Thursday, March 20, 2008

Being a Proud Catholic

I thought this post would be appropriate for Holy Thursday. And I don't mean to get on a soap box here. I just think it's important to really be cognizant of the issue of whether or not the Catholic Church is being fairly represented in the media. Many times I find myself envious of Evangelical Christians for not being afraid to tout their faith regardless of the repercussions it may have in the "real world" outside of the church walls.

If you're Catholic, hopefully you'll go away holding your head a bit higher. And if you're not, hopefully you'll go away with just a bit more respect for the Catholic Church.

The following are excerpts of a speech by well known Cleveland businessman Sam Miller at the City Club of Cleveland, given on March 6, 2008. It is important to point out that Miller is of the Jewish faith. It was published in the May-June issue of the Buckeye Bulletin. To see the full speech click here. Hat tip goes to my mother-in-law for passing this along to me.

Why would newspapers carry on a vendetta on one of the most important institutions that we have today in the United States, namely the Catholic Church?

Do you know - the Catholic Church educates 2.6 million students everyday at the cost to your Church of 10 billion dollars, and a savings on the other hand to the American taxpayer of 18 billion dollars. Your graduates go on to graduate studies at the rate of 92%, all at a cost to you. To the rest of the Americans it's free.

The Church has 230 colleges and universities in the U.S. with an enrollment of 700,000 students. The Catholic Church has a non-profit hospital system of 637 hospitals, which account for hospital treatment of 1 out of every 5 people - not just Catholics - in the United States today.

But the press is vindictive and trying to totally denigrate in every way the Catholic Church in this country. They have blamed the disease of pedophilia on the Catholic Church, which is as irresponsible as blaming adultery on the institution of marriage. Let me give you some figures that you as Catholics should know and remember. For example, 12% of the 300 Protestant clergy surveyed admitted to sexual intercourse with a parishioner; 38% acknowledged other inappropriate sexual contact in a study by the United Methodist Church, 41.8 % of clergywomen reported unwanted sexual behavior; 17% of laywomen have been sexually harassed. Meanwhile, 1.7% of the Catholic clergy has been found guilty of pedophilia. 10% of the Protestant ministers have been found guilty of pedophilia. This is not a Catholic Problem.

A study of American priests showed that most are happy in the priesthood and find it even better than they had expected, and that most, if given the choice, would choose to be priests again in face of all this obnoxious PR the church has been receiving.

The Catholic Church is bleeding from self-inflicted wounds. The agony that Catholics have felt and suffered is not necessarily the fault of the Church. You have been hurt by a small number of wayward priests that have probably been totally weeded out by now.

Walk with your shoulders high and you head higher. Be a proud member of the most important non-governmental agency in the United States. Then remember what Jeremiah said: "Stand by the roads, and look and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is and walk in it, and find rest for your souls". Be proud to speak up for your faith with pride and reverence and learn what your Church does for all other religions. Be proud that you're a Catholic.


  1. Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

  2. Hi. Your blog has some good stuff in it.
    I'm not sure what happened, but I tried to follow the link to the text of Sam Miller's speech and it wasn't there. It took me to this place
    Can you repost the link or help me find the speech?
    Thanks, Eric.


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