Father Paul loves apologetics.  This is using knowledge and skill to defend the Catholic Faith and its officially approved practices.  This is what every confirmed Catholic, to some degree, should be willing and able to do.  St. Peter tells his readers to be ready always to give a reason for the hope that is within them (First Peter, chapter 3, verses 15 to 16).  To be prepared to do this, we Catholics need to know not only WHAT we believe but WHY we believe it. 

What we should not do is take what is just our own opinion and present it as an official Catholic teaching.  A teaching IN the Church is not necessarily a teaching OF the Church.  We should also not try to defend the indefensible, such as a terrible thing that a Catholic, even a leader, even a Pope, might have done in the past.  When a Catholic leader does something, it is not necessarily "the Church" that does it.  One should judge the quality of a Christian group by the quality of those who live up to its standards, not by those who do not.  It is always good to remember that even Our Lord tolerated Judas Iscariot within His ranks.  Still, there has not been an immoral Pope since the days of Martin Luther.  

Several years ago, while serving a previous parish, Father Paul answered various questions in defense of the Catholic Faith.  To read these questions and the responses, CLICK HERE. 

You can ask a new question of Father Paul in either of two ways.  1) At the top of this page, you can click the last menu tab, CONTACT US, and submit your written question by typing it in the box and sending it to Father Paul, OR 2) you can simply phone the rectory at 570-695-3648, and talk with him directly, especially if your attempt to use the first method failed somehow.  New questions will NOT be posted on this website, but answered privately, either over the phone or by email.

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Father Paul has been guiding an apologetics club for almost a decade and a half.  It is called Truth In Religion Group (TIRG).  Here's more information about it.

                              WHAT IS TRUTH IN RELIGION GROUP?

We are an apologetics club that began in the Lehigh Valley and has been meeting for over a decade and a half.  We tend to meet as many as a dozen times each year.  For the past two years we have been rotating monthly locations: Reading (December), Bethlehem (January), and Pottsville (February), and then Reading (March), Bethlehem (April), and Pottsville (May).  We also usually meet in June (Reading), July (Bethlehem), and August (Pottsville), and then in September (Reading), October (Bethlehem), and November (Pottsville).

Like any club, we gather because we enjoy what we do.  We do apologetics and learn how to do apologetics.  This means that we enjoy explaining to friends and others alike WHY we believe WHAT we believe about any aspect of religion, dogmas or morals.  In the process, we learn the details of our Faith better.  It is rather obvious that NOT everything claimed to be a religious truth is really true.  At the same time, whatever is true in religion can have great value for our lives.

Apologetics is very practical and becoming popular, but at the same time it is a branch of theology and so demands accuracy.  It is the skillful--and prayerful--use of the knowledge necessary to defend the truth about religion, which for almost all of our members means Catholic Faith and Practice.  We do this to obey St. Peter, who wrote ". . . Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts.  Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear . . ." (1 Peter 3:15-16a).

Christ as our Lord calls us as His disciples to on-going conversion.  All of us know that apologetics does not convert anyone.  It is the Holy Spirit Who does so.  At best, our work as evangelists and apologists is to grasp the Christian Faith in its purity and then to work to remove any intellectual obstacles for others to embrace it.  Our Lord must do everything crucial, with all of us doing our duty to cooperate with His grace.

We occasionally allow a speaker to visit us in order to criticize our Faith intelligently so that we learn better how to defend it.  We sometimes take field trips to challenging places.  It may be a visit to a Kingdom Hall, or it may be a trip to a certain non-Catholic convention, or to a religious debate, or to a fundamentalist church, or to hear a speaker on NFP in the context of a Holy Hour.  These are just a few examples.

While club leaders are always Catholics who strive to be faithful to official Catholic teachings, our membership is open to absolutely anyone who honestly and respectfully seeks to promote truth in religion.  We have a few Eastern Orthodox members and some Protestant evangelicals who attend on occasion.  We discover that our diversity can sometimes be enriching.  While all Christians should be prepared to explain their faith to others, only some will be drawn to our club.  Of all who attend our meetings, some are motivated by only a temporary need while others attend with an enduring delight.

This is apologetics on a shoestring.  There are no dues, no fees, no rents, no cost of postage, and no stipends for our speakers.  We do not have a treasury, and so we do not write checks to compensate speakers for their fine presentations.  This firm policy is not because we want to promote injustice or lack a generous spirit.  God forbid!  Rather, it is our litmus test for the kind of speaker we welcome, one that loves to promote truth NO MATTER WHAT.  As our Lord said, "You have freely received, so freely give."  We call this our Sola Veritas Policy.

Without cost Truth In Religion Group is more than willing and able to endorse outside apologetics events, such as seminars, conventions, and lectures financed by a wealthy individual, a civic-minded business, or a non-profit organization.  Our club gets rather excited whenever such a speaker comes to our area, even when his or her views do not match our own.  We often encourage our members to attend and participate fully and respectfully, while maintaining their own integrity.  On occasion, we lend our support by "getting the word out" to Catholic parishes in the Diocese of Allentown.  This is the extent to which our club can officially lend ITS name to such an event, though members of the club can lend THEIR own names to it more fully, if they so choose.  The event sponsor is normally free to mention orally and/or in writing that Truth In Religion Group encourages the prudent patronizing of an event and endorses it for one or more STATED reasons, sometimes with certain STATED qualifications and restrictions.

To our monthly meetings our group loves to invite friendly speakers who freely "share the ammunition" we need to defend our Christian Faith, as well as smart non-Catholic speakers who can challenge our thinking and even call us through the Spirit to change in a direction which God wants us to take.  We are into issues, issues, and more issues relevant to our Faith.  Now and then we invite speakers to return and give another talk, and to attend club meetings with other presenters.

A monthly e-mailing is the only sure way to learn what each club meeting will be about.  Typically, the e-mail is sent out about a week before the actual meeting, and/or earlier.  Anyone who would like to be on our e-mailing list simply writes to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   Anyone who would like to be removed from this list is encouraged to do the same.