AskACatholic.com and CPATS
is a lay Catholic support group of Catholic apologists,
priest-helpers and grammarians, who work together to
answer questions from anyone with a sincere heart about
the Catholic Faith, and about what Catholics believe in general.
We do the best we can to ensure all our answers are
loyal to the Magisterium, which is the Teaching Authority of
the Roman Catholic Church founded by Jesus, Our Lord.
In addition, we have a secondary goal
of assisting and promoting the development of other
lay Catholic apologetics support groups at the parish
level. We have been doing this primarily under the founding name
of our web site, the Christifideles Pizza and Theology
Society, (CPATS.org), since 1996.
We meet in and around Natick, Massachusetts (about 20 miles west of
Boston) where our
Web Administrator, Mike
Humphrey lives. Our
very informal membership
resides in the Boston-Worcester, Massachusetts area,
although we have been blessed to have
other well-educated Catholics join the team from
out-of-state, as well as from various English-speaking countries, outside of the United States. Over
the past years, we have assembled a volunteer grammarian
team which proofreads the questions and answers
for clarity. You can read up on the team here.
Our primary focus is two-fold:
- To clarify teachings and correct
misperceptions about the only True Church Our Blessed
Lord Jesus established on St. Peter, that is, the Roman
- To promote Catholic support groups
that are loyal to the Holy Father and to the Church's
For those who may
question the kind of Catholics we are, all
the apologists who answer questions on our web
and believe in all the Catholic Councils from
Nicea to Vatican II.
- Discourage politicizing
of any one Liturgy against the others, including:
- The Novus Ordo or Mass of the Ordinary Form
- The Tridentine, Latin, or Mass of the Extraordinary Form
- Those used in
the Eastern Rite, and
- Liturgies that
preceded the Council of Trent
- Reaffirm and believe
in all the content in the Catechism of the Catholic
We believe we are the first lay Catholic
apologetics support group in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and possibly in New England.
We consider ourselves a mini "Catholic
of Massachusetts. So whether you
are a confused Catholic or a sincerely seeking non-Catholic:
- Mormon or
- Jehovah Witness, or
- Some other type of non-Christian
we want you to AskACatholic, i.e., ask us,
the question that has been on your mind for a while but check our knowledge base first.
For Catholic Christian surfers, AskACatholic.com/CPATS
is for those who are:
- Loyal to the
Church's Magisterium and Her teachings.
- Seeking to reaffirm
Catholic truth that he or she is unsure of.
- Seeking to discern
what are proper moral and ethical Catholic standards.
- Striving to be
supportive of cardinals and bishops who are loyal
to the Holy See
For non-Catholic Christian surfers, AskACatholic.com/CPATS
is for those who are:
- Being drawn
toward or thinking about joining the Catholic
(Be sure to check out our programs: CCCPP | Holy
- Confused about
what Catholics really believe and are interested in
getting the real truth!
- Are in a complex or
confusing relationship with a Catholic and are looking
- Are interested in
the Catholic Church's moral view on a specific
For Non-Christian surfers, AskACatholic.com/CPATS
is for those who:
- Just wants to
know more about who Jesus Christ is, and
- Want to know
what Catholic Christians believe and teach about
Occasionally, we get a question that
"What does your group believe
What our little group thinks
or believes in is not important. We
just try to pass on what the
Roman Catholic Church has officially taught since 33 A.D.
and continues to teach and believe today.
No more, no less.
We address areas of:
- Catholic apologetics
- Situational apologetics
By this I mean discerning proper ways of handling perceived liturgical or Church abuses and suggesting proper ways of handling each unique situation whether by charitable conversation with the pastor, priest, deacon, religious, their immediate superior, or layman or by just leaving it in the Hands of Our Lord by our personal prayer.
- True Catholic
faith-sharing and evangelization
- Church liturgy
and proper liturgical practices
- Limited pastoral issues seeing that none of us our ministerial priests
- Canon Law
of theological and doctrinal issues
We strive to embrace
a spirit of charity, encouragement and support when answering all questions we receive.
With due respect to our Catholic priests,
some issues can sometimes be aired out more freely among the
Christifideles Laici, the lay faithful of Christ.
This lay organization strives to work with, not against,
bishops and pastors at the ecclesiastical level who
are in union with the Holy See.
We all strive to
love, support and pray for our Catholic priests.
We thank the Lord for the fine examples of priests
He has given us, while at the same time, we pray for
those who could, at times, give a better example.
Unlike some people
who call themselves
Catholic, while simultaneously playing "personal pope" in their
lives, by picking and choosing what they
want to believe — a grave sin, this organization consists
of lay Catholics who understand what "submitting
to Jesus' Church" means, and what being submissive
to the Church's Magisterium means.
This does not mean
that we will never have doubts or always understand
the full meaning of all Church teachings. It does, however, mean
that among our Catholic brethren, we will strive to
foster an environment where we can share our confusions with each
other, knowing that whatever the Church
teaches on an issue of faith and morals, is true and
must be believed, because Jesus said so.
It is through
our fraternal friendships that we can be
open to asking our friends those "dumb questions",
so we can be more knowledgeable and better Catholics
for the Church. This is the greatest benefit of Catholic apologetic support groups at the parish level and why more are needed!
Thanks to the great
work from our volunteer apologists and grammarians,
who answer questions from this web site and strive to ensure proper grammar is used, we have a triple E (EEE) rating from Catholic
well-known web site that evaluates
other web sites for their loyalty to the Church. We have
also received the Benedictine 2000 Award for Excellence,
as well as other awards.
obedience and the rights of Catholic Christians back
The volunteer apologists,
grammarians and priest-helpers, who have supported
[AskACatholic.com — CPATS] since we began, all strive to fulfill our Christian
vocation via apostolic action which is permitted, and even
obligated, by Canon Law. We specifically derive our
rights and obligations from the following:
may freely establish and direct associations
which serve charitable or pious purposes or which
foster the Christian vocation in the world, and
they may hold meetings to pursue these purposes
by common effort.
Canon 225 § 1
Since lay people,
like all of Christ's faithful, are deputed to
the apostolate by Baptism and Confirmation, they
are bound by the general obligation and they
have the right, whether as individuals or in
associations, to strive so that the divine message
of salvation may be known and accepted by all
people throughout the world. This obligation
is all the more insistent in circumstances in
which only through them are people able to hear
the Gospel and to know Christ.
Canon 225 § 2
They have also,
according to the condition of each, the special
obligation to permeate and perfect the temporal
order of things with the spirit of the Gospel.
In this way, particularly in conducting secular
business and exercising secular functions, they
are to give witness to Christ.
1 Peter 3:15
the Lord Christ holy in your hearts, and always
have your answer ready for people who ask you
the reason for the hope that you have. But give
it with courtesy and respect and with a clear
The Catholic Church for all of us
starts at the local level: in our parish. This is where
Our Lord, from the beginning of time, has planned for
us to partake in His plan of bringing the Good News
of Jesus to the whole world. We encourage everyone
to work and develop their unique calling from their parish,
and in obedience with a bishop that is loyal to the
Most of our apostolate work is based
in the Archdiocese of Boston, and we are delighted
to report that, according to Cardinal O'Malley's secretary,
the Cardinal himself has said some very
kind things about the work we are doing. Nevertheless,
we acknowledge the content of Canon 216 which states:
Since they share
the Church's mission, all Christ's faithful have
the right to promote and support apostolic action,
by their own initiative, undertaken according to
their state and condition. No initiative, however,
can lay claim to the title 'Catholic' without consent
of the competent ecclesiastical authority.
Thus, we want to make
it clear that our domain name, AskACatholic.com is not meant to imply that we are an official Catholic web
site in any way. By putting the disclaimer "Does
not imply ecclesiastical approval", below our domain
header, we hope to clarify this issue, and show that
we are striving to keep in good graces with our
local bishop/cardinal, Cardinal O'Malley.
We are simply a group of individual
Catholics trying to do God's will. We are baptized
Catholic Christians called to preach, teach, evangelize,
and clarify the Word of God in both the written and
oral Traditions of the Church, in whatever diocese the
Lord has called each of us.
- Isn't that what Our Lord Jesus tells
us to do in the Gospels?
- Isn't that what St. Paul would
do if he had access to an Internet back in his times?
CPATS Philosophy back
Although we have changed the name
of the main domain from CPATS.org to AskACatholic.com, it is very important to spread and develop
the initial philosophy we started about fifteen years ago.
For this reason, we still have the "Starting
your own CPATS" web page.
Man is a social being
and enjoys being around like-minded individuals with
whom he can develop friendships. Even monks in monasteries
belong to a religious family, dedicated to imitating
their lives to that of a saint who was an exceptional
model of holiness, an exceptional ideal for living
a Christ-like life. They share a sense
of community and identify themselves as witnesses
of Christ, in their living, working, eating and praying.
They have been called by Christ to a religious vocation.
The philosophy behind
CPATS meetings and get-togethers was and still is to replicate
this way of living
among the lay faithful of Christ who have been called
to a secular vocation, via the baptismal character
they received, on their souls, at Baptism. As lay Catholics, we have been called
by Christ to sow the full Gospel seed in the secular
world in which we work, and to show evidence
of this full Gospel dating back to 33 A.D. We even strive
to imitate the Christian life in the secular world
at work, by example and by faith-sharing, when proper,
in order to fulfill Our Lord's desire in John 17:21,
they may all be one, Father, as you and I are one."
As Cardinal Law said
when he was bishop of Missouri:
ecumenical thing a Catholic can do, is be unmistakably
So too with lay Catholic
apologists and evangelists.
In a world that is
getting more confused by sin, practicing Catholics
who are loyal to the Holy Father and the Church's
Magisterium, need a secular vehicle by which we can:
- confirm what we know to be true
- reaffirm what we think
is true among friends, and
- ask among these friends
those "questions" that seem too embarrassing
to us, but not to our friends.
You, the visitor, are
wonderfully created in the image and likeness of
Jesus! Your questions, if they are sincere, are never
So the idea behind
a Christifideles Pizza and Theology party is to gather
together over pizza and drinks every several months,
so that Catholics who are loyal to the Holy See and
the Holy Father, can discuss current issues, raise
questions, and clarify concerns.
Because no matter
what the age, most people like pizza, especially
young people. However, even at our get-togethers' we don't
always have pizza. This isn't a pizza cult. Many,
justifiably so, are concerned about health
issues. At our last apologetics support meeting we
us similar CPATS concepts you have implemented in
your parish, town or city. If they are good ones, we'll
post them on the Starting
your own CPATS web page.
One last important
When I original founded this organization, I received about one
e-mail each year from visitors who were offended by
the name of this web site. Some also questioned whether
I was anti-Christian. They reasoned that the CPATS part of the title, showed
an invasion of Sacred Theology by the profane.
Lighten up! The last thing I would
want to do is to scandalize the Church in any way.
Let's face the facts:
- Catholic support
groups loyal to the Magisterium, especially among
young people are badly needed.
- Young people
By using this name,
all I tried to do is create an interest in apologetics among young
This is badly needed because, at least
in the Boston, Massachusetts area, there is a lack
of interest in Catholic apologetics with an emphasis on orthodoxy. If we start introducing
Catholic apologetics in the early religious education and CCD grades, we may find the Lord calling young
people to the vocation of a single, or married, lay
Catholic apologist, like each of us.
By orthodoxy I mean not going
to the left of Church teaching, and not going
to the right of Church teaching, but staying right down the middle. Besides, even our current and previous
Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II like that idea.
One visitor to our
site implied that you cannot talk about the Trinity
over beer and pizza. We disagree.
- What do you want practicing Catholics to
talk about over beer and pizza? ...
sin they enjoy committing?!
Since this is not
an issue of faith and morals, but of theological opinion, we're sure that our critics won't mind too much.
With the help of
the Holy Spirit and the Lord, we would like to see
clusters of CPATS meetings and
throughout the United States, and even the world. This
would be a place where lay Catholic apologists and
evangelists could meet to discuss issues concerning
the life of the Church and the life of Christ!
- What could make our
Blessed Lord, our Holy Father, and our cardinals and
bishops in union with Him happier?
We are not only "working out our salvation with fear and trembling", but
we are doing so in true brotherhood.
Thanks for taking
the time to read about us, and come back often. We are
always interested in new ideas for the site.
starts his own CPATS
A good friend of
VATICAN CITY, October 25 2000
(AFP) - The colors of the Vatican made it to the latest
variety of pizzas Wednesday when bakers from the four
corners of the world celebrated their Jubilee with Pope
John Paul II in Saint Peter's square.
Well Mike, you can't ask
for a better endorsement!
The new pizza Wojtyla, after the pope's Polish family
name, comes with zucchini flowers, yellow pepper and
a vegetable cream, plus mozzarella cheese — yellow
and white being the papal colors. Two thousand bakers,
mostly from Naples, attended the celebration of their
trade by the pope, who was given a special pie by the
head of Italy's pizzeria association, Angelo Jezzi.
Pizza ovens went up outside Castel Sant' Angelo, just
off the Vatican, to serve some 60,000 pilgrims, while
on the outskirts of Rome free pizzas were given to
the homeless and needy. Pizza throwing competitions
were also held for the entertainment of sick children
at the Bambin Gesu hospital.
late John Paul II blesses pizza makers during
the Jubilee of Pizza Chefs on October 25, 2000.
Here, gifts are delivered to Il Papa by Walter
Botrugno of the Associazione Nazionale Pizzaioli
E Ristoritori, Catalan Stefano of the Pizzaioli
Associati Siciliani, and the owner of Naples'
Starita Pizzeria, the famed location of Sofia
Loren's L'Oro di Napoli.
And more recently:
14, 2005 - Pope Benedict blesses pizza ovens
used for feeding the poor.
article in the next days Italian newspapers reads:
Approves of Pizza"
If someone has a copy
of this issue from the Italian newspaper
or from the October 25, 2000 (AFP) issue above,
it to me.