Truths & Proofs of the Catholic Church by Leo Kowalyk, Apologetics Advocate

Here are some fundamental topics...
Leo Kowalyk has written a series of informative articles explaining various topics of our Catholic faith.  Solidly presented in accordance with Catholic teaching, these articles are helpful for Catholics of any age.  If you have a suggestion for a particular topic, please contact us, and Leo will be happy to address your question.       Welcome to the apologetics section of our web site. My name is Leo Kowalyk and I have been writing periodic articles (titled “Truths and Proofs”) for our parish bulletin for several years. ...
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# 1 Why Be Catholic?
Take a few quiet moments and think about it.  If your answer is something like "because that's how I was raised" or "my spouse is, so I thought I'd be" or even "it doesn't matter since all Christian faiths are the same", then maybe your answer is based more on ...
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# 2 Fullness of Faith
  The Catholic Church embodies the fullness of the faith as taught by Jesus and the Apostles.  What does this mean and why is it important?  The fullness of the faith refers to all of the sacred teachings of Jesus and the Apostles, both written and spoken (2 Thess. 2:15, 3:6).  ...
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# 3 What is the Rapture?
  Ever hear of the “rapture”?  Basically, it’s a misguided theology, fairly recent (1830-ish), that teaches that Jesus will secretly return to rescue His true followers from the earth prior to the period of tribulation predicted in the Bible.  It is not historical Christianity.  In spite of its surprising popularity, it ...
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# 4 Central Authority
As Catholics, we enjoy the security of having a central authority that teaches and protects the fullness of the faith as taught by Jesus and the Apostles. Those who have removed themselves from the Church over the centuries have found the issue of Church authority to be a major stumbling ...
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#5 Reconciliation
As Catholics, we experience the human touch of Divine forgiveness through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  While it is God who forgives the sinner, Jesus chose to send the Apostles in His name and share with them and their ordained successors His authority to forgive or not forgive sin (John 20:22-23).  ...
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# 6 Sacred Tradition
  Should the Bible alone, particularly the New Testament, be the only source of truth in the life of a Christian?  The Bible itself does not support this thinking.  According to 1 Tim 3:15, the Church is the pillar and foundation of the truth, and the Catholic Church has taught faithfully ...
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# 7 Purgatory
  Remember Purgatory? Contrary to what many believe, it continues to be a doctrinal teaching of the Church. Some people, however, have incorrectly viewed it as their backup plan: just get enough prayers said on your behalf and no matter what your lifestyle, you’ll be freed from eternal damnation and transported to Heaven.  Well, ...
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# 8 The Bible - Inspired Books
Why do some Bibles have seven fewer books than the Catholic Bible? Although some people claim that the Catholic Church added those books at a late date to support it’s teaching, a look at the facts indicates otherwise.   All of the early sacred Jewish writings were gathered together between 430 B.C. ...
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# 9 Abortion
The Catholic Church teaches that all abortion is wrong (ref. paragraphs 2270-2275 of the Catechism), yet many sincere believers still have a conflicting personal belief that it should be an option in the case of rape. Why is that?  Perhaps empathy for the victim (without regard for the child) overrides ...
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# 10 The 2nd Commandment
The SECOND COMMANDMENT tells us not to do it, but what does it really mean to take God’s name in vain?  The dictionary tells us that it means to use God’s name in an irreverent or disrespectful manner.  Swearing a false oath is also a vain use of God’s name.  ...
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# 11 Baptism
How important is Baptism in the life of a Christian?  St Peter says that Baptism saves you (1 Peter 3:21).  That seems pretty important.  There are some assemblies, however, including some popular “non-denominational” ones (where unfortunately you might find many fallen away Catholics), who deny Baptism for young children and ...
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# 12 Homosexual Sin
Most Christians agree that the act of murder is intrinsically evil and disordered, while the one who commits it is worthy of saving.  Our approach to the homosexual issue should be no different.  Although the Catholic Church is often falsely accused of labeling the homosexual as an evil and disordered ...
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#13 Women's Ordination
Since Vatican II in the 1960s, and particularly whenever there is a change of Church leadership, people will periodically revive the false hope that eventually the Catholic Church will permit the ordination of women to the priesthood.  Perhaps they’re unfamiliar with the official position of the Church.  In 1976 during ...
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# 14 Eucharist
October 2004 to October 2005 was designated by Pope John Paul II as a special year of the Eucharist.  While no one can explore the full depth of this most wonderful of God’s gifts, it would be unfortunate to have not attempted to increase your understanding of the biblical basis ...
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# 15 The Communion of Saints
Each time we recite the Apostles Creed, we confirm our belief in the communion of saints.  This refers to the bond of unity among all believers, both living and dead, who are committed followers of Christ, and is often expressed in the Catholic practice of praying to the saints.  A ...
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# 16 Fornication
When St. Paul says,  “Do not be deceived: no fornicators … will inherit God’s kingdom” (1 Cor 6:9-10), he certainly doesn’t appear to be treating this subject lightly.  His statement seems pretty straightforward and includes a rather significant consequence.  Yet our society professes that what was once considered immoral behavior ...
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# 17 Holy Mary, Mother of God
Catholics refer to the Blessed Virgin as Holy Mary, Mother of God.  Since we are all called to be holy, the first part of this expression is rarely challenged.  However, those who reason that in order for Mary to be the mother of God she would have to be God ...
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# 18 Non-denominationalism
How do you respond to your one-time Catholic friend or relative who makes it a point to inform you that they now attend a “non-denominational” church and find it so fulfilling?  Your approach might be to ask them to consider the following:     *  They were already part of a non-denominational ...
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# 19 Forgiveness
“I can’t forget what that person did and I’ll never forgive them as long as I live!”  Sound familiar?  We’ve all heard it, may have said it, and unfortunately may be guilty of harboring a similar attitude right now.  It can seem so satisfying at the time and we always ...
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# 20 Concupiscence
Concupiscence.  Not exactly an everyday word, but definitely something that affects our everyday life.  The Catechism (par. 1264  & 1426) calls concupiscence an inclination to evil and the result of original sin.  Although Baptism removes its stain, the effects are still present.  Adam and Eve were created without it yet ...
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# 21 Human Reproduction
For whatever reason, Catholics tend to have varying opinions regarding the topic of human reproduction.  The Church, however, evaluates input from theologians, doctors, biologists, bioethics experts, psychologists, and other medical professionals (many of them ordained religious), and has the Christ guaranteed guidance of the Holy Spirit regarding all faith and ...
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# 22 Absolute Assurance
"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).  Seems simple enough. So simple in fact that some non-Catholic Christian assemblies base their “once saved, always saved” doctrine on this type ...
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# 23 Life At Conception
Entering into a discussion with pro-abortion advocates always presents a challenge. It’s easy, however, to be taken in by what might be considered two of their stronger arguments: that a woman has a right to do what she wants with her body, and a concern that you are trying to ...
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# 24 Mary, Co-redemptrix
Whenever our Blessed Mother is referred to as a co-redemptrix or mediatrix, some people object and quote 1 Tim 2:5 that says Jesus is the one mediator.  But in 1 Cor. 9:22, St. Paul says he became all things to all people so that he might save some.  Not being ...
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# 25 Eucharist - Symbol?
Catholic teaching indicates that as a result of a valid consecration Jesus comes to us in the form/appearance of bread and wine.  Since some deny this and say that the Eucharist is only symbolic, let’s look at a similar example.  In the gospel account of Jesus’ baptism, (Luke 3:22), we ...
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# 26 Artificial Birth Control
There are probably very few Catholic adults who are unaware of the Church’s teaching on the immorality of artificial birth control (ABC).  Yet in spite of this awareness, a large number claim exemption and choose to relegate their decision solely to private conscience.  What this individual conscience attitude really amounts ...
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# 27 Miracles Happen
During the 1970’s it was fashionable in certain Christian circles to attempt to give natural cause explanations to selected miracles of God.  Besides going against nearly 2,000 years of Church Sacred Tradition, these “enlightened” explanations actually contradict Scripture.  Surprisingly, one attempt that still lingers today is the re-telling of the ...
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# 28 Proper Attire
Sometimes we unwittingly begin to approach a familiar event in a manner that shows we no longer regard it with the special significance it requires. Dressing for Mass can be like that. Psalms 29:2 and 96:9 (depending on the translation) say to worship the Lord in holy splendor, holy array, ...
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#29 Voting our Faith
  Nowhere in the Bible or in Church teaching are we ever directed to suppress our Christian beliefs. St. John tells us that the victory that overcomes the world is our faith (1 John 5:4). Yet we still hear some people state that even though they are personally opposed to certain ...
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#30 The Sacrifice of the Mass
     Catholics profess that the Sacrifice of the Mass is the consecration effecting the change of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, and the oblation (solemn offering) by the priest as a perpetual memorial of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, all done in accordance with ...
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#31 Honoring Mary
  Even though Catholics are sometimes falsely accused of worshiping the Blessed Virgin (which we don't and which the Church has never taught), there are many reasons why we do pay her special honor. A brief look at some of these reasons can make us wonder why all Christian religions ...
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#32 - Thoughts of the Trinity
It has been said that trying to understand the Trinity is like trying to bite a wall. Yet the Trinity is one of the basic truths and teachings of Christianity. Obviously our finite minds cannot fathom the depth of the infinite God, but He did reveal Himself to us in ...
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#33 Faith & Works
Can Christians rely on faith alone as their personal plan for salvation?  The "reformers" of the 16th century implied that they could.  Martin Luther even added the word "alone" in Romans 3:28:  "a person is justified by faith [alone] apart from works of the law".  A look at the entire Biblical message, however, shows that ...
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#34 Gambling and Greed
Gambling. It's become so prevalent in our culture that any negatives associated with it tend to remain unspoken. We know, however, that something widely practiced and often legal isn't necessarily moral. Prostitution and abortion are evidence of that. But even the Catechism has very little to say about gambling, and ...
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# 35 - Redemptive Suffering
As Catholics we know that we have been redeemed through the suffering and death of Jesus Christ.  Among other things, this means that we have forgiveness of sins, that we are reconciled to God, and that we have become His adopted children.  Jesus' resurrection has won us new life, but it was His sacrificial ...
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#36 Gossip
Whenever you read or hear, "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor", realize that this statement is not reserved just for courtroom drama, where the threat of perjury hangs over the violator.  What we term gossip also has application under this 8th commandment.  Although the Catechism doesn't use ...
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#37 Angels
Belief in angels is a doctrine of the Catholic Church, attested to by both Sacred Tradition and Scripture.  The author of Hebrews asks "Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?"  We know that angels can be protectors and messengers, but where did ...
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#38 Evangelization
A Catholic apologetics magazine recently carried this anecdote:  "What do you get when you cross a Jehovah's Witness with a Catholic?  Someone who knocks on your door and says nothing!"  The humor in this statement is muted by the truth it conveys, namely that Catholics in general tend to keep to themselves when it comes ...
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#39 Ever Virgin Mary
The Catholic Church teaches that the mother of our Lord remained a virgin throughout her life.  Even though the major Protestant leaders like Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli, staunchly defended the ever virgin Mary along with the Catholic Church, many of their modern day followers criticize this belief, attempting to use the Bible as their proof.  ...
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#40 The Hell There Is!
What joy it must be to believe in a promise of heaven with no threat of hell.  Say what?  Sadly, many people today deny that there is an eternal punishment for their wayward conduct.  Hell must not really exist they say since God is all goodness and love and He wouldn't be so cruel as ...
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#41 Redemption and Salvation
We understand what forgiveness means, but how clear are we about terms such as redemption, salvation, justification, righteousness, and sanctification, or the statement, "Jesus Christ died for all, but not all will be saved"?  Since these are terms we encounter when we read the Bible or discuss our faith, a ...
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# 42 Infallible Authority
According to the Bible, the Church Jesus established is the pillar and foundation of the truth; the gates of hell will not prevail against it; and the Holy Spirit will lead it to all truth.  Toward this end, the Holy Spirit preserves the leaders of His Church from the possibility of teaching error, ...
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