Sadly, for many anti-Catholics, their “knowledge” and research comes from Memes like this one, or from other anti-Catholics who have done equally little research. We will see in this article that virtually everything in this meme is not only wrong, but grievously and demonstratively false.

Time will not permit us to address all of them, but we will address many to most of them with something this meme doesn’t use at all – Facts! You will see that what this meme purports and what the Catholic Church teaches are complete opposites.

Let’s begin . . .

375 AD –  Adoration of Saints started:
This meme claims that the Catholic Church began to adore (worship) saints in 375 A.D. which is make believe. The Catholic Church teaches unmistakably that adoration is the highest form of worship and belongs to God alone. This is in contrast to honor and respect which belongs to the Saints. For Catholics, nobody can receive adoration except God.

Listen to what the Catholic Church says on this.  This first quote comes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and it states that, “Adoration is the acknowledgement of God as God, creator and savior, the Lord and master of everything that exists as infinite and merciful love.” (#2096).

Notice, nothing about Mary or the Saints. Let’s continue.

In A Catholic Dictionary, it defines adoration as “The word used to express those acts of divine worship which are directed to God only, and of which the characteristics are recognition of His perfection and omnipotence and our own complete dependence upon Him.”

Likewise, the Catholic Encyclopedia says that Latria or latreia (also known as latreutical worship) is a theological term (Latin Latrīa, from the Greek λατρεία, latreia) used in Catholic theology to mean adoration, a reverence directed only to the Holy Trinity.As one can plainly see, this claim is a complete fabrication, and dare we say, slander against the Catholic Church. People need to do far better intellectual research.

395 AD – The Adoption of the Mass:

This is another misunderstanding and erroneous claim. Catholics worshiped God in the Mass long before 395 A.D. The Mass goes back to the beginning of the church. Let’s start with what is the Mass?

At its core, the Catholic Mass is praying to God, worshiping God, reading Scripture, the sign of peace, and reception of the Eucharist. We see this long before 395. Take Catholic Apologist, Justin Martyr of the 2nd century, for example. In his treatise, he was explain Catholic belief to the Roman Emperor as to how Christians worship.

In his treatise he talks about those Christians who have been baptized may participate. He says they assemble together for prayer and then after the prayers a sign of peace. What follows is the reception of the Eucharist. Then it concludes with more prayers of Thanksgiving. At the end of everything, the people all say “Amen!” From there the Eucharist is taken to the sick and absent just as we still do in the Catholic Church today.

432 AD – Mare made into a Deity and Replaces the Roman Mother Goddess:
The first thing one might notice about this meme is that it offers no evidence, no citations, no facts, and nothing. It’s not scholarly and it cannot be taken seriously.Of course, the claim here is entirely erroneous. In order to prove this, they would need to prove that the Catholic Church made Mary into deity. That’s the first thing to prove, which of course, is impossible because it never happened. That’s why people throw out these fallacious statements without any proof.

In fact, as we already established, the Catholic Church officially teaches that we are to adore nobody but God alone. Only God is God. Only Jesus is Lord according to Catholic teaching. Nothing about adoring Mary in Catholic theology or about making her a deity. In fact, the worship of anyone or anything other than God alone is condemned by the Church, so this cannot be true.

Second, they have to prove their sweeping generalization and conspiracy theory that the Catholic Church just replaced the Pagan goddess and called it Mary. This is laughable and void of any proof from any Catholic writings of official Catholic teaching.

593 AD – Doctrine of PURGATORY is invented:
Really? If Purgatory was invented by the Catholic Church, then belief in Purgatory would obviously not exist before this time. Of course, this is false. As one example, take St. Augustine who is a Catholic writing in 411 A.D. (long before 593)

“There is an ecclesiastical discipline, as the faithful know, when the names of the martyrs are read aloud in that place at the altar of God, where prayer is not offered for them. Prayer, however, is offered for other dead who are remembered. It is wrong to pray for a martyr, to whose prayers we ought ourselves be commended. … But by the prayers of the holy Church, and by the salvific sacrifice, and by the alms which are given for their spirits, there is no doubt that the dead are aided, that the Lord might deal more mercifully with them than their sins would deserve. The whole Church observes this practice which was handed down by the Fathers. … Temporal punishments are suffered by some in this life only, by some after death, by some both here and hereafter, but all of them before that last and strictest judgment. But not all who suffer temporal punishments after death will come to eternal punishments, which are to follow after that judgment.”

995 AD – Correct. Saints.
This is the one completely correct item on the list. While Catholics since the beginning of the Church and Christianity talked about the Saints in heaven and who is a Saint in heaven, an official canonization process for this started around this time with more rigorous criteria.

1074 AD – Mandatory Priestly Celibacy:
There are many errors present in this one overgeneralized and poorly understood statement. First, not all Catholic priests are celibate in the Catholic Church. Only in the Roman Rite are they celibate whereas in the other 22 Eastern Rites of the Catholic Church, they may marry.

Second, from the most ancient times, there has been celibacy in the Church in different ways with different restrictions. If a man, for example, was already married, he could become a priest. However, if someone became a priest and was not married, he would could not marry. Likewise, if you were widowed, you cannot remarry.

Thirdly, even in the Roman Rite, celibacy has been practiced centuries and centuries before 1094. Here’s the thing. Marriage is not mandatory in Christianity, only in Mormonism. The Catholic Church does not “forbid” anybody to marry. Any Catholic adult may enter into marriage. However, some choose to renounce everything for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven by becoming priests and religious sisters.

Our Lord and Paul were both clear that it is easier to serve our Lord single-mindedly without being weighed down by the things of this world. Jesus himself exhorts celibacy as a higher calling in Matthew chapter 19:12. Likewise, Paul exhorts celibacy even more than marriage in 1 Corinthians 7 calling people to be celibate as he was if possible so that they can serve God unhindered.So, Sacred Scripture does teach celibacy and giving up everything for God. This is what the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church teaches in regard to the priesthood.

Finally, we see the Catholic Church instilling celibacy many centuries before 1094 in different ways, and this prohibition was not even for the whole church. So, this claim is inaccurate on many levels. To finish this debunking, please see part 2 here.