These past few weeks, I have met and discussed the Catholic faith with a number of Catholics and non-Catholics alike. There is however a third group of people who are not only non-Catholics but anti-Catholics! The third group of people hold the strange view that everything Catholic is devilish, or at best evil! Strangely enough, they claim to use the Bible as the basis for condemning the beliefs and practices of the Church. For them one can neither understand the Bible nor be a good Christian if he or she is not a member of their Church.
To be frank, one needs the least education to do a literal interpretation of the Bible and its not really something to pride oneself in since you will goof many times if you want to solely use the literal method of biblical interpretation. A good biblical interpretation goes far beyond that and I believe as they move on in sincerity, they will arrive at that knowledge also. For all you know, even the devil used the same method they are using to tempt Jesus but Jesus used a more profound interpretation to counter the devil. Knowledge of the Bible is good but bad interpretation of that knowledge is very dangerous and ultimately leads to error in most cases.
They hold that everything is so wrong with the Catholic Church, but are unable to tell us what is right about their church for which reason we should all follow them. You visit them during their teaching sessions and they hardly teach without attacking the Catholic Church. Interesting! And I really wonder if the do anything without the mention of the Catholic Church or reference to it.
When I look at some of these churches who have taken to criticizing the Catholic Church, I can only sit back and laugh. How many times haven’t they spoken against our holy water, rosary, titles, vestments, candles, incense etc. Today, however, these same churches are using these items freely than even the Catholic Church. I’m not jealous anyway because the light of faith is shining so brightly and you can only pretend to see it as darkness. If Catholic doctrines and practices were so evil, many churches wouldn’t be using these items and using the teachings of the Church. I dare say that some of these churches are even more Catholic than they think in many respects-dressing of clergy, the use of holy water and oil, titles and even creed. I had an encounter just recently after Mass when a ‘Christian’ came to me, a pagan priest of the Holy Roman Catholic Church to bless a new rosary and some other articles of faith. He made it very clear to me that he was not a Catholic and I didn’t care to find out which church either. Apparently, he had attended the mass too! The titles ‘Father’, ‘Bishop’; Cardinal and ‘Pope’ have been criticized vehemently and its still ongoing among some ‘Christians’. What do we see today? We have bishops without dioceses and even Cardinals. Watch out for a pope soon!
Instead of the attacks on the Church everyday, why not use those energies to teach us about their ‘Christian’ beliefs and practices which they received from heaven, since we have had enough of the history of the Catholic Church which are in books all over and on the internet for all who care to read. In fact, most times, they claim to know about the Church more than us, while relying on the lies they have been told by others- while they hardly know themselves!
Growth is a gradual process. Don’t rush into life like a fertilized cabbage; you will not last. Remember that the Catholic Church has passed through a lot of stages to find herself where she is now. The truth of the matter is that we have passed and gone through these stages. In whatever state of confusion you find yourselves, know that we were there several hundreds of years before but we have surmounted them and are moving forward. You have now got to the stage we were donkey years ago. You can’t compare your present with our history. Allow yourself to grow gradually. You might also find yourself in our shoes hundreds of years to come if you persevere, but definitely not now. This reminds me of a popular joke that ‘never argue with a fool; he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience'(I do not intend to be mischievous though). The fact is that we are worlds apart and we are comparing very ‘unlike’ terms. These arguments could take place among churches of your age and history. A baby will naturally crawl, walk and then run, not the other way round. Be patient with yourselves, learn from our history and grow. But know that by the time you get to where we are now, we will be long gone-FACT!
A country like Ghana has every right to dream of being like America but should not forget that it took them hundreds of years to build America and not 4 political years. This is a simple fact of life and you can only pretend not to admit it. I have personally decided not to challenge people who obviously do not know but would rebel against any attempt to bring them to knowledge! Don’t confuse yourself and everybody else simply because you don’t accept or share the Catholic faith. Do not forget the compiler and custodian of the Bible you claim so much allegiance to (even though you interpret it wrongly most of the time you try to attack the Church). I wish such people the best in their quest to find the truth, which only they know and are trying without success to force down our throats. You may succeed in confusing some of the people some of the time but you cannot confuse all the people all of the time.
Once again, remember that “Growth is a gradual process. Don’t rush into life like a fertilized cabbage; you will not last.
Faith without reason is mere superstition and reason without faith devolves to relativism and meaninglessness. The truth that both faith and reason seek can be reached only when they work together to understand the world and higher things. (cf. Fides et Ratio (Faith and Reason) by John Paul II) You may read this very important encyclical for enlightenment and personal edification as you struggle to advocate for sola scriptura (scripture alone)
“Faith without reason is blind. Reason without faith is lame ” – Albert Einstein”
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