This may be a first! A Unitarian vs. Catholic debate

May 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

Okay, it was really just a call to my most recent “Open Line” radio show (Thursdays from 3:00-5:00 p.m. ET), but it was an energetic exchange. Ben, a pleasant and well-spoken Unitarian Freemason, took the Catholic Church to task for its “divisiveness” on issues such as abortion and homosexuality. We had a friendly but animated 15-minute debate of his opinion. Take a listen and see what you think. (Click the picture to launch the audio.)

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17 Responses to “This may be a first! A Unitarian vs. Catholic debate”
  1. dmwallace says:

    So many people with similar opinions as this caller fail to see the point that Jesus revealed to us about sin. Think about His words on the "lustful look" in Mt 5:28. Sin and the problems of the world, religious and otherwise, begin interiorly. With that in mind let us recall the words of Aristotle: "he least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousandfold" (De caelo 1:5). St. Thomas appropriates this as a little error in the beginning leads to a big error in the end. My point is this: as the Compendium says, "Sin creates a proclivity to sin; it engenders vice by repetition of the same acts." Sins, errors, untruths, etc., may appear to some people, like the Unitarian-Universalist caller, but they lead to much bigger things. In issuing Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI made some prophecies about what would happen to marriage and society if such a "little" (yet divisive) thing like contraception were permitted. The Pope first noted that the widespread use of contraception would "lead to conjugal infidelity and the general lowering of morality." Paul VI also argued that "the man" will lose respect for "the woman" and "no longer (care) for her physical and psychological equilibrium" and will come to "the point of considering her as a mere instrument of selfish enjoyment and no longer as his respected and beloved companion." He also observed that the widespread acceptance of contraception would place a "dangerous weapon… in the hands of those public authorities who take no heed of moral exigencies." Pope Paul's final warning was that contraception would lead man to think that he had unlimited dominion over his own body.

  2. Szwajkowski says:

    I heard this on open line. I did take offense on the statement regarding Catholics being made out like the bad guys, since my family is from Poland and my grandfather was sent to a labor camp. Great job and I have even used the position on to err on the side of caution in my own debates. God Bless!

  3. kirsten michelle says:

    Patrick, I am so amazed at your ability to maintain control in the conversation when the caller had so many issues he was raising and wanted to use that time to talk about how divisive the Catholic church can be. I hope and pray that this man and his wife seriously consider and pray over the questions that were raised, and seek to follow the true & living God.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Dear All,

    I have a close friend that has been a Methodist and is now, with his wife, taking steps to join the Unitarian church. They have just had a lovely baby and it seems they are not going to have him baptized, a fact that I as a Catholic find very upsetting. If you would be so kind, please pray for their conversions and for that child's baptism; and may the Lord bless you.

  5. RSMaxwell says:

    What I wanted to know is why Unitarian-Universalists concentrate on divisive issues like Homosexuality and Abortion?

  6. A Catholic Dad says:

    Fantatsic clip. I heard it live and was amazed. Patrick, you were OUTSTANDING. I was going to splice that conversation out of the podcast but now I don't have to. Bravo!

  7. Edward says:

    On the matter of homosexuality, I think Ben was confusing the position of Fundamentalist Christians, like Jimmy Swaggart, who say homosexuals are not born homosexual(it's a learned behavior)so they can change.
    Fundamentalists equate homosexuality with any other sin like drinking and drugs:just quit. The Catholic Church says homosexuals must come to Christ and live chaste lives as celibate homosexuals. They'll always be homosexual,but it is the homosexual lifestyle the Church opposes.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I am a Catholic in a house that practices Universalist-Unitarianism. It's very difficult to have any sort of discussion, because there is no willingness there to settle on anything as true. You can set the premises of an argument so that it's completely water-tight, then give the conclusion that follows, and immediately they say, "But who are you to say that you are right and someone else is wrong?" And that's pretty nearly the end of it. Unitarianism takes the sin of human respect to a truly insane degree.

  9. Leo White says:

    What do you get when you cross a Unitarian with a member of the KKK? Someone who burns question marks on your front lawn.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The Unitarian church jumps on every political and theological fad that comes tradition and believe what you want.

  11. Anonymous says:

    What do you get when you cross a Unitarian with a Jehovah's Witness? someone who goes around knocking on doors with nothing particularly on their mind.

  12. Shacoria Robinson says:

    That picture with the T-Shirt is really funny. LOL

  13. Tito Edwards says:


    Keep up the great example of Christian charity with Truth!

    I've learned a lot on dealing with situations such as these, especially your calm and sober exchange with this poor soul.

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,


  14. Paul says:

    I do not know why you were afraid to point out that there are a number of ex-homosexual people who have come out and said look we have changed.

    There was one who was even linked to recently on newadvent where she described her earlier years as an atheist lesbian and now she is a mother of six.

    I also think that if you can say that homosexual acts are disordered and wrong then so is the desire to do them disordered. Since attraction to the same sex and desire for homosexual acts are linked intrinsically I do not think that you can postulate that the desire can be overcome but that the attraction to the same gender cannot.

    If I had received the call I would have said "How do you know that they cannot change?"

    God Bless


    p.s I would love to ask you some questions about various issues other than this over email.

  15. Anthony S. "Tony" Layne says:

    I've heard Unitarianism-Universalism described as a kind of formally religious agnosticism. Anyone care to comment as to how true that is?

  16. Terrye Claire says:

    I was vice=president of my UUA church council when I had a sudden conversion. One church member said, "wow, that's a giant step in the wrong direction!"

    "That depends on where you're going."

  17. EricBrooks says:

    I was a member of a Unitarian congregation before I became Catholic. If the Church was not "divisive" I would never have taken it seriously.

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