DAVID Chilnicean usually introduces speakers at Brisbane’s Faith on Tap (FoT) but last month there was no need.
The June 14 gathering, themed “How Google helped me find my way home”, heard the young adult explaining his own “homecoming” within the Catholic Church, thanks to the search engine “Google” as a “compass”.
“I am simply someone who ‘knocked, and the door was opened for me’,” David said to the large crowd at the beginning of his talk.
“I knocked because I was interested in the bigger picture – as we all are, even if we do not admit it.” The 19-year-old said that, as a young person, he “came to the conclusion that religion isn’t necessarily bad but just irrelevant”.
“‘I didn’t need the Church to be a good person’ I thought,” David said on June 14.
“And I fell into the trap that the modern world has fallen into: (thinking like) ‘Don’t force your opinions on me’, ‘Don’t be judgemental’ … and ‘Is there even such a thing as right and wrong?’
“I entered the slippery slope of moral relativism – the idea that our actions are not classified in right or wrong – just different.”
Guiding David back was his World Youth Day 2008 experience and significantly, the opportunity of having “questions answered” about abortion, homosexuality and sex before marriage.
“(Previously) I didn’t see an unborn child as a person,” David said of the pro-abortion perspective he had formerly held.
“If the woman didn’t want the child, I thought the child was like a tumour … I reduced the child to something less than human.
“I saw World Youth Day as my chance to debate with people who could provide me answers. I wanted answers – period.”
David received those “answers” – most came from the catechesis sessions with the bishops present.
“The first pivotal moment in Sydney was one night when I talked to the only other guy in our pilgrimage group,” he said.
“He was in a relationship with a girl that was in our group.
“We ended up talking about sex and then I asked him: ‘So you’re not going to follow the whole no-sex-before-marriage thing, right?’
“He said, ‘No … I will be’.
“This was a major shock to me … He was the first person I have ever heard publicly say he is going to wait until after marriage.”
Awakening his faith and knowledge, David said he then started “looking up Church doctrine and beliefs” on the Internet, soon being tagged “a Google Catholic”.
“Eight months later I was fully convinced about the truth of the Catholic Church,” David, who is soon leaving Brisbane to study at Campion College, Sydney, said.
“To those of you who are lapsed Catholics, I assure you the answers are there.
“We, the Catholic Church, have the answers … Learn your faith so that when somebody questions you on it you will be able to give them the answers … (and) make sure you go to authentically Catholic sources.”
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