Why? Two Reasons 1) Let's face it, the purpose of religions is to keep the masses in line. Regardless of whether there is or isn't a God, I'd wager that the way God is depicted by any and all religions is a steaming pile of hooey anyway. I know there are many that would argue that we don't need religions for this purpose anymore, yadda yadda yadda, but I think those people are short-sighted fools. But that's neither here nor there and a debate for another time. The fact is religions do exist, and are still a tool for control. And Catholicism IMO does this in the most reasonable and effective manner relative to other major religions. 2) Catholicism is allowed to change over time. Sure, they were a little late with the whole pedophile thing, but over the centuries they've managed by and large to stay current with the needs of the present. Catholicism now even supports the theory of evolution. Even though the Pope officially denounces abortion, I've been to at least 1,000 masses in my life and have never once heard a priest mention it. They no longer consider birth control a sin when used by a married couple. I've also never heard a priest say that non-Catholics are going to hell. The precise reason why many people condemn Catholicism is what IMO makes it the best religion: They don't stick relentlessly to outdated dogma. But at the same time they're quite careful and deliberate about the pace of change.