A former Catholic with lots of questions concerning the religion of which he was once a part, decided to make the bold move and question the Vicar of Christ himself in a letter. Although the Pope is yet to respond, I did in fact get a copy of the the letter which I will share with you.
Dear Mr. Pope,
First of all I hope that I did not offend you by referring to you as 'Mr. Pope' as opposed to 'Holy Father' or 'Your Holiness.' The reason why I am sending you this letter is that there are certain things that I am confused about concerning the teachings of the Catholic Church. You see, I am not Catholic anymore because I believe that I have finally seen the light. That said, I still consider myself Christian. I know that being the learned man of God that you are, you would have no problems answering some of the questions which I am about to ask you.
My first question Mr. Pope is this, why is it that your followers who I believe are quite devout Christians have to refer to you as 'Holy Father' when Jesus himself, the man who you claim to follow said in the Bible in Matthew 23:9, 'call NO MAN on earth Father for you only have ONE Father, who is in heaven'? Wouldn't that be a blatant disregard of Jesus' teachings? I always had a problem with that when I was one of your followers. Whenever non-Catholics questioned me on that, I would feel so embarrassed and I honestly never knew how to respond.
Secondly, to whom are the followers of the Church you lead supposed to pray? If the answer is God then why do you say the 'Hail Mary,' 'Hail Holy Queen', 'Memorare' and the numerous prayers to the many saints? Wouldn't that be deliberately disobeying the first commandment in Exodus 20:3? Even God himself said in Deuteronomy 5:9 that he is a jealous God. So why would you and your followers want to make your own God jealous?
Thirdly, in Deuteronomy 5:8, God clearly states that it is forbidden to make any graven images of anything that is in heaven or on the earth or in the waters neither must we serve them. Then why is it that Catholic Cathedrals are notorious for having graven images of Jesus, St. Peter and the Virgin Mary? While still on the topic of the Virgin Mary, why is it that the Catholic Church teaches that Mary was sinless when it is clearly stated in Romans 3:23 that ALL have sinned and have come short of the glory of God? In fact, even Mary admitted that she needed a saviour in Luke 1:47. What was God going to save her from? Sin or Roman dominion? Also, why is it taught in Catholicism that she went to heaven both body and soul when 1 Corinthians 15:50 states that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God? Why is it also taught that she remained a virgin when Matthew 1:25 clearly contradicts the Catholic Church's teaching regarding the perpetual virginity of Mary?
Fourthly, why is it that Catholics are supposed to confess their sins to a priest? How can a sinful man forgive someone's sins? John said in 1 John 1:9 'If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.' He was not referring to a priest here. He was referring to God. If you want to cite James 5:16 to justify the confession of sins to a priest, then why is it that the priest doesn't tell us his sins?
Finally, can you quote for me one scripture from the Bible where I will find the word PURGATORY and also the book, chapter and verse which also states that the souls which are "not too good" to enter heaven and "not too bad" to go to hell actually end up there? I sincerely hope that my questions are not too difficult for you sir and I look forward to a favourable response.