When I heard Austen Ivereigh was writing a new book on apologetics, I was thrilled. Austen is the man responsible for “Catholic Voices“, a mostly-lay evangelistic group based in England. The group was created during Pope Benedict’s visit to the United Kingdom in September 2010 to ensure that Catholics and the Church were well represented in the media.
As in America, the English media tends to paint the Church in a bad light. Subtly, and sometimes not so subtly, it depicts the Church’s views as archaic and oppressive, while interviewing angry anti-Catholics about the Church’s own teachings.
Austen wanted to change that. So using his media background and expertise, he gathered several lay Catholics and trained them in both apologetics and media skills. The goal was to create Catholics who could articulate Catholic teaching in a reasonable, charitable way.
The group was a tremendous success. Before, during, and after the Pope’s visit, the “Catholic Voices” crew was featured on radio, interviewed on television, and were even invited to several public debates. In many cases, they were able to shift the public perception of Catholicism and change hearts and minds.
Two years later, Austen has gathered everything they’ve learned from these exchanges into a new book titled, How to Defend the Faith without Raising Your Voice: Civil Responses to Catholic Hot-Button Issues (Our Sunday Visitor, paperback, 144 pages). The book is a goldmine of tips and advice on reframing several of the most contentious Catholic issues. You’ll find chapters devoted to topics like:
- The Church and Political Life
- Homosexuality and Contraception
- Equality and Religious Freedom (including the recent HHS mandate)
- Assisted Suicide
- Clerical Sex Abuse
- Defending the Unborn
- Catholics and AIDS
- The Meaning and Purpose of Marriage
- Women and the Church
If you’ve ever found yourself in a heated discussion about these topics, this book will show you how to approach them with reason and grace.
Check out my video review for more and be sure to pick up How to Defend the Faith without Raising Your Voice: Civil Responses to Catholic Hot-Button Issues: