Catholic slice misrepresented

By  Anna-Therese Pierlot, Youth Speak News
  • June 5, 2009
Everybody goes through phases where they think nobody understands them, myself included. But over the last few years, and recently especially, I have begun to feel that many people just don’t seem to understand my religion.

Why? I’m not a member of some obscure cult; I’m a Catholic. Catholicism is a major world religion and definitely a good slice of the religious pie here in Canada. But somehow many people still have no idea what it’s all about. In school I often get asked why we Catholics “worship the Pope or the saints,” why we “force baptism on babies” instead of letting them choose later and why we “call that piece of bread God.”

Even Catholics I know don’t fully understand their faith. Just a few weeks ago a Catholic friend of mine said, “Well, I’m a Catholic and all that, but sometimes I just go to the Protestant churches for Sunday instead. It’s all the same anyway, it’s just a matter of opinion mostly.”

It’s all the same? What’s going on here?

Another friend of mine (non-Catholic) has tried to explain to me on more than one occasion how the popes were mostly corrupt and greedy men, living in their luxurious palaces in Rome, either wreaking havoc or “preaching a peace never attained.”

To be fair though, most of these people aren’t “out to get” Catholics. Whether through school, the media or the bad example of some Catholics, these students have got a very distorted image of Catholicism which comes through not only in their questioning and accusations, but also in the general attitude towards what they think is Catholicism.

I sometimes get groans or rolling eyes when I speak up in class about something the teacher may have said regarding the Catholic Church or other matters related to faith and morals. For a young Catholic, this can become very wearisome and discouraging when what we really need is support and understanding. This means some things have to change, and that change starts with ourselves.

It’s a sad reality that many simply don’t understand the Catholic Church or her teachings, but it is by no means a necessary reality. We live in an age of information technology; I could send an e-mail and somebody in China could know what I had for breakfast before I even reach school. So there’s no problem regarding how to spread the truth; what we need now are people to spread it.

We must be serious about understanding our own faith; how else can we help others understand it? Most importantly however, we must pray for the church and those who misunderstand and oppose her, and for guidance in our own lives when we are confronted with questions of faith. After all, in the end it is God, not us, who has the power to change hearts.

(Pierlot, 17, is a Grade 12 student at Morell Regional High School in Morell, P.E.I.)

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location
Type the text presented in the image below

Support The Catholic Register

Unlike many other news websites, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our site. We want to keep our award-winning journalism as widely available as possible. But we need your help.

For more than 125 years, The Register has been a trusted source of faith based journalism. By making even a small donation you help ensure our future as an important voice in the Catholic Church. If you support the mission of Catholic journalism, please donate today. Thank you.