Catholic of the Year 2000
Contest Results

1st Place Winners, tied with 96% correct:

2nd Place Winner, with 95% correct:

3rd Place Winners, tied with 93% correct:

Congratulations to the winners!

Many thanks to all who participated! The average score was approximately 75%, so this was a pretty tough contest.

Unfortunately many entries had to be discarded since they had no name attached, or no form of contact, or no answers marked. Answers which were only dimpled or had hanging chads were not counted. BWAH Hah hah! [Note added years later: That actually was funny... way back when it was written. How quickly humor grows stale! Sic transit and all that. -jkh-]

The 75 Contest Statements,
the “True or False?” Answers,
and the Rationale for Each:

Answer Why
1 F  ?  The pope can change doctrine.
2 F  ?  Canonization makes a person a saint.
3 T  ?  Any sin can be forgiven as long as the sinner is truly sorry.
4 T  ?  The sacrament of Baptism can only be received once.
5 F  ?  Before modern times, lay people werenít allowed to read the Bible.
6 T  ?  It is possible for those who are not baptized sacramentally to go to heaven.
7 F  ?  The rosary is no longer an effective way to pray.
8 F  ?  Conscience tells me whatís true or false, right or wrong.
9 F  ?  Catholics who leave the Church will go to hell.
10 F  ?  We know now that the devil is imaginary.
11 T  ?  The existence of the Blessed Trinity was not fully revealed until Jesus came to earth.
12 F  ?  Vatican II teaches that the Church should be like a democracy; thatís why we have parish councils.
13 F  ?  Infallibility means that everything the pope says is true.
14 F  ?  Books written before Vatican II are no longer helpful to Catholics.
15 F  ?  Missing Sunday Mass once in a while is not a problem.
16 F   Reason plays no role in our salvation. We just have to believe.
17 F  ?  Anyone who wants to can receive Communion at Mass.
18 F   The Church affirms extraterrestrials exist.
19 F  ?  If you donít feel good about practicing your religion, there must be something wrong with you.
20 F   The Church teaches that people who commit suicide will go to hell.
21 F  ?  Since we can go directly to Jesus, the saints are not important in Catholic teaching.
22 T   It was the leaders of the Catholic Church who gathered into one collection the books we know as the Bible.
23 F  ?  Every Catholic must go to confession at least once a year.
24 F   Itís just a matter of time before the Church begins ordaining women to the priesthood.
25 F  ?  The Catholic Church sends people to hell by excommunicating them.
26 F   If you believe in something strongly enough, it will become true for you.
27 F   The Catholic Church teaches we earn salvation by good works.
28 T   The Bible, as we know it, did not exist for the first three centuries of Christianity.
29 F  ?  We pray to the saints because we are not worthy to go directly to Jesus.
30 F   A Christian can believe in reincarnation.
31 F  ?  Lutherans and Anglicans believe in Jesusí presence in the Eucharist the same way Catholics do; they just explain it differently.
32 F  ?  We donít need to go to confession because sins are forgiven by praying straight to God.
33 F   Married priests have never been allowed in the Catholic Church.
34 F   Changing the rules on priestly celibacy would eliminate the shortage of priests.
35 F   The requirement of priestly celibacy is unfair.
36 F   Priestly celibacy is unnatural and unnecessary in the modern world.
37 T  ?  Catholics may believe in the evolution of the human body as long as they believe that God creates the soul.
38 F   The Catholic Church does not encourage its members to read the Bible the way Protestant churches do.
39 F   The seven sacraments were set up by the church many years after Christ ascended into heaven.
40 F  ?  The Church teaches that as long as Catholics go to Mass and confess any serious sin, they will go to heaven.
41 T   Morality is more than following rules.
42 F  ?  People who commit suicide cannot receive a Catholic funeral.
43 T  ?  The rules of conduct for priests and religious are basically the same as the rules of conduct for any single Catholic.
44 F  ?  Parents should not force their children to go to Mass against their will.
45 F   Astrology is just a harmless pastime.
46 T  ?  The Pope is elected for life.
47 F  ?  If we canít receive Communion at Mass, we are at least supposed to come up and ask for a blessing.
48 F   Hell isnít permanent.  Eventually all creatures will be reunited with God.
49 F   We shouldnít spend money on building fancy churches.
50 T   Priests are encouraged, but not required, to celebrate Mass every day.
51 F  ?  Technically speaking, we donít pray to the saints.
52 T  ?  The fields of science and religion are not opposed to each other.
53 F   We shouldnít impose our religion on others through missionaries. Our policy should be live and let live.
54 F   Jesus dies and is sacrificed again at every Mass.
55 T  ?  There is no limit to the number of times a person can receive the sacrament of reconciliation.
56 F   When you get divorced, you are excommunicated automatically and are barred from receiving Communion.
57 F   Thereís a big difference between a homily and a sermon, and only homilies are to be given at Mass.
58 F  ?  We must receive both the consecrated bread and the consecrated wine if we want to receive Christís body and blood.
59 T  ?  Catholics may receive Communion twice on any given day if the second communion is at a Mass they attend.
60 F   Because of our relationship with other churches, Catholics may now read any Bible translation with equal benefit.
61 F  ?  If you canít make it to Mass on a Sunday, going to Mass on a weekday will take its place.
62 F  ?  There is no good reason for missing Sunday Mass.
63 F  ?  An annulment is the Catholic equivalent of a civil divorce.
64 F  ?  The Anointing of the Sick is only given to someone who is about to die.
65 F  ?  The term ďImmaculate ConceptionĒ refers to the way in which Mary conceived Jesus.
66 F  ?  The Immaculate Conception means that Mary did not need a Savior.
67 F  ?  Catholics must believe Mary really appeared at Fatima, Lourdes, and other apparitions approved by the Church.
68 F   Catholics donít outwardly evangelize like Christians because they think actions speak louder than words.
69 F   All Christians agree on essentials, so we shouldnít worry about secondary points of doctrine.
70 F   This is a scientific age.  We know miracles donít happen anymore.
71 T  ?  We do not have to use a memorized formula to express our ďact of contritionĒ during Reconciliation.
72 T  ?  It is impossible to sin by accident.
73 T  ?  Mary had no other biological children besides Jesus.
74 F   Jesus was bound by the cultural customs of his time.
75 T  ?  The Church asks us not to eat or drink anything except medicine or water for one hour before receiving Communion.

Special thanks to Karl Keating, Fr. Philip T. Smith, O.Praem, and Fr. Robert Hodges, O.Praem. for assistance with compiling and wording these statements.  -jkh-