Catholics are hung up on sex.
Rather: Isn’t the modern world hung up on sex? Catholics believe God gives us sexuality to bring new people into the world through a couple’s intimate union within the security and commitment of marriage. As such, GOD challenges us personally to discipline our sexual activity, rather than belittling it in casual or recreational sex. By contrast, think of the sensationalism and exploitation of sex in society today, where people use and abuse each other for instant gratification. All human beings grapple with various desires over which they have little direct control, but only when acted upon do they become sinful. This can either be by physically acting on the desire or by encouraging it through deliberately envisaging fantasies. Such desires include the temptation towards homosexual behaviour, intended to stimulate a sexual response regarding a person of the same sex. The Catholic Church teaches that these acts are always violations of divine and natural law, yet that homosexual desires are not in themselves sinful. Think of this in light of the Church’s emphasis on personal discipline, which applies to everyone’s sexuality. People tempted by homosexual desires, then, like people tempted by heterosexual desires, do not sin until they act upon those desires in some manner.
Catholics Worship Mary, Saints, Popes and are superstitious.
Rather: Catholics worship the Holy Trinity (God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit), three divine persons yet one God. Neither the Blessed Virgin Mary, Jesus’ mother, nor any other saintly Christians are worshipped, instead, we believe that in heaven they can intercede for us with Christ. We hear in John 2:1-12 of a wedding in Cana when Jesus miraculously turned water into wine after Mary had compassion on the hosts, who had exhausted their supplies, and asked him to help them. Catholics believe that Mary intercedes for us in the same way if we ask her. Likewise, we ask other saints to intercede for us, perhaps in struggles which the saint themselves shared during their lives or in relation to a particular association with their life. Religious objects are used as a reminder of a saint’s intercession and aid. One popular example is rosary beads during which we meditate on different Mysteries (or stages) in the life of Jesus and ask for his mother’s intercessions. Seeing such items as lucky charms with magical powers inherent to them is not their intent, likewise with statues or images in Catholic churches. Rather they serve to inspire us to prayer by reminding us of the examples of the life of Jesus and his followers. Finally, the pope, the leader of the Catholic Church on earth, is God’s physical steward and the successor of the first pope, Peter the Apostle. Like Peter, he does not replace Jesus on earth but guides us as we await His Return.
The Church Opposes Science:
Rather: A comfortable blend of science and Christianity has fuelled many important discoveries throughout history, often by Catholic priests such as Father Gregor Mendel (the father of genetics), Father Roger Bacon (the scientific method), Monsignor George S Lemaitre (proposed the Big Bang theory), Father Marin Mersenne (acoustics), Father William of Ockham (logic), and Father Henri Breuil (geology), while the Vatican Observatory has great antiquity in the field of astronomy. Today the perceived conflict of religion vs science is largely fuelled by certain scientists promoting their own atheist world view. Indeed it was because of Christian influence that Western Europe has been such a hot-bed of scientific discovery. Christian teaching that the laws of nature are given to us by a rational and orderly God, would have been at the centre of how many Christians approached their subjects; Copernicus, Newton, Kepler, Faraday, Maxwell, and Pasteur for example were all very religious men. To see that the world is intelligently designed, one need only study human genetic code, our reproductive systems, our eye, brain, immune system, or five senses; or likewise the water cycle or the cycles of the sun, the earth, the moon, and stars. From the Big Bang , the world and the universe with all of its timing and beauty occurred, which leads many people, through scientific logic, to conclude that it was the work of a master big banger, namely, God.
The Myth of Catholic Misogyny:
The Church’s history is full of women saints, chief amongst whom is the Virgin Mary, Our Lady, who was chosen by God as mother of Jesus Christ. She accepted with humility the greatest role a human being has ever been offered. Without Our Lady’s assent, Christ would not have been born and there would have been no Passion and Resurrection. Yet it cannot be glossed over that, in his institution of the priesthood, Christ selected twelve male apostles. Since He is our guide in all things, including who is called to be a priest, this apostolic tradition of a male priesthood must be followed, if we are to be true to Christ’s name. As men should not resent Mary’s high role as Mother of God, Christ’s selection of men for the priesthood was not to belittle women or cast them as inferior to men. Indeed, there are many Catholic women who have led extraordinary lives in the Church. One example is Mother Angelica who founded the global television network for evangelization, EWTN. Another is St Teresa of Kolkata (Mother Teresa) who is widely revered for her love and care for the poorest and most neglected and who had an ability to inspire and influence world leaders as well as the ordinary person in the pew.
Priestly Celibacy Caused the Sexual Abuse Crisis
Rather: Academic studies, often conducted by non-Catholic experts, have proven this to be categorically false (see for example Jenkins, (2010) noted in the link below). Celibate clergy are in fact no more likely to commit acts of abuse than married clergy in other denominations or lay people. High profile cases from the show-business industry in recent years have made this painfully apparent. This is not to justify the criminal acts of those abusive priests that do exist – nothing can excuse the sexual abuse of a minor – and, indeed, as with a teacher or family member, there is a further violation in the betrayal of trust in the priest’s position of care and responsibility. Yet the cases of a minority of individuals are often used to lampoon the image of the entire priesthood as deranged and lascivious. In our hypersexualised world, the Catholic priesthood is a rare surviving example of this discipline, which now appears alien to many. It is a centuries’ old discipline by which men voluntarily sacrifice a life with a spouse and family for the service of God, something which is lived out heroically by most priests. Likewise, while celibacy is made most public by priests, it also remains practised by female religious communities of nuns and sisters, while Catholic lay people also strive to live chaste lives until marriage