I went through Catholic elementary, middle, and high school–it was something important to my family. It still is. But even within the Catholic school system, you would be AMAZED at how frequently I was asked “why?”
The secular media has painted an imaginary picture on the Cave wall in front of everyone (apologies to anyone sick of Cave references, I can’t help myself) of a tyrannical, oppressive, and “behind-the-times” Church. This is the mockery of a face which has been put upon the Catholic Church.
It is the responsibility of all Catholics to defend our Church. This includes all teachings of the magisterium. All of them. Often citations will be needed to support these teachings–they exist. Just know where to look. And this is where catechism comes into play.
Every Catholic ought to be armed with the tools to defend the Church by (at the absolute latest) the time he is going off to college. The groundwork for this must have been laid long before, and high school simply a refining of those principles into a solid apology in defense of Catholicism. Nothing else. Questioning “why” is completely valid, but it must be answered thoroughly, prayerfully, and with a lot of research. Off-the-top-of-one’s-head answers (unless they have been memorized previously) do not work against deep, complicated questions.
Hopefully, this will turn into a series of posts, each outlining a different important point which is either central to Catholicism or is frequently challenged by non-Catholics–or both.