April 11, 2011

The most effective response to veiled attacks against the Church is one that exposes misrepresentations, states the verifiable truth, explains genuine Catholic doctrine and provides examples from the lives of Catholic saints and martyrs, according to speakers at a Fordham University program.

Jesuit Father Joseph Koterski, a philosophy professor at Fordham, said Pope Benedict thought deeply about how to respond, or how not to respond, to indirect accusations against the Church. He said the pope's 2006 encyclical Deus Caritas Est (God Is Love) is a model for Catholics to answer charges made using innuendo and suspicion.

Koterski described psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, socialist Karl Marx and philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche as "masters of suspicion," because they attacked the Church and its motives with innuendo and insinuation, rather than reasoned argument.

He said Pope Benedict is "our German shepherd standing resolutely in the face of three German wolves."