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Bosco’s continued presence here prompts a few reflections in anti-Catholicism. His own blog is full of bile about the Catholic Church. What should be the attitude towards someone with such an attitude posting comments on a blog which does not share that biliousness? On my part of it my view is clear. Those who wish to engage in serious argument and can keep their language clean are welcome; those who wish to insult others can find some other place to do it.

There is nothing original in Bosco’s arguments. Jack Chick’s sad little tracts are the modern source for myths which were well-described by Edward Norman in his book on anti-Catholicism in Victorian England. The Internet age is the perfect breeding ground for those myths. Simply stating something is so is not showing that it is – but on the Internet it is enough.

It beggars belief that an intelligent person can give credence to legends about Babylonian fish hats and beads; but anyone who thinks that the letters IHS stand for ‘Isis, Horus and Seth’ will believe anything. Christians hold the name of Jesus to be above all names. ‘IHS’ is a Christogram used by early Christians and represents the first three letters of ‘ IHSOUS’ – the Greek version of Jesus.

It is equally staggering that anyone can claim that just because someone bows their head towards a cross on which there is a representation of the King of Glory, that they are ‘worshipping’ the object and not whom it represents. Fathoming the depth of ignorance which makes assumptions about what is in the hearts of another by their action is something few would wish to do. No Christian worships a statue; anyone who seriously makes that claim about a Christian disqualifies himself from that description.

Veneration of the Virgin Mary is something which goes back further than our written records. Luther and Calvin both venerated Mary. Orthodox Christians do so. A small minority of all the Christians who have ever lived do not. That minority needs to be acquainted with the history of their faith.

Christ wrote no book. It was not until the early fourth century that there was anything like an agreed Canon. Christians in the first century did not go around saying ‘where is that in Scripture?’ How strange that those who wish to be like the first Christians should be so unlike them and refer everything to a book which they did not have.

There is not the slightest point referring to all the sins committed by those in the Catholic Church. That is not a proof it is not God’s Church. No Christian is impeccable. Even the successor of St. Peter, who is infallible on issues of doctrine and faith under certain closely defined conditions, is not impeccable, or, outside those conditions, infallible. It is those who claim to read the hearts of others who claim general infallibility for themselves, something far in excess of anything any Pope has even thought to claim.

In the beginning Christ had twelve Apostles. One of them betrayed Him to His enemies, the rest ran away at His hour of greatest need; the modern Church is no better than the Apostles.

There are many reasons for supposing that the Catholic Church has been a less than perfect vehicle for the spread of the Gospel, and all of them lie in the sinfulness of man. That is why we all stand in need of redemption.

A baseline definition of ‘Christian’ would be one who believes in the ancient creeds. Having belonged to three such churches, I am happy with that definition. It happens that for me the Catholic Church is the one which best fits. I have no problems with any Church which accepts the creeds. I have no time for those churches which are built on no more than emotionalism. There is a content to Christianity; always has been; will be until He comes again.

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