Catholic Exceptionalism Has Developed an Inferiority Complex





I recently saw some videos wherein young Catholics at the recent March for Life were asked if the Catholic Church is superior to all other religions.  The vast majority of these young people, who should be commended for supporting life under brutal conditions, seemed to shy away from the word “superior”.  Many of them answered “no” and some of those, when later asked to provide more detail in their answer, seemed to not want to offend or insult anyone or hurt anyone’s feelings.  Since when has the word “superior” become a curse word?  Since our society began to worship what I will call militant, rampant, and non-conditional equality. This so-called equality demands that people spread the wealth, spread the love, spread the pain, spread the gain and, ultimately, only succeeds in spreading something for more organic and fertilizing.

We believe that we are all created in the Image of God, and that we are all God’s children. As Catholics we not only believe that Jesus Christ came down to us to provide us with the opportunity for eternal salvation, but that we receive His Body and Blood at Mass, which is not a glorified meal but, rather, a re-enactment of Christ’s sacrifice for us on the cross. We also believe that Christ was born of the Virgin Mary, and that She, like Her Son, was born and lived without sin.  We love and honor Mary as our ally in the struggle for salvation. That effort is a struggle, not because Christ made it so but, rather, because we make it so with our human weakness, inconsistency, disloyalty, selfishness, and disobedience as personified in sin.  We believe that we need to unburden our sin through the Sacrament of Confession before a priest, and to feed our souls, minds, and hearts with the Body and Blood of Christ as often as possible to help us in our struggle for salvation.  We believe that the Bible is the Word of God, and that the Pope is God’s representative on earth.  

We also believe that the great privilege and blessing of being a Catholic carries with it a similarly great responsibility and duty, which is to live according to a higher standard than that practiced by this world, and by other faiths. In addition to following God’s Word, as well as seeking and accepting God’s Will as best we can define that Will, we are expected to combine God’s Word in the Bible with Christ’s example in both the Bible and the Gospels to serve as messengers and models of salvation for this world. We are not called to bash, humiliate, or mock other faiths, for Christ did not do that but, rather, to lovingly and consistently exhibit words, actions, and examples which will encourage others to seek salvation through our faith.  Being Catholic is a gift we should want to share with others out of love, not a burden or a toy which we should endure or play with.

If you found a great electronic device, or a fantastic recipe, or an awesome website,  which you thought would transform the lives of those you love, wouldn’t you tell them about it, and even try to convince them to give it a try?  If you were selfish, you might keep this information to yourself, but then you would not be following Christ’s example and, ironically, endangering your own salvation while neglecting that of others.  By telling them about this item, process, or place that you saw as so special, would you be necessarily be telling them that all other electronic devices, recipes, or websites were total garbage, useless trash with no redeeming value whatsoever?  Of course not, yet this redistribution society wants to pretend that, unless we say everything is equal, we are saying that everything, and everybody, outside of our agenda is worthless garbage.

Another insidious influence of this society is that we are told to question and suspect everything said and  done by those who have, blindly favor  and defend everthing said and done by those who have not, and assume and even demand that everyone, regardless of merit or qualification, should be equal.  Thus, everyone is going to Heaven no matter what, and nobody will go to a Hell because that would just be wrong and mean or, because, God would never have a Hell in the first place.

This society and world loves to call itself “progressive”, “modern”, “sensitive”,  and “tolerant”  yet it is least forward thinking, advanced, caring, or tolerant with regard to those who disagree with the accepted or popular thinking or opinion regarding the deepest and most intimate of matters.  At the end of the day, this world and society are about subjective morality built on rampant, militant, and blind equality with no foundation in truth or merit.  If all go to Heaven no matter what, what is the value of holiness and the consequence of sin?  If everyone and everything everyone believes is equal, there will never be a need to seek the light since that light will be everywhere.  The truth told, there is darkness, and light, in varying degrees, as one moves farther, or closer, to God in varying degrees.  The truth told, only God can judge who is, and who is not, worthy of salvation.  

At the end of the day, we should proudly believe that, if we are faithful and practicing Catholics,  we will be further down that path toward God, and that we will be judged by how well we loved others enough to help them along that same path.  That certainly seems unique, special, and exceptional to me, and is clearly something we should be willing to proudly and assertively proclaim to others. So, please, for the sake of your own salvation and that of those you can touch, rip off your Catholic inferiority complex and proudly wear your hat of Catholic Exceptionalism. This is not about putting other down but, rather, about lifting them up.  What do you think?

Copyright, 2014,  Gabriel Garnica,  All rights reserved.


2 thoughts on “Catholic Exceptionalism Has Developed an Inferiority Complex

  1. joe says:

    The problem is that you seem to suggest that Catholicism is the absolute truth, that other religions are in fact inferior. Calling on others to preach this “truth” to others is the epitome of ego-centrism, and thus a fallacy, as we cannot be solely defined by our “ego”. Why is it acceptable to create laws based upon your religious ideals without the concern of those who do not follow that belief?

    • The point of the article was not to bash other faiths but to argue that, in order to effectively evangelize, Catholics must believe that their faith is nothing to be ashamed of, that they must not compromise that faith, and that salvation is ultimately not about considering others’ feelings. I will not tell Catholics what to believe regarding their faith other than to implore them to proudly stand up for it, rather than spent every waking minute apologizing, patronizing, and hiding, for it. If one is not proud of being Catholic and unwilling to dilute one’s faith, then exactly what kind of messenger of that faith will one be?

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