"The Christianity of history is not Protestantism. If ever there were a safe truth it is this, and Protestantism has ever felt it so; to be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant." (-John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine).

"Where the bishop is, there let the people gather; just as where ever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church". -St. Ignatius of Antioch (ca 110 AD)a martyr later thrown to the lions, wrote to a church in Asia Minor. Antioch was also where the term "Christian" was first used.

“But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

"This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic." -CCC 811

Friday, June 12, 2009

Dispelling the Myths about the Catholic Church

Anti-Catholics such as the Iglesia ni Cristo love to circulate myths about the Catholic faith. They rather believe in false accusations and lies circulated in the internet than pointing to the Catholic Church’s official teachings found in many websites such as Catholic Answers, Catholic Online and other Catholic websites. Right inside the Official Vatican Website, the Catechism of the Catholic Church is available in four major languages, English, French, Spanish and Chinese. One can only wonder why they hate to quote what's our official stand. The Bible and the Code of Canon is also provided in the Vatican Site. To dispell some of those myths, here is an article of conway23 that could enlighten those still under the influence of darkness.
  1. Catholics are Full of Guilt: I remember a ’90s rock band in Boston named “Big Catholic Guilt,” clever name, but way off the mark. Practicing Catholics who go to Confession on a regular basis know that they have been forgiven by God! And when you’re right with God, the guilt has been washed clean away!
  2. Catholic Teaching Caused the Priest Sex Abuse Scandal: Huh? Catholic teaching expressly forbids sex outside marriage and homosexuality, while requiring priests to remain celibate. One could safely argue that it was disobedience to Catholic teaching that lead to this tragedy.
  3. Catholics Worship the Pope: Nope. The Pope is just a man. A sinner like all men and women. Catholics look to the Pope as the successor of St. Peter, and so we follow his teachings on faith and morals.
  4. Catholics Worship Mary: Not true either. Catholics are devoted to Mary. Worship is reserved exclusively for God alone.
  5. The Catholic Church Opposes Science. This is real persistent one. I suppose it indicates ignorance that it was the Catholic Church which founded the world’s first universities…You ever heard of the scientist Copernicus? He was a Polish Priest. And you can thank Jesuit priests/scientists for the development of astronomy.
  6. The Catholic Church is Rich: Okay? I suppose the Catholic Church is rich in the same way that the British Royal Museum is rich. It’s true that there is a lot of gold, art and expensive real estate in the Vatican, but don’t expect it on eBay anytime soon. When Pope John Paul II died he owned virtually nothing, get the picture?
  7. Catholics Think Sex is Dirty: Wrong again. It’s Victorians who think sex is dirty. Catholics understand that our Lord became flesh, which indicates that the body is sacred. Catholic marriages are elevated to the level of a sacrament as well, and the sexual act is the central unitve expression of marriage.
  8. The Church Obsesses on Homosexuality: It’s actually contemporary American culture that is obsessed with forcing Christians, and the Catholic Church in particular, to abandon their moral stance against homosexual acts and gay marriage. Catholic teaching on homosexuality is 2,000 years old and will not change.
  9. Women are Oppressed by the Church: Feminists work overtime on this one. Help me understand how divorce, abortion and the sexual revolution have helped women? One need only look at the breakdown of the African-American family in the last 40 years to see what happens when Christian values are tossed aside. Is it any surprise that it was women in the Roman Empire who first recognized that Christianity offered them respect, protection and a moral code that applied equally to men and women.
  10. Catholics are Religious Fundamentalists: Technically speaking, fundamentalists are Protestant Christians who read the Bible literally. This is not the Catholic approach to Scripture…Yet if one means a fundamental faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and our God, then maybe we are fundamentalists.

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