Five Anti-Catholic Myths
Slavery, Crusades, Inquisition, Galileo, Holocaust

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Summary
 


The myths we are going to analyze in this book claim to lay bare the “dirty history” of the Catholic Church. These are myths fabricated by people with a strong bias against the Catholic Church. They are based more on fiction than on non-fiction. They distort the facts. Catholics seem to be a perfect target for these kinds of attacks — partially because they tend to remain silent in the face of cultures that are largely hostile to all things Catholic.
Well, the Catholic Church’s “dirty history” is not that dirty at all. As Pope Leo XIII once said, the Catholic Church has no rea-son to fear historical truth. Yet, some Catholics as well as many non-Catholics often see history through a lens that has been shaped by post-Reformation propaganda or by 18th century Enlightenment prejudices. Just as these myths served a purpose then, they still serve a purpose in today’s secularist climate.
 


Table of Contents
 


MYTH #1: SLAVERY UNDER A CATHOLIC VEIL
	A.	SLAVERY AS AN INSTITUTION
		1.	Slavery in the Old Testament
		2.	The Roots of Slavery
	B.	DID CHRISTIANS EVER OPPOSE SLAVERY?
		3.	Christians Were Surrounded by Slavery
		4.	Beacons of Light
	C.	DID CATHOLIC MORALS CHANGE?
		5.	A Change, but of What?
		6.	The Yeast of Society
	D.	DID CHURCH TEACHING CHANGE?
		7.	Is There a Biblical Foundation?
		8.	Continuity with Change
MYTH #2: CRUSADES, CATHOLIC AGGRESSION
	A.	THE HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES
		9.	The Bare Facts
		10.	The Original Motives
	B.	WHERE DID THINGS GO WRONG?
		11.	What Went Wrong?
		12.	Another Detrimental Incident
	C.	A WAR BETWEEN MUSLIMS AND CHRISTIANS
		13.	Who Are the Aggressors?
		14.	Do We All Have the Same God?
	D.	THE BATTLE FOR JERUSALEM
		15.	Christian Claims on Jerusalem
		16.	Muslim Claims on Jerusalem
MYTH #3: THE CATHOLIC INQUISITION
	A.	THE TARGET OF THE INQUISITION
		17.	Combatting Heresy
		18.	A Different Assessment
	B.	WHY DID THE INQUISITION TARGET THE JEWS?
		19.	Pogroms and Anti-Semitism
		20.	The Other Side of the Story
	C.	WHERE DID THE INQUISITION GO ASTRAY?
		21.	Jews, Protestants, and Witches
		22.	Torture and Execution
	D.	THE PROBLEM OF HERESY
		23.	The Danger of Heresy
		24.	How to Deal with Heresy
MYTH #4: GALILEO MUZZLED BY THE CHURCH
	A.	THE SCIENCE OF GALILEO
		25.	The Good Part
		26.	The Not-So-Good Part
	B.	SUPPORT OF THE CHURCH
		27.	What Galileo Gained
		28.	What Galileo Lost
	C.	WHAT KIND OF CONFLICT WAS IT?
		29.	How Obvious Were Galileo’s Facts?
		30.	Faith and Reason Complement Each Other
	D.	CHURCH SUPPORT FOR SCIENCE
		31.	Biblical Support for Science
		32.	Papal Support for Science
MYTH #5: THE HOLOCAUST, A CATHOLIC PLOT
	A.	THE DRIVING FORCE BEHIND THE HOLOCAUST
		33.	Rooting out Christianity
		34.	Satanic Motivations
	B.	WHY THE JEWS IN PARTICULAR?
		35.	God’s Chosen People
		36.	Did Hitler Succeed?
	C.	DID THE CATHOLIC CHURCH PROTEST?
		37.	Local Responses
		38.	Papal Responses
	D.	PIUS XII AND THE JEWS
		39.	Hitler’s Pope?
		40.	The Pope’s Jews
CONCLUSION
SUGGESTED READING
INDEX


INDEX




Reviews
 


Dr. Gerard Verschuuren has written an extremely valuable and thoughtful response to issues Catholics encounter from an often doubtful and often cynical world. Each of the five issues is well researched and thoroughly covered, avoiding excessive defensiveness, yet insisting on fairness and accuracy from our critics. Historical issues are usually complex and require context and careful analysis. Dr. Verschuuren provides that here in rich abundance.
This book is a gift to Catholics, historians, and also for critics who seek thorough and thoughtful analysis.

Msgr. Charles Pope
Our Sunday Visitor Columnist and blogger
Pastor at Holy Comforter - St Cyprian Parish, Washington, DC.

Is anti-Catholicism the last acceptable prejudice in America? It is certainly one of the oldest, besides being alive and well today. In “Five Anti-Catholic Myths,” Dr. Gerard Verschuuren provides a clear, forceful, and eminently factual refutation of some of the foundational slurs aimed at the Church.
Here is apologetics that's timely, intelligent, and done with a flare.

Russell Shaw
Consultor of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications
Adjunct professor at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome
Former Secretary for Public Affairs of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops/US Catholic Conference

Mary Ann Glendon, professor of law at Harvard has stated that “it must be hard for Catholics brought up on movies and TV to avoid the impression that their Church holds a special niche in some historical hall of shame.” We can be grateful to Dr. Verschuuren for correcting that unfortunate misconception. He has provided anyone who is interested in being liberated from anti-Catholic mythology a valuable service. His Five Anti-Catholic Myths is readable, reliable, and rewarding.
I commend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about the truth of Catholic history and to counteract those unenlightened historians who use Catholicism as a scapegoat for whatever they happen to dislike.

Dr. Donald T. DeMarco
Professor Emeritus, St. Jerome’s University
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

"Five Anti-Catholic Myths is an eye-opening resource and an excellent starting point for those who would explore controversial episodes of history. It is also a book which highlights the need for a radical alternative to the self-righteous progressive triumphalism so prevalent in Western discourse."

— Jerry Salyer in The Catholic World Report, 11/30/15

"Gerard M. Verschuuren’s book is an excellent guide to these controversial topics and a very useful corrective to what many see as some of the most dangerous anti-Catholic myths of our times."

— Donal Foley in The Irish Catholic

"The myths examined in this wonderfully readable work are slavery, the Crusades, the Inquisition, Galileo and the Holocaust. [...] There are many other anti-Catholic myths. However, the author helps us destroy five of the biggest. This is an important book for Catholic apologists."

— DR PRAVIN THEVATHASAN
Catholic Medical Quarterly

"I think the author did a good job of presenting the material in a fair and interesting way. I especially liked the way he handled controversial topics like the inquisition. Overall, a well delivered study and an interesting book."

— Roy T. James on Readers' Favorite

"The information in this slim volume is excellent, but to debunk the anti-Catholic myths in the minds of many will take more of a sheepish grin than an angry snarl. This task must, therefore, fall to the readers of Verschuuren’s mostly praiseworthy book."

— John T. Goerke in National Catholic Register

"Five Anti-Catholic Myths is well written and well considered, faithful without being pugnacious, and myth-busting without being a whitewash."

— Christopher Beiting in New Oxford Review (April 2016)

Interview with Ken Huck on Ave Maria Radio

Listen to the Audio (August 2016)