Past sins of church members?

how do you go about evangelizing when there are past sins and mistakes of church members in the way?

for example, here in canada, the residential school issue with the first nations is a big stumbling block. i must admit, i don’t really know too much about it. basically, the church is accused ot killing first native children and beating their traditions out of them. or else in the united states, the slave trade and racial segragation is also a stumbling block for african americans coming in to the church. also, he sex abuse scandal…

what do you do or say in these cases when people bring this type of stuff up?

So let me get this right, someone claims the Catholic Church ran the slave trade and were responsible for the racial segregation in the US?

:doh2: I guess the Catholic church must have been also responsible for the millions of killed chinese and russian citizens under chairman Mao and comrade Stalin…

Give me a break!


else in the united states, the slave trade and racial segragation is also a stumbling block for african americans coming in to the church. .

Huh? Where do you get this notion?

To answer your question:
It’s up to people to prove what they assert. If it’s a falsehood, then I don’t worry about it. I move on.

I have no idea of the accuracy of your supporting examples of institutionalized abuse by the Church. However I have found that if it were not for the pedophile scandal many people would fall back on the crusades or the inquisition. Enemies of the Church will never recognise the great works of charity, health care, art, culture and education that built Western civilization.
I would start by ensuring that one’s personal behaviour remains an example of the Catholic faith. Then I would look more seriously at the veracity of examples thrown at you to ensure that there is a case to answer. Remember that Hitler’s existence does not mean that every German is an evil person. This can be extrapolated to the argument on past failures of individual Catholics.

not that it was started by the church, but the church did have some problems with it. catholic churches did segregate their congregations as well at a certain point in time and a few popes were ok with the slave trade

One thing that’s helpful is to point out that Jesus prophesied that there would be sinful leaders in His Church but He also promised that it’s teachings would always be true. Judas is an example of a major sinner in a position of leadership.

So is St. Peter. At one point he denied Christ. In Galatians 2 St. Paul says St. Peter was sometimes so hypocritical that his behavior compromised the Gospel.

If you can point out that the sinners in the Church never changed the Church’s teachings, perhaps that can help you show that the Church can still be true even if it’s leaders have someone promoted some evil things. Does that help?

The persons who committed these ghastly crimes were **not **following the teachings of the Church. Now let’s look at people who most closely follow the teachings of the Church, the saints.

First, we should realize that some members of the Church here on earth, in the US, have at one time been guilty of racism. I offer the example of Fr. Augustus Tolton, who was at the receiving end of such prejudice in the later 19th century. And no, I am not saying that all Catholics were, or are, racists.

Second, I understand what angel1 is saying. When you’re trying to talk of the Faith, what do you do when emotional issues like the Crusades, the Inquisition, sexual abuse among the clergy, etc. are brought up? How do you divert interest back to the Faith itself? Correct me if I’m wrong, angel1…

I say I’m part MicMac by way of the St. Lawrence Seaway, before the coffin ships sailed from Ireland to Grosse Isle.

I didn’t forfeit my ancient culture because of Christianity. I am who I am now because of my ancestors.

I cannot blame one race ( or biological superiority or sociological construct) over another for the atrocities of the past. I am who I am now, period, and I am a Catholic. This did not detract from my identity or who I am now.

I would not be any less of a person without European oppression, neither would I be more in the context of my faith. Got it?

You can watch the old miniseries “Shogun” and say that the Jesuits are representative of the Church in Japan, but you cannot say that all Japanese Christians are the result of the “Imperial Papal domination.”

Both faith and reason are involved.

Find a new excuse why you haven’t discovered or practiced the Catholic faith, not that the Church proper had any hand in subjugating a race/ nation/people other than to evangelize to all.

I’ll pray to St. Kateri for you; I kindly ask you to do the same for me.

We all sin. Sometimes, civilizations make big mistakes that cost many people their lives.

A lot of times, it’s because people want political and social power and use the church to justify oppressing and abusing people. Sometimes people think they are doing the right thing, but in reality, they were led astray by false teachings by leadership.

It’s more important that we learn from our mistakes than try to justify past actions.

We see the results of the North American Native policies and we mourn for the lack of compassion and understanding our forefathers had.

We see the results of the sex abuse scandal and we try to find justice for its victims.

We are not responsible for past actions, but we are responsible for knowing our history and understanding why we don’t do these things anymore. We know that slavery is wrong. We know that treating people differently because of their cultural differences is wrong. One race isn’t dominant over another. (Sadly, people used to think this way and acted accordingly). We know that abusing young children and moving priests around to cover it up is sick and wrong.

The question is have we learned from our mistakes.

The church isn’t just a set of problems. The church has done a lot of benefit humanity and I shutter to think what the world would be like without the Christians.

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