(Photo: Youtube.com via The Christian Post)
Dr. Christopher Kaczor, a Catholic and a professor of philosophy at Loyola Marymount University, has released a new book titled The Seven Big Myths about the Catholic Church: Distinguishing Fact from Fiction about Catholicism, which examines widespread misconceptions about the Roman Catholic Church that he says are driving people away from the faith.
"I think that these misconceptions do contribute to driving people away from the Church. They also sometimes help a person rationalize lack of religious practice. My hope is that this book will contribute to the New Evangelization and help some people to find the truth about the Church," Dr. Kaczor shared in a recent email interview with The Christian Post. The "New Evangelization" is a renewed effort by the Roman Catholic Church to encourage believers to share their faith with others.
Kaczor's work includes several other titles that examine key principles behind the Roman Catholic faith, including, The Ethics of Abortion: Women's Rights, Human Life, and the Question of Justice; Thomas Aquinas on the Cardinal Virtues; Life Issues - Medical Choices; and How to Stay Catholic in College.
The seven big myths identified in the book, each of which has its own chapter that goes deep into the issues, include: 1. The Church Opposes Science: The Myth of Catholic Irrationality; 2. The Church Opposes Freedom and Happiness: The Myth of Catholic Indifference to Earthly Welfare; 3. The Church Hates Women: The Myth of Catholic Misogyny; 4. Indifferent to Love, the Church Banned Contraception: The Myth of Opposition between Love and Procreation; 5. The Church Hates Gays: The Myth of Catholic "Homophobia" and Inaction against AIDS/HIV; 6. The Church Opposes Same-Sex Marriage Because of Bigotry: The Myth That There is No Rational Basis for Limiting Marriage to One Man and One Woman, 7. Priestly Celibacy Causes the Crisis of Sexual Abuse of Minors: The Myth of Priestly Pedophilia.
"The book covers issues that secular or non-religious people have with the Catholic Church. There are other myths that are common for Protestants to have about Catholics (e.g. that Catholics worship Mary) but this book focuses on myths that secular people or secularized Catholics believe. There are many such myths, but I limited my discussion to what I believe are the seven most important," Kaczor explained to CP.
The motivation behind Kaczor's book, published this month in hardcover by Ignatius Press, stems from the very first quote included in the book, written by the Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen: "There are not more than 100 people in the world who truly hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they perceive to be the Catholic Church."
Kaczor noted that misinformation and myths about important issues are very common in the contemporary world.
The psychology professor shared with CP some of the misconceptions he identifies in his book, including the first myth – that the Roman Catholic Church opposes science.
"The reality is that many of the most important scientists in the history were Catholic, and the Church supports scientific investigation in its universities throughout the world," the professor shared.
"In fact, psychological research suggests that activities (such as service to others, forgiveness, and gratitude) long advocated by the Church increase happiness," Dr. Kaczor noted about the second myth – that the Roman Catholic Church opposes freedom and happiness.
On the topic of the Roman Catholic Church and women, he said: "The reality is that the Church serves more women (as well as men and children) than any other institution in the world."
The Seven Big Myths has received praise from some notable Roman Catholic Church figures, including the Most Rev. José H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles, who wrote: "Christopher Kaczor is one of our finest young Catholic philosophers. In The Seven Big Myths about the Catholic Church, he shows that he is also one of our finest defenders of the Catholic faith. This is essential reading for the new evangelization."