Michael Coren is known as many things – a Catholic intellectual, talk-show host, speaker, and author. On Monday, September 9, he also became the featured speaker for the kick-off of a Theology on Tap series in Gallup.
Theology on Tap is a series of talks and lectures hosted throughout many Dioceses in the United States. According to Elizabeth Mason, who organized the event with Coren, the laid-back atmosphere of the talks helps to encourage discussion among participants from many different backgrounds.
“Theology on Tap is kind of the ‘front porch’ to the Church,” Mason said. “It’s a casual environment where people can come to ask about the Church. It’s a really good avenue for the New Evangelization.”
Coren, who was not raised as a Catholic, converted in his early 20s and moved from his home country of England to Canada when he was still young. Of the many books he has written in his lifetime, his two most popular works, Why Catholics are Right and Ten Lies They Spread About Christianity, both made the Canadian best-seller list. During his talk, he spoke about his conversion and presented several falsehoods he had heard about the Catholic Church before providing counter-responses.
Mason said that the response afterwards, even from several attendees who were not Catholic, seemed positive.
“He was a good combination of intellectual Catholicism and British humor,” she said. “He doesn’t mix words and he’s very clever. The people who were non-Catholic appreciated his honesty. We were incredibly lucky to have him. He’s very well-respected in the Jewish community in Canada and the secular community.”
Going forward, Mason said she’d like to host a wide range of speakers at the Theology on Tap series, both local and from outside the Diocese. She also hopes to have a few non-Catholics.
“I’d really like a few rabbis or evangelical Christians,” she said. “It would be good to engage the Christian community at large.”