The Last Acceptable Prejudice

If you thought anti Catholicism had died out with the ecumencial movement, don’t worry. It hasn’t. It’s just shifted. You may not find such blatant anti-Catholicism from fellow Christians because among most Protestants there is now a veneer of good manners towards Catholics. I realize there is still a good bit of virulent ‘Pope is the Anti-Christ’ type stuff, but much of it has softened.

Instead a new wave of anti-Catholicism is alive and well. If you have the stomach for it, go here to watch Penn and Teller’s blasphemous, vulgar, loud and ignorant attack on the Vatican. Included in the list of the new anti-Catholicism would be Dan Brown and his ridiculous novels, the drunken atheist journalist Christopher Hitchens, sophomore university student, Richard Dawkins etc. etc.

What tickles me about these people is that they are churning out pretty much the same old stuff that has been around since the Reformation:

  • ‘The priest and the Vatican hierarchy are super wealthy, power hungry hypocrites’
  • Catholic priests and nuns are sexual perverts and predators
  • The Catholic Church is a network of secretive and conspiracy minded prelates
  • Catholics are a foreign power intent on world power and control
  • Catholicism is a collection of superstitious beliefs manipulated for crowd control by cynical prelates
  • Catholics will do anything to destroy their enemies.
  • Catholics hate Protestants, Jews, Muslims, women, homosexuals, blacks etc.
  • Catholics are against freedom of speech, freedom of religion and just about any freedom at all.
  • The Pope is a nasty, vindictive arch conservative locked in a medieval mindset.

Because they don’t know history (or are deliberately ignoring history) these critics dont’ see that they are actually in the same camp as some of the fundamentalist evangelists they would write off as sweating, ignorant, loud and vulgar preachers. If you have the stomach to watch Penn and Teller you’ll see just another fat, loud and vulgar televangelist with the exception that he doesn’t have the faith, charity, education and regard for clean living and clean language that most televangelists have.

We mustn’t overestimate the damage such men and women do. They will inevitably attract like minded gorillas, and sensitive, sensible thinking people will dismiss them as the sensationalist and ignorant boors they really are. On the other hand, just as crowds of people soaked up similarly sensationalist and stupid anti Catholic propaganda like The Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk, so an awful lot of people will swallow this swill and think it some sort of energy drink.

What to do? Well, the enemies of the Catholic Church would have a lot less ammunition if Catholics all lived their faith and pursued their calling to become saints. Darkness can never overcome the light, and the witness of love and faith and goodness and beauty and truth will triumph.

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  • Neophyte

    Just as Jesus suffered under Pontius Pilate,was crucified, died, and was buried.He descended to the dead. On the third day He arose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. Even the Jews hated Pontius Pilate and his administration, he was not only very severe, but showed little consideration for their susceptibilities.Neither do these idiots show any consideration to Jesus or the Holy Catholic Church. And as you so vividly pointed out Father, Darkness can never overcome the Light, and the witness of Love and Faith and Goodness and Beauty and Truth will TRIUMPH. Amen………..

  • Cam

    The first thing that popped into my head when reading your list of things people say against the Church is that it sounds exactly like the statements one of the fellow students in my husband's graduate theology program said in class earlier this month (at a Jesuit University). At the end of the rant that the young man went on the professor said "that's a very wise statement" and then refused to call on mu husband who can always be counted on for an Orthodox opinion.

  • MamaMidwife

    Seriously,Make sure you can stomach it. Cause I kind of want to throw up now. Where do these people get their "facts"?How can they be so out of context with everything they "quote" and expect people to believe?"A condom for use in a marriage is not about preventing life, as is the Vatican's obsession, but about preventing the transfer of death." What!!?? Help me here. Please. How does a married couple need help with preventing the transfer of death with the marital act (in the case where by death they mean HIV)? Seriously. I am totally sick. These people make no sense.And how can there be Catholic groups that are for "free choice" and "gay rights"? These groups aren't Catholic but merely claiming to be. You can't be kind of Catholic. Either you embrace the tenets of the faith or you don't. Period.

  • Paul Stilwell

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  • fried chicken strips

    Father,Don't forget Philip Pullman is coming out with another book aimed at attacking the Christian religion by way of Paul. Its about the twisting the two natures of Jesus to mean he is nothing the way Christians understand him.

  • Paul Stilwell

    They're desperate. You can sense the threadbare, impotent yelping behind the aggressive arrogance. Your likening it to an energy drink is precisely it. It leaves them more drained after the high than if they had never drank the stuff at all. They have nothing. Nothing but ever louder and ever more aggressive assertions.And then there is us; fools, in many ways like them. But it is not about us. Our eyes are fixed on Something Else, and the spirit of the world goes mad. If we wish to be persuasive, then we must give up on pursuing our faith to look good according to their lights, nor even to look good according to the lights of Orthodoxy. It is not about us – and we have yet to learn it.Who were those who were most persuasive; who were those who were so persuasive it didn't matter where they were and they were the biggest shit disturbers whose words divided the crowds and drove the authorities bonkers? They were those who knew it wasn't all about them.I couldn't bother with their video past the "Rats and Ratzinger" point. What amazes me most is that the blatant hatred and vulagrity is not what makes the video unendurable, but it is the utter banality of it that does.

  • .

    Thank you for this post. Very, very well done.

  • veritas

    Can you begin to imagine the reaction if Penn and Teller made this kind of video attacking the Jews or African Americans?The press and a host of organisations would go ballistic and demand a retraction and a boycott of their shows.The point is that such an attack on the Jews or African Americans would be racist and deserving of being condemned. So it should be when it is against the Church. It is just as bigoted, just as deserving of censure.But do we hear any outcry? Does the press condemn such bigoted rubbish?Not a whisper. Not a single condemnation.Apparently the largest and most active humanitarian agency in history, an organisation that has fought and stopped the brutality of the Roman arena, slavery, injustice and bestiality, an organisation that gave rise to the finest art, to hospitals, to universities, to social welfare – long before our humanist friends even started thinking about these things – is fair game for every vicious attack possible.

  • veritas

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  • JD Curtis

    Correct. Not only Catholicism but traditional, orthodox, conservative Christianity as a whole is under fire as well. I attend a Presbyterian(PCA) church. At times it's almost as if you can hear the world tearing away at it, hoping to make it more liberal in the name of "tolerance" and "diversity".

  • laurazim

    I had a similiar thought to Veritas–if the woman comedienne had spoken so ill of a politician, especially a liberal one, certainly the outcry would have been massive and far more unforgiving.It saddened me deeply to hear so many opinions presented as fact, so many uncited studies brought into the conversation, so many vulgarities presented as truth. Of course the Church would not defend Herself to this crap. The Beatitudes speak for Her.I must say, though, that this travesty likely fell upon an audience of the ilk of the two cretins touting themselves as experts. And having it linked on the Catholic site will hopefully bring the faithful to their collective knees in prayer for all those involved in producing this heresy, and those who fall victim to it.May God continue to bless our dear Holy Father, our faithful clergy, and all who seek to spread His truth.

  • margaret

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  • margaret

    Of course there would be a huge fuss if Teller and Penn were saying this kind of thing about Jews or African Americans but what is kind of interesting is that all bigots say the same things about the objects of their bigotry. Jews, for example, well, they’re secretive, they’re taking over the world, their exclusive neighbourhoods are full of child molesters, they’re all filthy rich, etc., etc.. I remember hearing as a little girl in London 35+ years ago that West Indian people are dirty and superstitious and keep their money in their mattresses. Several years later I was unfortunate enough to visit a virulent Protestant bookshop in Edinburgh (the kind that sells Chick tracts) where I was informed that Catholics are dirty and superstitious and, yes, keep their money under the floorboards. And only yesterday I read on a Catholic blog that Orthodox monastics are… wait for it… dirty! There’s a definite theme here – dirty, superstitious, weird/dishonest with money and, in the case of Catholics and Jews (but not Blacks and Orthodox) taking over the world. I suspect because it all originates with the same source and he doesn’t have much imagination. Personally I wish you’d just get on with it ;) Here’s the schedule (1) Make all the guitar masses and felt stoles go away, (2) take over the world, (3) send Teller and Penn to live with monks, the kind that like damp caves, pray 23 hours a day and live it up with cold water and lichen on major feasts. If you don’t have any left I think we do and I’m sure the Pope and Archbishop Hilarion could come to a deal about it. On the other hand, if the Jews take over the world we can all get fat on latkes.I used to argue with the Penn and Teller types along the lines of “the Catholic church built western civilisation” (and I’m eastern Orthodox) but eventually the penny dropped and I realised western civilisation is about the last thing they’re interested in. They’re the absolute fag-end, tripe-brained representatives of a civilisation tipping over into gross moral decadence while the Church continues on throughout the ages, unaffected by civilisations dawing and waning, “fair as the moon, clear as the sun and as terrible as an army with banners.” :) (sorry for deleting my last comment – cut ‘n’ paste didn’t work properly)

  • My Chocolate Heart

    Fr.,What's with that "secret order" of silence they showed, and the one they mentioned that BXVI wrote years ago? Does the order of silence under penalty of excommunication exist? And what of the immunity granted the Pope by Bush? Can you explain the real story?I watched the whole sickening thing, and it is vulgar beyond belief. They think they're so clever and witty, but it's just ignorant and hateful garbage.

  • truthfinder

    I agree about praying for Penn and Teller, if for no other reason than this: the best possible revenge is that they become Catholic, and have to recant everything they've said against the Church! :)

  • Éstiel

    Lovely responses, Paul and Margaret. This sort of thing can make one cry (as I have just done), except that we must remember always: The war is already over. It's been over ever since Easter Morning. They don't know it, but we do. Let's not forget.