Priests criticizing other faiths during homily


#1

I might make a poll but I’ll start by asking if you’ve ever heard a priest say anything negative about another faith tradition specifically in a homily, not in casual conversation.

This was inspired by a recent post in which the poster made a comment about their priest about to say something critical about another religion but for whatever reason didn’t.

I can’t recall hearing this and it was something that I thought was reliable. I’ve usually felt very comfortable inviting a non-Catholic to Mass knowing that their faith tradition wouldn’t be disparaged. OTOH I have heard sermons that made direct and indirect jabs at Catholics. Not a lot but since I’ve only been to a few non-Catholic services and at almost everyone of them the minister said something about “those Catholics.” (These do not include weddings, funerals, or the time I went to a synagogue at Hanukkah.)

I’m going to go one step further and say until apologetics became a thing it was rare to hear a Catholic say anything critical about non-Catholics and now it seems like Catholics forget we can defend the faith without saying something negative about other religions.

ETA: When you reply be specific if the comment was from a priest and if it was if it was in the context of a homily or not.


#2

When I preach about readings or feasts that lend themselves to apologetic content in my homilies, I don’t usually name names when it comes to the teachings of other faiths. I think I usually just say something like “there are some who say (insert objection to Catholic teaching).” I think we can and should state objections to our teachings, but we can do so diplomatically. Although this weekend I did reference the old joke about being a good biblical literalist and sitting at the stop sign indefinitely, since the sign didn’t say to go…

As I think about it, in the Summa, Aquinas constantly lists objections to Church teaching, but he rarely calls out any particular group or person. That’s part of why his thought works so well–he begins by taking his opponents seriously. Would that the internet were like that…

-Fr ACEGC


#3

I agree and I think this is necessary.


#4

I don’t recall any priest speak negatively about non-Catholics, and of the few times I’ve been to Protestant services, I haven’t heard anything negative toward Catholics. DH, a former Baptist doesn’t recall ever hearing negative remarks about Catholics when he went to church. I did go to several Celebrate Recovery meetings at two different non-Catholic churches.
At one Church, Baptist, the speaker did say something against Catholics (I forget what). I just took my Crucifix necklace out of the front of my shirt so it was visible.
I doubt he even noticed. I should’ve interrupted him and told him that I was Catholic.
At the other church, non-denomination, they didn’t say anything negative about Catholics but there was a lot of talk about their churches and faiths and since I was the only Catholic, it felt weird.


#5

As Catholics, we need not justify separation from anything. Non-Catholics, as we see here, have painted themselves into a corner of perpetual justification. Thus, Protestant theology does not much resemble anything the reformers taught - a product of the theological entropy which coexists with the ongoing need for constant justification of division in the Body of Christ.

Thus, the “Pope as antichrist” “Whore of Babylon” “Mary worship” etc etc etc. If the Catholic Church is not wrong, as well as evil, what does this say about their separation?


#6

I’ll give you an example of this. The sermon started out with a clip from the show “Everyone Loves Raymond.” The family on the show is Catholic and they were talking about going to Mass, I think but if you know the show, the characters can be really abrasive. So the sermon ends up to be about rituals, empty rituals to be precise. So uncouth Catholics and their empty rituals; got it. I would be so ashamed if I heard a priest suggest something like this.


#7

I’ve never heard it in a homily. I’ve heard priests criticize heretical beliefs held by those faiths, but not the faith itself


#8

Yes, I have heard it discussed that the Mormon church does not have a valid baptism as they don’t believe in the Trinity.


#9

Good one on the stop sign.

More to the point, the persons most of interest are Catholics who hold these false beliefs, since there is hardly a false belief in Christendom that cannot be found in the pews in some Catholic church or other. The topic of a homily, after all, is how those present can understand the Gospel and how it ought to inform what they do in their lives. Cutting that topic down to size is task enough without adding in corrections of separated brethren and non-believers.


#10

I do not recall ever hearing any Catholic Priest say anything negative about other faiths other than maybe “Protestants do not have the true presence of Christ in The Eucharist” which is not something negative to say, as most protestants would agree with this. And the ones that would not, well, that is part of why we are not in full communion with each other, I guess. Another one is maybe stating the fact that The Catholic Church is 2000 years old but protestantism is only 500 years old, so therefore I think our Church might know a bit more that yours lol. I guess this could offend some.

When I was taking my classes to be a certified Catechist, yeah, Father was a bit more loose in what he said in contrasting and comparing what Catholics believe and what protestants believe. However, I think this was necessary because in my area of the world it is not generally Catholics going around constantly telling protestants how they are wrong. Catholics should know why we believe what we believe. No Catholic should look like a deer in the headlights when their faith is challenged. But sadly that is the case a lot of the time. I would love to hear more homilies comparing and contrasting our beliefs to protestant beliefs as long as it did not turn into protestant bashing.


#11

I do not recall a priest or deacon say anything negative about another faith tradition. I will hear an occasional explanation or contrasting of a specific belief. That is mostly done in the light of educating the members of how the Catholic belief contains the fullness of truth, not how another is wrong.


#12

Last night I went to an Ordinariate Mass for the feast of Our Lady of Walsingham. The homilist told the story of the destruction of the original shrine of Walsingham and it didn’t exactly portray King Henry VIII and the Anglicans in a good light.
I don’t think his audience minded though.


#13

When I took RCIA classes, there were some discussions of the differences in the teachings of Protestant vs Catholic, but only for those of us with Protestant backgrounds so they could clarify for us. I hope I don’t ever see Protestant bashing.


#14

In a homily? Do you remember the context, like was it a homily on baptism and Mormons were used as an example of an invalid baptism?


#15

Were specific religions mentioned or just the beliefs?


#16

just the beliefs


#17

YES not being mean by speaking the TRUTH and pointing out the misguided beliefs of our Christian and non Christian brothers and sisters. It is Father’s job to teach us the TRUTH about our Catholic Faith.


#18

No. I can honestly say that.
They do, sometimes, poke fun at Catholics though -
as if to break them out of their rigidity.

We actually have at our parish - a Priest - married with kids - a convert.
He is absolutely fantastic. Handsome. Stoic. Scholarly. Humorous. 63 ~
He was on EWTN - interviewed - how his conversion came about.
Top notch. I have shaken my hand with him many a time after mass - smiling.
( some hard-liner people don’t care for him - and told me )

By the way, I have been to a few bible thumper churches -
who have bashed Catholics hard - went into these long rants -
from Mary - to the saints - to confession - etc -
And I’ve seen people get up and walk out as they preached -
I did too -
I got a few looks of admiration, each time I did.


#19

I have:

In a homily the priest said he doesn’t understand why Catholic girls don’t automatically look for Catholc boys. Catholic boys will respect you where these others won’t an only see you as there for their enjoyment.

As I being an “other” and my Catholic wife being one that fell for an “other” that made for some awkwardness…and a bit of frustration on her side.


#20

I have never heard a Priest doing this. The Homily is about the Gospel.

Apologetics was always a thing. In the Early Church one of our first apologists, Justin Martyr , was martyred in the second century.
I will say that pre vat11 the Catholic Church wasn’t very good at other religions.

One positive to come out of Vat11 was an end to anti semetic rhetoric, calling Protestants schismatic and heretic , they are now our seperated brethren, and acknowledgement of the Muslim and Asian religions.


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