"Or whether it’s the Roman Catholic Church who in times past would burn you at the stake for merely possessing the Scriptures in your native tongue, but who now settle for pompously looking down their noses at you for daring to hold God’s inspired, infallible Word above that of their fallible, uninspired popes, priests, and man-made traditions."
What a completely foolish and ignorant statement to make. Let's take the two parts separately. First, Pilgrim recalls the time in the church's past when heretics were burned at the stake. I am certainly not a supporter of this practice, and I find it regrettable and reprehensible, but I also don't like hypocrisy. Pilgrim levels this charge (which is true) while ignoring the same practice committed by Protestants.
Pilgrim, are you familiar with the name Michael Servetus? If not, he was the person John Calvin had burned at the stake for heresy. You hypocrite! If you're going to hold a Church's history against modern members, you had better check your own history first.
Perhaps Pilgrim recalls reading in U.S. History about the burning of witches at the stake in 17th century New England? Was it Catholics that were trumping up false charges of witchcraft, imprisoning people, and burning them at the stake. NO. What's the difference Pilgrim?
Then Pilgrim attempts to make a comparison between the burning at the stake episodes from the Church's distant past to the erroneous idea that the Church (leadership) looks down their noses at people who read the Bible.
I'm growing tired of people mischaracterizing Church teaching because:
- They aren't Catholic, don't know Catholic teaching, and listen to others in the same category.
- Are disgruntled former Catholics whose parents didn't teach them correctly. [More on this in a future blog post], or
- Know they are mischaracterizing Catholic Church teaching and do it anyway to further their own point of view.
Let me educate you Pilgrim, since I don't know which of these three categories you fall into. Throughout the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is the book that contains a description of all of the Church's current beliefs and teachings, the primary importance of the Bible as the Living and Incarnate Word of God is stressed again and again. Throughout the Catechism, it is the Bible that is quoted far more often than any other source, and when other sources are quoted, it is writings of great historical teachers who have written about the sacred Word, such as St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas.
I cannot think of a single instance where I have ever said to myself, "Hmmm...the Bible says X, but the Pope says Y. I know the Bible is the inspired Word of God, but I'll follow the Pope on this one." You know why? Because that isn't what we do, but that's exactly how you've portrayed us, Pilgrim. By doing so, you have discredited yourself and your blog, no matter what other things you say that are good and right. You can't be trusted.