i do appreciate our non-catholic members on the forum! ones who seek to understand and love all of us under the umbrella of Christ's church.
altho all in my close and immediate family are catholic, we do have many who have married into our family-- aunts, uncles and cousins --of all faiths. one aunt, who is of the methodist faith, is a marvel to me by her unselfish acts of giving and volunteering in her community.
having grown up catholic and being one all my life, i feel that i can use the familiar saying here when talking about anti-catholic sentiments expressed to me, that i've experienced personally....'walk a mile in my shoes'.
yes, thank God, the vast majority of protestant and christian churches live and love in the true harmony of christianity.
however, this does not erase the fact that strong anti-catholic sentiments are worldwide, and are very real
here in the US in some evangelical sects. if you ask a forum member from the UK, they will share with you the fact that catholics are not allowed to hold government positions. tony blair is an example of this prejudice as he waited until he left office--and his political life over-- to convert to his wife's faith of catholicism.
we can look into our own US history to the fear of the american people during JFK's presidential campaign. the ugly anti-catholic prejudices and rumors nearly cost this country one of its greatest presidents. there was concern and gross misunderstanding that kennedy would submit first to the pope any decision he made in his presidency.
this has gone on thru time. this fear of catholics permeated early america, as early american catholics were segregated from the rest of the new country and relegated to the state of Maryland, (mary's land as they called it!)
mainly this fear comes from misunderstanding the role of the pope. the fear does lead to outright hatred. martin luther, in his famed separation from the catholic church despised the pope so much that he refered to him in his writings as the anti-christ.
i have lived my life receiving propoganda from 'well meaning' friends in the evangelical faiths concerned that i am not 'saved' because of my catholic faith. this propoganda that they have passed onto me is shocking beyond words. briefly, they say that the church is demonic. we worship the pope, our eucharist is human sacrifice, there are evil intentions behind all of our sacrements, that we commit idolatry in our prayers to Jesus' mother mary, and our saints.
this fear and misunderstanding has spread like wildfire among the evangelical communities today via the internet. the propoganda even more shocking. there is a national organization called the catholic league which works hard defending the rights of catholics and bringing to light the TRUTH behind these bizzare accusations. their website is:
if you read thru their site, and pose a question to them about the current issues they face in this battle, they can provide for you information about our struggles beyond what i know and have experienced.
most notably, as you are probably aware, was the rev. hagee comments during this presidential race. hagee's comments were sugar coated and brief about his church's anti-catholic views, but unearthed were video footage of his lectures about the catholic church being 'the great whore of babylon', his relentless efforts in his attempts to convince the jews of israel that catholicism was truly responsible for the holocaust.
hagee is one example, mat. there are many, many others. i have included here from wikipedia a very small sampling of what anti-catholicism is today and the history of this practice. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Catholicism
there are noted evangelical authors who have made their living by writing of the evils of catholicism as noted in the wikipedia section Modern Anti-Catholic polemics.
the wikipedia article continues to cite examples of this fear and predjudice that are very real in the US now:
Philip Jenkins, an Episcopalian historian, in The New Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice (Oxford University Press 2005 ISBN 0-19-515480-0) maintains that some people who otherwise avoid offending members of racial, religious, ethnic or gender groups have no reservations about venting their hatred of Catholics. Earlier in the twentieth century, Harvard professor Arthur M. Schlesinger, Sr. characterized prejudice against Catholics as "the deepest bias in the history of the American people".
reflective of the actions of the president of the Catholic League, William Donohue, upon meeting Reverend Hagee, and he met him with an embrace of Christ's love, we catholics only seek not to be demonized but to share equivocally in the unity of Christian love and embraced fully by its brothers.
peace be with you, and i look forward to your input on our little forum!!
"Pray, hope...and don't worry!" --St. Padre Pio