What were some of the most bizarre claims you heard about the Church before converted? You made the decision that the Catholic Church was the true Church. The claims from those who either were misinformed, ignorant or outright hated the Church.
I myself have heard the usual “Catholics worship Mary” and “Catholics changed the Bible.” But what are some others? Did the accusations bring you down, or strengthen your faith?
My two most bizarre both come from a close friend of mine who is Episcopalian. He told me before I converted that there are many convents with children’s graves. Those graves are from babies aborted when priests and nuns have sexual relations.
He also informed me that Catholics pray to the pope. Technically, we do if a particular pope has died and been canonized, because he still retains the title of pope. He meant reigning popes though.
Not from people, but browsing on the internet. Some of the more interesting ones are Jack Chick’s attacks on the Catholic Church, one of his pamphlets entitled “The Death Cookie” in which he compares the Eucharist to Egyptian mythology. Also, there are some interesting sites which are apocalyptic literature. Rapture and end times stuff. One of them was how that the Catholic church is the whore of Babylon and the red beast is European Socialism. And how John Paul II worked with Gorbachev to end the soviet union so that european socialism could rise and bring about the end times. The logic was a bit strained and hard to follow.
I heard a lot of the bizarre things, too–I think the most bizarre was that the Vatican had records of all the non-Catholics and they would “go after” these people and…
But I didn’t believe a lot of these claims because they were so bizarre! I knew so many Catholics involved with pro-life work and also Bread for the World, and these people were not involved with anything that weird!
I think that the most dangerous thing I heard was that Catholicism is a religion of works rather than faith. This is enough to scare off most non-Catholics (AKA Protestants or just Christians).
I heard stories that women weren’t allowed to attend Mass because they are considered “dirty,” and that priests gave husbands advice to beat up their wives and children.
I also heard that half the people in AA are ex-Catholics, because they drank too much wine at Mass. (I had visions of a Baccinalian festival dancing in my head - dang, was reality ever a disappointment. —[Me at First Holy Communion: [COLOR=“DarkSlateBlue”]One sip? We only get one sip??!! Where’s this orgy of Catholic drunkenness I kept hearing about??!! ] - only kidding . )
The Catholic Church promotes, alcoholism, homosexuality, not to mention pedaphiles. (sp?) Why would that kind of “church” be acceptable to you and why would you want to raise your children, in such a sick environment.
catholics add to the bible, catholics have additional books of the bible (the protestants actually removed them, the catholics did not add them), catholics worship Mary and the saints, catholics believe in traditions that contradict the bible (whereas protestants don’t have any) catholic worship is boring, catholic worship does not involve personal participation, catholic church forbids people to study the bible, catholics don’t know the bible
In my experience, this part is true. Don’t get mad, everybody! I’m not talking about the people who inhabit this forum. But not only do the majority of Catholics I meet not know the Bible, they don’t even know the teachings of the CC very well.
Protestant: Why do you believe that (fill in anything)?
Me: The Catholic Church doesn’t teach that.
P: All the Catholics I know believe it!
Me: Well, I don’t, and the CC doesn’t actually teach it, no matter what people believe.
P: Yes, it does! I heard that—
yes, I see where you’re coming from, I was speaking of all catholics, including priests, scholars and theologians, as well as they laity. Some Protestants will say you can’t be Catholic and knowledgable of the Bible, and the only reason people are Catholic is because they don’t know their Bible…otherwise they would be protestant.
Actually, that ties in a bit with how I decided to become a Catholic. For years, from my academic study, I knew Catholics had better philosophical arguments than Protestants, but as a Protestant I thought, “Well, at least we have the Bible on our side, and even Catholics acknowledge that point!”
Then I discovered the writings of a few Catholics who did NOT acknowledge that point, to put it mildly. It was amazing to me. I’m not bragging, but I’ve read the Bible through nineteen times, and some parts of it much more than that. Plus, I’ve attended Christian services for 34 years. In a Protestant church, that adds up to approximately sixteen trillion hours of sermons. What I’m trying to say is, I thought I KNEW the Bible. But after hearing some biblical arguments from a Catholic perspective, every time I read the Bible, things started leaping out at me I’d never thought of before. I kept thinking, “How long has THIS been in here?”
Then I started attending weekday mass once a week. Everything sort of fell into place. THEN I encountered this forum. And here I am. (I almost wrote “Here I stand,” but decided against it. )
Someone asked me if I truly believed that there were superhuman beings God had pre-ordained to end up in Heaven and to whom He would grant special powers over certain things on Earth (he was talking about the saints. The funny thing about that whole pre-ordained part was this guy was a Jehovah’s Witness)
Catholics worship the saints
One guy thought that only the Laity had to go to confession, and was shocked when I told him EVERYONE went, up to the Pope and that JP II went several times a week. (Though for the life of me I couldn’t even imagine an answer when he asked “What did HE confess to?”)
That each sin has a set amount of penance and priests have a book that they look up the sin in and tell you how many different prayers you have to pray to be forgiven.
That you have to pay money to get people out of purgatory.
That Catholics believe Jesus didn’t have feet, but that since the Bible says Jesus walked places obviously The Catholic Church is false (he was confused because Da Vinci’s last supper has a door in the wall it’s painted on where Jesus’s feet aught to be. An article on The Last Supper said that a door had been added later so Jesus feet were not in the fresco. As English was not this man’s first language I couldn’t convey to him what the article actually said and he firmly believed that we believe Jesus did not have feet).