The Catholic Position
[Publisher’s Note: Joe Sobran’s depiction of the perpetual rage of anti-Catholicism is as apt today as it was when he penned this column in 2002. Today marks the 10th anniversary of his passing. May he rest in peace.]
Subtracting Christianity: Essays on American Culture and Society — A few weeks ago I tried, in my feeble way, to express why I fell in love with the Catholic Church. I received many gracious and grateful responses from others who felt the same way, some of them converts like me.
Inevitably, there were also a few jeers, directed not so much against me as against the Church. Some dredged up old scandals of wicked popes, or supposedly shocking utterances of Catholic saints, or mere clichés of traditional anti-Catholic polemics. Most of these were meant to embarrass, not to persuade; the usual ahistorical nuggets.
What is startling is the perpetual passion of anti-Catholicism. You’d think that by now people who reject Catholicism would calmly ignore its teachings as old and irrelevant superstitions. After all, the Church has none of her old political power, adherence is now totally voluntary, and she has enough trouble getting her own children to listen to her.
But Catholicism still has a strange moral authority, and many people are unable to achieve a calm and assured disbelief. They are still driven to discredit the Church — perhaps for the same reason so many of
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