How do we evangelise these people?

That’s Louise’s question in response to yet another silly article (this time from a journalist at The Australian) on the Holy Father’s Address to the Curia (still not in English on the Vatican Website: check here).

“These people” include not only the journalist who wrote the article – but even more so the people in the comments string that follows the blog. In case you haven’t noticed, these people hate the Church, and they regard even the most reasonable and rational of discourses as a “tirade” if it questions ideas to which they are inseparably attached.

Fraser reckons Romans 1:18ff. He’s probably right. Which only makes it more amazing that sometimes the Holy Spirit gets through to us thick-headed stiff-necked human beings nevertheless.

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0 Responses to How do we evangelise these people?

  1. Cardinal Pole says:

    What we Catholic bloggers have to do is to work together–we need to alert each other to anti-Catholic blog posts when they come up and get together and defend the Church vigorously in the combox there. A bit of solidarity among us would help overcome the discouragement of being shouted down by raving secularists.

    Another idea, one which I’m sort of doing, is to ‘adopt’ a secularist blog and comment there in support of the Church and the pro-life movement. The problem is that the secularists, despite their professed love of ‘freedom of speech’, is that they are only too happy to block you out of discussion when it suits them, even if your comments contain nothing blasphemous, obscene, libelous or seditious. (See here, for instance:

  2. Ttony says:

    There is a translation now available here.

    Happy New Year!

  3. Paul says:

    No doubt it is worthwhile to offer alternative and correct views in blogs like this, but I fear it will not change the mind of the bloggers. The blog you quote here, and most of the comments seem to be made by people trying to convince themselves that they are right, rather than engaging in any real debate. That is why the comments descend so quickly into personal abuse. However, offering alternative views would be helpful to the “bystanders” who read the blogs, so they can see the alternative, if they can’t recognise the tortured and tortuous reasoning for themselves. So, good on you, but my humble suggestion is to remember to keep the comments reasonable and not join in the ad hominem attacks.

  4. Past Elder says:

    Pig’s bum.

    Don’t misunderstand: I agree with Ratzinger’s comments re the Order of Creation, not to mention, if anyone knew of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod in Oz they would think as little or less of it than they do of the Roman version of “church” and on the same grounds.

    Look indeed at Romans 1:18ff. What is the basis there of God’s condemnation — the wrongness of the world can be deduced from natural religion alone, ie, what, though as Aquinas pointed out is contained in Revelation too since most of us don’t have the time to figure it all out, can be found in Man as he is.

    That’s where you start. Or as Paul in Acts, not where they are wrong, but where they are right. Walking around I see you are very interested in God and religious things …

    You start with natural religion, then proceed to revealed. They don’t “hate the Church” at all. To start on that basis is to be exactly where they are, regarding anything that questions ideas to which you are inseparably attached as a tirade, hate, whatever. Going at it like that, you won’t even get them to Law, let alone Gospel.

    They’re not going to jump from where they are to Gospel. No-one does. That’s why the Law came first. So you start with what they have, what is still written in us, to lead them to Law, to show that is where the part still written in us ends and not in their conclusions, then announce the Gospel.

  5. Louise says:

    That’s where you start. Or as Paul in Acts, not where they are wrong, but where they are right.

    Yes, PE, you’re right about that, I think.

    OTOH, at a certain point in the discussion, we will come up against this kind of resistance at which point things will then rapidly deteriorate. It happens online and it invriably happens IRL too, unless we just avoid every possible contentious issue.

  6. Louise says:

    BTW, PE, I have just got around to answering your question about my mother’s Spanish.

    Also, I think some people really do hate the Church (I mean, all the baptised):

    “If the world hates you, remember it hated me first.”

  7. Schütz says:

    Taking up PE’s point, Fraser says that these folks actually are convinced they are working in for the virtues of kindness and decency etc. We are too. Perhaps the starting point is to show that we really wish to achieve the same objective: ie. happiness and well being for all human beings, and proceed from there.

  8. Louise says:

    That’s right, David, but at some point we will disagree and the shit will hit the fan!

    Happens every time.

    The main reason for this, of course, is that while we may both want happiness and well-being for all people, it cannot be the case that, for example, gay marriage is simultneously good for humanity and bad for humanity. We can assume good faith in the hearts of those we disgree with but at some point, we have to thrash out the issues and only one group can be right.

  9. Louise says:

    Going at it like that, you won’t even get them to Law, let alone Gospel.

    Upon further reflection, the point of the passage, surely, is that we don’t have to bring them to the law, they can deduce it for themselves and therefore have no excuse.

    But I agree, going with what they get right and working from there is the way to go.

  10. Past Elder says:

    Well, they won’t deduce it themselves. That’s why God revealed it, and had to before he revealed the rest. Proper distinction between Law and Gospel.

    They will go from natural religion to a law that is not God’s — which is what it seems David takes Fraser to be saying, namely, that “these people” really do think the changes for which they work serve the cause of kindness and decency etc.

    And as in politics, disagreement over how to get to a result will be taken as not wanting the result. So if you oppose the legislation I propose to bring about justice, you oppose justice. If I oppose the Church you propose to teach truth, I oppose truth. All crap. So we start where we agree, even if that is nothing more than we want justice, truth etc, and now look at how to arrive there.

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