Skip to comments.Do Republicans want a Protestant POTUS candidate?
Posted on 02/19/2012 4:53:22 PM PST by Andy from Chapel Hill
57% of Republicans are Protestant and 23% are Catholic, if I read the data at Pew Research correctly.
Today, after church (Presbyterian, but thinking about joining an unaffilated church), a group of us older and more conservative men began discussing the lack of enthusiasm among the Republican base for any of the current candidates. One fellow said "I am not Catholic because I do not agree with the Catholic Church's teachings and I am not Mormon because I do not want to be a Mormon". Others generally agreed and said that the candidate's religion mattered a lot.
Is the talk about a contested convention and the possibility of candidates like Palin, Jeb Bush, etc. really a front for a movement toward a Protestant candidate?
I know I will be flamed for asking this question, but please consider it as a question that the base is considering.
Disclosure: Among the group, I like Newt the best, but in a contested convention, I would prefer someone new paired with Paul Ryan as VP (Ryan is a Catholic).
Those whacky stats come from the very LEFTWING National Catholic Reporter. Their goal in life is to destroy the moral teachings of the Catholic Church. I’m sure Pelosi, Biden and the rest of the “Catholic” politicians refer to the NCR reporter daily.
“In 1968, NCR’s ordinary, Bishop Charles Herman Helmsing “issue[d] a public reprimand for their policy of crusading against the Church’s teachings,” condemning its “poisonous character” and “disregard and denial of the most sacred values of our Catholic faith.”  Helmsing warned that NCR’s writers were likely guilty of heresy, had likely incurred latae sententiae excommunications, and because the publication “does not reflect the teaching of the Church, but on the contrary, has openly and deliberately opposed this teaching,” he “ask[ed] the editors in all honesty to drop the term ‘Catholic’ from their masthead,” because “[b]y retaining it they deceive their Catholic readers and do a great disservice to ecumenism by being responsible for the false irenicism of watering down Catholic teachings.”
NCR refused to comply, and 66 Catholic journalists signed a statement disagreeing with the condemnation based on its “underlying definition of the legitimate boundaries of religious journalism in service to the church.” The Catholic Press Association reported that the dispute arose from a difference of opinion regarding the function of the press.”
Since then, numerous conservative Catholic commentators have criticized the National Catholic Reporter for advocating positions contrary to Church doctrines. NCR has at times critically questioned Church teachings on homosexuals and marriage, ordination of women, stem cell research, and Catholic-identifying politicians who support abortion.”
And nothing about the NCR has changed in the last 40 years.
Oh yes, you are right.
I’ll even go as far to say that he has exposed the left as Nazis, and I mean real Nazis.
Look at the reaction of the GOP to that revelation.
It is as if they cannot fail fast enough, give us no reason to return them to congress, and they are trying to stuff the guy who couldn’t defeat John F. McQuueeg in 2008, the most pathetic dunder head, perma loser Mitt Romney down our throats as the only condidate who can beat Adolf Obama...
Nice of you to suggest I’m an idiot. Do you know of any muslims running in the GOP primary? Was the post not about whether we have to have a Presbyterian?
None of these really “come from” the NCR TMK, but they reported some, and as the link shows the one listed came from an extensive 2002 LA Times poll.
Doing more of a search i found that while “overall, 30% of priests described themselves as liberal on religious and moral issues, while 28% described themselves as conservative and 37% as moderate.
Among younger priests, however, nearly four in 10 described themselves as conservative, and three-fourths said they were more religiously orthodox than their older counterparts.” (http://articles.latimes.com/print/2002/oct/21/local/me-priest21)
And which new info (to me) has been included.
And in reality these and other like stats came from more than one source, and every survey i have found reported similar (and its safe to say the evangelicals are hated at least s much by the MSM).
It is impossible to be Catholic and be pro-abortion. It is impossible to be Catholic and be for homosexual “marriage”. So these “liberal” priests can be as liberal as they feel like being, but there is no compromising on these two moral teachings of the Bible and it’s been that way for 2,000 years. If some guy is that liberal he needs to stay away from the seminary. Alot of them lie about their beliefs in order to become priests and they are the ones that eventually end up giving the Church a black eye. There are plenty of liberal demoninations out there that will accept these type of people. The Episcopal Church comes to mind. From women “priests” to homosexual “priests”, to really having no stance on the murder of the unborn, these liberal men will feel right at home in the Episcopal Church, and many more protestant faiths.
“It is impossible to be Catholic and be pro-abortion. It is impossible to be Catholic and be for homosexual marriage...”
If i were an RC i would agree, and also believe that the SSPX and sedevecanstists schism’s (if the former is formally considered such) have some substance to their charges of changes in Rome, though they make their deviation from Scripture more pronounced to me.
I likewise reject the Protestant Jimmy Carter types as being a Christian according to the most basic core essentials.
The problem is that RCs apologists are not simply preaching Christ and a message which places one in the general body of Christ, but are evangelizing a particular Church as supreme and true, and (almost) as necessary for salvation, but the Church they promote effectively does little to nothing proactively (esp. from headquarters) to discipline the Nancy Pelosi types, esp. after the Scriptural manner. RCs can point to official statements on such, but the hears look for the interpretation of such by how it is applied. Moreover, by honoring the Ted Kennedy’s (Masses in his house, etc.) in life and in death she can be seen as fostering such;
That being a Catholicism in which even the most nominal of RCs with their perfunctory professions are given good hope of eternal life via the power of the Church as long as they were baptized (typically as infants) and die in her arms. And with the real concern being shown if they convert and become conservative evangelicals (converting to liberal Episcopalians seems less dangerous) - even if they now have a faith that effects holiness and manifest works in heartfelt worship and prayer, both of which are officially at least emphasizes in RC doctrine.
And if anyone says anything that points out that the overall character of those whom Rome counts as members is liberal, then it and anything that impugns upon the character of Rome is disallowed.
I think this speaks much about the degree of security RCs find in their particular church, which is something we who share a common Scripture-based conversion and relationship with Christ, which transcends evangelical churches, no longer identify with or really promote.
May all come to the Lord Jesus out of a broken heart and contrite spirit, and trust Him to save them by His sinless shed blood.
“And if anyone says anything that points out that the overall character of those whom Rome counts as members is liberal, then it and anything that impugns upon the character of Rome is disallowed”
The Catholic Church has been preaching against abortion for the last 2000 years. The Catholic Church stood alone when Roe v. Wade said it was OK to murder unborn children. Protestant churchs went along with it. Episcopalian are the aboslute worst. They take no official stance on murdering the unborn. Same way with letting homosexuals being “ordained” as clergy. The liberals that whine about the teachings of the Catholic Church as being outdated are wasting their time. The Holy Bible is Catholic document, complied by the Church, which existed before the written word. I find it odd that the protestants that love to put down the Catholic Church never out down document that Catholics started in the first place.
And if anyone says anything that points out that the overall character of those whom Rome counts as members is liberal, then it and anything that impugns upon the character of Rome is disallowed
The Catholic Church has been preaching against abortion for the last 2000 years.
Rather than being refreshingly candid and acknowledging the general spiritual declension, which is also true within Protestantism, you simply illustrate my point and simply begin to example the default reaction of devotees to a supreme elitist church against anything that impugns upon its overall character today.
As said, the Roman Catholic apologist seeks to converts souls to a particular (brand name) Church, and what it used to be is one thing, and what it is today can be another. Certainly (i presume) if i invoked Rome's past official sanction of things like torture of its theological enemies and alleged aberrant members then you would relegate that to the past, but here you want to selectively invoke the record of Rome from the past only in opposing evils to negate anything against it at issue now.
As for abortions, certainly many ancients stated unqualified condemnations of abortion, and in time two church synods in the 4th century condemned it, though their specified penalties was only on abortions that were combined with some form of sexual crime, and had inconsistency as to when life began and therefore abortion was prohibited, and as regards what the penalties should be. St. Thomas Aquinas, Pope Innocent III, and Pope Gregory XIV are said to have believed that a fetus does not have a soul until "quickening," or when the fetus begins to kick and move, and some (not Aquinas) did not treat early abortion as murder, while others opposed abortion at any stage of pregnancy.
As for the Catholic Church standing alone when Roe v. Wade said it was OK to murder unborn children, it is commendable that it did stand, but as for standing alone on this, Protestantism is not one entity, while it would take time to consider a matter and reach a consensus in which evangelicals are strongly oppose to it, more so than Catholics on ground level wher it effectually matters most. And as with the apostles, it is to seek to persuade men the manifestation of the truth. And using that means holy Evangelicals such as the most beloved Bible commentator Matthew Henry (Ex. 21:22) arose Scriptural teaching both in support of life in the womb and against that which would produce miscarriage.
And of this class of evangelicals arose also strong opposition to slavery which Rome was inconsistent and in which most Protestant churches also went along with. Yet slavery was not a monolithic institution, and regulated forms of it were sanctioned in Scripture as part of culturally applied laws.
Episcopalian are the aboslute worst.
They are indeed; oftentimes close to Catholics on moral views and in faith commitment, and historically have been the closest to Rome in doctrine. Having little commitment to Scripture consistent with the classic Protestant (basically) literal tradition (versus basically reducing it to allegory and moral incoherence, and not stressing its authority and obedience to it), they look to leadership and other sources which have forsaken the assured word of God as their supreme authority, and thus increasingly conform to the society in which are found. Roman Catholic scholarship itself now largely liberal (and hindered literacy of it among the laity in the past), as can be seen in your official Bible for America, while Catholics that are Biblical literalists (11.8%) hold more conservative political views than the Catholic population in general does.
They take no official stance on murdering the unborn. Same way with letting homosexuals being ordained as clergy.
They are an institutionalized church, having more form than substance, ritual over relationship. An easy trap we can to fall into, especially without persecution. But again, Catholics substantially support abortion, as what Rome has historically said and what Rome effectually conveys due to her treatment of liberal Catholics can often be two different things, and the faith that she much fosters in her compassion and power is that as long you die in her arms then she will get you through.
The liberals that whine about the teachings of the Catholic Church as being outdated are wasting their time.
The SSPX and sedevacantists point to Vatican Two as affirming liberalism, and not without substance. (http://www.the-pope.com/wvat2tec.html)
The Holy Bible is Catholic document, complied by the Church, which existed before the written word. I find it odd that the protestants that love to put down the Catholic Church never out down document that Catholics started in the first place.
You are in error in fact and logic. Besides the fact the Scriptures are not the supreme authority for Rome, as Rome herself has presumed in this supreme position (Sola Ecclesia versus Sola Scriptura), rather the church existing before the written word (a statement that is indicative of the marginalization of Scripture), most of the Divine writings were established as Scripture before there ever was a church in Rome, as shown by the abundance of references to the Scriptures by the Lord and his apostles as the authenticity of Christ and the church was established upon conformity to the Scriptures as being the standard for obedience and for testing truth claims which is abundantly evidenced and the manner of attestation it records and sanctions being given to truth and to men of God. It was upon this basis that the additional writings of Scripture were added.
And which Writings were established as Scripture without a particular perpetual assuredly infallible magisterium, even though Rome infallibly claims it uniquely is assured infallibility infallibly declaring that it is infallible whenever it speaks in accordance with its infallibly defined scope and subject-based formula and that this is necessary to establish Scripture and preserve truth.
And while conciliar decrees can be helpful, do not make or essentially establish Scripture as being from God. Rather, like true men of God, Scripture was essentially established as being so based upon its heavenly qualities and and the supernatural effects given to it. And despite the misinformation of Roman Catholic apologists, the fact is that the Roman Catholic church did not have an infallible, indisputable canon of Scripture until the year that Luther died over 1600 years after the last book was written. Nor was he without Catholic support in doubting or rejecting the plenary inspiration of certain books (Nor does Protestantism exactly follow his canon of Divinely inspired Scripture.)
In addition, while the claim of Rome's authenticity is based upon formal descent and assured perpetuation, the church actually began in dissent from those who claimed veracity upon this basis. And who thus challenged the authority of Christ and born from believing in him without their affirmation. (Mark 11:27-28; John 7:46-48) And instead, the church of the living God depended and depends upon the aforementioned Scriptural support for the authority of its teachings, Scripture being the only supreme transcendent material source which has been established as being wholly inspired of God and thus assuredly infallible. (2Tim. 3:16; 2Pt. 1:20,21) The issue is not whether Rome can speak some infallible truths (that there is a Creator would be a basic one), but that it does not have assured infallibility, and that veracity in doctrinal matters depends upon the weight of evidence for Scriptural warrant.
Moreover, even if the claim was accepted that the Catholic church of today is essentially the same as that of the first century that gave us the New Testament Scriptures, that would not render her the assuredly infallible interpreters of it, anymore than it made the Jews so who gave us the bulk of Scripture. In reality, consistent with the argument of Rome that formal decent and promises of perpetuation render her the assuredly infallible authority, then there would be no church as it would have submitted to those who sat in the seat of Moses (Mt. 23:2) with Israel being the entity which Scripture affirms were the instruments and stewards of divine revelation. (Rm. 3:2; 9:4)
And while we who hold the Scriptures to be supreme contend for the common truths we both agree on, based upon their scriptural warrant, we likewise contend against those who deny them as well as the errors of both Judaism and in Catholicism based upon the same manner of examining truth.
Furthermore, the Roman Catholic church of today with its clerical celibacy and praying to departed saints etc. and claim to assured, perpetual formulaic infallibility, is not the New Testament church of the first century, and she competes with the Orthodox Church among others who operate under the sola ecclesia as the rightful claimant to the title of one true church, with each having different cannons of Scripture and interpretations of tradition and Scripture history.
However, "the kingdom of God is not in word [self-proclamation], but in power," (1 Corinthians 4:20-21) And the authenticity of the church of the living and true God is evidenced in the effects of its preaching of the gospel of grace which effects manifest regeneration, in contrast to its institutionalized counterpart.
Key evangelical leaders met a month or so ago and decided that Santorum was their guy. Many in the group supported Gingrich. So, since those two are Catholic and the group was non-Catholic, then I guess having a protestant isn’t at all necessary.
And if you mean “mainline protestant”, well, there aren’t enough of them in America to really worry what they think. Besides those denominations are all bought and paid for by the democratic national committee.
I just don't think the idea of electing a Catholic is as "scary" now as it was in decades past. Fifty years ago it was possible for a Southern Baptist (especially if he didn't serve in the armed forces) to go his entire life and never knowingly meet a Catholic, today that isn't the case. A great many southern Evangelicals have elected Catholics as governors and members of Congress, the old idea that the "pope will be running things" seems to have been gone away.
That being said, I do think that many Evangelicals AND Catholics would have a huge problem with a Mormon nominee and the media would like nothing more than to run all sorts of TV specials on the history of Mormonism.
Fundamentalist Protestants are far more conservative than the Catholic Church. Check out the official web page of any Catholic diocese in the United States for the LGBT ministry.
I don’t know where to begin. The anti-Catholic syndrome is live and well is all I can say. When you get a chance you might want to check out these two popular Catholic apologists. Both used to be fire and brimestone Protestants. But they finally realised the truth and fullness of the Christian faith is in the Catholic Church.
“To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant”
~John Henry Cardinal Newman, famous Protestant convert
Tim Staples was your typical enthusiastic Protestant, on fire for his faithuntil he met the wrong Marine: a Catholic man who was both willing and able to defend his faith.
How did Tim Staples, an extremely anti-Catholic man, get started on the path to Rome?
What happened to cause the little boy who wanted to be a preacher just like Billy Graham to grow up and become a well-known Catholic apologetics speaker instead?
How did the man Tim set out to save end up saving him?
How can a Protestant Bible school be the place where the gift of Catholic faith is forged? Let Tim tell you his story . . .
How could a man who was bound and determined to prove the Catholic Church wrong ever be persuaded otherwise?
Why was Tim defending the Catholic Church during his time at Jimmy Swaggart Bible College? Find out how this school expedited the process of Tim becoming Catholic!
Why did Tim feel so alone on the cusp of becoming a Catholic? The heart-breaking decision Tim had to make while on the verge of conversion
Listen to Tim Staples as he tells you the incredible story of his conversionits a story you wont soon forget.
I think you may have missed why things changed. I would submit that there is less concern about electing a Roman Catholic because there are more RC's that are conservative. The RCC has always been affiliated with the liberal view, but since Reagan a lot of RC's have broken with that view.
Santorum appears devout but that is a positive among most Christians.
Historically, Catholics were Democrats (though Senator Joe McCarthy was a notable exception); however, as the Democrat devotion to abortion became obvious in the 1970s many moved to the GOP.
You are correct that a lot of Catholics have moved back to the Democrats, but I think that is largely BECAUSE the GOP ignored the social issues that brought Catholic support in the first place.
Nevertheless, the fact remains that, over the past few decades at least, the candidate who wins the Catholic vote will almost certainly win the White House.
I agree there is a group within your church that swings back and forth between Pub and Rat. I do believe there is a solid minority that are conservative and vote Pub. These are probably the more observant, or devout members. The problem internally is replacing the liberal hierarchy with a conservative/free market self help clergy. If that were to happen we would see a more consistent conservative vote.
I don't disagree that the social issues really affect the vote. It is the same in the Evangelical churches. Evangelicals are much less energized and don't go to the polls when social issues are ignored.
Nevertheless, the fact remains that, over the past few decades at least, the candidate who wins the Catholic vote will almost certainly win the White House.
You are right it is a key swing vote. The real goal is to get it over as a consistent base vote. If that happens the "blue blood" Pubs lose even more power and the party as a whole becomes more consistently conservative.
How could that be? The Democrats have NEVER had a pro-life plank in their platform, in fact, it has been "pro-choice" at least since the 70's. The reason Catholics have moved back to the Democrats (if they really ever left) has nothing to do with so-called social issues, at least not the issue of abortion, but, I think, it is the idea that the Democrats care more for the "poor" vis a vis welfare programs, minimum wage, unions, etc. Let's not forget that many Catholics live in the predominately liberal northeast - hotbeds for the working classes with labor unions. Catholics vote for Democrats because they care more about the issues they DO support than the ones they don't.
And the ONLY WAY that happens, and the ONLY WAY to keep devout Catholics and Evangelicals energized, is for conservatives to actually follow through on the promises they made when campaigning.
We can criticize the left all we want, but when the Democrats make a promise on the campaign trail, they either deliver on the promise or destroy themselves trying to.
Your point is spot on in my opinion. I think that's why its so important for their clergy to change from preaching their "social justice through govt" to " individual liberty, free enterprise, self help". It would be a huge change, but the evidence is irrefutable that free enterprise does more to improve the lives of individuals than any govt program can.
Maybe their hierarchy has seen the error of being in bed with govt now that king obama has decided he has the right to tell churches what they can and can not do.
Catholics vote for Democrats because they care more about the issues they DO support than the ones they don't.
IMO, a hard truth. All we have to do is look at which States have the most liberal abortion laws and the corresponding breakdown of religious affiliation. Obviously there is a strong group within their church that is opposed to abortion, but there are more that vote the other way.
We have a big disadvantage for a couple reasons. For the Rats govt is the means of implementing their ideology, which is their religion. For us govt is a means to accomplish specific goals and to protect our individual freedoms. Our faith is not in our political ideology, or in govt. As result Rats feel free to lie, cheat, steal and do whatever needs to be done because in the end they are advancing their faith/ideology and their faith has no moral limitations. We are constrained by our faith.
Also, academia, media and most of our popular culture is dominated by the PC culture which muzzles any dissenting opinion.
The weapon we have is our faith and our assembly with others of the same faith. The left knows it and is even willing to align itself with muslims in order to attack us. However, our problem is getting all to recognize who the enemy is, the Rats. If the RCC makes that big shift over to the right and stays there the Rats are in real trouble and the "moderate Pubs" as well.
What Roman Catholics fail to begin with is that what they call anti-Catholicism is a reaction to her elitist anti-Protestantism, in which she exalts herself as the one true Church®, infallibly declaring she is the uniquely assured infallible Church, and who persecuted and sometimes even killed Protestants and theological enemies for centuries, and today she still refuses to recognize the most manifestly regenerate class of them as being churches. And while she condescendingly refers to all Protestants as being deficient in grace, her pastors lust to gain evangelical converts to enliven her pews.
But when the arrogation of Roman exclusivity and supremacy and its claims are is countered by Scripture and other evidence then they often are marginalized as anti-Catholic bigots, and while some may be, this ad-hominem argumentation is too often the response when faced with objective analysis and substantiated refutation. It is certain that both sides engage in this, but the main point is that when you are the one exalting yourself as the OTC then you can hardly complain when that is challenged by others, and or marginalize all such as being bigots.
I am aware of the apologists mentioned, but there are far more who have swam the Tiber to the other side, and your responses have evidenced that you are not aware of how the standard Roman Catholic polemics do not establish what they assert of Rome, and have been refuted over the years as doing so, even though Roman Catholics continue to reiterate them. In addition, the argumentation Staples says he used as a Protestant against the Roman Catholic who converted him was call no man father and statutes in churches, which i do not consider worthy or substantial arguments, with the real issue being that of authority.
In this regard the we gave you the Bible = submit to us does not work, nor does assured authenticity by formal decent, nor their extrapolative attempts to use Scripture, especially since it is not the supreme authority for RCs nor do they hold it as able to provide real certitude. Ultimately Roman Catholic argumentation is that of assertions, Rome's foundational claim effectively resting upon her own self-proclamation, and then demanding we submit to her. And which disallows seeking the Scriptures with a heart for God that is willing to go wherever the truth may lead.
Included in her vain argumentation is that, To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant, as not only do Roman Catholic apologetics fail of the unanimous consent of the fathers, as these were seldom in unison, nor were they settled in their theology or writers of Divine Writ, or necessarily superior in understanding (some thought sexual relations in marriage had to engage in sinful desire, etc.) to born again commentators in of later centuries, but unanimous as well as Tradition, history and Scripture teach only can mean what Rome says they mean, which is not necessarily what objective analysis will support, as some of her own theologians now confess. There was a reason why no less a theologian-apologist as Manning asserted,
It was the charge of the Reformers that the Catholic doctrines were not primitive, and their pretension was to revert to antiquity. But the appeal to antiquity is both a treason and a heresy. It is a treason because it rejects the Divine voice of the Church at this hour, and a heresy because it denies that voice to be Divine... I may say in strict truth that the Church has no antiquity. It rests upon its own supernatural and perpetual consciousness. Its past is present with it, for both are one to a mind which is immutable. Primitive and modern are predicates, not of truth, but of ourselves. Most Rev. Dr. Henry Edward Cardinal Manning, Lord Archbishop of Westminster, The Temporal Mission of the Holy Ghost: Or Reason and Revelation (New York: J.P. Kenedy & Sons, originally written 1865, reprinted with no date), pp. 227-228.
And that "The intolerance of the Church toward error, the natural position of one who is the custodian of truth, her only reasonable attitude makes her forbid her children to read or to listen to heretical controversy, or to endeavor to discover religious truths by examining both sides of the question. This places the Catholic in a position whereby he must stand aloof from all manner of doctrinal teaching other than that delivered by his Church through her accredited ministers." John H. Stapleton, Explanation of Catholic Morals, Chapter XIX, XXIII. the consistent believer (1904); Nihil Obstat. Remy Lafort, Censor Librorum. Imprimatur, John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York
All that we do [as must be patent enough now] is to submit our judgment and conform our beliefs to the authority Almighty God has set up on earth to teach us; this, and nothing else.
The Vicar of Christ is the Vicar of God; to us the voice of the Pope is the voice of God. This, too, is why Catholics would never dream of calling in question the utterance of a priest in expounding Christian doctrine according to the teaching of the Church;
He is as sure of a truth when declared by the Catholic Church as he would be if he saw Jesus Christ standing before him and heard Him declaring it with His Own Divine lips.Henry G. Graham, "What Faith Really Means", (Nihil Obstat:C. SCHUT, S. T.D., Censor Deputatus, Imprimatur: EDM. CANONICUS SURMONT, D.D.,Vicarius Generalis. WESTMONASTERII, Die 30 Septembris, 1914 )]
This refers to what Rome has officially taught, but while Roman Catholic apologists attack us as having no assuredly infallible interpreter of our supreme authority, they themselves have not only made a fallible decision to submit to Rome, but engage in fallible interpretation in discerning which and how many statements are infallible out of potentially multitudes, this being subject to some degree of interpretation, as well as aspects of their meaning, and more so of non-infallible teaching (that being the bulk). Even as corncern Vatican Two, one RC will contend that Lumen Gentium means Prots must convert to Rome to be saved (such as one with a web site which i have been exchanging emails with), and another will call us brethren. And some marginalize the authority of Vatican Two (not without reason in the light of historical Rome, with its manifest errors).
In addition, they have no problem using their own private interpretation to wrest texts to support teaching which are really based on Tradition (including ones which the EOs disagree with based on their interpretation of Tradition), and insisting they mean what they say they mean, even if Rome does not do so (such as 1Cor. 3 actually referring to purgatory).
And despite the profession of certitude and unity based on the magisterium, yet due to its lack of clarity, depth and comprehensiveness, or emphasis on doctrine or Scripture, then thee is substantial confusion and differences in Roman Catholicism, though they all share a common bond as Catholics.
Both Catholics (Latin and Eastern) and evangelical Protestants have faith in their respective, assured infallible supreme sources, and both can concur on core truths while differing to various degrees on others, the differences being a matter of degrees, while the unity of the Spirit which is the most essential unity that Christ prayed for for (Jn. 17:21) Christ in them and they in Christ happens in regeneration, (Gal. 4:6) and is the source of a historical evangelical unity which is greater than their differences, versus a unity based on identification with a particular church.
Finally, while it is actually lay apologists who engage in most of the encounters with evangelical converts today, at one time that was forbidden to them. But in response to RC advocation of the polemics of the former here are just a few worthy sites which engage them, most of which you can post to:
Sorry for the length.