Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Fortnight for Freedom--Day Three

"We are Catholics. We are Americans. We are proud to be both, grateful for the gift of faith which is ours as Christian disciples, and grateful for the gift of liberty which is ours as American citizens. To be Catholic and American should mean not having to choose one over the other. Our allegiances are distinct, but they need not be contradictory, and should instead be complementary. That is the teaching of our Catholic faith, which obliges us to work together with fellow citizens for the common good of all who live in this land. That is the vision of our founding and our Constitution, which guarantees citizens of all religious faiths the right to contribute to our common life together. "
Our First, Most Cherished Liberty: A Statement on Religious Liberty, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, April 12, 2012

from Your provident hand we have received our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  You have called us as Your people and given us the right and the duty to worship You, the only true God, and your Son, Jesus Christ.  Through the power and the working of your Holy Spirit, You call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world, bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel to every corner of society.

We ask You to bless us in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.  Give us the strength of mind and heart to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened; give us courage in making our voices heard on behalf of the rights of Your Church and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.

Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father, a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters gathered in Your Church in this decisive hour in the history of our nation, so that, with every trial withstood and every danger overcome--for the sake of our children, our grandchildren, and all who come after us--this great land will always be "one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

We ask this through Christ our Lord.


Prayer and image: Copyright 2012, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC. All rights reserved. 

"We must not be afraid of being Christian and living as Christians!
We must have this courage to go and proclaim the Risen Christ,
for He is our peace, He made peace with His love, with His forgiveness,
with His blood and with His mercy." 
--Pope Francis, Regina Caeli, Divine Mercy Sunday, April 7, 2013 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Fortnight for Freedom Day Two

Religious liberty in many countries of the world is under attack. It continues to be under threat in the United States.  Some example of this threat in the United states are:

--HHS mandates for sterilization, artificial birth control, and abortion-inducing drugs.

--The government attack on and closing down of Catholic foster care and adoptive services for their refusal to release children to same sex couples.

--State laws that penalize Catholic charities for giving Christian charity to undocumented immigrants.

--Discrimination against small church organizations who desire to use public buildings.

--Discrimination against Christian based groups at certain universities.

See the USCCB fact sheet on Current Threats to Religious Freedom.

"When, in the name of an ideology, there is an attempt to remove God from society, it ends up adoring idols, and very soon men and women lose their way, their dignity is trampled and their rights are violated." Pope Francis, Address in Albania, September 23, 2014

from Your provident hand we have received our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  You have called us as Your people and given us the right and the duty to worship You, the only true God, and your Son, Jesus Christ.  Through the power and the working of your Holy Spirit, You call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world, bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel to every corner of society.

We ask You to bless us in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.  Give us the strength of mind and heart to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened; give us courage in making our voices heard on behalf of the rights of Your Church and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.

Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father, a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters gathered in Your Church in this decisive hour in the history of our nation, so that, with every trial withstood and every danger overcome--for the sake of our children, our grandchildren, and all who come after us--this great land will always be "one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

We ask this through Christ our Lord.


Prayer and image: Copyright 2012, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC. All rights reserved. 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Fortnight for Freedom--The Freedom to Bear Witness

Today begins the Fortnight of Freedom in many Archdiocese/diocese in the United States.  This campaign was started four years ago by the United States Bishops to raise awareness that our religious liberties are in constant danger in the US and that Christians abroad are still being persecuted for their faith.  This year's theme is the "Freedom to Bear Witness," focusing on the freedom to bear witness to the truth of the Gospel.  The USCCB website has many resources available for the Fortnight of Freedom to help make US Christian aware of the dangers our modern society poses to religious freedom.

From the USCCB website:
The Fortnight for Freedom: Freedom to Bear Witness will take place from June 21 to July 4, 2015, a time when our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power—St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher, St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome. The theme of this year's Fortnight will focus on the "freedom to bear witness" to the truth of the Gospel.
"[A] healthy pluralism...does not entail privatizing religions in an attempt to reduce them to the quiet obscurity of the individual's conscience or to relegate them to the enclosed precincts of churches, synagogues or mosques."  --Pope Francis, Evanelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), para. 255.

from Your provident hand we have received our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  You have called us as Your people and given us the right and the duty to worship You, the only true God, and your Son, Jesus Christ.  Through the power and the working of your Holy Spirit, You call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world, bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel to every corner of society.

We ask You to bless us in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.  Give us the strength of mind and heart to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened; give us courage in making our voices heard on behalf of the rights of Your Church and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.

Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father, a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters gathered in Your Church in this decisive hour in the history of our nation, so that, with every trial withstood and every danger overcome--for the sake of our children, our grandchildren, and all who come after us--this great land will always be "one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

We ask this through Christ our Lord.


Prayer and image: Copyright 2012, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC. All rights reserved. 

"I cannot fail to recall the many instances of injustice and persecution which daily afflict religious minorities, and Christians in particular, in various parts of our world. Communities and individuals today find themselves subjected to barbaric acts of violence: they are evicted from their homes and native lands, sold as slaves, killed, beheaded, crucified or burned alive, under the shameful and complicit silence of so many." --Pope Francis, Address to the European Parliament, Nov. 25, 2014

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Answering a Protestant Answer to Why There is Animosity Between Catholics and Protestants

SWB: Came across this gem the other day. I don’t know why I do this to myself. It just irks me. The anti-Catholic ignorance and the latent hostility are unnecessary and unneeded. It certainly did not live up to its seemingly even-handed title.  Sad.  Thought I’d give the other side to this decidedly one-sided answer. My answers are in blue, but also labeled SWB (St. Walburga's Blog) in case the colors cannot be seen.

SWB: On a site called “gotquestions.org” I found this:

Question: "Catholic vs. Protestant – why is there so much animosity?"

SWB: Maybe others can see that this article seems like it would be balanced. However, I was mistaken as gotquestions.org claims to be a "volunteer ministry of dedicated and trained servants who have a desire to assist others in their understanding of God, Scripture, salvation, and other spiritual topics. We are Christian, Protestant, conservative, evangelical, fundamental, and non-denominational." If I'd read that in the first place, I'd have understand that the article would not be balanced.

Answer: [1st para]
This is a simple question with a complicated answer, because there are varying degrees of, and reasons for, animosity between any two religious groups.

SWB: True. There is often animosity between two “religious groups.” However, Catholics and Protestants are both Christian groups. We should have much, much less animosity and much more brotherhood and cooperation. Sure there are doctrinal differences and many prejudices but we are still on the same side. We are all doing our best to follow our Lord’s teachings to the best of our ability.

This particular battle is rooted in history.

SWB: Obviously, “This particular battle” refers to Protestants v. Catholics, but the author does not state it here.

Degrees of reaction have ranged from friendly disagreement (as reflected in the numerous ecumenical dialogues produced between the two groups), to outright persecution and murder of Protestants at the hands of Rome.

SWB:First of all, very little “persecution and murder” happened to Protestants at Catholic hands.  If the author is referring to the approximately 300 years of the Medieval Inquisition, there were in fact less than 300 heretics (not Protestants) convicted or executed; the except to that fact was one “inquisitor” who persecuted the Cathars (a Catholic order of knights) for political reasons and had them declared heretics and had dozens of them executed, leading to the end of the medieval inquisition sanctioned by Rome. And, if this person or any Protestant researched history they’d learn that most people in the middle ages preferred to be tried by the inquisition than local courts because they were guaranteed a much more fair trial. (Just a side note: The Catholic Church did not try or burn anyone accused of being a witch. That was the Protestants, who brought about the death of many women in the “new world.”  Catholic inquisitors generally felt  such accusations were nonsense.)

SWB: Second, if the author is referring to the Roman Inquisition which only had jurisdiction in Rome and the papal states and continued into the 18th century, it only tried a few dozen “heretics” executing a handful in its about 200 year existence.  If he is referring to the Spanish Inquisition of 1492 into the early 1500's only Jewish and a few Moorish converts to the Church were accused, tried and executed. These trials more of a political than religious nature, as the king and queen really needed to see where people’s loyalties lay in the wake of the defeat of the Muslims and their centuries of rule in Spain. Neither of these inquisitions persecuted or “murdered” Protestants.

SWB:Third, the fact is many, many more Catholics were persecuted and murdered under tyrants like Calvin, Elizabeth I, and princes of Luther’s Germany than all the years of the Inquisition combined.  Catholics were persecuted in Britain and then Ireland (that’s why Ireland is divided today—because the British monarch tried to force Protestantism on the Catholic population of Ireland.) Catholics were persecuted and even outlawed in many of the states of the what would become the United States. One example of the continued prejudice in the US is a history of my state for use by homeschool families. It claimed the earliest church established here was a Church of Christ church early in the 20th century. There is no mention of the Catholic church and mission established in the late 18th century and the FACT that many of the Indian tribes here were practicing Catholics when Protestant missionaries deigned to come here. At least these facts are being stated at the state history museum.  Anyway, back to the original “answer.”

Reformation teachings that identify the Pope as the Beast of Revelation and / or Roman Catholicism as Mystery Babylon are still common among Protestants. Clearly, anyone with this view is not going to “warm up” to Rome any time soon.

SWB: All I can say is that this is very true, that is that Catholics will not “warm up” to Protestants who claim to believe this. There is absolutely no evidence that the Beast of Revelation is the Church—none. No matter how you twist the words of St. John, his vision of the "beast" does not indicate the Church. Seeing that St. John was one of the Apostles of Christ and a founder of His Church, now called Catholic (btw, named such by St. Ignatius, a disciple of St. John), why would he aid in the founding of a Church that was a “beast” in his vision? It makes no logical sense. Besides, it is blatantly obvious that Jerusalem is the “whore of Babylon”—the city of seven hills and unfaithful to God. The "beast" is still a mystery.

[2nd para] For the most part, today at least, the animosity comes from basic human nature when dealing with fundamental disagreement over eternal truths. Passions are sure to ignite in the more weighty matters of life, and one's faith is (or at least should be) at the top of the heap.

SWB: I would agree, however, those claiming to be Christians should be able to act with charity towards other Christians and at least be open to the possibility that we are all sincerely following Christ the way we feel is right. I honestly do not understand the close-mindedness of the majority of Protestants in thinking that Catholics are not Christians.

Many Protestants think Roman Catholics teach a works-gospel that cannot save,…

SWB: The Catholic Church has never taught a “works-gospel”. The Church teaches what Christ taught.  He directed His followers to DO.  
"In truth I tell you, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me." and He said "In truth I tell you, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me. And they will go away to eternal punishment, and the upright to eternal life.' (Matt. 25: 40, 45-46) 

SWB: Jesus taught that we have to act upon our faith, and if we don't we will be punished. This is a clear teaching that "works" are necessary to our faith and our salvation.  

SWB: The Holy Spirit inspired James, an apostle of Jesus, to write that works are necessary for salvation.

How does it help, my brothers, when someone who has never done a single good act claims to have faith? Will that faith bring salvation?
If one of the brothers or one of the sisters is in need of clothes and has not enough food to live on, and one of you says to them, 'I wish you well; keep yourself warm and eat plenty,' without giving them these bare necessities of life, then what good is that?

In the same way faith, if good deeds do not go with it, is quite dead.

But someone may say: So you have faith and I have good deeds? Show me this faith of yours without deeds, then! It is by my deeds that I will show you my faith.
You believe in the one God -- that is creditable enough, but even the demons have the same belief, and they tremble with fear.
Fool! Would you not like to know that faith without deeds is useless?
Was not Abraham our father justified by his deed, because he offered his son Isaac on the altar? So you can see that his faith was working together with his deeds; his faith became perfect by what he did. (James 2: 14-22)
 SWB: I do have to say that I find it amusing that Protestants claim to use Scripture as their final authority, yet they ignore inconvenient passages of Scripture. I posit that many if not most Protestants have decided or learned certain doctrines and find passages they think supports their beliefs, while ignoring passages they can't explain away without twisting what Scripture actually says.  Christ said we must do acts of charity or we will suffer eternal punishment; that is a clear command. James, the Apostle, said faith without works is dead, and a dead faith cannot save you. But, Catholics believe exactly what Christ and His Apostle taught, but we're the ones accused of not following Scripture. Strange.

…while Roman Catholics think Protestants teach easy-believism [sic] that requires nothing more than an emotional outburst brought on by manipulative preaching.

SWB: As a former Baptist (I became a Catholic Christian at age 36, so it was not na├»ve), I can attest that this is true, at least in my experience. People would go forward at the “altar call” time and again at church, when is the conversion true? When is it the one?  Our (Baptist) church was very emotional. Most of what I learned in church was fluff. I went to a Baptist college; it left me wanting something more substantive. The Catholic Church is always accused of having people blindly follow doctrines; I found that was much truer in the Protestant churches I attended than the Catholic Church. The majority of the Southern, Independent, and Regular Baptist churches, and the Lutheran and Episcipal churches I attended as an adult told the people that they must believe the pastor’s interpretation of Scripture or they’d be going to Hell.

Protestants blame Catholics for worshipping [sic] Mary,..

SWB: I think “blame” is the wrong word here. Protestants accuse Catholics of worshiping Mary. I believe many relish the accusation because they think it is a slam dunk in helping them convince people that Catholics are not Christians. It simply is not true; Catholics do not worship Mary. No matter how many ways and how often it is explained this accusation will continue. It is a favorite anti-Catholic lie.

… and Catholics think Protestants are apparently too dull to understand the distinctions Rome has made in this regard.

SWB: I don’t believe that is a correct characterization. I don’t know any Catholics, at least any who publicly debate Protestants, who think that Protestants are “too dull” to understand.  In point of fact, most Catholics try to give Protestants the benefit of the doubt that they simply have not heard the arguments for the distinctions. Protestants for the most part simply refuse to see or acknowledge the distinction between the honor we give to the Mother of our Savior and the worship we give God alone.  Mary was after all extremely blessed by God.  She carried God the Son in her womb. She was Christ’s first believer and follower. She is a model of Christian womanhood and a beautiful soul. It is a wonder to me, now, that Protestants are so hateful to Christ’s mother. After all, being disrespectful to anyone’s mother will not endure anyone to another, especially Christ. Even if Protestants refuse to honor her, they should at the very least not be unkind about her.

These caricatures are often difficult to overcome.    

SWB: True, and some caricatures perpetuated in this very article.

[3rd para] Behind the particular disagreements over the role of faith and works, the sacraments, the canon of Scripture, the role of the priesthood, prayers to saints, and all the issues surrounding Mary and the Pope, etc., lies the biggest rift between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism: the issue of authority.    SWB: Very True.   How one answers the authority question will generally inform all the other issues. When it comes down to deciding a theological issue about defined Catholic dogma, there isn’t really much to discuss on the Catholic's side because once Rome speaks, it is settled.

SWB: Yes, when Rome speaks, it is settled.  However, the Church neither asks us to be nor assumes us to be mindless drones. Study of Scripture and Church theology is encouraged. There are many, many resources available to Catholics or anyone interested in the Catholic Church if they have any questions. These resources include but are not limited to the Bible, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, EWTN television and radio, numerous Catholic online outlets such as Catholic Answers, Catholic Bridge, the Vatican website, and many more.

This is a problem when trying to debate a Roman Catholic – reason and Scripture are not the Catholic’s final authority; they can always retreat into the “safe zone” of Roman Catholic authority.

SWB: Protestant perception of Catholic surety as retreat is simply false perception. In point of fact, the majority of Catholic History is one of reason. The Church was the foremost supporter of science throughout history (many of the science discoveries were made by monks). The University system in Europe was built by monks. The earliest private school in America was founded by a nun. Most Catholics who publicly debate Protestants have studied theology for years; they have questioned and studied what the Church teaches through her Christ-given authority. The Church, in fact, encourages inquiry and study. The Protestant’s false characterization of the simple mindedness of Catholics is simply that—false.  The “safe zone” is the two millennia of study and reasoning that can be tested and its truth and consistency relied on.

Thus, many of the arguments between a Protestant and a Catholic will revolve around one's “private interpretation” of Scripture as against the "official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church."

SWB: I would agree with that only if the author also agrees that “private interpretation” not only has led to many diverse Protestant sects who claim to know the “truth” but also makes each individual (or at least there pastor or leader) their own pope, since they brook no argument of their “private interpretation”. And, I would posit that the arguments revolve around individual Protestant interpretations (which by the way cannot all be true) and the study and reasoned theology of a Catholic (which have arrived at one truth).

Catholics claim to successfully avoid the legitimate problems of private interpretation by their reliance on their tradition.

SWB: Actually, no, Catholics claim that they can study the actual words of Christ, His Apostles, and the many, many generations of theologians to approach “legitimate problems.” Two thousand years of theology and debate carry much more weight than one man's "private interpretation"  Two thousand years of consistent, intelligent, deep thought and debate is pretty compelling to billions of Catholics.

But this merely pushes the question back a step. The truth is that both Roman Catholics and Protestants must, in the end, rely upon their reasoning abilities (to choose their authority) and their interpretive skills (to understand what that authority teaches) in order to determine what they will believe. Protestants are simply more willing to admit that this is the case.

SWB: I love how the thousands of reinterpretations and “truths” are considered reasoned. To admit that, one is simply willing to reject two millennia of teaching and that seems awfully unreasoned. Catholics, at least all those I know that debate Protestants, readily “admit” that they rely upon their own reasoning ability. They (Catholics) are just more willing to actually study the theology and the history of the Church. Protestants unnecessarily start from scratch again and again.

[4th para] Both sides can also be fiercely loyal to their family's faith or the church they grew up in without much thought to doctrinal arguments.

SWB: That is not always true.  In point of fact, I know of many, many converts to Catholicism. Many of whom were “fiercely loyal” to the faith they grew up in, but could not in all consciousness stay a Protestant after years of studying the Catholic Faith. That includes me. I studied the Catholic Faith for several years before I entered an RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) class, where I questioned everything.  I did not convert mindlessly or out of loyalty. I became a Catholic because the Holy Spirit answered all my questions at RCIA and led me to the Truth. Christ established one Church, one Body, one Faith. He did not want us to be divided.  His Body was and is to be one.

Obviously, there are a lot of possible reasons for the division between Catholicism and Protestantism, and while we should not divide over secondary issues, both sides agree that we must divide when it comes to primary issues. Beyond that, we can agree to disagree and worship where we find ourselves most in agreement.

SWB: If only we could “agree to disagree.” In my experience as a Catholic, we are much more willing to find commonalities and work together. Christians should treat each other with dignity, respect, and charity. I’ve seen time and time again where Catholics would extend a hand of friendship and cooperation only to be scorned and rebuffed. However and despite our differences, we need to have a united front in the face of the growing violent, Muslim threat. We cannot win souls to Christ with all our infighting. Protestants would do good to at the very least admit that Catholics are sincere, believing Christians. We would all get along better.

When it comes to Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, the differences are just too great to ignore. However, that does not give license for caricatures or ignorant judgments…

SWB: Some of which were included in this article.

 – both sides need to be honest in their assessments and try not to go beyond what God has revealed.

SWB: I agree. I know that the Church does teach what God revealed, and nothing else.

SWB: My recommended resources: Catholic Answers,  Catholic Bridge,

SWB: For anyone who cares, I did earn a Bachelor's Degree (Summa Cum Laude) in Catholic Theology, which makes me just as qualified to speak on theology as those who anonymously author articles on GotQuestions.org.

Copyright disclosure:   Copyright Policy: While all of the material on the GotQuestions.org website is under copyright protection, the only purpose of our copyright is to make sure people copy it right. As long as you always clearly reference and/or link to www.gotquestions.org as the source of the material, you have our permission to copy, print, and distribute our material.


Monday, May 25, 2015

Letting Go

Our family went on an outing  1 1/2 hours from home. We attended Mass at a St. Mary's church. I leave out the location for, I think, obvious reasons. 

The last time we were at Mass there I felt very, very unwelcome. We were at Mass early which, judging by the fact that there were about five other people there (there are seven in our family), seems to be unusual.  We planned to sit in one of the front section of pews, because our cousin Fr. Donovan was to say his first Mass there. We were told that we could not sit there because they were reserving that section for other clergy. The other front section was for immediate family only. So, we sat in the middle section. Then, they decided about five minutes before Mass that they'd let people sit in the empty "clergy section." My son was too embarrassed and did not want to move.

So, we stayed in the middle section, and thought, oh well, we'll stay here. When it was time for the Eucharist, we found out that we were in the wrong section. Apparently, they reward those being late as those in the back and the those in the cry room got to go after the front section. Okay, so we stood up as the two front sections had gone. We were informed that it was not our turn; not only was it not our turn but we were in the section that went after every front side and back section went. I was mortified at being told to sit down and wait. I've never, ever felt so unwelcome at any Mass--to see my Lord. Not only did the stop us from sitting in the front section, which was subsequently empty, but we were not told that we were sitting (in the very next section behind the front pew sections) that we would be the very last in the whole church to receive communion.

I was so hurt by this that I left the nave before the end of Mass. I cried, and looked like a crazy woman because no one seemed to understand why I was upset. We had a family function in the parish hall so I had to get it together. I eventually did, but I've harbored a resentment of that church ever since.

This weekend, we had to go back there for a family function. With my resentment intact, we were on our way. I felt it all the way there; I felt it as I entered the church. I prayed for the Lord to help me let it go. I did however, make sure we did not, under any circumstances sit in the same section as last time. I did notice they redid the sanctuary.  The Tabernacle was actually in the center behind the altar; there was a statue of Mary in an alcove on our left (Jesus' right) and a statue of Joseph on the right.  A crucifix was in the center over the Tabernacle. I liked this new arrangement very much.

       The Scriptures this weekend were all about the coming of the Spirit of God. The homily talked not only about Pentecost but the need for forgiveness--forgiveness of others' offenses even when they do not know or do not ask forgiveness. It felt as if it were aimed at my heart. As were were in the second section and to one side, I thought we'd be receiving the Eucharist from one of the Lay Extra-Ordinary Eucharistic ministers.  However, to my surprise and delight we were ushered to the center and the priest. I had the privilege of receiving the Eucharist from the Priest's own hand this time around. My resentment was now completely gone. I let it go this weekend, and it was good.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Rufuting a Muslim Refutation of the Trinity

I have rarely seen a worst defender of Christianity than Jack Chick. His ridiculous tracts are so offensive, I wonder why God doesn't strike him down in the OT Biblical sense. Matt Slick is pretty close, but his rhetorical at least seems more reasoned--it's not, but it seems that way. But, looking at debates and refutations on Catholics vs. Calvinists or Catholic refutations of Slick's nonsense, I came across a Muslim who attempts to refute the Trinity and he seems to think Slick is some kind of Christian authority. Sami Zaatari uses Jack Chick like structure and argument style to pretend to refute the Christian teaching of the Trinity. I will address this in a moment...I just want to point out the irony of Zaatari's claims. I've seen more and more so-called Christians stating that they do not believe in the Trinity. They either believe that Jesus is the Son of God, but not God the Son, or they believe that Jesus took on divinity temporarily as a man. These heresies were refuted by the Church long ago, but as the saying goes, "Those who do not study history, are doomed to repeat it." This is, of course, a paraphrase, but is very apt in the "art" of Protestantism.

So, back to Zaatari who believes that "Trinitarians do Worship Three God's" [sic].  He says,

"Trinitarians often like to claim that they have a monotheistic belief, and that the Trinity is not the worship of 3 Gods rather it is the worship of One God. Basically they say the Trinity doctrine is as follow:
Christianity is a monotheistic faith. Zaatari fails to understand what is the actual dogma on the Trinity.
 1- God is made up of 3 persons
So, far, so good. God is three Persons.
2- The three persons are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit
OK, good.
 3- All three persons are distinct from each other, The Father is not the Son, nor is the Son the Father etc.
Right. The Father is not the Son or the Holy Spirit. The Son is not the Father or the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not the Son nor the Father. But, they are one and the same God.
4- Each person in the Trinity has a role of their own
True, but They all work together as one God.
5- Jesus is the Son in the Trinity
More accurately, Jesus is God the Son.
So basically that is the dogma of the Trinity.
Very close, but not quite there. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

 234 The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the "hierarchy of the truths of faith".56 The whole history of salvation is identical with the history of the way and the means by which the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, reveals himself to men "and reconciles and unites with himself those who turn away from sin".57
Back to Zaatari:
Now let us show exactly why Christians do in fact worship three God's. As I said, the Trinity is made up of THREE people, these three people are all different than one another, it is basically exactly like having 3 people in an office, Tom Dick and Harry.[sic]
 Now Christians say that Jesus is God, the Father is God, and so is the Holy Spirit. So therefore if you have three people, and each one of them is God then what are you left with? You are left with THREE Gods! This is logic!  
This is only "logic" on the surface and is an observation by one who has not studied the Christian Trinity nor seems to care to do so. This is the Jack-Chick-style logic to which I was alluding.
If Tom Dick and Harry [sic] are each managers, how many managers do you have? You have three! Remember Trinity has THREE different persons, and each person is God, therefore you have three Gods and not one, there is no way around this mess.
The only "mess" is Zaatari's interpretation of the Christian Trinity. 

Let us even make it simpler for people:
Muslim: Is Jesus God?
Christian: Yes
Muslim: Is Jesus the Father?
Christian: No
Muslim: Is the Father God?
Christian: Yes
Muslim: Is The Father Jesus?
Christian: No
Muslim: So these are 2 different persons?
Christian: Yes, 2 distinct different persons
Muslim: And both are God?
Christian: Yes
Muslim: Is the Holy Spirit God?
Christian: Yes
Muslim: Is the Holy Spirit the Father or Jesus?
Christian: No, the Holy Spirit is not
Muslim: So Jesus is God, the Father is God, and the Holy Spirit is God?
Christian: Yes
Muslim: And these are three different persons?
Christian: Yes
Muslim: So you have three persons, each one is God, how many is that?
Christian: Three, opppssss no no I meant One
This, too, is what I mean by the Jack Chick style of refutation. He sets up a false argument and then makes the "Christian" fall for an argument that no intelligent Christian would actually be baited to argue. Trinitarian Christians would not fall for this "mess." While each Person of the Trinity is distinct, the are all the same God. Zaatari uses the word "different" which is not used in Christian apologetics.
 It cannot get any simpler than that, Trinitarians worship THREE Gods and they cant deny it.
I do deny it. The above discussion between a Muslim and a Christian is pure fiction.

Now off [sic] course Trinitarians have come up with dozens and dozens of laughable analogies to make sense of the Trinity, however so my favorite analogy Christians bring up to make sense of the Trinity is the Family analogy.

The family analogy basically says this:

A Family is made up of more than one member, a Father, Mother, and Son. Yet the family is one family and not three families, the same with Trinity.

This is my favorite analogy, and it is one of the most deceptive analogies. The family statement is true, a family is made up of 2 or more persons, a typical basic family is a Husband, Wife, and son.

But here is the problem, Christians say that each person in the Trinity is God, remember Christians say Jesus is God, the Father is God, and the Holy Spirit is also God. So therefore using the Christian Trinity doctrine, that would basically mean that the husband is a family, the wife is a family, and the son is also a family!!!!!!! In a family we say that the husband wife and son MAKE UP A FAMILLY, we do not say that each specific member of the family is the family!
I am personally not familiar with this analogy. However, any analogy of a mystery of God is going to be imperfect no matter what imagery one uses. While I agree this analogy is flawed, I can also see why someone may use it. The bond of love in a family would be the core of this analogy.  But the point here should be that Zaatari has set up his own argument of what a Christian means by a family and then falsely compares his interpretation of the meaning of the analogy to the Christian Trinity.

Just test this out for yourself, go ask any Christian, is Jesus God, they will immediately say YES!!!!!!!!!! AMENNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!! The Christian will not reply back by saying no Jesus is not God, but Jesus is part of God, you will NEVER hear this reply by a Christian, and I myself have never heard this from a Christian. So therefore the analogy FAILS since the analogy is not even close to Trinity, when you ask a husband are you a family sir? He will say I HAVE a family and yes I am in a family, but he will not say yes I am a family. So Christian Trinitarians have been very deceptive in their analogies and it seems they themselves don’t understand what Trinity even is!
As I said above, he is arguing against his interpretation of the family analogy, not actually presenting the Christian understanding of the Trinity, and He has not present any of the other "dozens of analogies" he claims is false. He is interpreting the Trinity on his own then arguing against himself. The Catechism says:

 237 The Trinity is a mystery of faith in the strict sense, one of the "mysteries that are hidden in God, which can never be known unless they are revealed by God".58 To be sure, God has left traces of his Trinitarian being in his work of creation and in his Revelation throughout the Old Testament. But his inmost Being as Holy Trinity is a mystery that is inaccessible to reason alone or even to Israel's faith before the Incarnation of God's Son and the sending of the Holy Spirit.
Zaatari is making a human argument about God--a mystery our puny minds can cannot fully comprehend, let alone explain fully. Certainly no one can explain the Trinity to the satisfaction of some one so subbornly ignorant of actual Christian theology.  Back to his "mess":

Christians do not say No Jesus is not God, or no the Father is not God, Christians do not say that Jesus and the Father are part of God and make up God, they say that Jesus IS God, they say that the Father IS God. So the analogy crumbles. :)
No, Christians do not say Jesus is not God, nor the Father is not God. But his analogy crumbles because it is not only inaccurate but not presented properly. There are many, many other imperfect analogies that might explain the Trinity better, but a family, a loving, single unit of beings, is not quite the silliness he presents.

And this analogy even makes more problems! You see folks, someone doesn’t come up to you alone and say are you a family? For instance if I was standing outside a shop all alone, a person would not ask me hey Sami are you a family? They would ask hey Sami are you in a family or do you have a family. So basically if we want to compare the Trinity to this family analogy, then this means that we should not ask Christians is Jesus God, we should ask Christians does Jesus have a God, does the Father have a God! Because the analogy is basically turning God into a family, so therefore this means God is made up of people, and is not one alone person, just like a family, so this means we should be asking the Christians does Jesus have a God rather than asking is Jesus God.
No, a Christian analogy of the Trinity as a family is not what Sami has presented.  The Christian interpretation does not mean that God is made up of people. This means that we believe that God is made up of three Persons (not people, as in humans) who work together as a loving unit--they work together as one.

So as you can see, these analogies are so bad and deceptive they cause further problems for a Trinitarian. Trinitarians should simply accept the fact that they worship three God's, once doing so they will be able to throw this Trinity lie out the window and become a real monotheistic faith."
 1) Sami has only presented one of "these analogies" and that one is his interpretation of that one analogy. So, saying "these analogies" is very deceptive, since he only presented one and his opinion of that one analogy. He does not present even one actual Christian analogy quote, not any of the other "dozens" he claims are false.

2) No, Trinitarian will "simply accept" that they worship "three God's [sic]" because they do not. We worship one God--The God of the Old and New Testament.

3) If he is actually interested in the dogma of the Trinity, here is the presentation of the Catechism:
The dogma of the Holy Trinity
253 The Trinity is One. We do not confess three Gods, but one God in three persons, the "consubstantial Trinity".83 The divine persons do not share the one divinity among themselves but each of them is God whole and entire: "The Father is that which the Son is, the Son that which the Father is, the Father and the Son that which the Holy Spirit is, i.e. by nature one God."84 In the words of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215), "Each of the persons is that supreme reality, viz., the divine substance, essence or nature."85
254 The divine persons are really distinct from one another. "God is one but not solitary."86 "Father", "Son", "Holy Spirit" are not simply names designating modalities of the divine being, for they are really distinct from one another: "He is not the Father who is the Son, nor is the Son he who is the Father, nor is the Holy Spirit he who is the Father or the Son."87 They are distinct from one another in their relations of origin: "It is the Father who generates, the Son who is begotten, and the Holy Spirit who proceeds."88 The divine Unity is Triune.
255 The divine persons are relative to one another. Because it does not divide the divine unity, the real distinction of the persons from one another resides solely in the relationships which relate them to one another: "In the relational names of the persons the Father is related to the Son, the Son to the Father, and the Holy Spirit to both. While they are called three persons in view of their relations, we believe in one nature or substance."89 Indeed "everything (in them) is one where there is no opposition of relationship."90 "Because of that unity the Father is wholly in the Son and wholly in the Holy Spirit; the Son is wholly in the Father and wholly in the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit is wholly in the Father and wholly in the Son."91
256 St. Gregory of Nazianzus, also called "the Theologian", entrusts this summary of Trinitarian faith to the catechumens of Constantinople:
Above all guard for me this great deposit of faith for which I live and fight, which I want to take with me as a companion, and which makes me bear all evils and despise all pleasures: I mean the profession of faith in the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. I entrust it to you today. By it I am soon going to plunge you into water and raise you up from it. I give it to you as the companion and patron of your whole life. I give you but one divinity and power, existing one in three, and containing the three in a distinct way. Divinity without disparity of substance or nature, without superior degree that raises up or inferior degree that casts down. . . the infinite co-naturality of three infinites. Each person considered in himself is entirely God. . . the three considered together. . . I have not even begun to think of unity when the Trinity bathes me in its splendor. I have not even begun to think of the Trinity when unity grasps me. . .92
The dogma of the Trinity has been studied, thought about, and believed for almost two thousand years. One Muslim's false interpretation of the Trinity is certainly not going to change my mind about the Christian understanding of the nature of God. I don't believe he will change the mind of any Christian who believes in the Trinity with this false logic.

Trinitarian Christians do have a monotheistic faith, and that, like God Himself, will not change.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Faulty Anti-Catholic List

In searching for information to explain Catholicism to non-Catholic Christians, I came across a ridiculous webpage that tried to equate Mormonism to Catholicism. The absurd claim that Mormonism and Catholicism are equally bad or evil or not Christian is on the rise again. The author made a list of supposed points of similarity between "Mormonism" and "Roman Catholicism." While I cannot speak to the veracity of the Mormon list, I can sift through the truths, half-truths, and innuendo on the Catholic list. The anti-Catholic's statements are in italics.

The Good Shepherd and His Sheep (the Church) #
Claims itself to uniquely be "the Church."

While the Catholic Church does claim to be "the Church," this is "claim" is well founded.  It can be traced back from the present time to Jesus Christ Himself. He is the one who wished His followers to be one in Him, just as He said, "Holy Father, keep in thy name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one even as we are" (John 17: 11). During the first couple of centuries of the Church, Christians followed the teachings of the Apostles and their disciples, and those appointed by them.  For the most part communities of Christians did not meet in the open, lest they suffer persecution or death.  St. Ignatius is the one who first called the Christian Church Catholic.  Catholic means universal.  Since that time the name has stuck.  The early Church  was one and called Catholic.  That is why we "claim" to be "the Church." Our history and heritage indicate that we are descended from the original Church founded by Christ. This is not the same claim as the Mormon Church; their claim is founded on a very different foundation, a man other than Christ and a book outside the bible, more than eighteen centuries after Christ.

Christ and Sheep (Priest and Laity) #
Claims a unique and authoritative priesthood, thereby denying the priesthood of all Christians.

Yes, the Church does claim a unique and authoritative priesthood, but she does not deny the priesthood of all believers.  These two priesthoods are not mutually exclusive.  The priest in the Church brings us Christ in person; he consecrates the Holy Eucharist. He takes care of the day to day running of the church, and is the earthy shepherd of Christ's flock. The layman has a share in Christ's priesthood by virtue of being the "Body of Christ." We are there at the altar. We bring our children and others to Christ. We participate in the Mass and consume communion bread in "remembrance of Him".

Accepts multiple Satanic visions as being from God.

I am not sure what the author meant here.  Is he saying that all visions are "Satanic"? Is he saying all ("multiple") visions that are Catholic are therefore "Satanic"?  Because I am 100% certain that the Church does not accept any "Satanic visions as being from God." Visions accepted by Church authority are not satanic. Accepted visions tell us something about God, or how we can head off tragedies through prayer, or how to bring certain communities to Christ. Not a single vision accepted as worthy of belief by Church authority honors or glorifies Satan, and no accepted vision is contrary to the Gospel. But let us get one thing straight and out there--ALL visions are considered by the Church to be private revelation. Visions are not doctrine. Many visions may have changed our view of some doctrines, but none have changed the central doctrines of the Church.

Undermines the power of Jesus' blood by its view of personal suffering for the expiation of sins.

This statement shows a complete lack of understanding of the Church's teaching on suffering.  The Church never undermines the "power of Jesus' blood." The only thing of equal value is Christ's Resurrection.  Suffering on the other hand has value in helping us make up for sins. We caused Christ to suffer for our sins. Our sufferings help us take a tiny sliver of that suffering on ourselves. Suffering makes us closer to Christ and helps us understand His suffering. Our suffering neither replaces His suffering nor does it expiate sin on its own. We do not, despite what silly men like this author would have people believe, advocate our own suffering as a replacement of Christ's suffering.

The Annunciation #
Sings praise songs about Mary.

I'm not really sure why this is a bad thing but what the author fails to understand that songs and music in church are appropriate for the season.  My point being that songs in praise of Mary are sung only a few days during the entire year.  That doesn't mean the songs in worship of God, Christ, or Christian doctrines aren't also sung and are sung exclusively at the vast majority of other Masses during the year.  I fail to see the offense in this now, though I could have at one time. The thing is that Catholics honor Christ's mother for her part in salvation history. It is not any different than kids in other churches singing about Noah's Arky or the B-i-b-l-e.  If it is wrong to sing about the Mother of the Son of God, it would be wrong to sing about the Bible or David or Noah also.

Has strange doctrines regarding marriage (celibacy still practiced among its clergy).

The author fails to connect the twoThe vow of celibacy for the majority of Catholic priests (there actually are married priests in at least one Eastern rite in the Catholic Church) has very little to do with the doctrines regarding marriage.  Since these celibate priests don't marry, their unmarried state has nothing to do with marriage doctrines.  Marriage doctrines have been developed from Christ's blessing on marriage.  It is a Sacrament of the Church, instituted by Christ. Holy Orders (priesthood) is a completely separate Sacrament. Celibacy is a discipline developed over time for the benefit of both the Church and the priest. Christ was not married and could devote his whole life to teaching, preaching, and taking care of others. That is the priest's whole life as well--teaching, preaching, and taking care of others. Many are the times I've seen preachers kids (any one seen a show to this affect?) growing up to become absolutely awful people. Their dad was not around; there are certain expectations of a minister and they always come before his own family.

Diego Valazquez, Queen of Heaven @
Although both Sacraments involve solemn vows before God, they are separate doctrines and neither cancel each other out nor replace each other. They are both important to the Church. Both provide life to the Church.

Believes in the mother of God (who is the sinless queen of Heaven).

Of course, we "believe" in the mother of God.  She exists; we believe in her. Mary is the mother of Jesus Christ, God the Son. If her Son is God, she is His mother.  Christ is universally regarded as the King of Heaven and Earth.  His mother, therefore, would be queen mother.  We call her queen just as Bathsheba was the queen in Solomon's court. Mary IS sinless; she's in Heaven. Even protestants believe that people can no longer sin in Heaven. It is as simple as that.

Christ gave St. Peter charge of His Church #
Claims the head of their group speaks infallibly at times.

The "head of [our] group" is the pope. He is the vicar (ambassador) of Christ. He is like the viceroy, the representative of the king, in the old testament.  The viceroy was given the keys of the kingdom as a symbol of his authority; his authority was second only to the king. In the same way, the pope (papa) is the king's (Jesus') second in command. Yes, we claim that he "speaks infallibly at times." Not only are these "times" extremely rare, but they have happened. The conditions for infallibility are that the pope is speaking on a matter of doctrine, it is a matter for the whole church, and the he speaks of it from the authority of the See of Peter. One such infallible statement is contained in the document Ineffabilis Deus (The Immaculate Conception) issued by Pope Pius IX in 1854.  The infallible statement's prologue begins,
"Accordingly, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, for the honor of the Holy and undivided Trinity, for the glory and adornment of the Virgin Mother of God, for the exaltation of the Catholic Faith, and for the furtherance of the Catholic religion, by the authority of Jesus Christ our Lord, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own:"
The actual infallible statement is this part:
"We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful."
It seems no matter how many times you explain this, however, there are people out there who either don't want to listen or wish to remain ignorant of the facts.

Rev. 5:8 "...the prayers of the people" @
Redefines "saint" to mean a physically dead Catholic who was afterwords "canonized," instead of a Bible-defined child of God.

The Church has not "redefined" the word saint.  Saint means what it always has: someone holy. Whether alive or dead--a saint is a saint.  This is not only quite biblical but traditional. Canonization is only a declaration that the Church believes that person to be in Heaven and to be a saint. A person whose life is such an example of holiness that it is necessary to add them to the list (canon) of people we know to be in Heaven. Now are there others in Heaven that are not canonized (listed) by the Church? Of course. We don't know the names of everyone in Heaven, only God knows that, but we can be sure certain people are there. The Church does not deny that their are other, unnamed saints in Heaven which is why there is a celebration of All Souls' Day the day after All Saints' Day. All Souls' Day is for all the dead in Christ.

"Accepts and spreads "another gospel" (Gal 1:8.9)--good works, the sacraments, Mary and church membership.

There is only one Gospel ("Good News") and that is that Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, was sent by God, out of extreme, divine love for us, to die for our sins and that if we believe in Him and follow in His footsteps, we will be in Heaven with Him someday. The Gospel taught by Jesus and His Apostles is the only one the Church preaches. The other things listed are not the "gospel."

Good works are how we show God, ourselves, and the world that we believe in and follow Christ's example. "Faith without works is dead" (James 2:17).

Seven Sacraments of Christ @
The Sacraments are visible signs of invisible grace. All of them, each and every one of them was instituted by Christ.

Baptism: Matthew 3:16; Matthew 28:19; Mark 1:8; Mark 16:16; John 3:5; Acts 1:4-5; Acts 2:38; Acts 8:16; Acts 8:36-38; Acts 11:16; Acts 16:15; Acts 16:33; Acts 18:8; Acts 19:3-6; Acts 22:16; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 5:25-26; Col. 2:12; 1 Peter 3:20-21, and many others.

Confirmation: In Acts 19:3-6, especially, it is clear that John's baptism, Christian baptism and Confirmation are all distinct realities. Also, in Hebrews 6:2 baptizing and laying on of hands are distinguished. Isaiah 44:3; Ezekiel 39:29; Joel 2:28; John 14:16; Acts 2:4; Acts 8:14-17; Acts 19:3-6; Hebrews 6:2.

 Confession: Matthew 16:19; John 20:21-23; Rev. 1:18.

Eucharist: Matthew 26:26-29; Luke 24:35; Acts 2:42; 1 Cor. 11:24-27

Marriage:  Mt. 19:10-11; Eph. 5:31-32.

Holy Orders, Acts 6:3-6; Acts 13:2-3; 1 Tim. 3:1; 1 Tim. 3:8-9; 1 Tim. 4:14; 1 Tim. 4:16; 1 Tim. 5:17-19; 1 Tim. 5:22.

anointing of the sick. James  5:14-15.

Mary is Christ's mother and honored as such. Do some Catholics go overboard in their expression of devotion to Mary? Of course some do. But one can say something similar about others claiming to be Christians.  I watched a Protestant service on tv once in which they chanted a saying about the Bible and their devotion to it. I'd say that was just as idolatrous as anything they have accused Catholics of doing.

I'm not sure what church membership has to do with "another gospel." As I've said, the Church has always preached one and the same Gospel for the last two millenia. Belonging to Christ's Church is extremely important. We are after all the Body of Christ. It is the belief of several Church theologians and reiterated by the Vatican II Council that Protestants do peripherally belong to the same church.

Prophetic Basis for the Claims of Jesus as Son of God #
Professes itself as Christian; Jesus as God, Savior, Lord and Son of God; Jesus' atoning death and resurrection.

To this "accusation", I would say we could plead guilty. But, I am extremely confused on this one. In my 36 years as a Protestant (Regular Baptist to be precise), I believed in every one of these things, also. The Baptists I know profess themselves as Christian.  They profess Jesus as God, Savior, Lord and Son of God. They profess Jesus' atoning death and resurrection. It makes me wonder at the truth of the author's claim to be a Christian.  What is his definition of Christian? Some of the anti-Catholic rhetoric I've seen lately leads me to wonder what the current definition of Christian could actually be.

Doctrines are sending hundreds of millions to Hell and they need to be openly refuted with Scripture.

This is not so much an accusation as an opinion, an erroneous opinion, but an opinion nonetheless. Since every one of the doctrines of the Church can be "openly" supported with Scripture, refuting Catholics with Scripture would be a pointless endeavor. Catholics are the original evangelicals. No other Christian Church would exist without her.

Teaches and practices bowing before and kissing statues.

"Teaches and practices"? I understand the author has a negative agenda here but the reality is not quite what he implies here. We honor our (God's) family members by having pictures and statues around us, just as people have pictures of their family members (alive and dead) around their house.

I am not aware of anyone "teaching" people to kiss a statue. True, some people "practice" this but that is out of the love a person has for that family member. Bowing is done as a way to honor our loved ones; kissing is something done out of personal feeling. The only thing I've ever actually seen "taught" about kissing is kissing a Cross on the feast of Corpus Cristi or on Good Friday. This is a way for us to kiss Christ and honor His sacrifice for us.

"This is My Body..." @
WORSHIPS the consecrated communion wafer as God.

He is close on this one. We do worship God in the Eucharist. Remember He said, "THIS IS MY BODY". We believe His words. So, if that is His Body, as He plainly said in so, so many places in Scripture, we can worship the actual Christ. However, when we kneel to the Eucharist (or "consecrated communion wafer") we are kneeling before Christ, not a piece of bread or an idol.  We worship Christ, period.

Claims Mary is their life, sweetness, hope, and most gracious advocate (as revealed in the Rosary).

And? Mary is not only the example but is everything we hope for and hope to be. She is alive in Christ. She was not only a sweet person but shares in the sweetness of Heaven. She lives the hope of Salvation with her Savior, just as we hope to do someday.

She is a gracious advocate. This takes nothing away from Christ. If you pray for a friend, you are their advocate. If your pastor, minister, priest prays for you, they are your advocate. Mary prays for us, children of God, she is our advocate.

Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal-dispensing graces @
Claims Mary was raised bodily into Heaven.

Yes, we do claim that. There is biblical precedent for it. Elijah was taken into Heaven on a chariot; Mary was carried by angels. It is not only entirely plausible from a pragmatic view of Scripture but also probable.  I'd like to ask the author of this statement and any others who despise our belief that St. Mary received this honor, "why wouldn't He?" Why wouldn't Jesus Christ want His mother not to suffer the indignity of the corruption of the grave? Why wouldn't He want to honor the mother that He loves and cherishes? Why wouldn't He use His power as God to honor the woman who bore Him, God, in her womb? To me is it silly not to believe He would do that for her.

Claims they get to Jesus by first going to Mary.

Actually, the Church claims that we can go to Mary first not that we have to go to Mary first.  The difference is subtle but very important. Why would you go to your minister about Jesus? You say you don't need to go to anyone "first." We don't have to go through Mary. It is just that we can. Have you never, ever been ashamed of your actions, you know you must apologize, but were too ashamed? What if you could explain yourself to some one kind and gentle and loving? Then she could go the king for you and explain. Yes, He already knows what you've done, and, yes, you could go directly to Him. But, there is another avenue available to us--His mother. His mother is gentle and kind and loving and will listen to us.

Anti-Catholics such as the author of this list have been taught so much prejudicial nonsense that they cannot see past it. If they would actually listen to what the Church teaches and not what they've been carefully taught over the years, all Christianity might actually have a chance of putting up a unified front against the snares of the evil one. We, Catholics, are Christians. We do love Christ and follow His teaching. We do love other Christians and pray for them to go to Heaven. We also pray that the blinders of prejudice should come off and that they might see the truth in the real Gospel message.

#Pictures with this symbol are from the book online My Catholic Faith: A Manual of Religion by the Most Reverend Louis Laravoire Morrow, STD. Kenosha, New York, 1949. http://www.catholicbook.com/AgredaCD/MyCatholicFaith/MyCatholicFaith.htm
@Public Domain