| 'Male friendship is the key' to bringing men
into the Church
As Catholics "people should see us as joyful, always upbeat. The best thing we can do is to show our joy as Catholics. We are not fearful; we are joyful," asserts Rev. C. John McCloskey III.
He is a prominent Catholic writer, best known for having led many prominent people in media, government and business into the Church, including Larry Kudlow, Robert Novak, Robert Bork, Sam Brownback, Laura Ingraham and Dr. Bernard Nathanson. In most cases his conversations leading to the conversions went on for years.
At the September Catholics at Work breakfast Father McCloskey encouraged his audience to become more involved as Catholics with the people they know.
Catholics at Work's program is a monthly featured speaker, with a wide range of Catholic speakers catholicsatwork.org.
Father McCloskey lamented that Nathanson "was almost completely responsible for abortion being legal in the U.S." In the 1960s Nathanson, a self-described Jewish atheist, was a leader in the battle to legalize abortion. Nathanson later said 60,000 abortions were performed at a clinic he ran and that he personally performed 5,000 abortions.
Nathanson "was miserable," according to Father McCloskey. "Nobody came to help him. Lots of people are miserable because they are great sinners."
But over time Nathanson changed, and he became a strong abortion opponent. In "The Silent Scream," an anti-abortion movie where a 12-week fetus seemed to shrink from the life-ending surgical tools, which Nathanson described as "the silent scream of a child threatened imminently with extinction."
"I spent literally decades with him before he was baptized" Catholic in 1996, Father McCloskey explained.
Responding to a question about sharing our religion, Father McCloskey observed that in contemporary society "men generally have very few friends. That is not Catholicism. Men should have dozens of friends," and through those friendships strengthen their faith.
"Male friendship is the key" to bringing men into the Church or back to it, according to Father McCloskey. "We need a lot of men out there talking, who can open up to others" over extended time spans.
Father McCloskey, a native of Washington, DC, graduated with a degree in economics from Columbia University in 1975. After working professionally on Wall Street for six years, he studied in Rome and Spain, where he was graduated with his doctoral degree in theology with a specialty in Church history. He was ordained in 1981.In the late 1980s he was a Catholic chaplain at Princeton University.
As a priest in the prelature of Opus Dei, he is a fellow at the Reason and Faith Institute in Washington, DC. Father McCloskey has written dozens of articles on a wide range of Catholic topics.
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