Archive Monthly Archives: April 2011

The Catechism and the Book of Mormon

Curry wrote on our Facebook page:

I am not Catholic, I love your show and listen as often as possible and have even won a couple of your contests. I am very interested on a Catholics opinion. Do you think the Catholic church pushes the Catacism the way Mormons push the Book of Mormon? Is there a difference? Both groups seem to hold the books higher than the Bible. IF God’s word was the most important thing, would both organizations push it first?

My response was:

Actually, I completely disagree with that idea entirely because the two books couldn’t be more different. The Book of Mormon includes additional books they’ve added to their cannon of Scripture. The Catechism, however, is an explanation of Scripture itself as understood and taught by the Catholic Church. If you were to look up any subject in the Catechism, you will most likely find links to other encyclicals and teaching, which in turn are teachings based upon Scripture and Tradition of the Catholic Church.

For example, today we quoted the Catechism in regards to openness to life. The Catechism referenced a document called Humana Vitae. If you drill down ( you’ll see Humana Vitae references, among other sources, Romans 3:8 in explaining the teaching.

For Catholics, we trust the Catholic Church to help us interpret Scripture. Otherwise, we’d have 10’s of 1000’s of various interpretations of a given passage. The Catechism gives us a central resource to use in conjunction with Scripture to have the confidence that our own individual interpretations match that of centuries of Bible Study and teaching from the Church itself.

So again, when you hear us or someone else reference the Catechism, we’re merely referring to the Catholic Church’s explanation of Scripture itself.


Curry responded again:

thanks for your response Greg. However, so the Catholic church sees no use in the Holy Spirit in interpretation? From what I am hearing, when you as a Catholic read your Bible, you have to have the Catechism there to understand what you’ve just read. Those 10’s of thousands of interpretations belong to the millions of individuals trying to gain knowledge from God. IF there were to be one interpretation, wouldn’t the Bible just be that plain? I am not trying to create confusion, but rather gain insight to how the modern day Catholics utilize the tools that God provided. It as if the Catholic church has removed the need of the Holy Spirt, the Bible, and study all in one fail swoop “the Catechism”.

This is why I try not to engage in debates online.  If you don’t pick the perfect words to create the perfect soundbite, it’s so easily to be misinterpreted.  So I responded again:

Hi Curry. If you’re looking for an understanding of 2,000 years of teaching on Facebook, I think you’re going to be disappointed, especially if you’re looking to me to provide a suitable bite-sized nugget of information to explain Catholicism. But briefly, one fallacy in your approach regarding “tools that God provided” is [neglecting to realize] that the first tool He provided was the Catholic Church. It was the Catholic Church to whom He entrusted Scripture, and it was the Catholic Church at the Council of Hippo that decided which books belonged in the cannon of Scripture. That decision was Holy Spirit. So I am in no way inferring that the Catholic Church sees no use in the Holy Spirit in interpretation. I’m saying that the Holy Spirit interprets through the Catholic Church. You mention “confusion,” but what’s more confusing – an authoritative teaching from the Church (who was given such authority by Christ when He said “What you bind on earth, is bound in heaven, etc.”), or the mis-interpretations of millions of well-intentioned, but self-directed believers? Let me ask you this: If the Holy Spirit inspires you to interpret Scripture, and the Holy Spirit inspires me, and yet we come up with two completely different interpretations, are you suggesting that the Holy Spirit sows confusion? Certainly, the Holy Spirit guides us, but we rely on the Church (the first tool) establish by Jesus Christ to have a complete understanding of the Word of God. I would recommend you Google the Compendium of the Catholic Church or the Catechism itself and read what the Church says in particular about Scripture interpretation. I would also encourage you to check out books like “Catholicism for Dummies” or “What Catholics Really Believe” for better and more thorough explanations that what I’d ever be able to provide on Facebook.

Anything you’d add to the conversation?

Posted by Greg
April 5, 2011

What Belongs on a Church Website?

I thought this was a great question from listener Mark, and I’m posting this as bait for my friend, Jeb, who does an excellent job managing his parish’s site:

I loved your show today and I wanted to show you what I am doing to reach out to our small parish.  Like many rural churches we have never had a website.  I have been bugging them to create one for years and they finally told me to go ahead and show them what I had in mind.  I found a company that allows a “free look” period and showed our priest a template I was building.  Now he can’t get it fast enough.  If you have a few minutes please take a quick look at the site.  It is still under construction so parts of it still need reorganized but I would like to have it up in two weeks.  I want it to be a strong apologetics site so I will be giving resources for Daily Mass readings, the Catholic Channel and Lighthouse Catholic Media.  Father Jay Finelli paid our Capuchin Sisters us a visit recently so he is giving me some materials as well.  Could you please take a quick look.  I am open to suggestions for content.

The hosting company is very happy with what I am doing and they have very few Catholic customers so they have asked me to create a few templates for them and reach out to Catholic churches as well.  Once I am done with ours I will probably make this a ministry for myself.

Thanks, and I love your show.  My wife is a Presbyterian and your show is the one program on the Catholic Channel she really enjoys.

So what should go on a parish’s website?  What makes it truly useful and brings people back again and again?

I would recommend the approach that Bob, another listener, is doing with his parish.  Bob wrote last week and said:

I just wanted to drop you an e-mail, and let you see what we are doing in our local Parish; because in a way you were the motivation! As a long time listener, I had been pondering how our local community could do something in terms of technology that would make a difference, bring people together.
A friend at church agreed, and fortunately we have a Priest who was very supportive. The feedback from the community has been awesome. It’s a bi-weekly video e-mail, that focuses on our Lenten journeys and things going on. The e-mail links them to a semi-private You Tube video that we created.
We have to laugh, because it’s such a new concept to some; that they don’t really understand how bad it is!! J

Anyways, just wanted to show you. Without your continued dialogue about Catholic Media and how we all need to incorporate it into our parishes, I am not sure we would have done this. It’s just been awesome, and just confirmed the Bishop of the diocese has agreed to do a special Holy Week video for us!

Just wanted you to know, that you both make a huge difference!

CLICK HERE for link to the list of video’s. I highly suggest you go to this Tuesdays video – It’s our best to date!!!

I love the fact that a parish is making their own creative videos.  What else would you suggest?

Posted by Greg
April 4, 2011

Other Kinds of Rosaries?

I hate when I can’t answer a Rosary question.  Mike wrote:

I was recently asked by a group setting up a work center for Down’s kids if I could help them set up a line to make rosaries.  Most the these kids have very limited capabilities so the rosary design must be very simple.  I’m thinking of cord/wire rosaries that have a max of 4 knots/crimps.  I can then set the line up so the kids basically load the beads and, if necessary the supervisor, can do the knots.

My request to you is for information.  Have you don’t such a program in the past?  Do you have rosary designs/techniques that might be useful.  Do you know of a source of inexpensive supplies where we might buy bulk supplies through the non-profit.

I think the center should be operational in the next 60-90 days (my estimate) and I think I need to get on my horse to be ready.

My response was:

The Rosaries we make with Rosary Army would probably not be the best in this case as they require some intricate knots, but there are other “big bead” Rosaries I’ve seen that might make more sense.  Unfortunately, I’m not sure where to direct you for supplies.  I wonder if a place like Michael’s or Hobby Lobby would sell large wooden beads that could be threaded onto string?  I’m completely unfamiliar with making the cord/wire Rosaries.

I so wish I could be of more help!  I’ll keep an eye out and if I see anything, I’ll let you know.

Anyone have suggestions for what Mike could use to teach these kids to make Rosaries?

Posted by Greg
April 4, 2011

What’s More Important – Love or Happiness?

Lisa asks:

I just started listening to you guys for about a month now and I really enjoy your show.

I wanted to know as a couple and as an individual, what is more important to you, love or happiness? Some people choose happiness over love. While some people choose love over happiness.

Would you stay with someone who you love but you are not happy with that person?

I am really looking forward to both of your response.

I wrote back and asked:

Before I answer this, when you say “would you stay with someone,” are you talking about someone you’re dating or someone you married in a the Church (i.e., a Sacramental marriage)?

She wrote back:

It could be someone you’re dating or someone you are married in a Church.

Simple answer – Would I stay with someone I loved but wasn’t happy with?  In the Sacrament of Marriage, absolutely.  If I wasn’t married, but just dating?  Absolutely not.

Dating is not a commitment or a vow.  And if the goal of dating is to get married, and the person you’re with makes you unhappy, I’d recommend getting out of that one.

How would you answer this?

Posted by Greg
April 4, 2011

Did Marriage Encounter Help You?

We recently talked about Marriage Encounter on our program and got an email from a listener who didn’t find it too helpful:

I was listening to your topic on Marriage Encounter.

For my wife and I it was not so good experience

We were married in a Lutheran church in the 80’s. My wife was Catholic I was Lutheran

About 3  years ago  after being married for 20 +  years, I decided to explore becoming Catholic.

As part of this, the Pastor in our church said we needed to go to a Marriage Encounter weekend. He did allow me to skip the NFP classes however(in retrospect I would have rather attended a NFPM seminar than WWME).

The Encounter was in a not so nice part of town.  All of the Counselors read from papers which seemed as though they were scripted. It was a pretty “cheesy” program to say the least.

My wife felt it caused more problems than it helped. She also felt it may have causes a couple separation for some of the attendees.

In the end we felt as though we were at a Timeshare Presentation and were being squeezed for money…

I finished RCIA and we were “married” at the Easter Vigil.    I have become closer to God by becoming Catholic and I wished I would have done so long ago.

I have continued to educate myself in the Catholic faith by reading, prayer and  listening to every Catholic podcast I can find.

I certainly would not recommend our local chapter of WWME to anyone in our area.

Have you ever attended Marriage Encounter?  Did you have a similar experience or was it a good one for you?

We’ve heard incredibly good things about Retrouvaille, in case you or someone you know has been struggling in their marriage.

Personally, we’ve never attended either, but I always have high hopes for these kinds of things.

Posted by Greg
April 4, 2011