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).
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.
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
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
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’.
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
"Developments since the Council seem to be in
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
('The Ratzinger Report', Ignatius press, San Francisco,
1985, pp. 29-30)