A fascinating article on the origins of the modern anti-Catholic movement.
Since the late 1970s several new anti-Catholic organizations have been founded, and some older ones have been revitalized. A partial lineup includes Chick Publications, Mission to Catholics International, Lumen Productions, Research and Education Foundation, Osterhus Publishing House, Christians United for Reformation (CURE), Harvest House, and Bob Jones University Press. Combined they turn out more anti-Catholic tracts, magazines, and books than ever before—millions of copies each year.
When one reads enough of this material, one becomes aware that the same points tend to be made by different writers in the same way, even in the same words. Who is borrowing from whom? It doesn’t seem that any of these groups relies very heavily on any other. Instead, they all fall back on one source, Loraine Boettner’s work, Roman Catholicism, a book first published in 1962 by Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company of Philadelphia and reprinted many times since.
This book is the origin of much of what professional anti-Catholics distribute. It can be called, to use a phrase that might rankle some, the "Bible" of the anti-Catholic movement.
At first glance Roman Catholicism seems impressive. Its 460 large pages of text are closely packed with quotations. The table of contents is broken down into dozens of categories, and the indices, though skimpy, at least are there. But a careful reading makes it clear that the author’s antagonism to the Catholic Church has gravely compromised his intellectual objectivity.
The book suffers from a serious lack of scholarly rigor. Boettner accepts at face value virtually any claim made by an opponent of the Church. Even when verification of a charge is easy, he does not bother to check it out. If he finds something unflattering to Catholicism, he prints it.
Hmmm? Remind you of anyone?
Many Protestants—whether or not they realize how inaccurate and unscholarly Boettner’s work is—look to Roman Catholicism for their arguments against the Catholic Church. Catholics should prepare themselves for discussions with Protestants by studying Scripture and Church history and by reading solid books on apologetics. That way they will be prepared to heed Peter’s exhortation: "Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence" (1 Pet. 3:15).