I read with interest this revealing response (link) to James White's ten questions to a Roman Catholic convert (link).
Let me begin by pointing out that this Roman Catholic poster (purifyyourbride) has taken a more head-on approach than many others. He has actually read and attempted some kind of response to each of Dr. White's ten questisons.
Perhaps, at a later time, I could critique each answer. Allow me, however, to focus on a particular point that this poster made, in response to Dr. White's number one question:
"It just seems like you have no clue what the heart of Catholicism is."
I don't point this out so much to pick on PYB, as because I have seen this comment or comments like it consistently from lay RC apologists over the years. This type of comment is subject two at least two competing hypthotheses:
1) Purifyyourbride is correct, and Dr. White is clueless about Catholicism; or
2) Dr. White knows more about Catholicism than purifyyourbride.
Now, reading over the other responses that PYB included, I can say with a very high degree of confidence that Dr. White has studied Catholicism in much greater depth than PYB. In fact, I think that PYB would admit as much. Furthermore, I doubt that PYB would be willing to assert that Dr. White is objectively stupid, or even relatively lacking in intelligence compared with PYB. In other words, Dr. White has at least a normal degree of intelligence and has studied the issues in greater depth.
So, given those facts, when I see the comment making a claim like: "It just seems like you have no clue what the heart of Catholicism is," I'm inclined to believe that the claim is false. The apolgist using the argument is reacting emotionally to the depiction of Catholicism that Dr. White is presenting.
Undoubtedly that is why PYB does not say "Dr. White is clueless about Catholicism" (he does not use those words, any way) but that he is clueless about "the heart of Catholicism." You see, it is much easier to make a claim about a heart, a gist, a "main point," etc. than it is to make a particular claim, such as a claim about the "unanimous consent of the fathers" or the alleged regency of Mary.
There is an expression "He missed the forest for the trees," but does it really seem probable that Dr. White has missed the forest for the trees? It seems unlikely - particularly since people are constantly willing to point out what they believe the forest is (PYB is no exception). So, if Dr. White hasn't missed the forest for the trees, then there is really no reason to accept the first hypothesis.
What's the bottom line? The bottom line is that we can reject the "Dr. White is clueless" hypothesis in favor of the "Dr. White actually has a better understanding of Catholicism than most Roman Catholics" hypothesis. That conclusion should give a lot of folks who have placed their trust in Rome based on a less thorough analysis of Rome's claims a lot of pause.
Let me provide one notable example: The Donation of Constantine. Do you know what it is? Do you know why it is important to the discussion?