|Austen Ivereigh addressing the group on How to Defend the Catholic Church without Shouting|
In the first part of the day Austen outlined the method they had successfully adopted in Catholic Voices in the run up to and during the visit of Pope Benedict to UK in 2010. He said the key action is to listen to what the other people are saying and rather than being defensive to seek the common ground and argue from there. Equally and at the same time to emphasise the compassionate nature of the Catholic faith as underlying all it does. In that way whilst you might not convince the other person it will give a clearer and better picture to others listening as to the reality of the Catholic faith and avoid a defensive shouting match which is usually to our disadvantage.
Austen believes that this is not just a tool for use on the media, but also for use by Catholics with their friends and family, and in the workplace. He his planning to bring this training in the near future. The people there were enthused by the day and many hope to do further training and take further steps to be better prepared whether round the water cooler at work or with local media.
If you are interested in learning more about this method then you can read Austen's book 'Defending the Catholic Faith without Raising your Voice.' Copies are available from the Diocesan Bookshop: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to know more about the project and how the Diocese is involved then contact email@example.com.