There sure is alot for me to pick through this morning. Thanks...
ok, I have never read the Bible cover to cover, and have a hard enough time remembering names, dates, and other details. I'll try to find specific references and verses later though. Revelation 5:8 (the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints) I understand that we could easily debate which saints this refers to, on earth or in heaven.
When it comes to things along the lines of proving everything through scripture, I agree that the Word of God the only starting point. But as a Catholic, and through the Bible, I believe that Jesus gave power to His church on earth to grow and adapt to the troubles facing it through time.
I surely meant no offence by what I said about the reformation. I'll be the first to admit that I do not have anywhere near the social understanding of society at that time to make any sure conclusions. It would take years of research and careful thought to come to a true conclusion about that. The thought I was trying to get across, is that I have a very profound interest in what makes people 'tick'. People will usually move toward societies, cultures, and religions that are more in line with what they hold to be true. The least offensive to their sense of self. During the time of the reformation, people were allowed to form their own true opinions. I'm only suggesting that the social climate of the time was reflected in the reformation. History and theology have grown together and should be approached together.
And by what I said about opening the door to perversions; It seems that pushing away some rules could lead one down a slippery slope of pushing away more and more important rules. For people not properly discerning, they could be easily mislead with good intentions.
I'm only sharing my thoughts with you all, hoping to have a dialogue in the interest of all of us finding the Truth we are meant to follow.
There have been countless religions across the world that have hailed their kings as gods in flesh. That similarity does not mean we are worshiping their false gods. There are many parallels between Christianity and other world-religions, my favorite is the buddhist concept of loving-kindness which is also at the heart of our Christian faith. Similar though it may be, it is in no way the same teaching or result.
In response to toonces
The link you provided that has a prayer to Mary seems very over the top to me. That prayer is very far out of line with the Catholic Church's role of Mary and if anything is a very extreme example of someone who may be mislead, or could not convey his heart properly.
Both of the links you provided are based off of misguided observation it would seem. From what I know and have read, The official teaching of the Cathlolic Church - www.vatican.va (use the search tool to search the catechism) - the information in those links are close to the mark. The truest most important thing to remember is that Cathlics do not worship Mary, we look to her life and the grace she was given as an example, and aspiration for ourselves. The same is true for the saints of the past.
There is great deal of misunderstanding between Catholics and Protestants, even from within our own churches. I think the best way to understand each other better is not to read arguments trying to prove the other wrong, but from reading about the offical teaching of each religion. The only way to really grasp either denomination is to read documents intended for their faithful. Its really the only way to grasp the whole picture.