These are some of the things that make being a Catholic different.


For all its stumbling through history, despite the Renaissance popes who remain an embarrassment, the Crusades and persecutions and Galileo, forgetting the times it has failed because its members have failed, the Catholic Church has survived; its center has held. It has not petered out on a mountaintop waiting for the end of the world that didn’t come; it has not been confined to one nation like a domestic sport no other country understands; it has not foundered at the death of its leaders, nor even at the death of its founder from which point it springs.

The Catholic Church has survived. In all places, at all times, no matter the circumstances and pressures and purges, it has gone on because it is different. Papists and fish eaters, genuflecters, bead counters, and the ones who “have to go to church on Sunday,” Catholics have stood apart-figuratively as well as literally. Where separation was paranoid, it has, for the most part, been eliminated, but still the central sense remains, the sense that Catholics are different.

In a world of the wishy-washy, of temporary fads and passing interests, of momentary “in” things and the “latest” being hot for only a few weeks, the Catholic Church has lasted since its start 2,000 years ago-lasted and grown and held onto its soul. It has proven that it can stick- in the world or in an individual.

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