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Catholic apologetics refers to the branch of Catholicism that deals with the defense and establishment of the Catholic faith. The word comes from the Greek word “apologia,” which means “a verbal defense.” The word is used eight times in the New Testament, including 1 Peter 3:15-16, which reads, in the New American Bible translation: "but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to shame." To a large extent, apologetics is the work of persuading people to change their views. Catholic apologetics is the branch of Catholicism that deals with answering any critics who may oppose the teachings of the Catholic Church. Apologetics may involve a knowledge of translation, philosophy, biology, mathematics, evolution and logic, but it might also be as simple as being able to provide an answer to a question about Catholicism. Apologetics can be either defensive or offensive. The Catholic apologist should be able to defend his reasons for being Catholic, but he can also go on the attack, seeking out those who oppose Catholicism. In a sense, apologetics is like preaching, as its goal is the defense and presentation of the truth, validity and relevance of Catholic teachings. Catholic apologetics is not something that need be left to Catholic scholars. The Twelve who Jesus chose to be His apostles were regular people of that day, yet it was through them that He build His Church. Catholics are commanded to defend their faith, and doing so helps them to know their faith. Apologetics is an attempt to counter error, and to correct those who are in need of correction. It is also a means of defending against the constant threat of false teachings and apostasy in the Catholic Church.



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