Catholics and the Bible or "It depends on what the meaning of Is is."
Early in my evangelical days, I was taught by my pastor and Bible study leaders (my magisterium at the time) that Catholics don't take the Bible literally. One of the examples brought up was the creation story in Genesis. They maintained that all real believers must accept that the world was made in 6 days and couldn't possibily be more than 6,000 years old. They said all Catholics believe in evolution and therefore don't take the Bible literally. This was rather simplistic thinking but I accepted it at the time. It was a little tougher for me to accept 6 day creation when I was studying comparative anatomy and genetics in undergrad and then embryology and human anatomy in medical school. But I stuck to my guns and ignored the science right there in front of me. (The presence of gill slits and a tail in the developing human is a tough one to ignore!)
Catholics believe that faith and science are not in oppostion, and good science should always support faith and vicea versa. Yesterday, the fossilized skeleton of a baby over 3 million years old was discovered in Ethiopia. That would make a 6000 year old earth unlikely. As a Catholic, I don't shut off my intellect and just ignore the findings and claim that "carbon dating is satanic and used to deceive people." Instead, I believe what God intended to convey to us in Genesis: that God created man and intended for us to walk with Him, but our rebellion separated us from Him, foreshadowing our need for a Savior. The Church doesn't mandate that you believe this occurred in 6 days or 6 million years. As an astute Carmelite friar said during the Galileo saga in the 16th Century, "the Scriptures aren't written to tell us how the heavens go, but how to tell us how to go to Heaven!"
Upon returning to the Catholic Church after a 30 year hiatus in protestantism, I have since learned that Catholics take the Bible literally in many areas that non-Catholics don't.
For instance, when the Scriptures say "Be baptized for the forgiveness of sins," the Church has always taken that literally and taught that baptism is a sacrament conveying Christ's redemption through the waters sprinkled/(immersed) on a new believer. As a protestant, I was taught that baptism is just symbolic and they don't take the Bible literally here.
Another example is that Christ told us to eat his body and drink His blood (John 6). The word he uses for "eat" means to literally chew or gnaw! At the Last Supper, He gave his disciples a piece of unleavened bread and said "take and eat, this is my body." Notice He didn't say "this is like my body" or "this is a symbol of my body." So the Church has always believed and taught that He literally asks us to continue to eat His body and drink His blood. To argue against Jesus' words here is to take the reasoning of a former president who in a court of law stated "It depends on what the meaning of is, is."
I could go on here with many other examples, but I still can't get over how wrong I was about Catholics and the Bible. I was told that protestants take the Bible literally yet in some of the most key scriptures that pertain to our salvation, they symbolized them! Before the Reformation, baptism and the Eucharist were never symbolic! Did God suddenly change His mind regarding important doctrines of Salvation? Did the reformers uncover truths that the Catholic Church was successful in keeping under wraps for 1500 years? I don't think so, for if you believe that, then you must therefore conclude that the gates of Hell did indeed prevail, making Jesus a liar.