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Thursday, 3 April 2014

The Importance of Sources

Teaching for many, many years research skills to college students, I emphasized over and over again, the importance of excellent source material.

Peer reviewed articles make good bibliographies. Primary texts make excellent bibliographies.

Now, too many Catholics are following sources which are not reliable for their information on religion.

Reliable sources must be sought out and not marginal or idiosyncratic sources. The list of reliable sources for a Catholic are the teachings of the Catholic Church, including doctrines, dogmas, and the encyclicals.

Apostolic letters from the popes are reliable sources. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is a reliable source, as are older versions of the CCC, such as the Baltimore Catechism.

The approved translations of the Scriptures are reliable, of course, as being the Word of God. In the Catholic Church, we have some choices of approved versions, the most exact being the Catholic version of the Revised Standard Edition. I recommend the Navarre Bible.

One must take care regarding source material. One cannot, for example, use sources, to find truth,  which have been condemned by the Church, such as the writings of the Modernists, or the heretics. Scholars may studied these writings in order to better refute error, but the common reader cannot indulge in reading such.

The same is true with authors from schismatic groups. Many separated writers have departed from the Teaching Magisterium of the Church and many people, especially trads, may not know they are being led astray.

Private revelation which has been condemned must absolutely not be read. Period.

There is a type of sin connected to curiosity which leads people astray and even to hell because of a perceived need to read condemned private revelations.

Be careful online as well. Some readers send me links from groups which are sedevacantism in origin. I do not read these. Readers, do not indulge in reading works by people not in union with the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church.

Your souls may be in danger. One should not read the works of priests who are denying the papacy of Francis, (Paul Kramer, for example).

Be watchful...there are several popular websites which can lead one astray.

One's safety is within the Catholic Church, only.