Is Roman Catholicism a cult?

GaoLuGaoLu Posts: 1,367

Ravi offers wisdom here:

I must speak up for Catholic Brothers and Sisters whom I have no shadow of doubt are saved, true followers of Jesus.


  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,833

    The Roman Catholic Church as an institution meets all requirements for being defined as a cult.

    This, however, does not mean that all individuals who are involved in some way with this institution are necessarily lost. Just as being saved does not depend on membership in a particular institution, church, denomination or group, so neither does such membership cause a person to be lost.

  • GaoLuGaoLu Posts: 1,367

    The first part, I don't really know about, but you may be right. The second part strikes me as wise.

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 3,005

    @GaoLu said:
    Ravi offers wisdom here [video clip]:

    My remarks are not a critique of the clip above. It speaks for itself. Without the video, the OP question ["Is Roman Catholicism a cult?"] is worthy of an answer of truth with understanding, in light of its age, size, notoriety, and financial holdings. With such one may be surprised at its findings. However, before pointing a finger, one should be aware of basic information terms: Church, cult, sect, etc. From here, it puts one on the path that leads to the correct knowledge to speak with understanding. Consider with me:

    Four basic types of religious organizations:

    1. Church -- Shepard defined a church as “a life-encompassing religious organization to which all members of a society belong,” which implies a close intertwining of religion and the state. There is a lot of flexibility of boundaries in this type of religious organization, and everybody in the geographical area is regarded as a member unless they decide otherwise.
      • Three types of church structures: hierarchical, centralized, and democratic structures (see Campucao).
      • There are three main models of church government: Episcopal, Presbyterian, and Congregationalist.
    2. Denomination -- A denomination has been referred to as “one of several religious organizations that most members of a society accept as legitimate.” From that perspective, most American “churches” are actually denominations. Torry points out that denominations are “bureaucratized federations of relatively bureaucratized congregations” where membership is defined but everyone is welcome to attend (see Torry).
    3. Sect--Malcolm Torry explains Ernst Troeltsch’s characterization of sects as having “relatively closed boundaries, firm membership criteria, firm theological beliefs, and high personal commitment” (See Torry; Shepard). For Shepard, a sect is “a religious organization formed when members of an existing religious organization break away in an attempt to reform the ‘parent’ group.”
    4. Cult-- For Shepard, a cult is “a religious organization whose characteristics are not drawn from existing religious traditions within a society.”

    What says ye? CM


    -- Shepard, Jon M. Sociology. 10th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2010, pp 415-416
    -- Torry, Malcolm. Managing God’s Business: Religious and Faith-Based Organizations and Their Management. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2005, pp 75, 81-82.
    -- Campucao, Dave Dean. Religion and Ethnocentrism: An Empirical-Theological Study. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2010, p 143.

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