Perhaps someone could help me with this. I have noticed that with some non-Catholics, there is a tendency when investigating the Church to only consult non-catholic or anti-catholic sources, at least in the beginning. Why is that? I know this is certainly not true across the board because there are a number of non-catholics who come to this forum. However, I do notice with some there is an obstinate mistrust of anything catholic. For example, can’t consult a catholic bible because “they added books” or they can’t consult a book written by a catholic author because they’re “not teaching from the bible”. But they have no problem going to anticatholic websites that say we worship images, changed the commandments, etc… Any thoughts???
It’s human nature. People tend to seek that which with which they already agree (and, thus, trust). That’s why liberals watch CNN and conservatives watch Fox. That’s why conservatives listen to Rush and liberals listen to … whatever liberals listen to (NPR?).
A minority of people will go beyond their comfort zones, mainly with the intention of refuting the other viewpoint while defending and explaining their own. We call these people “apologists.”
An even smaller minority are genuinely seeking to understand other points of view. Those people who make a sincere and honest inquiry into Catholic Christianity will come to be called “converts.”
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step…
David’s comments above are quite accurate. Everyone has to begin where they are familiar. Coming to Catholicism can be very disturbing because of the richness of our faith.
I caught a bit of EWTN’s family celebration with Marcus Grodi and he touched on this a bit talking about evangelization.
A woman was asking about evangelizing others and he said we need to go where they, conveying our Love for Jesus and using the Bible. He said, "you don’t just walk up to them and hand them a green scapular or a Rosary. Not there is anything wrong with a green scapular or rosary but they just don’t understand them or why you are giving it to them.
To relate this to what you speak of above… IF the person is truly seeking to investigate the church, they might start out on non-catholic sites and even anti-catholic sites, but if they continue to study, they will find a broad range of protestant views on the faith.
This should lead them to begin looking at Catholic sources and then comparing that to the non-catholic sources they trust…
It can be a long and circuitous process, but hopefully they begin to see that the things that anti-Catholics accuse us of are not true…and they are more ready to accept that what Catholics say about themselves is worth serious consideration.
I spent a considerable amount of time surveying what was being said about the Catholic Church to get a handle on what the objections were in the first place. Only then did I turn to Catholic sources. Along the way I noticed that professional anti-Catholics tend to recycle secondhand information among themselves, and that was one of the first signs something was amiss. Google the exact phrase “Baptism of Bells 965” to see what I mean.
I agree with the previous posters. We Catholics do the same thing. If I’m looking up info on some various Protestant denomination or even another faith like Islam, my first inclination is to seek out knowledgeable Catholic sources that look into these other belief systems because I am interested in what their beliefs look like from a Catholic vantage point. I can hardly fault others for doing the same.
But, of course, if we are genuinely in pursuit of the truth, we shouldn’t stay with the second-hand information even if we start there.