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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 isn't
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 at
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.
Wikipedia's Policy and Guidelines, and their basic
to actually add or edit articles. Or click here
for my quick, one-minute guide to Wiki that will turn you into an editor
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 editors!
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.
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
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
There are 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:
Abuzz NYTimes readers
answer questions for each other
V. Use "Comments" Feature at Popular Blogs
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
Internet Movie Database
Some General Tips
Always be 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 Sales wrote:
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
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.
Finally, keep a sense of HUMOR!