Invaluable Online Catholic Resources
By: John Seiler
Summary: Why the Internet helps Catholics, and 10 great resources
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
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.
John Seiler wrote editorials for The Orange County Register for 29
years and now writes freelance. His email:
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