Catholic vs. Catholic - 2018-04-02 - Seth Coutinho

Author Recorded Monday April 2nd, 2018

There are 44 episodes in the Versus:Catholic series.

Recorded September 13th, 2017

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

Seth reached out to me on Facebook because he heard my call-in to the Atheist Experience. Seth is my first explicitly faithful Catholic guest. He's only 23 years old and was home-schooled in an orthodox Catholic family in Ohio. I enjoyed our pleasant but brief chat.


Catholic vs. Catholic - 2018-04-02 - Seth Coutinho

Author Recorded July 26th, 2017

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These YouTube transcripts are generated automatically and are therefore unformatted and replete with errors.
hi this is suck Cuttino and you're listening to catholic versus catholic if you would just tell the audience a little bit about yourself who you are what you believe and how you came to believe it sure well I am a cradle Catholic I was born and raised Catholic so I not a said of acontece or anything like that it hasn't really been any moments where I abandon the faith or seriously considered any other faith I would say so it's just been a slow process of coming to fully embrace for myself what my parents raised me with I'm the second oldest of six kids and I was home-schooled along with my other siblings up until high school so we were very close-knit and my parents took the bait very seriously we're also involved with a kind of a local group of Catholic homeschool families which was really great it was kind of a blessing and a curse I mean a blessing because we had this great support system but kind of a curse just because that couple would being homeschooled I kind of I guess lived in an echo chamber of sorts which I didn't experience people of other faith really until high school and that was where I had to start studying you know the the reasons behind our faith among all the good examples around you is there one that stands out in your memory as someone that really exude 'add faith is there someone that stands up for you yeah there is actually there's a priest Father Adam that I had a very young very passionate priest who was just you know fresh out of seminary and I went to him for confession a lot he helped me through a lot of a lot of things that I struggled with when I was a kid with confession because confession was something I really struggled with when I was younger what ages would you have been during that period it would have been around like 10 years old and maybe 10 to 13 around there it wasn't even like it was it was like mortal sin necessarily it was just various things that I guess I was embarrassed about or I like felt ashamed about and I wouldn't confess a sin and it wasn't necessarily a mortal sin but I was just too embarrassed to tell the priest that for whatever reason I don't know if it was because I was afraid oh he's gonna judge me or he's gonna tell someone or if it was more like I don't think God will forgive me for this it's kind of like it's so I'm so far removed from that like in terms of years that it's hard to really know what it was I mean I felt every time I did that like there was some guilt like why am I not confessing this I need to be doing it like I knew what I'm supposed to be doing I knew that intentionally holding back a sin invalidates the entire confession so the guilt was I guess building up and then I finally like you know just told my parents like hey like this is what's been going on what do I do and they I mean all they really did is encourage me like hey let's go to confession tell them everything and then that's it did you feel good when you did oh I felt amazing yeah I do want to put sort of a caveat or a warning on to this sort of notion of the feeling that you get can you talk just a little bit about the truth as something that goes beyond feeling there may be feelings attached from time to time but it's not necessary there's not a necessary connection you don't need to feel a burning desire for the Eucharist or you don't need to feel the presence of Jesus you don't need to feel even to feel affection for Jesus when you're partaking of the Eucharist but you need to believe so I think that distinction is very important can you talk about that from your own personal experience particularly as you've evolved from a very young person to a mature adult there must have been some evolution and how you've understood that difference right right right I mean it's very much a balance between truth and emotion going only on emotion is you know why we have so many like you know the Mormons I mean a lot of what they do is purely emotion and it's in contradiction with what they what the truth is so but with that said I'm God gave us emotion for a reason there's supposed to be something that reinforces our faith lets us know that it's true when everything else is aligned for me personally coming to learn the truth of confession learning what exactly it means seeing how its portrayed in Scripture the early church fathers knowing that it's true whether I feel it or not helps me in those times when maybe I don't feel it but I know that my sins have been forgiven I know that it's true even if I don't feel it can you talk a little bit from your own experience what does it mean to be dry can you talk about dryness in prayer it's kind of when you know you're doing everything right I guess your settings time for the day to do that you're trying to center yourself clear your thoughts but you just don't you don't feel God's president it's kind of hard explain but you just you don't feel how you normally feel when you're praying and you almost feel a sense of discouragement you feel about as distant and then from that I mean any you know the evil one can work anything through that either from oh yeah see God was never real to begin with or if he doesn't love you anymore or whatever that may be and the secret with that is just to just persevere because eventually it'll come out and you'll through that experience she'll be closer to God because of it and how old are you I'm 23 I'm just wondering about your vocation are you are you called to marriage or you called to anything in particular can you talk about vocation well that's I mean that's something I'm very much figuring out at the moment that's a constant discernment that I haven't I haven't really received a confident pool one way or the other other right now it's living out the best I can as a single person being open at the very least whatever whatever I'm called to do you have peer pressure from family and friends saying hey you'd make a great priest or something like that or hey I've got some young Catholic girls lined up that you could marry or is there any sort of peer pressure good or bad no I wouldn't say that there's a whole lot of pressure and in college being part of a really strong Catholic community I think I have the support system and like people around me totally get like the idea of discernment and being called a one way or the other so you reached out to me actually on Facebook because you would listen to my atheist experience Colin right yeah yes so what is it with the atheist experience that drew your attention because that's kind of odd considering that you never were an atheist I mean I've never been an atheist but I've been through periods where I need I mean with the rise of you know atheism in colleges and just in the weird millennial age range of high school to college where people are very skeptical I've just become very familiar with the arguments and I've been trying to learn how to respond to them I mean I'm always watching you know atheist Christian debates or whatever just to kind of learn you know what's effective what's not I remember coming across your discussion and I just really enjoyed it um I thought you did a great job I think that show a lot of times has callers in who are a Christian who just don't know what they're talking about and just make us look bad I guess but listening to you is like I can tell you have a great handle of philosophy and how to you know have an argument I feel like there's a little bit smug and arrogant and I like my attitude too much I'm not too proud of the way I dealt with these people so I apologize for that sure but in fairness they themselves have very aggressive personalities you kind of need to be a little aggressive in order to get anywhere with them I don't think my approach is very effective certainly for converting people but I am interested in philosophy and I like playing with ideas I'm looking for the best arguments that the atheists have I don't see any good arguments yet but I'm still hoping to find a good argument for atheism but what is your experience in terms of the best arguments that we can give as monotheists or as catholics in particular and what is an example of the best arguments on their side I would say interestingly enough the best argument for both sides are actually kind of linked together I think the strongest argument for theism is the argument from objective morality which is there is objective morality which most people agree to so where does it come from if not God because there's no other way to base it off anything it can't be based off science has to be based off something outside of ourselves but on the other end I think probably the strongest argument the atheist have is the problem of evil promise suffering which links into that if this you know if morality is objective why does God allow it to be violated so often but to be perfectly honest I'm really bad at engaging people I'm not a very confrontational person I'm not one who will go out and preach to the streets why Catholicism is true or interrupting you know some pro-choice rally or something it's nothing like that I guess the biggest for me has been my Protestant friends whom I have a few not a whole lot but it's been interesting I mean there's so many things we disagree on and with that it's been just a lot of studying trying to understand our point of view understanding is this scriptural is this historical most of time it's not how do I engage them on this how do i how do I show them this in the most charitable way possible so yeah I mean a lot of the time I spend is you know listening to podcasts or debates or whatever it may be on the issues of you know Catholic versus Protestant or atheistic debates although I don't I haven't had many conversations with atheists other than the debates I have on the Internet which normally aren't very productive another thing I really have been at least in the last few years have just been the arguments for and against abortion and how to argue early that effectively and the arguments that I find most effective are actually ones that don't appeal at all to religion they just appeal to science and philosophy so that's something I'm also very passionate about I mean that the basic thing I always start out with is the scientific consensus that life begins at conception and then from there you can say all humans deserve the right to life and in order for them to disprove that they'd have to get an example other than abortion where a human does not possess the right to life well that's easy old people old people did you not know that in my country Canada we're allowed to kill all people oh wow euthanasia but what do you think about this idea of vs. because a lot of people get touchy they don't like the idea of pitting one faith against another from my perspective I think that the truth is good and that if we disagree about something we can't both be right so we can talk about it and approach the truth together this is sort of a subtract approach to discovering the truth I'm very very excited about it so I think vs. is a ladder I think that examining what separates us is a ladder to coming together in peace and unity and ultimately in God sure yeah I mean I think personally it's a great idea I think people get weary around verses thinking it's gonna be you know an all-out brawl where you two hate each other at the end or religions are even more divided but I think in its purest form having a discussion between two faiths should only lead to good and I think the way you've done it especially has been good I mean from the few episodes I've listened to it's been charitable it's been more of a conversation than a debate but one where you're still challenging people on their points if they say something that you find to be incorrect can you talk about unity in general and the Orthodox in particular sure I think with unity there's extremes on both end there's one where you know oh we're all the same we just have these slight disagreements we're basically the same there's no no nothing to do about it which obviously is not true and then there's the other extreme oh we're so different we cannot possibly have anything to do with each other we can't associate with each other we can't use you know the same label as Christian with each other one of us has to be Christian and one of us you know isn't so it's somewhere in the middle is the truth obviously so I would say with at least with like my Protestant friends I've definitely felt with them obviously a mutual respect and I think the idea of like you know openness and acceptance which has been you know common to an extreme obviously at this point but has been something with my generation that has helped with this because for instance I have a Protestant friend who we've had great discussions we respect each other we respect each other's views even though we disagree but if you look at you know his parents in his church there might be a little more hostility towards me and it might not be as open to discussion or at least to the extent he is so for me unity is just about finding that balance between we have these agreements but we also have these disagreements and these are important disagreements that we should at least discuss even if we're not going to change each other's minds it's important to understand where each other are coming from as far as Eastern Orthodox from what I do know the Orthodox Church is that it's so close to being Catholic other than submitting to the Pope essentially and then any any of like the the dogmas that have developed since the 11th century they might not have total agreement on it because it's because of that when I converted to Christianity Mary and the Saints more than Jesus Christ drew me to Christianity I'd like your perspective on that because you're a cradle Catholic what is your perspective on Mary and why do people shy away from Mary I don't understand that the Muslims love Mary the Muslims Revere Mary and the Muslims will come into the church through Mary the Muslims that do come in will come in through Mary and the whole connection with Fatima I just watched a video yesterday by my friend and patron Scott Smith who talked a lot about this idea of the Muslims coming in through Mary so what is your perspective on Mary what is it about Mary for you from your perspective sure well I grew up in a household that didn't shy away from devotion to Mary I think what you're saying is really cool that you say that Mary was what brought you into the church I think saying something like that to a Protestant would be very blasphemous because they don't quite understand what you mean by that you might say oh so Mary by her own strength brought you in in spite of what jesus wanted or you know whatever they might bring up and you know obviously it's important to realize it is Mary working with Jesus to do that so I could totally see what working people would come from where they how Protestant would hear like the hail holy Queen that we pray after the rosary why they would say that that doesn't make any sense ooh that's blasphemous there's only one mediator between God and man is Jesus Mary our life our sweetness and our hope yeah exactly who are the Saints that you call on the most and that you love the most well for my confirmation I chose st. Pius the tenth something about his life and the miracles he performed before and after death just really appealed to me and I think and then kind of in hindsight and recent years I've come to appreciate the work he did because he was before Vatican 2 and how he really stood against modernism or like modern or like liberal thinking can lead to heresy very easily and how he stood against that and it's unfortunate that you know there's a schismatic group called the Society of Saint Pius 1/10 which is not you know associated with him directly but there's a reason they chose him it's because he he was the Pope who fought against modernism and they believed that that's what they're doing now so that's been cool to kind of see more deeply what he did and how that affects the church day I've come to appreciate you know the more traditional liturgy seeing like some of the bad I mean I don't know if Bad's the right word but the the abuses that have come a vatican - that essentially he was speaking of before it even happened which is kind of interesting that he had that kind of knowledge or that you know force I guess would be the better word so there's him and then kind of in recent years I've been picking up you know philosophy and whatnot st. Thomas Aquinas off obviously is I don't know he was a great scholar of the church and he even today you can read him and get something out of him and he can answer so many questions that you wouldn't have even guessed were crushes that were raised at the time that he was alive which is really cool since I've come into the church I've been attracted to a lot of former Protestants such as dr. Peter Kreeft Scott Hahn there are a lot of big names that are circulating now it's really refreshing I think this is part of Vatican 2 the the real spirit of Vatican 2 the good stuff right right right so what do you have to say about some of these popularizers of the Catholic faith that we find today and how would they counter some of the new atheism and some of the trends away from the church well so one he was not Catholic is William Lane Craig I'm sure you're familiar with them he was one guy that I listened to a lot to kind of understand how to tackle atheism even though it wasn't a Catholic perspective but I think if you're talking with a theist you shouldn't really even be focusing on the Catholic party should be working on just the belief in God at all so he's one that comes to mind I like a lot of the guys at Catholic Answers Jimmy Aiken is great Tim staples Trent Horne who's a younger guy he's cool because he he does he also does a lot of debates he does a great job at kind of bringing a new perspective on the arguments for our generation or you know even even people who aren't part of his generation but Matt Fred he started out doing a lot of work with pornography and like he still does he does a lot of talks to middle school in high school about the issue but he's also he started a podcast about two years ago now which is pints with Aquinas so he's kind of delved more into his philosophy background at this point I really love listening to him he's just a great personality some others that come to mind is Brant Petrie dr. Brandt Petrie he has a few great books and he just he's a Jewish scholar I mean he's a Catholic but he is it I should say an Old Testament scholar so he brings a lot of context to a lot of things that we don't even really think about I mean when reading the Old Testament you a lot of time you just feel lost and like don't know what's going on what about Pope Francis what can you say about him the good the bad the ugly and what is the non Catholic perspective on Francis from your experience sure well that's opening up a can of worms so starting with the good I think he's pushed all of us to be more charitable and everything we do to be more accepting of our neighbor I will say a lot of the things we see on you know in the media are just flat-out wrong they're not factual quotes from Pope Francis but there are even some quotes of Pope Francis that are real and I would say the Pope didn't worth word that very well where he probably wasn't speaking as carefully as he should have and there are some things like for example there's one and I'm pretty sure this is verifiably true where Pope Francis said that the death penalty is contrary to the gospel which in the history of the church has not been the case it's never affirmed that the death penalty is intrinsically evil obviously Pope John Paul the second has spoken on how its use is no longer necessary in our society and it and we may never have to use it again but still I mean Pope Francis saying something like that it's like oh he's changing the doctrine or he's clarifying how we've been wrong about this all along a lot of the times I'll see people who are not Catholic who are you know starting to like oh I'm this really makes me like this this Pope really makes me like want to consider being Catholic but it's almost all for the wrong reasons I mean I think there was a some fake thing about cats and dogs go to heaven as Pope Francis or something and an atheist online posted like this really makes me want to consider being Catholic again it's like I mean I'm glad that you want to become calf again but that's the the worst reason to do that um so it's unfortunate but overall I think I mean he's each and more than one sense I am gonna let you go but I just want to touch briefly on this idea of the development of doctrine because it is something that sprang to mind when you were talking about Pope Francis how do things develop why was it only in the fourth century that the Trinity was formally defined how did we get from Jesus Christ walking the earth to four centuries later a bunch of men getting together and saying hey you know what God's a Trinity how do you talk people through that so that they don't think that we're just making this stuff up as we go along yeah well I think one way I've heard it described is that things often don't become declared by the church until it's challenged so for example the Trinity it's very clear that the early church believed in that even if it wasn't formally defined and that's normally because some heretic group or Gnostic group would challenge it and they had to clarify what they believed in order to fight that on the same is true I mean with the Protestant Reformation even a lot of products will say the church didn't declare this until the Reformation and it's like yeah because it wasn't challenged until the Reformation we didn't need to declare it it was it was known so that's one way to look at it um another thing is with the development of doctrine there's obviously a development of doctrine but there's not a a change in doctrine or a reversal in doctrine so for instance with say the perpetual virginity of Mary that was a doctrine that was developed over time and was formally declared at a certain point of time but it wasn't in doing that it wasn't contradicting or undoing any previous doctrine which is why you don't find a doctrine in the church that contradicts a previous doctrine or a current doctrine otherwise it would be so easy to refute Catholicism I mean you would see every every debate between the Catholic and a Protestant you never see the Protestant bring up oh the church taught this but now teaches this how was I possible because I mean that would that would end a debate honestly at the end of my interviews I always ask my guests to just talk directly to the audience and give a little message of hope something cheery and bright so what could you say to someone that might be out there listening now I truly do believe there's a revival in the church that is fairly new that is happening right now especially when I experience in college I would have never expected to find a community of several dozen college students who cared about the Catholic faith so much because going in I thought you know I would be the only one here who really cared or was really trying and then come to find you know men who were pushing me to be a better person because they were already far ahead on you this issue you know more in tune with their spiritual life were more disciplined with their prayer life so I just see so much happening in the next few years I I can only hope for a revival in the church from the younger generation so I would just say if there's anyone out there who feels like they're alone you're not I can't necessarily tell you how to find the other people or I like you but all I can really say is that they are out there

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