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Rediscovering Catholic Apologetics

   Throughout the centuries since Pentecost Day, the Catholic Church has seen large numbers of faithful, both lay and ecclesiastics, spurred by the Cardinal virtue of Fortitude they had received in the Sacrament of Confirmation, eager to contend for the Faith once delivered unto the Saints (Jude 1:3).

   From St Justin Martyr in the second century to Frank Sheed in the early twentieth, many Catholics found joy and delight in defending the Faith handed down to us by the Apostles. Catholic Action was a great weapon of apostolate and conquest of souls for Jesus Christ.

   However, since the cultural and moral ravages of the 60’s, and the crisis of faith that followed the Council Vatican II, an unbridled, euphoric and misguided ecumenism penetrated every other sphere of Catholic activity. In the aftermath of the Council, the defense of the faith was relegated to a secondary plane, if not altogether abandoned.

   It was the twilight of logic and orthodoxy which helped sink the Church in an unprecedented identity crisis.(1)

   However, in the last two decades or so, the Church has also seen the steady growth of a new movement – a phalanx of lay apologists has emerged in ever growing numbers to reaffirm the unsullied Catholic truth, defending the Apostolic Tradition and the orthodox interpretation of Sacred Scripture as taught by the Magisterium of the Church. The United States of America have been particularly blessed in this regard.

   In Brazil, the great defender of Catholic Social Teaching, Plínio Corrêa de Oliveira, set in motion a whole new approach to defend the Faith: logic, clarity, consistency, kindness and courage to affirm the Faith of the Apostles and their actual application in temporal society.

   He put into practice St Peter’s exhortation: “Sanctify the Lord Christ in your hearts, being ready always to satisfy every one that asks you a reason of that hope which is in you” (1 Peter 3:15).

     Like him, a myriad of  lay Catholic apologists today study papal encyclicals, the writings of the Early Fathers, Sacred Scripture, and, always guided by the perennial teachings of the Magisterium of the Church, are always ready to satisfy every one who asks him for a reason of that hope, that certitude of faith, that illumines and guides his mind and life.

The Lost Art of Apologetics – putting logic at the service of the Faith - today makes great strides among lay Catholics, especially in the United States and Australia. This has become increasingly evident in the Church today, when we see the ravages of New Age, secularism, agnosticism, relativism in countries once known as ‘Christian’.

   The inroads made by Islam in the West render the renewal of Apologetics ever more necessary.

Saint Gabriel Communications is proud to be part of this renewal of unsullied orthodoxy in this new dawn of Catholic Apologetics.


(1) "Developments since the Council seem to be in striking contrast to the expectations of all, beginning with those of John XXIII and Paul VI. ... What he Popes and the Council Fathers were expecting was a new Catholic unity, and instead one has encountered a dissension which - to use the words of Paul VI - seems to have passed over from self-criticism to self-destruction. There had been the expectation of a new enthusiasm, and instead too often it has ended in boredom and discouragement.

"There had been the expectation of a step forward, and instead one found oneself facing a process  of progressive decadence.... It must be clearly stated that a real reform of the Church presupposes an unequivocal turning away from the erroneous paths whose catastrophic consequences are already incontestable.”

('The Ratzinger Report', Ignatius press, San Francisco, 1985, pp. 29-30)


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