Catholic? Where’s the evidence?

“You may say you’re a Catholic but….there’s no proof!”

What makes you Catholic?  The clothes or jewelry you wear?  Going to Mass on Sundays?  Being raised a Catholic?  If you were put on trial for your faith, would there be enough evidence to convict you of being a Catholic?  This chilling video, written by Bob Rice and produced by Outside da Box, challenges you to think about what really makes you a Catholic.

“Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but Him who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21

Right now Americans are getting mixed signals about what exactly Catholics believe.  Faithful Catholics are fighting a battle to faithfully live out what the Church believes, while many who call themselves “Catholic” are living in opposition to the Gospel and the Church’s teachings.  We need to challenge our brothers and sisters.

####Let’s flood the internet with this video.  Facebook post it on your friends’ wall, tweet it on Twitter, email it to everyone you know, or write the video URL in marker on your forehead. (If you do that last one, please send me a picture…)

Comment below and let me know how many places you posted the video, so I can give you a virtual high-five.

+JMJ

####Don’t forget to subscribe so ya don’t ever miss any Catholic goodness from this blog!  Do it here!

36 thoughts on “Catholic? Where’s the evidence?

  1. Pingback: Are You Guilty…? | Life as I know it…

  2. I like the video, but it seems they are asking more for proof they are a Christian, not specifically a Catholic Christian. I would really like to see a similar video where they speak about agreeing with and adhering to specifically Catholic moral teaching as proof of being Catholic. What does everyone else think?

    • I agree! Seem’s more like are you a Christian. Ask about transubstantiation, the teaching of the magisterium, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, contraception, homosexuality…… Then you can ask where’s the evidence?

    • Indeed! The mother didn’t say the daughter must go to “Mass” but to “Church.” Other than the fleeting shot of the crucifix around the girl’s neck, there was nothing “Catholic” about the video.

  3. I’m not impressed, or perhaps am impressed in the wrong way. Mom’s version of apologetics is to threaten to ground her (and I’ve seen much worse in church – where’s Dad as daughters tend to follow the lead of the FATHER). I doubt there would be any more evidence to convict the Mother or anyone else in the family (perhaps someone else is an outlier). Or the retreat director or personnel. What is to be said of parents that do not want their child to learn about and to love her savior, but only keep up appearances? No one guilty of being a Catholic who could have evangelized here appears in the video.

    The Sermon on the Mount and the Woes said by our Lord made it clear that being a Catholic comes from the inside – not trumpeting how many deductible gifts you have made to 501(c)3 organizations, but really being charitable. Loving God beyond everything (and obeying his commandments), and loving your neighbor – the inconvenient person you don’t like and probably annoys you – as yourself.

    There are cafeteria Catholics of the right that simply spin as fast but counterclockwise. The churches that have the orthodoxy correct usually have views which are contrary but conservative. This is no better than the errors on the left. Worse, it creates a complacency that because they preach against heresy on the left that they don’t have to worry that they have ridden the pendulum to the opposite heresy.

    Both sides seem to do something in response to the verses quoted: “Oh, but when they were hungry I personally went to Rome and spoke to the Senate so there would be more bread and less circuses”.

    I see nothing in the video challenging people to be found guilty of loving God with all their heart, mind, and strength, nor of loving their neighbor as themselves. The Catholic churches, and even the well attended conferences are filled with the spiritually dead, or at least spiritually comatose. Satisfied that because they are against contraception, abortion, and liturgical abuses, there is nothing more they need to get into heaven (even avoiding much time in purgatory).

    • I’m rather confused by your comment. I don’t really see what you’re getting at in the early paragraphs.

      You spoke about the “spiritually comatose[d]“ who attend conferences. That was the very issue in the video concerning the girl’s attendance at the retreat. What was her interior reality? What was her motivation? Love of God? Desire to know her faith?

      Concerning your comment that you “see nothing in the video…[about] loving… neighbor”, didn’t the lawyer asks if she’s served the poor recently?

      The video invites us to challenge our identity. Am I “Catholic” in name only? Do I just go through the motions of religious observance? Do I do them for less admirable reasons than simple love of God? Do I have a dead faith devoid of charity? Have I truly loved “the least of these”?

      You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. – Matthew 5:14-15

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  5. I’m not sure how much I like this video either. Your works will show that your faith is real and going and volunteering is great but it isn’t everything. The real question is do you have a prayer life? Do you visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament? Do you go to daily Mass and Reconciliation? I think this video puts too much emphasis on works because we can see people in our daily life that need help and they are Jesus in that moment we don’t necessarily have to volunteer at an old folks home or something like that. Also what about contemplatives who are cloistered and pray all day. It’s not about how much work you have done but how you do the work for if work is done without love it is dead. I think this video needs more emphasis on prayer and a relationship with God. The Catholic Church is not just a giant social program, Christ must be in the activities that you do. Otherwise I did enjoy this video and its concept because I betcha if a lot of Catholics were questioned like this they might act like this girl, at least I’d hope so. The question why you are Catholic I think would throw a lot of people for a loop. You gotta have an answer ready!

    Pax Christi

    • I would also like to say since maybe it didn’t come across in my previous post. Thank God for the people who produced this video and may their efforts challenge people in there lukewarmness. God Bless these guys and keep em’ coming!!

      Pax Christi

    • …but the question asked by the video is, if being Catholic became illegal, would there be enough evidence in your life to convict you?

      As a wise man once wrote, “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds”

  6. I was also disappointed in the video for getting the true message out of what it means to be a Catholic. The overall impression I got after viewing it was that truly being a Catholic means that you’re not just ‘talk’ but that you devote yourself to social justice, feed the hungry, clothe the sick. That seems to me to be one of the huge cultural changes ever since VII.

    More appropriate would’ve been asking her 1) do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God? 2) do you believe and uphold all the teachings of your Church? 3) when was the last time you went to Confession? 4) do you believe that Jesus Christ is truly present in the Blessed Eucharist? 5) do you instinctively genuflect when you enter a Catholic Church because you know you have just entered into the presence of Jesus in the Tabernacle? 6) do you fast before receiving Holy Communion at Mass? 7) do you offer up yourself each day to the Lord? 8) do you ask our Blessed Mother to help you each day? 9) do you pray often throughout the day? 10) do you strive everyday to read and learn more about your Faith?

    I could go on and on. THOSE are important questions to think on, not whether or not she feeds the hungry, visits the sick.

  7. We can’t expect a short film like this to be comprehensive, but I do agree that some uniquely Catholic issues or teachings should have been included. There was a glancing view of the crucifix but she called it a “cross”. Then again, that probably shows all the more that she was not Catholic.

    • I agree, a short video cannot cover it all. But I believe we are scrutinizing this way to much. It is not up for an Academy award. Just some really good Catholics trying in a unique way to get us to think about how we would do if put on the stand. Yea, it could have had one or two uniquely Catholic questions added. But for me, and I believe many others, it still gets the message across. Kudos to Bob Rice. I hope he takes all of the comments as constructive observations and recommendations. Can’t wait to see his next video.

  8. Great video and blog. Caught myself questioning my own Catholicity, and it hurt. I believe the judge would have declared me “Not guilty” as well, ugh! Time to make an adjustment or two. . .or three. . .

    Thanks for the nudge.

  9. Pingback: Are you guilty? | Restless Pilgrim

  10. Pingback: Pastoral Sharings | St. John

  11. Cool video presentation Edmund. Also, thanks for leaving your link on my blog a few days ago! Many of my thoughts on the video have already been captured in many of the comments above. Specifically disheartening was the lack of “Catholic” references (Eucharist, Magisterium, Papal teachings, etc.) but more general Christianity (bible reading, prayer life, good works). Don’t get me wrong: prayer, scripture, good works, etc. are essential to, but “Jenny Smith” was not “tried” for being Catholic. One of your readers (Dennis) commented he would like to see it done with more Catholic references. I agree with that sentiment.

    Keep up the good work!

  12. There is a lot of good discussions here and legitimate concerns, and I just want to throw my two cents in the ring.

    1) The video is not trying to say “prove you are Catholic AND NOT PROTESTANT” but just, prove you are Catholic (you could say Christian….)
    It could have had more uniquely Catholic doctrines, but as Catholics, we don’t believe we are a branch of Christianity, we believe we ARE Christianity. The corporal works of mercy are just as CATHOLIC as the Eucharist. We don’t have christian beliefs AND catholic beliefs, it is all the same to us. Remember, the first Christians were just Catholics for the first few hundred years of the Church’s history.

    2)A lot of the comments are bringing up ye old faith vs. works debate, and it is good to reiterate the Catholic position (with St. Paul nodding in approval) that faith, without works, is dead (James 2:14)

    See these sections of ye old Catechism…
    “without faith no one has ever attained justification.”(CCC 161)
    “Service of and witness to the faith are necessary for salvation.”(CCC 1816)
    If our faith is not such that it overflows with good works out of love, then we will not be found worthy of the kingdom of God.(cf. CCC 1038-1039)

    Keep up the intelligent and challenging dialogue in the name of JPII.
    “Faith without firm and well though out convictions is just hollow ritualism” JPII

  13. I am not cool, of course, but I will comment. This video seems to say that being Catholic primarily means being involved in social justice and service to the poor. That should be part of being Catholic, but even atheists, agnostics, and non-Catholics do that. There is a lot more to being Catholic than that, good as it is. The perspective of this video is typical of the last 40 years of supposedly defining “Catholic” life.

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