Friday, August 11, 2023

What's an Apologist?

What is an apologist in the Catholic Church?

Two Answers
A and B - I commented under B and footnoted A

Stephen Arthur Noel DSouza*
Bible studies
Wed 9.VIII.2023
Originally Answered: What is a Catholic apologist?

A person who defends the Catholic faith by providing Biblical explanations of the Truth.

Here are my Apologetic writings:


* Note
Stephen DSouza just spoke of his apologetic writings.

Stephen Arthur Noel DSouza

gives the following credentials:

  • Financial Consultant at Business 1975–present
  • LL.B in Law & Criminal Law (paralegal), Indian Law Society's Law College Graduated 1976
  • Lives in Pune, Maharashtra, India 1960–present
  • 1.5M content views 41.8K this month
  • Active in 3 Spaces
  • Joined August 2020

None of the credentials make him clergy or necessitate a vow or an appointment with the Church.

Al Lundy
Practicing Catholic for 60 years, Deacon, servant of God
Thu 10.VIII.2023
St. Lawrence
A Catholic apologist is someone, who understands explains and defends our Catholic faith through reasoned discourse.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
In other words, unlike:
  • bishop
  • priest
  • deacon
it doesn’t take any ordination.

  • ordinary
  • abbot
  • parish catechist
  • doctor of theology at a Catholic university
it doesn’t take any appointment with the Church.

  • monk
  • nun
  • religious
it doesn’t take religious vows.

While any of above may be an apologist, an apologist does not need to be any of above, and can very well be not just a layman but involved in a writing enterprise that is private profit (Gilbert Keith Chesterton) or a charity (Catholic Answers).

Al Lundy
The Laity is any individual or group not ordained or committed to the Religious Life.

So yes, an apologist can be laity, ordained, or in the Religious Life. Because of that it was unnecessary to list them in the definition, it was sufficient to say that it is simply “someone”.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Thank you very much.

I am sharing your answer and your comment, because, to some Evangelical sects, it seems to be standard to presume an apologist is a pastor or at least a youth pastor.

While I am Catholic, there are a lot of Evangelicals involved in my situation here in Paris, and they may bring in unwarranted presumptions about what being an Apologist means to me.

Al Lundy
You might look at your terminologies as well because you have several redundancies and overlaps.

Church members fall into one of these groups

Laity, Religious Life, Ordained life. A person falls into.only one of these categories, you have duplicated some into more than one grouping.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
I was not just looking at non-laity, I was also looking at appointments with the Church.

A sacristan is usually laity, a parish catechist is usually laity, but both depend for their position on an appointment.

The apologist doesn’t. Let me rephrase that. A parish catechist may be a good apologist, his occasion for work is parish catechesis, which he has by appointment with the Church. But an apologist qua apologist doesn’t depend on such an appointment.

In other words, if I tell someone I am sacristan of Ste Anne, I am lying, that position is already filled by a man holding it by appointment with the curate and perhaps also parish council.

If I tell someone I am an apologist (among other activities as a writer), that is different. You can claim I am a bad apologist, but not that I claim a position that isn’t mine. You can claim I am misleading anyone who would take my apologetics seriously, but you cannot claim I’m intruding, like if I were trying to set up a medical practise without authorisation from the medical faculty (MD or MLic).

That’s the reason why it is also on my list. The states in life were not the only concern.

Al Lundy
I as just a couple of the Catholic church a pastor is always a priest. Sacristans can be someone in the clergy, religious life, or laity. You are jumbling the state of life someone has in the church with ministries and administrative positions.

Catholic apologetics is a form of theology that can be practiced by anyone in the church body either finally or informally.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
“that can be practiced by anyone”

Thank you very much.

Btw, what do you mean by “finally”?

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