Poll: Catholics & Protestants More Similar Now Than at Any Other Time in History

Catholics across Europe believe Protestant teachings, don’t go to Mass

by Trey Elmore • ChurchMilitant • September 1, 2017

DETROIT – As the 500th anniversary of the Protestant revolt approaches in October, the Pew Research Center has released a new survey showing that Catholics view the Catholic faith as “similar” to Protestantism.

The percentage of Catholics who believe that Catholicism and Protestantism are similar ranges from large minorities in Ireland, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Portugal, to 50 percent in France and a 67-percent majority in the Netherlands.

Pew’s measure of religiosity in this study found that no more than 40 percent of Catholics in any country say that their religion is very important in their lives. Portuguese Catholics came in at 40 percent with British Catholics polling at 10 percent.

Mass attendance among Catholics in Europe topped out at 28 percent. Spain, Ireland and Italy also reported Mass attendance rates in the 20 percent range. Austria, Germany, France and Switzerland reported Mass attendance in the teens. Mass attendance in the Netherlands, Belgium and the United Kingdom is in the single digits.

Church Militant has long commented on and sounded the alarm concerning the steep decline of Catholic identity. Catholics increasingly fail to understand the important differences between the Catholic Church and the Protestant heresy, owing to a lack of solid or in-depth catechesis.

For example, Bp. Robert Barron has publicly referred to Martin Luther as a mystic of grace. In June, a parish of the diocese of Pittsburgh hosted an event titled “An Evening of Thanksgiving in Remembrance of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.” Church Militant was present at the ceremony, which took place in the nave of St. Kilian’s parish in Cranberry Township. the speakers made no mention of the condemnations of Protestant errors by the Council of Trent.

The lack of Catholic identity, which has created a steep and continuing drop in the practice of the faith among Catholic youth, is taking place alongside the older generations of still-practicing Catholics who, however, are beginning to die off.

Self-identified Catholics and Protestants both are more likely to believe that both faith and works are necessary for salvation. The study found that large percentages of Catholics believe that “faith alone” is necessary for salvation. In Switzerland, 33 percent of Catholics responded that faith alone was necessary for salvation, while only 30 percent of Swiss Protestants said the same.

Switzerland is the one country where Pew found Catholics to poll above Protestants professing Protestant doctrines on salvation, meaning Catholics affirmed Protestant teachings at a higher rate than the Protestants themselves. Switzerland, however, is where Saint Francis de Sales spent years preaching and distributing tracts to the Calvinists there, bringing tens of thousands back to the Catholic Church.

Sacred Scripture reads in James 2:24, “You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.” It was this epistle that Martin Luther referred to as “an epistle of straw.” This passage is the only place in the New Testament where the words “faith” and “alone” occur side by side.

The Council of Trent’s Decree on Justification, Canon IX, states:

If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified, in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will, let him be anathema.

Protestants who profess the heresy of “sola fide,” and its close cousin, “eternal assurance,” are divided on the nature of the doctrines themselves. Michael Voris reviews the different “flavors” of so-called “once saved, always saved” teaching in this episode of Church Militant’s flagship premium program The One True Faith.

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  1. It’s getting tougher to canonize Luther. According to
    White Evangelicals stood out as the strongest believers in faith alone, however.

    That means the only Luther-lovers Francis will be appeasing are Trump supporters. Maybe Francis can rethink whatever he has planned for the 500-year gala.

  2. “Russia will spread her errors throughout the world.”

    “Various nations will be annihilated.”

    It’s OK, neo-Catholic modernists and anti-Fatima debunkers assure us that there is nothing to fear concerning apocalyptic chastisements or disasters, even as the nuclear threat in the Pacific heats up and civilization collapses in Europe. Nope. That was all taken care of by modernist bureaucrats in the Vatican in 2000, even before 9-11. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along. Atheistic Communism in Russia won’t be spreading any more errors, even as anarchist and Communist street riots erupt with Alinskyite and Fabian Socialist agitators. Nope. It was only a papal assassination attempt in 1981. That was all. Everything’s fine now. Enjoying the era of peace? How about the unborn? Are they enjoying it? No? You must be indulging conspiracy theories and wild speculation by Fatimists who refuse to obey the modernist Vatican. Some people just refuse to see things the modernist way. There are no more apocalyptic perils or chastisements. “It was only the assassination attempt on John Paul II in 1981. It was only the assassination attempt on John Paul II in 1981. It was only….”

    Dr. Boris Balinkoff: Now, at the count of three, I want you to forget everything you have heard about “In Portugal the dogma of the faith will always be preserved, etc.”….One….two….

    Dr. Boris Balinkoff: Look deeply into my eyes….You are feeling very sleepy. Forget everything you have ever heard about the Fatima prophecy or the traditional Catholic teachings on marriage.

    Mary Ann I can’t remember anything before the Beatles were on the Ed Sullivan Show. I can’t even remember my name.

    Gilligan I can’t remember anything before Vatican II. I can’t remember anything before the Dodgers lost the World Series.

    Gilligan: I’d like to help you, Ginger. I just can’t remember anything after I lost my Mickey Mantle baseball card.

    Gilligan: I remember Lyndon Johnson saying there would be a thorough investigation and then everything just goes blank.

    May Ann: Well, that’s strange.

    Mr. Howell: Lyndon Johnson! Good heavens, man. The tax-and-spend policies alone are enough reason to want to forget.

    The Skipper: Maybe when that coconut fell on Gilligan’s head it did some brain damage. But it’s funny, I can’t remember what I was going to do.

    The Professor: Something strange is happening. Everyone on this island is losing their memories.

    Dr. Boris Balinkoff: It’s all going according to plan!

    Dr. Evil: Exactly how much can we make them forget?

    Dr. Bombay: They made them forget about the first Darrin Stephens, the alterations to the Zapruder film, the Lee Harvey Oswald double in Mexico City, and the UFOs that flew over Washington in 1952.

    Darrin Stephens They did?

    Dr. Bellows: Oh, yes, I’m afraid so.

    Major Nelson: Did you have anything to do with that?

    The Professor: Gilligan, have you ever heard of hypnosis? Brainwashing? Mind control? The Chinese term xinao used to describe the methods of “coercive persuasion” by the Maoists in Communist Red China?

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