I did not write this. I pulled it from a Catholic site. I can’t give credit because I can’t remember the site. If someone else writes it, and writes it well, then I have no problem stealing it. It’s good info for my non-Catholic friends.
Catholics Worship Mary
Catholics often carry and pray Rosaries or have statues of Mary in their homes, so it can appear that Mary is on the same level as God. However, Catholics do not worship Mary, and doing so would be a grave sin in the Catholic faith. Instead, she is given great honor. After all, Mary is the mother of Jesus, who is God. Therefore, Mary is the Mother of God and deserves honor and respect. The Fourth Commandment is “Honor thy father and mother.” Jesus would never break this commandment and neither should we. When Catholics say they are praying to Mary, they mean that they are praying for her intercession—that she will take their prayers directly to Jesus, her own son. It’s a similar concept to asking someone you know to pray for you. Intercessory prayer is very different from worship that is due to God alone.
Catholics Aren’t Saved
Many well-meaning Protestants try to “save” their Catholic friends and are genuinely concerned for their eternal salvation. However, Catholics define “saved” in a different way than Protestants. Catholics believe that the sacrament of Baptism is the beginning of salvation when the baptized person is cleansed of Original Sin (the sin of Adam and Eve, passed on to all humans). After Baptism, Catholics must remain in a state of grace in order to enter heaven at death. Certain sins, called mortal sins, are very serious and take away grace. To commit a mortal sin, the sin must be serious, and the sinner must know the sin is serious and willingly commit it. There is no “laundry list” of mortal sins, but such acts as murder, adultery and worship of idols could be considered serious. Grace is restored when the sinner receives forgiveness through the Sacrament of Confession. Therefore, a Catholic must be in a state of grace to be “saved” and enter heaven and eternal life with God.
Catholics Must Obey the Pope
Catholics view the pope as the leader of the Catholic Church, but he is not an absolute authority. Like any leader, the pope is human and is subject to sin and human weakness. He is entitled to express opinions and give advice to Catholics; however, these are not necessarily official Church teachings. The only time the pope is considered infallible, or giving a teaching that is free from error and inspired by God, is when he speaks “ex cathedra,” or “from the chair.” This rarely occurs; in fact there are only two ex cathedra teachings given in the entire 2000-plus year history of the Church. Catholics obey God and Church teachings and doctrines, which also bind the pope.