Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fulton Sheen was Right

Dear Theophilus,

In trying to keep up to date with what’s going on in the world, I usually click to the websites of major daily newspapers. I’m often tempted to see what other interwebs have to say about a particular article, so after reading I’ll scroll down to the comments section. Sometimes I find these comments comical, and at other times I find them infuriating.

Recently, many of these articles have been focused on Catholic beliefs as they pertain to issues our society is currently facing: abortion, euthanasia or homosexuality. Reading the comments posted by other readers, I’ve come to realise how right Fulton Sheen was when he said:

“There are not a hundred people in America who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions of people who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church — which is, of course, quite a different thing.” (Foreword to Radio Replies Vol. 1, (1938) page ix)

It’s quite sad that most of the people taking issue with Catholic teachings can’t even tell you exactly what it is the Catholic Church teaches. In some ways it isn’t their fault, as the article will only allude to Catholic doctrine without actually stating what that doctrine is. Still, they find it is their place to attack a Catholic position that they know nothing about.

If these people really wanted to know what the Catholic Church teaches on these contentious issues, I think they would be surprised, not only with Catholic doctrine, but also with the ease with which they could find it. Any Catholic teaching can be found in under a minute, first by searching out an online searchable catechism (the Knights of Columbus catechism is my favourite) and then by searching the actual subject. The best part of the catechism is that it will also give scripture references to support Catholic teaching.

Do I bother to try to correct the misconceptions I come across. Regretfully: no. Frankly, there are too many of them, and I wonder if any comment I could make would do nothing more than create a knee-jerk reaction on their part. I think it’s probably best that they practice the free will God gave them to search out the Truth on their own.

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