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The Greek roots of the term "Catholic" mean "according to (kata-) the whole (holos)," or more colloquially, "universal." At the beginning of the second century, we find in the letters of Ignatius the first surviving use of the term "Catholic" in reference to the Church. At that time, or shortly thereafter, it was used to refer to a single, visible communion, separate from others.
People often ask, "How should I begin to train myself to defend my faith? How do I prepare for the inevitable knock on the door? I don’t want to have to stand there open-mouthed." The best place to start your homework is the Bible. Almost every American home has one.
Aspiring defenders of the Faith frequently contact Catholic Answers to find out which apologetical works they should read and keep as reference materials. This tract will serve as a guide to some of the most essential books for each apologist to have on his bookshelf. The most useful "must have" works are designated by a red asterisk (*).
Some argue that neither the Bible nor apostolic tradition condemns the practice of homosexuality. Passages such as Leviticus 18:22–30, Romans 1:26–27, 1 Corinthians 6:9, and Jude 7 serve as ample proof that Scripture indeed condemns homosexuality. Below is ample proof from tradition. The Fathers are especially harsh against the practice of pederasty, the homosexual corruption of boys by men.
Christians have always condemned contraceptive sex. Both forms mentioned in the Bible, coitus interruptus and sterilization, are condemned without exception (Gen. 38:9–10, Deut. 23:1). The early Fathers recognized that the purpose of sexual intercourse in natural law is procreation; contraceptive sex, which deliberately blocks that purpose, is a violation of natural law.
In 1968, Pope Paul VI issued his landmark encyclical letter Humanae Vitae (Latin, "Human Life"), which reemphasized the Church’s constant teaching that it is always intrinsically wrong to use contraception to prevent new human beings from coming into existence.
The Catholic Church has always condemned abortion as a grave evil. Christian writers from the first-century author of the Didache to Pope John Paul II in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae ("The Gospel of Life") have maintained that the Bible forbids abortion, just as it forbids murder. This tract will provide some examples of this consistent witness from the writings of the Fathers of the Church.
~ John Southworth, Venerable, priest, English martyr; tried at the Old Bailey, his response to the accusation of being a Catholic priest, whereupon he was condemned to death and sent to the gallows at Tyburn