Michael Coren is a controversial Canadian talk show host. He is also an adult convert to Catholicism who has written several books. The Calgary Herald interviewed him about his latest book, Why Catholics are Right. He sounds like my kind of guy.
Here are some of his thoughts during his conversation with the Herald.
“(These are) people who say things about the Church that are not true. They’re vicious. They’re incredibly offensive. They know nothing. We have to stand up and say no, this is the truth.”
On reaction to the book: “So far, it’s actually been very generous.
“My parents weren’t Catholic. Most of my best friends aren’t Catholic. But if I believe this to be true, then I have to believe the alternative to be untrue.”
“I believe the Catholic Church is the best guaranteed way of finding salvation and spending eternity with God in fulfilment. How can I not share that with other people? It would be very rude of me not to.”
On atheism being the “most aggressive” critic of the faith:
“Today there’s this cult of rudeness from people. It’s not like Bertrand Russell. He was very courteous in his atheism. Today, they have to be abusive about Christianity to justify their position.”
“Many other atheists think Christians are dumb. Oh, you’re stupid. You worship the tooth fairy and your imaginary friend in the sky. This is the religion of Thomas Aquinas. Cardinal Newman. C.S. Lewis. Some of the greatest minds of all time. Dostoevsky. Suddenly we’re all stupid because you’ve read a book by Richard Dawkins.”
On the Catholic Church today:
“Pope John Paul stopped the rot and began to rebuild and it’s going in the right direction in every way, but I think a lot of damage has been done. We lost many of the Catholic institutes of education. High school. University. A lot of people lost their faith. But now we’re beginning to rebuild. There are new Catholic colleges. New Catholic newspapers. The seminaries are beginning to fill up with very good, sound, young people. It’s going very well. We have a marvellous pope. We’ve had two wonderful popes in a row.”
On the Catholic liturgy:
“Sometimes the liturgy can be very, very sloppy. There’s meant to be reverence in liturgy. It’s not a continuity of the outside world. People think to get people interested in Christianity they have to make the Church resemble TV. Well, if you want TV, you watch TV.”
On change in the Church:
“The Church changes cosmetically, but the truths and the teachings don’t change and we have to emphasize them.
“You don’t change for the sake of change. You keep to those truths and you express them in a more articulate manner perhaps. You reach out to people. We’ve been given God’s guarantee the Church will be fine. That doesn’t mean there won’t be challenges. There’s lots of challenges.” Read more here.