Follow usTwitterFacebook


06 Nov 2015 News Vatican No comments

A World without Poverty - Pope Francis

In his quest towards ensuring the Catholic Church supports the poor and the needy, Pope Francis invited a homeless street vendor for an intimate meeting at the …

Read more

25 Mar 2015 Q&A Comments (19)

Did Jesus alter the commandment about observing the sabbath?

Full Question In a recent This Rock article ("Changing the Sabbath," December 1993), you stated that Christ used his authority to alter the sabbath in Matt…

Read more

30 Mar 2015 Q&A No comments

Is it possible to be Catholic and a body-builder?

Full Question Is it possible to be Catholic and a body-builder? I don't see why God would not want me to be my physical best, but I can see how he wouldn't…

Read more

08 Apr 2016 Articles No comments

Pope Francis's New Document on Marriage: 12 Things to Know and Share

Pope Francis’s much-anticipated document on the family has now been released. Here are 12 things to know and share. 1. What are the basic facts about the …

Read more

15 Apr 2016 Articles No comments

The Ultimate Apologist’s Reading List

This is not an exhaustive list, and just because a book is on this list does not mean I endorse everything in it. Instead, this list should serve as a hel…

Read more

07 Sep 2016 Articles Comments (7)

Why young Catholics love the Extraordinary Form

But don't expect them to disparage the Novus Ordo As a young Catholic growing up in an increasingly secular (or even post-secular) Britain, I am lucky to be ab…

Read more

02 Nov 2014 Articles Comments (3)

Can Lying Ever be Right?

St. Augustine wrote the first extensive treatise on lying (De Mendacio). In it he cites the case of a holy bishop, Firmus of Thagasta, who wished to protect a m…

Read more

21 Dec 2015 Q&A Comments (3)

The priest refused to administer the Sacrament of anointing the sick to my sick baby. Why?

Full Question I asked for the anointing of the sick for my very ill baby, but the priest said that the sacrament is only for people older than six years ol…

Read more

07 Sep 2015 News Vatican Comments (1)

Pope opens the Vatican to refugees, calls on Europe’s churches to follow suit

In light of the massive refugee crisis in Europe, Pope Francis announced Sunday that he will give temporary housing in the Vatican to at least two refugee famil…

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

A Protestant friend claims that the Catholic Church is Arminian rather than Calvinistic. Is this correct?

Full Question

A Protestant friend claims that the Catholic Church is Arminian rather than Calvinistic. Is this correct?


The Catholic Church cannot be said to be “Arminian” because it came before Arminianism and is not a product of that theology. Rather, it is better to say that Calvinism and Arminianism agree with Catholicism on some issues and disagree with it on others.

Calvinism was formulated by John Calvin in the sixteenth century. Calvin, in his Institutes of the Christian Religion, wove together a systematic theology that eventually would be remembered by the acronym TULIP. TULIP stands for total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace, and perseverance of the saints.

Arminianism, named for its principal theologian, Jacobus Arminius, can be distilled to the five points it made that provoked a reaction from Calvinists, known as the Five Articles of the Remonstrants: apart from grace man cannot save himself or do anything truly good, conditional election, unlimited atonement, resistible grace, and the possibility of apostasy. (The first of these converges with Calvinism’s understanding of total depravity, though later Arminians and Calvinists have developed this idea differently.)

In some respects Catholicism and Calvinism agree (e.g., Catholic theologians from Thomas Aquinas to Robert Bellarmine have taught unconditional election) and in some they disagree (the Church does not teach that all believers are predestined to persevere in the faith). In some respects Catholicism and Arminianism agree (the Church teaches universal redemption) and in some they can disagree (the Church allows for the possibility of unconditional election).


  1. Michael Reply

    The real question here is 1) do Catholics believe in predestination (Calvinism) or free will (Arminianism); and do Catholics believe in the possibility of apostasy (Arminianism) or that those destined for salvation are protected from ever losing it and those not destined are prevented from ever gaining it (Calvinism)? On both these counts, with which these two theologies are primarily associated, Catholic teaching agrees far more closely with Arminianism.

  2. Michael Reply

    Indeed, Arminius’ biggest departure from Catholic teaching was his denial of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, a point on which he agreed with Calvin.

  3. Boniface mutale Reply

    I’m asking for full explanation of arminian and Calvin

  4. Zi Tok Victor Reply

    Please I will to know more about Monstrance, and why is it shaped like a sun? Because someone believe that is another form of worshiping the sun god. How can I explain to him the significant?

  5. marcela b salcedo Reply

    Haaay naku Ewan wala ako naintidihan. I wonder if the people in the mountains, uneducated, cud not read and write thus cud not read the Holy Bible cud enter the kingdom of heaven????? Pity. Marami rami din sila. Why do they make faith in God Almighty soooooi verrrrry complicated.

    Moses has no religion. Yet God talked to him and entrusted to him the Ten Co

  6. Rob Ebed Reply

    Actually, Rome is just heretical and apostate.

Leave a Reply

  1. most read post
  2. Most Commented
  3. Choose Categories