Friday, December 19, 2008
Know Your Catholic and 'catholic' Websites
Having been active in Catholic and non-Catholic Christian discussion forums for nearly five years now, I am struck by how many websites I used to visit for research which I now know do not fully embrace orthodox Catholic teachings. It is tough to know when first beginning (and quite often after being fully immersed) your online study of the Catholic faith where to turn for true Church teachings - by sites supporting only those Rites which are in full communion with Rome.
CatholicCulture.org is providing a very helpful service for all who are learning more about the Catholic faith. They offer in-depth reviews of sites claiming to be Catholic. To the Neophyte or rusty Catholic, it is difficult to discern which sites to trust without some sort of assistance. I'll link some sites I regularly relied on and found that they were assigned a poor grade and will list the reasons stated for the first to illustrate an example:
-This one was a shock to me. I relied on it heavily for its wealth of information though some materials made me feel a bit uneasy, like all of Catholicism was like attending a Life Teen Mass.
Catholic Culture lists strengths and weaknesses. They are as follows:
Attractive layout (Resources)
Saint of the Day section (Resources)
Some good articles which uphold Catholic teaching (Resources)
Weaknesses (Hold on to your hat)
Articles undermining the Real Presence (Fidelity)
Richard Rohr was a regular columnist in the Every Day Catholic section, and is still featured in the archives (Fidelity)
Books by Richard Rohr, William H. Shannon, Anthony T. Padovano, Raymond Brown, and Arthur Baranowski (Fidelity)
Tapes by Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton, Edwina Gateley, Richard Rohr, Donald Senior, C.P., Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland, Bishop Kenneth E. Untener, and Bill Huebsch (Fidelity)
Special section featuring the writings of Raymond Brown (Fidelity)
Promoted the TV series Nothing Sacred (Fidelity)
Features well-known dissidents (Fidelity)
Guess who hasn't been relying on this website's information anymore. ;)
Other Sites 'Red-Lighted' which I have found many people use as sources:
Catholic Doors Ministry
Franciscan Renewal Center
Generations of Faith
National Catholic Reporter NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH National Catholic Register
There are dozens more with a 'red' rating - CatholicCulture.org notes that the red rating indicates that a site "tends toward disobedience to ecclesiastical authority, schism or heresy" - also listed are sites with a 'yellow' rating and 'green' rated sites are on this page.
Another great feature CatholicCulture.org offers is that you can fill out an online form and request that they review a site.