I belong to a website which I joined before I knew that protestants had anything against catholics and I noticed that the one subject they love to discuss over and over and over in there is how the catholic church (in their opinion) is false. It drives me nuts and I can’t help but think that satan is somehow influencing this. There are usually no catholics present when they do this, but sometimes there are and it becomes a stalemate discussion that just goes round and round in circles. I am just really fed up with what I have seen and need to vent. I’d like to know what others think about this issue too.
Tall poppy syndrome? When someone or something rises to great heights especially in their own estimation, then when scandal comes to that someone or something there can be a certain pleasure taken in ‘knocking the tall poppy’ right down to size again.
We have to admit that the recent scandals connected to our clergy have shocked and angered the general population, those inside Catholicism, outside it and those who have no religious beliefs at all. It will probably be many years before that shock and anger passes, if it ever completely does. Many young lives have been completely ruined and by members of our clergy whom we hold to be “persona Christi” and no greater heights is there in this universe for a human being. As Pope Benedict said, The Church has only the sins of Her own members to fear catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1104798.htm
. And these scandals were absolutely appalling and shocking and destructive of young lives and the Faith sometimes of Catholics themselves. We need to fear our own sinfulness rather than criticisms and persecutions even of The Church in the various ways The Church is persecuted. In fact, very often persecution has ushered in renewal in The Church and Pope Benedict has pointed this out too - that we are undergoing a purgation (and a most necessary one) which will usher in given time an age of renewal. How much time, we dont know.
But knocking Catholics by non Catholics is nothing new as knocking non Catholics by Catholics is nothing new. It is often sometimes fierce differences of dogma and doctrine and not differences discussed lovingly either. “In essentials unity, in non essentials liberty and in all things love”.
If the website you mention is disturbing your Peace, then abandon it “Seek after Peace and pursue it”. Sometimes Catholic and non Catholic ‘bashing’ is not really looking for truth, rather to simply ‘bash’ and bash hard and no matter what one says, nor the points one raises, it is futile. Remember too the Parable of the Sower who went out to sow … some seed might be falling in rocky ground where it will just perish and die and this is just life and life only. It happens.
Is it a Protestant website? If that’s the case I would avoid those touchy topics, after all they’re entitled to their opinion. If the Catholic bashing is like on a baseball forum…well then you have to step up to the plate and politely set the record straight.
I think a lot of the time it is because they are not truly informed of Catholic beliefs and don’t take the time to research what we actually believe. They hear something negative assume it is true and then don’t bother to verify if that is in fact the case. Of course this happens both ways and I have been corrected on this site a few times for some of my posts. But at least I go and look it up afterwards and am continuing to learn. If I am wrong I will own up to it.
I know how frustrating it can be and as an example of my point, I was in the store the other day looking for a missal and a man came over who overheard me and said that “It was a lot harder to find Catholic books now a days.” When I asked why he stated “Because they are wising up.” Of course I said, “Wising up to what.”
“That the next Pope is going to be the AntiChrist,” He replied.
Of course my jaw dropped. I told him that this was assuredly not what Catholics were teaching, to which he said, “Yes it was he heard ‘some guy’ talking about it on the radio.”
My point being is he just, “heard something,” by “some guy” on the radio and that was good enough for him. I think that happens a lot in religious forums and can be seen in some of the questions that people ask on here. But hey at least they came to explore the other side whereas a lot of people can’t even do that.
Excellent point, and excellent post! You have a much more balanced view of the situation than many. The Church needs to focus on herself rather than a number of things, not just scandal but a lot of their social justice and political issues are getting top billing, and it’s ineffective because the house is divided. Basically the Church needs to get the plank out of her own eye.
But as far as this website, Where are they at??? Lemme at 'em!
When I was young I thought I “knew” everything too and my you know what didn’t smell. As one ages, I realized I have clay feet and everyone else around me does too. I realized that, not only do I not “know” everything, I realized how stupid I actually am and that everyone else around me ain’t that bright either.
Sounds like the website you are on is filled with people high on lofty towers of thier own making, towers that can reach to God.
Seems I heard once about another such tower…
My thought is this…You are making the same error that you accuse “Protestants” of.
You are making a gross generalization based on a very limited and unscientific sample size.
First of all “Protestants” as I’m sure others will point out, are not an homogenous group. They are a category of many groups who hold a wide variety of views on the matter - in fact on many matters.
I have met and interacted with protestants who are vehemently opposed to the Church and also with protestants who have a great love and respect for the Church.
The problem is that certain websites will attract certain types…largely dependent on the agenda of the site-owner…So just be aware of this fact. I belong to a protestant site where I have had some very lively discussions but almost always respectfully so.
Now - that said…the matter of “Church bashing” can cover a wide range. In most cases the people involved are simply ignorant - and that includes many “ex-Catholics”.
People who are raised outside the Church are heavily influenced by whatever the preacher, or others in the congregation tells them. They are also heavily influenced by what they personally see and hear from Catholics - who are often not the best ambassadors of the faith.
The best way to defend in these situations is to separate what they have heard from what is actually documented.
For example there is a popular belief among some protestants that, “Catholics hold to a ‘works based’ salvation”…or that we think we can “Earn Heaven”. In such an argument - don’t try to provide the proofs to them, but rather ask them to provide the proofs to you. For is the Church teaches this it must be documented in Church teaching somewhere.
Do not allow them to sidetrack you with what this or that Catholic has said or wrote, for as they themselves will tell you, humans can err. Instead keep guiding it back to the essential point of - If the Church believes and teaches something, it will be documented in the teachings - catechism etc
This forces them to “look it up” to show you. Then you can look through their evidence and the context etc and gently explain why what they thought was true really isn’t.
Of course some will simply not be convinced and their lack of charity will become apparent to all, but others will recognize that you are being both clear and charitable and that you are right - not that they will want to become Catholic, but at least that the Catholic Church is more “Christian” than some have been taught…
Everyone one has given excellent answers in my opinion.
As deplorable as it is that this goes on at all, I think as well that the nature of the internet is another factor. In real life, some of my best friends are Catholic and I see a great deal of respectful, warm co-operation among all kinds of Christians. When I came to CAF I was really shocked by some of the Protestant bashing posters; from here I heard of CARM and was shocked by the reverse. In real life the vocal “haters” are well-spaced more often than not–thank God—and I think that dampens their spouting-off tendencies. On the internet, people can easily find a whole bunch of ignorant bigots as allies, and thus be emboldened to yap away.
Perhaps yo are a bit nieve about the human condition, and discount that such arguments are a low order of ingagement. They are, on either side of that coin, not motivated by much more than the need to be right. The brain is set up to make itself right, even to the point of danger and death in some instances. Also, you may have noticed within yourself or others, that if you take an idea, any idea, as a central premise, your human mind will organize everything accordiing to that premise. Your brain does not discriminate. That is why you have to be exceptinally careful as to what you feed it.
For instance, many things things true about you are not true about your family. Many things true about or in your family are not true about your community. Likewise on up to different levels of catagorization. In fact, it has been stated tha maturity is a prcess leading one outward from personal egoism towards universal principles as self identifiers.
I would suggest, then, that your Protestant “friends” are mor interested in making themselves “right” than proving you “wrong.” But I might suggest that the most important elemtnt in all this is where you fit in, and what are you trying to “prove,” and why" What is your personals stake in getting somen to approve of your own persona beliefs?
I understand your frustration,but let it go. I usually tell them their hatred for the CC is stronger than their love for God.Likewise, apparently there is something about the CC that attracts them or else they would not spend so much time spewing their nonsense.
I have said this more than once, and for those of you who have read this already, my apologies for having to suffer through it again.
I have thought about this, and have come to the conclusion that the Catholic Church is attacked so much precisely because it IS the Church Jesus established, and it DOES contain the fullness of Truth and the full and normative means to salvation given to humanity by God.
If you were Satan, and were waging a war for the souls of humanity, what target would you concentrate on more than the very means of salvation given to the human race by Jesus Himself?
For the devil to achieve his ultimate end goal, he must destroy the Church, because the Church offers humanity the full means to escape the destiny he desires for us all.
It is a sad state of affairs that the bashing type are distant from the history of what it is they are part of. The bashing is a remnant of thought that dates to 1600. You could spend some time reading what it was the so called Reformation was doing. They were trying to destroy the OHCAC and replace it with their stuff…this has filtered down in time to the “whore of Babylon” “anti-christ” “cult” and all other sorts of stuff that stems from the Protestant Polemic. If you are not aware of this stuff then let me know and I will point you to some stuff. The Westminster Confession declares the Protestants to be “the Catholic” church universal and the 6 point of Calvinism is a great read.
I think one reason is that we use words like “the fullness of truth” to distinguish US from THEM. Whatever this fullness of truth is, we have it and they don’t.
I’ve never understood the term “fullness of truth.” What does that mean, anyway? Does the church teach how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly? Does the Church teach how the waves on the ocean come ashore Those are part of the fullness of truth, aren’t they? Job found that out when God needed to call him down for Job’s thinking he knew something and questioned the Lord.
Actually I think if you read Job 38-42 you might concede that nobody knows the “fullness of truth.”
I think it’s partly history, actually. The reason that most denominations exist is their opposition to Catholicism. Lutherans and Presbyterians and Baptist exist because of the breakup of Christendom in the 1500’s. So they have to justify staying away because they exist as opposition.