The Catholic Church is very old and very large; this allows its member to sometimes become too comfortable, and even lazy. Many think that their only responsibility is to attend Mass, and some only do this once or twice a year. Far too often, much of the work done in the Church has been left to the clergy. This is sad; however, there are a number of very devout members of the laity that do carry on some of the Church's works. It would be nice if the member of the Catholic Church were to act as zealously as some of their Protestant and Fundamentalist brethren, such as the members of the church of Christ.
I realize that this is not the same throughout the world, and that this is only my opinion of what I see. Many of the people I know are very active in the Church, which is why I know them. Not all Catholics take action in the Church, but there are some that do.
The Catholic Church does not evangelize
This seems to be the truth in the areas of the world that have be Christianized; however, this is not the case. From the first century, the Catholic Church has been extremely active in evangelization. This is the reason why the Catholic Church has spread over almost the entire globe. Since the Protestant Reformation, the Catholic Church has also been actively evangelizing the Protestants. It was actually the Jesuits that did most of this work, and succeeded in bring many Protestants back to the Catholic Church. This work is now done by Catholic delegates meeting with Protestant delegates in an attempt to attain greater unity. There is also a large literary evangelistic movement within the Catholic Church. There are many books, pamphlets, and websites that contain Catholic apologetic, which is the defence of Catholic doctrine against non-Catholics. As well many Catholic books, such as the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the Bible, are bringing many people to the Catholic faith. There is also the quiet evangelization of people who live their faith, and other recognize it and begin to ask questions.
There is actually a growing movement of non-Catholic pastors and laymen, that are converting to Catholicism, solely on their study of the Bible and other historical documents of the Church. Here is a list of some of the more well known ones: Scott Hahn, Steve Wood, Bob Sungenis, Paul Thigpen, Marcus Grodi, James Akin, Rick Conason, T.L.Frazier, Tim Staples, Dave Armstrong, and Al Kresta.
The Catholic Church does not want its members to read the Bible
There was some truth to this at one time, but I think this idea comes more from the lack of Bible reading by Church members. At every Mass, the Bible is read, for this reason the Catholic Church is spreading the Word of God. For this reason every church needed a Bible, and before the invention of the printing press in the sixteenth century, Bibles were very rare and expensive. Often the Bible of a church was chained to the church, not to keep people from reading it, but to keep people from stealing it. Once the printing press was invented, the Church was almost scared of its member reading the Bible. It seemed that men with little or no theological training would read the Bible and form yet another new church. With continued teaching of the faithful, soon the Church began to trust and encourage personal reading of the Bible.
A Catholic community can only have public activities if a priest is present
Catholic communities enjoy many public activities that often do not have a priest present. Such activities include Bible studies, prayer meetings, communal meals, parties, and many others. Any of these activities may or may not have a priest present. A priest is need for some very special activities, such as the Mass and confession. A bishop is required for other activities, such as ordinations and the solemn consecration of new churches to God. Beyond these activities, the presence of a priest or a bishop is not required.
The error of indulgences was repealed, but it is still part of the Catholic history
The teaching of indulgences has never been repealed, but before we discuss this, we should first understand what an indulgence is. An indulgence is the remission of the temporal punishment due to sin that has been forgiven. An indulgence is an exercise of the Church's authority to bind and loose, granted by Christ first to Peter (Matthew 16:19), and later to all the Apostles (Matthew 18:18). It is not a permission to commit sin, nor a pardon of future sin, and it does not prevent temptation or remove the possibility of future sin. As well, it is not an exemption from any law or duty. Most of all, an indulgence is not the purchase of a pardon which secures the buyer's salvation or releases the soul of another from Purgatory.
Because the Church grants an indulgence does not mean that it will be gained without the effort of the individual seeking the indulgence. To gain the indulgence, the individual must be free from mortal sin, go to confession, and receive Communion (the Lords Supper). For a partial indulgence, the individual does not need to go to confession, however they must seek the indulgence with a contrite heart. It is also required that the individual has the intention of gaining the indulgence.
The idea that the teaching of indulgences was repealed probable comes from the decree of the Council of Trent that attempted to "correct the abuses that have crept in." Abuse of indulgences was widespread; however, even at its worse corruption, sincere Christians sought indulgences with a right spirit, and sincere priests insist on the need of true repentance in obtaining them.