Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Catholic Alleged Impenetrability

Impenetrability (lack of understandability to outsiders) can be a real problem in many situations. It is a real problem, for example, to the doctrine of "Total Depravity," which is mistaken by many (such as, apparently, Art Sippo) to mean that everyone is as depraved as they possibly can be.

Nevertheless, in Roman Catholic Apolegetical circles a standard part of the fare has been to assert that virtually all critics have not been able to comprehend Catholicism. That standard response is typified by this quotation that I gleaned from the signature block of an internet poster:

"There are not over a hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church...."

-ARCHBISHOP FULTON J. SHEEN


I do not know whether the quotation is genuine or the context of the quotation. I also do not know whether Archbishop Sheen is a Roman Catholic archbishop. The point is that the comment illustrates a typical line of argument by RC apologists today: nobody knows what we believe.

You'd think that the most popular denomination would be able to have at least a couple of hundred critics who really don't like the doctrines of the veneration of Mary and the "Saints," who really don't like the doctrine of papal infallibility, and who really don't like the doctrine of indulgences and the treasury of merit.

There are many misinformed critics, but there are also many sound critics. RC responses that group both camps into one risk exposure, even if they persuade many to come "home to Rome" in the short term, once the converts start to recognize that - in fact - many notable critics are actually more familiar with Catholicism than is their parish priest.

Oh, and there are far more than 100 people in the U.S. (or even in a smaller country like Wales) who hate God and who hate what Christianity universally is, whether or not they hate Roman Catholicism.

-Turretinfan

2 comments:

Doghouse said...

Yes, Archbishop Sheen was a Roman Catholic Archbishop.

And the comment does not say that Roman Catholicism is incomprehensible; it says that nearly all who criticize it can't be bothered to get it right before they fire away.

I have a great deal of respect for someone who sits through 8 months of RCIA just so they have a better understanding of Church teaching, in order to more effectively evangelize their own non-Catholic faith. There are genuine, good questions to be raised, which should demand good answers.

We get tired of everybody acting like we're boogiemen or something. There is an awful lot mis-information and mythology being spread from Protestant pulpits, as well.

That doesn't help anyone interested in genuine dialog on the in's and out's of Roman Catholic Christianity from an informed perspective, and not the perspective from underneath a bushel basket.

Turretinfan said...

Dear Doghouse,

Thanks for the clarification!

-Turretinfan