How do we deal with Anti-Catholicism? This depends on what form it takes–be it Protestantism, Orthodoxy, Modernism, or Secularism.When dealing with other Christians, it is important for Catholics to familiarize themselves with the Bible by reading it. Of course, the New Testament, and especially, the Gospels, are most important. Vital passages should be highlighted–verses that can be used for and against the Catholic position. It may be useful to develop a "cheat sheet"–a list of topics with accompanying Biblical passages that can be used to support the doctrine or practice. It may also be helpful to acquire a good Catholic Bible Commentary, which gives one insights that one would not have by just reading the Scriptures.
It is also necessary, in dealing with other Christians, to familiarize oneself with what the Catholic Church actually teaches, so that they can explain the Catholic teaching properly. This can be done by reading a good Catechism. Although the Catechism of the Catholic Church is the most complete and official Catechism, it is thick and difficult in some places. One should read a smaller Catechism, and use the Universal Catechism as a reference.
In dealing with liberals and Modernists in the Church, it would be a good idea to highlight passages from the Universal Catechism and once again create a "cheat sheet". Not only should the Catechism be used, but orthodox Catholics should go through other official Church documents (the Code of Canon Law, the General Instructions for the Roman Missal, and even encyclicals and bishop's queries as answered by the Roman Curia), so that these sources may be cited when controversy arises.
It is important, even before dealing with Anti-Catholics, to find out just what charges they make. The best way to find this out is to read the anti-Catholic material itself, because "forewarned is forearmed". For those who do not have the stomach or thick skin to read or listen to anti-Catholic material, they should find out what anti-Catholics are saying by reading the objections as stated by Catholic apologists, whose job it is to answer these objections to the faith. Furthermore, by reading Catholic apologists, one becomes familiar with how to answer the objections. Sometimes, one can see that there is a flaw in the anti-Catholic argument, but does not know exactly how to refute it, and sometimes, one already knows how to handle a certain objection, but may not word it as well as someone else would.
In discussions with those who attack the Catholic faith, one should not argue a point when he does not really have an answer; it will appear as though there really is no answer. One should respond instead that he does not know, and that he will get back to the other with an answer when he finds one (the key is to actually find an answer, and get back to the person when the answer is found). It is also necessary not to compromise doctrines–one must stick to the true teachings of the Church, as difficult as they are for others to accept. Wisecracks and angry outbursts must be avoided, because one who remains calm garners much more sympathy, credibility, and willing ears, than a hothead. Remember, too, that one must not expect instant conversions, like St. Paul on Damascus Road, but rather, he must see his role as a seed-planter. It may take days, months, or even years, but eventually, what one says today may result in a conversion, as unlikely as it may seem at the time. Remember, the goal is to explain your position in a way that convinces them that it is not so false as it appeared before, and that there is some basis to it, even if they do not accept it. The three most important things, however, is to "pray, pray, and pray".
The unfortunate thing is, we are often dealing with prejudice, not simply with a difference of opinion. For instance, Anti-Catholic Protestants claim that Catholics are not Christians for many reasons. They say Catholics believe in salvation by works, but the same can be said about the Orthodox (both churches have similar soteriologies). They say Catholics make the Word of God void by their traditions, but the same can be said of the Orthodox (who put Sacred Tradition on a par with Sacred Scripture as well). They say Catholics "worship" Mary, the Saints, images, and relics, but the same can be said about the Orthodox (who also venerate Mary, the Saints, images, and relics, to the same degree Catholics do). So why do they condemn Catholics and not the Orthodox? The answer is simple–prejudice. Protestants who acknowledge Catholics to be Christians are proof of this–these Protestants have the same theology as the Anti-Catholic Protestants, but they are not tainted with prejudice, so they can make an honest appraisal of Catholicism and arrive at the conclusion that the Catholic Church is Christian, though they might say it is somewhat on the heretical side. Often enough, the only way to deal with prejudice is prayer, because many fundamentalists "know" they are right, and do not feel they even need to bother hearing the Catholic side, because they "know" the Catholic side is wrong. When they do pay attention to the case for Catholicism, and it appears convincing, they want to hear or read no more of it, because what they read or hear sounds convincing, and this causes great confusion to people who are so sure they are right, and have an absolute fear that Catholicism may convince them.
Many of these people were once Catholics. However, some were never evangelized, and when they were evangelized by Protestants, they joined the church of those who evangelized them and were indoctrinated by them, not understanding their Catholic faith or knowing the truth of the Confession that they were leaving. Some left because they refused to conform to the Church's more difficult moral teachings, or because Protestant churches were more lively while their Catholic Churches seemed dead and the people indifferent. Others were practicing Catholics, but never knew the reason why the Church taught what it taught; when others came by and challenged their Catholic faith, they were unable to answer their objections, were convinced, and left the Catholic Church. And then there were the former priests and nuns. Some of them left for the reasons stated above; but some of them had bad experiences in the Church, and reacted by rejecting Catholicism. They became anti-Catholic Protestants, because a system that hated the Catholic Church is just what they were looking for. Some of them, in their encounters with Protestantism, had a deeper experience with God than they ever had in the Catholic Church, and afterwards claimed that as Catholics, they never "knew" Jesus. Something in their Protestant experiences brought out a deeper feeling for Christ than their experiences in Catholicism, for whatever reason (perhaps the assurance of salvation) but that cannot be blamed on the Church. After all, the Catholic Church has produced hundreds of saints that loved Jesus and served Him with all their hearts (just read some of their biographies). Some former Protestants who are now Catholic said they have experienced the opposite. Furthermore, most of the converts to Catholicism were very committed Protestant Christians, and when they finally read what the Catholic Church had to say in her own defense, rather than Protestant misconceptions and misinformation, they were convinced by the truth that they found. However, most of the converts to Protestantism were usually lapsed or nominal Catholics only, and are usually critical of the Catholic faith, unlike former Protestants, who speak highly of their former Communion. Two things emerge from this. First, it seems in general as though Protestants left for Catholicism by weighing all the facts, while few Catholics left for Protestantism by diligent theological study. Although there are a few cases of this, it must be remembered that even strange cults can lure some members away by deceptive truth claims. Second, it also appears as though prejudice plays a large role, and we know how blinding prejudice is.