04 Nov 2014 Q&A Comments (114)

Why do some Catholics kiss their thumb after making the sign of the cross?

Full Question I notice that Latinos in my parish kiss their thumb after making the sign of the cross. Why? Answer They actually are kissing a cro…

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20 Aug 2016 Q&A Comments (5)

Is my friend barred from joining the Church because he is a Freemason?

Full Question My Freemason friend wants to become Catholic but is under the impression that he can't because of his status as a Freemason. Is this true? …

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26 Oct 2014 Articles Comments (1)

"You Can Die Any Number of Ways in Damascus"

With much of the focus on the plight of Chaldean Christian in Iraq and the fight of the US-led coalition against ISIS, the ongoing crisis in Syria has to some e…

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16 Jun 2015 Articles Resources Comments (3)

Did Jesus Really Want us to Eat His Body?

Did he really intend for us to eat of his body and drink of his blood? Jesus said he would be present to his people in many ways. He is present in prayer. "Wh…

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15 Sep 2016 News No comments

Headmaster of the Oratory school resigns

David McFadden is moving to Aquinas College in Perth, Australia, after 34 years at the school The headmaster of the Oratory school in Fulham, west London, has …

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16 May 2016 Americas Asia-Pacific Australia Europe Middle East - Africa News USA Vatican Comments (1)

Pope Francis' Pentecost Sunday Mass Homily, titled “I will not leave you orphans" - Full Text

Below is the Vatican-provided translation of Pope Francis’ homily for Pentecost Sunday during Mass this morning in St. Peter’s Basilica: “I will not leave yo…

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26 Sep 2015 News USA No comments

Pope Francis to New York City: Jesus still walks our streets. Tell everyone!

Pope Francis on Friday had a brief, but urgent, reminder for the Catholics of New York City. They must proclaim the joy of God and remember to care for all thos…

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18 Oct 2014 Articles Comments (1)

Did Peter live in Rome?

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28 Jun 2016 Articles Comments (1)

The shock of the referendum could signal a new politics – or something darker

Who won the referendum? It has plenty of losers apart from the EU – David Cameron and Barack Obama, the experts and the financial elites, and that orthodoxy def…

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How can I turn down an invitation to participate in an apologetics debate?

Full Question

I’m in college and have been defending my Catholic faith to an acquaintance, who is a strong fundamentalist on campus. Through an e-mail conversation last week, I have explained, with Scripture backup, some Catholic issues he opposes. Now my opponent asks for a face-to-face debate. It this a prudent way to do apologetics? How can I turn down the debate and not be the “loser”?


Not everyone has the gift of thinking fast on one’s feet. This in no way means that one’s position is weak or fallacious. If you are not experienced in debate, tell him so and that the truth can be well expressed by means of e-mail—or is he afraid of letting the facts speak for themselves?



  1. Tom Rafferty Reply

    ” – – – the truth can be well expressed by means of e-mail—or is he afraid of letting the facts speak for themselves?”

    I would be glad to speak the truth to BOTH of them in an email debate, or anyone else, for that matter.

  2. Patrick Gannon Reply

    “I have explained, with Scripture backup, some Catholic issues he opposes…”
    You’ve already lost. Catholics don’t depend on scripture. They depend on convoluted reasoning wrapped around Vatican authority. You can’t debate Catholic dogma and doctrine with the bible and expect to win. The fundy will wipe the floor with you. Debating face to face without the ability to spew paragraphs of convoluted, circular reasoning, and drawing upon ancient quotes from obscure from apocrypha and early church theologians, will put you at a distinct disadvantage in debating a fundy who knows the bible. and for whom the Vatican authority is meaningless at best, and evil at worst.
    Stick with Email, where you can cut and paste the approved Catholic responses. But you’re wasting your time. Unless you can prove to the fundy that the Vatican is the one true authority, then you’re just thrashing around going nowhere.

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