Handling anticatholicism in social gatherings

I am tired of it. It shocks me sometimes just how misinformed almost every single person wh is not catholic seems to be. It seems everyone assumes some awful things about the church. the church must be the most evil organization not just on earth but ever from what I gather. in a party or social gathering, a topic comes up about the church. everyone has some evil thing to say. all of it is non factual. a good deal of it is outrageous. but defending the church can just seem so awkward in some settings. but sometimes something is so false you have to speak up.

the other day someone said that the church only recognized black people as human beings in 1986. they had a date and everything for a clearly outrageous lie! I corrected them. big mistake. then stories from everybody start coming about all these evil things the church does or did at some point. all completely false. Like stealing cultural pieces and hiding in a vault in the Vatican. the church is the richest ngo in the world. I say they also probably do more charity than the other ngos? so what. you don’t molest people and claim charity. the church is busy abusing children as we speak. not that some bad priests do bad things but the catholic church molests children. this is all presented as factual and I am the religious nut who is indoctrinated and blind to the plain truth. they don’t say this but it is obvious from the responses and the eyes. I get tired of responding to be honest. so many stories from all corners. it is kindly suggested to me to go and read about the true history of the catholic church. its not that I don’t know the church has made its mistakes in the past. its just that people have developed a truly strange picture of the church. how did this happen? the catholic church seems to be viewd as the biggest evil cult in the world by many educated people. it simply crazy!

I gave up. honestly, I hate to feel like some type of outcast. I only feel this way when the topic of Catholicism comes up outside church circles. do you feel this way too when the church is discussed in non-Catholic or non-religious circles? what is the best way to handle such comments especially at parties or social gatherings when you are the only one who is catholic and almost everybody has something bad to say about the church? especially with close family friends or close friends of family?

The best thing is to defend the church…BUT I totally get your feelings. i totally understand and feel the same way. SO what I do is walk away form those people and never come back. Get some intelligent Catholic friends. The world is pushing us underground, and Ive stopped trying to challenge that. We are going to get pushed underground…so I guess i just walked myself underground. Dont get me wrong. Do NOT hide your faith. Express it, be proud share it and ect. But get good Catholic friends. And dont bother to associate yourself with others unless you have the intention of going on the offensive and evangelizing. Hope this helps. And NEVER let the fire in your faith leave. Always stay straight with God and the Church. But avoid all who will bring you down.

I doubt that such gatherings involve people who care in the least about the truth (lurid lies are ever so much more fun! :eek:), and even though there’s not a whiff of truth in what they’re saying.

Blacks not recognized as people? Think they have the Church confused with another church on that point. The Church has been in Africa since the 1st century. We have many African saints on the calendar from long before 1986.

Stealing cultural pieces? Hardly. The cultural pieces mentioned were often made for the Church (Sistene Chapel ceiling) and others are on display in museums. What else would “they” want done? Sounds rather like someone getting their knowledge from Dan Brown novels.

I’d look for a better class of acquaintances. Not all non-Catholics are so willfully ignorant and lacking in charity; many non-Catholics are capable of respect for the Church and Catholics. With close friends/family, I would say simply “I have put study into the matter, and I am confident that the Church holds the Truth, and these accusations you make are both unkind and untrue. They are hurtful to me, and I ask that you stop repeating these falsehoods.” And quite frankly, even with close friends/family, I would go so far as to say that if they continue, I will leave (and then do so–return for other events, but repeat the script and leave again until it is no longer an issue).

I can definitely relate to what everyone else has said. I think it depends on who you’re with, and what the mood of the crowd is. People most often just make fun of the Church and of Christianity as a whole as well as spirituality in general. I usually just stay silent. I think you have to choose your battles wisely, and to do that you need to be able to sense who has full use of their faculties, critical thinking skills, an open heart, etcetera. More often than not arguing is just a colossal waste of time and energy. We live in a media dominated environment that has painstakingly conditioned and poisoned the minds of everyone to some degree or other. Whoever controls the media controls the human mind. Perhaps the best way to derail anti-Catholicism is by radiating the Gospels in your personal life and just being the best person you can be.:shrug:

Please don’t take this as an insult, I truly don’t intend to offend but I’ll post a few thoughts as an outsider…

It is odd Catholicism is singled out for an attack (do you live in an area with a high concentration of Fundamentalists? They are often taught disparaging things about Catholicism) but there is a reason why many non belivers, or just theists of a different denomination to you find reasons to criticize.

For convenience, I’ll use Catholicism as an example. I’m well aware you think me wrong, deluded, possibly even evil for thinking this but I think the Chruch’s stance on contraception to be reckless and immoral. Simplified I don’t think there’s enough land on this earth to sustain and supply the ever increasing human population, and our expansion is causing harm to the few wild areas untouched by civilization. That’s just one personal objection of my own, by stating you are a Catholic, you are also by proxy endorsing a policy that to me is destructive and harmful to humanity, the planet and all the other species on it.

This goes for several other areas of social justice, by professing Catholicism you are advocating anti-LGBT rights, anti-liberal and anti-democratic views. Regardless to if they are right or wrong, this is clearly going to not go down well with Liberals, homosexuals or those who support them. They may not be offended, but some will be. You’re welcome to hold these views, but someone is going to be upset when you announce you support an organization that continues to have (to us outsiders) rather unnerving and unethical absolutist views with a rather tarnished history both ancient and modern as well.

If we swapped the words around we could use this to describe politics too
. It’s a difficult topic, which is why all good dinner party hosts know never to talk about Religion or Politics!

Maybe you should consider different social gatherings and circles…
You also have the option of politely excusing yourself and leaving when this happens.
That’s what a person should do in the presence of crass behavior.

It may not be ‘anticatholicism’ you are experiencing.

There are many religions and none. One can’t expect people to understand all the nuances of other’s beliefs and the importance that may be placed on them.

Live and let live.

I think most of us understand all too well the criticisms against the Church, and we are quite aware that much we believe is politically incorrect. But thanks for pointing it all out to us.

Might you address her question and how you handle it when venomous criticism of your religion breaks out, and none of it is actually true.
Or maybe that doesn’t happen to you.

I certainly agree with your last paragraph…seems like that might be the crux of the whole thing.
Why is it that people feel free to disparage others in a social setting these days?
Because they’re so used to doing it online perhaps.

Hehehe :smiley: Are you kidding? Athiests tend to just find my views to be eccentric wishful thinking, most of the Criticism I have received has some from conservative Muslims (I’m a whore for not covering up enough or submitting to my husband) or my Catholic husbands family because I’m apparently an evil devil worshipper who hates Jesus and is in cahoots with Satan and some worldwide diabolic illuminati-like conspiracy (This was because I accepted a contract to organize a Methodist lesbian wedding)

Honestly? I tend to just laugh it off, possibly even crack a joke about it if the claim is ridiculous enough. If they show genuine interest I’ll explain why I believe what I do, but otherwise I just try and gently steer the topic to safer waters.

Edit: Also, by “pointing out your political incorrectness” (Neo Nazism is politically incorrect, Catholicism is just conservative, it’s accepted as a legitimate world view) I’m trying to let the OP see that what he thinks is “anti-Catholicism” may really just be “someone who doesn’t agree with you”.

It might have been the Mormons they were referring to; wasn’t there a “revelation” by the LDS president around that time that decided blacks were finally equal and could become bishops?

Anyway, most people are religiously illiterate and don’t even know how to intelligently argue or discuss others’ beliefs, or their own for that matter. It seems important to me to learn more about my faith, apologetics, and to learn some about other religions. Just so the dialogue has some basis of truth before a discussion.

I would never argue with someone who does not have his facts straight. I’d say, "get your facts straight first and then let me tell you about the KKK and how they were against “blacks, Jews, and papists”…now why are Catholics in the same company as blacks? Who was behind the civil rights movement? Who was against it?

Find some stunning Catholic history that needs repeating and cite it back to the ignorant. There is much to be proud of in our history, even the times we overcame our flaws.

Okay, so I’m not quite sure you understand the full weight of anti-Catholicism that gets thrown at us. I have heard people insult Christianity in general, and simply pointed out that I was uncomfortable with that because I’m Catholic. They don’t just think it’s some silly eccentric belief. I have had entire groups come up and start trying to tell me all the ways that Catholicism is wrong and evil, etc. Fortunately, I am pretty used to defending my faith by now, but it was and can be quite rough at times.

Other fun fact - if you can provide intelligent answers to objections, you may get to brace yourself for simply being insulted. Yes, that is phase two in defending your faith. First you have to show that you aren’t a complete idiot, and then you get to show that you can handle having people simply insult you incessantly. This is not speculation. This is from experience. I happen to be a bisexual Catholic and in this climate it is far less comfortable to be Catholic than it is to be attracted to the same sex.

Why don’t you simply ask your friends why they’re mocking and picking at your faith?
My experience is that a lot of people try to be funny and are actually unaware of how insulting it is to us when they mock our church and our sacred tradition.

So I recommend trying this out even though it may sound a bit juvenile it may just do the trick.
Also if this occurs often and they’re unwilling to stop harassing you my advice is to look for new friends that at least respect your faith, but the optimal thing is for them to share your faith.

Yours in Jesus and Mary

  • MarianCatholic

I agree with “live and let live,” but, as book pointed out several years back, anti-Catholicism is seemingly the last acceptable prejudice. Certainly the media bends over backwards to avoid criticizing Islam (except for ISIL, to some degree); LGBT is totally off-limits; I’ve never heard any anti-Semitic remarks in any workplace or social situation, ever; and Protestantism is so varied that it makes a poor target. The Catholic Church, however, always seems to have a bulls-eye painted on it. And people don’t criticize nuances; they go after stereotypes, memes, and and the seemingly immortal old slanders.

I can understand why people display ‘prejudice’ towards religions and maybe Catholics in particular. Religious views are becoming more and more difficult to sustain as populations especially in the western world become more educated.

Whilst I abhor intolerance or prejudice, religions, if they are to survive will have to move with the times. Over the centuries religions have died out as scientific progress increases.

Even the more recent religions (e.g. Scientology) struggle to gain as strong a foothold as the ancient religions.

I expect as Societies advance and modernize, religions will see more intolerance, not less - as their positions on a wide array of topics become unsustainable or more prosaically, irrelevant.

Did anyone complaining here hear the proclamation of the Gospel at Mass today, about picking up your cross and following Christ?

You should be joyous, not gloomy, when you encounter what you have.

Saint Peter tells us (1 Peter 4:14) "If you are insulted for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you."

And in the Acts of the Apostles we hear how early members of the Church, who were subjected danger, and not just the annoyances you all have mentioned. In Acts 5:41, we see, "So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name."

So suck it up! Your discomfort is a blessing not a curse!

Peace and all good!

It is important to try to explain Catholic teaching to one or two at a time when they are badly misinformed.

Depending on their problems, it is sometimes wise to first show that Christ established His Church on St Peter, giving him the authority and power with “You are Peter and on this rock I will build My Church.” (Mt 16:18)
“The gates of hell will not prevail against it.”(Mt 16:18)
I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven.” ( Mt 16:19)
The power of binding and loosing and specifically charging him with sole authority:
“Strengthen your brethren.” (Lk 22:32)
“Feed My sheep.”(Jn 21:17).

After that specific objections can be answered if the knowledge of apologetics is present.

Join the club, OP, and be comforted to know that every group is misunderstood and attacked.

Or…just not agreed with.

I see misconceptions about other religions and non-religions on this site all the time, for example. And although many try to correct the thinking and wrong beliefs of some, there are always those who will not listen to the real, true information.

Some people are simply not informed or are confused. (I assume that one person talking about black people that you mention was referencing the Mormon faith?)

So you are in the same boat as all of us, as everyone.
We are all “tired of it”.
Join in and do the best you can.

The best way to combat this kind of thinking is to take a deep look into your heart and make sure you do not feel or do or talk this same way about other religions or belief systems.

.

Very good points. Your exactly right. Forgive me for whining about the world in MY response. Your right.

Also excellent advice! :slight_smile:

The CCC is, as the acknowledged St John Paul II has declared in his Apostolic Constitution Fidei Depositum:
“I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith…a sure and authentic reference text for teaching Catholic doctrine…offered to every individual who asks us to give an account of the hope that is in us (Cf. 1Pet 3:15) and who wants to know what the Catholic Church believes….while carefully preserving the unity of faith and fidelity to Catholic doctrine.”

Thus equipped, which real Catholic would want to shun the opportunity to correct error, false impressions and denigration of Christ’s’ own Church?

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