Are we Catholics really such negative, angry people as some say?


#21

To answer the OP from potential convert’s point of view, the answer is No. In my experience i’ve found that the attitudes here at Catholic Answers Forums has nothing to do with the majority of Catholic people, who are compassionate and friendly. I have learned a ton by reading here but if this place were a reflection of everyone I wouldn’t be interested in converting, at all! Many people, but not all thankfully, respond on here in a way that I should hope they wouldn’t to a person’s face. There’s nothing wrong with being honest with someone but when there is no compassion or regard for the other person, the opinions are very judgmental. Perhaps, being online, some people lose sight of the fact that they are responding to a fellow human being. There are a lot of nice people here as well though, and so much helpful info…searching through these forums has helped me to see that Catholic teachings have Biblical basis.
Ginger


#22

One more thing I forgot to add: Since I missed almost all of my catechesis (we stopped going to church when I was about 10), I really appreciate the emphasis on true Church teaching here. If I am unknowingly committing a sin, I want someone to tell me IMMEDIATELY so I can correct it and get to confession. I don't want nice, I want spiritually and doctrinally CORRECT. I am trying to grow as a Catholic and no one needs to treat me like an infant! I'm ready for a stronger faith and if strong correction is necessary, so be it.

Maybe because we Catholics DO talk about sin and its negative consequences, some other denominations tend to see us as negative. They'd rather ignore the results of sin than have to tell people when they are in the wrong.


#23

Thank you all for your replies.

I think that there are two issues here. The anonimity of the forum allows us to be more direct (even rude) than we would normally be in person, plus it is not possible to convey a certain emotion through written comments so it is easy to misunderstand the intent behind it.
The other one is more about some people being sensitive to criticism and honesty, because they are wishy washy about the teachings of the church and want to feel good about themselves primarily. I see that as a big source of conflict.

I have to say that I have learned a lot here and have encountered wonderful people who are compassionate, happy, positive and mature. Equally so, I've had some seriously awful responses on my threads. Last year I posted something about my marriage and a kind gentleman wrote that I was a perfect example of why people should have better marriage preparation and should even be discouraged from marrying. I was so shocked and hurt because this was such an OTT response that actually did not bother to address my problem. Or a person who practically accused me of child abuse when I asked a question about babies and their sleeping habits. Yes, there are weirdos here who respond in nasty, cruel ways. I guess they have their problems and lash out on others. I used to get very angry and think of replies that would be equally hurtful. But luckily, I would get over such emotions and offer a prayer for that person instead. Now I don't even think about it and move on. This is something that I have started doing in real life when I get angry, and it has made such a difference for my peace of mind and attitude towards people.

Thing is, this forum is a great place for all of us to be able to chat, recieve and give advice, pray for one another and grow in faith together. I don't know what I would do without it because at the moment I have 1 Catholic friend in my life that I can really talk to about faith. It can be very lonely out there without the support of fellow believers. I am very thankful for this place, as well as for numerous Catholic blogs.


#24

I'm not talking about anyone specific here as I often don't bother to pay attention too close attention to looking for patterns of rude behavior from specific persons.

What I will say is that there is definitely a difference between blunt honesty and being presumptious and judgmental. The later is truly an expression of spiritual pride. I know I tend to be very guilty of this expression of pride myself. We need to be very careful about judging the disposition of people's hearts and presuming that we understand the motivations over why someone may be attached to a sin or why someone is having difficulty accepting whether or not something is sinful or not.

Its not at all about tiptoeing around issues. I'm very much for priests being blunt about Church teachings and allowing people to leave the Church who don't want to accept it. But its important to recognize the difference between proclaiming the truth and spewing out personal judgments that are simply based upon spiritual pride. I think the examples given by the most recent poster are good examples. Gripping about "Well this is why the Church needs better this" or "Its people like you who..." etc, etc. We need to be humble about our own judgments and realize that we ourselves are not infallible nor can we read people's hearts. We need to be careful not to assume the worst of people and to rejoice in people's journeys toward God.

I think the apologists on Catholic Answers are very good at this. Heck, when I listen to a lot of Catholic radio I am almost always impressed with how loving the answers are without the truth ever being sacrificed.


#25

[quote="twoangels, post:24, topic:225654"]
I think the apologists on Catholic Answers are very good at this. Heck, when I listen to a lot of Catholic radio I am almost always impressed with how loving the answers are without the truth ever being sacrificed.

[/quote]

This reminds me of an old episode of the Mother Angelica show where a woman called to say that the EWTN helped her go back to church. She then said that she had been living with a man for several years, hoping they would get married as he once promised. They had a child and he still wouldn't marry her and she was in serious deistress over that. Mother talked to her in a very kind way, you could so clearly see it, but told her that she couldn't live like that and should leave her boyfriend. She was so loving and kind but wasn't afraid to say it as it is. I always think of that story as an example of how Christians should treat people. .


#26

How dare you say we are angry, negative people. I am fine, it’s all the others … :wink: :takethat:


#27

Realjuliane, I am so sorry if I gave you the impression that I was pointing to you as someone who flamed others. It was the opposite . I sometimes felt like people were expecting perfection out of you with little understanding of how hard some of what they were suggesting is. I guess this is where the anonymous posts with no body language does get in the way of communu\ication.


#28

So what if we are angry and negative! Whachya gonna do 'bout it? huh?? :D


#29

Won't speak in a broad sense, but I did get a PM a few weeks ago from someone who was in RCIA and she said that she was leaving the CAF because when she can here looking for guidance, thoughts, answers to questions, she felt she was attacked and jumped on by people who were very judgemental.

I was saddened by her leaving but I do know what she was talking about. Sometimes, as human beings, even when we are Catholic, we lack charity in how we deal with our fellow human beings.


#30

[quote="Contra_Mundum, post:1, topic:225654"]
Are we Catholics really such negative, angry people as some say?

[/quote]

People say a lot of things about Catholics, 99.9% of which is untrue.


#31

[quote="terryobrien1980, post:30, topic:225654"]
People say a lot of things about Catholics, 99.9% of which is untrue.

[/quote]

The same can be said about ANY religion. Protestants, Jewish, Islam-you name it.


#32

[quote="redroselover, post:27, topic:225654"]
Realjuliane, I am so sorry if I gave you the impression that I was pointing to you as someone who flamed others. It was the opposite . I sometimes felt like people were expecting perfection out of you with little understanding of how hard some of what they were suggesting is. I guess this is where the anonymous posts with no body language does get in the way of communu\ication.

[/quote]

It's OK, it gave me an opportunity to think about who I am and how I view things, especially on internet forums where people are specifically ASKING for advice and opinions. If they just wanted snuggles, then why ask in the first place?

I have never been a fragile or an emotionally sensitive person, and over the years, I have grown a much thicker skin. The internet has actually helped with that, because I had to realize that there will always be some people who won't like me no matter what I do or don't do, and that because of the internet, those people can flame me if that's what they want to do. If I got upset and freaked out every time someone disagreed with me or even came off as a little too blunt, over the incomplete communication of email or internet forums, I'd be in a mental institution! The first time I got flamed for no reason I was shocked and hurt, but then as I considered things, I recognized that in no way had I been wrong - it was the other person's problem.

I know not everyone appreciates frankness, and some might think I am tactless. But then some will like not having to sort through all the sympathy and hugs for the gem of someone's experience, strength and hope. I do find that the 12 step slogan or adage, "Take what you like and leave the rest," makes so much sense in life. That way, one doesn't have to spend the rest of the day criticizing the person and stewing about whatever. Just take the goodies and leave the dross.

And now, a hug for everyone...

:grouphug::tiphat: I am not heartless, not at all.


#33

[quote="violet81, post:28, topic:225654"]
So what if we are angry and negative! Whachya gonna do 'bout it? huh?? :D

[/quote]

You want a piece of me?? Huh??? Do ya???

:slapfight::stretcher::D


#34

No. And I will slap silly anybody that says otherwise:D


#35

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:33, topic:225654"]
You want a piece of me?? Huh??? Do ya???

:slapfight::stretcher::D

[/quote]

Shall we take it outside missy? :blackeye: :crutches:


#36

After telling someone at work today that I'm converting this was the response I got. Verbatim minus a reference to a specific person...

"I personally think catholic people are the biggest hypocrites, snobs, etc… there are… I sincerely hope you don’t chose that, but it’s your choice…"

So sadly yes... Catholics are viewed poorly by some people. Although when I responded explaining that you can not judge millions of people based on your own encounters with an extremely small fraction of them she had no reply so maybe she's thinking differently now... who knows...


#37

[quote="mdrummer5, post:36, topic:225654"]
After telling someone at work today that I'm converting this was the response I got. Verbatim minus a reference to a specific person...

"I personally think catholic people are the biggest hypocrites, snobs, etc… there are… I sincerely hope you don’t chose that, but it’s your choice…"

So sadly yes... Catholics are viewed poorly by some people. Although when I responded explaining that you can not judge millions of people based on your own encounters with an extremely small fraction of them she had no reply so maybe she's thinking differently now... who knows...

[/quote]

*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. *

Archbishop Fulton Sheen


#38

I have read a few of the posts on the forum especially the Family Life part. I think a lot of folks posting on this particular forum from what I read are going through personal battles with themselves and others and they come here to find answers, validation, comfort, someone who will listen. Venting on a message board requires a person to make an effort to type their thoughts. It can be a courageous thing depending on the person.

I really don't think reading posts on a forum can be a realistic basis for a conclusion that Catholics are generally negative angry people. Perhaps its just that some of the posters have negativity in their lives and need a place to come and talk about it.

I don't view posts regarding church teachings and doctrine that indicate that Catholics are generally negative. Even those with heated debate.

One more thing, most catholics don't post or read this forum, so its a stretch to say remarks on a forum reflect the general mindset. I am positive about this!


#39

[quote="estesbob, post:37, topic:225654"]
*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. *

Archbishop Fulton Sheen

[/quote]

And, unfortunately, there are also millions of people who consider themselves to be Catholic when, in fact, they are following none of the tenets of the Church and yet they say the Creed and take Eucharist every week. Some of them are quite public and have cameras on them often. I'm thinking maybe the OP's friend sees some of those Catholics and thinks we are all like that.


#40

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:39, topic:225654"]
And, unfortunately, there are also millions of people who consider themselves to be Catholic when, in fact, they are following none of the tenets of the Church and yet they say the Creed and take Eucharist every week. Some of them are quite public and have cameras on them often. I'm thinking maybe the OP's friend sees some of those Catholics and thinks we are all like that.

[/quote]

Agreed. In fact people identifying themselves as Catholics who always are quick to disagree with everything the church says are rampant in CAF.


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