The main purpose of Catholicism.io is to defend the Roman Catholic faith against all errors, and to promote faithfulness to every Pope, every Council, and every teaching.
Certain serious errors have entered the minds and hearts of the faithful, and the source is often popular conservative Catholic teachers. Not so long ago, conservative Catholics saw themselves as defenders of orthodoxy. Now they are opponents of the Pope and promoters of a new set of errors devised by conservatives. We conservative Catholics need to reclaim our role as defenders of the faith, by defending the Pope and refuting every error.
This website was founded and is written by Ronald L. Conte Jr. He is the author of over three dozen books and booklets of theology, and the translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.
Theology of the body
Pope Saint John Paul II gave a series of 129 lectures, over the course of five years (1979 to 1984), on what he termed the theology of the body. He also published a book on the topic, titled Love and Responsibility. The content of this work is fallible private theology, not doctrine. The Pontiff never taught any of his theology as an act of the magisterium. There is nothing wrong with this version of the theology of the body, the original version proposed by Saint John Paul II.
However, as the years passed, certain popular speakers and authors began to propose a version of the theology of the body not found in the original work of Pope Saint John Paul II. They use his name and his term, theology of the body, but their ideas have strayed very far from his work. In place of a meditation on the role of the body in the plan of God for humanity, they have tried to make the body the central focus of the entire Christian faith. By means of a severe distortion of his ideas, they propose a new version of Christianity, which is nothing other than the idolatry of the body and the idolatry of sex. They seek to subordinate all of Catholicism to this idolatry, under the guise of teaching what John Paul II taught. They claim that every aspect of the Catholic faith should be interpreted through the lens of their version of the theology of the body. They are attempting to sexualize Christianity, and to subordinate the truths of Tradition, Scripture, and the Magisterium to their worship of the body and sex.
The use of the name of a popular Pope-Saint has given these authors and speakers immense power and popularity. Very often, they claim that John Paul II taught one idea or another, when, in fact, that idea is nowhere to be found in his works. And they have entirely excised his magisterial teachings on every subject, replacing all this with their distortion of his private theology.
There is no aspect of the holy Catholic Christian faith which they have not sexualized, which they have not subordinated to their worship of the body. They are, in effect, proposing a new version of Christianity, which would replace the ancient and holy faith with a religion that exalts the human fallen body and marital sexual union as if these were the highest goods. Their approval for all manner of grave sexual sins within marriage is one of the most popular features of their version of the theology of the body. Their sexualization of Christianity has attracted a vast number of secularized Catholics — members of the faithful who have been taught more by secular society than by the holy Catholic Church.
This perverse version of the theology of the body has reached millions of souls, and has attracted thousands of speakers, teachers, and authors to spread this idolatry.
Contraception and Abortion
Another serious set of false teachings is on the subject of contraception, abortifacient contraception, and abortion. It seems, at first glance, that the conservative Catholic teachers are the ones defending Church teaching on this subject. But a closer examination of the teachings reveals may grave errors. Some justify abortifacient contraception for a medical purpose. Some justify direct abortion to save the life of the mother. Some claim that contraception is not condemned as intrinsically evil outside of marriage, or that it is not condemned for a good purpose or in a dire circumstance. And there are many other errors related to this subject, which are promoted by popular Catholic teachers today.
This error is promoted by theology of the body teachers and by persons teaching Catholic sexual ethics. They justify unnatural sexual acts in marriage on various excuses, when, in fact, the teaching of the Magisterium clearly condemns all such act, even in marriage.
Basic Principles of Ethics
The root of this problem is the failure of Catholic priests, theologians, and authors to study, understand, and teach the basic principles of ethics taught by the Magisterium, especially in the encyclical Veritatis Splendor by Pope Saint John Paul II and in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Instead, these false teachers have devised various false principles, in order to justify popular grave sins. They have also severely distorted Church teaching, to make it seem as if their errors were merely a correct interpretation of magisterial doctrine. Few Catholic teachers today have a sound understanding of the basic principles of ethics, the principles of cooperation with evil, and the principle of double effect. As a result, the faithful are scattered and confused, not knowing who or what to believe.
This online Catholic magazine was established to defend the truths of the faith and to support the true Magisterium of the Church. There are many problems in the Church today. Yet the Church is the sole Ark of Salvation. Problems with the Church result in difficulties for the path of salvation. And one of the most significant problems is the undermining of true magisterial teachings. Many Catholics, instead of teaching what the Church teaches, offer a distorted or radically reinterpreted version of Church teaching. And the inspiration for these distortions and misinterpretations is their own disordered desires. They are only teaching what they wish were true, not what Christ himself and His Church is teaching.
False shepherds, including many lay persons, are leading many astray by teaching grave error with the claim that these errors are actually a correct understanding of Church teaching. Catholicism.io will point out these errors, and explain the truth, in accord with magisterial teaching. Catholicism.io will seek to root out the errors that are being spread among the faithful today, spread especially by means of the internet, and to clarify the truths taught by Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture, and the Magisterium. For the Roman Catholic Magisterium is the sole authoritative interpreter of Tradition and Scripture. And that authority is from Christ himself.
In discussing Catholicism with my fellow believers online, for over 20 years now, I am struck by one particular problem. Very many members of the faithful are poorly catechized. Their understanding of the basic teachings of the Church is full of error, ignorance, and distortions. And yet they think themselves fit to teach others, and in doing so, they cause much harm to many souls. Moreover, when presented with a correction based on the teachings of the Magisterium and sound theological arguments, they refuse to be corrected. They cannot follow a theological argument, nor can they make an argument of their own. Yet they are certain their understanding is truth. Catholicism.io will seek to teach the fundamentals of the Catholic faith, so that the faithful can recognize grave error and adhere only to true doctrine.
Catholicism.io, at its inception, is the work of one faithful Catholic theologian, preaching the word urgently, in season and out of season (2 Tim 4:2). I hope to attract many other Catholic authors to this site, so that readers benefit from different faithful points of view. Therefore, each author’s article will represent his or her own understanding and opinion. The authors on this website may not necessarily agree with one another or with the editor on any particular theological question.
Catholicism.io is NOT a non-profit organization. However, the site has no advertising, and no income. Therefore, donations are welcome. See the donations page for more information.
Catholicism.io does not pay for articles or other contributions to the site. Any Catholic interested in writing for the site may contact the editor by means of the e-mail on the contact page. Please do not send whole articles. Instead, send a one-paragraph description of the proposed article. To be considered, the article must be on the topic of the theology of the body, faithful to what Pope Saint John Paul II wrote. Also, any type of approval for grave sexual sins is not acceptable.
Name of the Site
As you may know, there are not many good short domain names available under the common top level domain names (.com, .org, .net). The relatively new domain name of “.io” was available for the word “catholicism”. So as a practical matter, that is why I chose “Catholicism.io”. It was available.
However, coincidentally, there is a Latin word matching that ending: Io. The word has three basic meanings.
1. It is an expression of joy or other strong positive emotion, as in: Hurrah!
2. Or, the word can call attention, as in: Behold! or Lo!
3. It can also be an expression of strong negative emotion, as in: Oh! or Yikes!
I like the first meaning for use on the website: Catholicism, Hurrah! And the second meaning also fits, if the word order were reversed: Behold, Catholicism! And even the third meaning works, in a sense: Catholicism, Yikes! — because we are in such a dire state today.
Symbols and Motto
Currently, the main graphic at the top of the home page is a Cross surrounded by white lilies. This symbolizes purity by means of self-denial. It symbolizes our imitation of the self-sacrifice of Christ by the virtue of chastity. And chastity is required of all Christians, married or single, ordained or not. For “each one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passions of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God….” (1 Thess 4:4-5).
Catholicism.io will focus on certain topics: The Pope, Church Teachings, Salvation theology, Theology of the body (esp. pointing out errors in the popular version), ethics, including sexual ethics, and commentary on news and politics.
Founder and Editor
Ronald L. Conte Jr. is founder and editor of Catholicism.io
He is also the translator and editor of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible, which was translated from the Clementine Vulgate (Latin) Bible. He has translated the doctrines of the Council of Trent, and other Church documents, from Latin into English. He has a B.A. in philosophy and theology from Boston College.
Mr. Conte is the author of 21 books of theology, 17 booklets of theology, a book on world hunger, another on healthy eating, and one crime novel. He has been studying and writing theology for over 20 years. He writes in the areas of moral theology, soteriology, Mariology, Biblical chronology, eschatology, and, most recently, the theology of the body.
He is a baptized and confirmed, believing and practicing Roman Catholic, who is devoted to the rosary, the divine mercy chaplet, the intercession of the Saints, and the defense of each successive valid Roman Pontiff, whosoever may be chosen by the grace and providence of God.