Agreed. We Catholics are still here.
Catholicism has withstood far fiercer, far more determined, far more potent attacks than what I've seen mounted on this board.Whether Latin Catholicism withstands its critics is a value judgment, and a point of obvious dispute.
...I do not, btw, believe that the Church's greatness lies solely in the fact that it has survived for so long. Just the converse is true, I think--it has survived for so long, **in part**, because it is great.
First let me say that I'm not a "Latin Catholic", although I attend Mass at one of their parishes. That being said, are you referring solely to "Latin" Catholicism as opposed to the Catholic Church in general? And...you may be correct in your last statement--but I'm not entirely sure. Do you mean "whether Latin Catholicism *continues* to withstand its critics..."? It seems to have so far, from what I can tell.
It's a self-serving argument. Like many Catholic arguments it relies on selectivity for meaning.
Atheism is still around too.
Another such argument rests on Catholicism being the largest Christian group. They abound; such arguments.
Catholic apologetics relies on quantity rather than quality of argument.
If you shout out a whole lot of quote mines, or self-serving arguments then you have a case.
Catholic apologetics is deceptively simple. For example, find any church father praising Peter, take it out of any context and have it as 'evidence' of the papacy. It doesn't matter about context, or if that church father gave the same praise for anyone else. The 'anti-Catholic' apologist then has to look that quote up, read context and find perhaps other examples of similar praise by the same writer - a more difficult (but worthwhile) task.
I am writing a book on this very topic - hence my exploration of various avenues as to who is Giles.
In my introduction I give the following example from a Catholic quote-mine
Irenaeus “The blessed apostles [Peter and Paul], having founded and built up the church [of Rome] . . . handed over the office of the episcopate to Linus" (Against Heresies 3:3:3 – 189 AD)
Primacy of the Bishop of Rome – evidence from the Church Fathers at http://www.catholicbasictraining.com/apologetics/coursetexts/cf4d.htm
It says nothing at all about Primacy. Nothing special about Peter even, as the church was founded by Peter and Paul together. What was the point in quoting it? Who knows. For Catholics its important because it is.
Catholic apologists, rather than dealing with the veracity of this quote simply reply by throwing still more quotes, as if volume counts for an argument.