Apparently I’ve kept this blog going for 9 years (though the Xanga years are lost). It’s hard to believe it’s been running that long. When I started, I thought I would dabble a bit and move on. For a few years I would say on an anniversary that I didn’t know how long I would keep it up. Now it feels like a part of my life that I don’t foresee dumping without a serious reason.
While the attacks against the Church have shifted over the years, and so have the topics, the consistent theme seems to be the importance of knowing what the Catholic Church actually teaches and why. For those outside of the Church, that meant encouraging them to learn what we believe instead of accepting lies about us. For those within the Church, this meant urging them not to separate from the teaching authority of the Church.
In both cases it was about writing to ask people not to assume that what heard knew was true—especially if they heard it second- or third-hand—but to ask whether a claim accurately portrayed what the Church taught. That was true whether it was dealing with fundamentalist anti-Catholics or the “New Atheism” 9 years ago, or whether it is dealing with the anti-Francis Catholics today. I believe that when we separate hostility towards what the Church teaches from people hurt by “Catholics behaving shamefully,” it’s clear that hostility towards the Church in the first case mostly comes from three origins:
- Ignorance over what we believe and hating the Church over that ignorance.
- Resentment that a favorite sin is condemned as against God
- Belief that a sinful Catholic is sinful because of, and not in spite of, Church teaching past or present.
Those motives have been present in most of the attacks against the Church I’ve seen.
In response to these attacks, I’ve always held that the Catholic Church is the Church established by Christ, and that He protects His Church from teaching error in matters of faith and morals. Because I see it this way (which I hold to be a blessing from God) I’ve always thought that, when someone presents what looks like a smoking gun against the claims of the Church, there’s more to the story that exonerates her if we take the time to look. So, whether people think I’ve succeeded or failed in defending the Church, these were the beliefs I started with.
Whether they are from the outside or inside; whether from secular or religious sources, I expect attacks to continue. I don’t know what the attacks will be next year, five years from now or another ten years, but I trust God will protect His Church like He promised. (Matthew 28:20) I just pray that my role with this blog will be a help and not a stumbling block to those people seeking the truth.
May God bless you.