Catholicism Explained: Does the Church Replace Jesus?

Welcome to the first installment of Catholicism Explained! This is the blog feature where Christians can come together and talk about the Catholic faith, one aspect at a time.

To begin our discussion about what Catholics believe, I thought it'd be a good idea if we discussed one thing Catholics don't believe.

Catholics don't believe salvation comes from anywhere but through Jesus.

I don't know how widespread this misunderstanding is, but some Protestants seem to think that Catholics "replace" Jesus with prayers or works or ceremonies or beliefs - that we place our hope for salvation, not in Jesus, but in the Catholic Church.

A few weeks ago a dear non-Catholic relative of mine told me, "I hope you're placing your hope in Jesus Christ, and not in your confirmation or your baptism." That made me giggle a little bit. The thought of me placing my hope in my confirmation or my baptism instead of in Jesus was just so ridiculous.

Not that I don't put hope in my confirmation or my baptism - I do - but only because it is through these sacraments that Jesus comes to me. Confirmation and baptism and the Holy Eucharist don't replace Jesus; they lead me to Him. They unite me with Him.
The First Holy Communion:
That's the way the entire Catholic Church works. It doesn't offer a different way to Heaven - it is the way to the Way. It's a doorway through which Jesus' blood flows, a window through which God's grace streams.

Next week, on the feast of Corpus Christi, I'll talk at some length about one of the ways Jesus comes to Catholics most vividly: the Holy Eucharist.

Well! Sorry if the hurriedness with which I wrote this post came blatantly through. :) Any questions? Concerns? Comments? Let's talk!


  1. The first post is up! It's a good topic to start with, but I'm wondering if you can take things a little slower?
    You've shown me what you don't believe (which is also a good thing to start with), but can you then show me what you do believe- with references? I've been looking through www.vatican/va/archive, is that a good, valid resource?
    I'd advise that you pretend that I know absolutely nothing of Catholicism, nothing of the terminology, history, practices, etc. That way you can walk me through it with more clarity.

    Anyhow, it's nice to see this thing started! Thanks!

    1. Wow, thanks for those suggestions, Blue! They're very helpful, and I'll try to be more clear and understandable from here on out. :)

      That website is an awesome resource! I can't think of anything more valid.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. I agree! Lovely that someone is doing this! I could go on for ages on the Catholic understanding subject if I had the time!


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