Monday, January 16, 2012

Vatican encourages a recovery of 'apologetics'

"Over the past 50 years, apologetics lost its general appeal because 'it was considered proselytism,' an aggressive attempt to win converts that was replaced by ecumenical dialogue, he said. It didn't help that many Catholics started seeing all religions as equally valid paths to salvation, so they thought it was best to encourage people to live their own faith as best they could without trying to encourage them to consider Christianity."


The need for articulate Catholics who could remain calm under fire became evident after a 2009 formal debate in England in which Hitchens and the actor Stephen Fry faced off against Nigerian Archbishop John Onaiyekan of Abuja and Ann Widdecombe, a Catholic member of Parliament. The crowd clearly was on the side of Hitchens and Fry, who argued against the motion that "the Catholic Church is a force for good."


John Bugay said...

Hi James -- interesting that doctrinal and theological reasons aren't among their initial list of "things to address":

Jack Valero, coordinator of Catholic Voices and U.K. press spokesman for Opus Dei, said the group began by trying to respond to objections raised by groups protesting Pope Benedict's 2010 visit to Scotland and England. The issues included homosexuality, contraception, assisted suicide, clerical sexual abuse, abortion, AIDS, same-sex marriage and women in the church.

James Swan said...

Well, in fairness to Rome, those issues should be decided by doctrine, and I assume they'll use their 3 legged canon to come up with answers. I typically don't keep up with current Romanism on those subjects. I rarely leave the 16th Century on this blog.

However, you do have a point that they are more concerned with sorts of practical theology issues, rather than say, defining some doctrine, like say, the ambiguity of Dei Verbum and inerrency.