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 | Cynthia Kaan

Responding to negative comments about the Church

My friend keeps making negative comments about the Church, how do I respond?

  1. Pray. As with most things, it is best to start by bringing this to Christ before addressing it through your words alone. Give thanks for the opportunity to speak kindly of the Church. Ask for the wisdom of the Holy Spirit and the courage of saints.
  2. When you feel the nudge of the Holy Spirit, start by letting your friend know how personally you take the comments since your faith is very dear to you. If your friend does not seem to be open to changing his opinion, maybe a request to respect something you love will encourage a stop to the comments.
  3. Invite a conversation. Ask if she has questions she’d like to discuss. Acknowledge the Church is not perfect, and it is rarely Catholics who claim it as such. Anything that is touched by humans is susceptible to corruption; even the Garden of Eden was tainted by sin once humankind was introduced to its perfect beauty.
  4. Be sure not to become defensive and insinuate the Church is the victim. Unfortunate choices have been made and no one is above reproach. It is for this exact reason that Catholics do not go to church for the priest, but to meet Christ in the Eucharist.

Speak with love. Take comfort in the fact that the Catholic Church is stronger than the sum of her parts. With Christ at the center, she will prevail.