by William Deatherage, Liam O’Toole, Simon Falk, and Thomas Melgaard
Hello there, folks! Welcome to the second ever Clarifying Catholicism Podcast! Finally, we have gotten around to answering YOUR viewer submitted questions!
Here are our panelists!
Liam O’Toole: Sophomore Theology Major and French Minor from Massachusetts
William Deatherage: Sophomore Theology and Politics Major and Economics Minor from Oregon
Simon Falk: Senior Theology Major from South Carolina
Thomas Melgaard: Sophomore Mechanical Engineer Major from Maryland
In typical podcast fashion, you can listen to the whole thing, above, or read summaries of our responses to your questions, below. We hope this will be an informative experience as we answer basic Trinitarian theology, to the vast quandaries of Star Wars! Let’s begin!
Did pre-evolved humans have souls? How do we reconcile evolution with the idea of a soul?
Will: It is important to understand that the Church holds no formal belief regarding the Theory of Evolution, meaning we do not require members to hold a position on it. Perhaps it would have made sense that somewhere along the line of evolution, God made a first appearance to man, which caused a clear distinction between humans and their pre-evolved counterparts. Perhaps this first encounter was when God instilled souls upon humanity, marked as his people.
Simon: 70,000 years ago, there was a “Communications Explosion” when suddenly, early humans began interacting with each other in very significant ways, unseen before the time period. With this burst in communication, we also see a great interest in religion, as evidenced by the first writings and texts of early civilizations.
Thomas: Some theorists have said that if you look at the landscape of the universe, there are certain perspectives that show the creation of the universe and Christ’s birth only being seven days apart.
Liam: Well, there are several different theories regarding the seven days of creation. They could be representative of eras or it could be just purely allegorical. But coming back to the question, there are just so many views on the subject that it’s not possible to give a definite answer right now.
What was your favorite episode to create?
In this section, rather than transcribe the responses of panelists, we will simply embed their favorite videos here!
Liam and Simon’s Pick
Thomas’s pick is our previous podcast, which can be found at: https://ccatholicism.wordpress.com/2018/01/26/evaluating-the-trump-presidency/
Where does the Holy Trinity appear throughout the Bible and history?
Simon: While the Trinity is much more prominent in the New Testament, it is also hinted at in the Old Testament, particularly when groups of three appear before prophets.
Liam: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are each mentioned as individuals, throughout the New Testament as reference to God.
Will: Jesus does explicitly commission the Apostles with blessing people in the name of the Trinity. Other than that, the Trinity can be found in a logical manner. The Father, being the creator, the Son, being God incarnate, and the Holy Spirit, being the life-force that binds us all together as God is inside us.
Tommy: Uh. I’m an engineer among Theologians… Next question 🙂
What is your favorite thing about Catholicism? Least favorite?
Will: My favorite aspects of the Church are its universal nature and its rich theological traditions. I think it’s cool that no matter where you go in the World, no matter where you celebrate the Mass or pray, you are with people who share the same beliefs and rituals as you. Regarding theological tradition, the Church treats faith so delicately and intricately, being built upon thousands of years of scholarship, that is almost makes faith a science. The downfall of the modern Church, I think, is its lay education, which I believe has turned young people away and has molded the few Catholics who stay into believing for the sake of believing, rather than thinking for themselves. Because of this, young people are no longer exposed to the practical aspects of the faith, which this channel is meant to highlight.
Thomas: I appreciate the consistency of Church doctrine. We are one of the oldest institutions in the world that retains its fundamental laws. Lay education could also be much better, though.
Simon: The Church is an organism. By this, I mean that it lets certain things in and keeps things out. Church teaching has evolved by accepting the best things from society and keeping out any sin that tries to enter. This is what I love about the Church. What could be improved is how Catholics approach their faith. Too many Catholics simply show up to Church and get nothing out of it, which breaks my heart. Prayer and worship should be the ultimate culmination of growing as a person.
Liam: I enjoy the fact that the Church is the oldest intellectual Christian faith, stemming from Apostolic lineage. The traditions of Catholicism are stronger in intellectualism and philosophy than any other faith. Throughout history, the Church has actively welcomed philosophers and thinkers to assist in the development of its doctrine. Regarding negatives, the sex abuse cases in Boston are particularly close to me and while its important to recognize that only a small portion of priests engaged in this behavior, it was still very damaging to the Church’s image.
What was your opinion on Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Will: Worse than the prequels, in the sense that the amount of plot holes were excessive and the storyline is poor, though well-executed in aesthetics. There is no sense of urgency in the movie, since each character seems invincible and Disney appears to be doing the same thing to this franchise as they did to Marvel.
Liam: There’s a lack in continuity that stems from the fact that they keep switching directors. The Force Awakens was J.J. Abrams, this one was different, and the last movie will also be Abrams. At this point, I’ve learned to accept that nothing will be as good as the original trilogy.
Simon: As a former physics major, the decision to curve lasers really disappointed me. (laughs)
Thomas: Guys… This is just a movie franchise, right? I had fun watching it and that’s all that matters.
What do you plan on doing for your careers?
Simon: I am currently applying to enter the Capuchin order of Religious life. If that doesn’t work out, I have several backup plans that involve the field of Theology.
Will: I plan on either entering politics, ministry, or a combination of the two in advocacy or think-tank organizations.
Liam: There’s a lot of options out there. I might pursue a PhD, become a professor, or author books. I have a great interest in writing.
Thomas: I’d like to run a small business that specializes in the manufacturing and sale of flashlights.
What got you interested in making videos about Catholicism?
Will: I created the series in Portland, Oregon. Catholicism is very much frowned upon in that part of the country. Because of this, I started the series to highlight the practicality of the Catholic faith and I’ve greatly enjoyed making videos with our diverse cast.
Simon: I met Will and he gave me his business card, which has the channel name on it. While I didn’t take it as seriously at first, I found that this ministry was quite fulfilling and I’ve been happy making videos ever since.
Liam: This just seemed like something I’d enjoy, especially presenting Catholicism in fun and goofy manners. Will asked me to do this and its been a blast.
Thomas: I actually haven’t been around too much. I just room with Will and Liam, but it’s a great project that I’m happy to have been a part of.
There you have it! If you have any additional questions for our next Q&A, post them below! Thank you so much for your support! 🙂