I am a Catholic layperson.
I am not a priest or a monk or a bishop, nor am I an accredited theologian or canon lawyer.
I am not employed by the Catholic Church, nor do I represent it in any legal way.
I am simply a practicing Catholic who cares greatly about understanding his Church.
Over the years that I have been a fully initiated Roman Catholic since the year 2000, I have found myself the subject of many attacks and accusations against the validity of my beliefs ranging from simple disagreement to a vehement hatred of everything I stood for.
As I matured in my faith and my understanding of the Church, I began to notice more and more that I was addressing the same subjects over and over again. Most of the time, they were not attacks against anything that I actually believe or do, but rather, what people mistakenly think that the Catholic Church teaches or requires of it's people. In essence, I was mostly responding to prejudicial notions about Catholicism, not legitimate gripes about real Catholic practice. This wasn't universally true, but it took up the majority of these kinds of conversations.
Getting into the second decade of the 21st century, I actually found myself getting really tired of repeating myself. Answering these accusations thoroughly in a sincere attempt to dispel a deeply rooted prejudice is no small task and I had done it hundreds of times at this point. At best, I found that I felt significantly discouraged each time I heard one of these questions or accusations as it was quickly becoming a reminder that the way that I responded to them wasn't making much of a dent in public perception and that it was likely I'd be responding to the same 10 or so misconceptions about the Catholic Church over and over again for the rest of my life. I've also found that many of the people I have answered have either not listened or have utterly dismissed everything I've had to say altogether in favor of their original misconception, I suppose because they think I am lying or that I have been duped by the Church, which is just kind of an insult to my intelligence at best and doesn't do much in the way of encouraging me to continue to do this. It's not a good attitude for me to have.
Right around there, I decided that maybe I should start taking my responses and compiling them together in one place where they could be easily accessed the next time I was approached on any given subject. That is the intention of this blog.
One important thing to keep in mind here is that I don't actually take personal responsibility for changing your mind on anything. It's likely that most of the people who read something on here will walk away disagreeing with me anyway. I don't really believe that my words, no matter how eloquent they might get (no promises there), actually have any power to change the mind of a human being unless God decides to use them to do that somehow.
One thing that I do hope, though, and this will require the sincere participation of the reader, is that you might walk away disagreeing with something that I actually believe and practice rather than some common misconception about what I believe and practice.
If you have a sincere question about the Catholic Church, you can e mail me here.