We'll be hearing a bit about Protestant and Evangelical preachers next week, when President-elect Donald J. Trump, who has chosen a number of them to pray and speak, is inaugurated with great ceremony in Washington and on TV and so a note on their attitudes and statements about Catholicism may be in order.
While the Church never criticizes our Christian brethren of other denominations, unfortunately, some of them, especially Evangelicals, who otherwise have much to offer, are all too prone to take shots at the Mother Church, in part, perhaps, to justify their separation from it.
Since Luther, the "spirit of division" is such that Protestants have not only divorced Rome but divided and splintered until we are today at the point where there are hundreds of Protestants "denominations" (and thousands of autonomous churches).
Catholicism is attacked on just about everything it does that differs from what they have evolved to do.
Answering the objections is not very difficult.
They question Catholicism as the original Church. It's true that the earliest "Masses" were less formal affairs and imbued with charismatic prayer in private homes, by early accounts. But the Holy Spirit wasn't quite finished -- the Church grew through the centuries, necessitating an institutional structure to guard against heresy (and in fact division), and here is what to ask Evangelicals: if you believe, as so many of you say, in a literal interpretation of Scripture, then let us turn to Matthew 16:18.
That says, "I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it."
The remains of Peter have recently been confirmed by archeologists as existing underneath St. Peter's Basilica. The Church is not just figuratively but literally built on the ossified bones of the Apostle (ossified meaning stone-like, as in rock).
The first Pope was Peter.
They say we should not have any statues or paintings depicting heavenly beings like saints and angels -- or for that matter Jesus.
They say that's "idolatry."
Ask why then God Himself (see the Book of Exodus) directed the Israelities to include images of two cherubim (angels -- heavenly creatures) on the Ark of the Covenant? ("Make two cherubim of gold -- make them of hammered work -- at the two ends of the cover. Make one cherub at one end and the other cherub at the other end; of one piece with the cover shall you make the cherubim at its two ends. The cherubim shall have their wings spread out above, shielding the cover with their wings. They shall confront each other, the faces of the cherubim being turned toward the cover...").
Basing everything on the Bible, as they do (and discarding tradition), one can with great justification remind Christian brethren that it was the Catholic Church that put together the Bible.
They say we should not ask saints or the deceased to pray for us and yet here on earth we ask people to pray for us all the time. Why not those in a "higher position"? As far as apparitions: did not two apostles see Elijah and Moses on Tabor (with Jesus)?
(And as for purgatory, that was in the Bible until they removed the second book of Maccabees.)
And then there is the big stickler of the Blessed Mother.
She's just a person, they say.
Here we need only go to John 19:26, where Jesus says to Mary, "Woman, this is your son," and to John: "This is your mother."
Evangelicals believe that the Bible speaks to all of us.
So, was it not speaking to us all ("This is your mother") in John?
[resources: Reaching God and February Michael Brown retreat: Vero Beach, Florida]