Prolific author and philosopher Dr. Christopher Kaczor delivered a lecture to the Christendom community on November 14, speaking on “The 7 Biggest Myths About the Catholic Church.” The lecture, which was given as a part of the college’s Major Speakers Program, touched on issues ranging from the Church’s views on same-sex marriage to contraception, providing students with strong defenses for the Faith to utilize in the public square.
To begin his talk, Kaczor turned to one of the biggest myths spread around the world today: the notion that the Church is opposed to women, and does not consider them as worthy as men in the Mystical Body of Christ. Such a myth is well known throughout the political spectrum, and is often brought up as an attack on the so-called “backwards” Catholic Church. In rebuttal to this, Kaczor looked to the life of Jesus Christ Himself, and His illustrated example throughout the New Testament.
“Look at Jesus: here we see a Man doing all He could in his interactions with women. During His time, men did not meet with women, and yet He did. Think of the visit with the woman at the well. Jesus treats her with respect, and she leaves transformed, becoming one of the first evangelists. When we look at the actions and teachings of Jesus, we find nothing but respect for women from Him,” said Kaczor, who is the author of twelve books and is a professor at Loyola Marymount University in California.
Another major controversy that the Church faces today, and receives much ridicule for, is its stance on same-sex marriage, according to Kaczor. Some claim that the Church hates gays and lesbians, while others state that it opposes same-sex marriages simply out of bigotry. For Kaczor, this could not be further from the truth.
“The reality of limiting one man to one woman has nothing to do with bigotry, but with how we understand what marriage is. Is it simply ordered to the desires of people, or is it about more than the two people? Is it about the children that they’ve been brought together to create? Only a man and woman can be united in this way, the most comprehensive way possible. Marriage is about that kind of union — recognizing the unique value of this union between a man and a woman,” said Kaczor.
Concluding his talk, Kaczor finally turned to the biggest myth of all: that the Church banned contraception because it is indifferent to love. According to him, such a claim reveals a severe misunderstanding of what love is in the modern age, leading to contraception, abortion, and skyrocketing divorce rates in the United States.
“If the point of life is to just have kicks, then kids of course do not add anything to that. But if you think of it in terms of virtue, then there is such an enhancement to life thanks to children. If the goal is to be united as one can be to someone else, then the greatest unity, in a way, is the procreation of a child,” said Kaczor. “God is love, and love is something that pours out beyond itself — the Father generates the Son, pouring Himself out in creation. The love between a husband and a wife is the same.”
The talk marked the third visit Kaczor has paid to Christendom, a place he considers to be one of the finest educational institutions in the United States.
“It is really wonderful to be here. I’ve known many people who have studied here, and I’ve always been impressed by the students, the alumni, and the faculty. It’s one of the best colleges in the entire country, and it is with great gratitude that I stand with you today,” said Kaczor.
Kaczor earned his Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame, and previously served as a federal chancellor fellow at the University of Cologne and as the William. E. Simon visiting fellow in the James Madison Program at Princeton University. His views have been presented t Princeton University, and Yale, and he has appeared on the BBC, NBC, Fox, and The Today Show.
This lecture was part of the college’s Major Speaker’s Program, an important aspect of the academic life at the college that offers the students and community an opportunity for cultural, intellectual, and spiritual enrichment beyond the classroom. Through the program, students are able to gain greater insights and depth of understanding of important issues, and to interact personally with a wide range of men and women who are shapers and critics of our society.