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.