Important Forum Info - Read Before Posting

“Love without truth would be blind; truth without love would be like ‘a clanging cymbal’ (I Cor 13: 1).”
– Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Homily

USERNAME RULES[list=1]
*]All messages you post will include your “user name.” This may be your real name or a “handle” (nickname or pseudonym).
*]If you choose to use a handle, it may not be the name of a living person or a name likely to be confused with that of a living person.
*]If you register using a real name other than your own, your account will be canceled and you will be banned from future participation at this site.
*]If the user name you choose contains offensive or misleading elements or innuendo, your account will be canceled and you will be banned from future participation at this site.[/list]

CONDUCT RULES[list=1]
*]Messages posted to this board must be polite and free of personal attacks, threats, and crude or sexually-explicit language, rude comments and innuendo.
*]Do not use abbreviated terms such as “Prots” or “radtrad” etc. that may be offensive to the group to which they refer. Full names are best.
*]Do not use character substitutions in proper names, such as “Amerikkkans” or “Demonrats” or “Repubicans” etc.
*]Inappropriate or offensive graphics, links, or profile entries are not permitted.
*]Messages should be short. Do not post lengthy replies (especially replies that consist largely of quotes from an earlier message).
*]Do not view the discussion area as a vehicle for single-mindedly promoting an agenda.
*]Non-Catholics are welcome to participate but must be respectful of the faith of the Catholics participating on the board.[/list]

CONTENT RULES[list=1]
*]Do not paste articles from web sites into a post. If you wish to reference an article on the web, link to its web address, instead.
*]Do not change the title of posted articles.
*]Discussion of a controversial news event must reference at least one publicly-available news report on the subject. This can be in the form of a link, a partial quote and a link, or a posted photo (as appropriate).
*]Do not post others’ e-mail addresses, private messages, or private e-mail sent by them unless they give you permission to do so.
*]Do not post copyrighted material.
*]Do not post material from unapproved private revelations.
*]Do not post personal phone numbers and addresses.
*]Do not post anything that can be construed as spam.
*]Do not post anything that can be construed as a commercial advertisement or contains any form of commercial solicitation.
*]Do not post anything that you do not want to be publicly read for an extended period.[/list]

DISCUSSION FORUMS
[list=1]
*]Messages posted to threads should be on-topic. If you wish to discuss another topic, start a new thread.
*]The views and positions expressed in the Politics and News Forums are solely those of the participants and do not reflect the views and positions of Catholic Answers.
*]Do not pad your post count with chatty or off-topic messages.[/list]

ASK AN APOLOGIST FORUM
[list=1]
*]Be aware that apologists have limited time and are not able to answer all questions.
*]Apologists cannot read, analyze, and comment on articles or web sites. If you wish to know how to respond to something, please pose the issue in the form of a *specific *question (e.g., “What is a valid Catholic response to this particular claim”) rather than a general one (e.g., “Could you read this article and tell me what you think of it?”)
*]If you need your question answered more swiftly, consider posting it in the general discussion forum where other board members can help answer it.[/list]

PRIVATE MESSAGING[list=1]
*]If you have something to say to an individual member that is not of general interest to the board, use the private messaging system.
*]Inappropriate or harassing private messages are not permitted.[/list]

ENFORCEMENT[list=1]
*]Reports of infractions of these rules should be submitted to the moderators by the “Report Post” feature. Just click the http://forums.catholic.com/images/buttons_cak/report.gif image in the problematic post. Use of the private messaging system for problem reports is discouraged.
*]Material that violates the rules may be edited or deleted without prior notice.
*]Judgments by the Moderators can be discussed with the Moderators via private messaging but not on the board itself. Decisions of the Moderators may be appealed to the Super Moderators.
*]Users who persistently violate the rules will be banned.
[/list][right]ver 1.4[/right]

**General reminder:

Participants are reminded to refrain from using ad hominem remarks, such as calling other participants “trolls.” So long as discourse is civil, participants have the right to disagree with popular opinions and should not be called trolls as a ploy to marginalize their contributions to the forums. “Troll-busters” should report problematic posts to the moderation staff with the post-report function rather than applying the label to anyone. Future instances of public “troll-busting” will be treated like other instances of uncharity on the Catholic Answers Forums.**

The difficulty with sarcasm is that participants often do not know how seriously to take what you are saying. What seems “obvious” to you to be a mild tweak can send other participants into high offense, causing them to report the post to the moderation staff for action.

Moderators try hard to only step in when sarcasm crosses the line into uncharitableness, but sometimes mild tweaks are not obvious to us either and you may get a conduct warning for what seems to be small potatoes to you.

Suggestions:

[list]Use emoticons when possible to convey your intent. A smiley-face or a wink can demonstrate that you are not intending malice.[/list]

[list]End the post on a positive note, devoid of sarcasm. A pleasant ending can act like sugar helping the medicine go down.[/list]

[list]Think of sarcasm like salt. Just as you wouldn’t dump a shakerful on your food, don’t dump a load of sarcasm into a post. Use it sparingly.[/list]

[list]If you receive a conduct warning, accept it graciously and consider it a reminder that you accidentally shook too much salt over the food. Resolve to find ways to make your points without sarcasm for a while.[/list]

[list]If you have any questions about a particular moderation action, ask the moderator politely for an explanation. Don’t make the disagreement public because public disagreements with moderator actions dissatisfy other participants who didn’t know there was a problem. Those dissatisfied participants then come to the moderators requesting explanations, increasing the moderation staff’s workload, which in turn creates testy moderators.[/list]

Thanks to all who participated in the discussion. The thread is now closed. It will be made into a sticky for information purposes.

Forum moderator:

Robert Bay

If you experience difficulty in the In the News Forum: World News, please use the private message system to contact the forum moderator, Robert Bay.

Problems with inappropriate content should be reported via the “Report Post” feature. Just click the http://forums.catholic.com/images/buttons_cak/report.gif image in the problematic post and fill out the form.

Ideally the complaint should cite the specific rule than has been transgressed. For reference, forum rules are posted here.

There is no need to submit the same report twice or to join with others to express outrage over an offensive post. One report is sufficient. Multiple reports on the same offense only add to moderator work loads.

Catholic Answers does not endorse or oppose any candidate or party. Rather, CA seeks only to explain and defend Catholic moral teachings.

Discussions of politics (discussing particular politicians, candidates, asking who to vote for, etc.) among CAF members is acceptable only in the World News sub-forum. However, CAF is not a channel that political parties, candidates, or advocates can use to further their political agendas. Please do not post campaign ads or campaign on the forums.

Campaigning for a candidate on the forum is not allowed. You may charitably discuss current news items but you must try to remain objective and not use CAF as a vehicle to campaign for a certain candidate or against a certain candidate.

No name calling, personal attacks or belittling anyone, including political candidates and politicians. Keep all comments charitable. Participants are strongly reminded that charity is essential to our discussions here.

If you wish to review the subject, please see Charity for specifics, or CAF rules for an overview, both of which are located in the Rules of the Road sub-forum.

News stories discussed here should at least tangentially related to religion. When posting new threads, please keep this in mind.

It is fair to discuss a politician’s or newsmaker’s position on the issues and their qualifications for office, it is not fair to discuss their spiritual well being. Criticisms of a anyone’s spiritual life or spirituality should be left between that person and their spiritual director or confessor. They are not allowed in the forums. If a politician or newsmaker states that they are a certain religion that is the assumed religion of the politician in this forum, please do not question it.

When starting a new thread in a In the News subforum, please start it with a news article from a reputable news outlet. The title of the thread must be the same as the title of the news article.

Op-Eds, blog postings and commentary are not acceptable to start a new thread.

Avoid YouTube or other video links as news articles to start a new thread, unless they are a full news report or a full speech from a first source.

Please do not post comments by radio or TV commentators or articles about comments given by media commentators to start a new thread. They are rarely news stories. Commentators are paid to make controversial statements.

If an existing thread is discussing a particular candidate or politician, please try to post on those threads and not start new threads if the discussion is about one of the candidates being discussed in an existing thread.

Keep in mind we are a Catholic forum, not a political forum. And the World News forum needs to have room to discuss world events. If you wish to lobby for a candidate, please do not do it at our site.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Threads in the In the News sub-forums must begin with a news article. Avoid blogs or commentaries unless they link to a news article.

Guidelines on posting news articles to Catholic Answer Forums:
[LIST]
*]Stay on the topic of the forum you are posting in. If you are going to post an article, make sure you are placing it in the correct forum.
*]Post recent news articles
*]Always link to a reliable news source (try to avoid blogs, if you link to a blog, the blog article must link to a reliable news source). No conspiricy sites, please
*]Use the original title. When you post an article, be sure to use the original title in the subject of your post. This helps users find the article and lessens the chance of a double post.
*]Always provide a link to a publically available news source.
*]Avoid quoting from copyrighted works. Instead, paraphrase what is said and provide a link. If you do quote, limit your quotes to one to three paragraphs.
*]Do not post articles that make personal attacks or are in other ways inappropriate for the CA forums.
*]Do not post political cartoons.
*]Since the News forums are supposed to be about national and world news that is of interest to Catholics as Catholics, we would prefer that all news stories that are posted be at least tangentially related to Catholic doctrine or morals Where tie in to Catholic doctrine or morals in the thread may not be obvious to the moderating staff, please explain it in the body of your original post. This will help in our moderating the forum.
[/LIST]It is very common in the forum for people to accuse critics of President Obama of racism. It is unproductive and as a general rule not allowed in the forum.

NOTICE

Please don’t post google search links and digg.com search links because they tend to be dynamic and would require repeated moderation over extended periods of time. Instead link directly to a valid news source.

Please do not start a thread using rt.com as a source. It is a tabloid and not a reliable news source.

Thank you for your cooperation

Banned Topics List

Catholic Answers has an obligation to protect our members and assure that the Forums remain a respected discussion environment in which members feel secure in participating.

To achieve this, it is necessary to ban certain topics, content, and posting techniques. If you are unsure whether or not something falls within the scope of this list, inquire of a moderator privately, before posting
[LIST=1]
*]Advocating violence or threatening a person or institution
*]Inappropriate language or graphics (crude, obscene, rude, vulgar, or blasphemous)
*]Pornography and links to pornographic sites or sites which host links to or advertise pornographic sites
*]Sexually explicit or graphically violent material or content that is inappropriate for non-adult members or might offend adult members
*]Hate material and links to sites that promote bigotry, hatred, or prejudice toward those of any race, religion, ethnicity, culture, or nationality
*]Derogatory terms characterizing a class of people by religion (Papists, Prods, Fundies), political affiliation, or national/ethnic origin
*]Blatantly disrespectful characterization of any faith, (“Rome is the Whore of Babylon”, “Nazarenes are Holy-Rollers”, “Jews are Christ-killers”, “Muslims are terrorists”) its tenets, practices, or adherents
*]Proselytizing Catholics or encouraging them to leave the Church
*]Debating moderator action, including discussing, disputing, or speculating as to why a member’s posting privileges were restricted, why posted messages were edited or deleted, or why threads were closed or removed from public fora
*]Posts in circumvention of a restriction, suspension, or ban imposed by staff
*]Solicitation of personal information (e.g., age, income, or location), beyond that freely offered by members through inclusion in their public profiles
*]Identifiable information pertaining to individuals, including the names of non-public personages who have not consented to being identified, their mailing or e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, or details of their private life (or such information - not already in the public domain - which relates to a public personage who has not consented to it being revealed)
*]E-mail or private correspondence from a third party
*]Discussion of political candidates, including posts that name a candidate, allude to a particular candidate, use euphemisms for a candidate, or refer to surrogates for a particular candidate
*]Rumored “conversions in process” that involve third parties, particularly public figures. Exception: If the possible conversion is itself a news story, that news story may be discussed in the Catholic News sub-forum so long as a link to the news story is provided in the original post
*]Encouraging “swarming” of other forums to engage in debate of anti-Catholic postings there
*]Links to blatantly anti-Catholic sites, except as a valid reference point for discussion
*]Addresses or telephone numbers of individuals, institutions, or commercial enterprises to promote activity that might negatively affect another’s life or business operations
*]Identifying individual parishes, clergy, or hierarchs as “unfaithful to the Magisterium”, guilty of “liturgical abuse”, or otherwise engaged in unacceptable or unpopular practices, based on personal “knowledge” or opinion
*]Soliciting or proffering financial, legal, medical, or mental health advice
*]Asserting credentials as a clergyman, religious, theologian, or legal or medical professional, on which members might rely to their detriment, when the credentials cannot be verified to the satisfaction of CA staff
*]Lengthy excerpts of articles or publications that exceed standards for “reasonable use” (generally no more than three paragraphs) or might otherwise be construed to infringe copyright
*]Unlinked news stories or those not linked to a publicly accessible website (one that does not require registration or payment)
*]Intentionally deceptive material, including plagiarism (presenting another’s work as one’s own) or text attributable to or quoting others that has been altered
*]False statements maliciously made to defame another’s reputation
*]Promoting unapproved apparitions and revelations (those not approved by the Church for private or public devotion) or alleged private locutions
*]Soliciting business for any commercial enterprise without prior approval by CA staff
*]Soliciting donations for any individual or institution without prior approval by CA staff
*]Spamming (multiple or repetitious messages consisting of identical or nearly identical text or links without substantive commentary)
*]Using “sock puppet” identities to deceive others, promote an agenda, bolster one’s own credibility, filibuster, or engage in debate with oneself in furtherance of a point of view[/LIST]From time to time, it may be necessary to adopt content rules applicable to individual forums because of their particular nature. Members should periodically review the Posting Guidelines of forums in which they regularly participate

Please review the forum descriptions before deciding in which to begin your thread.

[forum=4]Ask an Apologist[/forum] - get expert answers to questions on Catholicism - read [thread=4]this[/thread] first

[forum=3]Karl Keating’s E-Letter[/forum] - react to it here, pro or con

[forum=51]Radio[/forum] - offer feedback or discuss Catholic Answers Live

[forum=63]This Rock[/forum] - talk about articles in CA’s magazine

[forum=62]New Projects[/forum] - be informed about upcoming CA endeavors

[forum=20]Apologetics[/forum] - learn to respond to questions about and challenges to your Faith, including effective presentation techniques, examine historical controversies

[forum=30]Sacred Scripture[/forum] - discuss the Bible, including translational issues and exegisis

[forum=31]Moral Theology[/forum] - explore moral implications and ramifications of Church doctrine and dilemmas affecting you and find the answer to the question, “Is this a sin?”

[forum=108]Social Justice[/forum] - dialogue about Church teaching with societal implications, pro-life/pro-choice issues, just war doctrine, human rights

[forum=102]Traditional Catholicism[/forum] - talk about the Traditional Latin Mass, the Indult, SSPX, sedevacantism

[forum=50]Eastern Christianity[/forum] - learn the history, spirituality, and practices of Eastern & Oriental Churches, Catholic and Orthodox

[forum=14]Non-Catholic Religions[/forum] - explore the history and beliefs of non-Catholic and non-Christian faiths, dialogue with their adherents

[forum=15]Liturgy & Sacraments[/forum] - discuss Mass and Sacraments, roles of ordinary and extraordinary ministers, liturgical music, church etiquette, the “other” Western Rites (Ambrosian, Bragan, and Mozarabic), Anglican Usage

[forum=12]Family Life[/forum] - talk with peers about marriage, educational concerns, interpersonal relationships, family planning, other aspects of daily family life

[forum=73]Parenting[/forum] - chat with others about coping with the joys, sorrows, practicalities, and challenges of raising children

[forum=100]Evangelization[/forum] - meet with others involved in religious education, catechesis, RCIA, CCD, and missionary outreach, compare experiences, learn from one another

[forum=19]Spirituality[/forum] - learn about Catholic apostolates, Secular and Third Orders, prayer, fasting, sacramentals, devotionals, Saints, your own spirituality

[forum=86]Prayer Intentions[/forum] - post prayer requests, respond to those of others, participate in perpetual prayers

[forum=75]Vocations[/forum] - discuss discernment of your own vocation to the religious, married, or single life; share your experiences with others; get information on diocesan and secular priestly formation and on religious orders

[forum=54]Popular Media[/forum] - dialogue about our culture, including art, magazines, books, computers, television, radio, music, theatre, and the performing arts

[forum=45]Catholic News[/forum] - talk about news events involving the Church, its leaders, and the laity

[forum=67]World News[/forum] - share perspectives and analyses of current events from around the world

If your topic doesn’t fit criteria for any forum, try the [forum=77]Back Fence[/forum] - a mix of the ridiculous and sublime, or [forum=76]The Clubhouse[/forum] - chat there is light, but can be educational

Finally, the [forum=90]Concierge Desk[/forum] - a collection of subforums designed to meet your needs, visit it to: get or offer [forum=98]User Support[/forum]; better understand forum use through [forum=97]Mini-Tutorials[/forum]; familiarize yourself with the [forum=91]Rules of the Road[/forum]; and, even test forum features in the [forum=93]Sandbox[/forum]

With these choices, everyone should find a forum to meet their needs. Enjoy yourself, and use the [forum=95]Suggestion Box[/forum] to let us know what we can do to make your experience better.

Here is a list of the moderators and their assigned forums.

[LIST]
*]Angela Tate Popular Media & Evangelization
*]Catherine Grant Eastern Catholicism
*]Jean Anthony Liturgy & Sacraments & Philosophy

*]Jill Foster Faith & Finances
*]Jo Benedict Traditional Catholicism
*]Julian Peters Moral Theology
*]Klara Collins Spirituality & Prayer Intentions
*]Michael Francis Apologetics & Sacred Scripture
*]Patrick Eastin Water Cooler & Vocations
*]Rachel Malloy Non-Catholic Religions
*]Robert Bay Secular News, War on Terror and Politics 2008
*]Walt Oliver Social Justice & Catholic News
*]Zelie Louis Family Life & Parenting[/LIST]

Avoid ad hominem posts. An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem (Latin: “argument to the man”, “argument against the man”) consists of replying to an argument or factual claim by attacking or appealing to a characteristic or belief of the source making the argument or claim, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument or producing evidence against the claim.

The process of proving or disproving the claim is thereby subverted, and the argumentum ad hominem works to change the subject.

Ad hominem posts are normally considered off topic and attempts to hijack a thread. You will receive infractions for them.

News stories discussed here should at least tangentially related to religion. When posting new threads, please keep this in mind.

When starting a new thread in a In the News subforum, please start it with a news article from a reputable news outlet.

Op-Eds, blog postings and commentary are acceptable to start a new thread if they contain links to hard news stories or press releases. However, they must otherwise adhere to CAF rules on charity.

Avoid YouTube or other video links as news articles to start a new thread, unless they are a full news report or a full speech from a first source.

Please do not post comments by radio or TV commentators or articles about comments given by media commentators to start a new thread. They are rarely news stories. Commentators are paid to make controversial statements.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Those who choose to include photos or images in their signature lines:
[LIST]
*]must limit themselves to a single photo or image; and,
*]the photo or image may not be larger in dimension than 100x100 pixels.
[/LIST]Signitures should not be political in nature.

Multiple photos/images make site pages slower to load, especially for those of our members who use a dial-up connection. Their ease of access is also affected by the size of the photos/images required to be opened by their systems.

If currently your signature isn’t in conformance with these requirements. Please take the necessary steps to correct the problem.

Anytime that you are uncertain whether a photo that you are using meets this dimensional standard, right click on the photo in question and then select “Properties”. Among the displayed characteristics for the photo, you will see its dimensions, expressed in pixels. Any commercial and most freeware photo-management programs will permit you to resize a photo to meet the standard.

Thank you for your cooperation in this regard.

Negative and rude comments toward CAF members, clergy (deacons, priests and bishops) or toward religious and religious orders are banned.

Everyone, online and offline, deserves to be spoken to and about respectfully. However, some posters seem to feel that clergy and religious are fair game.

If you have an issue with them, take it up in private, not on this forum or any of our forums.

You may cite something from another source, if you are not using it to further an agenda. Agenda posting is not allowed.

If we deem that you are disrespectful to our clergy and religious, you will receive an infraction or even a ban.

Proof what you write before you post.

You may not make disparaging remarks about:

[LIST]
*]Vatican II
*]Clergy (deacons, priests and bishops) of any group
*]Religious (brothers, sisters, and nuns) of any order or congregation
*]Lawful actions and disciiplines by the Church including the historical excommunication of the SSPX. It happened. Rome explained why it happened. End of story. Rome did not put it out there for debate by the faithful.
*]Another poster or his/her ideas. You can disagree. You cannot attack,insult, ridicule or dismiss as unimportant. His opinion is as important to him as your opinion is to you.
*]Parishes, pastors, civil leaders.
*]Other religions – if you’re unsure how to speak in public about other faiths, look at the Pope Benedict XVI. He is fraternal, polite, and intellectual in discussing religious differences.
[/LIST]
Avoid arguments that will lead to violations of charity. You don’t have to like what you read and others do not have to like what you post. But you must be civil toward each other and those who are not on the forum.

Please search for the topic you are going to post about. Do not start a new thread if the topic is already being discussed. Instead add your thoughts as a post to the older thread.

Remember to charitably discuss the issues, not other members or how they post.

Please read this thread, if you have any questions, ask.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.