Saturday, July 14, 2007

Open Invitation to Roland S. Martin and Catholic Answers

Today CNN carried a strongly worded anti-Catholic article written by a Mr. Roland S. Martin. Mr. Martin is a former Catholic and now seems to take great joy in bashing the Church Jesus instituted 2000 years ago (Matthew 16:18).

In any event I posted a comment to Mr. Martin on his blog which is currently awaiting moderation. I am not sure it will even make it to his page. In case it doesn't, here is my official statement to him.

Mr. Martin,

I wonder if you would be open to discussing this topic publicly via a podcast or webcast with someone like Jimmy Akin, Tim Staples, or Karl Keating? They work for a Catholic apostolate called Catholic Answers.

I am sure they would be happy to discuss this topic with you in a civil manner. Please email me if you are interested. If you are interested I will reach out to the guys at Catholic Answers to see if they are also interested. I can almost guarantee they would be.

If I don’t hear from you I will assume you are not interested in publicly defending your position.

Finally, in case anyone is interested in reading the actual Vatican document Mr. Martin is referencing you can
find it here.

Peace in Christ,
Ron Pereira
CatholicReply dot com


Joseph D'Hippolito said...

First of all, Martin's comment is not anti-Catholic. Anti-Catholicism, in case we've forgotten, consists of cries of "The Pope is Anti-Christ!" or "Rome is the Whore of Babylon!" or somesuch nonsense. Martin never comes close to that kind of fanaticism.

Second, let's look at parts of his comments:

For (the Pope) to even suggest that only the Catholic Church can provide true salvation to believers in Christ shows that he is wholly ignorant of the Scriptures that I have known all my life.

Sorry, let me take that back. I've really only known the Bible for the last 13 of my 38 years. That's because those first 25 years were spent as a die-hard Catholic.

Let's face it: Catholic priests and bishops don't encourage the faithful to study Scripture. Perhaps it's that whole Luther thing. Anyway, one can gain a great deal out of personal Bible study without becoming a second Luther.

Besides, too many Catholics (especially those on the Internet) confuse church membership or denominational or theological identification with redemption for sin. Only blood can do that (as God presecribed in the OT) and only Christ's blood can do that fully. Sadly, that's rarely discussed, let alone emphacized, these days.

...the reality is that we were never really encouraged to study the Scriptures. The standard practice was for all of us to read the same pamphlets passed out by the church, recite the readings from the New and Old Testaments, listen to the Scripture chosen for us in the Gospel and hear a normally bland homily.

Much of that is true. Now, I went to a Catholic high school in which I studied the Bible as a sophomore and senior, and the NT while I was a sophomore. But this was during the 70s when CCD programs were concerned about being "relevant" and did little Bible study. Yes, Bible studies exist in Catholic churches but, as Martin said, there's no strong encouragement to attend them. Most Catholics are content with what they get out of Mass. And, yes, the homilies are indeed bland.

Yet as I reflect on my years as a Catholic, it pretty much was a wasted experience, as there was more identification with the church, and not with Christ.

Personally, I place more emphasis on Christ and on the Church. But, unfortunately, the bold emphasis accurately describes all too many Catholics on the Internet.

Martin's language is the language of one who feels betrayed by those he trusted for his spiritual sustenance. He's certainly not the only ex-Catholic who feels that way. Otherwise, why would so many leave the Church.

For that matter, why would the Keatings, Stapleses and Akins be necessary if the Church was doing its job?

Ron Pereira said...

Thanks for the comment Joseph.

I am not sure how to respond or where to even begin.

All I can say is tomorrow night at my parish we begin a year long scripture study program. Past years have had around 300 people. I expect this year to be the same or more. The spirit is alive and very well in Keller, Texas.

I will grant you that things like Catholic's studying scripture have seemed to increase in this generation more so than the generation it sounds like you were raised.

I would be more than happy to engage you in a friendly discussion on any topic you wish. We could do this privately over email if you wish or live on this blog.

I don't expect you to believe the teaching of Holy Mother Church... but would simply like to ensure you understand what she teaches as I feel it safe to assume you were poorly trained in Catholicism. Perhaps I am wrong.

Let me know if you are interested.

God bless.

Anonymous said...

Dear Roland S. Martin,
You don't have to be say Anti-Christ or Rome is Whore... to be anti-Catholic. There are many ways to anti-Catholic... Also, you need to understand what the churches means by its claims to be the true path of salvation. It is not so narrow at you think. God claims a soul for salvation according to each persons' good conscience and effort to seek the truth... but we must all seek it! It is true that during the 60's and 70's there was some confusiong in what the Second Vactian Council meant... and there was some failure in the teaching of our Catholic Faith to our children. However, I would suggest that you do not judge our Catholic Faith by such a narrow window of personal experience and try to dig deeper into the churche's teachings. I love Christ passionately (as a Catholic) and I read the bible. The bible is a main-stay of our faith... (Remember that the Church came before the Bible.) It seems to me that possibley you were hurt... and now feel bitter. I will pray for you. Christ prayed that we may all be one,...
Douglas Lurton