Why Do People Hate Catholicism?editor
How do we respond when someone tells us they hate the Catholic Church? Join former Protestant pastor and Catholic convert as he considers this question while riding his 2017 Indian Chieftain Darkhorse.
That’s my second ride on a motorbike – and after the first one I was determined there would never be a second one! I used to be so indecisive. Now I’m not so sure…
I don’t think many of us will have been surprised at anything said by Keith, but we may be able to add to his list. Feel free…
That’s a great idea! Discussing the faith while motorcycling. That’s what is actually meant by finding new ways to take the faith to those outside the Church, using the imagination in how to present it, not trying to change it to fit in with modernity and immorality!
One of the things I’ve heard people say that I don’t think he mentioned (but I may have missed it, he went through the points quite fast), was that the Church changed things, adding things like the Immaculate Conception etc. I think I know the answer, that if something is not found in Scripture, though most is, then it’s part of the Tradition, what Christians believed from the very beginning, and that would apply to Our Lady, very particularly. If I’m wrong, I’ll stand corrected, no prob.
I really like that video, though – it’s a really great way of answering questions.
To the best of my knowledge, you have given the right answer to the question of where teachings such as the Immaculate Conception come from. My favourite quote (which is often found in this blog and the CT newsletter) is from one of the Church Fathers, can’t remember his name right now, who says that to check if something is truly Christian, you need to look at what Christians have always believed, everywhere. That’s the test. I think it’s obvious that Christians understood that Mary was very central in the life of Christ and so they believed that she was born free of Original Sin, and also assumed into heaven.
I agree about the video – I love it!
* early Christians (from the beginning) understood that Mary etc.
Yes, I think that’s right. What the first Christians believed is the basis of Tradition. The Scriptures were written later, and in his letters St Paul mentions the oral tradition, what he has passed on by word of mouth.
Bernie (et al)
You are correct – in most, if not all cases, the roots of dogma are to be found in Scripture, but since the oral Tradition came first, then it is to be relied upon should questions arise. Here’s Doctor of the Church, St Vincent de Lerins teaching on this central subject:
St. Vincent de Lerins
In the 5th century, St. Vincent of Lerins saw that the people were faced with various errors and heresies of Donatus, Arius, Photinus, Pelagius and others, and gave them this good advice on how they could know with security the true Catholic Faith. Even if it is taught by distinguished men or Prelates, the bad doctrine should not be accepted by Catholics, who should cling to Tradition and what has been believed everywhere, always, and by all [quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum est]. Actually, he stated: “I have continually given the greatest pains and diligence to inquiring, from the greatest possible number of men outstanding in holiness and in doctrine, how I can secure a type of fixed and, as it were, general, guiding principle for distinguishing the true Catholic Faith from the degraded falsehoods of heresy.
“And the answer that I receive is always to this effect: That if I wish, or indeed if anyone wishes, to detect the deceits of heretics that arise and to avoid their snares and to keep healthy and sound in a robust faith, we ought, with the Lord’s help, to fortify our faith in a twofold manner, first, that is, by the authority of God’s Law, then, by the tradition of the Catholic Church.
“Here, it may be, someone will ask: ‘Since the canon of Scripture is complete, and is in itself abundantly sufficient, what need is there to join to it the interpretation of the Church?’ The answer is that because of the profundity itself of Scripture, all men do not place the same interpretation upon it. The statements of the same writer are explained by different men in different ways, so much so that it seems almost possible to extract from it as many opinions as there are men. Novatian expounds in one way, Sabellius in another, Donatus in another, Arius, Eunomius and Macedonius in another, Photinus, Apollinaris and Priscillian in another, Jovinian, Pelagius and Caelestius in another, and latterly Nestorius in another. Therefore, because of the intricacies of error, which is so multiform, there is great need for the laying down of a rule for the exposition of Prophets and Apostles in accordance with the standard of the interpretation of the Catholic Church.
“Now in the Catholic Church itself we take the greatest care to hold that which has been believed everywhere, always and by all. That is truly and properly ‘Catholic,’ as is shown by the very force and meaning of the word, which comprehends everything almost universally. We shall hold to this rule if we follow universality, antiquity, and consent. We shall follow universality if we acknowledge that one Faith to be true which the whole Church throughout the world confesses; antiquity if we in no wise depart from those interpretations which it is clear that our ancestors and fathers proclaimed; consent, if in antiquity itself, we keep following the definitions and opinions of all, or certainly nearly all, Bishops and Doctors alike.
“What then will the Catholic do, if a small part of the Church has cut itself off from the communion of the universal Faith? The answer is sure. He will prefer the healthiness of the whole body to the morbid and corrupt limb.
“But what if some novel contagions try to infect the whole Church, and not merely a tiny part of it? Then he will take care to cleave to antiquity, which cannot now be led astray by any deceit of novelty.
“What if in antiquity itself two or three men, or it may be a city, or even a whole province be detected in error? Then he will take the greatest care to prefer the decrees of the ancient General Councils, if there are such, to the irresponsible ignorance of a few men.
“But what if some error arises regarding which nothing of this sort is to be found? Then he must do his best to compare the opinions of the Fathers and inquire their meaning, provided always that, though they belonged to diverse times and places, they yet continued in the faith and communion of the one Catholic Church; and let them be teachers approved and outstanding. And whatever he shall find to have been held, approved and taught, not by one or two only but by all equally and with one consent, openly, frequently, and persistently, let him take this as to be held by him without the slightest hesitation.”
(The Vincentian Canon, in Commonitorium, chap IV, 434, ed. Moxon, Cambridge Patristic Texts) Ends.
ED that is very good question Why is The Catholic Church Hated . I Personally now though would like to sort of rearrange that Question and say Why do People Hate The True Catholic Faith, because we know that within Our Church, so called Catholic Clergymen seem to have a Deep Hatred of the Catholic Faith. Of course to us here in Scotland ( and we’re from the same generation) we certainly don’t need Look far for Hatred. I recall you saying just recently that when you Left a Job in Aberdeen a certain person wouldn’t even come into the room because you are a Catholic. I think I have also told this story but it’s worth it again.
On my Very Very FIRST Day serving an Apprenticeship back in 1965 . As was the so called training, I was sent to Help out a Tradesman. Now remember I say my Very first Day, my Very First Hour . He asks me my Full Name and I tells Him of course. Then He said.
” How did you get a Job as an Apprentice with us “. This was in Glasgow and I was 15 and Straight from the Sticks of a Lanarkshire Village, I knew nothing. So I says to this Ignoramous Bigot.
” Well I seen the Ad in the Daily Record , wrote in for an Interview and Mr Love the Owner who interviewed you gave me a Job ”
So He goes off on a sort of Orangeman Tangent.
” No He says your Name Your Name , this Firm doesn’t start Bleep Bleep Bleep TIMS . So were I you I would pack the Job in right now “. Of course all of the Tradesmen weren’t like this useless and He was a useless ignoramous . Some of them were actually worse .
Talk about Hatred for Catholicism, my God I was shaking all over . What an experience for a young Boy on his First Day as an Apprentice.
Unfortunately worse was to come . For you see I became as Bigoted as them . Never though Never to a Young Apprentice.
Of course they say that things especially within the Workplace has changed. I beg to Differ.
BTW. I know not of the rest of Britain. Northern Ireland of course being a complete Hatred Write off . But Scotland was Held back enormously ( and am sure the same happened within your Profession ) . Where Literally Idiots who could Shake Hands in a Funny way ,were promoted to Jobs where they were neither competent or capable or had the Experience to carry them out.
Also when the Steelworks Closed and the well payed Bosses Etc got their £ 30.000 Redundancy payments . They then wanted the jobs of the Bin Men Etc who at that time were working for Buttons. I don’t know if you were working in Scotland at the time but this is when all the Daily Record Stories of. It’s All Catholics Who Get The Jobs In Coatbridge. Headlines started.
Faith of our Fathers,
I’m a bit disappointed that you decided to be “as bigoted as them.” I always think Catholics are not (can’t be) bigoted, because that means we hate someone else. That means we can’t go to Holy Communion at Sunday Mass. I’ve witnessed people who hate Catholicism, but I never feel angry with them, just very sad. I honestly don’t understand how you can be bigoted because you’ve met others who are bigoted. I would think it would have the opposite effect. You see someone filled with hatred and you don’t want to be like that, is my feeling, but then maybe I’m being naive.
I do agree with you about there being people, including bishops and priests, who hate the Church as well. I doubt, though, that they are truly within the Church. In their souls and hearts I’d say they have broken from the Church, even if they don’t realise it yet.
Before the cultural Communists started redefining language, the word “bigot” meant this:
1. A man of spirit, firm character, obstinate person.
2. A person who holds blindly and intolerantly to a particular creed, opinion, etc.
3. A narrow-minded, intolerant person
(Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, 2nd Edition, which I purchased in 1987, but I think the 2nd Edition was published in 1956)
My point being that bigot, correctly defined, is not synonymous with hate. However, if you look it up on an online dictionary, which of course features the leftist redefinition of the word, you’ll find this:
“especially : a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group (such as a racial or religious group)”
(And let’s not forget what the cultural Communists did to the word “gay”…)
It is certainly true that not every committed and believing Protestant is a bigot. I have plenty of examples of that, one slightly humorous encounter which I will write up shortly. However, in common parlance, if not by every dictionary definition around, “bigotry” has come to indicate ignorance (in this case, of Catholicism) which, as a result, can lead to hatred. Generally speaking, said hatred is directed at the beliefs, not the person, but in some cases, it can be directed at individuals.
Not sure if you will be aware of the now deceased Rev Ian Paisley, who was a minister of a Protestant denomination, on our TV screens day and daily at the height of “the troubles” in the north of Ireland. He was the leader of the Unionists, as opposed to the Irish Republicans. Broadly interpreted as “Protestants” Vs “Catholics” – although the divide was actually political, not religious. He would speak harshly about the Catholic Church and once participated in a debate at Oxford in which he mocked the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Here’s a clip:
Now, Ian Paisley was roundly criticised for that attack on the dogma of Transubstantiation, but that was an academic opinion, perfectly understandable coming, as it did, from someone who did not hold to that belief and could not comprehend it. I refused to call him a bigot because of that, and his other criticisms of Catholic doctrine. Certainly, he’d never win an ecumenical award, but that’s what I always liked about him.
Years later, when he was an MP in the Westminster Parliament, Catholics would say that he was an excellent parliamentary representative, that he cared for and acted in, their best interests. He treated his Catholic constituents as fairly as any other. That’s not a bigot.
Hence, my slightly comical exchange with a couple of young men in Springburn some years ago, while Paisley was still alive; they weren’t bigots either. I was with a fellow member of the Legion of Mary and we were visiting homes in the area when two young men approached us, asking if why we were going round the homes… We explained. They then became a tad more threatening, suggesting that we hated them because they were Protestants. When we insisted that we hated nobody, no matter their beliefs, one of them laughed (menacingly, I remember thinking at the time) as he delivered what he clearly believed would be his most deadly blow…
“Not even Iain Paisley?”
I replied “Not even Ian Paisley.” I then added: “In fact, I respect Ian Paisley because he is open about what he thinks and believes and does not speak with forked tongue, just to be popular.”
That is the sense of what I said and it obviously took them by surprise. They turned away, waved at us and we breathed a sigh of relief. 😀 I hope that’s the closest I get to martyrdom!
The Little Sisters of the Poor had a home in Ian Paisley’s constituency and I heard that he regularly phoned the Reverend Mother to see if there was anything they needed. He certainly didn’t care about their religion then.
Also, while he didn’t believe in Transubstantiation, he apparently did believe Our Lady was the Mother of God. I was told that during a discussion he said that as Jesus was God, and Mary was His mother, then that made her the Mother of God.
Yes, I think Ian Paisley had a good heart. And there’s no getting away from the fact that it has been the “Unionist” politicians who have stood against the attacks on life and the family in recent years. I once wrote to Nigel Dodds, a Unionist who – alone on a Question Time panel which included several allegedly Catholic politicians – spoke against same-sex “marriage” (I think – it was definitely one of the burning moral issues of the day which no Catholic could possibly support). I wrote to thank him for speaking out despite being (shockingly) in a minority of one, and he replied with thanks to acknowledge my message.
That my Republican grandfather may have been turning in his grave crossed my mind, but then, eternity has a way of righting wrong thinking, I’d imagine!
I can’t really add anything to what Josephine has said. In the example I gave a while back, which you mention, where I was informed (on the day I was leaving that place of employment) that there was one member of staff whom I’d never met because he hated Catholics so much that he refused to enter the staffroom in case I was present, despite never having met me, that shocked and saddened me, but it didn’t anger me. I was regretful that I’d never had the opportunity to converse with that person. I like to think I may have moved him along a little, in his (mis) understanding of Catholicism.
Our Lord has instructed us, FOOF, to love our enemies and to do good to those who persecute us. Bigotry is a form of persecution. It’s hardly torture, though, it’s really just putting up with someone who doesn’t know enough about the Faith and it would be more helpful to the bigot to meet with some level of charity, than experience the equivalent of looking at himself in the mirror!
If you haven’t watched the video, I think you should. It’s very good indeed.
ED I am of course referring to when I was younger. I know your Profession was maybe a bit ( backward so to speak on Bigotry) certainly not so on Construction Sites ,where if you didn’t Fight Back , you were literally trampled on. I well remember one Young Apprentice being Hounded from a Job . He used to be Literally Sick . ( remember we only have 2 Cheeks ) especially back then when the Irish Troubles Started and I actually worked with Guys who Boasted of Going to . A Pound a Bullet Nights . In case ones on here haven’t heard of them it was to raise Money to Send over to the U.D.A. O and BTW the Police were well aware of these Little Shindigs.
No I am certainly not a Bigot now, as Bigotry we know is Blind Hatred. And just for The Record back then I wasn’t Blind Either. In fact I actually wrote some of the Experiences I had in the 60s and 70s . Am afraid they would be ,let’s say much to colourful to be written on Here .
Also when I became a Supervisor and was Starting Tradesmen, I can Honestly say that Not Once did I start anyone because of their Religion. Contrary to another Manager in my Same Factory who said that in His words.
” I will never employ a Catholic ” . In saying that He had an Excuse. He came from Larkhall.
ED that’s a great story concerning Ian Paisley. I also would rather ( once I knew the score) have worked with an outright Orangeman than the Mealy Mouthed ones who said ” O that Religious thing doesn’t bother me ” those were usually the ones to stab you in the Back and Shop you to the Boss Etc .
I remember I was on a Construction Site in Airdrie and as was the usual we went to the Hut for Our Tea Etc .
Their were 18 of us and I was the only Catholic. One Day the conversation became Heated and I mean Heated . As I have stated above the Odds weren’t for William Hill that’s for certain. Anyhow as the so called Conversion got worse it was a well known Orangeman back then who stood up and Shouted
” Enough is Enough “. I was 19 then which made the Year 1969 .
I still Well Remember His Name to this Very Day. He was a Good Man .
Keith Nester’s motorcycle ride (Moto Proprio, LOL!) is excellent.
I loved those questions and answers, so simply put, so clear. I’d love to know his story of conversion – I am fascinated by conversion stories.
Me, too – like you, I am fascinated by the ways and means which God uses to bring people into His Church.
I’ve been subject to anti-Catholic behaviour in a previous job (nothing serious, but just annoying) and I think it comes down to (a) guilty conscience, and in some cases (b) people have been genuinely shocked by the clerical scandals in the Church, particularly those against children. In the particular case I mentioned regarding myself, (a) was almost certainly the factor because the mockery came from an ex-Catholic colleague who was a practising homosexual. Guilty conscience. He’s now dead. (No I didn’t kill him). Also, don’t forget that in England there is still institutionalised and historical anti-Catholicism anyway. I remember being saddened when I read that one of the minor Royals fiancees (I think Princess Anne’s daughter-in-law?) had formally apostatised from the Catholic Church in order to marry Princess Anne’s son, so he wouldn’t lose his place in the line of succession (which he’s highly unlikely to move further up anyway). And now they’re getting divorced anyway. Talk about throwing away your birthright for a mess of pottage.
I think you’re right about the child abuse cases being a reason why some people hate the Church. Also other scandals, such as priests leaving to marry – that’s hardly inspiring.
I’ve been lucky in that I’ve only met well-meaning Protestants who have asked me some questions about the faith but not shown any bigotry.
Yes. Well child abuse is, even for the most secularised and liberal minds, incomprehensible behaviour. But note that child abuse takes place in many other institutions, such as state schools, and other religions, such as Islam and Anglicanism, but they don’t seem to face the same level of opprobrium that the Catholic Church does. There is an underlying antipathy towards the Church, regardless of the crimes of some clergy, without doubt. The Father of Lies will always ensure we have plenty of enemies. Our Lord warned that the world hated Him, and will hate us also.
Why do people hate Catholicism? The simple answer is because Catholicism is the truth, and truth is a mirror into which we are unwilling to look (see: Pharisees’ response to Our Lord’s doctrines).
I agree with you completely – the Catholic Church represents the truth, as did its divine founder, Our Lord Jesus Christ, who was hated by the world for presenting that truth and was crucified for it. When people look at the Church they see in her doctrine a call to holiness which requires of them a correspondence with God’s Commandments in their lives. A lot of people don’t want that, they want to live immorally according to the flesh, and so they offer excuses as to why they hate the Church. The reality is they hate truth and goodness because it demands sacrifice of them and they don’t want God under those circumstances – they want God fashioned in the image of fallen man. I don’t think we need to dig much deeper than that. Our Lord warned us: “Know that if the world hates you, it has hated Me first”. It began with the crucifixion and has continued through the persecution of the early martyrs, the assaults of heretics and the progroms of atheistic governments, and it will continue to the end of time. The battle is a supernatural one and it’s fair to state that Lucifer has more human beings on his side than Our Lord, which is why He spoke of the “narrow and hard way” to salvation vs. “the wide road and easy road that leads to perdition”.
W. Fly you are spot on about the Catholic Church being more oppressed in the Sexual Abuse Scandals than most ,Especially the Religion of Peace. The Boy Scouts Etc Etc . Of course one abusing Priest is one to many . But I certainly know that Mud sticks and probably many of us on Here know of innocent Priests accused of Abuse where they were totally innocent. I certainly know of one Guy who is a Professional Liar who accused Priests of Abusing Him . Of course His story or stories only came out once the Money was being payed. I knew him all His life and you couldn’t have shown Him a Birds Nest . Not once . Not once in almost 30 Years did He say anything. When the Money was being payed out He was first in the Que .
Also our own Parish Priest was accused of Sexual Abuse about 10 Years ago and as is the case was removed by the Bishop until investigations went on . The so called Abuser went to the Police a Month Later and dropped all charges. The Mans life was in ruins.
I live myself and their is no Child other than my 3 Grandchildren would be allowed into my House. What Times we live in .
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