Anti-Catholicism on the Net

You will know the truth,
and the truth will make you free!

Cognoscetis veritatem et veritas liberabit vos!


What is anti-Catholicism?

This page is devoted to identifying anti-Catholicism on the Web. Anti-Catholicism (like anti-Semitism in some ways) is not easy to define. I am often tempted to apply the "definition" of pornography advanced by Justice Stewart of the United States Supreme Court: "I can't define it, but I know it when I see it."

My definition is drawn from the history of anti-Catholicism in America: I believe that modern anti-Catholicism continues (with some interesting variations) the religious themes of the Protestant Reformation and the secular (anti-clerical) themes of the Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment periods. In the United States these two strands became intertwined in nineteenth century Nativism, and they have continued (though attenuated) up to the present. Their presence on the Web simply reflects the fact that all kinds of ideas (mainstream and marginal) are now disseminated in this way.

Anti-Catholic themes may be loosely categorized as follows:

  1. attacking Catholicism as being un-Christian or a cult (in the pejorative and not the sociological sense);

  2. ridiculing or misinterpreting Catholic doctrine or practice;

  3. ascribing to the Catholic Church a sinister role in an anti-Christian or anti-American conspiracy;

  4. distorting or taking out of context illegal or scandalous behavior (especially sexual misconduct) by Catholic clergy or laity.

I label a web-site as anti-Catholic if it falls into one or more of the above categories. Obviously, there are some gray areas: How to distinguish between anti-Catholicism and legitimate differences with the Catholic Church? Further, given the ever widening sexual scandal which has engulfed the Catholic Church in the past few years, a great deal of material has appeared on the Net which is highly critical of the Catholic Church but which cannot be considered anti-Catholic. How to decide when a site crosses the line? These are difficult questions and I have indicated any site about which I have doubts. I am always willing to discuss this question with anyone who disagrees with me. Surprisingly, only one person has ever challenged my description of his site as anti-Catholic; even more surprisingly, a number of webmasters have written and asked that their sites be linked. (One correspondant asked if his site was not "anti-Catholic enough" to be included.)

Over the years, a number of people have urged me to label as anti-Catholic any site containing the views of Catholics who are dissenting from the teachings of the Church hierarchy. (Most of these are liberal, but there are a few conservative ones. Examples of such sites can be found by searching for "liberal catholic" and "anti-catholic" on any search engine.) I have refused and will continue to do so. My goal is to document the continuing presence on the Net of one of the oldest prejudices in America, and I do not want to be sidetracked by the internecine wars within Catholicism.

When I first created this site (roughly 10 years ago), my goal was to be comprehensive and provide a link to every anti-Catholic site on the web. Up to the last revision in 2000 this was possible (barely). However, in recent years the number of such sites has grown exponentially and I am no longer able to link to them all. In this most recent revision my goal is to update all the links and add some of the many links which have been sent to me in the past four years. I welcome all suggestions for new links, even if I am not able to add every one which is sent to me.

On August 13, 2004, I completed a major overhaul of this site, the first since August, 2000. In the future I hope to make more frequent updates.

On August 24, 2005, I completed a minor update. I hope to add a large collection of links which were sent to me by a reader in the near future.

Finally, a personal note: I am a Roman Catholic and a lay Franciscan brother. My views are not easily categorized as either "liberal" or "conservative" since I hold strong views in both directions. (Some indication of this can be seen by the links on my personal home-page.) I became interested in anti-Catholicism in America when I was in college and I found a copy of Keith Green's The Catholic Chronicles outside a Catholic Church. This web site was a natural outgrowth.

The rest of this site is organized as follows:

 

I strongly encourage questions, comments and discussion on this topic.

Please send me e-mail: david.cruzuribe@trincoll.edu

Go to my personal home-page.

Go to my professional home-page.


Site last updated 08/24/05. The views expressed in this site are my own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer, Trinity College.