23 Catholic Facts That Will Make You Look Really Smart

Get epic articles in your inbox daily!

  • cminca

    Hospitals, Schools, Charities and Universities all existed in ancient Greece, and ancient Egypt, and China predating the CC.
    Sorry to upset your “reality” with facts.

    • Shaune Scott

      The caption says “much of the rise”, not all of it.

      • cminca

        and that phrase modifies “Western Civilization” but not the second part of the statement.

    • Ronky

      Firstly they had all long disappeared before the Church became influential in the 5th century and began the creation of Western civilization.
      Secondly, the “hospitals”, “charities” and “universities” you refer to were quite different in concept and practice from the institutions invented by the Catholic Church which we have today throuighout the West (and most of the rest of the world).
      Thirdly it is preposterous to claim that ancient China was part of Western civilization. Also incorrect to say so about ancient Egypt.

      • cminca

        This is all part of the Catholic thought process that all good comes from, and no bad has ever been perpetrated by, the church. And that is BS.

        Egypt had ties to ancient Rome, which absorbed ancient Greece–which was actually the basis of Western civilization. You know–government, law, courts, etc. And if it wasn’t for the Roman empire the spread of Christianity wouldn’t have happened as fast or, possibly, as far.

        And remember–that “civilization” that the church “invented” stagnated until the Renaissance which–wait for it–was based on classical knowledge.

        • Ronky

          Re your first paragraph, I have never heard of any Catholic who has said or even thought such an absurd idea. I have certainly given you no reason to think that I think that. Strawman fallacy.
          Re your second paragraph, totally agree, and it is perfectly consistent with what I said.
          Re your third paragraph – utter nonsense – the “Black Legend” invented by bigoted protestants and later spread (and perhaps even believed) by even more bigoted atheists.

          • cminca

            All evidence to the contrary….

          • You seem to have a real disdain for the Church – so much so that you feel the need to visit a website that is going to be of interest only to religious people just to troll that site in the comments. Why is that?

          • cminca

            “Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer.”
            I also like to correct the preening self-righteousness and point out the LIES stated in support of the bigotry.
            You know–like when Christopher Stanfick states in a You Tube video that “no Catholic Bishop has ever called out for violence against gays”. And when it is pointed out to him, with citation, that there are at least times that is false, he claims the fact that he is wrong “proves” his point. And he gets belligerent about it.
            Tell me Fr. –if a woman claims she’s a virgin on her wedding night would it “prove” her point if she had slept with only 3 men?
            Or like when the Catholics claim that “the law” has shut down adoption agencies because they refuse to place children with qualified gay parents. When in truth the agencies had a choice–either operate with taxpayer money, or service ALL the taxpayers that fund the agency.
            Or like when anti-choice Catholics claim the public shouldn’t fund PP because the money given them means they have more money to perform abortions–which somehow translates to ipso-facto funding abortions. Because then I have real problem with the WH Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships providing over 50% of Catholic Charities annual budget. Because using your “logic” the taxpayers are ipso-facto funding Catholicism. At, I might add, 5000 times (yes–5000 X) the amount of the money given to PP. (Not to mention how many Catholics go on-line crowing about how much more generous the CC is than the rest of the world–while their doing it with MY money.)
            Or like when the CC shuffles priest guilty of sexual abuse–and the new Pope condones CRIMINAL behavior. It is a CRIME to abuse a child. Being a Catholic cleric doesn’t make you above the law. Governor Ventura said it best when he questioned why the CC wasn’t being investigated under RICO statutes.
            Or like when you claim to “love the sinner” while calling me “intrinsically disordered”. So you can believe me when I hate the bigotry, the self-righteousness, the hypocrisy, and the lies. But I “love” the self-righteous, hypocritical, lying, bigoted institution. Now–don’t you feel all bathed in my love?
            Would you like me to go on or have I satisfied your curiosity?

          • Wow. That’s a lot of anger. I wonder if you’re upset with the Church as a whole, with a few individual Catholics (there have been several billion through history…) or with Jesus, Himself. I don’t know that anyone is silly enough to claim that no Christian (or no Catholic) has ever sinned and fallen short of the glory of God… People fail one another all the time. People also fail God. Hence Jesus’ talk about forgiveness. If He didn’t expect failure – and lots of it – that whole central aspect of His mission wouldn’t make much sense.

            None of that, though, seems to explain why you’re trolling a forum for a website of people who don’t seem to be rabidly supporting any of the stuff that infuriates you. Picking a fight isn’t really the same as trying to help people understand you rightly. I’d actually be very happy to hear more. What do you hope to accomplish?

          • cminca

            You, and the corrupt con game that passes for your religion, have nothing to offer me. I don’t need the CC to have a relationship with God. You may have a lot of people fooled on that score, but not me.

            What do I hope to accomplish? Asked and answered.

          • So you want to accomplish assuring a bunch of people you don’t know that you’re not interested in becoming Catholic?

          • cminca

            No–keeping an eye on the enemy and popping a few self-inflated egos.

            But please–do answer my questions.

          • Jack

            I completely respect your opinion and I understand why you’re angry and I have to say as a Catholic I’m somewhat disgusted by some members of the Church. But one must understand that the Church is an organization made by God and run by people, so of course there is error. As it has been throughout history there are bad people, and there are many bad people in the church who misuse religion as an excuse for evil.

            So I encourage you to check out the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It’s very informative and really covers what Catholics believe, even if Catholics you know or have heard about don’t actually adhere to these beliefs we can help them the best way we can… By spreading knowledge and not anger

          • cminca

            “…an organization made by God…”

            You know–it is very easy to be led to that conclusion when the organization was the one that edited the source material that supplies that conclusion.

            Why should I care about the CC rulebook when, by your own admission, the players aren’t following them?

            “…we can help them the best way we can… By spreading knowledge and not anger.”

            OK–here’s some knowledge for you. You don’t need an organization to have a relationship with God.

            When Christ was asked how to pray what did he say? “Our Father, who art in heaven….” Do you need a corporation to speak with your father? (Actually, the word in Aramaic is ABBA, which is a term of familiar endearment from a child to a parent of either sex.)

            Do you think He meant to say “Our Father, who needs to be approached according to the dictates of a multinational corporation and its by-laws as per the instructions of the Chairman, the board, the divisional VPs and the branch managers, who art in heaven….”?

            In order to baffle the audience an illusionist sets up a plausible diversion. The hierarchy, the incense, the costumes, the set design, the dogma, the rituals–are all plausible diversions to keep the audience from believing the truth–that they don’t need the church to intercede with God. The real point of the Catholic Church? Money, power, and the perpetuation of both for the inner members of the organization.

            Or, as Mark Twain put it–“Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.”

            (Just so we are clear–RELIGION was invented. Not God. RELIGION.)

          • Jack

            Ok, I understand, I never said one needs the Catholic Church to get to God, I believe that prayer and the sacraments, and being a good person is truly what gets you to heaven. The rituals are purely there to honor God.

            One big reason that the Catholic Church is such an institution with different sections and various different leader is because of how big it is and how hard management is. Those who run the Catholic Church try to balance Charity with money management and try to make sure the message of the Church can still be understood in today’s world

            As for the Organization led by God part I’m saying this purely because that’s what the Catholic Church was founded on. The idea that It was supposed to teach people about the faith, guide people to God, and try to interpret the Scripture. The part that it’s an organization led by God is from the bible and because I don’t know how you view the Bible, I will refrain from arguing for or against it.

            I very much respect your opinions and have to say that you’re more of an intellect than I am, so I would suggest that you ask some of the deeper questions for more qualified and educated church members. They’ll be able to provide more detailed and in-depth answers

          • cminca

            BTW Father–you didn’t answer my questions.

            Would having sex “prove” a woman is a virgin?

            Is lying about the reason behind closing an adoption agency something the CC should be doing? Should they be proud of it? Isn’t lying against the 9th commandment–or don’t the commandments apply when done in the “service” of the church?

            Why should I–as a non-Catholic–be funding the CC? Why should I fund Catholic proseletyzing? Because we all know that the real point of the CC is “pray, pay, and obey”.

            Tell me why the RICO statutes not be applied to an organization that is actively thwarting the execution of justice in the US? How has the CC acted any differently than the mafia in relation to the law?

            How could you possible come away with the idea that I am angry when I’ve clearly told you that I love the institution–just hate the lying, the bigotry, the hypocrisy and the self-righteousness?

            I answered your questions–now you answer mine.

          • Cminca,

            Again, I’m sorry you’re so very angry. It may surprise you to know that I don’t have detailed explanations for the choices made or the allegations levied against some individuals in a Church of 1.2 Billion people. I hope you won’t think it’s rude to say that neither of us have anything resembling the whole story of the matters you reference. I don’t know who Christopher Stanfick is or why he should be chosen to represent the Catholic Church. I’m not sure what you’re talking about when you put prove in quotation marks. I don’t have any idea what adoption agency you reference. I’m not sure where or why or under what circumstances you consider the federal government to be funding the evangelization efforts of the Catholic Church. I don’t know Cardinal Dolan, nor do either of us have any details – beyond the news – of his decisions.

            One could pose the logical corollary to your question – why do these matters represent the Catholic Church and not the millions upon millions of upstanding citizens who are Catholic. Why these and not the massive charitable work. Why aren’t the few bad boy scout leaders or public school teachers or violent LGBT activists held to the same standard? If some random guy posts a youtube video claiming to speak for Catholics – doesn’t one LGBT leader calling for violence do the same? If one Boy Scout leader touches a kid – shouldn’t we shut the whole thing down? If the government funds one Jewish-operated community center or one muslim school or one Protestant-operated food pantry – does that put them in the religion business? To that, is the government expected to embrace anti-religion or non-religion (Atheism) as a kind of state religion? Interesting questions all.

            As for my assumption that you’re angry… Well that could be my mistake. I don’t think it is, though, Your tone, use of accusatory language and indignation – as well as your multiple trolling posts – make it pretty clear that you have a profound hatred for the Catholic Church.

            I do hope that you find something in life that gives you a respite from your hated – it’s a terrible way to live. I took a few moments today to pray that you’ll find some peace.

            Sorry, I couldn’t adequately respond to your questions. Hope you have a great day.
            Fr Ryan

          • cminca

            Fr. from your tap dancing you clearly indicate you know you have no position to defend.

            I was referring to Christopher Stefanick–a well known Catholic blogger who holds youth rallies. My typo.

            You haven’t heard of Catholic adoption agencies shutting down rather than allowing gays to adopt? Have you listened to the news in say….the last decade? Well–enjoy the attached and realize it is full of lies intended for a gullible audience.

            I told you that it was the WH office of Faith Based and Neighborhood partnerships that was funding Catholic Charities to the tune of $2.5B a year.

            Your statement that you “don’t know Cardinal Dolan” and therefore can’t have an informed opinion is laughable.

            Honestly–if you aren’t going to at least engage in an honest conversation you shouldn’t have addressed me in the first place.

            ” Why aren’t the few bad boy scout leaders or public school teachers or violent LGBT activists held to the same standard? ”

            As for the boy scouts and public school teachers–

            First–they don’t have a decades long history of trying to cover up the crimes.
            Second–the corruption doesn’t go to the top of the organization

            The hypocrisy is self-evident yet Catholic defenders try and misdirect the discussion. The exact same way YOU just tried to misdirect the discussion. (Did you honestly think I was too stupid to notice? )


            “…LGBT activists held to the same standard? ” Are you kidding me? Read the comments on the Catholic blogs–every gay man is accused of spending half of their time dressed in a thong gyrating on a float while the rest of the time is spent trolling for children in public restrooms. That is our “agenda”–Right?

            You’re trying to claim I’m not giving Catholics credit for the good they do. The problem is that that is all Catholics want to look at. A kid goes outside and hands a blanket to a cold man and this is “the Catholic Church”. 6 Hispanic males in CA rape a lesbian they targeted from her rainbow bumpersticker , while screaming anti-gay slogans at her and I’m told–by a well regarded Catholic blogger–that I can’t be sure they are Catholics. 6 Hispanic men in Oakland CA–am I to believe they were raised Mennonite? Maybe they were Druids.

            Sorry–you want the kid, you get the 6 men. You want Mother Teresa, you get the pedophile priests. You can have it one way, you can have it the other–but you can’t have it both.

            You think I’m angry–damn straight I’m angry. The CC’s hate filled bigotry continues. LGBT youth are still being kicked out of “Christian” home. You still spout the “love the sinner” BS while calling us intrinsically disordered. I’m angry about every kid sitting in a pew…..not knowing why he or she feels the way they do…..and they are forced to listen to this garbage.

            The CC continues to try to influence secular policy while enjoying tax free status which is–ipso facto–being subsidized by all the taxpayers. The next time the CC wants to tell people how to vote for which citizens are entitled to which civil rights I’d suggest you share this thought with you colleagues–next time we just might decide to vote on YOURS.

            So yes….I’m angry. And I will continue to survey the enemy. And puncture egos. And you can save your prayers for the poor victims of your church–I don’t want them.

          • Mike Petrik

            We all get you, cminca. You want to have homosexual relations, and the Church says it is wrong. So you are mad at the Church. Yawn.

          • cminca

            And we all get you…..everything the church does is perfect, and those of us who don’t agree are going to hell. And you can’t wait to bring the marshmallows.
            So much for Christian love. Yawn.

          • Mike Petrik

            “… everything the church does is perfect…” The Church does not teach this and therefore I don’t believe it.

            “and those of us who don’t agree are going to hell.” The Church does not teach this and therefore I don’t believe it.

            “And you can’t wait to bring the marshmallows. So much for Christian love.” This type of irrational opinion can only be explained by psychological projection.

            But it is telling that you have not denied my summary of your attitude towards the Church.

          • cminca

            Mike—instead of listening to what the church and its supporters SAY try looking at what they DO. Like all the examples I gave and you’ve ignored.

            Talk is cheap. Actions speak louder than words.

            And you’re clearly one of the brainwashed.

  • Ronky

    #1 should say “Rocky JONAHson”. Jonah and John look alike in English, but they are totally different names in Hebrew. St Peter’s father’s name was John, hence he is usually called “Simon son of John”. Christ called him “son of Jonah” as a METAPHOR, signifying that he is the spiritual son of Christ who gave those who asked for a sign only “the sign of Jonah” i.e. he disappeared for three days in the belly of the earth as Jonah did in the belly of the whale. Jonah was a very rare name in the 1st century.
    #3 The “Tridentine” rite was not really a “novus ordo” in 1570, it was a standardization making rather minor changes to the existing Roman rite which had remained substantially unchanged for centuries.
    #5 St Patrick was born in Britain but made it very clear in his surviving writings that he considers himself completely an Irishman. He lived the great majority of his life in Ireland. Your statement is like saying that any elderly man who immigrated to the USA in his youth and became a naturalised citizen “is not actually an American”.
    #14 is misleading. Evidence strongly suggests that even from the very early centuries, priests wore distinctive clothes when celebrating the Mass and other religious ceremonies (Just as Jewish priests alwasys had).
    #23 would be better stated, “The Catholic Church CREATED science (as we understand the term today).

    • Again, thanks for your comments. Allow me to respectfully disagree with your comment on #23. Science as we understand the term today is a bit of a pandora’s box. Modern science is described by philosophers as “materialistic positivism.” The Church certainly didn’t put that mentality forward. What science should be – which is “the systematization of observable experience” – wasn’t proposed by the Church or by Christians, but by Aristotle. Off the top of my head, he wrote the Categories, the Physics, On Generation & Corruption, the History of Animals and the one where he gets into all kinds of discussion of air (sorry, I don’t remember the name). His writings were clearly the intellectual continuation of the broad Greek philosophicalpre-scientific tradition. Aristotle’s methodology was adopted and broadly in use in the Macedonian, Persian and Roman empires. Surely, it was picked up and brought forward brilliantly by Churchman from the middle ages and into our own day. Beginning with Descartes and Kant, though, modern science has been dissolving into materialism. In the modern era you end up with the hot mess that was John Stewart Mill and John Dewey – who ruined the education of the young. Nowadays, “science” rejects as fiction anything which isn’t testable – a dogmatic statement which, by its own internal logic, must be rejected.

      Sorry to rant, this happens to be one of those pet peeves of mine in philosophy. Thanks for the original comment Ronky!

  • Ronky

    #9 is quite wrong. The Vatican City State is the legal successor to the Papal States (one of the world’s oldest coiuntries dating from the 8th century and until 1860 the seventh-largest country in Europe, which was invaded without any provocation and wiped off the map without the slightest protest from the Great Powers (and shamefully in the case of Britian and Prussia/1st German Reich, their open applause) . The date you mention is merely the date when the Pope and the Kingdom of Italy signed a treaty agreeing that the Pope would no longer seek the restituion of the 99.9% of his territory which was illegally stolen by Garibaldi’s invading armed thugs in 1860-71, and the Kingdom of Italy would no longer seek to conquer the remaining 0.1% which it had not occupied. It wasn’t the “founding” of anything.

    • Thanks for your comment Ronky! Your history is dead on, but I think one could make an argument that the list was careful to nuance #9 by saying “only truly founded.” Clearly, the author wasn’t trying to mislead as much as simply express fascination that “Vatican City” is a new thing. After all, there was no entity labeled officially or unofficially as the Vatican City prior to ’29.

      I agree that there’s more to the story, but can we really say “quite wrong?” Lists like this seem like an ideal forum for exactly these kinds of discussion from well informed commenters. All in all, it would seem that this list did what it was supposed to do – it encouraged discussion and allowed for new learning.

      • DLink

        Quite right Fr. Ryan. Should also be noted that the invasion was carried out with the connivance of the Masons which probably accounts for the residual bad feelings between them and the Church that persists today. My senior religion teacher, a lively French priest stated that the Church was probably better off without the territories to concern itself with. Events since then tend to indicate he was correct.

      • Maybe a minor correction to “formally”?

        90% of the arguments I have with honest folks about anything in the Church end up being the lack of that word. They’ve got no issue recognizing that something was only formalized at a time, but the lack of that word makes them think something wasn’t around at all. (Generally in terms of Church teachings.)

  • Ronky

    #15 is also wrong. This is not “the OLDEST prayer for the intercession” of the Blessed Virgin Mary, but merely the one of which we have the oldest KNOWN EXTANT WRITTEN RECORD. Christians were most certainly imploring the intercession of the BVM from the very earliest days of the Church, even during her earthly lifetime. Apart from anything else, the Sub Tuum Praesdium demonstrates a quite advanced and complex Marian theology which obviously was not invented de novo in 250 AD. Even if the prayer was only first composed then, it was obviously not introducing any doctrines or styles which those Christians who first heard it would find startling.

    The oldest known extant fragment of the New Testament is dated c.130AD, and the oldest known extant complete New Testament c.300 AD. Surely you’re not suggesting the New Testament was only composed on those dates?

    So in summary I give you 17 and a half out of 23.

  • DLink

    Interesting and informative. Pay no attention to the nit pickers who would strain at the gnat for the sake of argument.

  • #14 is somewhat misleading. Clerical garb (the cassock and collar) did evolve from ordinary daily wear. Other, lesser known Mass vestments did too – like the Bishop’s buskins, the maniple, the biretta and the mozetta. But those garments that we think of when we say priests’ “vestments” are distinctly Jewish in origin and were only associated with daily wear in that chasubles were heavy and had more coverage in colder northern areas (from which we get the modern “gothic” or full-cut vestments and the monastic “conical” chasuble) and those vestments used in warmer climates, like Rome, developed into increasingly light and slim-cut designs (from which we get the “Roman” or “fiddle-back” design.) The alb, cincture, stole and chasuble – which are the essential vestments of the priest at Mass – are all specifically revealed to Moses in the Old Testament and are used pretty much constantly from the Temple of Solomon to your local parish on Sunday.

    Otherwise, really great list! Thanks for sharing!

  • Darran McDonnell

    Just a little recommendation for a correction. We all know what you mean when you wrote this sentence, but it could do with a little tweaking in case somebody would misunderstand it.

    “…she has always championed truth in whatever form it takes so long as it is not opposed to revelation”.

    Would be better as something like:

    “…she has always championed truth in whatever form it takes as it will never be opposed to revelation”.

    I hope this helps

    • 1crappie2

      You just saved me the trouble with the same thought.

  • Pingback: 23 More Catholic Facts That Will Make You Look Even Smarter – EpicPew()

  • steve abril

    Yon should publish a book on all this M. V. Vernet.

  • Pingback: Even More Catholic Facts That Will Make You Look Like The Smartest Person Ever (#9 is cracked the editor up) – EpicPew()

  • Pingback: 23 Catholic Facts That Will Make You Look Really Smart()