Catholic FAQ


Latest Threads
newest posts



Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Apologetics
 

Welcome to Catholic Answers Forums, the largest Catholic Community on the Web.

Here you can join over 400,000 members from around the world discussing all things Catholic. Membership is open to all, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who seek the Truth with Charity.

To gain full access, you must register for a FREE account. Registered members are able to:
  • Submit questions about the faith to experts from Catholic Answers
  • Participate in all forum discussions
  • Communicate privately with Catholics from around the world
  • Plus join a prayer group, read with the Book Club, and much more.
Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free. So join our community today!

Have a question about registration or your account log-in? Just contact our Support Hotline.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search Thread Display
  #1  
Old Nov 12, '06, 2:35 pm
Quatsch Quatsch is offline
Junior Member
Radio Club Member
 
Join Date: November 10, 2005
Posts: 308
Religion: Catholic
Unhappy Church teaching vs. Church behavior

Hi all,

I'm engaged in a dialogue with an officemate and I need some help.
He is not Christian but has a good knowledge of some Church history
and a great sense of logic. Basically our discussion has boiled down to
whether the Church we have today is the same that gave us the Bible.

He believes (and rightly so, I think) that the Church should be held to a
higher standard of behavior than normal society. For this reason, he does
not think that a Church which did the Crusades or the Spanish Inquisition
could truly be the Church that Christ founded and which gave us the Bible.

I have told him that what the Church teaches and how men within the
Church act should be viewed separately. His response to that is asking me
why I would put my faith in an institution where men who have done such
horrible things are allowed to lead.

I'm not really sure how to respond...but if you guys have some ideas, I'd
appreciate it.

Blessings,

Q
__________________
Tiber Swim Team
Class of 2005
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old Nov 12, '06, 2:40 pm
corvidae corvidae is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: September 11, 2006
Posts: 603
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Church teaching vs. Church behavior

I would ask him if you would hold Gerorge Bush responsible for the actions of the soldiers at Abu Gharib (sp?). That would be similar to comparing the Church to what the soldiers in the Crusades did. The Church called for a war, but did not lead it, nor did it supervise.

I would also point out that the Spanish Inquisition was called by the government of Spain, and not by the Church. The Spanish Inquisition was a hunt for treason in the form of not adhering to the state religion.

It seems that his two big historical arguments against the Church are not that historical.

A lone Raven
__________________
Be gone from me Satan, suggest not to me vain things, the cup you offer me is evil, drink the poison yourself
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old Nov 12, '06, 2:42 pm
Milliardo's Avatar
Milliardo Milliardo is offline
Greeter
Prayer Warrior
Book Club Member
 
Join Date: March 31, 2005
Posts: 3,087
Religion: Orthodox
Send a message via AIM to Milliardo Send a message via Yahoo to Milliardo
Default Re: Church teaching vs. Church behavior

His question qould be better answered if you ask him why he still has faith in government inspite of its lapses and contradictions; if he replies that he still believes in it, then that should end your discussion as he made your point. If he doesn't, then ask him why he is still living there and not move to another country that he thinks has a better form of government.
__________________
If a person truly wants to live, he can make any place he wants a heaven.--Yui Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion


Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old Nov 12, '06, 2:52 pm
Quatsch Quatsch is offline
Junior Member
Radio Club Member
 
Join Date: November 10, 2005
Posts: 308
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Church teaching vs. Church behavior

Quote:
Originally Posted by corvidae View Post
I would ask him if you would hold Gerorge Bush responsible for the actions of the soldiers at Abu Gharib (sp?). That would be similar to comparing the Church to what the soldiers in the Crusades did. The Church called for a war, but did not lead it, nor did it supervise.

I would also point out that the Spanish Inquisition was called by the government of Spain, and not by the Church. The Spanish Inquisition was a hunt for treason in the form of not adhering to the state religion.

It seems that his two big historical arguments against the Church are not that historical.

A lone Raven
hmm

I like the response to the Inquisition (something I should learn more about
myself), but I'm not so sure the Bush analogy works well. I think it would be
more likened to holding Bush responsible for the war in Iraq and what
soldiers there are doing. If there was one Crusade that was an isolated
incident, that would be different. But there were multiple crusades and it
seems the Church was fully aware not only of what they were trying to do
(win back the Sepulchre) but also how it was being accomplished.

I guess another question I have is whether the Church was right to perform
the Crusades or not. Surely there motive was pure, but the way they did it
was not. It seems to me similar to how Cain seeked to please God with his
offering but it was not what God wanted, so it was ultimately displeasing
even if the intention was good.

-Q
__________________
Tiber Swim Team
Class of 2005
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old Nov 12, '06, 2:54 pm
Quatsch Quatsch is offline
Junior Member
Radio Club Member
 
Join Date: November 10, 2005
Posts: 308
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Church teaching vs. Church behavior

Quote:
Originally Posted by Milliardo View Post
His question qould be better answered if you ask him why he still has faith in government inspite of its lapses and contradictions; if he replies that he still believes in it, then that should end your discussion as he made your point. If he doesn't, then ask him why he is still living there and not move to another country that he thinks has a better form of government.
He's from India, is not a US citizen, and I'm sure he does not approve of our
government although we have not discussed it in any depth. He believes that
God exists. His background is Hindu but he does not associate himself with
any religion.
__________________
Tiber Swim Team
Class of 2005
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old Nov 12, '06, 2:56 pm
Milliardo's Avatar
Milliardo Milliardo is offline
Greeter
Prayer Warrior
Book Club Member
 
Join Date: March 31, 2005
Posts: 3,087
Religion: Orthodox
Send a message via AIM to Milliardo Send a message via Yahoo to Milliardo
Default Re: Church teaching vs. Church behavior

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quatsch View Post
He's from India, is not a US citizen, and I'm sure he does not approve of our
government although we have not discussed it in any depth.
The point is they still have a government, so ask him if he believes about his government and if he still wants to go back to India then.
__________________
If a person truly wants to live, he can make any place he wants a heaven.--Yui Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion


Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old Nov 12, '06, 3:05 pm
Quatsch Quatsch is offline
Junior Member
Radio Club Member
 
Join Date: November 10, 2005
Posts: 308
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Church teaching vs. Church behavior

Quote:
Originally Posted by Milliardo View Post
The point is they still have a government, so ask him if he believes about his government and if he still wants to go back to India then.
I'm not really sure what that will accomplish. He would recognize that he
ultimately does not have a choice and wherever he goes, will live according
to some government (barring the choice of becoming an outcast and
excaping society, which is not a reasonable situation). However, he does
have a choice whether or not to live according to the Church because the
Church does not have any power today, at least not politically like it did
before the Reformation.

He argues that during those times, people in Europe did not really have a
choice about believing because the Church was so powerful. I say that the
Church had power because the people believed, but he says the Church and
monarchies fed off of each other to control everything, that they both had
vested interests and were more concerned with power. He says that what
the people believed had nothing to do with it (I don't know enough about
history to really refute his points...so if anyone could shed some light on the
matter, that'd be great).
__________________
Tiber Swim Team
Class of 2005
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old Nov 12, '06, 3:06 pm
quasimodo quasimodo is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: May 16, 2004
Posts: 945
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: Church teaching vs. Church behavior

I would suggest that you study some good Catholic history books. Your corespondent is simply mouthing the received wisdom from the enemies of the church.

The Inquisition was actually originally set up to save lives and on balance it probably did save a lot of lives by holding the state to a higher level of mercy and evidence than previously existed. Did the process go out of control? Yes, at times, grievously. Did it save lives. yes, on balance. The states were putting people to death at an alarming rate for the capital crime of heresy. The church slowed it way down, in most cases.

The crusades were primarily a defensive war. All the land held by Islam was conquered territory that had been Christian. The church did not respond to the advances of Islam -which spread at the point of the sword - for almost 500 years. When the Byzantine Empire asked for help, the Pope responded. Did the crusaders act like good Christians at all times - no. Where Moslem rulers all sweetness and light (as they are often portrayed) - no. The crusaders that sacked Constantinople (the biggest grievance in some quarters) were excommunicated, the harshest punishment the church had at its disposal.

He is arguing from a comic book version of history. This little snap shot may not be much better but its all I have time and space for. Study up.
__________________
"There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." -- Daniel Webster
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old Nov 12, '06, 3:06 pm
corvidae corvidae is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: September 11, 2006
Posts: 603
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Church teaching vs. Church behavior

I think the thing is this.

Remember that the Church did not actually lead the Crusade. The Church said, we need to stop this muslim agression and aid our orthodox brothers. Who will help?

It was nobles, professional soldiers, and even peasents that went on the Crusade. Sure there were some Church members who actually accompanied the Crusaders, but not a whole lot. I think you need to study the Crusades more in depth as well. It was not a single very long string of attrocities, nor was it one long war. The Crusades were several wars, each with different perspectives.

The Crusades were truly a war that's purpose was to protect and rewin the Holy Land from those who would not allow pilgrims to enter. The Crusades were not even begun until the Byzantine emporer asked for aid from the West.

I would study more into the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition and see if they are what our perceptions of them are.

A lone Raven
__________________
Be gone from me Satan, suggest not to me vain things, the cup you offer me is evil, drink the poison yourself
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old Nov 12, '06, 3:35 pm
Quatsch Quatsch is offline
Junior Member
Radio Club Member
 
Join Date: November 10, 2005
Posts: 308
Religion: Catholic
Thumbs up Re: Church teaching vs. Church behavior

Quote:
Originally Posted by quasimodo View Post
I would suggest that you study some good Catholic history books. Your corespondent is simply mouthing the received wisdom from the enemies of the church.

The Inquisition was actually originally set up to save lives and on balance it probably did save a lot of lives by holding the state to a higher level of mercy and evidence than previously existed. Did the process go out of control? Yes, at times, grievously. Did it save lives. yes, on balance. The states were putting people to death at an alarming rate for the capital crime of heresy. The church slowed it way down, in most cases.

The crusades were primarily a defensive war. All the land held by Islam was conquered territory that had been Christian. The church did not respond to the advances of Islam -which spread at the point of the sword - for almost 500 years. When the Byzantine Empire asked for help, the Pope responded. Did the crusaders act like good Christians at all times - no. Where Moslem rulers all sweetness and light (as they are often portrayed) - no. The crusaders that sacked Constantinople (the biggest grievance in some quarters) were excommunicated, the harshest punishment the church had at its disposal.

He is arguing from a comic book version of history. This little snap shot may not be much better but its all I have time and space for. Study up.
Thanks for your response and also for the inspiration to learn about this part
of history.

Does anyone have any references they're particularly fond of? I saw a
reference in an article in EWTN's library to the "History of Christendom"
series by Warren H. Carroll. Any other ideas?

-Q
__________________
Tiber Swim Team
Class of 2005
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old Nov 12, '06, 3:36 pm
Quatsch Quatsch is offline
Junior Member
Radio Club Member
 
Join Date: November 10, 2005
Posts: 308
Religion: Catholic
Thumbs up Re: Church teaching vs. Church behavior

Quote:
Originally Posted by corvidae View Post
I think the thing is this.

Remember that the Church did not actually lead the Crusade. The Church said, we need to stop this muslim agression and aid our orthodox brothers. Who will help?

It was nobles, professional soldiers, and even peasents that went on the Crusade. Sure there were some Church members who actually accompanied the Crusaders, but not a whole lot. I think you need to study the Crusades more in depth as well. It was not a single very long string of attrocities, nor was it one long war. The Crusades were several wars, each with different perspectives.

The Crusades were truly a war that's purpose was to protect and rewin the Holy Land from those who would not allow pilgrims to enter. The Crusades were not even begun until the Byzantine emporer asked for aid from the West.

I would study more into the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition and see if they are what our perceptions of them are.

A lone Raven
Thanks for the advice. quasimodo suggested the same thing, so I think you guys have a valid point. Please check my response to him below

Blessings,

Q
__________________
Tiber Swim Team
Class of 2005
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old Nov 12, '06, 3:42 pm
Maranatha Maranatha is offline
Book Club Member
 
Join Date: January 23, 2005
Posts: 1,907
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Church teaching vs. Church behavior

While the historical facts around the crusades and inquisitions are frequently slanted against the CC, there are unfortunate incidents around those events and others where officials of the CC including the Popes were wrong.

Why does your friend thing the Church should be made up of all saints? The saints themselves would be the first to tell you they were sinners. The Catholic Church is a hospital for sinners and not a hotel for saints.
__________________
Woman! above all women glorified,
Our tainted nature's solitary boast
-
William Wordsworth
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old Nov 12, '06, 3:58 pm
Quatsch Quatsch is offline
Junior Member
Radio Club Member
 
Join Date: November 10, 2005
Posts: 308
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Church teaching vs. Church behavior

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maranatha View Post
While the historical facts around the crusades and inquisitions are frequently slanted against the CC, there are unfortunate incidents around those events and others where officials of the CC including the Popes were wrong.

Why does your friend thing the Church should be made up of all saints? The saints themselves would be the first to tell you they were sinners. The Catholic Church is a hospital for sinners and not a hotel for saints.
Very good question...one that I have posed to him myself. He expects, as
we all do I think, that the true Church of God would act in a godly manner.
He doesn't understand why I recognize that the Church is made up of
sinners and still profess faith in the Church (essentially, why I put my own
salvation in the hands of sinners). I tell him that God guides the Church, but
from what he has observed and what he has heard about the past, he
doesn't believe that. Granted, I need to learn more about the Church's
history as others have mentioned so I can make sure his fundamental beliefs
about the Church's history are in line.
__________________
Tiber Swim Team
Class of 2005
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old Nov 12, '06, 4:48 pm
Milliardo's Avatar
Milliardo Milliardo is offline
Greeter
Prayer Warrior
Book Club Member
 
Join Date: March 31, 2005
Posts: 3,087
Religion: Orthodox
Send a message via AIM to Milliardo Send a message via Yahoo to Milliardo
Default Re: Church teaching vs. Church behavior

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quatsch View Post
I'm not really sure what that will accomplish. He would recognize that he
ultimately does not have a choice and wherever he goes, will live according
to some government (barring the choice of becoming an outcast and
excaping society, which is not a reasonable situation).
We're talking specifically of his country's government. Has he lost faith in that that he doesn't consider himself Indian now? if he hasn't, then he made a point for you, since then he will realize that it isn't perfect, yet he subscribes to it. If he has lost faith, then it would be up to him to prove there is a government somewhere that doesn't have lapses. In which then comes in your point again--he considers himself an outcast of society, which isn't a reasonable choice either as he is still very much part of society.
__________________
If a person truly wants to live, he can make any place he wants a heaven.--Yui Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion


Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old Nov 12, '06, 5:29 pm
Quatsch Quatsch is offline
Junior Member
Radio Club Member
 
Join Date: November 10, 2005
Posts: 308
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Church teaching vs. Church behavior

Quote:
Originally Posted by Milliardo View Post
We're talking specifically of his country's government. Has he lost faith in that that he doesn't consider himself Indian now? if he hasn't, then he made a point for you, since then he will realize that it isn't perfect, yet he subscribes to it. If he has lost faith, then it would be up to him to prove there is a government somewhere that doesn't have lapses. In which then comes in your point again--he considers himself an outcast of society, which isn't a reasonable choice either as he is still very much part of society.
Belonging to the Church is extremely different from belonging to society,
though. I am actively a member of the Church in that I have free will to
decide to belong to the Church or not. We do not have that same free will
regarding society.

With that in mind, his point is that why should he submit himself (when he
does not have to) to a Church made up of sinners when he could seek God
on his own without other sinners to bring him down. Again, I cannot give a
good logical explanation to him that God leads the Church even if individuals
in it are sinners. So that is what it really boils down to, he requires a good
logical explanation and I don't have the tools to give it to him I think to do
that, I need to study up on history of the Church a bit more...
__________________
Tiber Swim Team
Class of 2005
Reply With Quote
Reply

Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Apologetics

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search Thread
Search Thread:

Advanced Search
Display

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Prayer Intentions

Most Active Groups
8536Meet and talk,talk talk
Last by: EMILYOCD
5198CAF Prayer Warriors Support Group
Last by: James_OPL
4433Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother
Last by: DesertSister62
4037OCD/Scrupulosity Group
Last by: eschator83
3869SOLITUDE
Last by: Prairie Rose
3834Let's empty Purgatory
Last by: RJB
3393Petitions Before the Blessed Sacrament
Last by: Amiciel
3299Poems and Reflections
Last by: PathWalker
3231Catholic Vegetarians & Vegans
Last by: Rifester
3150For seniors and shut- ins
Last by: flower lady



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 2:12 pm.

Home RSS Feeds - Home - Archive - Top

Copyright © 2004-2014, Catholic Answers.