Catholic Credentials

I imagine that any Christian who has discussed or debated issues involving Catholic doctrine or practice has, a time or two, run up against the Romish apologist’s last-ditch defense: “You do not understand Catholicism.” Having driven his stake into the ground at this point, the Catholic apologist will then meet most future challenges by saying something like, “You simply do not understand.” If he is being pressed by a well-prepared Christian antagonist and is unable to deal with his arguments, the Catholic may symbolically throw up his hands in pseudo-desperation and stomp off the field.

Should the Christian antagonist happen to be a former Catholic, he likely will be informed that he must not have been a “good” Catholic, or he never would have left Mother Church. The corollary to this is that, since the former Catholic clearly was not a good Catholic, then he certainly cannot have been—nor can he now be—knowledgeable concerning the deeper meanings of Catholic doctrine, practice and history.

On the other hand, defenders of things Romish tend to gush over converts to Catholicism who came from Protestantism; uttering paeans of praise and thanksgiving for their encyclopedic knowledge of all things Protestant.

I have no idea how many times I have been accused of having neither knowledge nor experience of Catholicism. For those Catholics who doubt my Catholic upbringing, I offer these few pictures from my scrapbook:

This is me, walking with other kids on my way to my First Communion in Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Norwood, Ohio. I am the kid under the arrow. The date is May 11, 1947.

This is the formal “class” photo of all the kids who made their First Communion at Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic church on May 11, 1947. Once again, I am the kid with the arrow growing out of his head. The big priest in the middle was the parish pastor, ‘Father’ Gregory Miller. The picture was taken on the steps of Sts. Peter & Paul Elementary School

Finally, the front and back of a remembrance card given to me by my teacher, Sister Mary Elsina:

I learned more about Catholic doctrine, practice and history since leaving Catholicism than I ever was taught while still in Mother Church’s suffocating embrace. How could that be? It’s simple. Standing outside the Catholic Church and looking in, I am better able to evaluate the reality of things Catholic than ever was possible when what little information I was provided was filtered through the Holy Office and the local archdiocese.

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. -- 2 Corinthians 6:14-18


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