The theological art and science of Catholic apologetics

apologetics

Many CCD teachers resort to arts and crafts because of a genuine fear and ignorance in teaching the Catholic faith to students.

St. Augustine-the Father of Catechetics describes catechizing the ignorant in this way:

The best method for instructing ignorant men in Christian doctrine, one that will bear much fruit is to ask questions in a friendly fashion after the explanation; from this questioning one can learn whether each one understood what he heard or whether the explanation needs repeating.

In order that the learner grasp the matter, we must ascertain by questioning whether the one being catechized has understood, and in accordance with his response, we must either explain more clearly and fully or not dwell further on what is known to them etc.

But if a man is very slow, he must be mercifully helped and the most necessary doctrines especially should be briefly imparted to him.

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Editor’s note: St. Augustine figured this out way back around the 4th century. What a shame the Catholic Church threw out all the old, thoroughly proven ways when, for reasons known only to God, it decided to liberalize the church.

Archbishop Dolan provides a clear explanation of the nature of church doctrine.

One would think that leaders in “the Vatican” occasionally meet to decide what “rules” they should issue or reinforce today, or what changes in procedure they should introduce to guarantee that the Church is more relevant.

While this seems to be the presumption of most people who attempt to report on the Church, it is, indeed, a presumption that is invalid.

“The Vatican” is a plot of ground the size of an eighteen-hole golf course on the banks of the Tiber River in Rome.  It happens also to be the home of the successor to the man buried on this acreage under the splendid basilica which bears his name, St. Peter’s.

These 108 acres, “the Vatican” have absolutely no authority at all to alter the teaching of the Church.  Its sacred duty, rather, is to preserve and hand on the deposit of faith we have received from revelation, from the Bible, from Jesus, from His apostles.

So, to imply that the Successor of St. Peter, Pope Benedict XVI, and his closest aides regularly meet as some political entity to read the latest poll and “change Church policy,” like that of ordaining only men, is silly.

Call it whatever you went — “the Vatican,” “Rome,” “the Pope,” “the Holy See,” “the Magisterium” — whatever you call it, it does not “make up,” “change,” or “issue” new doctrines.  It inherits them, receives them, “handed on” (from the Latin word tradiitio,) by Tradition.

Yes, it may rethink how the truth entrusted to it might be better explained, or more credibly presented, or expressed in a more contemporary way.

Yes, it might become concerned when it’s clear that a good chunk of people no longer follow a particular teaching or moral precept.

But it does not then call a meeting and vote whether or not to change the teaching.

At times it – “the Vatican,” “Rome,” “the Pope,” “the Holy See,” “the Magisterium” — might even wish it could change certain teachings.  For instance, I would wager most bishops, priests, deacons, pastoral leaders, and maybe even the Holy Father himself has, at one time or another wished the Church could alter the teaching of Jesus that marriage is forever, and that one cannot break that sacred bond asunder.

But it can’t, because it didn’t make up the teaching to begin with.

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Manual of Catholic Prayers and Doctrine

manualofprayers

A refreshingly simple, timeless and 100% Catholic book. Easy to read. Easy to understand. Easy to use. For all ages.

Read it and/or download a free copy.