Expert Answer Forum
What do the Wiccans/Pagans want from this site? QUESTION from Michelle December 2, 1999 Why do you suppose that people who are so diametrically opposed to the Catholic Faith ask questions on this forum?
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius on December 3, 1999 Dear Mrs. Michelle:
You ask a very interesting and important question.
As orthodox Catholics we tend to be the brunt of many a joke, taunting, cruelty, slander, defamation, brow-beating, and all sorts of other abuse merely because of our faith. Why is this? Why do loyal and orthodox Catholics, and the Catholic Church herself, receive more abuse that about any other Christian group?
Well, the short answer is that we hold the keys and the rest of Christendom, and in a way even the non-Christians, resent it. They want to think their little personal opinions about the universe and about God are true and resent the fact that the Catholic Church keeps the keys to herself.
Another way to illustrate this phenomenon is to think of a room that is pitch black in darkness. Those who do not wish to partake in truth wish to remain in darkness, they don’t want to see the light. What if we come around with our lit candle and cast a little light in the room?
Well, first, part of the territory of darkness is destroyed. The little candle destroys the darkness immediately around it. Those who live in darkness resent the fact that some of their territory has been taken from them. But beyond that, way beyond that, even in the protection of the dark shadows of the other side of the room, the people of darkness are seething in resentment. They can see the little flicker of the candle light. The light does not destroy the darkness they are in directly, but they can’t keep their eyes off of the candle flame.
Think about it. Imagine it in your mind. If you are in a dark room and the only thing you can see is the flame of a candle on the other side of the room, where will your eyes focus? You can’t help yourself, you will look into the flame, you will not be able to keep your eyes off it.
These people resent the Church for the same reason. They can’t keep their eyes off of the light of Christ that shines forth from us. No matter how hard they try to avoid the light, the light of the Catholic Church shines forth as a beacon of Christ destroying the darkness around it, and causing those at a distance to focus on the light unrelentingly.
Since the people of darkness cannot stop looking at the light in spite of themselves, and because they refuse to join us in the light, they must destroy that light, extinguish the flame from that blasted candle they resent so much.
I will suggest to you, that even if all orthodox and loyal Catholic and Christians were to remove themselves from the world and go to some isolated and abandoned island in the middle of the Pacific and never bother anyone and never have contact with anyone in the non-Christian world, the world and its darkness would still seek us out and try to destroy us. Darkness doesn’t just dislike the light, it hates the light, it loathes the light, and it can’t stand even the thought of the existence of the light. The light MUST be destroyed. Even if we, the Christians of Light, withdraw from all society, the darkness knows we are existing on that island and will seek to destroy us.
Darkness has to do this because the mere existence of the Light challenges the validity of the darkness. Their actions against the Light are actions of self-preservation and self-justification.
From this description we find the fundamental reason why anyone does not like the x-ray of truth, the penetrating truth, the truth that displaces all shadows and masks and lies and obfuscations. There is nowhere to hide. Adam and Eve tried to hide in the Garden after they sinned, but who can hide from God?
Now as to more specifics: There are at least three categories of non-Catholics, three categories of non-Christians, and three categories of so-called Catholics who really have no legitimate reason to be on a Catholic Q & A Forum, chatroom, or mail list.
Three Categories of Non-Catholics Christians:
Misinformed brow-beaters: This groups are usually Fundamentalists who generally believe that the Catholic Church is the Whore of Babylon, that we are going to hell, and they they have a mission to save us from our fate. Their motivation is to try to follow the Great Commission and to bring Christ to all lost peoples, Their methods are heavy-handed. I use to do this myself when I was a Baptist evangelist. I would hit people over the head with the Bible to get the point across, but my motivation was sincere. I didn’t want to see them lost in hell. Sometimes, and VERY rarely we might find a Fundamentalist who is cordial and loving in their attempts to evangelize us, but the majority who populate chatrooms and mail lists use methods of brow-beating and other abusive behavior.
These individuals are not so much prejudiced in a deliberate way, but have been misinformed about Catholics and what Catholic believe. They are sincere, though abusive. They will listen to what a Catholic believes and try to convince us we are wrong through reason and Scripture.
It is sometimes possible to entertain a question from these types, but if a dialogue is allowed to go on much, it will degenerate quickly.
The Actively Prejudiced: Some, however, go beyond the general prejudice of mis-information and begin to actively practice prejudice without even lip service to the truth at all. These types rarely if ever actually listen to Catholics explaining their faith. A typical hard-core Fundamentalist would respond to a Catholic saying, Why do not worship Mary with Oh yes you do! These types generally cannot get involved in intelligent debate at all. They will merely shout their opinions, abuse and brow-beat, and ignore any corrections a Catholic might offer about their faith in favor of maintaining the illusion of what the prejudiced person thinks the Catholic Church believes. These types will come out of the corner shooting from the hip from the get-go. The very first words out their mouth (or off of their keyboard) are an obnoxious affront to the Catholics in the room.
Hate-filled bigots: These people are the raving bigots who do everything that category 1 and 2 people do, but do it with a palatable flavor of hatred. There motives, regardless of what they tell themselves, is not to save us from hell, but to destroy us. We are a blight on the earth to them. Their desire to not to bash or brow-beat us into their view of Christ, but to destroy us.
Three Categories of Non-Christians:
The Fearful: Most of the non-Christians who treat us badly do so out of fear. Deep down they know we are right, they fear we are right, and that fear causes them to lash out. God tells us in the Bible that the knowledge of right and wrong and the knowledge of God is written on EVERYONE’S heart. Thus everyone deep down has an inkling of the truth. The occultists and witches and those sorts have this inkling of knowledge too. That causes them to fear and not really know why for sure. The fear comes from the knowledge of truth that the Catholic Church represents that is found within them, deep within them. Those who overcome this fear and actually practice what they preach about tolerance and the like do not bash Catholics and do not come into Catholic chatrooms and mail lists. They let bygones, by bygones.
But those in fear, react in fear, and lash out.
The Prejudiced: This category is similar to the Prejudiced Category with the Non-Catholic Christians. There is a perhaps a deep-seated resentment in these people, an intolerance (despite their preaching tolerance), of the Catholic claims to be the True Church and to hold the keys. They think of themselves as holding the keys, and everyone holding the keys according to their own definitions and resents the Catholic Church and her exclusivity. This group will attack and assert themselves obnoxiously against Catholics out of their prejudice and resentment that we think we have the real thing and they don’t. It is a form of jealousy actually, though they would NEVER admit that.
The Hate-filled Bigot: In similar manner to the hate-filled bigot in the non-Catholic Christian category, these people go beyond mere resentment or jealousy. They spew outright hatred and bile. This group can become VERY extreme in their views and extremely vitriolic to say the least. It is this group that will teach the preach things like so outrageously erroneous as to be psychiatric. Such as – I had one person of this category tell me that the Catholic Church officially teaches murder. To these people we are liken to Satan.
Three Categories of Catholics
Sedevacantists: This group I truly believe has psychiatric problems and should be referred to a hospital for treatment. These are the most radical of the right-wing. They believe that the Chair of Peter has been empty since 1958. Thus Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul I, and Pope John Paul II are all heretics and anti-popes. These weird bunch of people have actually elected for themselves their own Pope. Course one Sedevacantist group can’t get along with any other, so different groups will elect their own Popes. There is one pope living in Montana; and another in Kansas City I believe. This group is clearly schismatic in spirit, even if they somehow are not technically, and have left the communion of the Church.
Ultra-Traditionalists: The Sedevacantists come from among this group usually, but the mainstream of this group are nowhere as crazy as the Sedevacantist. The Ultra-Traditionalists, however, have also set up for themselves their own definition of orthodoxy and thus have left the communion of the Church. Their primary bug-a-boo is Vatican II. They will assert that Vatican II is not a valid Council and thus its declarations are not binding on the faithful. They will admit that Pope John Paul II is a valid pope, but will not obey him for he is leading the Church astray. They are schismatic in spirit though most of the time not schismatic in fact. Even among the milder adherents of Ultra-Traditionalism we still see problems. They will typically jump to interpretations that are negative about the Pope and the current Church. It is often among these people (and the Sedevacantists) that we get the conspiracy theories about the Vatican fueled by the con-artistry of people like the late Malachi Martin.
The more hard-core of this group will be sympathetic or apart of the schismatic groups SSPX (Society for St. Pius X) that was founded by the excommunicated Bishop Levebvre.
The Liberal: While the first two categories try to force the Church into its vision of orthodoxy, this group tries to re-make the Church in their own image. This group tends toward heresy, in spirit, if not always technically. They make up their own rules and doctrines according to their personal whims and the passing whims of our culture. They have left the communion of the Church.
(There is a fourth group that I call Neo-Orthodox. But they would generally get along okay on this site and with loyal Catholics most of the time. Their problem is again, defining orthodoxy themselves, and then applying a McCarthy-ite style exclusionary-ism and even defamation to those who don't measure up to "their" particular flavor of orthodoxy. Other groups such as the Ultra-Traditionalists, liberals, and Sedevacantists do this too, but it is partricularly disturbing and dangerous when it happens among the mainstream orthodox and loyal Catholics. And indeed, this neo-orthodoxy is growing among the rank and file of the normal loyal and orthodox Catholic. I understand why with all the pressures and attacks from every corner to the true faith, but we have to be careful about being paranoid. Unfortunately some VERY famous people and organizations known for orthodoxy are beginning to fall into the pit of neo-orthodoxy (but this is a subject for another time).) All of these groups will intrude upon the ordinary loyal Catholic and cause dissension and strife and damage the body of Christ. The reasons are to one degree or another the reasons that I mentioned at the beginning of this essay. They each have their own brand of truth, which is actually darkness. And darkness cannot stand the light. Those who follow falsehood cannot tolerate those who stand up for Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth.
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