The Church Everyone Loves to Hate

The Catholic Church is so cool!  Since its very beginnings (aka Christ), it has remained faithful to its teachings and foundations, despite internal corruption and turmoil.  The Church has endured persecution throughout time and today is no different.  What has been a subtle persecution is becoming a full fledged attack on the institution which everyone loves to hate.  Here’s an example from the New York Times.  This ad is targeted at those who call themselves Catholic but don’t really follow the teachings of the Church; it encourages them to just leave.  I hope that the people who fall into this category will learn why the Church teaches what it does and embrace those teachings rather than just leaving.
Have you ever noticed that Catholics get the short end of the stick when it comes to cartoons, jokes and just generally making fun of religion?  People are very careful about not insulting Jewish and Muslim faiths, but have no problem with things like the ad that appeared in the NY Times.  For example, this article explains that the Times chose to publish this ad over an anti-muslim one because it is “safer”.
More than ever, Catholics are being challenged by society and our counter cultural and often radical beliefs are being questioned.  This is an opportune time for evangelization and for strengthening our convictions.  Persection usually serves to strengthen the persecuted.  JPII stated at one point that he forsees the Church getting smaller, but stronger and I wholeheartedly agree with this prophetic statement.  The U.S. Bishops immediate and unified response to the HHS mandate showed the world that the Catholic Church is still alive and well.  It showed that we will fight attacks against our beloved mother Church.
This article, from another great blogger who terms himself a “bad catholic”, details some of the failed attempts to attack the Church and how they are making us stronger.
And here are some encouraging words from the Savior himself:
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.” – John 15:18-20
“And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”
Matthew 16:17

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1 comment

  1. Matt - Reply

    I mean no disrespect, but I can’t help but think that your view of persecution is a little one dimensional. Persecution is defined in Webster’s dictionary as: “to harass or punish in a manner designed to injure, grieve, or afflict; specifically : to cause to suffer because of belief”
    “to annoy with persistent or urgent approaches (as attacks, pleas, or importunities) : pester.”
    Yes, the Catholic church is being attacked for some views which they hold. Yes, this persecution is occasionally (perhaps even often) misguided. But It is hardly a situation unique to Catholics, or even Christianity in general.
    Any view that is espoused wrongfully condemning a group, no matter what their creed or belief, is wrong. However, it is rare that a belief, especially one that is widely held, and even moreso one founded in the love of humanity, is inherently wrong. There is nothing wrong with defending one’s self from those who would tear down faith, but do not be drawn into the trap of thinking that you are alone in this. It is when we believe that the world has turned on us that we turn upon the world.
    I am reminded of two verses from John here, and I ask that you dwell upon them, not as relating to you, but as relating to those you think poorly of.
    “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.”
    and last:
    “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”

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