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Review by Dr Pravin Thevathasan



Hostile Witnesses
How The Historic Enemies of
The Church Prove Christianity
by Gary Michuta
Catholic Answers Press

This is a wonderful contribution to Catholic apologetics. It shows us that even the enemies of the Church have provided unwitting evidence for Catholic truth. The author examines a whole series of enemies from the beginning  of the Church till now. They include some of the Jews who challenged Christ, Pilate, Herod, the pagans, the Muslims and the heretics. For the purposes of this review, I will examine some recent enemies of the Church.

Martin Luther was quite happy to consider The Book of Maccabees as part of scripture until he debated the Catholic theologian Johann Von Eck, who demonstrated that Maccabees promoted prayers for the dead. Luther then proclaimed Maccabees to be non-canonical!

Luther also had to admit that his faith alone doctrine led to a decline in moral behaviour. Some of his followers held that people who continue to sin without repentance are saved so long as they trusted Jesus. Such was the logic of the Lutheran heresy. Scripture alone meant that every Protestant could interpret scripture as they saw fit.

Calvin had to admit that the "pious and holy bishops" of the early Church in the East and in Africa sought refuge in Rome when driven out by heretics. He concluded that the early Christians uniformly gave honour to Rome. It was the centre of orthodoxy.

In the nineteenth century, the famous French author Emile Zola wrote about Lourdes. As an anti-Catholic, he intended to mock it. However, even he had to admit that some of the cures he came across could not be explained by science alone. Zola suggested that these people had been wrongly diagnosed. But in his book, he has a character based on Marie Labranchu. She most certainly had tuberculosis which was described in detail and she was cured of this at Lourdes. The author also examines a Portuguese anti-clerical newspaper that had to admit the truth of the miracle of the sun at Fatima in October, 1917.

According to the anti-Catholic writer John Cornwell, Pope Pius XII was "Hitler's Pope." The author quotes the Nazis as well as Hitler himself to demonstrate that Pope Pius and the Catholic Church were hated by them. Rather like the liberals of today, the Nazis despised the Catholic clergy who were "interfering" in government affairs. Goering and others were especially angry when the papal encyclical against Nazism was read out from the pulpit. This encyclical was co-authored by Cardinal Pacelli, soon to be Pope Pius XII. Hitler hated the Catholic Church. Apparently, he would have even preferred a Muslim Germany.

The author has done a fine job in reminding us that the enemies of the Church have unwittingly proved the truths of the Catholic faith.





            
Copyright ; Dr Pravin Thevathasan 2022

Version: 16th June 2022



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