Anti-Catholic Christians are guilty of
offensive presumption and spiritual arrogance
The following is a response letter by ‘Father’ Patrick McCafferty to Paul Malcomson’s letter in the Irish News reference errror of the Roman Catholic Church. It is entitled, ‘Anti-Catholic Christians are guilty of offensive presumption and spiritual arrogance’.
WP MALCOMSON’S opposition to Orangeism (the Irish News, May 27) need not concern Catholic readers of the Irish News. However, his deeply offensive comments about the Catholic Church are to be utterly refuted. Mr Malcomson’ s ridiculous views have been the standard fare of anti-Catholic pulpits and mindsets for a long time. His reference, for example, to ‘tailor-made salvation on the flawed basis of good works’, merely reveals the depths of his ignorance about the actual teachings of our Church and what Catholics believe.
The tenor of his remarks show us that he has accepted unquestioningly – and ingested uncritically – the usual anti-Catholic propaganda so prevalent among anti-Catholics – and of which they are so fond. How far from what Mr Malcomson thinks is the truth of our faith and the immeasurable riches to which we – as Catholic Christians – already have access, in the person of Jesus Christ. Mr Malcomson mocks what he terms ‘rituals, teaching and practices’. He does not understand what he speaks of so dismissively.
How absurd for him to equate the sacred liturgy and divine worship of the Church with the peculiar activities of ‘the Orange and the Purple’. Sadly, Mr Malcomson does not want to understand Catholics and the faith we cherish. He unveils the immense spiritual myopia of those who think as he does when he lambasts both Orangeism and the Catholic Church, attempting to identify them together as the major culprits in our sorry situation on this island. He appears blind to the considerable contribution those of the so-called ‘evangelical’ persuasion have made to our problems.
Whether Mr Malcomson likes it or not, those of his mindset have significantly added to the deep divisions, fears, suspicions and misunderstandings that exist among us. This is so often the case with those who hold such opinions. Whether in the religious or political sphere – they are always in the right and everyone else is always in the wrong. There is, indeed, no shortage of ‘non Orange’, ‘evangelical’ ministers who have significantly contributed to the fomenting of religious hatred of Catholics with inflammatory polemics and poisonous invectives through the years.
Mr Malcomson should open the eyes of his spirit and look to his own house. When are Christians who think as he does going to repent and be converted? These types of professing Christian are guilty of an offensive presumption and spiritual arrogance. In their self-delusion about Catholics, they make the erroneous assumption that Catholics do not know and love Jesus Christ – that we have no access to a personal and living faith in Our Lord. They appoint themselves, therefore, as our ‘enlighteners’.
They are misled. We, as much as they, can have a real relationship of love with our saviour as Catholic Christians. “Catholic and Protestant can only truly be united in this land in Christ,” wrote Mr Malcomson. His notion, however, is that Catholics can only be in Christ – according to anti-Catholic rules – when they leave the Catholic Church. Nothing could be further from the truth. Thankfully, there are many Catholic and Protestant Christians who are united in their love for the Lord and who are striving together to overcome sectarianism and hatred in all its guises.
We are all in this mess together – those of Mr Malcomson’s persuasion no less than the adherents of Orangeism, the Catholic Church, Free Presbyterianism, or anyone else. We all have to repent of attitudes of contempt and animosity and seek to become more effective channels of God’s healing grace and love to one another.
FATHER PATRICK McCAFFERTY Belfast
Irish News Article by Roy Garland
Evangelical Response by Paul Malcomson
Response to Paul Malcomson by “Father” Patrick McCafferty
Response to “Father” Patrick McCafferty by Paul Malcomson
Second response to Paul Malcomson by “Father” Patrick McCafferty
Second response to “Father” Patrick McCafferty by Paul Malcomson
Response to Paul Malcomson by G. Donaghy
Response to G. Donaghy by Paul Malcomson