Yesterday, I began reading a new book, which I have just added to my reading list featured on this site. How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization by Thomas E. Woods, Jr., Ph.D.
From the first chapter:
In our media and popular culture, little is off-limits when it comes to ridiculing or parodying the Church. My own students, to the extent that they know anything at all about the Church, are typically familiar with the alleged Church corruption, of which they heard ceaseless tales of varying credibility from their high school teachers. The story of Catholicism, as far as they know, is one of ignorance, repression, and stagnation. That Western civilization stands indebted to the Church for the university system, charitable work, international law, the sciences, important legal principles, and much else besides has not exactly been impressed upon them with terrific zeal. Western civilization owes far more to the Catholic Church than most peopleCatholics includedoften realize. The Church, in fact, built Western civilization.