As a former Protestant Evangelical, I’ve heard a lot of Catholic bashing. But, for me, it made me want to learn about the Catholic Church for myself. Evangelical Protestant churches are filled to the brim with “Mary-ologists” and “experts” on the Catholic Church, many of whom have never set foot in a Catholic Church.
I have heard Protestant pastors stand at the pulpit and spout incorrect information, half-truths, hate, and outright lies about the Universal Church. These men learned these “facts” from their superiors, and their superiors from theirs. Very few of them know anything (true) about the Catholic Religion – from Our Lady, to the saints, to the Eucharist, to apostolic succession, to the sacraments, to the priesthood.
Cardinal Fulton Sheen was right when he said,
“There are not a hundred people in America who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions of people who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church.”
Seminary training for Protestant ministers runs the gambit. In the some of the denominations, it takes a long time. They go to college, seminary, and oftentimes earn post-graduate degrees – even doctorates. Unfortunately, though, in many Protestant denominations, a minister’s education is considerably less substantial.
To become a Catholic Priest, it takes a decade. To become a nondenominational pastor, it often takes just months. Because of their clergy’s lack of training in counseling, hermeneutics, apologetics, etc., there is more wreckage coming out of the nondenominational churches than I would care to even estimate. And there is more jockeying for power in some of these churches than on Capitol Hill! It is a sad state of affairs when churches say negative things from the pulpit about the Catholic Church, and even sadder are all of the good, trusting people being led astray. They truly do not understand.
I have been a Catholic for seven years, and during that time (and also during the time that I was becoming a Catholic), I have never heard a negative or untrue word about the Protestants emanating from the Catholic pulpit. Isn’t this the way that God wants us to behave? Bashing the Catholic Church is a matter of custom in many Protestant churches, it is never questioned, and is an accepted form of discrimination. But God is going to hold those ministers accountable for the untruths they have propagated.
Our job is to be a living example of Christ, to pray for them, and to invite them to the Catholic Church to experience the Mass first hand.
“If I (St. Paul) am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth. Without any doubt, the mystery of our religion is great…”
[1 Tim. 15-16]