That may seem to non-Christians as splitting theological hairs.
I was a Theologian in the protestant christian faith who also studied Catholicism before converting to Heathenry. So unlike many pagans/heathens whatever, i dont look at the faith with such a narrow viewpoint.
Understandible the catholic faith believes in a lot of things the protestant faith does not. the reasoning behind this is simple when viewed objectively. starting, ohhh two thousand years ago, give or take thirty years, in order to convert more of the 'pagan' tribes to Christianity, the faith representing Christianity (which would evolve into the catholic church) adopted a lot of pagan traditions. that way, instead of worshipping a pagan god in front of an oak tree, lets substitute Christ for the pagan god and call it a christian ritual.
because the catholic faith is so much older than the protestant christian faith, it has adopted so many of these 'compromises' most older faiths are more ritualistic than the newer ones. in fact, from what i have personally seen, the newer the faith, the less ritualistic and more spontanious.
So is ritual wrong?
In some cases of faith, of course. the catholic church is by no means innocent of any wrong doings. HOWEVER, for many catholics, it is that ritual that helps them stay on track. for example, the protestant church says 'Do not forsake the fellowship of the saints", quoting, paul, isnt it? but protestants use this saying as a suggestion. as in you shouldn't. technically, you should go to church.
But catholics view going to church as part of their duty as being a catholic. it is this strict adherience to the rules that gives them something that they can shoot for.
everyone has their own weird twist on the faith. but really, consider this.
In the path i follow, which is Heathenry, I am a Tyrian, meaning i follow the Indo-European God Tyr, who is a God of Justice, the sky, war, etc. so obviously my life is one where correct action, legally, and morally is my first priority.
whereas a Lokean views life completely different. this is one who follows the God Loki, who is a god of Random insanity defined. chaos, and discord. the two gods are almost as violently different from each other as Jesus and Satan are. (please not arguements that satan isn't a god, i'm fully aware of his status in the abrahamic faiths) and yet, the followers of both of these gods are considered Heathens. we are of the same faith, even though we're the followers of two totally, violently different gods.
And Christians/Catholics argue over weither you should say a hail mary or if you're automatically forgiven if you mean it when you ask for forgiveness?
Tanja von Hannover
<Depending on Who you ask>