Myths About the Catholic Church
Distinguishing Fact From Fiction
By Father John Flynn, LC
ROME, NOV. 16, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Much of the hostility towards the Catholic Church is based on ignorance and prejudice. This is the argument of Christopher Kaczor in his recent book, “The Seven Big Myths About the Catholic Church,” (Ignatius Press).
A professor of philosophy at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, Kaczor started by pointing out that the Church is made up of both saints and sinners and that mistakes in governance can indeed occur.
Nevertheless, misinformation and myth abound in reference to some issues, he added.
The first myth examined by the book is the idea that religion and science are in conflict with each other. Historically, this is demonstrably false, Kaczor argued, pointing to the numerous examples of Catholics and priests who played major roles in scientific discovery. Priests such as Gregor Mendel, the founder of genetics, and Georges Lemaitre, who proposed the Big Bang theory were just a couple of examples offered by Kaczor.
He maintained that faith and science are complementary and not in conflict. Science plays an important role, and faith helps us answer other vital issues that science cannot deal with, such as what we should do and what we can hope for.
The second myth is that the Church opposes freedom and happiness by saying no to a number of actions. Sensual happiness, Kozcor argued, is very transitory and is incapable of addressing issues such as the search for meaning in life. While various studies have demonstrated that large sums of money do little to increase people’s feelings of happiness.
The Church, he explained, teaches that happiness comes about in the practice of love of God and neighbor. Therefore, it does not oppose true happiness, but a false conception of happiness that limits itself to riches, power or pleasure.
The idea that the Church hates women is another myth addressed in the book. The causes for this opinion range from the Church’s opposition to abortion and contraception to the restriction of the priesthood to men.
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