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More Arguments with Anti-Catholic Bigots

I respond to negative comments from Jorge Ulate and Darren J. Cowley.

JORGE:  Where in the Bible does it say that the Catholic Church is the “church” established by Jesus? If I recall correctly Jesus established Jews to run his ministry. All the apostles, excluding one was not a Jew. So, how can this be? I am a Christian, now with all due respect. Can you answer me? So I would not be so confused. Or maybe I should convert to the right path— the Jesus way, not the Catholic.

FATHER JOE:  The Catholic Church has an unbroken apostolic succession going back to the first apostles. If you read Acts and the epistles of Paul it is obvious that the Church was expanding beyond members of the Jewish nation to include the Gentiles. When the Jerusalem faith community was largely destroyed, the gravity would move to the large numbers of Greeks and Romans. Peter and Paul had already gone to Rome and had become martyrs of the true faith. The historical continuity connects the Catholic Church to the Church directly established by Jesus Christ. Simon is renamed Peter or Rock and Christ promises to give him the keys to the kingdom, warning that the gates of hell would never overcome the Church. Only the Catholic Church still claims a leader who is a successor of Peter, the one we call the Pope. The Eastern churches are also connected to us and have all seven sacraments. The juridical break is over the Petrine See, notably the extent of the Pope’s authority. However, they too see their bishops as successors of the apostles. Christ is called the Way and the early Church also termed the Church as such. This makes sense since the Church is the Mystical Body of Christ. The word “catholic” means universal or worldwide. There is one Church instituted by Christ to perpetuate his ministry and to preach his truths.

HONEST DARREN OF AUSTRALIA:  The Catholic Church is well documented by secular authors as having killed 100 million people during the inquisition and dark ages.

FATHER JOE:  Not true, and what are these secular authorities? Anti-Catholic apologists and certain fundamentalists make such bloated claims, but they are hardly secular or unbiased. The inquisitions were largely civil affairs over which the Church had minimal control. Spain was the harshest and there were probably only seven million people in the whole country at the time. Rome censured them for their severity. The entire population of all of Europe might not have been 100 million. Stop telling lies or do some credible research and put an end to your libelous ignorance. A few thousand people may have suffered capital punishment. By comparison, since 1976, the United States has executed 1,321 people. The United States Catholic Conference of Bishops opposes the use of the death penalty.

HONEST DARREN OF AUSTRALIA:  These people are anyone who did not accept their spiritual authority on earth.

FATHER JOE:  No, these were people who were judged dangerous to civil harmony. The secular leaders viewed religion as a glue to hold their societies together. Spain fought hard to remove the Moslems from their nation and their inquisition sometimes targeted Jews. Freemasons were also regarded as a threat since they conspired against both the state and the Church. Eventually Protestant monarchs would repress the freedoms of Catholics just as Catholic leaders had sought to minimize the damage of non-Catholic factions in their nations. The Inquisition in Italy is regarded by all authorities as the most mild. Crimes were not just heresy but infractions for which today’s civil courts would also render punishment. Of 75,000 cases judged, some 1,250 may have received the death sentence.

HONEST DARREN OF AUSTRALIA:  They have never acknowledged this or apologized.

FATHER JOE:  It makes no sense for the Church to acknowledge your deceit. Having said this, the late Pope John Paul II regarded even one life as sacred and having incommensurate value, took the high ground and offered a series of “mea culpas” or apologies in the hope that others would respond in kind. Read his apostolic letter, TERTIO MILLENNIO ADVENIENTE. He writes: “Another painful chapter of history to which the sons and daughters of the Church must return with a spirit of repentance is that of the acquiescence given, especially in certain centuries, to intolerance and even the use of violence in the service of truth.” It was his hope that this new millennium might be less bloody than the last.

HONEST DARREN OF AUSTRALIA:  They are an abomination God. The pope is a sinful and corrupt man, he is not God and does not have any authority.

FATHER JOE:  Actually, your bigotry is the abomination. Your hypocrisy damages the Christian witness we are to offer the world. Calumny is a sin and yours is paraded for all to see. The Pope like all good men recognizes that he is a sinner and he has a Confessor. Like Peter, he is a weak man; but also like Peter, the sacred charge is given to him by Christ, all the same. The Pope does not claim to be God. He is the Vicar of Christ, the Servant of the Servants of God. You are probably the unwitting servant of the father of lies.

HONEST DARREN OF AUSTRALIA:  Spend time on your knees in prayer and read the Bible, and you will be led to the truth and a close relationship to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

FATHER JOE:  I read the Scriptures every day and pray throughout the day. As a Catholic, I have both a personal and a corporate faith in Jesus Christ. As a priest, I am God’s instrument in extending the saving works or ministry among men. Christ feeds his people. Christ forgives his people. Christ heals his people. Christ teaches his people. The Catholic Church is the New People of God!

13 Responses

  1. BOZO:

    The Vatican destroyed almost all of its records on how many people it had put to death.

    FATHER JOE:

    Actually, many of the records for the various regional inquisitions are available. The problem is that there was not one but many courts that operated in the various nations. Usually when people speak of “the inquisition” they mean the proceedings in Spain which had a reputation for harshness. While churchmen were involved, they also functioned much like civil courts (especially on questions of public morality). Religious affiliation, as with the Moslems, was associated with fears of takeover. The Islamic threat and the Moors were regarded much like the Red Scare during the Cold War and fears of Communist aggression. There was also the danger to society from the Cathari, sometimes wrongly regarded as Bible Christians. (In truth they were dualists who rejected marriage and made suicide into a sort of sacrament.) The Inquisitions were compelled to target them. Most people who came before the courts were not even incarcerated, but fined. Those viewed as dangerous were frequently exiled. The more sensational numbers for those who lost their lives would have utterly depopulated Europe. This is not the case. But as I wrote before, the Church regards even one life as sacred and regrets her part in past oppression. We had Saint John Paul II’s “mea culpas” and Pope Francis’ recent regret for historic wrongs. But the true legacy of the Church is in her saints, not her sinners.

    BOZO:

    I have been to a torture chamber in Europe, I think it was Italy somewhere, I forgot. I went running out before I vomited up my lunch.

    FATHER JOE:

    A number of princes, Catholic and Protestant, had dungeons and chambers for prisoners. It matters that you know whose because it is wrong to attack the Church with broad innuendo or vague association.

    BOZO:

    The CC and its monsters really did these things to people? No, this is not the church that Christ founded.

    FATHER JOE:

    Even the Jews, the first people chosen by God, had their self-righteous Pharisees and Herod. David the great king was himself an adulterer and a murderer. God can use the weakest of instruments to bring about his will. Jesus called sinners into his holy Church. The Church is holy because Christ is holy. But that does not mean that every individual is righteous or a saint.

    BOZO:

    I took my girlfriend’s son to the library one day, in my neighborhood. While I was standing there, I saw a book called “The Inquisition.” I thumbed through it and saw it say that no one was hurt during the inquisition. That people were only asked questions and released, hence the name. My first reaction was to see if this was a joke, so I looked to see who wrote it. No author was given but it was by The Catholic Press, 1950.

    FATHER JOE:

    The book I would recommend is The Inquisition by John Anthony O’Brien (1973) from MacMillan Publishing Company. I suspect you are making reference, not to a book but to a small pamphlet entitled “The Truth about the Inquisition” by John A. O’Brien (published by The Paulist Press in 1950).

    BOZO:

    Now you and I both know the Jesuits are out there to change history books to erase CC history…it’s their job. I don’t blame you for it. This is the fruit of the CC…lying, murder, torture of the most unspeakable kind, and, well of course, lying about it.

    FATHER JOE:

    Actually, I think the deceit is largely in the sources that relish in attacking Catholicism. The Jesuits of the past were martyred in England and in the missions for the faith. They were not about deception, but teaching the faith and defending the papacy. Sensible scholarship based upon facts and not hysteria is the way such topics as this need to be discussed. The Church has emerged today as a sign of contradiction, speaking truths that a hedonistic and materialistic world would rather not hear. We defend life from the womb to the tomb, even at the cost of lawsuits from Planned Parenthood and losing friends who support capital punishment. The Church proclaims the dignity of persons. She sometimes stands almost alone. Even today when Christian churches permit contraception, abortion, same-sex marriages, cohabitation, etc., she tells her members that children are a gift, not a disease; that the marriage bed should not be defiled; and that marriage is an institution exclusively between a man and a woman. The Church teaches the truth, both in and out of season.

    BOZO:

    Now you might want to think again if you trust this religion to get you into heaven.

    FATHER JOE:

    I trust the promises of Christ who renamed Simon as Peter or Rock and gave him the keys to the kingdom. He promised that he would never abandon his Church, even unto the end of the world. I trust the leading and protective presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church— safeguarding the deposit of faith and giving efficacy to the sacraments. Jesus is the Way and the Church was also called the Way since she was his mystical body. We come to God, not entirely alone, but within the community of the Church. The Church is the sacramental encounter with Christ. Christ fulfills his saving role for us within the Church he instituted, the Catholic Church.

    BOZO:

    I tell Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, Seventh-day Adventists, and Anglicans the same thing— Methodists and Baptists, too. But why someone would still trust such monsters with their salvation is beyond me.

    FATHER JOE:

    The word “monsters” goes too far and misses the point. Peter denied Christ. The other apostles hid themselves. Nevertheless, the Spirit of God came upon these weak men at Pentecost. This Spirit is still with his apostles, the bishops and priests of the Church. Christianity is a mediated religion. No one comes to God alone. God uses sinful and weak men to bring about his will.

    BOZO:

    Once they have heard the truth that is. Some people just don’t want to hear it. When I got born again, it was just me and Jesus. No costumed holy men, no golden cups, no cracker gods, just the invisible god. Try it, you might like it.

    FATHER JOE:

    No, because for a believer to fall so low as to castigate the Eucharist as “the cracker god” would impugn the divine dignity and constitute a deadly blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Vestments and vessels appeal to our need for visible signs and symbols. But God gives us more, because the invisible God makes himself present and active through a re-presentation of Calvary at our altars. Jesus said that unless we eat his flesh and drink his blood, we can have no life within us. Jesus feeds us with himself, the risen Lord, whole and complete. We have not been abandoned or orphaned. Committed and knowledgeable Catholics will not throw everything away. If it were not for the Church, the books of the Bible would never have been collected, passed down through history, and translated. The Church was preaching the Gospel before we even had a New Testament. Why would we abandon the Church now? Ours is the invisible God made visible in Jesus Christ. He is the revelation of the Father. God became a human being in Jesus Christ. Ours is an incarnational religion— Jesus in the Word of God, Jesus in our Sacred Traditions, Jesus in the Mystical Body of the Church, Jesus in the Priest, Jesus in the Sacraments and Eucharist— Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!

  2. Its not productive to hate or dislike catholic people, or any people as a group. Thanks for your answer. When I see people explaining away how the CC was innocent way back then, I usually comment. The excuses vary, some to a small admission of guilt to a big admission to not guilty at all. I don’t like the history of the US govt as concerns human rights, and I don’t pretend it didn’t happen, and I know one day she will answer for it.The govt recently killed 500,000 civilian Iraqis.

    I advise people to do a double check on their religion. I mean, one is staking his or her salvation on it. What happens if its false and one dies in it? Every religion claims its gods own. They all cant be right. But they all can be wrong. Jesus said”by their fruits ye shall know them. Just pick a religion, and ill show you wickedness from the start. Pick a religion and ill show you hollow false claims galore.
    God isn’t a religion…hes a man. Just as he left here taken up in a cloud, is how he will return, and that’s how he is in heaven now. Hes the good Shepherd,…all one has to do is follow. Is walking next to a man a religion or a relationship?

    FATHER JOE: Catholicism is a complex faith but ultimately our religion comes down to believers having both a personal and corporate faith in Jesus Christ. The corporate element is the Church as the family of God. The language of Scripture gives it great intimacy with the Lord (vine and the branches) or (Christ as the head and the Church as his body). The personal element is a matter of conversion and saving faith in the Lord, a faith realized in charity and obedience to the commandments. We cannot save ourselves. We believe that only God can save us and that Jesus is the saving name. While there are many spiritual and sacramental elements to the Catholic religion; the philosophical legacy of Catholicism is trust in objective truth and rationality. Ours is a faith seeking understanding. Mystery remains, but we are called to seek genuine meaning. Take away the factor of relationship and the faith would make no sense. The Bible or Scriptures is regarded as God’s inspired Word. God bless!

  3. Valuable insights into the many misconceptions about Catholics propagated by the Protestant sects can be gleaned by viewing “Coming Home” by ex-Protestant Marcus Grodi. Each week a different Catholic convert is interviewed. The things they were taught as children about Catholics are repugnant. The commercial-free show is on EWTN, ch. 229 on Comcast. (Full disclosure: it’s a Catholic channel.)
    A book by a professor at a college in Indiana discussed on BookTv several weeks ago told of the Klu Klux Klan of southern Indiana, ca. 1920, befuddled at the lack of Jews and Negros down along the Wabash, chasing down Catholics instead. What were the Hoosier neanderthals so scared of, that they had to go around under bedsheets, looking like little Torquemadas at the auto-da-fe in Catalunya a few centuries ago? “Furriners”? “Eye-talians”? “Noo Yorkers”?
    Oh, the irony of bedsheets and burning torches, gathered ’round the burning cross in homage to John D. Rockefeller, their calvinist Pope. Religious extremism by white-shoed yahoos is not confined to the Mideast.

  4. Why would secular govts kill people for not obeying the catholic church? You are suggesting the CC had nothing to do with burning people for crimes against the CC? Those crimes being , for one, owning a bible. Thanks in advance

    FATHER JOE: Secular governments belong to the modern world. Like most Islamic states today, Christian nations were historically associated with churches, either Catholicism or like Anglicanism in the UK and Lutheranism in Germany. Countries sometimes used religion for their own purposes, as a glue to hold people together. Pope John Paul II offered his apologia for those times in history when intolerance from churchmen and Catholics brought hardship and even led to the death of others. The propaganda that the Church was anti-bible is false. Catholics are encouraged to own, read and know the Bible. However, throughout most of history people were illiterate and bibles were scarce and expensive to create. The Church’s opposition to certain bible societies and bibles had to do with bad translations and anti-Catholic organizations. Bibles should be accurate. Catholics should not join groups that hate the Church and would tear down an authentic Christian faith. (You’re welcome.)

  5. Father, I would like to know, is it a sin to vote for certain politicians?

    What if a politician doesn’t want to legalize gay marriage but wants to get the government out of marriage, I’m not asking if this a good idea, only if it is a sin to vote for said politician.

    FATHER JOE: Depending upon the gravity of the issues, yes, it might be sinful to vote for certain politicians. Of course, there is a pragmatic component to politics and the thorny issue of conscience. I am not aware of any politicians who want to strip marriages of all government recognition. If anything, the tide is the other way. Many critics are saying that since the definition of marriage is no longer in sync, the Church’s ministers should no longer officiate at civil marriages, only ecclesial ones.

  6. Hi Father Joe,

    Thank you so much for your respones to Hazel. I have recently been invited to join a group on FB, and was ambushed by many such similar remarks as Hazel’s. My reaction was dismay at finding anger against the Catholic church, ridicule of my comments, and sort of “high fiving” each other in agreement that my remarks were ignorant. Well, I am not ready to shake the dust off my shoes yet, and have saved your remarks as a resouce to use in creating future responses. I hope you don’t mind. God bless you.

  7. Where are these secular historians Darren claims to cite? His whole spiel is predicated on an outrageous whopper. I’m still waiting for him to give you chapter and verse on that, but I won’t hold my breath.

  8. Lan,
    The following book by a former apostate and skeptic reviews 22 miracle cures, and miracle events (“the Scottsdale 7”) around the world. It was written with total access to Vatican archives, too. It culminates with Medjugorje. It is irrefutable and will force your non-Catholic friends et al. to confront their sophistries. “The Miracle Detective” by Randall Sullivan. Two major cures were to Silvia Busi (Italian) and Rita Klaus (from Pittsburgh area). One of the visionaries (a victim-soul) predicted the cure of her brain cancer, in writing, to the day, in September. In February she was instantly cured, though the lesions from the tumor remain on her brain as mute testimony.

  9. Thank you Father Joe!!! You are such a blessing to this world, to the one true church that Jesus started. I am saddened that so many people have been misled and have no respect for the church Jesus started because of ignorance, or because they lack desire to know the truth. I’ve been blessed to be raised a Catholic, one who is of Palestinian descent and I mention that because I feel so strongly that we must defend our faith and who we are in Christ. I sinfully turned away from my faith to follow Protestant beliefs because I didn’t understand my Catholic roots, but praise God and thanks be to the ever Blessed Mother for bringing me back to the one true faith, and the truth lies in our risen Lord who knows His sheep. I was lost, and now I’m found, praise God and I will study my faith until I die. I am surrounded by evangelical Protestant brothers and sisters whom I love, and pray for because many are in my own family. They have been blinded or misled from the whole truth, and while I pray for their full conversion, I try to reach out to them and speak truth of our faith. I try to plant seeds. If you want the truth, God will reveal it and I have sought it out, but who am I but a poor sinner? My friends mock me for they do not understand when I tell them of the miracles I’ve experienced from praying the Rosary, which is the Gospels with the aid of our Blessed Mother praying for me. One said it was my faith that brought the miracle, but I say it was our Blessed Mother prompting Jesus as she did when His first miracle took place at the wedding feast in Cana. Jesus said it was not His time, but because His Mother asked, He granted them wine in honor of her request. If more people take the time to study the truth, but so many are taught lies. And how can you argue with them? They believe the lies and look at you like you’re crazy. But again, what else can I do but pray for them? God Bless you and thank you for taking time to answer these questions. Your time is precious and you can spend it doing more important things like tending to the poor, yet you spend much time defending the faith…this is the world we live in. God Bless you always! Love and respect, Lani

  10. God bless you, Father Jo, especially for your patience with such Catholic-haters as ‘Honest’ Darren. These people don’t seem to think; they pick up the hatred that has spewed from Protestantism since the so-called ‘Reformation’, fueled by bigotry and jealousy. It must drive them mad to see how we Catholics revere our dear Pope. God bless Pope Benedict XVI and may we be so blessed as to get another just like him to guide the Church of Our Blessed Lord. You and all good, faithful Catholic priests are in my daily prayers.

  11. HONEST DARREN J. COWLEY OF AUSTRALIA: They have never acknowledged this or apologized.
    ————————-
    Another of several lies. Aside from the item below, the Spanish government last year said any descendants of Jews who left in the 1492 diaspora, or thereafter, was welcome back into Spain with the same privileges as a native-born Spaniard.
    Are all people in Australia as dense, and mendacious, as “honest Darren”???
    ——————————-
    NY Times 5/7/11
    In Majorca, Atoning for the Sins of 1691
    By Doreen Carvajal

    Jews gathered in Palma on May 5, 2011 for a memorial at a 14th century synagogue turned into a Catholic church… the first such service by a regional government in Spain to remember a “bonfire of the Jews” in Gomila Plaza in May 1691.
    It was “our worst sin,” said Francesco Antich, regional president of the Balearic Islands, about the 37 people killed, 3 of them burned alive. “Memory opens wounds, but also helps to serve justice. The time has come to close these wounds that have bled generation after generation……” More paragraphs follow.

  12. HONEST DARREN J. COWLEY OF AUSTRALIA: They are an abomination God. The pope is a sinful and corrupt man, he is not God and does not have any authority.
    —————————
    Father Joe, you’re a saint to post such twaddle. Anyway….
    When the hulks — rotting ship’s hulls — in the Thames got overloaded with convicts, and started sinking, The Crown (or, “We”) decided to send the hulks 15,000 miles to…… Australia. That was the Protestants’ view of “rehabilitation” and “visiting those in jail.” Genocide, some call it.
    Of the ships that made it across all those oceans, upon arrival the convicts were mercilessly flogged. It was hell on earth, in 120-deg. (F.) temperatures. Full of poisonous snakes and the like, on the land and in the sea. The French “Devil’s Island” was a walkabout by comparison.
    For more of the hideous details, read the best-seller “The Fatal Shore” by Robt. Hughes, apostate Australian.

    P.S. Please post the quote(s) where the Pope, or any Pope back to Peter, claimed to be “God” — unless you’re not “honest” at all, mate.

  13. What is “honest” Darren smoking? I have before me books on the Inquisition that show numbers of those burnt at way way way fewer than the laughable “100 million” he claims. (Coincidentally, Robt. Conquest and others put WWII’s toll at ‘100 million.’)
    How could it be otherwise? To be burnt the “victim” first had to relapse 2 times or more. In other words, they are too hard-core. The Spanish wer taking their country back after several centuries of Moorish occupation.
    Ironically, 50% of those executed by the Spanish and Italian Inquisitions were for….. sodomy, and bestiality, as shown by Prof. Monter in Frontiers of Heresy.
    Henry Kamen in The Spanish Inquisition provides far more realistic numbers.
    Robin Briggs, Brian Levack, Lyndal Roper, and many others tell the real story of persecution — the witch craze by the Protestants in Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Scotland, eastern France, which they brought with them to Salem, Mass.

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