Well, that was pleasant; just like my own personal edition of EWTN Live. The Catholic Forum has been running a series of talks entitled “The Fullness of Truth Australian Tour” by apologists from the other side of the Big Puddle, including Steve Ray, Alex Jones and none other than the front star of EWTN, Fr Mitch Pacwa.
Fr Mitch was here in Melbourne last Tuesday, speaking at Freedom Books in Balwyn and Our Lady Star of the Sea West Melbourne, but obviously there was something wrong with the Catholic Forum’s PR, because I didn’t know anything about it until afterwards (and if I don’t know something is happening…). By then, when I proposed to the head of Catholic Communications that I do an interview for The Kairos, Fr Mitch had, as they say, “left the building” – in fact, he was in Sydney again. Not to be put off, we explored the possibility of an email interview, which then morphed into a phone interview this afternoon. The tricky bit was setting up the phone and the computer at home so I could record the conversation.
Nevertheless, I triumphed over trickiness and had a good half hour chat with Fr Mitch on a range of topics, including Islam and Christians in the Middle East, Yoga and New Age stuff, Catechesis and his project Ignatius Productions, how he got into EWTN, and what big issues in the Church could be addressed by “Joe and Mary Catholic” in the pews.
For the full interview, you will have to wait until the next Kairos is published, but I can tell you now what he thought the two big issues were: 1) Rising Secularity, 2) Breakdown in Valuing the Family. In the first instance, he said Catholic families must not be intimidated by secularists. Pray grace before meals in restaurants, take your family to Church, teach your children the Catechism. etc. In the second instance, he said that we need to build our families up by working, playing and praying together, and to pass on to our children a real sense of valuing family and not just the individual.
As I said, more anon – it will take me a while to do the transcript. But I will make it available eventually.