Walk-ins welcome to Oct. 22 conference featuring Catholic Answers’ Trent Horn
Catholic apologist Trent Horn of Catholic Answers says faithful don’t need to have all the right answers to other’s questions about the faith. They only need the right attitude.
“I show people that they don’t need to have the right answer to every single question about the Catholic faith. Instead, they need to have the right questions and the right attitudes,” said Horn, who specializes in training pro-lifers to engage in genuine dialogue about tough moral issues. “I would encourage them to find any common ground with the person in order to build rapport in the conversation. Then, ask questions, especially, ‘What do you think?’ and ‘Why do you think that?’ in order to find inconsistencies in the other person’s worldview.
“Finally, show the person how the Catholic position best explains the intuitions most people have about fairness, equality, and the intrinsic dignity of each human being.”
Horn is one of a series of speakers who will share insights at this Saturday’s Gospel of Life Conference at St. Thomas More Parish in Centennial. The annual conference, hosted by Catholic Charities of Denver’s Respect Life Office, gathers the biggest and brightest leaders to discuss topics on the culture of life. The talks will also feature bioethics Professor Marilyn Coors, Augustine Institute Professor Dr. Ted Sri, and Colorado Catholic Conference Executive Director Jenny Kraska.
It’s the only event during the year in Denver where powerful speakers gather together in one day, in one place, said Lynn Grandon, Respect Life program director.
“Come to the conference and learn from experts how to respond and challenge those around you who do not realize the dangers from world history, which show the deterioration and collapse of great societies once they ignored objective truths related to these issues,” Grandon said.
All are invited to the conference starting 8:30 a.m. Oct. 22 with Mass at the parish, celebrated by Archbishop Samuel Aquila, followed by registration. Conference sessions center around the topic “speaking truth to the culture of moral relativism.”
“People need to realize this is a terrifically important conference in light of what is happening all around us,” Grandon said.
Kraska will speak about legislative issues including Proposition 106, a Colorado ballot initiative that seeks to pass physician-assisted suicide. Sri will speak about truth, mercy and confronting the culture of moral relativism. Coors, who teaches at the University of Colorado, will shed light on bioethical issues across a person’s lifespan.
When it comes to speaking about sensitive issues or emotional arguments, Horn said it’s important to show empathy and concern, and then reframe the conversation.
“If someone is using an emotional argument, show empathy and genuine concern but then redirect the conversation to a broader moral truth,” he explained. “For example, if someone is very upset about the issue of abortion, you can ask her if she thinks all people, including post-abortive women, ought to be treated with dignity. This helps re-frame the conversation on basic moral truths that undergird moral conclusions related to controversial issues.”
The community is invited to walk in to the conference. Grandon said attendees will walk away with better tools to respond to a relativistic society.
“With the observable deterioration of our culture, we need to understand how to stand firm in our faith and morals to truly be salt and light—these speakers are going to give us the tools to be able to respond,” she said.
A ticket to the conference costs $50. Admission for students is $15. For more information, visit http://gospeloflifeco.org.