I’m Catholic. In America, it sometimes seems more trouble than it’s worth. Fortunately, for all the routine vilification the Church receives, as jokes at her expense are a touchstone of popular culture, it seems the critics can’t get their stories straight.
First and foremost, the Church is, apparently, a dinosaur that cannot change with the times. On abortion, gay rights and masturbation, the Church is a relic. True to form, the second most popular criticism is another
After a friend expressed interest in reading up on the Apocrypha — the books of the Catholic Bible deemed deuterocanonical and are not found in the Protestant editions — I found myself searching on Google for the terms “free bible apocrypha Catholic.” I didn’t find any free Bibles complete with both Maccabees and a few more chapters of Daniel, but I did find on both sides of the Apocrypha debate, quite a lot of hatred.
Due to my poor selection of search terms, a plethora of inflammatory Web sites popped up in my browser, Web sites not content to refer to the Church without using quotes.
The Roman Catholic ‘Church’ in effect accepts 12 of the apocryphal books as canonical (omitting I & II Esdras and the Prayer of Manassah from the above list.) Because of this the Roman Catholic ‘Church’ speaks of the Apocrypha as “deutero-canonical” books, and in turn labels as apocrypha what we may term “pseudoepigraphical” books.”
Almost everywhere, it seemed, the Church is belittled and mocked. The Church includes the Apocrypha in its Bible, and it cannot be a true Church, claims these garish Web sites. The Church must be discredited, they say, for putting words in God’s mouth, specifically:
While claiming to be the preserver of God’s word the Catholic Church has corrupted God’s word by adding books to the Bible that have no place in it.
To paraphrase, the second claim is that the Catholic Church is not afraid to contradict, interpret and change the Word of God as it suits her. To think, I was almost convinced that the Church is an unchanging relic way behind the times, only now to hear that she is actively working against the Word of God with all due haste, as a sort of Whore of Babylon.
Is the Church the symbol of stogy tradition, or does she flout tradition as the anti-Apocryphites believe?
Even this minor contradiction is enough to convince me all the more that the Roman Catholic Church has far more credibility than these most militant Protestant denominations who seek to discredit her. It isn’t much of an observation to note that the anti-Catholic attacks made here by Christians in the states aren’t very Christian in nature, given that they’re attacks and all.
Whatever the values advanced by the Bible, there will always be these few who nonetheless number all too many. Whatever the costs, they will always believe that it’s more worth their time to disparage the Catholics than to love these neighbors.