I have an article in the latest issue of OSV Newsweekly about how to evangelize total strangers:
You are sitting at your son’s soccer game, enjoying the crisp weather and your boy’s joy for the game. Then you hear someone nearby say “Catholic Church,” then “divorce”; suddenly the hair on your neck stands on end and your body tenses.
You realize that two parents next to you are criticizing the Church; they notice you looking at them and ask, “What do you think?”
Now that we live in a post-Christian world, every one of us encounters situations like this. The Catholic Church teaches certain precepts that are simply unacceptable — antithetical, even — to the modern ethos. Standing by those precepts, we open ourselves to criticism and even attack. Furthermore — and sadly — there are scandals surrounding some Church figures that open Catholics up for easy condemnation.
So what are Catholics to do? How do we respond? What are our obligations in these situations?