On the last 2008 broadcast of Catholic Answers live, Tim Staples continued perpetuating the myth that there are 33,000 Protestant denominations (this MP3 can be heard here). Some time back Dr. White gave a thorough examination of this claim, as has Eric Svendsen. If you interact with those espousing Catholic apologetics, I suggest reviewing these links and keeping them handy. They clearly show a misuse by Catholic apologists of a source and statistics. That this popular falsehood made it to the last 2008 broadcast by one of Rome’s “top apologists” (as CA Live states) doesn’t give me much hope for their 2009 endeavours.
Such corrective information has been available for years. This clearly demonstrates that either certain Catholic apologists don’t pay attention to responses to their claims, or zeal for their religion inhibits them from citing sources correctly. Around two years ago, Dr White asked,
“I would like to call upon Steve Ray, Tim Staples, and all other Roman Catholic apologists who have taught, by spoken word or in written form, that there are 33,000 Protestant denominations, to openly and publicly retract their errant assertion, apologize, and explain how it is that they could actually provide a citation to a source that, upon examination, actually refutes their application in its entirety. Did they just not understand what they were reading? Did they actually even look at the source? Were they just offering the citation as taken from someone else? What is the explanation? Inquiring minds want to know” [source].
I don’t know if Rome’s apologists have made any New Year’s resolutions, but perhaps one of them can step forth from the pack and add to their list an explanation as to why the 33,000 Protestant denominations myth still lives. I realize it may seem like a great emotional argument to confound Protestants with, but it isn’t true. An actual reading of the source in question shows Rome likewise has “denominations.” As has been stated often on this blog, if the argument used when applied to one’s own position similarly works, then it is not a valid argument.