Today, we continue our weekly series examining and responding to Catholic apologist and philosopher, Peter Kreeft’s book, “Forty Reasons I Am A Catholic” (2018). Thanks for joining me.
Claim #18: I am a Catholic because of the angels, and their invisible and anonymous mediation
In this chapter, Kreeft expresses his gratitude for his guardian angel, whom he speculates played a major role in his “conversion” to Roman Catholicism, “as well as in many other good things that..happened in (his) life” (p. 63). Kreeft then expresses his pity for Protestants because they’re not “at home” with angels the way Catholics are.
Angels are powerful spiritual beings referenced in both the Old and New Testaments. Angels (from the Greek: angelos: “messenger”) serve as messengers and agents of God. The Catholic church has created an extensive angelology based upon extra-biblical myths, legends, and speculation. Catholicism’s tradition of a personal guardian angel for every individual is an extrapolation of Matthew 18:10, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.” But does that verse actually teach a personal guardian angel for every individual as Kreeft and RC-ism claim? No, it does not. See the article below for an excellent exegesis of Matthew 18:10. As a Catholic grammar school student in the 1960s, the nuns taught us quite a bit about our alleged guardian angels, how they actively helped and protected us. This took the focus off of God in much the same way as Catholicism’s veneration/worship of Mary. God’s angels would certainly want our focus to be on God, not on them.
Down through the centuries, Catholic artists portrayed angels as fanciful, winged beings, often with little or no clothing. Angel art was used as a sanctioned opportunity to present nude or semi-nude figures to pruriently curious viewers. See the works of “devout” French-Catholic painter, William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905), as just one example.
Got Questions: Do we have guardian angels?
Next week: Claim #19: I am a Catholic because of what the Bible tells me