Do You Know the Truth Behind These Common Misconceptions About Catholicism?

By: Annette
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Catholicism is a timeless and beautiful religion that has been around for centuries. And there are some misconceptions. The good news is that by taking this quiz, you're clearing it all up! Amen.

True or False: Catholics discourage Bible reading.

This is one of the biggest misconceptions about the Catholic church. In fact, the Bible is read aloud at every Mass by the priest!

True or False: The first Bible was produced by the Catholic Church.

This is the truth. The first Christian Bible was produced by the Catholic Church. It was compiled by scholars in the 2nd and 3rd centuries.

True or False: Johannes Gutenberg was a Catholic.

This is also true. Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press, was a Catholic. He is responsible for the very first printed Bible.

True or False: The first Bible with chapters and numbered verses was produced by the Catholic Church.

The very first Bible with chapters and numbered verses was produced by the Catholic Church. It was the work of Stephen Langton, Cardinal Archbishop of Canterbury.

True or False: Most Catholic homes have a Bible.

It's true that pretty much every Catholic home has a Bible. The Bible is also taught in Catholic schools.

True or False: In the past, Bibles were locked away in churches.

It is true that Bibles were often locked away in churches in the past. This is because Bibles were rare and costly, so there was fear that they might be stolen.

True or False: Catholics are not supposed to use the King James Version of the Bible.

Catholics are allowed to study the King James Version of the Bible, or any other version they please. However, in the U.S., the New American Bible is generally used during Mass.

True or False: Catholics worship Mary.

There is a subtle distinction here between worship and reverence. Worship is reserved for God, but reverence is not.

True or False: Catholics aren't Christians.

Did you know that Catholics were the first Christians? Early Christian writing is startlingly the doctrines and teachings of the Catholic Church.

True or False: The Pope is infallible in all things.

This is a false misconception about the Pope. There are only certain instances where the Pope is considered to be totally right.

True or False: When the Pope makes a decree on matters of faith, it is right.

This is something that Catholics truly believe. When the Pope makes a decree on matters of faith or morals, then it's infallible.

True or False: The Pope speaks with the full authority of the Papacy.

It's true that the Pope speaks with the full authority of the Papacy. It's also believed that his declarations are binding on the whole Church.

True or False: The Pope can be fallible when it comes to science.

It's true that the Pope can be fallible in terms of science. Infallibility only applies to matters of faith and morals.

True or False: The Pope's decrees are equal to the Word of God.

It's true that the Pope's decrees are equal to the Word of God. By denying any of his solemn decrees, you are committing a mortal sin.

True or False: The Pope says, “Let him be anathema” to those who don't believe a solemn decree.

It's true that “Let him be anathema” comes as the final sentence of solemn decrees. This pertains to those who don't believe the decree and essentially means excommunication, not damnation.

True or False: Pope John Paul II decreed that women cannot be priests.

It's true that Pope John Paul II decreed that women cannot be priests. This is based on the fact that Jesus only chose men as his apostles.

True or False: The Catholic Church is opposed to science.

It's untrue that the Catholic Church is opposed to science. Many great scientific advances have come through Catholic scholarship and education.

True or False: A Catholic priest proposed the Big Bang Theory.

It's true that a Catholic priest first proposed the Big Bang Theory. When Monsignor Georges Lemaître proposed it, Einstein rejected it at first.

True or False: The Catholic Church denies evolution.

It's false that the Catholic Church denies evolution. However, whatever evolution has taken place was by God's design.

True or False: Catholic schools teach evolution.

It's true that Catholic schools around the world teach evolution. In 2004, Cardinal Ratzinger (later known as Pope Benedict XVI) was greatly in support of it with a famous statement.

True or False: Today, you can pay to have your sins removed.

Indulgences are no longer about paying to have your sins forgiven. The sale of indulgences was rampant in the Middle Ages, however, until 1567, when the practice was banned.

True or False: When a person sins, there are two kinds of punishment.

This is a true statement. When a person sins, there is eternal and temporal punishment. One is in Hell, and the other is on Earth.

True or False: Purgatory is a temporal punishment.

It's true that Purgatory is a temporal punishment. Temporal punishment can be removed when one confesses his sins and is forgiven.

True or False: Emperor Constantine invented Catholicism.

It's false that Emperor Constantine invented Catholicism. He did convert to Christianity and convened the first ecumenical Council of Nicaea.

True or False: Catholic priests are not allowed to marry.

While it's true that Catholic priests cannot get married, some priests are married. The Eastern Church allows a married man to become a priest, but he cannot become a bishop. Also, an unmarried man may not get married after he has taken priestly vows.

True or False: The Catholic version of the Old Testament is different from the Protestant version.

It's true that the Catholic version of the Old Testament differs from the Protestant version. There are seven more books than in the Protestant Bible.

True or False: The Catholic Church added books to the Bible.

In fact, it was Martin Luther and the Reformers who chose to omit some books from the Bible. The books had been controversial for a long time prior to the Reformation, because they were not part of the Hebrew Bible.

True or False: Hanukkah is mentioned in the Catholic Bible.

It's true that Hanukkah is mentioned in 1 and 2 Maccabees. It's not mentioned at all in the Hebrew Bible!

True or False: Most priests are pedophiles.

And here, we're entering a sensitive subject. A study found that only 0.3% of priests were involved in the pedophilia scandal.

True or False: The Da Vinci Code is true.

Even Dan Brown doesn't think the Da Vinci Code is true, although he used a great deal of actual background material. Dan Brown admits to writing the story as part of his own spiritual journey.

True or False: Catholics believe in the Immaculate Conception.

It's true that Catholics believe in the Immaculate Conception, per Catholic doctrine. However, Mary does not have a place above the Son and the Holy Father.

True or False: The Eucharist is literally body and blood.

It's a figure of speech, folks. Contrary to what some may say, Catholics are not cannibals.

True or False: Today, Catholics cannot eat meat on Fridays.

Catholics can eat meat of Fridays. The old decree was only in effect till 1983.

True or False: Some Catholics bury statues of St. Joseph in their yards.

It's true. St. Joseph is considered to be the patron saint of real estate. Some people believe that his statue will bring good luck when they're selling a home.

True or False: Catholics worship saints.

Catholics pray to the saints, but they do not worship the saints. The more things we can pray to in life, the better.

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