Ever wished for more articulate Catholic voices on the airwaves?
Ever felt the Catholic faith gets misunderstood in public debate?
Ever wondered how to explain the Catholic faith - without losing your cool?
'Reframing' the Catholic message
Catholic Comment offers a team of speakers ready and willing to put the case for the Church in the media and in public debate. We were established in 2012 to offer a new apologetics for the 21st century.
A New Approach:
Our approach centres around 'reframing': a method which helps Catholics identify the values (often Christian in origin) behind much criticism of the Church. This creates a space for genuine dialogue, breaking down barriers that too often lead to defensive or angry responses.
Authoritative, not Official
Catholic Comment doesn't speak officially for the Church; we are people who know and love the Church and speak from direct experience of living as Christians in today's world. We have a sincere intellectual and spiritual commitment to Catholic values and teaching.
What will be involved?
Catholic Comment periodically invites interested people to apply to join our Speakers Panel. Those invited to join the panel are offered training in media skills and in our particular approach to communication - but the message must come from the heart. We are then able to offer these independent, informed and articulate lay Catholics to broadcast, print and new media to contribute on debate in matters related to the Catholic Church's mission and message.
People can assist us in other ways too, e.g. with research, networking, fundraising and prayer.
What kind of people?
Catholic Comment works with people who:
Subscribe to Catholic teaching and values: This is not a 'spin operation'. We help people acquire the knowledge and skills to communicate clearly and competently in the media. But the intellectual and spiritual commitment to Catholic values must come from people themselves.
Reflect on their faith and work to increase their knowledge of the Church's history, structure, mission and teachings - particularly in areas of controversy.
Aim to improve their competence in public communication. Performance in the media requires continual openness to learning.
Want to share their Catholic worldview in an open, confident, friendly and respectful way. There is never any reason for Catholics to speak offensively or act defensively. Our hope is greater than any of the challenges we face.
Are willing to be available at short notice, to speak in the media on issues relevant to Catholicism. Catholic Comment's success will depend on its ability to provide speakers when asked.
Who is behind Catholic Comment?
Catholic Comment is an initiative of a group of interested, mainly lay, Catholics, acting in their personal capacity. People from different Catholic congregations, movements and organisations are invited to be involved in their personal capacity.
We are independent, having been neither prompted nor mandated by the Catholic Church leadership in Ireland. But we are very glad to have their encouragement and blessing.
What does Catholic Comment stand for?
Catholic Comment is faithful to the mission and teachings of the Catholic Church. In matters of controversy, we will always seek to be fully informed and fair to all parties. We will not get involved in internal Church disputes. We want to promote better understanding of the teaching of the Church, its wisdom and heritage.
Who is funding Catholic Comment?
Catholic Comment is being set up as a charity, and we exist thanks to donations from ordinary Catholics who want to help us cover our expenses. We conduct occasional fundraising initiatives to support our activities.
How can I help?
Please get in touch if you are:
interested in this project and would like to be kept informed
might like to train as a speaker
might be willing to make a donation
may be able to help as an organiser/adviser on topics
If you apply to become a speaker and are selected, we will offer you training and support to enable you to speak as an informed Catholic about various issues.
As the number of people who we can train initially will be limited, we hope to provide material on www.CatholicComment.ie that a wider group of people can use in their daily work for the Church, e.g. in conversation with friends, family and school discussions, letters to newspapers etc.
You can also become a 'finder', i.e. help us reach people with the potential to join our panel of speakers.
If you make a donation, you will be helping us to defray the costs of managing the project, correspondence with speakers, media, donors and supporters, training sessions for speakers and maintaining our website and blog.
Finally, please remember the project and all its participants in your prayers.