Catholic vs. Catholic - 2019-05-24 - Kevin Mark

Author Recorded Friday May 24th, 2019

There are 44 episodes in the Versus:Catholic series.

Recorded September 13th, 2017

Catholic vs. Catholic - 2017-09-13 - Thomas

Dr. Kevin Mark is the Canadian director of the Kolbe Center, which is a Catholic Creationist apostolate. Mark and his wife Amanda are both recent converts to Catholicism. They have six children and live in Manitoba.


Catholic vs. Catholic - 2019-05-24 - Kevin Mark

Author Recorded July 26th, 2017

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hi my name is Kevin mark and you're listening to Catholic versus Catholic tell us a little bit about yourself who you are what you believe and why you believe it sure so I grew up in a Protestant home loving household my father and mother both accepted the Lord when they were teenagers they both came from families that were non-christian but kind of I guess you could say nominally Christian and they they raised this Christian and but we were never really connected with one specific denomination for my whole childhood when I was very young we went briefly to a Mennonite Brethren Church and then apparently were briefly in a Plymouth Brethren Church and then we were in the Presbyterian Church for 10 years and then Mennonite Brethren again and then when I moved out to killarney a small town in southwestern Manitoba I ended up attending a Pentecostal church and yeah from there it you know things seemed to be going okay I was pretty typical Protestant Christian and that kind of all changed on our honeymoon when my wife and I married we went to Hawaii and like most people we weren't necessarily wanting children what right away so we were utilizing contraception well I had this kind of a check in my spirit where it felt like I my conscience I guess or the Holy Spirit perhaps was saying to me you know is this right and so what we did is we prayed I prayed with my wife this prayer that went something like this Lord I don't know what your will is on this you know everybody has told us this is perfectly good and okay but we've committed our lives to you not our will but yours will be done we need you to make it abundantly clear if this is your will for us or not amen and we went on doing what we were doing and within 24 hours I was struck with this most horrible pain you could possibly imagine in just the region you might expect and my wife was struck with something equally bad in just the region you might expect and it had bit was clear to us that the Lord had answered our prayer we threw away contraception and nine months later almost to the day our first son Silas was born and so looking back at that we realized that if we hadn't prayed that prayer if God hadn't answered and if we hadn't listened he wouldn't exist right now and so that kind of set us on this road where we started realizing or I should say perhaps questioning Protestant doctrine because that set us kind of at odds with our friends and other people in our church so um you know we went on like that just continuing to you know attend that Pentecostal church and great people there they were still are wonderful people and with time though the preaching started to get a little bit more on the side of faith alone to the extent where it was kind of almost said you know don't strive just kind of sit back and take it easy and just receive from God and this was really affecting me like to the point where even though I am not at all a heavy drinker I would get home from church and have to have a shot of whiskey just to kind of calm my nerves because I got so agitated attending church so from there I somehow came across a Wikipedia article on this concept of faith alone and it had this listing of verses that were essentially at odds with that doctrine and I recognize that this teaching doesn't really make any sense but you know short I guess some time after that we were we prayed and we prayed a prayer where it was kind of in some way similar to that other prayer I said were it I actually used the word God I need you to make it abundantly clear if we were to continue on in this church or not and so within a week of that prayer my one son my second oldest was in this church basement and at a playgroup and this table fell on his leg and it broke his femur his thigh bone in two and he got rushed to the hospital and he ended up in this pretty intense kind of body cast and at that point it was we weren't supposed to be transporting him around so we were kind of forced to stay home with him and not go to church and I felt like God was saying you know even though this is bad his body will heal but if you stay here his spirit isn't going to heal so easily and shortly after that well we sent in kind of a resignation letter and so we stopped going there and right away after that my neighbor came over and told us that his wife left him with their five children and they said that they hadn't been going to church for a long time so I didn't know what to do I said okay sure well let's I'm we're just gonna do a home church so we just kind of started a little thing at home or basically I would prepare some sort of a mini sermon and give it to the kids and my wife would play piano and we'd have a little church service in our house and this went on for several months and eventually they stopped coming and I was realizing okay like this isn't a good long-term solution here so during all this I'm starting to look into various denominations and what doctrines they believe and it was kind of something where I was totally open to going anywhere like it I was willing to follow the truth wherever it wouldn't lead and I was specifically driven by this idea of contraception because that was kind of one of the only things where I could say you know besides certain basics of Christianity like the Holy Trinity etc and you know this concept that I didn't believe that faith was all that mattered that it you know what you do is important I was also looking for denominations that would promote children essentially and naturally the Catholic Church you would think about that however I totally dismissed it I didn't even consider it really as soon as when I looked into it I found that modern popes were promoting evolution as true and I had already come to the conclusion that evolution couldn't possibly be true I went through you know a lot of university on my way to becoming a dentist I was like one course short of getting a degree in Bachelor of Science in biochemistry before I got into dental school and it was clear to me that evolutionary theory was essentially the creation story for theists and so that was kind of somewhere where I was just not willing to go so I started just looking other places and I never really found what I was looking for but I did pray that lovely make it abundantly clear prayer again and then shortly after that this guy comes into my dental clinic and we're just making chitchat and I asked him what his family how many kids he has he said he has five kids and I said well that's great and then you said something like yeah be fruitful and multiply that's what the Bible says you know and I was like I actually believe that was my her sequence and so I turns out that he was a pastor of a another Pentecostal church that was in the nearest town to me and so I was like at that point just ranting to my wife that even examply are you serious this is like seems like it's from God but how is it possible that God didn't want us to go back to the same denomination that we had to leave but I couldn't escape the idea that God had answered my prayer and it was like I have to just do this even if I don't want to it's with it's his leading was my conclusion so we started going there and it was awesome I got to really know his family well and it was kind of an oasis for us there for a couple of years but having said that we knew or we felt like it was kind of just a transition we never necessarily felt like this is the end this is the goal so it was great having someone who like this pastor that I was able to get into kind of deep conversations with and I started kind of bouncing things off of him that I was learning and thinking about because about that time I ended up discovering the Apostolic fathers of the church like guys like Clement of Rome and Ignatius of Antioch and to dedicate and I'm reading in here things that you know don't we seem to support Protestantism and I start thinking about things like apostolic succession and you know even the concept of scripture alone and part of that was because I had recently joined the local pro-life group and it made sense to me that the church should outlaw something like abortion even though abortion isn't specifically mentioned in the Bible so the other thing that was really bothering me especially when I was just doing that home church is the divisions within Christianity and just the very large amount of denominations and it didn't make sense why there'd be so many well by this time we had three or four kids and my children my yeah we must have had four by this time because my three oldest they were asking to be baptized and I was in a church that didn't baptize children and then eventually the kids show up at church where we bring them there and I find out on my drive home that they've received grape juice and bread and it was as far as I was concerned their first communion and so this really bothered me because I was reading in a dedicated baptized people should receive communion so I contacted my pastor friend and and I wrote an email to him because I was upset about this and anyways through this discussion he was basically saying no no it wasn't communion it was just kind of you know this like a children's pretend thing and right at that time I discovered this concept that the early Christians took the Eucharist literally that was essentially the first time I ever thought about that and I read John 6 and it struck me that wait a minute from his perspective that's all communion is is fake so he didn't do anything wrong on his perspective because it's not ever something truly holy it's not real anyways and so at that point I realize I have never even had communion and so that was the point where I was totally in no man's land because it was like I recognized wait a minute this is crazy I can't be Protestant anymore I'm not Protestant at all in my doctrine anymore but at the same time I didn't know where to go because I didn't want to be Catholic I still knew that the Pope's have promoted evolution now of course at the time I didn't know that they only promoted it in a way that was non Magisterial because obviously Protestants don't know anything about the concept of Magisterial teaching but I was working through that I started looking up Protestant denominations that could somehow have apostolic succession and believe in the sacraments and I was starting to consider orthodoxy and then it's just struck me wait a minute the whole reason I got here in the first place is because of this contraception thing there's no way that I can go anywhere else because the Catholic Church is the only one that upholds contraception so I essentially have realized then that I have to become Catholic but the problem there is that still the evolution problem and then also Mary was a problem I didn't know how to deal with that so shortly thereafter I happen to come across the Kolbe a Center for the Study of creation online and when I realized that there are intelligent Catholics that reject evolution and that this was the perennial teaching of the church it allowed me in many ways to enter the church in it in good conscience and having said that I still had the Mary is she going one but at that point I like right around the same time I read Revelation chapter 12 and it was the first time I ever saw Mary in this kind of glorified state and I prayed and just asked if she would grant me peace essentially and I had this peace come upon me that was truly wonderful at that point and I and then at that point the blockades were down so I went to Mass and well I should say at that point my it wasn't all Easy Street because my wife was still not quite there but um it only took her about a month of being really mad at me to be honest I didn't even know that she was that mad until afterwards she told me how mad she was and I didn't even realize it but I'm maybe not that perceptive but anyway it was wonderful because she did the same thing with Mary she just prayed and said look I need you to grant me peace if this is actually the way I should go if I'm to submit and follow my husband in this and she says that she also received this wonderful piece that she had longed for in her life that she had never experienced in such a tangible way and that came over her after she prayed that prayer and so we were essentially Catholic before we even walked in the doors of the Catholic Church so we did have to go through RCIA but I felt like I already knew everything before we learned anything like I wasn't really hardly learning anything new because I had done so much studying up to that point to get where I was Wow so if you can just talk a little bit about the so-called science of evolution and your own personal journey into your current position in the Kolbe Center please well I should state that it was essentially just given to me by Hugh Owen who's the the actual director of the coal-based Center and I was clearly in interested in promoting special creation as a Catholic and I think perhaps I was the most eager Canadian that he knew so essentially he just said to me hey you're the new director and I said okay sure so you know we've only had about three events where actually where he came out and I should say I have spoken that it went well a couple parishes in the States then one in Uganda but yeah in terms of the actual science behind it I mean as I said it was evident to me in university that this was very much a creation story for atheists in terms of its necessary underpinning for atheism I mean atheism didn't really exist for the most part in at least the same state it is now before evolution I mean most people before the theory of evolution really took hold were essentially called deists and so you know what was it richard dawkins that said evolution made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist and so at its core is the of course concept that everything essentially popped out of nothing and that you can have you know stellar evolution where planets and stars and and all of this can coalesce and come together without any sort of directing forces and that somehow we can have the conditions just so for life and that life can spring out of nothing breaking the law of abiogenesis which obviously is a law of science that has never been shown to be false and even though you have various people claiming oh yeah this is how it was done I mean the reality is if they create life out of non-life they would do it they can't do it and you have all of these so-called proofs in the textbooks that are I mean I remember in my own biology textbook Extension introductory biology where they're talking about you know Darwin's finches and these peppered moths and they're giving examples of so-called micro evolution where yeah okay you can have small variations that happen I mean I don't know any creationist that rejects that idea that things can change somewhat over time but just like dogs can get strung out in their genetics and then with pure breeds we see that they're less healthy it's the same idea there's a limit to how much an organism can change and so we don't see any examples of one kind of organism evolving into a higher continent the only changes we see are kind of on a horizontal level or even devolution where things are getting worse and of course you know the evolutionists like to throw in things about various fossils they've found and supposed similarities between different creatures that they claim proves evolution but even with genetics they're essentially doing the same thing what they're doing is saying that homology or similarity proves common descent and that isn't the case you need to actually show this idea of transform ISM of one organism changing into a higher kind to prove your point you can't just pick out two things that have some similarities and claim that they have a common ancestor I mean you can empty out your junk drawer I think most people have those junk drawers in their house and you could spread everything on the floor and you could probably sort it into some sort of sequence where you start from the beginning and you kind of put things in order in some sort of sequence and you could find similarities between things but you're not proving common descent no matter how many items you have you obviously are able to find some sort of order and sequence but I mean the easiest way to see that homology doesn't prove descent is just the idea that there are very similar structures and different organisms that even according to evolutionary theory supposedly had to come up independently like for instance wings on birds or wings on bat or wings on insects so the same idea can be shown with respect to various other similarities between creatures but you know for myself one of the items that I guess I found somewhat difficult in university to deal with was the whole concept of junk DNA because when I was taking genetics at the time it was taught that something like 98% of all DNA was essentially useless junk but it did nothing it was just there as kind of a repository for genetic changes and so it was very useful for the Food Revolution on at least two fronts because one it was a place where these garbage mutations could accumulate and not damage the genome and then secondly of course the argument could be made well why would a all-perfect creator create such a junkie genome and it was only after I got through university that that it came to be known that there's no such thing as junk DNA but it's it was completely overthrown by the human genome project and so now we see that yeah not all of our genetic information codes for proteins but the rest of it at least the vast majority of it is doing other functions regulating various processes and is kind of like almost like a computer within our systems doing all of these supportive functions so the more that we learn the more that this fairy tale of evolution just doesn't stack up especially with genetics what do you make of the sort of household names of creationism Kent Hovind Ken Ham what do you make of them I like them I mean I think that they are doing a service pointing out the fallacies of evolution I mean there's not enough people in my opinion going about teaching that evolution is garbage and I think there needs to be more people saying that so I mean people like Ken Ham who started Answers in Genesis I think that his organization has done a great service to everyone showing various reasons why these evolutionary mechanisms aren't true and also pointing out that theologically the theory of evolution directly undercuts Christianity because if you are going to believe in this idea of billions of years where are you going to insert it in the biblical timeline I mean of course most people will say oh well I'll insert it before Adam and Eve and it pretty much has to go there if anywhere because you can't have this endless genealogy list so if it's going before Adam and Eve then all of a sudden you have all of this death disease and you know the tooth and nail struggle for survival amongst various animals killing each other and the concept that death is an effort necessary mechanism for progress and so this doesn't at all fit with the concept that it was through sin that death entered the world and not just death for humans because why else would we have this situation where it's fairly clear that Adam and Eve did not eat meat so it's I just have a difficult time taking people seriously when their theology is so easily able to incorporate something that is so at odds with traditional Christianity mmm my faith has been on fire more since I've discovered that there are good theological grounds for accepting special creation and it was the dogma of the Immaculate Conception that gave me grounds for sort of coming out of the closet quote/unquote as a young earth creationist and it was just that one idea that Adam was sinless when he was brought into the world so if he was conceived in the womb then he must have been immaculately conceived and therefore special creation has to be the case you can't have any sort of theistic evolution and I've since come to discover other dogmas such as the dogma of the Council of Vienna which says that the soul is the form of the body that right there is enough to topple theistic evolution can you just talk about some of the dogmas and how they indirectly at least if not directly preclude any sort of theistic evolution to me the key teaching from the Catholic Church is Lateran for an ecumenical council and we can read from that this statement God creator of all visible and invisible things of the spiritual and of the corporal who by his own am nipa 10th power at once from the beginning of time created each creature from nothing spiritual and corporal namely angelic and mundane and finally the human constituted as it were alike of the Spirit and body I mean that's pretty clear but I mean to give something even more basic that we should all be familiar with are the Creed's I mean I believe in God the Father Almighty Creator of heaven and earth and the Nicene Creed I believe in one God the Father Almighty maker of heaven and earth of all things visible and invisible I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ and it goes on to say through him all things were made now if we can just think about this for a second and the fact that the Creed's obviously have been composed for the explicit purpose of keeping us all in one faith I think everyone can agree that the framers of the Creed's obviously believed in special creation and that is indeed what they were attempting to convey when they included those phrases I mean how can anyone possibly argue that that is not what their intent was when they included those phrases so all of these Catholics are pronouncing the Creed at every Catholic Mass and I don't know how they live with themselves to be honest if you don't actually believe what the Creed says in the way that it was intended then you must have to do some sort of mental gymnastics to deal with it I mean what what do these people do when they get in their cars and go home aftermath do they explain to their children oh you know even though we said that we believed in God as the maker of heaven and earth all things visible and invisible and through for him Jesus all things were made we don't really believe that literally we just you know kind of believe it in the figurative sense I mean is that right that we should have to explain things to our children in that way it just doesn't make sense to me you know I became Catholic in 2009 I was atheist for 25 years prior to my kin version and as a monotheists I never believed in evolution I hadn't thought about it much as an atheist but when I found God I just intuitively accepted special creation and at the same time I wasn't vocal about it because I had been told that the church doesn't insist that we believe one way or the other it doesn't really matter so I just kept it to myself and I was sort of overwhelmed by the general consensus of everyone around me that its Big Bang and evolution that's what happened and although I didn't believe it myself I didn't rock the boat because I thought that it was up to the sort of private judgement each individual Catholic can decide for himself can you talk about that sort of misinformation campaign that sort of painting this exaggerated picture about how strongly endorsed evolution is by the recent popes and by the Magisterium please sure the simple fact is that there has never been a single Magisterial pronouncement in favor of evolution if you look at the last definitive Magisterial statement humanity generous if you read it in detail rather than just reading the snippets or interpretations that are used by promoters of pollution you will see that in fact he is extremely cautious on the issue that the Pope Pius the 12th he very much makes it clear that we cannot just go ahead and accept this issue I mean he does suggest that this issue has to be studied in more detail but I mean he makes it very clear that this is not something that should just be embraced so from that perspective it it seems insane for someone to go ahead and suggest that the Catholic Church is whole heartedly embracing this I mean it's it's not at all again supported by the Magisterium and I mean if you go back in time you see these other pronouncements like for instance latter and for and I mean there's some of these decrees that came out by the Pontifical Bible Commission in the early 1900's that were clearly in favor of special creation and this is when the Pontifical Bible Commission was actually an aura of the Magisterium so it's really amazing that there can be so much missed information and the only answer to it is that I don't think people have really researched this as much as they should and unfortunately I think a lot of Catholics are kind of on this liberal bandwagon where they're not really caring at all what the church has said in the past but only what various people happen to be saying whether it's off the cuff or not within the last few decades is it generally those who are quote unquote more conservative or right-leaning in the church that embrace young Earth Creationism yes it is there's sort of two camps that have embraced special creation one are the more traditionally minded people the Latin Mass goers and then the other group are the charismatic I came from a Protestant background I was baptized in the most liberal Protestant denomination probably in the world we have atheist ministers now in the United Church of Canada but you I and Hugh Owen we all come from a Protestant or a non Catholic background and we all embrace young Earth Creationism does that help yes it definitely does you know I've thought about that and I've wondered you know if I was brought up in a you know Catholic school say where I felt like I could whole we trust the instruction that I'm receiving and if it was taught to me that oil has no problem with evolution this is totally you know we're able to take this into our theology no problem it would definitely cause one to accept it easier I mean instead I went to a secular schools all the way through and so I it was very evident to me that I was kind of by myself that I couldn't just put down my guard and accept anything that came to me so from that perspective it was sort of easy to discern okay this is a teaching that supports atheism and yeah for whatever reason I don't know why it is exactly but the Protestants really have done a lot of great work on creation science and even the theology of why evolution is a problem there's a lot of products that organizations that have done a good work and it I think is really do at least in in terms of the Catholic Church why it is the way it is is because once this teaching kind of got into the seminaries and people like teal hard to shard and started to be embraced by people it's not as easy to have a different opinion than someone who is telling you something from a hierarchical position obviously or even if they're exposing an opinion and not teaching it to you as fact you tend to wholeheartedly trust your pastors more in the Catholic Church and so I would say any type of dissent from a teaching even if it isn't being taught magisterially is more difficult necessarily in that way how do the non creationist Christians view Jesus words about Noah and how do they view the story of the worldwide flood generally I think both of them believe in the concept of a local flood and that I would say probably most of them throw not just the first few chapters of Genesis into the kind of mythology bin but probably they extend that all the way up to everything in the account of the flood and perhaps probably even Babel so I think they just view it as a kind of either myth or story I mean interestingly this that idea that it could have been not worldwide seems to go way back in terms of the essentially like this is not just something that happened say you know after Vatican 2 it was even in the the Catholic Encyclopedia which i think is like 1909 or something like that you have this concept that perhaps the worldwide flood wasn't worldwide so it would seem that the Protestant theologians especially the Germans they really went to town on these liberal interpretations of the Bible in the late 1800s and for whatever reason you would think that the Catholic priests and bishops would absolutely rebel against that but they sort of took on these liberalized notions and incorporated it into the Catholic Church and so previously when I said about kind of you know dissenting from teaching of course I wasn't talking about dissenting from true Catholic teaching I'm talking about bolstering ourselves with the Apostolic faith that has been handed down so at the end of my interviews I do ask my guest to wrap up with a little positive thought a little message of hope so just to wrap up what do you think you might be able to say to anyone that's out there listening now what I can say for hope is that never give up keep seeking keep knocking on the door and we'll be answered unto you when I was 11 I committed my life to God and in this prayer and I remember it was as if the heavens had opened up and a light was shining from heaven on me I can never forget that experience and my honeymoon and other things that have happened to me in my life and then finally where I was seeking for the truth and it was just totally God to bring me to the Catholic Church to the place where and I didn't really go into this as much in the program but I mean I was not just not thinking about the Catholic Church I mean I was actually an anti Catholic like there's the the Catholic Church was the last place that I wanted to go it was the last place that I would ever consider ending up but I had this idea that you know what I'm gonna seek the truth and follow it wherever it leads and so that's all I can say to you keep seeking the truth don't close any doors be willing to go wherever the truth leads and above all pray just even if you don't pray just say to God God I need you to make it abundantly clear that you are real and be willing to submit to him and if you're willing to do that I have no doubt that he will show himself to you all you got to do all you got to do

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