CDF official calls for ‘robust’ apologetics

I just want to thank everyone at CAF.
You provide such an easy way for me and others to learn the Catholic faith, the road map to Heaven.
[Catholic World News]
CDF official calls for ‘robust’ apologetics

In a lecture delivered at Westminster Cathedral on November 19, the assistant secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith called for “robust” apologetics in the face of secularism.

“We need a confident, evangelizing spirit and robust but not overbearing apologetics,” said Archbishop J. Augustine Di Noia. “The Apostles in the early Christian communities proclaimed to the ancient a message that was not welcome and we are in a similar situation today.”
He continued:
In these circumstances retrenchment is not an option, nor can we take refuge in the powerful emotional comforts of the Christian faith…behind the emotional truth of the Christian faith, there needs to be something solid if it is to be anything more than a comforting illusion, like a tale we tell children who are afraid of the dark. The emotional sense the Christian faith creates is rooted in convictions, principally that God wants to make a place for us in the life of the Blessed Trinity and that Jesus Christ opens the way to this communion and that our transformation into his image gets us through the muddle of sin but also launches us into the life of glory.

Sounds good, but: where, when, and how does “robust apologetics” take place? In our diocese there occasionally are conferences, speakers agree with the Catholic Faith, and the audience - us oldies - applaud. But there’s nothing we can put into practice. The great majority of people I know are mildly religious; the younger, far more secularized. Nobody’s denying the existence of God, the attitude is that religion is your own business. There are no formal or informal debates about theology, or true doctrine, anywhere I know of. The only Protestant churches that grow are non-denominational, with practically no doctrine.

We have a diocesan seminary, a few ostensibly “Catholic” colleges and high schools, Newman Centers, etc. None of them, nor any diocesan departments or parishes I know about, bring up apologetic type topics. It doesn’t come up at the K of C, the diocesan newspaper, my parish council, in my secular employment, or in conversations with my relatives. I listen to EWTN, but hardly anyone I know does. It answers questions local people are not asking. My diocese talks about evangelism, but only in the context of “friendliness” or giving good example; I agree with friendliness, but what about apologetics?

Does apologetic activity happen in YOUR home city? Where? What role does the average Catholic layman have either in initiating, or supporting it? What would be non-robust apologetics? What specific actions do average laymen take in your city, right now, to make apologetics happen, or make it more “robust”?

I’ve been wanting to do some street evangilization but not near qualified enough. I know many catholics who are hungry for scripture and apalogetic study.

I think practicing this robustness with those around us first is the key. As the OP says, I’m also grateful for CAF and the opportunity to learn and grow continually and stoke the fires of faith.

Recently I experienced this with my 19 year old daughter. She asked me a question and I started to tell her how the body is a temple and the dwelling place for Christ in the same way that the first temple in Jeruselem was the place that housed the arc of the covenant deep inside. I said the arc in those times was ‘God with us’ in the way that through Jesus life, death and resurrection we are left with the Eucharist… ‘God with us’ here and now. And I asked her to recall how there are often older people sitting in Church in front of the Tabernacle in prayer. Well that’s because when the red light is glowing next to it, Christs real presence is there in the consecrated host. A Catholic Church is like the body as it hosts ‘God with us’ as a beacon for others to know and follow.

Anyway, she said to me ‘hmmm but you didn’t answer the question’. “What was the question?” I asked her to remind me. “Would you ever get a tattoo?” she said.

I had to laugh but at the same time felt pleased to have taken the opportunity to evangelize to my daughter in the face of the secular world.

When asked by protestants if you love Jesus respond by saying ‘Yes I love Jesus and I love the Church that He founded, the Catholic Church.’ Or if they ask do you have a personal relationship with Jesus respond by saying ‘Of course. I have as close a personal relationship with Jesus as you can have on this earth in the Holy Eucharist.’ That should get the ball rollin’. :slight_smile:

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