UCCR was founded on February 2, 2011 by a group of university friends who have been joined by others they met along their online journey.
It is simply a website and does not intend to be the official voice of the Church. It should be solely regarded as the expression of thought by some young Catholics on various topics.
The (not very exciting) title we chose for this website (“Union of Catholic Christians Rationalists“) is intentionally ironic, a challenge to various associations of rationalist atheists, but it also aims to counter the erroneous idea of a dichotomy between faith and reason.
We claim the right, will, and possibility to “give a reason for the hope that is in us” (1 Peter 3:15), aware that the reasonableness of a position (believing or not believing) always implies subjecting reason to the scrutiny of experience, i.e., it must emerge from the interaction between reason and lived reality.
Therefore, we reject the irrational aspects of faith that arise from mere fleeting emotions or psychological conditioning (such as fear of death, the need for spiritual comfort in the face of life’s difficulties, etc.).
The ongoing decision to believe in God arises from the experience of a meaningful encounter, an impact with a human reality that “warms the heart” (Pope Francis), or even through extreme situations such as death, suffering, joy, illness, loss of social status, injustice, or human fragility. Moments when the ephemeral nature of life gives way to questions about the meaning of existence.
However, it is only through personal and rational commitment that one can verify if what one has encountered fulfills the promise of happiness and eternity and meets the need for each person to find ultimate meaning in life. In other words, for example, it is one thing to encounter an exceptional person and feel the impact of love (or affection, in the case of friendship), and another thing to engage seriously with that experience before deciding to marry or place one’s trust in it.
This is the natural path that leads human beings from initial experience to a form of moral certainty, thanks to the proper use of reason. When this journey has been undertaken and one is morally certain of what one believes, it is possible to justify one’s position, especially in the articulate and pluralistic context of modernity.
The moral certainty of the truth of the Catholic faith is based on three pillars:
– the historical reliability of Christian events;
– the recognition of the Catholic Church, founded on apostolic succession (Matthew 16:18), as a witness to the ongoing presence of Christ among humanity;
– the personal experience in continuous relationship with reality, aimed at verifying the “claim” of Christianity, i.e., the possibility of encountering the Risen One through the face of the Christian community in which one lives.
Based on this triad (which we intend to delve into in the internal sections of the site), we believe that our faith in God is an act motivated by reasonable and therefore rational grounds.
We live in a fascinating era where, due to widespread secularization, the Christian faith, in particular, is subjected to more intense criticism and attacks compared to others, based on the assumption that it is completely contrary to reason and incompatible with scientific advancements. This compels believers to not take their faith for granted and fortunately, it obliges us to give a reason for the hope that is in us to the people we encounter along the way.
Therefore, this website is born with the following objectives:
1) Provide believers with a tool to deepen their understanding of the reasons for faith in the existence of God and the foundations of the Christian belief, helping them respond to their own doubts and those raised by contemporary culture. This will enable them to proudly and serenely testify to what they have encountered as most precious. In summary, the objective is to promote a greater awareness of the value of the daily choice to be Christian.
2) Create an informative channel that competently and punctually addresses objections forcefully promoted by secularist culture, such as the credibility of the tradition on which Christianity is based, the compatibility of the Christian faith with modern science, the coexistence of Christian ethics in a secularized society, and the defense of the history of Christianity and the Catholic Church against alleged “black legends” and anticlerical prejudices.
3) Create a virtual space where anyone, far from religious and non-religious fundamentalism, can engage in dialogue, exchange ideas, express their doubts, and find their own reasons. We will be delighted to host believers, atheists, and agnostics, experimenting with the possibility of peaceful coexistence in real society.
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