I remember a conversation I had with a friend of mine a while ago, we were discussing the various attacks on the Catholic Church and our beliefs by non-believers and radical secularists. He said that the reason they are so vicious, slanderous and untruthful was because they know the Church will not take them on: they know the Church will actually stand by Jesus Christ's teaching on forgiveness and turning the other cheek, so they are emboldened.
Or as another friend of mine once said: "When a journalist libels the Catholic Church, he/she knows there will never be a libel case against them and that they can get safely into their car, turn the key and drive blissfully home unharmed." The Catholic Church, despite all her faults and sins, still strives to take the Gospel seriously, so we can look at these attacks in that light - despite their griping, they know the Church stands by her values. That said, it does not, and should not mean, we do not challenge the lies which have become common place.
There is a bit of furore in the US over another attack on the Church, this time by some crowd who call themselves the Freedom from Religion Foundation or FFRF (alot of Fs there!). They have taken out an advertisement in the New York Times (surprise surprise) attacking the Church over her stance on contraception and other issues, and trying to persuade people to leave the Church. Here's the Catholic League's take on it, and here's a copy of the ad itself.
Now, to be honest, I have no problem with people inviting Catholics to leave the Church if those Catholics vehemently disagree with fundamental Church teaching: as St Dominic Savio used to say, we have to be true to ourselves. Of course we want people to stay, to understand the fullness of the faith and to play their part in the Church. But if people cannot stomach the moral teachings Christ has entrusted to the Church to uphold and teach, and are not prepared to reflect on them and pray and seek to understand why the Church holds them, then perhaps it is time to skip off somewhere else, as Archbishop Diarmuid Martin advised a short time ago. We will, of course leave the door open and pray for them.
There is one part of the ad which is interesting - it's at the end: the subscription rates - it seems the Freedom from Religion Foundation is not free at all - there are dues, including an "After Life" subscription rate of $5,000, that got me chuckling. I presume that bit is the 'spirit' which keeps their memory alive after members have thrown off the mortal coil and gone into oblivion? And they say the Catholic Church is money mad!