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Why the World Needs Catholic Answers

A lot of people have misconceptions about the Catholic Church. Catholic Answers is a media ministry that answers questions about what the Church really teaches. We are the largest organization of our kind. Learn more about Catholic Answers, our beginnings 40 years ago, and where we’re headed.

Our Mission

Catholic Answers is a media ministry that serves Christ by explaining and defending the Catholic faith. We help Catholics grow in their faith, we bring former Catholics home, and we lead non-Catholics into the fullness of the truth.

Our Vision

Our goal is to be the most trusted and accessible source for sharing, explaining, and defending the Catholic faith through as many media as possible: from personal contact to the most innovative means of mass communication.

A Resource You Can Trust

Catholic Answers works each day to ensure our content is faithful to the Magisterium. Our staff apologists have decades of practice in apologetics, and several hold advanced degrees in theology and philosophy. We maintain a broad list of associates (clergy and laymen) who are experts in the fields of liturgy, history, bioethics, theology, philosophy, canon law, and more. We have close friendships with members of the Church hierarchy across the United States and in Rome. An independent registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Catholic Answers is listed in the Official Catholic Directory and is recognized as an apostolate in good standing by the Diocese of San Diego, where our main office is located.

Our Story

Catholic Answers started in 1979 when our founder, San Diego attorney Karl Keating, came out of Mass one day and found a flyer on his windshield that attacked the Eucharist. A local Fundamentalist church had put it on every car in the parking lot, and predictably, the flyer was full of misinformation. Karl was so annoyed that he drove home with a humble goal: to draft a letter that would introduce basic Catholic beliefs and refute anti-Catholic charges. He wrote the rebuttal, signed it “Catholic Answers,” opened a post office box in that name, and proceeded to place his response on the windshields of cars in the same Fundamentalist church’s parking lot.

That modest effort was Catholic Answers’ first publication (tract). Surprisingly, Keating soon found the post office box bulging with letters—some unquotable, others cheering him on and asking for more tracts. He obliged, writing 24 additional tracts that comprised Catholic Answers’ entire line of publications for several years.

Keating also wrote articles for the Catholic press about the clash between Fundamentalists and Catholics, drawing responses that convinced him there was a real need for information on Catholic apologetics—the study of how to explain and defend the faith. In 1986, he launched a monthly newsletter to help people keep abreast of what Catholic Answers was doing and learn more about the exciting field of apologetics.

In 1988, growing demand and his own burgeoning desire to commit himself to serving the faith led Keating to close his law practice and turn Catholic Answers into a full-time apostolate with its first office and staff members. That same year, Keating published the book, Catholicism and Fundamentalism, a compilation of apologetics newspaper articles that he had written during a 30-week stretch which became one of the best-selling Catholic apologetics books of all time.

The apostolate grew quickly, and in 1990, its original newsletter was replaced with This Rock, a 10-issue-a-year magazine that became the nation’s premier journal of Catholic apologetics and evangelization. More than 30 years later, that publication—still in printed form and published six times per year—is known as Catholic Answers Magazine and is available to anyone who requests it.

Our Core Values

These principles inform all that we do. They are the foundation of our organization.

Be Prayerful

  • Shared liturgical life
  • Personal commitment to interior prayer
  • Daily prayer for and with each other

Be Personal

  • Treat others how you like to be treated
  • Listen with empathy
  • Reverence the other as a fellow child of God

Be Charitable

  • Desire the good of the other in thoughts, words, and deeds
  • Help one another with a generous spirit

Be Collaborative

  • Seek opportunities for dialogue
  • Share your knowledge
  • Practice open and frequent communication with other departments
  • Accept feedback with docility
  • Look for ways to cooperate with other apostolates

Timeline

Our history begins in 1979, with a flyer placed on car windshields that became our first tract. In it, Karl Keating responded to false Fundamentalist claims about Catholicism. He signed the flyer “Catholic Answers” and opened a P.O. box under the same name. Visit the Catholic Answers Timeline for all the highlights and photos of our apostolate’s history.

Support

Help support Catholic Answers in achieving its vision for spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ. We are an independent, lay-run apostolate that is fully faithful to the magisterium of the Catholic Church, but we neither ask for—nor receive—financial support from the Vatican, any diocese or bishops conference, or any other organization that is part of the institutional Catholic Church. Donations to Catholic Answers, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Need to reach us?

Use our contact form and select a department.

Want to evaluate Catholic Answers’ performance?

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit committed to good stewardship to sustain our services, we are pleased to provide information transparency to help you make important decisions about your support. View the most recent Catholic Answers audited financial statements and IRS Form 990. If you would like additional financial information for the apostolate beyond what is posted here on our website, please reach out to us.

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