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Denis Harkins wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Is the AskACatholic.com an official representative of the Catholic Church, the Pope, and the Vatican?

Thank you.

Denis

  { Is the AskACatholic.com an official representative of the Catholic Church and the Pope? }

Bob replied:

Denis,

No, we are independent lay Catholics who help others to understand the Catholic faith and clear up misconceptions.

Peace,

Bob Kirby

Mike replied:

Dear Denis,

I just wanted to add to what Bob has said. No, we are not but Canon Law of the Church lays down rights and protections all Catholics have in the Church to do the exact work we are doing.

What follows is from our About Us page.

Ecclesiastical obedience and the rights of Catholic Christians.

The volunteer apologists, grammarians, and priest-helpers, who have supported [AskACatholic.com — CPATS] since we began, all strive to fulfill our Christian vocation via apostolic action which is permitted and even obligated, by Canon Law. We specifically derive our rights and obligations from the following:

Christ's faithful may freely establish and direct associations which serve charitable or pious purposes or which foster the Christian vocation in the world, and they may hold meetings to pursue these purposes by common effort.

Canon 215

Since lay people, like all of Christ's faithful, are deputed to the apostolate by Baptism and Confirmation, they are bound by the general obligation and they have the right, whether as individuals or in associations, to strive so that the divine message of salvation may be known and accepted by all people throughout the world. This obligation is all the more insistent in circumstances in which only through them are people able to hear the Gospel and to know Christ.

Canon 225 § 1

They have also, according to the condition of each, the special obligation to permeate and perfect the temporal order of things with the spirit of the Gospel. In this way, particularly in conducting secular business and exercising secular functions, they are to give witness to Christ.

Canon 225 § 2

. . . and the Scriptures encourage this apostolic work:

15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.

1 Peter 3:15-16

The Catholic Church for all of us starts at the local level: in our parish. This is where Our Lord, from the beginning of time, has planned for us to partake in His plan of bringing the Good News of Jesus to the whole world. We encourage everyone to work and develop their unique calling from their parish, and in obedience with a bishop that is loyal to the Holy See.

Most of our apostolate work is based in the Archdiocese of Boston, and we are delighted to report that, according to Cardinal O'Malley's secretary, the Cardinal himself has said some very kind things about the work we are doing.  Nevertheless, we acknowledge the content of Canon 216 which states:

Since they share the Church's mission, all Christ's faithful have the right to promote and support apostolic action, by their own initiative, undertaken according to their state and condition. No initiative, however, can lay claim to the title 'Catholic' without consent of the competent ecclesiastical authority.

Canon 216

Thus, we want to make it clear that our domain name, AskACatholic.com is not meant to imply that we are an official Catholic website in any way. By putting the disclaimer Does not imply ecclesiastical approval, below our domain header, we hope to clarify this issue and show that we are striving to keep in good graces with our local bishop/cardinal, Cardinal O'Malley.

We are simply a group of individual Catholics trying to do God's will. We are baptized Catholic Christians called to preach, teach, evangelize, and clarify the Word of God in both the written and oral Traditions of the Church, in whatever diocese the Lord has called each of us.

  • Isn't that what Our Lord Jesus tells us to do in the Gospels?
  • Isn't that what St. Paul would do if he had access to an Internet back in his times?

Note that at the top of every page it has an * above the AskACatholic.com*.
and at the bottom, it states: * Does not imply ecclesiastical (meaning Church) approval.

Our group would encourage like-minded lay Catholic Apologists in the USA and around the world to follow in our steps.

These web postings may help:

I hope this clears things up.

Mike
AskACatholic.com Web Admin.

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
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