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Thursday, 3 March 2011

Practical apologetics in the English context

Is the Catholic Church a force for good in the world? We lost that debate at a widely publicised event in England last November. Fr Marcus Holden and Fr Andrew Pinsent, authors of Evangelium, have lit a candle rather than curse the darkness.

CTS have recently published Lumen. The Catholic Gift to Civilisation which offers a factual answer by setting out numerous factual and historical examples of just how the Catholic Church has been a force for good in the world. As the publisher's information states:
To set the record straight, this booklet summarises the extraordinary fruitfulness of the faith, noting that our university system, art, music, legal tradition, charity and even much of our science arises from Catholic civilisation and Catholic minds. This booklet is a great source of encouragement for Catholics and is ideal for those engaged in apologetics, evangelism and teaching today, and for anyone wishing to investigate further.
This is an excellent example of practical apologetics for the English context. To be sure, secularism is encroaching in the USA but it is still important there to focus on apologetics in answer to evangelical Protestants, showing that Catholicism is genuinely biblical. We may need to do that from time to time over here but it is now something of a sideshow compared to the need to counter the prejudices that have been ingrained in our culture by the secularists.

Many ordinary young people will genuinely doubt whether the Catholic Church has been a force for good in the world. They have never heard of the contribution of the Church to science and education, healthcare, the arts, music, language and literature. I warmly commend this booklet to readers in England - and in the US where it will probably soon be needed much more urgently.
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