"Catholic Answers" – Its Genesis

Patrick Madrid recently directed me to a story by Karl Keating describing how “Catholic Answers” was born.

According to Mr. Keating, it was born when he decided to print tracts and put them on the windshields of cars of a local Christian church that had similarly pamphleted the windshields of cars at his own, Roman, church.

Mr. Keating admits that he decided to publish the tracts under the name “Catholic Answers,” because – well – let me quote his own words:

Not wanting to reveal my identity or my home address, and wanting to leave the Fundamentalists with the impression that what I wrote was more than just one man’s opinion, I made up the name “Catholic Answers” (it sounded authoritative), and I rented a post office box on the off chance that someone might actually reply to me.

Such a frank confession of his motives is surprising – but what was even more surprising is Keating’s admission regarding how he responded to the people who wrote to the P.O. Box, asking for the catalog for “Catholic Answers.” He says he replied in this way:

I was surprised to find it full—and doubly surprised to find some letters were from Catholics, who said, “This is great stuff! Send us your catalogue!” I wrote back, saying, “I’m sorry, but everything is out of print at the moment.”


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