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Invaluable Online Catholic Resources

By: John Seiler

Summary: Why the Internet helps Catholics, and 10 great resources online.

Keywords: Online Catholic Resources, Great Online Catholic Resources, Catholic Websites, Catholic Web Sites, Resources for Catholics, Catholic Internet, Catholic Internet Resources, Catholic Web Links

No question there are problems with the Internet. A lot of bad stuff.

But the Internet also has freed so much information, especially for Catholics. I'm 61 and remember when it was difficult getting information on our faith, in particular hard questions, without going to a university library. Now, almost every answer is available at your fingertips online.

Here's an example. Probably the best known "Catholic" author in America, unfortunately, is Garry Wills, who has spent more than 50 years attacking our Faith. Some "Catholic." He pushes numerous distortions and misrepresentations of the truth. He had a thorough schooling in Jesuit schools, back when they taught classical languages and the Faith, so he knows what he's doing. But what about people who are just pewsitters and can't check on what he's saying? Well, now we can check.

I would never buy his trash. But in a bookstore I was perusing one of his books, in which he quotes a passage from Sermon 227 by St. Augustine, which Wills claims is "Augustine's denial of the real presence of Jesus in the elements of the meal." Up until a few years ago, it would have been hard for a layman to refute this. But on my smartphone I did a quick online search of Sermon 227 and, in under 1 minute, found Wills omitted a preceding passage in the same sermon, where St. Augustine writes:

"You ought to know what you have received, what you are about to receive, what you ought to receive every day. That bread which you can see on the altar, sanctified by the word of God, is the body of Christ. That cup, or rather what the cup contains, sanctified by the word of God, is the blood of Christ. It was by means of these things that the Lord Christ wished to present us with his body and blood, which he shed for our sake for the forgiveness of sins. If you receive them well, you are yourselves what you receive."

That, in fact, is a brilliant explanation of the Real Presence. But Wills willingly left it out and distorted the truth!

On p. 17, Wills also says that, at least up through the St. Augustine's time in the early Fifth Century, there was "no reenactment of Jesus' Last Supper, no 'sacrifice of the Mass,' no consecration of bread and wine; nothing that resembled what priests now claim to do."

Yet the bishop of Hippo also writes in Sermon 227, "after the consecration of the sacrifice of God... we say the Lord's Prayer."

I hope more people make use of such Internet research to refute Wills and other apostates. Here are 10 resources I find useful...*

1. "The Catholic Encyclopedia" of 1911. This is a classic, orthodox work from the time of St. Pius X. Online searches, such as on Pope Leo XIII or the Eucharist, often end up at this site. Ironically, the Internet, a modern device, leads people to orthodoxy.

There's also a more recent "New Catholic Encyclopedia", 2nd edition from 2002. It's OK in some ways, but also has some unfortunate modernist elements. It's online, although I've never been able to figure out how to access it. So this "modern" summary of the Catholic Faith is not so accessible to modern people as the old, orthodox 1911 encyclopedia. That's a paradox G.K. Chesterton would have loved!

2. The Bible. In addition to the Douay-Rheims version, the Knox Bible now is online. It's Monsignor Knox's excellent translation, still using the Latin Vulgate.

3. New Advent puts up the Douay Bible, as well as the Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas - all of it - and numerous other books.

4. Copyrights have expired for any books for 1922 and before. So almost everything by such great Catholic writers as Chesterton, Belloc, Newman and others is free online.

5. Catholic Answers and other sites provide answers to just about any question that comes up, including modern controversies. [MCS Note: It has been widely debated on the Internet that some online 'Catholic answers' may be questionable. As with all sites, use with caution]

6. Novenas to thousands of saints and for numerous intentions are all over the Internet. Start one today!

7. The recent Catechism of the Catholic Church is available on many sites. So is the Catechism of the Council of Trent. [MCS Note: Some opponents of the post-Vatican II 'Catechism of the Catholic Church' strongly criticize it, arguing that it contains contradictions & other concerns, and is "baffling for a classic or Thomistic spirit"]

8. Decentfilms.com reviews movies that won't destroy your soul. Yes, there are some.

9. The Cardinal Newman Society has a lot of great info on a great theologian and convert.

10. The Wanderer newspaper has many, but not all, of its articles online. I've been reading it now for 40 years.

Signature ImageSignature: John Seiler

John Seiler wrote editorials for The Orange County Register for 29 years and now writes freelance. His email: writejohnseiler(at)gmail(dot)com

* Reminder: We do not endorse any website, content, author, publisher, publication, advertiser, resource, translation, etc. We have included a few comments in brackets above for some - but not all - items. Use all resources with caution.


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