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And yet, after watching the complete interview, I couldn’t help feeling that I had just watched something truly remarkable unfold.
When, after all, was the last time that any of us has seen a Catholic bishop sitting face-to-face with an avowed enemy of the Church, and forthrightly critiquing and challenging his atheism, lucidly defending many of the Church’s hard teachings, including the prohibition on abortion in the cases of rape, pithily distinguishing the central difference between Islam and Christianity, and proclaiming to a large, atheistic audience the salvific message of the crucified Christ (to name but a handful of topics that Rubin and Barron discussed): and all that with a disarming ease, humor, erudition, and warmth that clearly intrigued Rubin, and – judging by the many comments on Youtube – a huge number of his viewers?
Dom Jean-Baptiste Chautard tells a fascinating story about Pope St. Chautard recounts how, on one occasion, an “eminent layman” who was spending some time with that great and holy pope, “let fall a few biting words against an enemy of the Church.” The pope immediately rebuked the layman, and then told him a story about a young priest that he knew.
When this priest was assigned to a new parish, said the pope, he made it his mission to visit every single family within that parish, including any Jews, Protestants, and Freemasons.
Listening to the painful stories of atheists who did come out reminded me of all the stories I've heard from gay friends in similar circumstances. Homosexuality is no longer considered -- at least among the informed -- a choice anymore; but is your philosophy a matter of choice either?