Those anti-Catholic lies that won’t die

Setting up the context

The Catholic Church has been around for two thousand years. It has an extremely rich and variegated history that has witnessed everything from the height of the ancient Roman Empire to the current hyper-connected state of our globalized world.

Given such length and complexity, it’s no surprise that we find many inaccuracies, oversimplifications and outright lies and myths used by the detractors and enemies of the Church in an effort to cast her in an unfavorable light.

I have personally experienced such myths of Catholic history in the form of questions ranging from the legitimacy of the Crusades of the Middle Ages to the alleged atrocities of the Catholic inquisitions in medieval Christendom. What’s the average Catholic to do in the face of such challenges?

A much needed and longed-for resource

 

Professor Steve Weidenkopf is a lecturer of Church history at the Christendom college graduate school of theology and a regular contributor to Catholic Answers’ published material. His most recent work titled “The real story of Catholic History: Answering twenty centuries of anti-Catholic myths” is a magnificent compendium of sound scholarship and apologetic finesse that seeks to put to rest the most vicious and pernicious myths of Church history.

Without ever whitewashing the faults perpetrated by some of her members, Professor Weidenkopf deals honestly with the major events of Church history and applies a much needed corrective to the popular yet false narratives that still enjoy widespread circulation.

At 55 yet succinct chapters, the book is staggering in the number of topics it addresses. All the major events in Church history that have been subject to gross distortions are aptly handled including some you probably have not heard of such as this one: “The Church began mandating clerical celibacy during the Middle Ages so that it could acquire the clergy’s family property.”

Our mission

Pope Leo XIII once said that the detractors of the Church “narrowly inspected archives; unearthed stupid fables; and repeated for the hundredth time legends a hundred times confuted.” (Saepenumero Considerantes, slightly modified quote). It’s a good question to ask ourselves: in light of such solid scholarship, why do these myths endure?

Professor Weidenkopfs’ answer is worth quoting in full :”because avowed enemies of the Church find them useful in discrediting the Church and limiting its influence in the world; because bitter ex-Catholics use them to paint the Church in a negative light; because atheists who hate religion in general use them to point out the folly of faith; and because some Protestant groups use the myths to justify their separation from the Church Christ founded.”

We have the mission as Catholics to bear witness to the apostolic faith in word and deed. Equipped with Professor Weidenkopf’s new book, we can be more confident that the splendor of truth will shine more radiantly as we work for the advancement of God’s kingdom on earth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Different Way to Tithe as a Catholic

We as Catholics have an obligation to support the Church.

This support, however, can be accomplished in many different ways.

A New, Old Way to Tithe

One way that my wife and I have decided to tithe is by donating directly to a person whom we want to support.

This person doesn’t have to be a non-profit organization; rather, if we believe in their mission and the work they are doing to spread the Gospel, we give to them directly.

In times past, I would only donate to non-profits: the perception is that they aren’t in this for the money, and also I could get a tax deduction. But, over the years I have realized that non-profit status doesn’t ensure wise decision-making, or a noble mission, or even what I would consider appropriate compensation paid to leaders of the organization.

I also care less and less about whether I can deduct a donation. Sure, it is nice to save money, but if I can directly help someone doing good and spreading the Catholic Faith, then I am not going to let the tail wag the dog and refuse to give to them simply because they haven’t jumped through the hoops of being a non-profit.

What Direct Tithing Looks Like

We continue to donate to our parish, to the local Church, etc., but we also now deliberately give to individuals as well. Of course, these are people with whom we have a lot of trust, but they are free to do with the money what they want.

You can give to someone via monthly recurring payments through your bank or their bank or through various services.

Some people also have set up Patreon accounts which facilitates exactly this kind of giving. I recently met Ryan Grant, the guy behind Mediatrix Press, and he has a Patreon account where people can donate to his mission on a recurring monthly basis.

He is translating classic Catholic works from Latin into English, books that have never been translated before. This kind of work doesn’t pay well; it’s hard to make a living selling Catholic books, but it is a noble and incredibly valuable service to the Church, so people can support him directly in his endeavors.

I was inspired by him and by other Patreon users, so I made a Patreon account where you can support me directly in the Catholic evangelization that I do.

What exactly would you be supporting? Here’s a partial list:

  1. Online courses helping over 500 Catholic men conquer porn addiction
  2. Powerful apologetics books that have led to hundreds of conversions
  3. Online courses equipping Catholics to lead their friends into the Church
  4. Mobile apps that help deepen Catholics’ prayer lives.
  5. Webinars that teach Catholics practical apologetics

Why This Is Happening

We see increasing fragmentation in various Catholic spheres. Sometimes we decide that we can’t fully support certain organizations or collections that are asked for, because those groups or decision-makers are not making wise choices.

Instead of deciding not to tithe at all, we can find people and organizations within the Church, whether non-profit or not, and directly donate money to them. In doing so we are making an intentional choice about where our donations go and do not have to worry that people we don’t know or trust are going to make poor decisions with the donations.