The Catholic church has been instrumental in a lot of things both good and bad
in its long history. I've gained a new respect for it over the past
several years; at the same time, I've lost a lot of respect for a number of
other churches out there (including the LDS church). This doesn't mean that I'm
planning to convert, I still believe (note naysayers, I said "believe"
not "know") that (organized) religion is one of the most evil things
ever devised by men.
There is no doubt Western Civilization owes a great deal to Catholicism.
Fortunately, however, Catholicism owes just as much to Greek Philosophy, Roman
politics, and Pagan mythology.It is probably not quite accurate to
say Western Civilization owes a great deal to Catholicism. Rather, it is more
accurate to say Western Civilization developed and evolved along with
Vanka,"Rather, it is more accurate to say Western Civilization
developed and evolved along with Catholicism."I agree with
this. One could probably say WE owe something as we are a result. But as
"owing" is a debt. I'd say the primary thing we are in debt to is the
knowledge they have passed down. I'd have to think that preserving records and
history as accurately and openly as we can would be the best way to repay what
they've given us.The Catholic Church as a whole did great things.
Whether they are bad or not may have been a result of the morality of the people
as a whole at that time, or the few in power. I don't know that we can know
which all too perfectly. But I do believe that recognizing individuals for the
contributions would be equally as important, whether that be Thomas Aquinas or
anyone else.As much as the formation of this body has affected our
world today, the only thing of real consequence is how we live our lives today.
Preserving our past and how we live as a people today, and govern today- these
things matter more, imo.