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Heart for Mission Episode 11: Dr. Ralph Martin

Dr. Ralph Martin joins Heart for Mission to discuss his new book A Church in Crisis: Pathways Forward.

by Editorial Team

Show notes:

(1:45) After introducing today’s guest, Dr. Ralph Martin, Dr. Gerlach begins with prayer and invites viewers to share any questions they may have for Dr. Martin. Dr. Martin shares some recent career updates, including recent talks he’s been giving, online retreats he’s been leading, and more writing he’s been able to do since the pandemic began.

(5:40) Dr. Martin introduces some of the main crises the Church faces today, and Dr. Gerlach addresses some of the changes the world is undergoing and the role the Church has in those changes.

(6:48) Dr. Gerlach asks what brought Dr. Martin to Sacred Heart for his Masters degree, how that contributed to A Church in Crisis, and what inspired him to write this book rather than republish his book from the ‘80s. Dr. Martin explains what prompted his first book, his first class in theology, his inspiration to stay on for a full Masters degree, and his teaching and studying since then.

(11:43) Dr. Martin overviews some of the doctrinal confusion he feels has emerged in the past decade and how he felt called to address these issues in A Church in Crisis.

(14:48) Dr. Martin discusses what universalism is and why it requires a response from Catholics today. He urges people to open their hearts to the truth and accept the mercy of God. He refers to the revelation Jesus made to St. Faustina in the Divine Mercy devotion and the distinction in scripture between “hearing” and “heeding” the word.

(19:27) Dr. Gerlach remarks on the abundance of scripture in A Church in Crisis and the importance of hearing the words of Jesus rather than the words of others. Dr. Martin also discusses what Vatican II teaches us about how to interpret scripture.

(22:42) Dr. Martin addresses the cultural pressure that many find, especially priests, when speaking about marriage and family life, and what Biblical scholars interpret immorality to mean. He mentions that he wrote the book to strengthen people’s confidence in the truth of the Catholic faith and overcome the fear of cultural pressure.

(25:58) Dr. Gerlach asks what practical things we can do to address the crisis facing the Church today, and Dr. Martin offers repentance and self-examination as strong places to start, and encourages viewers to read the book for more in-depth steps forward.

(29:38) Dr. Gerlach shares announcements and closes in prayer.

Editorial Team

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Sacred Heart Major Seminary is a Christ-centered Catholic community of faith and higher learning committed to forming leaders who will proclaim the good news of Christ to the people of our time. As a leading center of the New Evangelization, Sacred Heart serves the needs of the Archdiocese of Detroit and contributes to the mission of the universal Church.