Defending Catholic “Distinctives” Against Protestant Attacks

Todd Aglialoro

I am Todd Aglialoro and a graduate of the MTS program (1998). As director of publishing for Catholic Answers, I oversee all of the print, online, and audio publication efforts of our apostolate.

Unlike in many Catholic countries of Europe, the United States has a long tradition of Protestant anti-Catholicism, from both the old established churches and modern Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism. As an apostolate of Catholic apologetics and evangelization, Catholic Answers carries on the Anglo apologetics tradition that began in England in the 19th century: defending Catholic “distinctives” against Protestant attacks.

Increasingly, our work is directed towards other rivals to the Faith, including secularism, indifferentism, moral relativism, and cultural attacks on chastity and human life. The conflict with Protestants hasn’t disappeared, but the challenge from unbelievers—and from a hostile secular state—is getting stronger. And then, of course, there is the perpetual need to answer the call of the New Evangelization: helping Catholics to re-discover the Faith and be able to articulate it more confidently.

My part begins with Catholic Answers Press, which publishes books, booklets, and audio products aimed at helping Catholics to explain and defend the Faith. Many of these have been translated and published in countries of Central and Eastern Europe, which makes my heart glad. We also publish Catholic Answers Magazine in a bimonthly print format and a daily online format (www.catholic.com). In print since 1987, it is the preeminent magazine of Catholic apologetics in the English language.

It might seem at first that the ITI—an institute focused on marriage and family and devoted to placid contemplation of sacred truths—would not be an especially profitable preparation for the sometimes polemical world of apologetics. But for me, I think it has been. First, because the ITI’s focus on original sources translates well to apologetics, where Scripture and the Fathers provide the most important data for reasoning with non-Catholic Christians. Secondly, the rigor of the seminar method, with its emphasis on clear thinking and communication, is a useful preparation for such reasoning and yes, occasional disputation!

I am also happy to say that my ITI formation helped me write a booklet on marriage that Catholic Answers Press has published and distributes both to individuals and to parishes for marriage preparation. I was also strongly moved by my ITI experience to edit a scholarly volume, Inseparable, in defense of Humanae Vitae for that encyclical’s 50th anniversary in 2018.