Sunday, September 21, 2008

Three wrong ideas about the Catholic churches: rebuttals
Good answers to ‘your religion is nothing but superstitious empty show’ more like a lucky rabbit’s foot than real faith in God, ‘you think you earn your way into heaven’ and ‘you worship saints’.

Orthodox Fr Peter Gillquist answered the first: he describes how even the most free-form, anti-liturgical church eventually creates a rite without meaning to; it’s human nature! (Witness some conservative Protestants’ love of the King James Bible, much like some Roman Catholics and Latin.)

There is the perennial trap of treating the ritual like a contract: you do it correctly and now God or the god owes you one. In short, magic, where you’re temporarily in control. But that’s not Catholic doctrine and I dare say not unknown among Protestants.

As for the second, Rome and most of the world’s Lutherans agree correctly that faith versus works was always a non-issue. (Might Lutherans’ real problem be they’re weak on ecclesiology, the Achilles’ heel of all of Protestantism?)

Regarding the third, Jesus saves; Mary and the other saints pray. Arturo came up with a good answer recently: in a way we did appropriate the Græco-Roman pantheon but replaced silly made-up deities with real people worth venerating (not worshipping in the modern sense of adoration).


From Per Christum.

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