This underlying anti-Catholic prejudice is as much a part of our American experience as the air we breath. The Black Myth of anti-Catholic fear was birthed and bred in Elizabethan England, and came like a disease with all those who planted the American colonies. For 150 years, from the Pilgrims through the American Revolution, there were no Catholic priests in all of New England, due to the enforcement of the English anti-Catholic penal laws. None the less, most of the anti-Catholic bias that still prevails in the hearts and minds of most modern non-Catholic Christians, comes from the preaching and catechisms of New England Puritan ministers—who in their entire lives never met a Catholic, never witnessed a Mass, never experienced the “smells and bells” they lampooned!
This suspicion has been passed along from generation to generation, feeding the fear that, regardless of how authentic and genuine a Catholic may appear on the outside, down deep the Catholic Church and Catholics are not Christians. This suspicion can be found almost anywhere in Protestant books and media, internet sites and web-blogs, and shows its face in the relationships Catholics and non-Catholics share.
So is the Catholic Church as Christian church? Was it at one time and then became corrupt, or has it become more Christian under the leadership of the modern, more Evangelical popes? What is it that makes any church a Christian church? This is what we hope to examine in the following articles and media presentations.