and Church hierarchy, and Church teachings that faith alone will not justify the Christian (e.g. "The demons believe too"
Dr. Ken Matto asserts "The Roman Catholic Church has been around for about 1700 years. With each passing year they continue to grow more apostate. They are not a Christian denomination but instead could easily be categorized as a cult."
Cartoonist Jack Chick asserts in his pamphlets, which are riddled with his own interpretation of select Bible verses to support his statements, that the Catholic catechism is incompatible with Biblical teaching and that Roman Catholics are not Christians. In fact, his pamphlets teach that Satan rules the Catholic Church, as well as all religions other than Chick's own.
 Catholic teaching considered as unbiblical
Some Protestants charge that Church teachings are unbiblical (for example, ). The contention is that such teachings were late inventions and not part of the original deposit of faith. The Catholic notion of traditio refers to what is passed down, and it is generally considered that the Church predates the Bible in written form. As a result, the institution, in the Catholic faith, of the Church on Earth is an organic growth responsible for the Bible, descended from Christ, and it changes as the world changes.
Protestants who attack the Catholic Church's reliance on tradition cite the doctrines of "sola scriptura" (Scripture only) and "sola fide" (faith only). These scholars hold that the position of the Reformers regarding justification was pronounced as anathema by the Roman Catholic Council of Trent in 1547.
Some opponents of Sola Scriptura argue that, rather than being a return to fundamental Christianity, it is actually more of an innovation than traditional Roman Catholic beliefs. For example, the "salvation through faith alone vs. faith and works" controversy depends on how you read the Epistle of James. The Catholics hold the Epistle of James as important. In the earliest editions of his Bible, Luther wrote his now famous comment: "The St. James Epistle is really an epistle of straw compared to [St. Paul's letters], for it lacks this evangelical character."
In response to these charges, Dave Armstrong argues that, far from straying from the Bible, Catholicism is biblical. He asserts that Catholicism is the only Christian religion that is in full conformity with what the Bible clearly teaches. To demonstrate this, Armstrong (a former Protestant campus missionary) focuses on those issues about which Catholics and Protestants disagree the most: the role of the Bible as a rule of faith, whether we are justified by faith alone, whether doctrine develops, what the Eucharist really is, veneration of Mary and prayer to the saints, the existence of purgatory, the role of penance in salvation, and the nature and infallibility of the papacy. (See "A Biblical Defense of Catholicism" by Dave Armstrong with foreword by John A. Hardon, S. J.)
 Church tradition
Protestants critical of the Catholic Church often attack its reliance on what is referred to as "tradition" by the Church.
Others counter that the notion of "church tradition" does not mean custom. Traditio is that which is handed down — Catholics believe that the whole "deposit of faith" was given by Christ to the apostles. Tradition, the written part of the larger tradition, are the scriptures which, the Church says, must be interpreted in the context of the community founded by Christ.
It is common practice among Catholics to venerate Mary and other saints for supplication, or request help of some sort. Some Protestant Christians argue that in order for Mary and the saints to actually hear all the prayers directed to them, they would by necessity be required to possess the attributes of omniscience and omnipresence, thus allowing them to know all the requests made by either ultimate knowledge or by actually being present with each supplicant simultaneously. It is important to note that non-Catholic sects do not traditionally call on the saints or apostles with anything approaching the Catholic exuberance. However, when Catholics pray to saints they are simply asking for the saint to pray to God for them, not to have the saint do something for them.
The argument is used against the presence of the guardian angel and in some radical Protestant sects against the presence of an aggressive Devil.  Christians have historically believed that only material beings occupy time and space: as spirits, saints and angels do not occupy space. This would suggest that angels and saints do not need to be omnipresent or omnipotent to answer prayers.
For the critics of the traditional role of women in Latin America, see: Marianismo.
Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, asserted "The issue of Mary remains one of the hottest debates on the Protestant/Roman Catholic divide, and new proposals for Marian doctrines are likely to ignite a theological conflagration. At stake is not only the biblical understanding of Mary, but the integrity of the work of Christ."
Others counter by insisting that Mary is not worshipped. Further, the same arguments against devotion to Mary can equally be applied to devotion of any of the saints or apostles.
 Papal infallibility
Main article: Papal infallibility
In Roman Catholic theology, Papal infallibility is the dogma that the Pope is preserved from error when he solemnly promulgates, or declares, to the Church a decision on faith or morals.
This doctrine has a long history, but was not defined dogmatically until the First Vatican Council of 1870. In Catholic theology, papal infallibility is one of the channels of the Infallibility of the Church. Papal infallibility does not signify that the Pope is divinely inspired or that he is specially exempt from liability to sin.
The Old Catholic Churches, organized in the Union of Ultrajectine independent Catholic Churches, resisted Papal infallibility along with the First Vatican Council's dogma of Papal primacy of universal jurisdiction.
 Use of Latin
Before the late 1960s the most known part of the Roman Catholic Church, the Latin rite, used a li...