The Catholic Church burned the proof!

Hey everyone,

Today, I was in a discussion with a friend of mine about St. Patrick.

His stance was that the snakes that were banished from the island, mentioned in legend, were/are an analogy for the Pagans. He holds that St. Patrick was a violent man who murdered many.

I pointed out that the idea of the snakes being banished by St. Patrick, wasn’t brought into legend until several hundred years after St.Patrick’s death and that nothing about snakes was ever written by St. Patrick.

Most likely, this was a legend based on the primitive understanding of why snakes didnt exist on the island. They never have.

Anyway, he insisted on this idea of the snakes being a reference to murdered/banished heathens and maintained the idea that many Historians show that St. Patrick was a vile man. Without being able to provide any credible sources or any contemporary sources that showed this to be true, he came with the claim that The Catholic Church has always burned evidence to hide its misdeeds.

To me, this is a copout, but how do you refute this?
I’ve bumped into this wall several times-with this particular person and others.

I can say, “history doesnt show this to be true” and with almost anything, someone can respond with a statement such as - “you weren’t there” or “the victors write the history” or “the history was destroyed”

Whereas, I’m not naive and I acknowledge that this is a possibility, it throws both views under the ground because there is no basis for either argument.

Any intellectual advise would be appreciated.

The best answer of all is to look him in the eye and smile and simply say, “prove it”.

You can rest assured that it’s some baseless bunkum and he will be either unable or unwilling to provide his source for this propaganda.

Then you can point out that just because someone told him that that doesn’t make it a fact. :smiley:

:thumbsup: When someone makes a positive assertion like that, it is their burden to prove. The old saying goes “easily asserted, easily rejected” or “facile indicabat, facile reprobarat” (don’t take my Latin at face value…I only took 2 years).

You won’t be able to provide any “proof” to change their mind. But you CAN force them to think critically, or accept the fact that they are in “fantasy land”.

Does he also believe that the UFOs have taken people from Roswell? Or that Elvis is still alive? or that the government did it? (Doesn’t matter what, but the government’s always the evil thing conspiring against us.) If so, he’s beyond hope. He’s far more a fideist than the most fideistic of Protestant fundamentalists.

Did he get the idea from Zeitgeist or something?

Hello - I highly recommend the book St. Patrick of Ireland by Philip Freeman, a non-Catholic who received his Ph.D from Harvard. The book tells the fascinating life of St. Patrick and will give you plenty of intellectual information to share with your friend.

It is one of my all time favorite books and has given me great admiration for the saint.

If the Church destroyed all the evidence, how come he knows about it? :smiley:

Any intellectual advise would be appreciated.

I am not sure an intellectual response is possible. Sometimes, it is better for your mental health to cast the dust off your sandals and move on to something more predictable… the weather comes to mind.
Invincible ignorance is not only found in the “savages”; rather it is more often found in the slightly educated.

Thanks. I will put that on my list of books to read!

You will not win this argument with this type of person as they will always have some excuse. Personally, when this type of person attempts to engage me in such a fight I ask them to bring me the document so that I can read it… generally stops the conversation.
(( Or, I ask them if they watched the Hockey game last night and did they see that last shot on goal? They just look at me like I"ve spoken in Greek! :smiley: ))

When people show that they are obtuse and unreasonable, it may be time to kick the dust from your feet and walk away. Of course, pray for them.

“[To] the heathen among whom I live, I have shown them trust and always show them trust. God knows I did not cheat any one of them, nor consider it… What is more, when I baptized so many thousands of people, did I hope for even half a jot from any of them? … And when the Lord ordained clergy everywhere by my humble means, and I freely conferred office on them, if I asked any of them anywhere even for the price of one shoe, say so to my face and I will give it back.” (Confession of St. Patrick Paragraphs 48-50)

Don’t you think he would be shooting himself in the foot by saying all this, if he had killed or exiled all the pagans? Couldn’t his opponents have pointed that out and said, “What do you mean you’ve been kind to the pagans? You killed or exiled them!”

AMEN !!! God Bless, Memaw


I am not sure an intellectual response is possible. Sometimes, it is better for your mental health to cast the dust off your sandals and move on to something more predictable… the weather comes to mind.
Invincible ignorance is not only found in the “savages”; rather it is more often found in the slightly educated.

My thought exactly…



While looking for St. Patrick’s Day activities for my students one year, I came across a website where a Protestant woman ended her lovely biography of the Saint with a comment something like, “There’s no proof St. Patrick was Catholic.”

:eek: Whaaaaa? :eek:

OK, so stay in the conversation or brush the dust from your shoes and move on. But know that some people simply can’t be bothered with facts :wink:


Exactly! Why aggravate yourself with arguments with people like that?

Thank you all for the response. I much appreciate it.

I will most definitely add that book to my list! Maybe I can get a chance to read it before St. Pattys Day.

This particular question does come to mind, whereas the answer to that question coming from someone with this perspective, is that the oral tradition of the people that had been persecuted was passed down through generations.

Whereas, we as Catholics preach Sacred Tradition in the OT and the NT, they feel that we don’t have a leg to stand on when we say something like, “This oral myth isn’t reliable over 1500 years,” well… they kind of laugh at us.

And guess which one is guided by the Holy Spirit !! Glad I’m a Catholic !! God Bless, Memaw

Did the early Church call itself Catholic ? I must look it up ,but this was well before the split with the East ,so it was part of the Universal Church, which was made up of several ,one of which was Rome . There was of course no Vatican either, at that time .

No, but there was a Vatican Hill. :wink:

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