CVS Live Guest - 2020-02-22 - Stephen Stetelman

Author Streamed Saturday February 22nd, 2020

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Stephen Stetelman reached out after listening to my Michael Jones episode. Stephen's brother-in-law is Catholic, so he wanted to ask me about the Catholic perspective on some key issues.


CVS Live Guest - 2020-02-22 - Stephen Stetelman

Author Streamed January 11th, 2020

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These transcripts are generated automatically and are therefore unformatted and replete with errors.
you're going live we are live I'm here with Steven shtetl man Steven what's up hey how good today it's going well thanks for reaching out by email thanks for joining me here and maybe just start by telling me and the viewers a little bit about yourself and what you believe in all that sort of good stuff sure thing our realtor in Hattiesburg Mississippi born and raised here I went to college at Mississippi College 2006 to 2010 where I studied and graduated with a bachelor's in physics so made my way back to Hattiesburg and got married I've got two daughters one is one month old and probably stayed in my house and you know that is you know the brief biography what you got well I was just wondering if you could sort of fill in the details of how are you raised and what sort of faith journey you've been on in terms of your Christianity please sure I was raised Episcopal and then we moved into the Methodist Church growing up personally I believed the Bible was true and you know I did all the things that a Christian would do I was never versed on why it was true so you know in Mississippi in the Bible Belt essentially you know the Bible is truth and you just accept that and and that's it but I went to college made some mistakes and came back and you know for me it was not necessarily true so you know a lot of my path was to figure out and learn why these things were true before I could apply them to my life again hmm and what brought you to me and my channel and what sorts of issues did you think might be interesting to discuss since you know that I'm a faithful Catholic right yeah yeah so so I'll follow Michael Jones love his stuff I don't agree with him on everything but you know I support him on patreon and you know he and I talk every once in a while about different things I saw you on there and you know it looked like you had interviewed a lot of people with a lot of different perspectives and I figured my perspective would be at least a different one and you know I'm always open to talking theology it's just not something anybody wants talk about around here I found mm-hmm so did you want to jump right into some particular topics or maybe you could talk a little bit about that blog you sent me some links maybe just talked a little bit about that so you can send people to your blog if that's the kind of thing you're interested in sure one last thing I do have ulterior motives for talking with you my my sister got married a couple years ago to a Catholic boy so you know we have that in our family now where you know to me it's a dilemma because it's not something where I ever thought like are we going to the same place or you know are we in the same universe really but that's that's something that I've debated with them a little bit about but it's like I don't necessarily agree with all these Catholic philosophies in does that mean I'm wrong or they're wrong are we all still in the same universe that's mystery what I send in my wife he's open to talking to me I'd like to interview him sure boys opened meetings do you think he's striving to be faithful to Pope Francis and the bishops who teach in union with Pope Francis you know I believe so I really don't know the answer to that question but he goes to church and he he's enthusiastic about his faith yeah very much that you know he is he's sprinkled holy water on vehicles before they left the house there you go sounds good so what about your blog can you talk a little bit about it and maybe raise your head a mix we're just cutting your chin off my blog is the a compilation of different theories I have based on you know what I believe and what I've experienced what I realized was I was I was coming up with these things so fast and they were building on each other that I really didn't have a good outlet to express myself and you know I kept getting more and more worried that you know something happened to me and that one of these ideas would be important or relevant or helpful for somebody so I decided that you know my duty was to at least put them on the Internet and you know I went back and forth over a while I was like is this relevant is it stupid but um you know I I think as you know my faith has progressed the ideas themselves have gotten more relevant and you know I think it's really just interesting to to see things from a different perspective and it very least that's what I can offer people mmm which are the most unorthodox your beliefs like do you have do you believe that there's no eternal punishment in hell do you believe that the the Trinity is just an expression of modalism do you have any beliefs that are outside of the traditional Christian tradition so I would say I accept all that and with a physics background basically what what really motivates me is the question of why and when I started got getting into theology and religion what I realized is there was some big unknowns that you know it's for the Trinity for example to me was it was like this big mystery that nobody could crack that you know it's we have different theories on it but you know that's that's what I love is a good mystery a good theory so you know what I just had to do is take my theories and my experience and and look at the Trinity and see if I could shed any light on it and you know I'm not saying and actually clarify this the Furious I would say or theories it's not that I believe in the theories it's just you know it very much I believe that these things are true does that make sense yes it's something I trust in this idea that I have about the Trinity I think it's different than saying I know the Trinity exists it's more of me saying that I think this is a viable way the Trinity could work and still be compatible with the bottle yeah you want to play with ideas and familiarize herself and grope around in the dark in the obscurity of faith and all in a perfect and loving docile submission to God the Father and the Holy Trinity right exactly is er so because it's your brother-in-law that's Catholic is that right that's right maybe this would be a good chance for you to sort of ask a complete stranger about the faith and you don't have to hold back you don't have to be shy you don't have to worry about ruining your relationship with your sister you don't have to worry about any of the politics and the family you can just sort of let loose and lift up the rock and find out what's underneath the castle yes sir I've been waiting for this okay so do you think Catholicism is the only way to God well I mean I think that there's absolutely no possibility of salvation outside of the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church that's a dogma of the church but it's also a teaching of the church that every every everyone who is outside of the visible boundaries of the church has access to means of salvation which means like for example you are because you're Christian you're baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit you are a member of the church but you're not in good standing with the church because you have beliefs that differ from what the Church of blood to see you to believe but you are still under the umbrella of the Catholic Church whether you like it or not that's my Catholic position but those who are Jewish or Muslim or Hindu or atheist or whatever they still have access to saving truths and those saving truths are all Catholic true so it's there are two ways of looking at the question one extreme is to say you can't go to heaven unless you're Catholic and the other side of that spectrum the other side of that coin is to say that well everyone who ends up going to heaven eventually becomes a Catholic because of all the saving means of salvation that they were struggling with and striving to know and understand and love and serve God all of these means we're Catholic means in the first place and if they made it to heaven it's because at some point they had the grace to say yes to the fullness of the faith and Jesus Christ I think he will admit did he is the second person of the Trinity and he did incarnate took on flesh he's like he's like us in all things but sin and he built a church and he promised to guide us into all truth so the real question is where's the church today and how does God ensure that we have an infallible way to know the basic saving truth so that we can grow in holiness and grow in service of God and ultimately go to heaven because nothing impure can stand before God so we need to struggle with our self-love and our passions and our appetites and also with error and false false teachings or many many many contradictory teachings among self professed Christians much less if you broaden the umbrella to all of all men of goodwill now if you're a person that doesn't have goodwill and you hate God and you want to go to hell because you think it's a fun party then you're pretty far gone but there's still hope God still loves that person God still is cooperating with that person and God is still giving that person means of salvation and all of those means of salvation are Christian they all the answer to every question the answer to every question in life every meaningful question that pertains to salvation the answer to every question is Jesus Christ so that's my long answer hope it helps we've got you and you know not only counter to that would be Jesus saying I am the way in the truth of the life and no I would just you know I would just be worried that you would have to split hairs to say that the Catholic Church would be the only way to Jesus is the only way to God and I don't think you said that it's just you know I think it's probably just semantics at that point but that was those a point that I I wanted to ask you um do you pray to Mary yes and I'm gonna pray to you right now Steven please pray for me okay so not okay maybe I should have worded it differently do you consider Mary the whatever they call it the eternal virgin or perpetual virgin yes sorry yep okay so was she without sin yeah by a unique privilege she was prevented from being tainted by original sin by the merits of Jesus Christ's passion well life passion death and resurrection it's all about Jesus Christ he gave her a special prevenient grace okay so then let it instead of like what you and I and every other human being had to do is fall into the muck and then by God's grace repent and then God is able to work with us but what Jesus Christ did or his mother is he prevented her from falling into the muck she would have fallen into the muck if it hadn't been for that special prevenient grace but he because he was going to take his flesh from her he did not want her to be a double agent so to speak a slave to the devil and his mother that wasn't going to work so he had to give her special prevenient grace to keep her pure and holy and sinless not even venial sin she never committed even a venial sin so yes she is pure holy a virgin before during and after the birth of Christ and is there a reference to that or is that tradition that tells you that well it all stems back to the public revelation of God is divinely revealed by God the public revelation of course closed with the death of the last apostle st. John but the sacred deposit of faith includes both sacred tradition and sacred scripture so all of the dogmas of the church go back to the sacred deposit of faith each and every one of them is divinely revealed by God and defined as such formally and explicitly by the church which Christ built okay so do you do you think anything about the Catholic Church is fallible or is it you know I I just you know I think back at the Protestant Reformation and you know I think clearly the the Catholic Church has gone off track at some points so to me does that mean that it could be wrong about something else right now yeah it's wrong about most things all at the time okay that's the the charism of infallibility is a very very very limited negative protection it means that we have freedom we can explore ideas we can play with ideas and I I have to admit that most Catholics in the pews and in the hierarchy and even in the papacy throughout the centuries and the two millennia since Christ came and built his church most of them are good you know good Catholics striving following the light of conscience some of some of us have strayed more than others like I was a Satanist before I came back to Christianity so I've strayed pretty far there are great Saints who are Satanists explicit Satanists who came back to the church and dedicated their lives to God and were holy men by the grace of God but infallibility is a very narrow narrow protection against teaching error concerning faith in morals because like I said Christ is good and he built a church and he needs to give us a sure and certain way of finding the essential saving truth so that we can all maximize our eternal happiness with God in heaven so I think you may have misunderstood my question what what am I asking more is about any current doctrine of the church if it could be you know an accepted tradition that is not intended I was is false basically do you think that any of those traditions that you follow could not be the way that Jesus intended them all all of the man-made traditions are subject to error but the doctrine doctrine is a technical word it means it's a teaching of the church which has not been infallibly defined explicitly but it the church cannot error in her doctrines okay so there's no possibility of error there are four manifestations of infallibility the ordinary Magisterium the extraordinary Magisterium sensus fidelium and the fourth one I always get confused about the fourth one but I guess it must be ex cathedra announcements I mean you could just say there were three I had no idea yeah but it's it's important to understand that we are bound as Catholics to treat as true everything that be for example the ecumenical councils teach even though much of what's contained may be pastoral may be disciplinary but we're bound to give a scent of mind and will to all of the teachings and all of the pastoral care and all the guidance and all the directives and all the disciplines of Mother Church and of the Living Magisterium which is the Pope and the bishops who teach in union with the Pope so we are bound to treat it as true even though we know that the disciplines and pastoral directives are subject to error they're not divinely revealed by God but God has established the church and he allowed the church to have the charism of infallibility but also the ability to bind and lose what's bound and what's bound on earth is bound in heaven so that means that if you get a pastoral directive or some sort of discipline and you rebellious rebellious Lee disobey it because you think I'm only going to obey be infallible stuff then you are being disobedient to Jesus Christ ultimately you have to submit to Christ and His Church that's my Catholic perspective okay okay so how would you set the Catholic Church of apart from the Pharisees of the New Testament where you know Jesus blatantly said that you know you're taking people away from the truth you know how could you be sure that the Catholic Church wasn't doing something like that what we need to look at history and authority right so is Jesus Christ the Messiah yes or no if you agree that he is the Jewish Messiah that's been promised to the Jews and you agree that Christ built a church and that church is going to guide us into all truth when we have to look at the question of authority and find out just how the Canon of Scripture came about on what authority the Canon came about on what authority different doctrinal issues were resolved when heretics came along and said something that's strained from the tradition and how the church got together to decide where the happy medium was the just mean between one extreme with one heresy on one side and the other heresy on the other extreme on the other side of question whether that question is a christological question about the nature of Jesus Christ whether it's an ecclesial ecclesiological question about the nature of the church and of course Christ and His Church are one this is a deep amidst deep mystery right mm-hmm yeah I think I see what you're saying and to me it you know I would be afraid that tradition could take us away from truth instead of gimmicks that's closer to it so if you have a tradition that contradicts Scripture itself you know being a prostitute I look back at the scripture and you know I would I would say scripture is basically greater than tradition and you know the the fal ability of man you know would accept their tradition over time and you could see us actually get further away from truth in my opinion than closer to it that make sense no because we only have the scriptures because of the church we had a bunch of writings that were candidates for Holy Scripture that inspired Scripture I mean I'm assuming that you admit that the traditional teaching that the Scriptures are inspired and inerrant correct yes so in order for us to have decided which books are in which books are out which writings are in which ones aren't a group of men Catholic men got together and they by the guidance of the and the protection of the Holy Spirit they established the Canon right and they judged each writing according to what according to tradition and so tradition was there before anything was even written down in every case in every every part of Scripture there were events there were historical Bibles there were prophets walking around prophesying and all kinds of colorful stuff and that there was dark stuff too with sin and you know Moses granting divorce as a concession to his stiff-necked people as Jesus said and all these sorts of things they're all documented in Scripture but before they were documented they were lived by the church and by the people of God and by the chosen people the Jews right in the case of the Old Testament so there's always tradition first and then the writing comes and when Jesus ascended into heaven there was no New Testament written it would take decades right for the New Testament to be written soldiering all at that time it was it was tradition which is always first chronologically in history now there is no hierarchy there is no hierarchical position of superiority between tradition and Scripture they have equal footing according to the Catholic Church they have equal footing but chronologically tradition comes first and when the Canon was formed it was formed on the basis of tradition so in a certain sense we can say that tradition has precedence in that in that sense okay thank you for that um let's see is there a purgatory yes it's a dogma of the church that purgatory exists and this is another thing I wanted to mention to you having a Catholic Church having knowing where the church is that Christ built knowing where it is knowing where the headquarters is a Holy See in Vatican City I have a stockpile of documentation establishing saving truths establishing interpretation of key passages of scripture scripture not too many passages but if you because Mother Church allows us a great freedom to explore the scriptures and to interpret the scriptures and to absorb all the many many layers of beautiful meaning literal and spiritual layers of meaning of the scriptures we have a great freedom in that but I have a whole pile of documentation established truths over against heresy and preventative teachings that are preventative in nature meaning that you're free to play but don't go outside of these bounds with Christology don't lose sight of these bounds with Mary ology don't go out sort of these by balance with ecclesiology and so as a Catholic I have a church and I have established truths and a whole mountain of documentation with a hierarchy of truth some dogmas depend on higher or firmer or more fundamental truths more fundamental dogmas so there are sort of logical implications of the dogmas which will give rise to other dependent dogmas and as a whole chain and a web of dependency among these established truths but if you're a Bible alone Christian you don't even know where your Bible came from you think it just fell from the sky I'm not saying this to be disparaging it's just sort of a caricature but it ignores inside sidesteps a lot of very very important questions about tradition and not only that you don't have access to the established truths that took a lot of blood sweat and tears literally fighting off the heretics and being in some cases aggressed very violently by those who think that they had the true interpretation of the Scriptures or of the life of Christ even Muhammad thought that he had the true interpretation of the life of the life of Christ as much bloodshed over that and there continues to be bloodshed today because this heretical movement was allowed to flourish allowed by God in His infinite wisdom to flourish and it's it's one of the major monotheistic worldviews today Islam yeah I agree with you a big fan of David would by the way so Jesus on the cross said - you know one of the thieves beside him tonight you will be with me in paradise so so was Jesus line there or no was is purgatory paradise or how does that make sense with your worldview well there's a baptism of blood which is still an option today if you're not baptized with water in the spirit you can be baptized with blood there's a famous case of priest or a bishop I'm not sure but he if he was a bishop he was also increased but he was living large and he enjoyed the company of women in brothels and houses and drinking alcohol and not a very good Catholic obviously and he was on his way to hell and then there was some some situation that arose in the whorehouse where he was enjoying himself and he was able to be murdered for his faith right in the midst of his sin so it's like the good it's like the good thief on the cross okay in the midst of his sin he had a baptism of blood and that's all that matters he's in all of his all of his punishment temporal punishment due to sin was wiped away by that baptism because that's what baptism does yeah okay I agree with you in a way but what I'm what I'm talking about is the the purgatory issue there well but when you're a murderer there's no purgatory for martyrs so you go straight to heaven okay sorry I was not aware that ya pointed let's see okay okay where was it I'm sorry no prob can you tell me a little bit about the Pope's authority over the Catholic Church yeah he's the supreme pontiff he has universal jurisdiction and absolute our he doesn't need to he doesn't need the consent of the church to proclaim infallible dogmas he obviously works he's he's one of the bishops so obviously he works with the bishops and the priests and everyone in the church but his charism as Prince of the Apostles makes him gives him a universal jurisdiction whereas each Bishop that's not the Bishop of Rome has jurisdiction in his diocese but the universal pontiff has universal jurisdiction and he has the charism of infallibility which does not need the consent of the other bishops so that is a very unique privilege that a successor to Peter has okay okay so have you have you read Matthew 23 yeah how does that fit in with your belief about the Pope read it to me but none of you should be called a teacher and then well you know the Messiah is your only leader none of you should be called the leader don't call anyone on earth your father yeah I mean you call your father father yes but I don't think that's what he's saying yeah well your private your private judgment and your interpretation of Scripture is always going to be follow ball right you don't have the charism of infallibility right no I'm just asking yeah your purchase opinion how I hope you hope jobs with this yeah but you do admit that you your interpretation of Scripture is always fallible never infallible correct I I'm just asking yeah how this this job with the Pope I'm just establishing sort of the the contrast between my world view and your world view I have an infallible Magisterium a living Magisterium you have a dead book that can't speak to you right so you open the book you interpret it and you are you're the judge of what it means but I have a living Magisterium so Jesus Christ established a living actually I don't completely agree with that I believe the Holy Spirit works in the truth of the New Testament and in the Old Testament to speak to us throughout but when we disagree who's the judge that's the question right well I'm just asking if if the Pope disagrees with the gospel who breaks that time that's my question well the Pope is free to error right but he can't he can't formally teach err concerning faith in moral so in his public in his private life he who knows what he believes God knows what he believes right but he's protected from teaching err concerning faith and morals this is the charism of infallibility doesn't mean that he's Superman he's a sinner he's wrong about most things in life in philosophy theology Natural Science he's wrong about it most things as all of us are right but he's protected from teaching err concerning faith and morals this is what the god man Jesus Christ established on earth when he came and suffered tonight for our sins he built a church and he said that church is the pillar and bulwark of the truth and that the Holy Spirit would guide us into all truth so if you want to say that the Holy Spirit Guides your interpretation and protects it from error then we just need to ask when you have a contradictory interpretation to your neighbor who also claims that the Holy Spirit protecting him from error how does that get resolved and there are two ways to basically to deal with that one is to say well they're not essential differences right the we agree on the essentials you know the Trinity and the Incarnation and the the things that we disagree on are not essential that's one way forward the other way forward is to say I'm right and the other guy is not listening to Christ for your history yeah I agree with you and I think that you have a better system to to break ties but what I'm saying is is there any truth outside of that system and isn't it possible that you know the system itself is not you know jobbing of Scripture that's that's all I'm saying no no it's impossible for the church to teach error and the Bible does not contain error so if there's a contradiction between what the Pope thinks and what scripture says properly interpreted and the hope is wrong but the Pope can't teach that wrong teaching to the church that's the section boys so it's but it's but if the existence of the Pope is outside scripture is where do we fall in that doesn't that's my question if the Pope is not it's not really the Pope meaning that he he was not given a god-given charism of infallibility the Catholic Church is not the church that Christ built is this the question not exactly if it's basically if scripture says that there's there it should not be a teacher above of Jesus above you know the Holy Spirit yeah that's what I'm asking it so yeah to me to me the Pope is the only person on the planet that it has this regard and you know this verse this verse if I'm Catholic this first troubles me because we're looking you know for divine wisdom for you know somebody on earth to and you know that's what that's what I was asking for your interpretation of it if I'm a Catholic this bothers me that's all I'm saying no it doesn't bother me because I know the Pope is a sinner he's a fallible man most of what he believes is wrong but the Holy Spirit who is God protects him from promulgating teachings for the whole church to believe so you really need to rethink your conception of infallibility he's just a regular guy with an exceptional charism and the other thing I wanted to mention about the Pope and what you mentioned there about being above Jesus are above the Holy Spirit no one is above God no one and the Pope is called the Vicar of Christ because Jesus Christ when he ascended to the Father said it's better that I go right so we are actually better off having the Catholic Church having the Pope then if Jesus Christ were walking the earth today it's a better situation according to the Catholic Church and according to Scripture because if Jesus Christ did not go away he would not give us the church and the Holy Spirit to guide the church and he has ordained it way why did he ordained it that way god only knows but we know that he is infinitely wise and we have to trust God this is one aspect that I want to emphasize with you and with all non Catholic Christians is that there's a certain amount of humility involved to being a Catholic because everyone mocks and ridicules us and everyone thinks that we think that Mary is a god the Pope is a god and all the sort of nonsense and we worship statues and all the certain nonsense it's very humbling but even if you have a proper understanding of Catholicism as a non Catholic you're still going to look at us like why are you bending down and giving submissive obedience to a mere man and I think part of the reason why Jesus ordained it this way is the same reason he chose to take on the flesh from a fourteen year old virgin in the Middle East it's because God is humble and he wants us to be humble he wants us to stoop low he wants us to just like in the days of Noah he wants us to look at Noah and say well this guy's ugly he's hairy he stinky he's stupid and I'm not gonna bend down to Noah I'm not getting on this Ark the guys and the guys crazy right he's not God why would I submit to Noah it's the same thing today with the Pope you know it's very humbling you have to be humble if you're not humble you're not gonna get on the ark and I I desperately want to get on the ark because I want to be with God I want to have eternal life and I want to be happy forever I don't want to suffer in hell you know I'm right there with you man so okay I just wanna I just wanna be clear here oh you know when I said when I look at something like Roman Catholicism basically you know you know on my blog I'm looking at stuff with new eyes it's it's Roman Catholicism it could be true and I could be completely wrong so you know what I'm doing is taking what I know is true is my experience and the Bible that's that's the only two things that you know I believe to start and I look at Roman Catholicism and these are my problems and so I appreciate you you've given me some insight on some of that stuff but you know some of these verses still I feel like tradition does not job with the original scripture at least in my opinion yeah I mean you are free to form your own private judgments but as long as you recognize that they are private judgments and if as long as you realize that you're putting aside 2,000 years worth of blood sweat and tears of saints very very very holy men and women and mystics if you're comfortable dismissing all of that and saying it's just about me and this dusty old book that can't speak and I you know if you want to say that you have protection up from the Holy Spirit to interpret the Scriptures properly that's a pretty daring position but if I mean that is basically the position that all non-earth like well I mean the Orthodox have a very similar position to the Catholics I guess they claim to have a living much stream it's just a flat hierarchy instead of having a universal jurisdiction in the Pope but if you're a Protestant Christian or a non-christian not Orthodox then you're basically stuck saying well the Holy Spirit told me so and if you disagree with me either you're wrong or it's not an essential teaching we're we can disagree and we can still please God but yet the question the underlying question will always be Authority and like I said earlier the answer to every question is Jesus Christ who is the Pope he's the Vicar of Jesus Christ what is the church it's the mystical body of Jesus Christ and it you know what is the what is the the Eucharist it's the body blood soul and divinity of Jesus Christ it's all about Jesus Christ in the Catholic Church whereas for the Protestant it seems to be about me and this dusty old book and I trust that the Holy Spirit's guiding me excuse me if I'm oversimplifying your position but that's how it seems yeah I mean you're probably right in that regard I just you know I don't want to repeat myself too much yeah let's say do you confess your sins to a priest yeah and the priest acts in the person of Jesus Christ so the answer to every question is Jesus Christ so when I'm in the confessional I am literally believing that it's Jesus Christ that I am confessing to now there's a man there right the priest who's been ordained by God to be a Vicar of Christ because each priest is a Vicar of Christ the priest who happens to be the Bishop of Rome has special care isms and he is given the universal jurisdiction so his vicar ship obviously has different jurisdiction and different gifts and different charisms but each priest is a Vicar of Christ and each Christian is in a certain way another Christ also because we it's no longer I who live but Christ lives in me this is the sort of mystical side of Christianity we have to be Jesus Christ we have to die to self and live in Jesus Christ so when I'm in the confessional I consider it Jesus Christ on the other side of that grill that I'm confessing my sins to and the man if he's not holy if he's an unrepentant sinner that's neither here neither here nor there to me I pray for his soul I pray for his conversion but it's neither here nor there the sacraments act just by the very fact that they have the proper form in the proper matter so I can listen I can know as long as the priest is doing what the church intends for him to do saying the proper words at the right time and that I participate as I am supposed to which means that I'm detached from saying I'm contrite for my sin and I have a firm resolve never to sin again and and I do my penance then I get the absolution from God right through this man who is ordained by God to be a priest to be a Vicar of Christ so it's all about it's all about Jesus Christ it's all about God but it's through the instrumentality of men and the church is an inn is an extension of the Incarnation so once again when I talked about taking flesh from a virgin a fourteen year old virgin in the Middle East it's a very humiliating move to make to be a single cell in the womb of Mary to be an embryo to be a fetus to be a newborn baby to young and vulnerable and submissive to this mere human to be obedient to st. Joseph to be obedient to Moses into these to the Jewish teachings all of this is very very humbling and mysterious and we need to imitate Jesus Christ in all of that including that human instrument human instrumentality so when I go to confession and I see a human being in the confession booth with his Roman collar on I don't see it merely as a human being I see it as partially human and partially divine because the church is partially human and partially divine this is the teaching of the church okay so isn't Jesus supposed to intercede on behalf of us in heaven so like to me as a Protestant you know I think of basically being able to ask for forgiveness whenever I want so I mean can you ask for forgiveness for thoughts in confession and do you yeah of course okay okay so is is the existence of a priest saying that we can't communicate directly with Jesus for forgiveness no not at all not at all no we we pray directly to God the Father we can we can pray to each of the persons of the Holy Trinity there are prayers directly to the Holy Spirit their prayers directly to Jesus there are prayers to the Blessed Virgin Mary where she will pray for us just like I asked you to pray for me that was a prayer to you and their prayers prayers to all the saints and we can do we can do set prayers which are established by tradition and the church gives us beautiful set prayers and Jesus Christ Himself gave us the highest prayer the our Father the Lord's Prayer but there are many other prayers in Scripture and there are many prayers of David in the Psalms there are many many prayers beautiful prayers that the church proposes to us and of course we can improvise we can speak from the heart in a way that is not planned and just give a little ejaculatory prayer and love you thank you please help me I love any sorts of things okay so I don't know if you answered it is the existence of confession in any way taking away from asking for forgiveness outside of confession what is that if and if they're equal what's the purpose in confession well I mean the sacraments have special power to confer grace right and God has ordained that the second person would incarnate build a church and that church would be the ground and pillar of church and that there would be seven sacraments and that we have to be a member of this church to go to heaven but he also he himself is not bound by that we are bound by that but he is not bound by that so he can save anyone he wants and he wants everyone to be saved but it's up to the free will and the light of conscience that that person has like I described that person that hates God and wants to go to hell because he thinks it's fun well it's working with that person you don't need to worry about them and they probably don't even pray they probably don't even confess their sins directly to God right they love their sin they hate grace but God is still working with that person God is not bound by what you and I are bound by you and I are bound to seek the church find the church get into the church support the church obeyed the church believe what the church proposes for us to believe and to you know attend communion every Sunday make the Eucharist at least once a year go to confession at least once a year and all these sorts of things but if you as a non Catholic are asking forgiveness from God directly for your sins that's a good thing and God is smiling on that but you would have more you would have more of the fullness of truth the more of the fullness of Christianity if you came into the Catholic Church and you could avail yourself of all seven sacraments you don't have that right now you only have perhaps baptism do you do you believe that baptism is a sacrament probably not in the same way you do but yes yeah believe I don't know if it's necessary to go to heaven or to receive the Holy Spirit but I do believe in baptism yeah well the short answer to my question is basically of the fullness of Christian truth in the Catholic Church from my Catholic perspective obviously and this is what the Church teaches and so if you've never tried sacramental confession you don't really know what you're missing you you would have to try it and see but in order to try it you would need to accept the whole package deal all the doctrines and dogmas and discipline well I think that's where I'm at it's like I see where you're coming from and you know I understand where if you accept these things it's true then this this lifestyle this you know Roman Catholicism it naturally follows what I just I can't look at the scriptures and say that that naturally follows at least for me you have to introduce tradition and what I don't think I'm ready to do is say tradition outweighs the scripture so what I need is is a link between you know several verses that are really bothersome for me to say that this naturally follows and then you know to me what what really seems like is we introduced things into the system that it could like let's say just talking about confession if you're confessing to a priest when you can confess direct to Jesus why the need for a middleman I don't I don't think there's any scriptural reference to the need for a middleman and you know in the business world that slows things down well what about humility it's a lot more difficult to go confess your sins to a priest than it is to sit in your comfort of your bedroom or wherever you you do your prayers I am a little shrine and behind me here where I do my prayers but it's a lot more uncomfortable and more humiliating more confronting to confess your sins to a priest and God took on flesh he knows our human nature he created our human nature he knows that the human body is part of our human person and so when I make the sign of the Cross in the name of the Father Son and the Holy Spirit I'm moving my hand up to my forehead down to my breast and from shoulder to shoulder there's a significance in that and there's there's a power in that connection between body and spirit and there are many heresies that say spirit good body bad right immaterial good material bad there are many heresies that make that error and the Catholic Church has a lot of emphasis on gestures body position go physically to a physical church and confess your sins to a physical instrument of Christ the priest and physically light the candle physically smell the incense physically sing with a loud voice with your brothers and sisters and the peers there are many many aspects of Catholicism that reinforce the beautiful truth that we are both body and soul right yeah yeah I mean I'm I'm not debating that at all I just like I don't think I can get there to say that you know I accept all these premises and I'm gonna be a Catholic I think I have I have trouble with what I believe about the Bible that's all yeah I don't have to study tradition more - you have to get to that point I think yeah for sure I mean if you look at the history of the church and particularly in the first couple of centuries and focus on issues like the mary ology or the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist focus on those issues focus on the hierarchy with the Bishop of Rome getting deference from different bishops and different well-established Christian early Christian communities look at the the very very very Catholic roots of Christianity once you inform yourself above the early history and all twenty 20 centuries of Christianity all of that tradition accumulating and the back and forth like I said with debating with and fighting off heresies if you look at all of that it will only draw you closer to a true biblical understanding of what is Christ's Church and what does he intend for us what is the full of Christianity yeah that's that's my opinion that's the opinion of the Catholic Church and I the more you learn the better it is for me because if you're a person of good will and you're seeking the truth sincerely you're just gonna get closer and closer to Jesus Christ by studying not only the scriptures but the history of the church history of the counsels the history of the papacy with all of its ugliness with all of its politics and all of its intrigue but follow that golden thread that unchanging thread of doctrine and one of my favorite cues that I'm in the right church is sexual morality there's so much sexual immorality that's crept into so much liberal Christian theology it's it's really an embarrassment and if we look at contraception in the 20th century everything busted loose and everyone pretty much defected from the traditional Christian teaching on on sexuality and in particular it came by way of this newfangled technology of in the form of fancy forms of contraception so that's a really big cue to me that I belong at one of many cues that I belong to the one true church and they're also the four marks of the church the church is one Holy Catholic and Apostolic if you look into the the the evidence or these four marks in the church traditionally it's only in the Holy Roman Catholic Church but you can look into it I encourage you to look into it and it's only gonna bring you closer to Christ even if you don't end up being a Catholic so I encourage that okay a last question and then I've got something else I want to ask you about so if you consider the Gospel story a movie and tradition that follows commentary on the movie is it possible that the people that look directly acts at Scripture and not the commentary they're sorry the movie have a truer picture of the movie themselves is instead of looking through the lens of commentary I would look at it like there's a life and then there's a book about the life so the life of Christ is a living and the book is a dead thing okay until it comes to life in the hands of the Saints right the Scriptures come alive in the hands of the saints because they're alive that the Saints are alive and the Living Magisterium is alive so I reject your your analogy with the movie in the commentary I would say that there is something that's alive that's Christ in His Church and then there's something that's a documentation of that in writing which is the scriptures and so we always need to go to the Living Waters right the living waters of tradition the living waters of Jesus Christ himself and that's the church Christ on this church are one flesh this is a deep deep mystery okay last question and then you can ask me anything as far as the sexual immorality in the Catholic Church I'm not saying there's a lot but I think it's a very specific kind and I actually planned on on writing about it soon I think the question for me is with it being such a specific kind is it possible that the Catholic Church has a blind spot in some sort of hierarchy or confession where it's allowing this certain sort of darkness to creep in yeah I mean there's corruption in the church there's always been corruption in the church and there's perversion in the church and when I say in the church I mean in the specific individual members who are striving more or less to belong to the mystical body of Christ right and this goes all the way up to the highest reaches in the hierarchy even to the Pope himself in certain cases in the Middle Ages and dirt dirt Pope's people are healing people are sinners so there is a really sick and perverted outlet for those who are putting themselves in a situation where they're supposed to be spiritual they're supposed to be the embodiment of Jesus Christ they're supposed to be they're supposed to have killed the old man and they're supposed to be living for Christ and so there's a special the darkest perversions are among those who have the highest calling so the fall of the best is the worst and Satan is focused on Jesus Christ and His Church and there's a reason why a black mask looks like a mockery of a Catholic Mass it's because Satan my hates the Catholic Church not exclusively but more than any other ecclesiastical body or Christian community because Satan knows that the real presence is true that's why he mocks the Eucharist he knows that Mary is the mother of God that's why he mocks the Blessed Virgin Mary and Satan focuses a lot of energy on the Catholic Church and as one of our recent Pope's Pope Paul the sixth famously said the smoke of Satan has entered into the Catholic Church there's no there's no denying that and as Christ himself said the weeds will be among the wheat until the very end but we better not uproot the weeds because we might uproot the wheat at the same time so let's just let it be and we'll have weeds right beside the wheat and at the end at the harvest time God was sort of the good from the bad and woe to those who who are weeds right among the we and the wolves among weeps weeps the wolves among the wolves in sheep's clothing I should say they're promised to be with us as well and they're evident in some cases they're very evident you see a bishop a wayward Bishop it's pretty clear that he is a wolf in many cases it may not be evident and we may think this is a nice old man with a very Catholic perspective but he's sowing weeds among the wheat because he's an agent of Satan every priest in the Catholic Church has responded to a calling right but it's not always the calling of Jesus Christ sometimes it's the calling of Satan like I can get you close to young boys if you become a priest or I can get you money or I can get you power or I can get you reputation in this job of the priesthood this is the calling of Satan to the priesthood and it's it's sad but Christ warned us that there would be wolves in sheep's clothing and weeds among week till the very end yeah and I I think there's some truth to that but what I would be worried about is that the system this based on tradition is producing a lot of the same thing you know in this regards which is the same sin in leadership and you know the way I look at things if you have something you know so rampant among the same type people over time I would look at the system itself and say that you know perhaps there's something in the system that's flawed and you know that that's that's the biggest question to me is like if and if the system's flawed or could be flawed is there something a tradition that could be flawed and you know I just take that all the way back does that make sense yeah I mean I I for one am encouraged by all of the disgusting bathwater that helps me keep my laser focus on the baby the pristine your holy baby in amid the disgusting bathwater for me it helps if I were presented with the Catholic Church that looked squeaky clean I would run in the opposite direction we are not a puritanical Church we know the difference between God who is perfect and these creatures who since the fall fallen very tragically and are prone to sin very selfish I know the difference because I can look in the mirror I can look back at my past sins and my current sins and I can say whoa this is not a Puritan Church because I belong to it and if it looked like a Puritan Church from the outside I would never have joined it in the first place I'm reassured by all the sin in the members of the church I'm reassured by the corruption I'm reassured by all that dirtiness because something that is purely human but never have lasted this long if it were not protected by the Holy Spirit as my church teaches that it does and the holiness of the ministers in no way takes away from the sacraments as long as the matter and form are there and the minister is doing what the church intends I don't need to worry about it I need to pray for those who are weak whether they're a priest a bishop or a pope I need to pray for them I pray every day for Pope Francis I happen to he's a good Catholic I could be wrong but I happen to think he's a good Catholic I think he's Christian I could be wrong but I give him the benefit of the doubt just like I give you the benefit of the doubt you might be an axe murderer it's just getting off on having this public image of being a Christian I don't know but I give you the benefit of the doubt right well I appreciate that so I just found one more question if you got time for sure um what about indulgences you know the Catholic Church at one point was selling indulgences was it was a tradition doctrine and and if it was accepted as true in our practice could there be something else this practice and you know fallible I I get indulgences every day they're indulgences it's still part of the church doctrine and I get indulgences each and every day what do you mean well every time I raise my thoughts to God I get indulgences provided that I'm that I have the intention to get indulgences right every time I give alms to the church or to a bum on the street I get indulgences provided that I I'm giving alms in a devout way that puts God first and my love of God is for the you know my love God is first in my love of neighbor is for the sake of God as long as I'm giving alms to a bum on the street with that devout attitude and I remember to ask for indulgences I get indulgences indulgences are holy and good and they're approved by the church it's a treasury of merits of Jesus and Mary and the Saints that the church is able to dispense and it's not hard to get indulgences so if if the Pope wanted to renovate st. Peter's and they attached indulgences to the fundraising campaign you know there may or may not be abuses with that I think when Martin Luther was on the scene I think he saw this is what I'm talking about I'm talking about Martin Luther yeah there were there probably were real abuses I think the church has acknowledged that there were real abuses of the so-called sale of indulgences right but every time you give money to the church if you ask for an indulgence and when I say ask it's it's just a prayer your your just being conscious of the fact that there are indulgences to be had you can have indulgences so when I'm at church on Sunday and I put my money in the basket and I remember to have the intention to get indulgences then I get indulgences it's always a partial indulgence it's a little bit trickier to get a plenary or full indulgence but there are ways to get full indulgences my loved ones and even my enemy is to avoid purgatory and even in some cases to avoid hell the indulgences can give graces that would help people to avoid hell so I mean everything is grace Jesus Christ instituted the church and the sacraments and indulgences so that we can be instrumental in distributing God's grace to save to be instrumental in our own salvation by the grace of God always by the grace of God to be instrumental in that and to be instrumental in every other good work right okay cool that's that's all I have you know I appreciate you answering those sure what about I on your blog I just wanted to touch on something really silly and pop culture it was post you made about the bachelor you want to talk a little bit about how your wife and you and your wife watch The Bachelor and what you think of it socially yeah so I mean it's horrible it's garbage but you know I try to be a good husband and sometimes I can convince myself to watch it and you know in watching it all I do is psychoanalyze and try to figure out how this is possible and you know this post came to me the other day it was like why is this so crazy I don't like it's obviously when you're watching you're like all these people are stupid but the question is to me wow why is this so stupid so and in like you know an in-depth look at like what everybody or what I think everybody's thinking and I think it there's some pretty nifty conclusions about in the endgame everything is just unknown and what we're we have you errs and Chris Harrison everybody's asking these people to do is bet on and unknown which is you know it's horrifying so in the end of it everybody's angry except one person and that one person doesn't even know if they're really in love or not mmm laughing I I do watch a lot of reality TV with my wife and she's well I won't talk about her cuz she doesn't want me to talk about her but currently we're watching an Australian version of The Bachelorette and they had a bunch of guys with an eligible Bachelorette and then a couple of weeks in they brought in a second Bachelorette and a third of the guys went straight to the second Bachelorette a third of the guys stayed with the original Bachelorette and a third we're kind of 50/50 like they want to see which way they go but it just sureness it sort of shows you how artificial is set up is where everyone's lays are focused on the one person if there's only one candidate whether I say bachelor or bachelorette but if you were to bring in a second one it would just naturally divide people if you were to bring in a third one it would divide them even more and so on and so forth but it seems completely arbitrary but there is that sort of desire to have what everyone seems to be desiring to have and the Bachelorette is desirable because everyone has agreed to desire her and then the cage of the case of The Bachelor it's the same thing all the girls are focused on this guy if they were on a city bus in their local town and they saw that guy they wouldn't even think twice they would not turn their head to look at this guy right yeah because everyone's everyone's focused on this guy and they think oh he must be valuable right you're right and something I I wrote down then delete it because it made it some more development but you'll think it's you probably think it's interesting when you start looking at I'm sure you know that a lot of these girls are friends after the show hmm and I started thinking about it from that perspective if if you said you know I'm gonna try to be realistic about my chances with The Bachelor but I also try to be friends with these girls you end up having a major conflict the further you go because you know this one thing you're there for you know assuming yeah a proposal of some sort it's it can't be true for both of y'all there's only one person that gets proposed to so you have this friend who has a future this the same as yours and only one is true maybe not even one is true you know if there's three girls left you and your friend both could have a false future with this guy so it just like psychologically it's it's just a great place to find drama there are many examples where The Bachelor picked one of the final two but then things didn't work out so he went back to the other alternative and some of the some of the contestants now say when they're getting rejected they say well if things don't work out come and find me there are there is always that plan be sort of thing because we live in a time obviously where people are happy to switch girlfriends or switch boyfriends or switch fiance's it's anything goes right it's not like in the good old days where you courted someone that was appropriate for you and you start young and you build a family and all these sorts of things traditional values but yeah it is it is horrifying and what I've noticed recently is that there's a lot more bisexuality on the bachelor and bachelorette internationally they're bringing in they're starting to bring in lesbians and bisexual people on this season they have a bisexual man for the Bachelorette in Australia whoa okay there's just slowly slowly trying to normalize this and I mean so there we have both sexes on there as contestants you know among the 25 guys one of them is bisexual and they're you know oh okay I think I think you're saying the The Bachelor himself was bisexual yeah it is it is very evil all of this so these social experiments are all meant to undermine the family to meant to undermine wholesome notions of intimacy sexuality it's all evil right but God is cooperating with each and every human no matter how depraved and that's why I'm able to stomach this stuff and each one of these human beings like I said in my email to you is created by God so that human being is good by nature even though that human being is prone to being very very evil by choice because we have free will but yeah it does not turn my stomach but I do watch how society especially in the West in America and in the Western world and crit what used to be called christened um really sick and perverted with their sexuality and their notions of family and so I do keep I do keep an eye on it that's part of the educational value of watching these really extremely trashy shows but I I do enjoy it because I like watching people and getting to know people having a first impression with someone like I I met you today I look at your face I have a certain impression but if I got to know you my impression would change for the better for the worse you know but chemistry it's fascinating so I think I have to let you go cuz I've got another interview but is there any final thought maybe you could leave us with a final thought that's positive uplifting Christian and for the non prisoner and listeners something like it's not positive but I think it gives some people some room to think pretty short there is no sin in heaven boom thank you so much very nice to meet you I hope you'll come back some sometime and do this again and we'll definitely keep in touch I'll be keeping tabs now and again on your blog if you want to share the link to your blog we'll put it in the description here but really nice to meet you god bless please pray for me and mine I'll be praying for you and yours and I've arranged for a perpetual Mass for you and your family so every day you're gonna be flooded with Grace's and do with those Grace's what you will but I hope you'll dig into the early history of church I'll do it I appreciate the talk let's do it again appreciate the talk let's do it again thanks brother okay all right