Catholic Answers Could Really Use Our Help

The Church calls us to evangelize and exists to do so. Catholic Answers is the largest lay Catholic evangelization and apologetics apostolate on the planet. They do amazing work on the kind of ridiculous shoestring budget only Catholic apostolates can run on. Evangelization ain’t optional. It’s the Church’s raison d’etre. If you are one of the many Catholics who doesn’t feel like they even know where to start, remember Brother Giles, the companion of St. Francis. He too felt bad because when Francis was tramping all over Italy preaching the gospel, he felt tongue-tied and awkward. So Francis told him, “We all have different gifts. If yours is not preaching, then relax find out what God has given you to do instead.” From that day forth, whenever Francis preached, Brother Giles would stand up as Francis sat down and say, “He’s right! Listen to him!” and sit down.

If you don’t know how to evangelize or talk about your faith, that’s fine. Catholic Answers does. So given ’em some money and help the gift of money God has given you help them do their work. It’s a work of mercy.

Go here and help ’em out!

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  • thisismattwade


    Hi Orthros, I think you’re right to be discerning about your donations to charitable/evangelical organizations. I follow the same guidelines, with some background information in mind. Here’s a link to Catholic Answers Inc’s 2009 IRS form 990 (non-profit tax return, for laymen),

    If you scroll to page 8, you can see the compensation for any of the employees or related people who make more than $100k. It is true that quite a few of our favorite and beloved apologists are on that list. However, I will point out two things: (1) they have all taken a 26% pay decrease since then, notwithstanding any pay increases inbetween, and (2) they are based in San Diego, CA, which has a pretty darn high cost of living index. According to a popular calculator (, none of them are that much more well compensated than me, and I’m a 28 yr old CPA in Dallas. Knowing that someone who is the President or Treasurer of an international organization makes little more than I do, and serves Christ in a much more direct way, doesn’t bother my conscience.

    I’d also ask you to consider that, when you take a look at things like relative percentages, there is a minimum at which certain expenses have to be set to keep the mission going. If the donations to CA were to increase, then you would see the relative weight of salaries to revenue decrease, assuming that they don’t take raises.

    I hope you’ll consider what I’ve said here with an open mind. Take care.

    • Dave

      I hope people will help Catholic Answers. They are a good organization. If not, I hope CA will consider leaving San Diego rather than closing shop. I know it’s hard to pull up stakes, but I did a cost of living comparison with a random US city in the Midwest (Indianapolis) and Indianapolis has a cost of living 38% less than San Diego. That’s a heap of money which could be saved by moving.

      For future reference, if one is starting a charity and it is not necessary to be in a certain place, it would be prudent and ensure good stewardship of donor money to locate in a place with a low cost of living. As you can see from the cost comparison above, it can make a major difference.

  • HornOrSilk

    “Radical traditionalists” have shown contempt for the Pope and Church. That’s the problem. So of course apologists, following the Church, will have a “program” to respond to them as much as any others attacking the Church.

  • Dave P.

    I don’t think CA has any problem with those who prefer the EF sacraments and traditional devotions. But they do have legitimate issues with the Lefebvrites. Grunerites, Feeneyites, and sedevacantists.

  • Thomas J. Ryan

    Thank you Orthros. I was willing to look past their contempt for the ever dwindling and increasingly narrowly defined category of Radical Traditionalists .
    On Feeneyites and Lefebvrites, they try to be more Catholic than recent popes who have said one may hold to a strict version of EENS and that the SSPX are in the Church. I just thought they blew with the wind as they seemed to be a little tight lipped on this during the reign of Benedict.
    But, these issues you’ve brought up put them in the category of the Catholic League and their high paid divorced windbag Bill.
    I may have to cough up a small fee and buy a premium membership to ChurchMilitant.TV now. Ugh!

  • Dan

    I have some ideas for Catholic organizations worthy of charity:

    (1) Your parish. Not only for the physical upkeep of the church building, but for the salaries of the handful of church employees (obviously, most people active in the parish community are volunteers) and to fund education (both directly via CCD and RCIA classes and indirectly for assessments for Catholic schools).

    (2) Your diocese. My diocese’s fundraising efforts gives to (1) Catholic Charities and other social justice programs, (2) Catholic education (both schools and parish education programs), (3) scholarships for Catholic schools. (4) programs to increase vocations, (5) catholic outreach & evangelization, (6) support for parishes (probably to subsidize poorer parishes)

    (3) The Holy See. To help fund worldwide programs.

    (4) Missionary groups such as Maryknoll. These people have devoted their lives to God in order to spread the Gospel in poor countries.

    (5) Your local Catholic Charities.

    (6) Programs run by the U.S. Catholic Bishops. I’ll highlight the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and the Catholic Relief Services Collections. Other examples are here

    (7) Funds to support retired religious. Because of fewer vocations, many religious orders are in dire financial need. They will have great difficulties providing for their aged brothers and sisters in the near future. These people have lived their life in poverty for the love of God and deserve to live their final years cared for with respect and love. America magazine highlighted this problem in a recent article.

    • Thomas J. Ryan

      CCHD? This is a joke, right?

      Supporting religious orders in retirement is interesting. Whenever someone brings up stories of nuns with rulers and other horrors of growing up Catholic to my pastor he always responds, “Why then do I have the least trouble of all when I’m tasked with raising money for elderly religious? Have these donors (and there are MANY) forgotten how badly they were treated? “

      • Dan

        I actually do support the aims of CCHD and think the Church should work with secular organizations to promote charity (ok, I also know that some in the conservative end of the Catholic blogosphere have criticized CCHD and was being a tad mischievous).

        I am too young for the nuns with rulers era–by the time I attended Catholic high school, the religious faculty consisted of the principal, one teacher, and a member of the support staff. I suspect though that many of those who did have negative experiences eventually came to understand that the vast majority of religious are good and holy people. And, of course, many people had positive experiences with nuns as teachers.

        I don’t know if you read the article I linked by Father Martin, but it had a sad story about a sister who ended up in a (presumably) secular nursing home. I assume that when this woman took vows that she thought she would die in a convent, surrounded by fellow sisters. Obviously, denoting to religious retirement funds doesn’t directly promote evangelization, but I think the Church has a moral obligation to these men and women.

    • enness

      Haaa…I wish. If you knew what my parish teaches in RCIA, you’d understand why none of my money goes there. Otherwise it’s a good suggestion.

  • Brian

    They do great work. They — through the person of Matt Pinto primarily when he was there back in the day — are the primary reason why I returned to the Church. I’m forever grateful for that and have sent them my $ to help them keep the doors open.

  • Elmwood

    Catholic Answers has a great forum and website for sure and deserve our support. But they published a voters guide for “serious Catholics” that pretty much directed people to vote Republican. It didn’t have an imprimatur BTW. The USCCB voter guide was much better written and was approved by the full body of bishops. That voter guide doesn’t inextricably lead to vote GOP or you’re going to hell.

    I’d rather not fund a voter’s guide like that.

    • HornOrSilk

      At times, I have problems with Catholic Answers because of some of their political work. I do think in the past, as with their voter guide, they did go too far (or not far enough) with their voter guide (for it was quite narrow their focus). On the other hand, while I have strong disagreements with some aspects of CA, and think the politics hurts them as being an apologetical group, nonetheless, I can’t deny that they do answer basic questions which many non-Catholics have, and they give a good starting resource for such work. As such, I won’t tell people not to donate to them.

      If I were a millionaire, I would probably give them money despite some disagreements I have with them from time to time.

      Nonetheless, I do think there are many places which need funding right now (include myself ) and so Catholics do have a diversity of options which are all good choices. No group will likely be perfect. As we don’t all have the same vocation, we don’t all have the same calling for charitable gifts. The Church needs the diversity.

      • Elmwood

        I agree. They just need to be careful that they don’t appear too political. That has been problem in our church and tends to divide people or create unnecessary walls to conversion if our faith is associated with a political ideology.

        • johnnyc

          Yes they seem to be favoring the liberal political part of the spectrum.

  • Reluctant Liberal

    Isn’t Catholic Charities a lay organization? You may be right as far as apologetics go, but I think Catholic Charities is the biggest evangelization organization out there.

  • enness

    I second this, big time!