Interview with an Ex-Catholic Baptist Pastor

Several months ago I was on my way to Chicago to deliver a talk. During the flight I had the opportunity to share the gospel with a man sitting beside me.

After the flight, at baggage claim, a man named Don Smarto approached me; he said that he was sitting behind me and had overheard my conversation.

Don Smarto as a seminarian.

Don went on to say that he used to be a permanent deacon in the Catholic Church with plans of starting his own religious order! He then informed me that he has since left the Church and is now a Baptist pastor living in Texas.

Last month I happened to be in Texas, and I contacted Don. He arranged for me to be interviewed on his ABC program. A program normally devoted to “parenting today’s youth,” but for me he made an exception.  We had a very charitable discussion on what unites and divides us as Catholics and Protestants.

In our discussion we talk on a broad-range of topics:

– The problem of evil
– What is the Church
– The Protestant Reformation
– Why to Catholics believe in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist
– The authority of the Catholic Church
– Pornography
– Abortion

. . . and much more. It’s about 70 minutes long, so go grab a coffee (or 5), and enjoy!

Click to listen to the interview.

I hope you’ll share this talk with your friends (Catholic and non-Catholic alike), as an example of how we can disagree without being disagreeable, and argue without being argumentative.

Don Smarto and Matt Fradd

* Thinking on my feet, I accidentally said that it was the first council of Constantinople which defined Mary as Theotokos, when it was, in fact, Ephesus in 431.


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After experiencing a profound conversion at World Youth Day in Rome in 2000, Matthew Fradd has committed himself to inviting others to know Jesus Christ and the Church he founded. As a full-time apologist with Catholic Answers, Matt speaks internationally to thousands of teens and young adults each year about chastity. He also speaks to parish audiences on a wide variety of faith topics.

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