What anti-Catholicism?


#1

Just a observation and a question…

As I started to visit Catholic forums on the net, I’ve heard people mention that they experienced “anti-catholicism” and that it’s quite rampant in some places. I’m fortunate to never have experienced this and am wondering where exactly people have these experiences.

I’ve probably never experienced this partly due to where I live, pretty much everyone in the Philadelphia area has always been Catholic, hell, Catholic High School football has it’s own section in the paper! Every where you look, there is another Catholic School! My 500 acre backyard used to be owned by the Catholic Church (they just sold it). Even in the wake of the Philly Sex abuse scandals, there’s still no Anti-ism to be seen! Am I just living in a good area???


#2

[quote=PhillyMatt] Am I just living in a good area???
[/quote]

I guess so!

Technically, someone who speaks against the Catholic Church is anti-Catholic. But the term is not usually applied to folks who oppose the Church out of genuine ignorance, or who oppose the Church with rational objections.

The term “anti-Catholic” is usually reserved to folks who try to “smear” the Church by mis-representing Her doctrines and practices, even though they ought to know better (because they have been fully informed of the error of their representation with factual evidence to the contrary).


#3

I’ll give you an example. I grew up in a small town in East Texas. There were four Catholics in my class of 110. The rest were Baptist (First, Central, Southern, etc.), Methodist, Church of Christ, Assembly of God, Pentecost, Mormon, etc… 4 of those 6 religions actively preach “what’s wrong in the Catholic Church” in their Sunday School Classes and even during their Church services.

NotWorthy


#4

[quote=PhillyMatt]Just a observation and a question…
As I started to visit Catholic forums on the net, I’ve heard people mention that they experienced “anti-catholicism” and that it’s quite rampant in some places. I’m fortunate to never have experienced this and am wondering where exactly people have these experiences.
I’ve probably never experienced this partly due to where I live, pretty much everyone in the Philadelphia area has always been Catholic, hell, Catholic High School football has it’s own section in the paper! Every where you look, there is another Catholic School! My 500 acre backyard used to be owned by the Catholic Church (they just sold it). Even in the wake of the Philly Sex abuse scandals, there’s still no Anti-ism to be seen! Am I just living in a good area???
[/quote]

I am also from a high concentration of Catholics. I have experienced many misconceptions and silly thoughts about Catholicism. I own a Telephone/Network Service company which allows me to travel in a 45 mile radius from my home. After servicing a customer for a bit, a rapport seems to build and the questions about family etc always comes up. When I tell them that I have 7 children they always then ask “You must be Catholic” and my reply is “even worse I’m a practicing Catholic and I understand what the Church teaches”. The then always and I mean always ask “So are you done?” and my reply is “we have T.V. now so it should slow down”. I have mentioned to a person I worked with at a previous employer about my wishes that my newborn daughter would become a Nun, to which she replied “you want your daughter to have sex with those priests?” On the web, especially at Apologetics.com, there are many Protestants that have unusual and specific “trap questions’ and assumptions about Catholicism, most to all of which are of course untrue.

Have I experienced Anti-Catholicism, probably not, but a definite bias against the faith.

 Peace,

David


#5

I think that a good deal of the time, it is a matter of perspective.
I come into contact with people of many religions on a daily basis, and it seems to me that the personality of the individual has more to do with whether or not they’ve been “persecuted” than the religion they belong to.

Some of the Unitarian Universalists I know go on and on ad nauseum about how scared they are to share which church they attend , they might lose their jobs, their kids are reviled at school etc. etc. Others say they are open and have never had anyone bat and eyelash over it (same town, by the way).

In my own family, two of my kids never get any religious flack, and one in constantly in debate over it at school. Same school, different personalities of kids.

I know real bashing takes place. I’ve experienced it and witnessed it aimed at all manner of religions. But some people let it roll off, and others take it to heart.

People will find reasons to be hurt if it serves them.

cheddar


#6

Philly, it’s also possible that you are a calm person who doesn’t get all flamed up whenever someone speaks against the church, so you don’t notice it. You are probably an optimist and concentrate on the good things people say instead.

I wish I was like that. If I really think about it, I haven’t experienced that much anti-Catholicism, but whenever I hear about it even a bit it makes me mad, so I fell like I’m surrounded by it all the time. If I tried looking on the bright side of life I might not be angry all the time.


#7

I think that it depends on where you live. Those in the south face more blatant antiCatholicism then elsewhere.

People who have converted from some denominations are also more aware of AntiCatholic attitudes because they witnessed them in their own churches. In my previous church, I was surprised that the pastor didn’t want us to watch THe Passion. There was several reasons but the biggest was that Mel Gibson was Catholic and Catholics don’t believe in the resurrection of Christ. Correcting this misconception had no effect on our pastor.This wasn’t in the south but in western Iowa.

I can also remember having a very close friend who was Catholic. I was no religion at the time but I enjoyed attending mass with her. Several of my friends who were just barely Christian began pointing out everything that was wrong with the Catholic church. None of these young adults went to church, or hesitated to have sex outside of marriage. They considered themselves members of various denominations. Yet, they had one thing in common, they thought that Catholicism was wrong. When I brought this up to my catholic friend, she refused to believe me. She assured me that she had never witnessed any ANtiCatholicism and that as these people were her friends also and were often at her house, she didn’t believe that they would make such comments. I just let it drop.

Because of these experiences, I have to constantly remind myself that most questions from nonCatholics are not meant to be combative and that I don’t have to be defensive.


#8

In the Boston area you can witness anti-Catholicism in the editorial section of the most popular newspapers.

It’s rampant, some well known editorialists along with people writing into the rant type sections of these papers bash Catholicism with every opportunity.


#9

i live in alabama… the way people view the church seems to
be changing here… when i was a kid, i was protestant ( baptist ),
and my grandmother was rabidly anti-catholic, but was a
loving, sweet woman… most of her prejudices were based on
longstanding misunderstanding of Catholic teachings…

i think one of the major things that has changed a lot of the
peoples attitudes now is EWTN… and the mass being said in
english… lol

but, that’s just an opinion… :slight_smile:

:slight_smile:


#10

I have heard nothing really Anti-Catholic.
But I have to say that I am quite tired of hearing something about having the Christian one, but not the Catholic one. :eek:
Or how someone used to be Catholic but now they are Christian.
Hello, everyone, Catholic is Christian. Depending on who says it, I correct them. For some I just shake my head and laugh, but they don’t get it.

And I have lived in the North and the South. I have only heard these things in the South.


#11

[quote=cheddarsox]I think that a good deal of the time, it is a matter of perspective.
I come into contact with people of many religions on a daily basis, and it seems to me that the personality of the individual has more to do with whether or not they’ve been “persecuted” than the religion they belong to.

Some of the Unitarian Universalists I know go on and on ad nauseum about how scared they are to share which church they attend , they might lose their jobs, their kids are reviled at school etc. etc. Others say they are open and have never had anyone bat and eyelash over it (same town, by the way).

In my own family, two of my kids never get any religious flack, and one in constantly in debate over it at school. Same school, different personalities of kids.

I know real bashing takes place. I’ve experienced it and witnessed it aimed at all manner of religions. But some people let it roll off, and others take it to heart.

People will find reasons to be hurt if it serves them.

cheddar
[/quote]

Also, some personalities simply have a hatred for others. So, no matter what religion that they are born into, they will dislike those who are different then themselves. That is why we must be careful not to judge a denomination by the more vocal and hateful of its followers. This can be very difficult to do.


#12

Anti-Catholicism exists here in So. California. I experienced my first taste of it back in college. But I will have to say that it would depend on the persons you encounter. Some don’t have anything to say about Catholicism - that it’s just another religion. But other do hold on to their misconceptions pretty tightly. I have a couple of friends, while they don’t totally reject Catholicism, they are hesitant to learn what we truly believe, and thus prevents them from looking into Catholic worship. I let them explain their thoughts, and then I provide them with Catholic teachings - they usually kinda look at me with a puzzled look. But for the most part, it exists.


#13

I live in southeast Texas and boy is it anti-catholic. I have found it rather sadening when I started thinking about converting to catholicism. I heard eavry mean malisice thing one could think of. I would like to move up north or somewhere else that dosn’t have this attitude but, untill I finish college I simply won’t have the money :frowning:


#14

Thanks for those insightful replies, most of you make the similar point that people in other religions tend to be mis-informed about Catholicism to the point that they spread lies about the faith, sometimes maliciousness and sometimes out of ignorance. What I don’t understand is why they do this? I can’t picture Catholics trash talking Protestants just because we disagree with what they beleive. I don’t see Catholics always trying to “trap” Protestants in saying their faith is wrong, the whole thing of downing another’s faith seems very anti-Christian to me.


#15

[quote=PhillyMatt]Just a observation and a question…

As I started to visit Catholic forums on the net, I’ve heard people mention that they experienced “anti-catholicism” and that it’s quite rampant in some places. I’m fortunate to never have experienced this and am wondering where exactly people have these experiences.

I’ve probably never experienced this partly due to where I live, pretty much everyone in the Philadelphia area has always been Catholic, hell, Catholic High School football has it’s own section in the paper! Every where you look, there is another Catholic School! My 500 acre backyard used to be owned by the Catholic Church (they just sold it). Even in the wake of the Philly Sex abuse scandals, there’s still no Anti-ism to be seen! Am I just living in a good area???
[/quote]

Matt, have you ever heard of a "news"paper called The Philadelphia Inquirer? :wink: Exhibit A of anti-Catholicism, alive and well in the Philly area.

Listen to the area radio stations, AM & FM. Exhibit B. (Even AM radio hosts who describe themselves as Catholics are guilty of perpetuating some of the most anti-Catholic myths!)

Yes, I would say that you are fortunate to never have experienced anti-Catholicism first-hand. But believe me: the Catholic church in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has her enemies. Living in the area myself, what I have noticed is that it is easy to insulate myself in the warm, faithful Catholic communities & surround myself with like-minded people. Since it’s rather unpleasant to go wading into anti-Catholic communities/formats, it’s not something I do. But that doesn’t deny their existence. (I can give you more specific examples, if you need them, but I’ll need a little more time than I have right now, and again, it’s rather unpleasant!) :o

Sorry to have to rain on your parade! God bless your optimism!


#16

One thing has always confused me about the frequency of misunderstanding about the Catholic Church: we have a Catechism. All of our beliefs are objectively and explicitly defined there or in encyclicals or from the Councils of the Church. The misconceptions stem entirely from willfull ignorance. Of course part might be their trusting too much in the words of non-Catholics as to what we believe. When I am curious about what a Protestant group teaches, I find out from their own sources. Perhaps they should start doing the same.


#17

I live in Central Georgia where anti-Catholism is rampant. When I first moved to town I was relating to co-workers my search in the local phone book for a Catholic Church. I said how surprised I was to find only one in the whole county. I said that out of curiosity I counted how many Baptist churches there were. There were 33 Baptists church compared to the one Catholic Church. A man present stated: “and that is one too many”.

Just the other day someone was announcing the birth of a co-worker’s first child. A man responded that he felt sorry for the child. When asked what he meant by that he said: “because they are going to raise her Catholic”.

It is commonly preached from the various pulpits in the county that the Pope is the “Anti-Christ”.

Some in town especially don’t like the level of racial and cultural integration you find in the Catholic Church.


#18

I think much of the problem of anti-Catholicism stems from the fact that many of the rank and file Evangelicals and Fundamentalists just don’t think-or don’t want to think. You can present the clear teachings of the Church from a Biblical or Magisterial perspective (best to use them together of course) but they will throw verses at you or say, “Well, Pastor Joe says that you Catholics worship Mary…ad naseum”-which is pretty lame considering they often think we slavishly follow the Pope w/o question and can’t think for ourselves.

The more “intellectual” anti-Catholicism seems to stem from a hate for the Church-the Church often stands alone in defense of morality and is that voice that declares what is right and wrong. They don’t like being told they are living in sin and that they need to change. Some folks are just so full of themselves that they don’t like anyone telling them what they should be doing with their life. It boils down to rebelliousness.


#19

Why is anti-Catholicism big in the south? Why not somewhere else and leave us poor Catholic Southerners saying with as much of an old south acsent as possable alone? Seriously. What is it about the south which I thought to be the “Bible Belt”.


#20

Hard-core fundamentalism to the denial of intellect. Simple-minded people who will readily adopt the beliefs of their pastor without reflection or thought. Not that a simple faith is bad, but if you claim you won’t take reason over faith, then what are you “protesting” about?


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.