Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Danger of Apologetics

Like many of you, I owe my reversion to the amazing power of apologetics.

It was radio shows like Catholic Answers Live and previous incarnations of EWTN's Open Line that sparked my interest in the faith again. Having answers to all the questions at my fingertips was a great gift that I will never tire of thanking the Lord for.

However, I have started to see a dangerous side of apologetics that has been creeping into our Catholic world, and I'm afraid it may lead to us losing our identity.

I love the fact that there is an answer to every question thrown at the Catholic faith, but I worry that our desire to explain everything for Non-Catholic ears may take away from our ability to just be proudly Catholic. 

This came up for me while hearing a commercial on a Catholic radio station promoting the Rosary. 

It went something like this:

"Head on over to our webpage to pray this ancient scriptural prayer any time you'd like."

Yes, the Rosary is an ancient prayer, and yes it is very scriptural. 

Even still, I was a little peeved upon hearing this. 

Why, on a Catholic radio station, do we need to add in that little extra piece about the Rosary? While I'll admit to possibly reading too much into it, it felt as though the station was sharing the opportunity to pray the Rosary while at the same time feeling the need to defend that the Rosary is focused on Jesus and the stories we find in the Gospels. 

God forbid we let people in on our dirty little secret: We pray to Mary! 


I may just be a weirdo Catholic, but sometimes I just want to be unabashed about our faith. 

I want to say something alone the lines of, "Yeah, we pray repetitious prayers in the Rosary; yeah, we're praying to Mary; and yeah, we're meditating on events that aren't explicitly described in scripture. So what?! We're Catholic!"

While I realize my thoughts aren't exactly the blueprint for the New Evangelization, I fear that we can tend to drift into a constant desire to explain why we do the things we do, and lose the feeling of just being authentically Catholic with no need for explanation. 

I'm sure not everyone will agree with me on this one, but every once in a while let's just be Catholic and be that well. No explanation required.


  1. I work at a museum, and one of my colleagues seems afraid to publicize statistics from history in case "they are the wrong numbers" or when using a dialectical or archaic word for a food or tradition he feels the need to write a dissertation length apology for using "non-standard usage".

    I think we should just be proud of what we are too without apology. (I also think we should reclaim "Christian" in everyday parlance to refer to Catholics and Protestants/Lutherans/Anglicans/Evangelicals/etc. to refer to the others. As the short Liturgy of the Hours says--it is Christian Prayer.

  2. That's one thing I admire about the Orthodox. They don't accommodate much to the prevailing culture: We're Orthodox, deal with it! :-)