How do i refute these myths about the Catholic Church and its history


#1

Okay, so I am a future social studies teacher, and as such i took a lot of history classes. Anyway, I always found there were so many myths about the church, but I could never prove anyone that these were not true except for one or two. Here are some of the examples, (i'll think of more as they come along). Authentic sources are welcomed very much.

  1. The Church, outlawed the printing of the bible and didn't want ordinary people reading. I know that part of this was because they didn't want errors in translation and interpretation, and that books were very rare at this time. Still though, i've never found anything disproving this myth

  2. The Church used the ideas of fish fridays to support the fishing industry. Now I don't know how long the fish friday rule has been in place so that would be a start, but this sounds (pardon the pun) fishy to me

  3. Pope Piux XII was Hitler's pope. This irks me because he really did all he could, and I show people how he saved certain jews and did speak out, but the reply i get is "well thats a catholic source". However, I myself even feel the pope could of done more, but he probably would have put himself in a lot of danger

Anyway, those are the big ones I've though of, If more come to mind, i'll post them


#2

Yes, Pope Pius XII was pretty quiet, but the minute he spoke out against Hitler the Catholics in Europe would have been in a very similar place to the Jews. Convents and monasteries built like fortresses would not have been able to hide Jews because of all the suspicion surrounding them.


#3

[quote="benjammin, post:1, topic:300555"]
Okay, so I am a future social studies teacher, and as such i took a lot of history classes. Anyway, I always found there were so many myths about the church, but I could never prove anyone that these were not true except for one or two. Here are some of the examples, (i'll think of more as they come along). Authentic sources are welcomed very much.

  1. The Church, outlawed the printing of the bible and didn't want ordinary people reading. I know that part of this was because they didn't want errors in translation and interpretation, and that books were very rare at this time. Still though, i've never found anything disproving this myth

  2. The Church used the ideas of fish fridays to support the fishing industry. Now I don't know how long the fish friday rule has been in place so that would be a start, but this sounds (pardon the pun) fishy to me

  3. Pope Piux XII was Hitler's pope. This irks me because he really did all he could, and I show people how he saved certain jews and did speak out, but the reply i get is "well thats a catholic source". However, I myself even feel the pope could of done more, but he probably would have put himself in a lot of danger

Anyway, those are the big ones I've though of, If more come to mind, i'll post them

[/quote]

You don't disprove the myths. The obligation of evidence rests with the one making the claim. If someone claims it, you ask them for the evidence. Disproving a negative is logically impossible, which is exactly why the obligation rests with them instead.


#4

Ask them for evidence.
If they cite the likes of Jack Chick or Ellen Gould-White, then they have effectively lost the debate.


#5

First, what are the sources of these myths? What documentation, if any, do they contain?

1) Until the arrival of the printing press, the Bible was copied by hand. The Church knew most people could not read but the Bible could still be read to them.

2) Eating fish on Friday to support the fishing industry? Again, where is this claimed? If there is no credible source then it is hearsay at best and a lie at worst.

"Friday

"From the dawn of Christianity, Friday has been signalized as an abstinence day, in order to do homage to the memory of Christ suffering and dying on that day of the week. The "Teaching of the Apostles" (viii), Clement of Alexandria (Stromata VI.75), and Tertullian (On Fasting 14) make explicit mention of this practice. Pope Nicholas I (858-867) declares that abstinence from flesh meat is enjoined on Fridays. There is every reason to conjecture that Innocent III (1198-1216) had the existence of this law in mind when he said that this obligation is suppressed as often as Christmas Day falls on Friday (De observ. jejunii, ult. cap. Ap. Layman, Theologia Moralis, I, iv, tract. viii, ii). Moreover, the way in which the custom of abstaining on Saturday originated in the Roman Church is a striking evidence of the early institution of Friday as an abstinence day."

3) Pope Pius XII did all he could to help the Jewish people during the Hitler regime. This is well documented.

amazon.com/The-Myth-Hitlers-Pope-Against/dp/0895260344

amazon.com/Righteous-Gentiles-Catholic-Church-Million/dp/1890626600

I mean, if whoever told you these things or wherever you heard or read these things, do not provide credible sources to support these ideas, it doesn't matter.

Peace,
Ed


#6

[quote="benjammin, post:1, topic:300555"]

  1. Pope Piux XII was Hitler's pope. This irks me because he really did all he could, and I show people how he saved certain jews and did speak out, but the reply i get is "well thats a catholic source". However, I myself even feel the pope could of done more, but he probably would have put himself in a lot of danger

[/quote]

Try this link:
jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/anti-semitism/piusdef.html

This article explains the source of misconceptions about the role of Pope Pius:
renewamerica.com/columns/abbott/090507

Also, recent books by Rabbi David Dalin and Gary L. Krupps, both Jewish authors have attempted to set the record straight.

freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2464697/posts


#7

[quote="benjammin, post:1, topic:300555"]
Okay, so I am a future social studies teacher, and as such i took a lot of history classes. Anyway, I always found there were so many myths about the church, but I could never prove anyone that these were not true except for one or two. Here are some of the examples, (i'll think of more as they come along). Authentic sources are welcomed very much.

[/quote]

As a student of history, you realize that unattributed assertions aren't worth the breath it takes to express them... right? ;) So, the general rule of thumb would seem to be that, if someone asserts a thing, they bear the burden of proving that it's so... right? So, then... what proof of these things have been presented to you? Nothing? Well, then... issue resolved, right? :thumbsup:

  1. The Church, outlawed the printing of the bible and didn't want ordinary people reading. I know that part of this was because they didn't want errors in translation and interpretation, and that books were very rare at this time. Still though, i've never found anything disproving this myth

I guess the real question is whether anyone has anything proving this myth, eh? You can't disprove a vaguely asserted distortion of the truth, can you?

  1. The Church used the ideas of fish fridays to support the fishing industry. Now I don't know how long the fish friday rule has been in place so that would be a start, but this sounds (pardon the pun) fishy to me

Again... ask for a 'proof' of this. The notion of fasting and abstinence has long been a part of Christian tradition, dating back to the 1st century A.D.

  1. Pope Piux XII was Hitler's pope. This irks me because he really did all he could, and I show people how he saved certain jews and did speak out, but the reply i get is "well thats a catholic source". However, I myself even feel the pope could of done more, but he probably would have put himself in a lot of danger

This is the myth promulgated by the book Hitler's Pope, which has been asserted as false by many, including the book The Myth of Hitler's Pope. If I recall correctly, Pius XII was regarded, at the time of WWII, as an anti-Fascist and anti-Nazi; it wasn't until much later that people attempted to smear him as a Nazi sympathizer / anti-Semite.


#8

[quote="benjammin, post:1, topic:300555"]
Okay, so I am a future social studies teacher, and as such i took a lot of history classes. Anyway, I always found there were so many myths about the church, but I could never prove anyone that these were not true except for one or two. Here are some of the examples, (i'll think of more as they come along). Authentic sources are welcomed very much.

  1. The Church, outlawed the printing of the bible and didn't want ordinary people reading. I know that part of this was because they didn't want errors in translation and interpretation, and that books were very rare at this time. Still though, i've never found anything disproving this myth

  2. The Church used the ideas of fish fridays to support the fishing industry. Now I don't know how long the fish friday rule has been in place so that would be a start, but this sounds (pardon the pun) fishy to me

  3. Pope Piux XII was Hitler's pope. This irks me because he really did all he could, and I show people how he saved certain jews and did speak out, but the reply i get is "well thats a catholic source". However, I myself even feel the pope could of done more, but he probably would have put himself in a lot of danger

Anyway, those are the big ones I've though of, If more come to mind, i'll post them

[/quote]

In answer to your first question, perhaps this article: "Did the Catholic Church forbid Bible reading?" (catholicbridge.com/catholic/did_the_catholic_church_forbid_bible_reading.php) will be of some help.

In response to your second question, I think the answer has to do with the fact that before Vatican II, Catholics were required to abstain from meat every Friday. On this point my grandfather once told me a humorous story. My grandfather worked for the Post Office after coming back from WWII. He was one of the only Catholics at work. The rest were mostly Freemasons. They were always making fun of him and harrassing him at work for being a Catholic. On one occassion he said they were all sitting together in the lunch room on a Friday and the only other Catholic co-worker in the lunchroom - a very tall, muscular "Coal Cracker" (as my grandfather called him) - turned to my grandfather and aksed, "What are you eating today?" My grandfather said, "A cheese sandwich." The Coal Cracker said, "That's what I have too." And then the Coal Cracker turned to my grandfather and gestured to the Freemasons saying, "Look at these guys eating meat like a bunch of dogs." My grandfather said after that he never had another problem with the Freemasons.

In response to your third question regarding Hitler, I would just say that Hitler hated the Catholic Church. A 1948 deposition by Gen. Karl Wolff, the SS commandant for Italy, revealed that the Nazis had plans to kidnap the pope, kill countless cardinals and seize the Vatican.

The following prominent Jews defended Pius XII: Golda Meir, Rabbi Herzog, Rabbi Finkelstein, Rabbi Safran, Jeno Levai, Moshe Sharett. Israeli diplomat Pinchas Lapide wrote in his Three Popes and the Jews (1967) that Pius "was instrumental in saving at least 700,000, but probably as many as 860,000 Jews from certain death at Nazi hands." After Rome's liberation, the chief rabbi of the city, Dr. Israel Zolli, expressed his immense gratitude to Pius for his bravery and for having saved so many Jews. I think that I'll take the words of these Jewish leaders over the words of Rolf Hochhuth and John Cornwell.

As to the issue of the Concordat that is invariably brought up, I would note that Cardinal Faulhaber is reported to have said: “With the concordat we are hanged, without the concordat we are hanged, drawn and quartered." In Rome the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pacelli, told the British minister to the Holy See that he had signed the treaty with a pistol at his head. Hitler was sure to violate the agreement, Pacelli said. One of the crucial terms of the Concordat with Germany was that German officials were to regard baptized Jews as Christians. Pius ordered the monasteries, convents, and churches of Italy to issue false baptisimal certificates to give to Jews who were in hiding. He ordered his nuncio in Turkey (Angelo Roncalli, the future Pope John XXIII) to prepare thousands of baptisimal certificates for refugee Jews arriving in Istanbul. The reality is that secretive, delicate Catholic diplomatic maneuvering in the face of a superior foe, saved hundreds of thousands of lives.


#9

If several sources make a statement, then there is probably some element of truth to it. I would do some serious research (the internet is a good place to start) because these allegations should be tested for their veracity. Oftentimes, we are fed information which is passed off as fact, so we need to be vigiliant to check out the sources first before giving credence to the information.

The thing is to be able to discern on your own what is truth, for instance, by looking to see if the if the source in question is a reputable one, or if the author has a solid background in the subject matter. Ultimately, it is up to you to decipher what is real and what is not because we cannot always rely on sources outside of us to tell us right from wrong. But God has given us the Holy Spirit to guide and help us find the truth.

Holy Spirit Come


#10

[quote="Cryptic1, post:9, topic:300555"]
If several reputable sources make a statement, then there is probably some element of truth to it. I would do some serious research (the internet is a good place to start) because these allegations should be tested for their veracity. Oftentimes, we are fed information which is passed off as fact, so we need to be vigiliant to check out the sources first before giving credence to the information.

The thing is to be able to discern on your own what is truth, for instance, by looking to see if the if the source in question is a reputable one, or if the author has a solid background in the subject matter. Ultimately, it is up to you to decipher what is fact and what is myth because we cannot always rely on sources outside of us for the truth. But God has given us

[/quote]

The internet is the opposite of a good place to start. There are literally hundreds of websites that make the claims in the OP's post. Serious scholarship, however, shows the claims to be unsupported and in the historian community, anyone espousing such ideas is a laughing stock.


#11

[quote="edwest2, post:5, topic:300555"]
First, what are the sources of these myths? What documentation, if any, do they contain?

1) Until the arrival of the printing press, the Bible was copied by hand. The Church knew most people could not read but the Bible could still be read to them.

2) Eating fish on Friday to support the fishing industry? Again, where is this claimed? If there is no credible source then it is hearsay at best and a lie at worst.

"Friday

"From the dawn of Christianity, Friday has been signalized as an abstinence day, in order to do homage to the memory of Christ suffering and dying on that day of the week. The "Teaching of the Apostles" (viii), Clement of Alexandria (Stromata VI.75), and Tertullian (On Fasting 14) make explicit mention of this practice. Pope Nicholas I (858-867) declares that abstinence from flesh meat is enjoined on Fridays. There is every reason to conjecture that Innocent III (1198-1216) had the existence of this law in mind when he said that this obligation is suppressed as often as Christmas Day falls on Friday (De observ. jejunii, ult. cap. Ap. Layman, Theologia Moralis, I, iv, tract. viii, ii). Moreover, the way in which the custom of abstaining on Saturday originated in the Roman Church is a striking evidence of the early institution of Friday as an abstinence day."

3) Pope Pius XII did all he could to help the Jewish people during the Hitler regime. This is well documented.

amazon.com/The-Myth-Hitlers-Pope-Against/dp/0895260344

amazon.com/Righteous-Gentiles-Catholic-Church-Million/dp/1890626600

I mean, if whoever told you these things or wherever you heard or read these things, do not provide credible sources to support these ideas, it doesn't matter.

Peace,
Ed

[/quote]

These are excellent points. Especially significant is the link to amazon.com regarding the book, The Myth of Hitler's Pope. This is written by a rabbi concerning Pius XII's truly great efforts for the Jewish people.

There was a propaganda campaign run against him largely began with the play, 'The Deputy, " by Rolf Hochhuth I believe in 1963. This play along with the disinformation campaign that followed was largely kickstarted by a clandestine kgb operation called Seat 12, under Kruschev to undermine Pope Pius XII's moral authority who spoke out against communism. I know this sounds like howling at the moon kind of conspiracy stuff, but really it isn't. It's been pretty well investigated and documented. A defector, General Ion Mihai Pacepa in 1978, of the Romanian secret service explained his involvement with the operation at the time.

Also, the chief Rabbi of Rome, Israel Zolli, converted to the Catholic Church after the war and took the baptismal name Eugenio to honor Pius XII for all he did for the Jewish people during that terrible time.

So really, when you hear that Pope Pius XII was unsympathetic to the deaths of millions of Jews, don't believe it. He was a great Marian Pope, and I hope to see him canonized one day.


#12

The whole idea of 'fish Friday' is a misnomer. People had to abstain from meat. They were by no means required to eat fish. From personal experience I don't eat fish any more or less frequently on days of abstinence than other days.

Do they actually eat more fish on Fridays? I really don't know. I would hazard a guess that if they do it is a side-effect. Restaurant owners, knowing Catholics couldn't eat meat on Fridays, historically would not only make sure to put fish on the menu on that day but would put it on special as an added incentive - people who aren't vegetarian tend not to go out to eat unless meat or seafood is on the menu.


#13

I still drive past traditional restaurants and VFW halls with signs that read Friday Fish Fry. No, not eating meat on Friday was not abolished, it became optional. Catholics were, however, still required to abstain from something because Friday is still considered a day for abstinence.

Peace,
Ed


#14

[quote="Crescentinus, post:4, topic:300555"]
Ask them for evidence.
If they cite the likes of Jack Chick or Ellen Gould-White, then they have effectively lost the debate.

[/quote]

I doubt they would. These are professors who are in some cases not christian (either they don't practice, or they are bahai or new age or something like that) or if they are christian, they aren't fun dies, more likely to be mainstream, so no worries about chick tracts


#15

[quote="benjammin, post:14, topic:300555"]
I doubt they would. These are professors who are in some cases not christian (either they don't practice, or they are bahai or new age or something like that) or if they are christian, they aren't fundies, more likely to be mainstream, so no worries about chick tracts

[/quote]

That's good.
Sadly, I've seen people cite Jack Chick, Ellen Gould-White or Charles Taze-Rusell among others. I've even seen some quote Adolf Hitler no less!


#16

I disagree to an extent about not needing to disprove these. These are common myths that are being taught as fact, and I believe it is important (and in the case of the Hitler myth, extremely important) to disprove these in the presence of the people being taught them. The myth about Hitler and Pius XII is, without exaggeration, an evil lie that needs to be squashed anytime it comes up.

Other posters have already recommended some excellent sources about it, so I would become familiar with them. I would also become familiar with Benedict XVI's history, as that gets brought up too by people trying to make him into a Nazi (he had a compulsory membership in the Hitler Youth, as did every other non-Jewish male at the time, and later deserted from the German army as a young man).


#17

[quote="Crescentinus, post:15, topic:300555"]
That's good.
Sadly, I've seen people cite Jack Chick, Ellen Gould-White or Charles Taze-Rusell among others. I've even seen some quote Adolf Hitler no less!

[/quote]

Yeah, fortunately none of my professors are fundies. They are more indifferent to religion. Its interesting especially with the one I know who's bahai. He used to be Catholic, and its interesting hearing him speak about it, even though its basically like an uberextreme tolerant version of Islam that says all religions are equal and accepts all of these major and minor prophets.


#18

My blog articles on this:

[LIST]
*]Someone Has Lied to You About Our Pope Pius XII
*]Lauds for Pope Pius XII and the Catholic Church in WWII
[/LIST]
On the fishing propaganda, from the Ask an Apologist forum.

[LIST]
*]Did a Pope allow fish to be eaten on Fridays to help the fishing industry?
[/LIST]
As to the forbidden Bible propaganda, again from the Ask an Apologist forum.

[LIST]
*]If it weren't for Martin Luther, would Catholics be reading the Bible?
[/LIST]
Have fun making them look less smart than they are supposed to be. Best response is simple facts and pointing up that they are parroting inaccurate a-C sources. :thumbsup:


#19

[quote="benjammin, post:17, topic:300555"]
Yeah, fortunately none of my professors are fundies. They are more indifferent to religion. Its interesting especially with the one I know who's bahai. He used to be Catholic, and its interesting hearing him speak about it, even though its basically like an uberextreme tolerant version of Islam that says all religions are equal and accepts all of these major and minor prophets.

[/quote]

You, are one lucky guy.
I've had the disaster of meeting many anti-Catholics both religious and non-religious. I swear, they live for nothing except attacking Catholicism.


#20

[quote="Crescentinus, post:19, topic:300555"]
You, are one lucky guy.
I've had the disaster of meeting many anti-Catholics both religious and non-religious. I swear, they live for nothing except attacking Catholicism.

[/quote]

Yeah, i havent had much of that at my school except for Campus Crusaders, but they don't ever bring up the historical myths. More like, "oh the church prays to idols" "the pope isn't infallible" you know easy stuff.


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