Some of the most common stereotypes against the Church are that it’s anti-Semitic, it hates women, it’s an enemy of science and it wants the faithful to suffer. All these common biases are analyzed in a book ‘La Grande Meretrice.’ Translated in English, it means the ‘great prostitute.’ It’s a phrase that references a passage in the Book of Revelation.
Despite the stereotypes, people still ask how valid are these accusations and are they true?
Lucetta Scaraffia is part of the editorial team at the Vatican’s Osservatore Romano. For the book, she gathered seven female experts who analyze these common stereotypes, as seen through different time periods of the Church.
En bok med denne tittelen (på italiensk=La gran meretrice) er kommet ut i Vatikanet og redaktøren av boka, Lucetta Scaraffia, sier om den:
“As serious and rigorous historians we were angry over the widespread fallacies that are said about the history of the Church. But even though non-Catholic historians have been rejecting them for a long time, they are still popular among cultured people. So, we wanted to demolish these ideas. Even though Catholics will always debate these points, it is important that they be discussed with truth and facts, and that the argument is cleared of all these mistakes.”
So to look deeply into some of these notions, the experts say one simply needs to look at history. History alone they say, overshadows the rumors.
“People either don’t know or don’t want to know the truth. These ideas are centuries old. For example, the Inquisition is viewed as the most cruel and fierce tribunal in history, even though there have been much worse examples. I am not saying it was something good, but it certainly wasn’t as cruel as other courts at the time. A book by Anna Foa, a Jewish historian, retraces the history of the Inquisition describing the tribunals as they really were.”