offsite links below will open in new browser windows)
In the spirit of St. George, I present a few things
Net-loving Catholics can do to bring a little sunlight to our
situation. We can either sit around and talk amongst ourselves, or we
can also slay a few dragons. I say, let's use the grace given to us in
Confirmation, live up to our promises to be true soldiers of Christ,
and defend traditional Catholicism! Bring the Protestants to the
Church, teach the pagan, and explain to misled Catholics what is and
Wikipedia is an
encyclopedia that is written by visitors to the Wikipedia website,
and is fast becoming a much-used source of information, especially for
students, because of its very high-ranking returns at places like
Google. For ex., as of this writing, if you type "Catholicism" into
Google's search engine, Wikipedia's entry on the topic is the seventh return.
This means that if someone goes to Google to do a little research about
"Catholicism," chances are good that what he will learn is what appears
What this means is that we have an opportunity here to try
to ensure that the accurate information about traditional
Catholic practices are available. When all these high school students
and college kids cramming to get papers done use Google to learn about
"Catholicism" or "Vatican II" or "Traditional Catholics," we can possibly
have some input into what they learn to ensure a semblance of balance.
If you have the time and patience to deal with Wiki, make sure any
writing you do there is fair, reasonable, balanced, organized,
well-written, and that it reflects well on the honesty, integrity and
intelligence of Catholics. Read Wikipedia's Policy and Guidelines, and their basic
instructions -- how to actually add or edit articles. Or click here for my quick, one-minute guide to Wiki
that will turn you into an editor very quickly.
Some existing entries you might be interested in (do NOT
add links to this site without discussing it first on the relevant Talk
Pages and getting consensus from editors!):
And I repeat: do
NOT add links to this site without discussing
it first on the relevant Talk Pages and getting consensus from
II. Message Boards
We all know what
message boards are, no explanation needed. But focus on popular,
high-traffic ones that center on religion, especially ones set up for
Catholics, or for Catholic-Protestant dialogue. I beg all to remain
charitable above all, to lose the ego, and avoid name-calling and flame
wars. If you're prone to that sort of thing, sometimes you just might
want to post information, leave, and let others hash it all out.
Use URLs to great traditional Catholic websites in your sig
lines, and remember that for every person you might "talk" to
one-on-one, there might be a hundred reading your posts.
III. Paltalk and Other Chat Software
Paltalk is a
free program that allows you talk in voice and/or text to others in
chat rooms that are organized by topic (e.g., Social Issues, Religion,
Judaism, Christianity, etc.). You can make your own room in any given
category and then keep it public or lock it with a password that you
give out only to those you want to enter. If you open your own room,
you have the power to silence people if they are disruptive, or to ban
them entirely. If you don't want to open your own room, you can go into
the public rooms of others and talk or debate. All you need is a
microphone and the Paltalk program, which you can download
here after registering.
Now, get a few Catholics together, have them download the program, open
up a room, and wait for people to wander in with their questions about
Catholicism. Have the answers for them! Be prepared for the evangelical
fundamentalists who might throw verses at you; have the verses to throw
back. I have an apologist's "cheat sheet" (13 pages, Microsoft Word
document) you can download that has
quickie Scripture references so that when they yell out "Ephesians
2:8-9!" you'll know to yell "James 2:24!" I made it for personal use,
and then added a few explanatory notes for a friend, so it's nothing
fancy, but you're welcome to it.
IV. Become an Expert
various websites out there which invite those with expertise in various
areas to answer questions from the general public. Sign up and become
one of those experts! Some relevant websites:
NYTimes readers answer questions for each other
V. Use "Comments" Feature at Popular Blogs, Newspapers, and Magazines
If you don't
want to start your own blog, visit high-traffic blogs that allow
visitors to post comments, and speak your mind. When you do, include
URLs to traditional Catholic sites, if and only if applicable
to your comments and truly helfpul to readers, so people can find more
information about Catholicism.
VI. Write Reviews
Let the Catholic
voice be heard over the din of the culturally Marxist critics paid by
the owners of the media conglomerates. Traditional Catholics go to
movies, we read books, we hear music -- what do we have to say
about what's coming through the channels of culture? Make yourself
heard, especially at websites like these:
Some General Tips
charitable, and try to be pleasant, too. As my Mamma used to say, you
catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. And as St. Francis de
If you wish to
labor with fruit in the conversion of souls, you must pour the balsam
of sweetness upon the wine of your zeal, that it may not be too fiery,
but mild, soothing, patient, and full of compassion. For the human soul
is so constituted that by rigor it becomes harder, but mildness
completely softens it. Besides, we ought to remember that Jesus Christ
came to bless good intentions, and if we leave them to His control,
little by little He will make them fruitful.
Let the true
peace of Christ be reflected in you.
If you don't know something, say you don't know and don't pretend you
do. Keep your ego chained up in the basement, and just tell the person
you will do your best to find an answer for them.
Define terms that are "iffy" before trying to come to an understanding.
Words and phrases like "born again," "Bible-believing," Tradition,"
"anti-semitic," etc., have to be defined before anything good can come
from using them with various groups.
Define their premises before trying to build your argument.
What do they accept as true? Is that premise true or false? If it's
false, disavow them of it; if it's true, build on it.
Read and internalize what's
written on this site's "Conversion
of the Heart" page (for those trying to convert their own families,
please see "I'm Trad, but My Family Isnt.
Finally, keep a sense of HUMOR!