Roman Catholic apologetics has come a long way. In the written disputes and published propaganda between sixteenth-century Protestants and Roman Catholics, the mass-marketing victory clearly lay in the hands of Rome’s detractors. Protestants out-published Rome’s apologists winning the popular opinion. Roman Catholic works were unlikely to sell, and therefore not sought out by printers. Rome exasperated the loss by not supporting her apologists in their written endeavors. But times have changed. Now, there’s an entire landscape of Roman Catholic apologetics to choose from. Unfortunately, with so many Roman Catholic apologetics organizations, these economic tough times have put a strain on donations.
Maybe you’ve heard Dr. White mention if you get on the Catholic Answers mailing list, you’ll be bombarded with spam support requests. I learned first hand this is entirely true. I bought a product from Catholic Answers a few months back, and they’ve been spamming me for support ever since. Sometimes I get the same support request e-mail a few days in a row.
Here’s an excerpt from the desk of Karl Keating sent last month:
“As you know, Catholic Answers is the largest apologetics organization in North America.”
“If you could make a monthly pledge right now, we would be even more secure as we meet the needs of millions of Americans who, as I mentioned earlier, are starving for the Catholic faith more than ever before. Click here to make your pledge or send your donation.”
I didn’t realize that in the age of the Internet, satellite TV, and mass media publications via the big chain bookstore in town, people were starving for information about the Roman Catholic Church. Why not just go to the official Vatican website? Here you can get Rome’s official answers, and not the interpretations of those answers by the largest apologetics organization in North America. And besides, for free I’ve got the Internet insights of a host of Roman Catholic apologists bookmarked in my favorites.
America isn’t starving for information about anything. We’re a culture over-stuffed with enough information that’s only a mouse click away. It’s like saying the obese family that regularly goes to the all-you-can-eat restaurant can’t find any food. Perhaps one could argue the all-you-can-eat stuff isn’t good food, so we need Catholic Answers to serve the gourmet feast of information. If that’s so, then all those Catholic websites I’ve bookmarked are…. not healthy food.
Yesterday I received another e-mail from the desk of Karl Keating. This time, Karl let me know again about how important Catholic Answers is. Roman Catholics like Keating don’t claim “I’m okay, and you’re okay.” If you’re a Protestant, you’re not okay. Keating explains:
“As you and I know, only the Catholic Church possesses the fullness of truth as revealed by God. Other faith communities have some of the truth. And some have more than others. But when it comes to having everything that God has revealed to man and how he wants man to worship him only the Catholic Church can make that claim.”
“The fact is that, for anyone who wants to follow Christ fully and keep his commandments exactly as he instructed us, the Catholic Church is the answer. The only answer. That’s why Catholic Answers has become much more than just an apologetics organization.”
For those of you who think ecumenically that there isn’t much difference between Protestants and Roman Catholics and we should just get along to fight bigger battles, read again what Keating is saying. Rome isn’t giving away anything. They think you need Rome. This isn’t going to change any time soon. If you give an inch, they are not going to give you anything back in return.
Here’s some other economic pleas from Rome’s defenders.
Catholic apologist John Martignoni only wants 10 cents a day:
“If just 1 in 10 of you will respond to this email, I could cut out one or two of my part-time jobs (I currently work 5), hire some full-time help, and invest in some equipment which would drastically increase our evangelization efforts by drastically increasing the amount of apologetics materials we can develop.”
“I don’t know of any other organization that reaches so many people with the truths of the Catholic Faith on such a small budget, nor one that raises money the way we do- asking for such a small amount, only through email, and only twice a year. I hope those facts, along with the results of the work we do, will be enough to persuade you to support our mission- to spread the truths of the Catholic Faith and to save souls for Christ and His Bride, the Church.”
Of course, the oddest plea for support comes from Mr. Armstrong. To send Dave a 100% tax-deductible donation, you have to send the donation to John Martignoni. Martignoni then forwards the money to Armstrong. Well, this might be worth it, because contrary to the work of Catholic Answers, Armstrong states:
“I think it is accurate to say that I offer the most wide-ranging, comprehensive selection of Catholic apologetics available online (for free: no one pays a cent to read my blog), in addition to my books. It’s been literally a constant labor of love for over twelve years now, since I began my website in early 1997.”
If you’re itching to send DA some $$, you can send it directly to him via Paypal. But keep in mind his website states in all caps, “DONATIONS THROUGH PAYPAL (NOT TAX-DEDUCTIBLE)”. So to send him the 100% tax deductable donation, make sure it gets filtered first through Mr. Martignoni.
Gerry Matatics also needs some support, because unlike Catholic Answers, Gerry defends real Catholicism:
“I don’t believe anyone else in the entire country does quite what I do full-time, traveling and speaking about real Catholicism and exposing counterfeit catholicism, and does it as much, and yet as inexpensively, as I do. I’m hoping I can interest one hundred recipients of this letter in each sending a sacrificial $100 donation, thus enabling me to raise the $10,000 (100 donors x $100 each) that I need to continue and complete my megatour this fall.”
I think there’s an easy solution to which Roman Catholic apologists Roman Catholics should support. If the Vatican would issue an official list of which apologists were worthy of donations, this would clear things up. Now, you may think I’m kidding, but keep in mind, Rome has time to come up with an official list of movies Roman Catholics should watch. Consider Keating’s words above, and you tell me what should be important: an official list of recommended movies, or an official list of apologists?