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In our Western world public discourse is restricted by considerations of political correctness. For my part, I wish it were by issues of courtesy and taste, but there we are. The one exception to this appears to be prejudice against the Catholic Church. I have dealy with this in many places on AATW as has Geoffrey Sales, but it makes no difference. In the posts to which I have provided the link, reasoned and detailed explanations are offered, but they are met with a repetition of the original charges. Thus, when Bosco’s favourite methodology – ‘show me where it is in the Bible’ – is met with an invitation to show us where, in the Bible, it details what books should be in it, he responds ‘My brother, what is in the bible is what is supposed to be there.’, which, of course, totally ducks the answer. He has no choice but to do this, because there is only one answer to the question – which is that it was the early Church which identified and collected the Apostolic deposit and called it the Bible. Once acknowledge that, and Bosco’s whole house of cards collapses.

We must remember that, in the English-speaking world, there has been nearly five hundred years of anti-Catholic propaganda sponsored, for most of that time, by the English State. Rome was identified as a danger to the rule of the English monarchs, as the religion of the enemies of the State, and was remorselessly vilified. The Reformation in England did the sort of job on our heritage that ISIS is doing in Iraq and Syria, something carefully air-brushed out of our history books. Such a long campaign so ruthlessly waged is hardly to be overcome quickly or easily. In the age of the Internet, where men and women may easily find evidence to support their prejudices, there is easy access to deposits of this history of prejudice, and provided one knows no real history, especially no history of the first thousand years of the Faith (which is generally not well-represented in our eeducation systems), one can babble nonsense about dagon fish hats to nods of approval from those equally ignorant.

None of which is to say that there is not plenty in the history of the Church for which to apologise – how could it be otherwise across two thousand years of the same institution? An organisation which was not young when the Roman Empire was still at its peak, and which was as old as the oldest Protestant churches are now when the barbarians invaded Britannia, and which existed for 1700 years before the founding of the United States, and which has a global reach, is bound to have things in its history for which to apologise. Anti-Catholic prejudice sees the mote and ignores the beam in the eye of its own history. The irony of Bosco, a Californian, criticising any other organisation for its treatment of indigenous peoples, only has to be mention to be seen. In both cases, by our politically-correct standards, a form of ethnic cleansing was carried out; in both cases, by the standards of the day, the strong expropriated the weak – as was the case for most of human history and, speak it quietly, still is today (take a look at the Ukraine or Iraq).

There is plenty to criticise in terms of clericalism, censorship and pride – as is the case with every institution staffed by humans, and those who, poorly catechised, leave the Church provide, as they always have, a steady supply of rumours to keep the Protestant underworld happy. It is interesting that this prejudice continues to be strong, but not surprising. The devil knows where his enemy lies, he knows whose foot will crush his snake, and he knows where Christ’s Church exists – so it is not surprising he keeps up his fire against it. What is sad is that some who profess to worship Jesus, lend themselves to it.