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In this selection from A History of Apologetics, we see that the tension between preaching the truth and finding common ground with other religions goes back at least 800 years. We also see that while the style changes, the substance of apologetics and its demands on Christian charity do not.
If you believe in truth, you’re called narrow-minded; if you stand up for traditional marriage, you’re called “homophobic”; if you uphold the Church’s authority, you’re called judgmental. Here’s how to turn the tables on those who insist on toleration of everything—except the truth.
The Inquisition, Galileo, the Crusades: Rebutting the attacks is full-time work for Catholic historians. But sins of omission are as big a problem. How many people know that we are indebted to the Church for universities, charitable institutions, the sciences, important legal principles?
They don’t attend Mass. They don’t pray the rosary; their churches probably don’t have statues or an organ; they don’t have perpetual adoration; they never used Latin as a liturgical language; their priests may be married. Yet they are loyal to the pope. Who are these Catholics and why should we know more about them?
What if a stop sign had the power to reach out and make your car stop? Or if an athlete you admire could give you his talent? That’s the kind of power God gives to the sacrament of marriage. When he calls spouses to be the image of the covenant between God and man he gives them the means to do it.
~ Father Captier, Dominican superior of the College of Arcueil, to his 12 companions (Dominican priests and laymen), imprisoned by the Paris Commune for being prominent members of the Church, as they were being ordered into the street one by one. There they were murdered and defiled by the mob on May 25, 1871, just hours before the commune stronghold fell to the regular army that was advancing from Versailles.