Size: slightly larger than Arizona - Capital City: Rome - Population: 57,634,327 - Currency: the Euro - 98% of Italians try to gain Salvation through their works (56,481,640 people) - 2% of Italians are Muslim, Jehovah’s witness, Mormon and Evangelical - Unlike other European countries, Italy did not benefit from the Reformation
Catholicism in Italy
Often Catholicism in the United States is viewed as a denomination within Christianity. If we compare Roman Catholic doctrine with the Biblical doctrine we can easily see the truth about this organization. The Catholicism that we will describe is the reality that is seen every day in Italy.
1. Salvation is not by faith alone, but it is through the sacraments managed by the Roman Catholic Church: “The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church, page 319 “There are seven sacraments in the Church: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the sick, holy orders, and matrimony.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church, page 315
2. The Bible is not the only basis for faith: “…the Church “does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the Holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church, page 31
3. Jesus Christ is not the only redeemer and mediator: “Taken up to heaven (in bodily form) she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation…Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church, page 275
4. Purgatory: the divine waiting room:“All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joys of heaven.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church, page 291 “An indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part of all of the temporal punishment due to sin. The faithful can gain indulgences for themselves or apply them to the dead.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church, page 411
5. The Trinity is not the only focus of worship in heaven: “ By asking Mary to pray for us, we acknowledge ourselves to be poor sinners and we address ourselves to the “Mother of Mercy”, the All-Holy one…We can pray with and to her. The prayer of the Church is sustained by the prayer of Mary and united with it in hope. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, page 706
6. All who believe in God (however they call Him) will be in paradise: “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslim; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church, page 243 “Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do His will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience those too may achieve eternal salvation.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church, page 244.
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