I have a friend who occasionally shares anti-catholic views. The other day, out of the clear blue sky, she shared with a room full of people how she watched a documentary about the sex abuse scandal in the Irish Priesthood (if I heard correctly). Does anyone know what documentary she is referring to? Also, I recall visiting a website a few years ago that gave solid defense against lies with regard to the scandal… does anyone know of this website? We all know many documentaries share more lies and opinion than truth.
Thank you all! I’m always looking for new resources to defend the Church against attacks. Education is a powerful tool. Like Fulton Sheen said, “…there are millions of people who hate what they wrongly perceive.”
I think you are correct, Boomerang. I understand the rhetoric Kyle mentions. While there have been atrocities that have occurred (as they have in ALL religious orders) it seems Protestants fixate on this type of “Catholic Bashing”.
If you take a look at the size of the Church, you’ll see that even 3% isn’t as bad as it’s made out to be. I mean, the Church is so bad that even a blind person can take aim at it and make a hit. Yes, that’s still high, but the only reason you hear about it is because it’s so big. If you gather all the Protestant Churches together (something like 33,000 different denominations) and look at their record, you would find that they are at least as equally bad. I’ve heard that they are even worse about this sort of stuff, but because each denomination is so much smaller than the whole of the Catholic Church, it’s even easier to cover it up.
I was once a Protestant, and I saw my share of bad preachers. Plus, there have even been some TV evangelist’s who have taken a fall. For example, Oral Roberts, Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart. I know, I know, that’s only three cases. I think the only Protestant preacher who managed to keep his nose clean by rising about the trash was Billy Graham. Too bad his kids don’t get along anymore. I mean, there’s plenty of sibling rivalry there. If they would get together on this stuff, they could make clean marks on their own.
I agree with you about pride, in fact if the Bible didn’t say that money was the root of all evil I would think that pride was. However, the Catholic Church does not claim to be perfect, anymore than Peter, Paul, Thomas, or any of the other apostles claimed to be perfect. Her claim is that she is protected, by the Holy Spirit, from teaching error as Truth in matters of faith and morals. Just as the authors of the Bible were able to write the scriptures infallibly with the Holy Spirits guidance, even though they remained unperfect men capable of sin.
I agree it can be difficult to understand, I struggled with it at one time. Protestants will often deny that Peter could have ever been a pope. They point to Bible verses such as how Peter rebuked Jesus and how Jesus in turn refers to him as Satan. Also, how Paul has to call Peter out for his hypocrisy. However, they have no trouble in accepting his 2 letters that are contained in the Bible of being from error. How can this be? Only because of the grace of God and His gift to the Church of the Holy Spirit.
Well, it is actually easy to see how they can deny that Peter = 1st Pope. There is no mention of Peter becoming the spiritual leader of the Church that Jesus started, and the one phrase used to make that determination is not all that clear. It is also quite normal to see that significant events in the Bible are testified to by at least two witnesses.
There is also no solid statements in history that shows that the Catholic Church as well as all those who became Pope were without error in teaching about morality or doctrine.
I have some good friends where were Pentecostal, then Baptist, but are now Catholic. It is not because of claims of perfection in teaching or historical relevance to being the one true church. It is about the teachers in that church spending time and disclosing the truths of the Bible and the worship services meeting their spiritual needs.
The love God and enjoy worshipping Him there - and that is enough.
There are many writers of the book of the Bible, but none of the others were ever assumed to be the first Pope.
When we say that the writing is infallible, just what all does that entail?
For the record (as if others were not already aware; there are those who don’t believe that Peter wrote with all that much accuracy since they don’t accept 1 Peter 3:21 as accurate.
Not everyone believes that all those Bishops teach the truth about faith and morals. Looking back and history of the actions of the “Catholic Church,” there were some morals that were very questionable.
I don’t see anywhere that God stated that the disciples of Jesus would teach without error and will always get all teachings correct. Actually, I don’t seem to remember Jesus mentioning that at all. It is almost as if He knew that the disciples were only human.
It doesn’t take long when reading about Paul’s journeys, some disciples fell by the wayside. (Not even addressing the problems with those things that the Apostles took a while to learn.)
The Catholic Church does not teach that the apostles were anything but human, or the Pooe and Bishops of today.
To say that Peter and the other writers of the Bible wrote the Bible infallibly means that there is no error in them on matters of faith and morals. At least that is my understanding.
Writing the Bible infallibly is not what enabled Peter to become Pope. I’m just pointing out that the Protestants I know have no trouble thinking Peter, who was a mere man, could write 1 and 2 Peter infallibly. I agree with them.
The Bishops are mere men and are still capable of sin and still do sin. They are not impeccable. I often tell my children how they should behave and then behave otherwise. Not a good example, I know, but what I told them about how to behave is still good. I believe God wants us to know the Truth on matters of faith and morals, so He has promised the Church the Holy Spirit to guide her.
"But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
I think the disconnect might be the timing of the guidance received. The timing is actually critical in what people believe about any church.
When the Spirit of Truth leads us, we don’t follow immediately. We test the truth we receive, and in that testing; we stray from the path given because we don’t see it clearly at first. Our vision is sometimes murky because we are not infallible creatures.
However, the phrased you used:
Her claim is that she is protected, by the Holy Spirit, from teaching error as Truth in matters of faith and morals.
That phrase makes no allowance for those who guide the church to have anything but instant truth. If that truth were instant, there would be no history of error on the part of the church. If there were never any error, we would not have Protestants today. Just as it was with Protestants from several hundred years ago, many people would never have died at the hands of those who claimed to be disciples of Jesus if true faith and morals were instantly known.
I believe that the doctrines of the Catholic church are aligned with the Bible more than other Christian doctrines that I am aware of, but I have difficulty with a couple of them. They are of little consequence to me; however, and I align myself with any and all who work daily to take up the cross and follow Christ Jesus. If those people display the fruit of the Spirit in their journey; humility should be seen as well as meekness.
I would agree that humility is very important…truth is as well. The facts of the child abuse scandal should not be minimized, but at the same time, the truth should not be forgotten or ignored either.
Fact is that credible accusations against priests in the US have been in the single digits on an annual basis for last several years, which would put the rate of abuse at less than 0.02%…which is less than just about any other organization. The Church realized a problem, put reforms in place, and the reforms are having great success. While one case of abuse is one too many, the prevailing narrative in the media is that there is no place with a greater problem than in the Catholic Church, which is factually not true. In fact, if one wanted to find a place where the problem is worse, and swept under the rug, simply go to the public school systems of America. This is not to deflect the sins of some in the Church, it is simply to speak the truth.
The reason why the narrative is so important to those who spout it, is because they dislike the Church’s positions on a host of social issues. If it were really about the children in their eyes, they would not be giving a free pass to the public school systems.
I have no doubt that the unbelieving world would rather bash those who claim Christ as their King than to criticize those who are in and of the world. It is the same way with politicians on certain sides of worldly issues versus those on the Godly side.
However, anyone who claims perfection makes himself a huge target.
Pope Francis humbled himself in the apology for the child abuse scandals. That was a good thing.
Another thing to consider, ( if it hasn’t already been mentioned ) is how many accusations have actually been proven? Amazing how many cases were opened as soon as the Church started giving cash settlements.
The figure of 3% of priests were involved is I believe high. Somewhere I read it was lower than that. I wish I could remember where I read that… I will try to remember. If it only happened once that is one time too many, but the fact remains that statically one of the safest places in the world for a child to be is around a Catholic priest. You will never hear that in the secular media or elsewhere in the world but it is true.