This thread requires the assistance of Catholics, Catholic haters, and the honestly curious.
I am only a sheep, not a shepherd, but I’ll share what I know. I count on others to aid and correct me.
This is a follow-up to a recent abortion thread, in which I came to believe that mutual understanding and agreement was impossible. Here’s number
two in the series, dealing with hatred towards Catholicism.
There are not a hundred people in America who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions of people who hate what they wrongly believe to be the
Catholic Church — which is, of course, quite a different thing.
Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen (1931)
There have been a number of threads and posts declaring Catholicism to be Satan worship, with it’s adherents condemned to Hell. What’s behind
this hatred? Who has a harsh word for the Episcopalians, Presbyterians, or Unitarian Universalists? There must be something unique about the Church
that sets it apart. I’ll offer my opinion up front, in case you can’t be bothered to read further.
What makes the Catholic Church unique is Authority.
I understand that some may not agree it has
authority, but it does claim that authority, often, vigorously, and through a score of centuries.
Consider some of yesterday’s news items:
Vatican Chief Justice: Nancy Pelosi Must Be Denied Communion
Pope Francis excommunicates pro-gay marriage priest. He's not the liberal the media wants.
Opposed to what the world currently thinks, the Church claims there is an objective right and wrong, and the Church knows what it is because God told
us in the Bible and through the workings of the Holy Spirit. But our world doesn't like playing by the rules, we even get upset to learn there
But that’s not what I expect to be discussed, it would be nice, but I’m expecting things like:
“I disagree over points of doctrine, such as the idea that Tradition should have any weight, or that the doctrine of the Real Presence is true, or
that there should be a single head of a church, or I disagree with infallibility, or Sunday worship.”
That’s fine, and will make for a good discussion, but as grounds for hatred?
Other objections are grounded in wealth:
“Oh, the Church has trillions of dollars, is planning on owning the whole world, Popes dress far too flamboyantly.” As a matter of taste, one
can’t argue, but as a matter of accounting, the facts aren't there. (To be honest, it sounds like envy.)
Another common criticism is that some men of the Church did bad and wicked things. I’m really not surprised. Did you expect anything else? What
examples are used?
Crusades, Galileo, Inquisition, Priests molesting boys, Vatican Bank, Ummm, nothing else comes to mind, but I’m sure I’ll be helped out.
In my opinion, which we can discuss, those events are either misunderstood, exaggerated, or not so unusual in a large organization. I don’t mean
they were completely excusable, they were clearly wrong. But to go from a proper understanding of them to hatred for the Church is difficult for me
There are also some ideas which strike me as really strange, things like:
“Catholics think the Pope is God, they worship Mary, they worship Pagan gods and goddesses, they worship Satan in blood rites under the Vatican.”
There’s not much room for discussion there. No, they don’t.
HERE’S WHAT I’D LIKE TO SEE.
We can go down two paths, and I sincerely hope my elder brothers and sisters come by to offer their assistance.
One, in conformity with “Denying Ignorance,” I’d like to see questions raised and answered about the Church. That’s probably most beneficial
Two, I’m really, really curious. Why the hatred? Why hate an entire church? I’d really like to know. I know Jews get hated, and have been
forever, but Muslim hatred is recent and it seems society tries hard to defend them. I don’t know of any other religion so widely condemned.
You've got my opinion, I’d like yours.
If we can keep the hyperbole, ranting, and completely bizarre statements out of it, we’ll probably get more accomplished. I did label this an
“Impossible Thread.” Please prove me wrong. I really want to learn here, and discourage hatred, so teach, don't yell.