Apologia: The Fullness of Christian Truth


``Where the Bishop is, there let the multitude of believers be;
even as where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church'' Ignatius of Antioch, 1st c. A.D


Take Back the Net!

 

(Note: 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 isn't Catholic.

 
I. Wikipedia

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 Wikipedia.

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!):

 

Traditional Catholicism
Vatican II
Novus Ordo Missae
Tridentine Mass
Christianity
Catholicism
Pope Pius XII
The Passion of the Christ
Eucharist
Jesus
Papal Infallibility
Mary, the Mother of Jesus
Blessed Virgin Mary
Assumption of Mary
Immaculate Conception
Perpetual Virginity of Mary
Inquisition
Crusade
Persecution of Christians
Christian-Jewish Reconciliation
    Confession
Sign of the Cross
The Real Presence
Latria
Latin (Ecclesiastical)
Idolatry
Middle Ages

Dogma
Thomas Aquinas
Da Vinci Code
Holy Blood, Holy Grail
Magdalen Asylum
Contraception
Abortion
Homosexuality
Christian Views of Homosexuality
Christian Views of Women
Euthanasia
Church and State
Primacy of the Roman Pontiff


And I repeat: do NOT add links to this site without discussing it first on the relevant Talk Pages and getting consensus from editors! You may well have to get it "whitelisted" before being able to add a link in the first place, which would require patience and follow-through.


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

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:

All Experts
AskMeHelpDesk
Abuzz 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:

Internet Movie Database
Amazon.com

 
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 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.

Finally, keep a sense of HUMOR!


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