Are Catholics Really Christian?: An Open Response

I have said in the past that “In America, Big-Lie Anti-Catholicism is more popular than baseball.”

Here’s one confirmation for my observation.

The great Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen once said “There are not more than 100 people in the world who truly hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they perceive to be the Catholic Church.  ….As a matter of fact, if we Catholics believed all of the untruths and lies which were said against the Church, we probably would hate the Church a thousand times more than they do.”

This statement by Bishop Sheen is a tidal wave of truth. If you do not believe it, just take a look at this blog post by David Brown titled Are Catholics Really Christians?

The opening paragraph states…

I’ve met quite a few Catholics in my time here on this earth and for the most part find them to be good people. Sure, they like to drink a bit too much and curse like they belong on a navy ship, but they do everything in their power to make it to Sunday Mass every week. I’m not trying to bash Catholics, just interested in seeing what others think about the information I plan to lay out below.

Sounds like you’ve been hanging out in bars and taverns a lot. Since Catholics are a vastly numerous religious group in this country, it stands to reason you’re going meet quite a few of them wherever you go.

However, instead of hanging out in a night club and meeting a few Sunday Catholics, I would suggest that you go to a Catholic Parish and see the tireless efforts that occur on a daily basis. You will see an army of devout Catholics attending Mass on a Tuesday morning or a Thursday afternoon, and meet others who do the Lord’s work every day.

All of the Parish volunteers who labor in the soup kitchens, free food pantries, visit the ill, and prisoners. There are also groups like the Knights of Columbus and the Columbiettes who do many other acts of charity in their respective communities. They give of themselves, monetarily by donations and physically through their labors.

Then there are the Priests and Nuns who do more of the same, getting their hands dirty, laboring for the sake of the spiritual and physical welfare of others, whether they are in a local parish or in a jungle in Africa. They have been through many years of education in theology, philosophy, history et al. They have the intellectual capacity to have chosen very lucrative careers, but rather decided to give it all up for the opportunity to follow the message of the gospel every minute of every day.

I worked with a Priest who was a nuclear physicist in the jet propulsion labs at NASA. He left it all behind to follow the gospel. Another Priest from my boyhood parish left one day to live in a leper colony in India. He followed the example of St. Damian, a priest who did the same in Hawaii in the 19th century. I could go on and on forever, so I’ll just leave you with these few samples.

Yet, Mr. Brown has the audacity to posit, Are Catholics really Christians?

I find the final sentence of the opening paragraph particularly disturbing. “I’m not trying to bash Catholics, just interested in seeing what others think about the information I plan to lay out below.”

If you are truly interested in what others think based upon the information, then you should offer veritable information. After all, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) is readily available and decidedly inexpensive.

Remember Bishop Sheen’s quote from above.

What Mr. Brown has done within his post is dispense blatant Big-Lie-Anti-Catholic propaganda (what he falsely perceives to be the Catholic Church), and then asked for confirmation from others (the millions) who have heard the same old tired nonsense.

Thus far, I’ve offered a rebuttal to only the opening paragraph. Of course, within that paragraph, Mr. Brown did not present any facts, but rather a personal anecdote of subjective observation. I’ve rebutted in the same way, but my observations can be readily checked.

For example, there are books about St. Damien, Bishop Sheen’s quote and others can be found with a click of your mouse, and the fact that any reader can visit a local Catholic Parish and observe the same activity.

However, in subsequent paragraphs, a myriad of theological and historical lies and untruths are presented as facts. I can promise definitive responses to all of them, paragraph by paragraph.

My Last Newspaper

I was on my way to work one morning and as I passed by a newsstand I saw the huge, bold headline: Catholic Priest Sex Scandal. The priest’s picture was plastered across the entire front page.  He was a very popular priest and well known, since some newspapers had done human interest stories about him prior to that headline. Perhaps that was the reason for the press’s extra viciousness concerning this incident.

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St. Nicolas Roman Catholic Cathedral by Jennifer Boyer used under CC License

A few weeks later I purchased a copy of the paper, wanting to see the box score from a Yankee game. As I flipped through the pages and scanned the headlines I saw something very disturbing on page 17.

In a small article, nestled among many other small articles that would constitute a page of clippings, was a follow-up story about the #priest.  Apparently, all charges against him were dropped.

An NYPD spokesman said the child involved had been prompted to tell a story because the parents were looking for a cash settlement. The police became suspicious when the child kept changing his story. Detectives questioned him for a statement three times, and not once did he ever give the same answer. When pressed, the parents admitted to prodding their child to make a false claim.

What a group of forthright, just people are journalists and #newspaper editors. Shouldn’t they have put that priest’s portrait on the front page again with a bold headline proclaiming his vindication? Yes, they should have. You know it and I know it. So how could the press not know it?

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Earth Day by Deb Stgo used under CC License

I believe they knew the right thing to do. However, why should they run a story when there was probably something more sensational that day?  Also, why run a story that speaks of your own sensationalism and errors?

I think it’s sad. Have you ever seen anything similar?

Special Thanks to Don Charisma. His #blog Post “Do Journalists Tell the Truth” dredged up this memory.