I hope you didn’t quickly misread the title as “Catechism of the Catholic Church” as causing scandal; however, if you did, that kind of proves the point here:
On these forums today I found multiple references (over different times and posts) that the catechism.cc website, named “The Catechism of Catholic Ethics” is actually an un-authoritative, potentially hazardous resource run by a layperson, Ronald L. Conte, who has (at best) extremely questionable beliefs and teachings on a variety of subjects (especially in regards to eschatology). He also runs the website www.catholicplanet.com with similarly problematic (but less mistakable as authoritative) resources and statements. It seems a large part of his goal is to sell books on Amazon, as there are a great deal of links to them on his sites. Not to mention the REAL catechism prohibits the production of other catechisms
I have been referring to that site unawares, thinking that it was an official church resource, especially on sexual ethics, for probably 5+ years and am sort of freaking out about this revelation today.
That site comes up as the top search result on an innumerable amount of Catholic related Google searches, and to think that there are people out there (like myself, for 5+ years!!) that are referring to this as a source of truth from the Church is staggering.
Although admittedly I should have probably taken more diligence in assessing the resource years ago,** it is set up in a remarkably similar style and format to the real catechism** and also very subversively named (hopefully unintentionally?), not to mention that search results that show up at the top of Google are usually very reliable in general.
Certainly, people not as familiar with Church resources could be even more easily confused.
On top of that, I feel like the author has (hopefully unintentionally) really dropped the ball in keeping a disclaimer up there on the site; he signs his posts as “Roman Catholic theologian and Bible translator.” Also he calls his site/work: “The Catechism of Catholic Ethics is a comprehensive explanation of Roman Catholic teaching on the basic principles of ethics, including…” which is also misleading.
I feel scandalized thinking about some of the struggles I’ve had in my heart based off the conflict of information from that site (that I’ve unknowingly trusted as an authority from the Church) and some (now I realize) significantly better resources from other authors and places. I feel like I have to now “un-learn” some things, especially in regards to Catholic sexual ethics teaching. It has truly been an honest mistake on my part to refer to this for so long unawares.
I have personally learned my lesson to examine resources more thoroughly (which I should have done before this) and will do so with significantly more time and prudence in the future. I think this was one of those things from a long time ago that I trusted when I was younger (and less savvy, being not the most practicing Catholic until a couple years ago) and then never really questioned again until today.
However, that said, if I was so easily misled then I would assume there are others being equally misled, which is confirmed in a lot of responses I found in this thread on Reddit. as well as here on the Catholic Forums like this thread and this other thread (see posts by nodito in particular) (just to name a couple!).
Most concerning is this post I discovered where supposedly Colin B. Donovan (now Vice President for Theology at EWTN) spoke about it, but I am unable to find the original unquoted resource unfortunately.
What should be done about the situation, balancing charity with the gravity of what’s going on? This is actually a huge deal with the website’s prevalence (catechism.cc) in search results across the internet. As a web designer, I cannot understate the significance of it turning up so high in search results as being a massive problem when its authority cannot be established. I cannot count the number of times I have personally referred to it unawares. At very best, this is misleadingly authoritative when it is not.
My goal is not at all to cause scandal but rather to hopefully help prevent it. I’d hope a moderator would delete this post if this causes an issue; however, this is a sincerely heartfelt concern
TLDR: In short, is there perhaps a way to get an official statement from an apologist on Catholic answers or preferably something with even more authority about Ron Conte’s catechism.cc and how to handle it, as it has personally caused me some scandal and might be harming others (especially those who are not familiar with Catholic authoritative resources)?