Friday, July 18, 2008

Reply to Radical Catholic Reactionary Silliness About Lay Catholic Apologists Being Some New Thing

By Dave Armstrong (7-18-08)

This guy goes by "StevusMagnus". I found his remarks on a large "traditionalist" / radical Catholic reactionary forum.

"Well, the biggest problem is that ex-Protestants seem to have brought over the lay apologist. I don't mean someone arguing in the tavern with a Protestant - I mean people who do it for a living, or are so involved they spend as much time as they would if they were doing it for a living. People read their mind-fizzle instead of going to the source documents and the Church's commentary itself. What happens is that they learn the lay apologists opinions on things and think that is what the Church teaches when often it is not. Often times, the Church has no de fide statement on something, and we are allowed to differ in opinion. But these lay apologists often present their (usually erroneous) opinions with an air of authority. Then the cult of personality kicks in for some, and then it's good night, nurse. They have people believing nonsense like Prima Scriptura. We used to have Bishop Sheen, and now we have Hahn and Armstrong. Pre V2, post V2. See the difference?"

Yes, we also "used" to have G. K. Chesterton: lay apologist and convert. We "used to have Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman: convert, and Ronald Knox: convert, and Malcolm Muggeridge: convert, and Evelyn Waugh: convert, etc., etc., etc. 

You also had "in the old days" a lay cradle Catholic who was a major apologist: Frank Sheed. 

There are many key figures in the current apologetics movement who are cradle Catholics (and/or priests): e.g., Karl Keating, Patrick Madrid, Fr. Pacwa, Fr. Stravinskas. So, nothing's really changed at all. There were always apologists in all these categories, and always will be.

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