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on January 15, 2007
The Catholic Response is a great book to assist both Catholics and non-Catholics in understanding the Catholic position of many of the Catholic doctrines that confound the average person. With a mixture of history, logic and Sacred Scripture, Father Stravinskas makes the topic of every chapter come alive and the reader finishes every chapter with a sense of, "well, of course." Father Stravinskas always takes the high road in his approach. The Catholic Response was written as a response to an anti-Catholic screed written by Jimmy Swaggart back in the 1980's. Despite the fact that the Catholic Response has been updated since Swaggart's public disgrace, Fr. Stravinskas makes no ad hominem attack but rather treats the topic of Swaggart, as he does all topics in the book, with charity. At this price point, this is a great book to have a few copies on hand to give to anyone with questions about the Faith.
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on December 17, 2006
I found this book to be an easy read, suitable for anyone who is interested in basic Catholic apologetics. Although this book does not appear to be intended for serious study it is still a useful guide for those who wish to know some basics about the Catholic faith. It contains some good arguments for the most common oppositions to the Catholic Church and is an excellent starting point for anyone who wants to pursue further study.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon December 3, 2013
Peter M.J. Stravinskas (born 1950) is a well-known Catholic apologist, and editor of 'The Catholic Answer,' and author of other books such as Catholic Church and the Bible,Catholic Answer Book,The Catholic Answer Book 2,The Catholic Answer Book of Mary,Mary and the Fundamentalist Challenge, etc.

He wrote in the Introduction to this 1985 book, "Why a 'Catholic Response' to the Fundamentalists? They are a large and growing segment of American religious life. They are vocal and aggressive, frequently virulently anti-Catholic. They are generally misinformed on a variety of fronts:... More often than not, they are as lacking in charity as they are in understanding---if for no other reason than the fact that so many of them are fallen-away Catholics... It is not accident that Fundamentalism held no attraction for Catholics when we had our own house in order; conversely, when theologians and clergy began to question traditional teachings and then to teach speculative theories as valid alternatives to authentic Catholic doctrine, young Catholics had their faith shaken. Searching for a rock of faith, they strumbled onto the Fundamentalists." (Pg. 11-12) Later, he admits, "many former Catholics indicate that their emotional needs were not met in Catholicism. This criticism became more common after some renderings of the revised liturgy brought about a loss of the sense of the sacred. With much of the mystique gone from official Catholic worship and the decline in more personal devotions like novenas and Benediction, some people began to look for religious experiences which were more emotionally satisfying." (Pg. 114-115)

He states, "While the apostles did not refer to themselves as priests, we know that they did share in the ministry of the high priest, Jesus Christ. There are three probable reasons why the term 'priest' was not applied to the leaders of the early Church. First, there was a great deal of animosity expressed in the New Testament toward Jewish priests. Second, there was undoubtedly a fear of confusing the apostles and their successors with pagan priests of that time... The third reason... a concern that the unique high priesthood of Jesus Christ would not be clouded over..." (Pg. 62-63)

Of Matthew 23:9 ["Do not call anyone on earth your father"], he says, "If we turn to the First Letter of John, however, we find that the writer of that epistle appears to have violated Jesus' injunction [1 Jn 2:4]... In point of fact, what Jesus condemned was the giving to any human the honor or adoration proper to God. That same passage speaks of calling no one teacher, either; however, thousands of physicians, professors and Protestant ministers are called 'doctor,' which means 'teacher.' Would these critics also take this passage so literally that they would deny children the right to address their male parents as 'fathers'?" (Pg. 66)

He observes, "Fundamentalists become nervous with this doctrine [the Immaculate Conception] because they think it removes Mary from the rest of humanity and raises her to the level of a goddess... Mary was indeed redeemed by God through 'prevenient grace.' This term of scholastic theology simply means that God spared Mary from sin, crediting to her in advance the benefits of her Son's redemptive sacrifice, so that she could sinlessly bear the sinless Son of God." (Pg. 75)

He notes, "The Catholic Church maintains, on the basis of scriptural and historical data, that Christ passed on His authority to forgive sins to his disciples, for it is obvious from the Gospels that Jesus did indeed confer power and authority upon His apostles... Clearly, the delegation of divine prerogatives to the disciples was not without precedent." (Pg. 97)

Stravinskas's books will be of great interest to anyone studying Catholic apologetics.
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