Why don't people believe Catholics are intelligent enough to understand our beliefs?


#1

Why are there so many who will not believe Catholics actually have a better understanding of their own beliefs than those who choose to leave it or were never in it in the first place?

I am not talking about those who simply disagree with our beliefs. Several people come to mind :slight_smile: , but I won’t name names!

I mean the ones who just think Catholics are too ignorant to know what the church really teaches. The ones who think catholic apologists don’t just use words that anyone can understand, but actually disagree with the “true” teachings of the Catholic Church.

Why do people choose to think Catholics are just too ignorant and blinded to see the “real” teachings of the Catholic Church as interpreted by those who aren’t Catholic anymore? I truly don’t understand the mindset of people who say “You worship Mary”. No we honor her. “No you don’t, you worship her, I don’t buy into the highest honor thing”.

Why do people think Catholics are so stupid?

p.s.
I do acknowledge that SOME Catholics do not really understand what they believe or why they believe it, but that is not what most of the Catholics on this board are like!


#2

By the way, I am not looking for a slam session against people, I am truly looking for understanding of a mindset that thinks regular Catholics like me as well as Catholic apologists are just too ignorant to really understand what their church teaches and Catholics need enlightenment from those who “understand” what the Catholic Church “really” teaches.


#3

[quote=MariaG]Why do people choose to think Catholics are just too ignorant and blinded to see the “real” teachings of the Catholic Church as interpreted by those who aren’t Catholic anymore? I truly don’t understand the mindset of people who say “You worship Mary”. No we honor her. “No you don’t, you worship her, I don’t buy into the highest honor thing”.

[/quote]

Perhaps it is because some people **want **to believe what they supposedly believe. If they believe the Pope is the Antichrist, they would insist that it is true. If you ask them to provide scriptural or historical evidences, they normally respond with such remarks like: “Why should I explain it to you? You know what I’m talking about…etc… etc…”, and they would even challenge you in turn to provide your own, like the accuser asking the accused to provide proofs of his innocence, when the burden of proof is in the hands of the accuser. When you are able to produce your proofs, they would ignore it and immediately shift to a new mode of attack on a completely different issue.

They have such strongly held presuppositions/prejudices that cannot be easily overcome by reason alone, but requires patience and fortitude on your part.

Gerry


#4

My take…

The majority of people today have allowed themselves to change with the times…they have fallen prey to the political correctness of alternative lifestyles… they have given into the false notion that…ones persons “opinion” is just as viable and true as the next persons opinion…everyones opinion is equally valid…BAH! this leads one into moral relativism and subjectivism…ie…eveythings fine…if you say its okay then its okay…if dont hurt anyone else its just hunky dory (here, they only take into consideration… a “physical hurt” and totally fail to understand the spiritual harm)

This is why people think the church is “behind in the times” and needs to “change with the WORLD”… their minds arent properly formed to realize that its the WORLD itself (mankind) that must change and remain in the UNCHANGABLE Church (word of God)

Because of this mentality, many people think that in this day and age, for someone to follow such a “narrow-minded” blinders on, harsh and unchanging Church with all her rules against “choice”…ie…homosexuality, abortion, euthanasia, masturbation, pre marital sex, divorce…etc… that for anyone to follow the dictates of a church that forbids these things in a world that has accepted them…then we must simply be brainwashed… and we are looked at as highly dangerous for adhering to this “outdated” mindset of the Church.

Ever hear about the proverbial Frog?

Put a Frog into boiling water and it will leap out ASAP…but place that Frog in tepid water and slowly turn up the heat…and the Frog will allow itself to be cooked alive.

This has what happened to society… the very thought of showing sex or talking about abortion or accepting homosexuality on TV in the 50s would have landed one in Jail…people would have rioted… but by slowly desensitizing the masses a little at a time, many…the majority of society has come to accept these evils as good…ie…evil is good (tolerance) and good is now evil (intolerance) to judge an evil action is now considered arrogant…thats why people think we are nuts…God has allowed us Frogs to awaken, and jump from the boiling water


#5

The catholics who are lead away from the church fall prey because they haven’t bothered learning WHY the church teaches why it does. They have no ready defense when people start showing them scriptures. They buy what is said “hook, line and sinker.” That’s why we need to educate ourselves on what the church teaches and why.


#6

[quote=MariaG]Why are there so many who will not believe Catholics actually have a better understanding of their own beliefs than those who choose to leave it or were never in it in the first place?

I am not talking about those who simply disagree with our beliefs. Several people come to mind :slight_smile: , but I won’t name names!

I mean the ones who just think Catholics are too ignorant to know what the church really teaches. The ones who think catholic apologists don’t just use words that anyone can understand, but actually disagree with the “true” teachings of the Catholic Church.

Why do people choose to think Catholics are just too ignorant and blinded to see the “real” teachings of the Catholic Church as interpreted by those who aren’t Catholic anymore? I truly don’t understand the mindset of people who say “You worship Mary”. No we honor her. “No you don’t, you worship her, I don’t buy into the highest honor thing”.

Why do people think Catholics are so stupid?

p.s.
I do acknowledge that SOME Catholics do not really understand what they believe or why they believe it, but that is not what most of the Catholics on this board are like!
[/quote]

I’ve been told many times by anti-Catholics that “it’s amazing that I know your faith better than you do”. My brother, who grew up Catholic and is now a non-denominational pastor, was taught in his Church history courses that Catholics worship Mary, so now he firmly believes that we do. That in spite of the fact that he never once experienced Mary worship as a Catholic.

My heart truly weeps for people who continue to cling to their misconceptions even after being told clearly what the Church really teaches. I don’t know what it is they gain by continuing to believe that the Church teaches things that she doesn’t. It’s not a new problem though. Paul even experienced it. In Romans 3:8 Paul says “and why not claim- *as we are accused and as some claim we say *- that we should do evil that good may come if it?” Even Paul was accused of believing and saying things that he didn’t. Maybe ask him to pray for you when you find yourself frustrated in this regard. He’s been there done that.

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:


#7

I hope this doesn’t sound rude.

I meet Catholics all the time who don’t know where any of the books of the Bible are.

I realize that many of them know Bible verses and prayers by heart and that’s the important thing.

But believe me, I’m a little skeptical of their intelligence when I see them searching for Jeremiah. Or Jude. Sometimes they are not even sure whether these books are in the Old or New Testament.

It doesn’t make a good impression at all, no, siree, especially on Protestants who memorize these books of the Bible usually around third grade and remember them forever. (They may or may not ever read the books! But they know where they are!)

My suggestion is, swallow pride, stop making excuses, sit down with the Bible, and MEMORIZE those books of the Bible! Do it with a friend–have a Bible Book Memorizing Party, and when you are all finished and you can throw books of the Bible around like footballs, then celebrate!

Know them not only forwards, but backwards as well. It’s so easy and will make everyone think you are intelligent!

Don’t give anyone a reason to think you are stupid. This is such a simple thing to do.


#8

i personally have the experience of been ask a million questions about catholic practice an belief an at that moment i felt very bad because i didn have enough to do a good job but after that moment i went to catholic answers an know iam ready to answer some of the questions this protestants pop to you. if not i have copy just in case words are not enough. lord make me an instrument of your peace:blessyou:


#9

I think the answer is much simpler. To accept that Catholics do know their faith, might possibly be right, might have something to teach others … too threatening. So it is easier to say “you don’t know your own faith” than to listen. It’s easier to scoff than to be open-minded – and that, of course, goes both directions!

When one encounters someone “laying down the law,” the only thing to do is offer it up and try to bow out of the conversation gracefully. Otherwise you are just :banghead: . No point.


#10

Oh, BTW my response is not to Mayra, just in general. If you have the courage to take the conversation on, more power to you!


#11

[quote=Cat]I hope this doesn’t sound rude.

I meet Catholics all the time who don’t know where any of the books of the Bible are…

Cat,

I know that many Catholics can’t quote chapter and verse from the bible and as you say, may not even know the names or where the books of the bible are located.

But I will make a small bet, say an extra rosary said a day for a month?..That most Catholics who practice their faith, ie go to Mass regularly, know the salvation story, what is expected of mankind, etc becasue they have heard them in the Mass during the readings for YEARS. I am a case in point. Several years ago, 2 men from my workplace started a bible study. They were Lutheran and Baptist. They invited 3 others, who happenned to be Catholic. (I was one of them). We agreed to go. I didn’t even have a bible and the Lutheran gave me one to use. I quickly found out that I didn’t know chapter and verse, but I knew the meaning, point and stories as well as them! Hmmm?? What does that tell us? In Mass, we are steeped in scripture. We live and breath it, and we even get to receive the Lord in communion (Talk about a Personal relationship with Jesus!!).

Now as I have grown further in my faith, I have started to study scripture, partake on these forums and pray the Liturgy of the Hours…it is all part of our Faith Journey. We all go at our own pace, but don’t worry that we don’t know the bible, becasue we do!!

Bless you
[/quote]


#12

[quote=Cat]I hope this doesn’t sound rude.

I meet Catholics all the time who don’t know where any of the books of the Bible are.

I realize that many of them know Bible verses and prayers by heart and that’s the important thing.

But believe me, I’m a little skeptical of their intelligence when I see them searching for Jeremiah. Or Jude. Sometimes they are not even sure whether these books are in the Old or New Testament.

It doesn’t make a good impression at all, no, siree, especially on Protestants who memorize these books of the Bible usually around third grade and remember them forever. (They may or may not ever read the books! But they know where they are!)

My suggestion is, swallow pride, stop making excuses, sit down with the Bible, and MEMORIZE those books of the Bible! Do it with a friend–have a Bible Book Memorizing Party, and when you are all finished and you can throw books of the Bible around like footballs, then celebrate!

Know them not only forwards, but backwards as well. It’s so easy and will make everyone think you are intelligent!

Don’t give anyone a reason to think you are stupid. This is such a simple thing to do.
[/quote]

Cat, I hope this doesn’t sound rude but you are using Protestant Christians views to “judge” Catholic Christians. For Catholics, just like for the earliest Christians, the Church teachings descend from an ORAL TRADITION. The Scriptures were passed down orally until codified in the 4th century. And even after that the ORAL TRADITION remained the primary means of transmitting the Scriptures because people were illiterate and books (including the Bible) were expensive and scarce because they were hand-written by scribes.

It was only when the printing press was invented in the 16th century that the Bible was available to the literate classes. The Catholic Church’s liturgy continued the ORAL TRADITION of sharing the Bible. Just because Bibles were available didn’t negate the importance of the Liturgy and Catholic tradition. Don’t forget that only in the late 20th century was the majority of people in the Western world literate!

So to criticize Catholics because we don’t adhere to Protestant views on “sola scriptura” which translates into the necessity to be familiar with the Bible is to define the judgment in terms of a Protestant view. And of course, once established based on Protestant criteria, Catholics fall short. But the problem is not with Catholics but in how you frame the terms of the debate.

I have the same reaction when Protestant fundamentalists ask “Are you saved?” or “Do you take the Lord, Jesus Christ as your personal savior and redeemer?” I deeply resent being tested (and judged) according to their standards. (Are they the Lord who will judge me and Catholics on Judgement Day? I don’t think so!)


#13

I’m not refering to Catholics on this website, but rather Catholics I’ve met at work, school, socially - whatever. I’ve been curious about the Catholic Church for years and when I found out someone was Catholic I’d ask them all kinds of questions… not to prove them “wrong” but because I really wanted to know… like, why do you worship Mary? (And yes, I know you don’t but I didn’t know that then…) What do you believe a person must do to be saved? Why do you make the sign of the cross? Why no meat on Friday? No one seemed all that interested in talking about their faith (my mother in law - devout Catholic said that she didn’t want to talk about her religion because it was “private.”) Anyhow, I decided that Catholics must not know the answers to my questions. Add to that all the former Catholics who said they never knew a thing about Jesus until they joined the non-denom. Chruch of the Word and is it any wonder that I thought (past tense) you knew nothing?


#14

[quote=carol marie]I’m not refering to Catholics on this website, but rather Catholics I’ve met at work, school, socially - whatever. I’ve been curious about the Catholic Church for years and when I found out someone was Catholic I’d ask them all kinds of questions… not to prove them “wrong” but because I really wanted to know… like, why do you worship Mary? (And yes, I know you don’t but I didn’t know that then…) What do you believe a person must do to be saved? Why do you make the sign of the cross? Why no meat on Friday? No one seemed all that interested in talking about their faith (my mother in law - devout Catholic said that she didn’t want to talk about her religion because it was “private.”) Anyhow, I decided that Catholics must not know the answers to my questions. Add to that all the former Catholics who said they never knew a thing about Jesus until they joined the non-denom. Chruch of the Word and is it any wonder that I thought (past tense) you knew nothing?
[/quote]

But when they join the Church of the Word, do they really really know more about Jesus or can they just cite verses from the Bible and feel good about it? It seems to me that most Protestants don’t know any more about their faith than most Catholics. A very dear friend of mine, who is Methodist and a regular attendee of Bible studies, couldn’t tell me anything about the founder of her denomination–John Wesley–including when he lived and what nationality he was. She also didn’t know how the Methodist faith differed from Episcopalianism, Lutheranism, or Presbyterianism. (She is in her mid-40s.)


#15

[quote=La Chiara]But when they join the Church of the Word, do they really really know more about Jesus or can they just cite verses from the Bible and feel good about it? It seems to me that most Protestants don’t know any more about their faith than most Catholics. A very dear friend of mine, who is Methodist and a regular attendee of Bible studies, couldn’t tell me anything about the founder of her denomination–John Wesley–including when he lived and what nationality he was. She also didn’t know how the Methodist faith differed from Episcopalianism, Lutheranism, or Presbyterianism. (She is in her mid-40s.)
[/quote]

Very good observation. And did you ever notice the names of their churchs:

Usually when the church is named 5th Avenue Presbyterian… or Grand River Drive Methodist etc, the doctrine preached is the personal doctrine of the pastor, whereas if the name is St Paul Luthern, or 1st Baptist, etc the doctrine is what draws the people, not so much the pastor.

You won’t find many who will discuss their founder (human), because they first think the Catholic Church has disappeared or radically changed, so they have “adopted” our founder (divine) who they think (I guess) is up for grabs.

MrS


#16

The reason that Catholics are viewed as not knowing their faith is because many of them know very little of it. Plain and simple. What do you expect to happen when all catechesis occurs between the ages of 8 (first communion) and 14 (confirmation)? Why does everything shut down after age 14? That needs to change, and pretending that everyone is on top of their theological game because they attend Mass once a week is ridiculous. I am Catholic, attended a Catholic high school and University and am proud of it - dont get me wrong. I learned almost nothing in 8 years of “Catholic” education regarding our faith. My greatest education, which is still underway, occured as a result of exposure to a Protestant church which challenged Catholic doctrine. It made me crack open some books and dig into the issues. I learned a lot about Catholicism and about Catholics in general.

I remember one time when a jewish friend asked me about the Immaculate Conception. I assumed (is this a pun?) it referred to Jesus’ birth. I think you would be appalled how few Catholics appreciate transubstantiation of the Eucharist. I could go on and on…

And do you realize how skewed the people participating in this forum are? Trust me, we are at the 90th percentile and above in terms of knowing our faith. I remember a poll about 3 weeks ago that asked how many people had and regularly used the Catechism of the Catholic Church - it was like 94%!!! I’ll bet 10 to 1 that if you were able to randomly poll a thousand ‘regular’ Catholics that less than 15% would even know what the heck it is let alone own it and use it regularly. Please, lets not pretend that this is the best that the RCC can do - we all need to recognize the facts as they are and get serious about helping voluteer/teach in our parishes…


#17

[quote=MariaG]By the way, I am not looking for a slam session against people, I am truly looking for understanding of a mindset that thinks regular Catholics like me as well as Catholic apologists are just too ignorant to really understand what their church teaches and Catholics need enlightenment from those who “understand” what the Catholic Church “really” teaches.
[/quote]

Maria - to date you have 454 posts on the Forum. You are not a regular Catholic! Regular catholics go to Church on Sunday, Easter, Christmas, and on Ash Wednesday! they dont want to get invoved with discussing their religion. I applaud you - lets try to get others invigorated as well


#18

[quote=La Chiara]It was only when the printing press was invented in the 16th century that the Bible was available to the literate classes.
[/quote]

Not to be a complete pain, but the printing press was invented in the mid-15th century.

:slight_smile:

– Mark L. Chance.


#19

[quote=mlchance]Not to be a complete pain, but the printing press was invented in the mid-15th century.

:slight_smile:

– Mark L. Chance.
[/quote]

Sorry, I majored in Political Science, not History, and I tend to be within 100 years of most major events. Thanks for the correction! :slight_smile:


#20

[quote=Philthy]The reason that Catholics are viewed as not knowing their faith is because many of them know very little of it. Plain and simple. What do you expect to happen when all catechesis occurs between the ages of 8 (first communion) and 14 (confirmation)? Why does everything shut down after age 14? That needs to change, and pretending that everyone is on top of their theological game because they attend Mass once a week is ridiculous. I am Catholic, attended a Catholic high school and University and am proud of it - dont get me wrong. I learned almost nothing in 8 years of “Catholic” education regarding our faith. My greatest education, which is still underway, occured as a result of exposure to a Protestant church which challenged Catholic doctrine. It made me crack open some books and dig into the issues. I learned a lot about Catholicism and about Catholics in general.

Yeah, but instead of blaming CCD and the Catholic Church, why don’t we take ownership of the state of our own faith. Let’s be honest, most parents have no interest in making their kids learn about their Catholic faith. They want them to have the sacraments so they can check the blocks–Baptism, Penance, Eucharist, Confirmation, done. And pity the poor Religious Education Directors who must deal with so many apathetic Catholic parents, not to mention the uninterested kids. So once we are adults, we need to stop blaming our parents for how we turned out and stop blaming the Church for our poor catechesis, and start doing something about it. We are all big girls and boys, so let’s learn about our faith and stop blaming.

I remember one time when a jewish friend asked me about the Immaculate Conception. I assumed (is this a pun?) it referred to Jesus’ birth. I think you would be appalled how few Catholics appreciate transubstantiation of the Eucharist. I could go on and on…

And do you realize how skewed the people participating in this forum are? Trust me, we are at the 90th percentile and above in terms of knowing our faith. I remember a poll about 3 weeks ago that asked how many people had and regularly used the Catechism of the Catholic Church - it was like 94%!!! I’ll bet 10 to 1 that if you were able to randomly poll a thousand ‘regular’ Catholics that less than 15% would even know what the heck it is let alone own it and use it regularly. Please, lets not pretend that this is the best that the RCC can do - we all need to recognize the facts as they are and get serious about helping voluteer/teach in our parishes…
[/quote]


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