Catholicism is a very simple religion, though people do make it very complicated. But that’s people’s nature.
Fundamentally, we believe that an angel appeared to a woman and told her she would concieve without ‘knowledge’ of a man, and that this boy would be God incarnate. We believe that that boy grew up, and when the time was right, started a ministry of Truth. After three years of preaching to truth, the earthly powers that be grew concerned about this man’s popularity, and about his claim to be God, and killed him. After three days, he resurrected and challenged his immediate followers to spread his message, then he rose to be with his Father in heaven. From that point on, his followers went around the region at great peril, spreading the word, and converting people to spread the good news further.
Eventually some of his followers wrote down some of what he said and did. But they never stopped talking about Him. And this has gone on for more than 2000 years. Some people do it better than others, some people understand it better than others, but one of the things Christ told us was that he would send an Advocate, his Holy Spirit, to keep the Church from corrupting Christ’s message. The Catholic Church-nothing new for 2000 years…:)
Some said “No, that can’t be right, he meant this”, convinced some people to follow them, rather than Jesus, and they fell away from the true faith of Jesus. Some of these were small tremors, some great earthquakes. But still, the Holy Spirit keeps the Catholic Church from error.
Because we say we’re the Church Christ founded, people find all kinds of ways to try and make disbelievers out of believers. But we must remember that the Church is holy because Christ instituted it, and if we focus on Christ, we will never go wrong. If we have questions or doubts, we can turn to the teaching authority of the Catholic Church, again, instituted by Christ, for instruction.
We can count on the human nature of the people in the church to fail. Priests sin, bishops sin, cardinals sin, the pope sins. Some have worse than others. The guy next to you in the pew is a sinner.
The point is that any human institution bears criticism in some way, shape or form. Even the Catholic Church. What can withstand any criticism is the teaching of the Catholic Church, because it came from the mouth of Jesus.