Questions for Roman Catholics

by Matt Slick

Following is a list of questions that I sometimes ask Roman Catholics in various discussions. The responses vary from defensive tradition to ignoring them and hoping to go away. Some of the questions are easier for Roman Catholics to respond to, and others are not. I hope that these might be helpful in your dialogs with the Roman Catholics as you try to present to them the true and saving gospel of Jesus Christ


  1. When Jesus instituted the supper, he had not yet been crucified. How then was the Eucharist his crucified body and blood?
  2. If, as the Roman Catholic Church teaches, that the Eucharist Wine is the literal blood of Christ, then how is that not violating the Old Testament law against drinking the blood of any flesh (Lev. 17:14)?
  3. How is it possible for the Eucharist to be the actual body and blood of Christ if, by definition, a human body is only in one place at one time as Jesus' body was in the incarnation, especially when you realize that Jesus is still a man (1 Tim. 2:5; Col. 2:9).

    Interpreting Scripture

  4. The Roman Catholic Church says that individuals are not allowed to interpret the Bible, but that they must submit to the teaching authority of the Catholic Church.  How then can you know if the Catholic Church is correct if you can't check it against Scripture?  Remember, Paul praised the Bereans for checking even what he said against scripture (Acts 17:11).
    1. "The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ," (CCC par. 85).
    2. " one, relying on his own skill, shall,--in matters of faith, and of morals pertaining to the edification of Christian doctrine,--wresting the sacred Scripture to his own senses, presume to interpret the said sacred Scripture contrary to that sense which holy mother Church,--whose it is to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the holy Scriptures,--hath held and doth hold," (Trent, Session 4, "Decree Concerning the Edition, and the Use, of the Sacred Books")
  5. Does the phrase "let each man be convinced his own mind" (Romans 14:5) mean that a person is able to look at the Scriptures and be fully convinced according to what he sees it says?  If not, why not? 
  6. If the phrase "let each man before he convinced his own mind" means that he is able to interpret Scripture on his own, what does he do if he believes what he sees in Scripture contradicts the Roman Catholic Church's teaching?
  7. If the phrase "let each man before he convinced his own mind" means that he is able to interpret Scripture on his own, then doesn't that contradict the official teaching of the Roman Catholic Church which denies you the right to interpret God's word regarding faith, morals, and doctrine in a manner inconsistent with what it proclaims? 
  8. How many verses has the Roman Catholic Church officially, infallibly interpreted?  It is extremely low.  How then do you know what is actually correct?


  9. Can you, as a Catholic, pray directly to Jesus, not going through Mary, and ask Jesus to forgive you of all of your sins?
    1. John 14:14, "If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it."
  10. If you did, would you be forgiven of all your sins?
  11. If you were forgiven by Jesus, then do you need all the rituals and sacraments of the RCC in order to be forgiven?
  12. If you’re not forgiven by Jesus when you pray to him and ask him to forgiven you, then why is Jesus not enough to save you?


  13. Do you really believe that Mary is able to hear and understand the prayers of millions of people all over the world, simultaneously, in different languages, spoken, and thought?
  14. If you do believe has all of those abilities, how are you not attributing godlike abilities to her?
  15. Why pray to Mary when Jesus said to come to him (Matt. 11:28), ask him anything (John 14:14), and he has all authority in heaven and earth (Matt. 28:18)?  Isn't Jesus capable enough without Mary?
  16. Is Mary better than Jesus?
    1. "After speaking of the Church, her origin, mission, and destiny, we can find no better way to conclude than by looking to Mary," (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 972).

      Oral tradition

  17. What exactly is oral tradition?  Is it passed down from one person to another via whispering, talking, writing?  Have you ever thought about this?
  18. Where does this oral tradition come from in present day?  Is it in the Vatican only?  If so, why?  If not, then where is it?
  19. How is the oral tradition passed down? By word of mouth only?  If so, how do you know it is true?  
  20. Is all the oral tradition inspired and inerrant?
  21. Are these oral traditions immune from corruption through the many centuries and hundreds of generations of oral communication?
  22. Who then are these people who have this oral tradition?
  23. When is the oral tradition given to them?
  24. Is it given to them in the halls of the Vatican? Is there a special room where they meet, and everybody in it talks about things of ancient times?
  25. Do the members of the magisterium recognize what is ancient oral tradition and what is not? If so, how?
  26. If not, how does the Church know which oral traditions are true and which are false?
  27. What standard does the magisterium use to judge what is authentic oral tradition?


  28. Is a Protestant wrong for praying to Jesus alone and asking Jesus to forgive them all of his sins?


  29. What is the saving gospel?
  30. Are you keeping the commandments of God?
  31. Are you doing what is necessary to be saved? In Roman Catholicism that which is necessary for salvation includes the church (CCC 846), baptism (CCC 1257), penance (CCC 980), sacraments (CCC 1129), service and witness to the faith (CCC 1816), keeping the ten commandments (CCC 2036 and 2070), and detachment from riches (CCC 2556).
  32. If you are keeping the commandments of God, do you also go to confession?
  33. Since it is possible for you to lose your salvation in Roman Catholicism, are you doing enough good works to keep yourself saved?


  34. Is it okay to exceed what is written in Scripture and teach things that are not taught in Scripture as though they are doctrinally true?

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.