Mary and Child
Catholic Answers
Mary and Child
Home Magazines Library E-letters Seminars Search Shop Forums Radio Chastity Donations

THIS ROCK

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

1998

1997

1996

1995

1994

1993

1992

1991

1990

Subscribe

Permissions

LIBRARY

God & Christ

Scripture & Tradition

Church & Papacy

Mary & the Saints

Faith & Science

Morality & Ethics

Sacraments

Salvation

Last things

Non-Catholic groups

Anti-Catholicism

Practical Apologetics

Fathers Know Best

Permissions

OUR SPONSORS


Sponsor: CatholicSingles.Com - The Site for Catholic Singles on the Web
Sponsor: EpiphanyFund.com - quality investment services thru faithful stewardship

Sponsor: PatrickMadrid.com

Please support our sponsors

BOOKLETS

PillarofFire

Pure Love

12WaystoEvangelize

Permissions

SPECIAL OFFERS


Catholic Answers Live - Special Offers


U  p    F  r  o  n  t



Burden of History

By Karl Keating



This Rock
Volume 11, Number 4
  April 2000  

 Up Front
By Karl Keating
 Letters
 Dragnet
 Who Has Ears To Hear?
By Mary Beth Kremski
 An "Undue Autonomy"
 The Threshold Of Faith
By John R. Cihak
 Simple Answers, Obvious Answers
By James Akin
 Fathers Know Best
The Antichrist
 Chapter & Verse
Anathema
By James Akin
 Conversion Story
I Felt Like Abraham
By Andrew Schmiedicke
 In the Trenches
The Uniqueness of the Catholic Church
By John Paul II
 Quick Questions

  Subscribe
  Permissions

Catholic Answers is planning to print hundreds of thousands of copies of Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth for distribution in Rome during World Youth Day in August. At each previous World Youth Day, anti-Catholic groups passed out massive numbers of flyers intended to undercut acceptance of basic Catholic doctrines. I remember Denver in 1993. Attendees were unable to walk a block without running into Seventh-Day Adventists or other proselytizers. One anti-Catholic stood in the middle of a crosswalk and gave out literature to those going in either direction; he must have unloaded thousands of copies. On some street corners there were two or three opponents of the Church working lightning-fast to fill the hands of passersby.

The Adventists were upset because the Catholic Church allegedly authorized Sunday as the day of corporate worship, thus making the Church the Whore of Babylon. Other groups had other complaints. Christians Evangelizing Catholics, a Fundamentalist organization, handed out a brochure featuring on the cover a nice image of the Virgin Mary. The brochure looked Catholic, but inside was a screed against the veneration of Mary and the saints. Then there were comic books from Chick Publications: cleverly drawn and often grotesque in their arguments. The bizarreness of the comic books induced recipients to read them all the way through—and possibly to begin entertaining doubts.

I suspect that no reader of This Rock would be swayed by any of these materials. "Who could believe such poor arguments, such deceptions, such outrageousness?" It is easy to move from one’s own immunity to a conclusion that only dolts could be susceptible to such anti-Catholic literature.

But readers of This Rock are not average Catholics. Average Catholics—those who show up for Mass regularly but otherwise have no particular involvement with their faith—have not taken any intellectual interest in their religion. They do not subscribe to Catholic periodicals. They do not read Catholic books. They have not received formal instruction in the faith since they dropped out of CCD classes in the eighth grade. Their Catholicism is habitual and cultural, not notional and practical. It does not suffuse their lives. They accept uncritically the American notion that religion is a private matter—the less said the better; the less acted upon the better.

It is such Catholics who are susceptible to anti-Catholic blandishments. They have no intellectual defenses. They may be repulsed by Chick tracts because they find the drawings exaggerated or the storylines obtuse, but they are in no position to explain why those tracts are wrongheaded in their arguments. Yes, it is good to sense that the tracts are off base, but it is much better to know why. One could dismiss particular tracts as being beyond the pale and yet, subconsciously at first and then overtly, could accept some of their arguments. "I don’t like the way they say it, but the arguments do seem to make some sense." Most ex-Catholics once thought themselves to be solidly Catholic, until one day they woke up to find their ties to the Church fraying. It then was an easy slide from Catholic to non-Catholic to anti-Catholic.

An old saying reminds us that "ideas have consequences." We should remember that "even bad ideas have consequences," and people fall for bad ideas all the time.


This Rock -- Free Offer

[BACK][TOP]

Home | Seminars | Library | Radio | Magazines | Catalogue | Support | Chastity | Search