Questions from “L”

“L” writes:

“Mr. O’Dea,

I am an avid reader of many blogs, I always enjoy reading about other peoples take on the world and I have found your blog to be rather interesting and have been a regular reader ever since I stumbled on it several years ago.

Since I like reading about your opinions I was wondering if it were to be possible if we could have a correspondence where I could ask you some questions and I could hear your perspective. I understand it if you don’t want to. But if you would be open to it I would be very grateful.


My first question:


I know that you are very religious and yet you believe in evolution. How do reconcile your faith and Darwin’s theory? Most Christians reject evolution because they believe that it is incompatible with the Bible a position I agree with. Yes, I know that you are Catholic and that the Vatican is not hostile and in some cases tolerant and welcoming of the theory, but your position still confuses me. Were you raised to be hostile towards it and later on accept it as valid? Or did your parents accept it and passed that acceptance on to you?



My Second question:

How do you feel about Protestantism and the man who set it in motion, Martin Luther? Do you believe that Protestants are saved?

Most Protestants (Lutherans, Methodists, Baptists etc.) believe that Catholicism is a false religion and I’m sure that the feeling must be mutual.

Why do you believe that Catholicism is the true religion that God established on earth versus Protestantism?



I have more questions but that will do for now.


Thank you for reading this email and please reply,

A reader”


My reply:

I haven’t had many private queries about this blog, but this one just arrived. So below are my answers.

On evolution, I believe the Darwinian theory is the most plausible in terms of an explanation for what we observe in fossils and in the modern natural world. I went to a Catholic boys’ school where evolution was taught as a “given”. I have always been most interested in science, especially biology, and I was happy with what I was taught in that line.

On the question of Protestantism, I have always liked the remark of Cardinal Newman, the 19th century convert from Anglicanism, when he said “they [the Protestants] can make a case …” And they can. I think, ultimately, these things come down to a matter of choice or intuition. I have never felt the need to move away from Catholicism.

I think Protestants can be saved, but in my view, because they do not recognise sacraments like confession, it is harder for them. That is my opinion anyway.

I really only studied Protestantism a bit a few years ago. I understand that the basic difference in view, at least as regards salvation, is that Protestants believe that one can be saved by faith. Catholics believe that we can become better and worse in life, but that faith alone is not enough. One must persevere to the end.

I hope these comments help. The two topics you have raised are, in my experience, extremely difficult and contentious ones, but I have tried to outline an answer for you.





2 responses to this post.

  1. How delightful to have such an intelligent reader who asks such sensible questions.


  2. Posted by "L" on June 9, 2017 at 12:14 am

    And thank you Mr. O’Dea.


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