I’m not a Catholic, but a Christian—and yes, they differ greatly for those of you raising your hand in confusion. So, this is my disclaimer to sound judgment of the Catholic faith–apologies in advanced if I offend anyone.
From what I’ve gathered in these four years at a Jesuit college and in other places, I disagree here. In an argument on hot or cold (literal or not literal), Catholics are certainly hot (literal). But, prime to the metaphor, too much hot is a very bad thing. I believe, in the encounters I’ve had thus far, Catholics can easily be perceived as too literal. They have a very straitlaced structure on how they follow things such as their sermons/masses, and it even sometimes extends heavily into their mainstream conscience. They seem to lean a little far on the right-wing conservatism that things have to be this way or not at all. In psychology, we call that “Dichotomous thinking,” an all or nothing dogma. This is highly controversy-flammable. I believe this is why Catholics take as much flak as they do now. When it comes to the easily discussed problems, they can sway either way. Bring it heavy topics (such as abortion, homosexuality, and free religious will) and the Catholics may be the first to tell you what they think about x, y, and z.
The Bible is a written record of events occurring from days of old. Key word: OLD–meaning that many of the rules and regulations are not to be taken too literal. A lot of these scriptures are severely archaic and should only be taken for a jumble of words fixed together to make a sentence. That is all! You wouldn’t kill your neighbor if he stole your dog, would you? No, you’d take a more rational and modernistic approach to reach a compromised and reasonable solution. Catholics, in many opinions I’ve heard over the years, are becoming one with such scriptures: archaic. The Bible is more of a book of interpretations taken and passed along throughout the ages than a book that is to be taken at face value for complete and immediate rules to be enforced now. People change their beliefs and themselves after every 5-7 years; this is a book. It’s beliefs and its words have not and are not to be rewritten–lest it wouldn’t be as infallible if we scribbled out every line of a prophet. Instead, we are to take the words and mold them into what it might mean in times now. This is evidently not easy because many people aren’t too versed at reshaping an interpretation free from personal bias. Fast forward several thousands of years, and you have what we are in now. The free-verse age of the Bible. Problem? No one understands it anymore. No one understands what it truly meant, what He truly meant, because it has been retouched and revisited in odd tongues and warped minds one too many times.
So, to return to the question, Catholics do take the bible literally. And because of how the world seems to be in a state of uncertainty, I personally think the Catholics have returned to their proposed seats so that they might return people’s ideas of the Bible to what it was originally. In my opinion, it is because of that that they keep a good purpose to remain as they are.