Should Catholics use BCE and CE?


#1

I notice that even in Catholic Bible study materials, the abbreviations used for the time periods before and after Christ are the secular designations B.C.E. (Before the Common Era) and C.E. (Common Era), instead of the previously used B.C. (Before Christ) and A.D. (Anno Domini; Latin, “In the year of our Lord”).

As Catholics, are we supposed to use these updated terms for the time periods rather than the old ones? It seems as though we are compromising to fit in with mainstream society.


#2

Certainly there is nothing wrong with Catholics using the secular designations of BCE and CE in “secular circumstances” (e.g., scientific articles). However, unless the Bible study is an interfaith study between Catholics and Jews and the concern is to avoid unnecessarily irritating the Jewish study partners over a non-essential matter, it seems silly to use secular time designations in materials created by Christians for Christians. If we are ashamed to assert our Catholic identity even among fellow Catholics, how are we going to be able to proclaim it to the world (cf. Matt. 10:32-33)?


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