Catholic Answers Forums shutting down

Discussion in 'The Commons' started by Admin, Dec 1, 2020.

  1. Admin

    Admin Administrator Staff Member Typist Anglican

    Posts:
    519
    Likes Received:
    217
    The Catholic Answers Forums are shutting down:
    http://forums.catholic.com/ (Announcement thread: https://forums.catholic.com/t/ca-forums-shutting-down/635212)

    I wanted to share this with all of you, because the CAForums were an inspiration for launching the Anglican Forums, back in 2013 or 2012 or whenever that was in the mists of time. We had just began publishing our first books, perhaps the Articles of Religion, the 1604 Canons, or Jewel's Apology; and looking at the Internet landscape we saw catholic.com, a veteran multi-million dollar organization established decades earlier. One of their biggest ministries was their Catholic Answers Forums, an impressive outpost that very robustly promoted Roman Catholic values, in a visually attractive format, with a vast a community of thousands of people, and countless topics and discussions:

    caf1.jpg
    caf2.jpg

    Pay attention to the "currently active users" at the bottom.

    It is difficult to convey just how strong was the impression of strength of that community to the outside world. Looking at them you could see lots of threads on difficult questions expertly answered by knowledgeable people; piety being supported with encouraging threads and RC devotional groups; threads of conversions into Roman Catholicism appeared on a regular basis. Folks who stepped out of line were immediately banned. Perhaps this was an artifact of Pope Benedict's worldwide programme, but the confidence was palpable.

    And yet here we are today. We are only growing, while they (at least the forums) are shutting down.

    Perhaps it had to do with a radical update to new forum software 1-2 years ago, which completely altered the CAF look and feel:

    CAFnew.jpg

    But some say that the rot set in even prior to that, with a gradually severe drop in the community confidence (perhaps due to the new pontificate of Francis). The aggressive Forum Policies which previously created a common ground within the community had slowly disappeared. In time the moderation was drastically scaled back as well. The impression of unity of RC doctrine (enforced by the mods) had evaporated, and to any question there were now given ten different answers. Some people even began saying that visiting the forums proved harmful to their faith.

    comments.jpg

    The admins have stated that after closure, forums will not remain even for reference, and the whole thing will be completely wiped out. That is a sad outcome which we intend to never repeat here. In fact we will be rolling out big new updates in the coming months, with God's grace. Thank you all for being a part of this community.
     
  2. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    1,410
    Likes Received:
    680
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian
    I hope the "big new updates" don't include "a radical update to new forum software." :hmm: That didn't work well for CAF, after all. :loopy:
     
    Fr. Brench likes this.
  3. Admin

    Admin Administrator Staff Member Typist Anglican

    Posts:
    519
    Likes Received:
    217
    Touche. :) Of course not!
     
    Fr. Brench likes this.
  4. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    1,343
    Likes Received:
    1,506
    Country:
    Australia
    Religion:
    Anglican
    I note that the decision taken by Catholic Answers Forum has a strong question of cost/benefit analysis attached to it. It is not specifically related to the forum or the forum software, however may in part be due to the unwillingness of the membership to contribute to the cost.

    It is one thing I have asked in the past as to how we continue to fund the forum. I note that CF (Christian Forums) use the same Forum Software Platform (though I think a later version or perhaps with more bells and whistles) and I know at one stage I contributed a one off $US25 for which I now have a supporter tag. They clearly have a much bigger user base, with normally more than 100 members logged in, and 20+ staff members to run the site.

    I am sure that there are a number of us who would be willing to contribute to the cost in some small way, in order to share the load.
     
  5. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    694
    Likes Received:
    334
    Religion:
    ACNA
    We might pick up some people to debate with over here
     
  6. Spiritus

    Spiritus New Member

    Posts:
    20
    Likes Received:
    23
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Latin Rite Catholic
    I've been a long time member of CAF and I experienced the toxicity first hand on numerous occasions to the point I completely stepped away from the forums four months ago. I'm glad to say I haven't seen any of the like on here though I haven't exactly been around much. I think my forum activity is going to be limited to here and maybe CF (Christian Forums).
     
    Botolph likes this.
  7. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    1,227
    Likes Received:
    956
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican (ACNA)
    I have browsed CAF now and then, and there seemed to be quite a bit of that... How you all explain where this comes from? Some forum websites seem to have it more than others, and I always wonder ...
     
  8. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    1,690
    Likes Received:
    1,602
    Country:
    America
    Religion:
    Anglican
    This is so tragic. A couple of years ago I’ve been a member, and I did run afoul of their mod team. Don’t think it was anything offensive in what I said. Rather I think that CAF seemed to have been intended as a place to bludgeon bystanders into converting into R. Catholicism. They do (did?) have their experts, but when someone brings strong contra-RC arguments which paint RCism in a bad light to weaken onlookers confidence in RCism, the mods would get very anxious. I saw many good people banned that way.

    Anyway I still think it’s a very sad thing; CAF was a great place for standing up to the secularist jihadis trying to take over our civilization. You had really strong counter-arguers to all of the secularist claims. And now I’ve checked it after all these years and in the CAF is Closing thread, many people are saying how they even met their spouses on the forums in years past:
    https://forums.catholic.com/t/catholic-answers-forums-closing/635210/17
     
  9. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    694
    Likes Received:
    334
    Religion:
    ACNA
    I kinda hope we get some people who jump ship over here. I am also active on the orthodox forums
     
    Thomist Anglican likes this.
  10. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    1,690
    Likes Received:
    1,602
    Country:
    America
    Religion:
    Anglican
    I hope they do come and engage with us more here. I like our new format where we have a Social area at the top which is less doctrinal and where people can just hang out; and a more Doctrinal section below that where it's hardline Anglicanism. Many Roman Catholics and other people of good will can hang out with us in the former, without having to enter debates in the latter.
     
    bwallac2335 and Thomist Anglican like this.
  11. Thomist Anglican

    Thomist Anglican Member Anglican

    Posts:
    32
    Likes Received:
    30
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Anglican
    Hello everyone! Been awhile. But I am back on. I wanted to comment real quick on this. I was pretty bummed about CA Forums being shut down. I used it quite a bit to discuss Thomism with other more intelligent Thomist. My hope is that those Thomist and other intellectuals will migrate here and continue the discussions. But I was quite sad to see it shut down :(
     
    Stalwart and bwallac2335 like this.
  12. Thomist Anglican

    Thomist Anglican Member Anglican

    Posts:
    32
    Likes Received:
    30
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Anglican
    Hopefully they will move over here. I feel like the rules on this forum are more gracious than the Orthodox Forums from what I've read. I personally don't post on those forums but do stalk a bit and read the posts when I have time.
     
    bwallac2335 likes this.
  13. Magnus97

    Magnus97 New Member

    Posts:
    8
    Likes Received:
    6
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Episcopal
    New member here. I haven’t been here long, but I already have been welcomed with open arms. Sad to see CAF shutting down, but I’m glad to know that there are no similar plans for this site.
     
  14. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    1,690
    Likes Received:
    1,602
    Country:
    America
    Religion:
    Anglican
    I do wonder if the forums format is losing steam, in favor of something like Facebook Groups? Maybe that was one of the pressures which CAF had, people were leaving in favor or FB groups.

    On the one hand, I get that it could be more convenient; but on the other, you are giving all control and power to a (potentially hostile) 3rd party entity. It's a hard call.
     
    bwallac2335 likes this.
  15. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    694
    Likes Received:
    334
    Religion:
    ACNA
    I prefer the forums. The people that come here are more serious and they sought us out.
     
    Shane R likes this.
  16. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    627
    Likes Received:
    663
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican
    My diocese conducted a fair amount of communication and correspondence through a FB group. In November, the bishop determined to move our business to MeWe.

    I tend to agree with bwallac that forums have a better atmosphere. I don't cruise any of the ACNA FB groups but I've heard they can be vitriolic and contentious places to share. I do know what goes on in the main Continuing group and periodically the discussion devolves to a bludgeoning until Fr. Anderson and whoever the other moderator is get around to cleaning it up.
     
  17. MikeS

    MikeS New Member

    Posts:
    4
    Likes Received:
    1
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Latin Rite Catholic
    Hi, this is my first post here. I am part of the flotsam and jetsam from the sinking CAF (and I signed up here due to the inviting words in this thread). I was going to CAF less and less over the years, because every time I would go there, by the end of the session I always left wishing I hadn't bothered. I have spent some time there again this month, and honestly, my reaction to CAF closing is a solid "good riddance". It's just not pleasant or edifying there.
     
    Scottish Knight likes this.
  18. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    1,410
    Likes Received:
    680
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian
    Well, thanks for posting. We're glad you are here and hope you find the forum both pleasant and edifying. :D

    What part of the country are you in, and do you have to drive very far to find a Latin mass?
     
  19. MikeS

    MikeS New Member

    Posts:
    4
    Likes Received:
    1
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Latin Rite Catholic
    I'm in Northern California, Sacramento Diocese. There is only one EF parish here, and it is bursting at the seams, but the bishop has not seen fit to open any others. It is too far away for us to attend (we're way up in the mountains).

    My wife is a lifelong Church musician and choir director who has studied Gregorian chant in Rome and Solesmes. The music of her choirs brought me back to the Church after decades of being away. Now our son has also gotten involved. Is the Prayer to St. Michael known and prayed in Anglican circles? My wife just wrote a chanted setting of the prayer, and our son recorded it. Here is a link for any who might be interested.

    https://youtu.be/msIH8nNWSW4
     
  20. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    1,690
    Likes Received:
    1,602
    Country:
    America
    Religion:
    Anglican
    I’ve been meaning to find someone who was a CAF old timer. Did you notice a difference between the old CAF and the new CAF, as being reported here?