Catholic children in procession with incense

Hello Rosary Lovers! In this post we will be asking: Do Catholics believe God?

The Opposition: Catholics Don’t Believe God

We will start with the opposing or negative side to this question. Let us suppose that Catholics don’t believe God.

This was the chief argument of the Protestant Reformers. They claimed that Catholics and the Catholic Church had abandoned God and didn’t believe God.

The Reformers argued for this based on the following.

Catholics don’t believe in the premise of Scripture alone. Catholics do all sorts of things that aren’t based upon Scripture and that even go against Scripture.

Things like the celebration of the Mass as a Sacrifice. Things like prayers to and veneration of saints. Things like a priesthood and Bishops, and especially a Pope.

The Protestant Reformers said that none of these things can be found in the Bible. In fact, they go against the clear teaching of Scripture.

The Bible is God’s word, and God’s only infallible Word for us today. Since Catholics go against this Word, they are going against God.

Many Protestants today still say the same sorts of things, often without ever having come into contact with the Catholic Church as it actually is, or having studied Catholicism and how it relates to Scripture.

The Positive: Catholics Do Believe God

On the other side of the question, Catholics claim that they do in fact believe God, and more so than any other religious or Christian group.


Apostolic Traditions

Because Catholics claim that they are following the Traditions handed down by the Apostles and the successors of the Apostles.

Catholics believe that the Apostles gave many teachings to the Christians of the 1st century, and that these teachings were preserved for all time.

Catholics believe many of these teachings are not found in the Bible, but are part of ‘Unwritten Sacred Tradition.’

Paul speaks this way in 2 Thessalonians 2:15: “Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours.

You can see from this statement that Paul puts all traditions – written or unwritten – on exactly the same footing. Christians must ‘stand firm’ and ‘hold fast’ to ‘the traditions that you were taught’ by the Apostles.

The Protestant way around this is to suggest that though this was true in the Apostles’ day, it is not true now because we have all of Scripture. The Christians of the 1st century didn’t have the completeness of Scripture. Now, however, since we have all of Scripture, all of these unwritten traditions can be found in Scripture. So we don’t need unwritten tradition.

I’m sorry, but this is an argument from complete silence. It’s an assumption.

Nowhere does Scripture teach that when the Scriptures were complete we wouldn’t need unwritten traditions anymore.

Nowhere does Scripture teach that when the Scriptures are complete, we can safely assume that all unwritten traditions would be in Scripture and so we can just go by Scripture from then on.

This is all assumption.

Not to mention that it is assumption that goes against the entire thrust of belief that the Apostles held to. The Apostles did not believe that only written tradition (Scripture) was necessary. They believed both unwritten and written traditions were necessary and must be preserved and we must all obey them.

Presumably we all want to follow the Christianity of the Apostles.

The Sacrifice of the Mass

Catholics also claim that many of their beliefs and practices can actually be found in Scripture.

Take for instance the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Scripture teaches that Jesus Christ is the High Priest of the New Covenant. Well, the purpose of a High Priest is to offer Sacrifice, daily, to God.

So if Jesus is our High Priest, where is his Sacrifice today?

We might point to the Cross, but this was 2000 years ago. Where is this Sacrifice TODAY?

The answer is: it’s in the Eucharist. The Eucharist is Jesus Christ, by the hands of his Body the Church, daily offering his Body and Blood to God.

The Eucharist is the unbloody Sacrifice of the bloody Sacrifice of the Cross. Both are exactly the same Sacrifice, but the Eucharist is the Cross offered in unbloody form.

We have Malachi 1:11 to prove this: ‘For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts.’

Notice that God prophesies through the Prophet that ‘in every place’ there will be a future Sacrifice, a future ‘pure offering’ which will be offered by ‘the heathen’, the Gentiles.

This has only and can only be fulfilled in the Holy Sacrifice and Offering of the Eucharist. There is no other daily fulfilment of this prophesy in every place by Gentiles all over the world.

Veneration of Saints

As for prayers to saints and their veneration, we have multitudes of places in Scripture where Old Testament characters bow down before holy people, and show them great respect.

You’ll see this when you read through the Old Testament. See for instance 2 Kings 2:15: “The guild prophets in Jericho, who were on the other side, saw him and said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” They went to meet him, bowing to the ground before him.”

This is far from the only occurance.

Not to mention all the many, many times that holy people converse with Angels in Scripture. Such as Mary addressing the Archangel Gabriel, or Samson’s parents addressing the Angel.

These are PRAYERS to angels, conversations between those living in the flesh in the present, and Angels who dwell in heaven.

Or take Psalm 103:20: “Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.”

This is a conversation with the angels, all of them. A living person is speaking to angels in this verse.

Bishops and the Papacy

Scripture teaches that the Church has Bishops because of the likes of Titus and Timothy. They were not merely pastors of a local church. These men were rulers of an entire Diocese, that is, an entire area of churches.

Titus was the Archbishop of Crete: “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee.’

Notice here how Paul the Apostle leaves Titus to be the Head Ruler of the Churches of Crete. As Archbishop, Titus was to ordain elders/Bishops in every city.

And then there is the Papacy. Catholics look no further than Matthew 16:17-20, where Jesus tells Peter: ‘You are Peter and on this Rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.’

Catholics never tire of pointing to this passage of Scripture, where Jesus gives St Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven and ordains him as the Rock of Christ’s Church.

This is the Papal Office and Peter was therefore the first Pope.

If we want to be in a Church which the gates of hell cannot conquer, and which will last forever, we need to be in the Church of St Peter. We need Peter.

Peter, however, is in heaven. So where is Peter today?

In Peter’s successor: the Pope of Rome, Pope Francis.

So we’ve seen from just these few common accusations against what Catholics believe that actually their beliefs are found in Scripture and are not against Scripture.


Ultimately there are a million ways that non-Catholics criticise the Catholic Church for not being faithful to Scripture or to the Truth, and therefore to God. There are plenty of ways to claim that Catholics don’t believe God.

As a Catholic, I believe firmly that Catholics do believe God. Many of us don’t believe God very well, because we often sin when we should know better. Many of us also don’t believe God very well because we don’t obey his Body, the Church, very well.

But ultimately, it is the Catholics who can rightly claim to believe God out of all peoples of the world. This is because the holy Catholic Church is the Church which God has established in this world, and it is the People of the living God.

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