Many Catholic apologists in this age of social networking and the blogosphere have long ago stopped writing about actual apologetics. They feel their expertise in apologetics (an expertise earned) makes them relevant on various other matters as well, some of which aren’t even remotely religious. (One could read Mark Shea’s rants on foreign affairs and “torture” and one realizes there’s really nothing pro or anti-Catholic about them, they are simply an attempt to use alleged Church teachings to mask his political beliefs.
This trend has proven quite disastrous when many of the apologists started wading into matters where Catholics of good will could take varying prudential stances. With a few notable exceptions, the apologetics movement had some of the harshest critics of those who were attached to the Latin Mass and various approaches to handling the faith. It wasn’t enough to accept Vatican II as a valid ecumenical council whose decrees are binding upon the faithful. It had to be “the highest form of thought the Church has ever had.” (To paraphrase Dave Armstrong in a dispute I had with him in the past.) To say that John Paul II did some good and some not so good things is indeed beyond the pale. If you don’t refer to him as “John Paul the Great”, it is evidence you are resisting the Holy Ghost. These are prudential matters that cannot be solved by the intellectual formulations of apologetics. Catholics of goodwill are free to take a variety of positions on these and countless other issues.
I think it goes without saying that many in the apologetics movement have well overstepped this boundary. Part of the problem is what I call the curse of “Career Catholicism” … [more]
Kevin Tierney on the Difficulties of the “Apologetics Mindset” (Common Sense Catholicism January 25, 2011).
- “I Blame Kant” – a thoughtful reply from Wheat & Weeds. 02/06/11.