Defending Truth with Charity

How do we fraternally correct people within and outside the Church who are preaching ideas contrary to Church teaching, or spreading theological errors? Dave “Tactical Pants” VanVickle and I, tackle this difficult issue many evangelists encounter today. We give you practical advice so you are prepared to navigate these confusing situations and defend the truth in a humble and charitable way.  


“We have a fundamental justice to our creator, and when God gives us a moral command we cannot soften the command because it offends us.”


There are many competing voices both within and outside the Catholic Church trying to preach the truth. This reality makes it challenging and confusing trying to defend the truth the Church clearly teaches us in the Catechism. While new perspectives and nuances could be discovered as we study Church teaching and theology, the basic moral and theological truths given to us by the tradition of the Church will never change. We must allow the truth of the Gospel shine forth. We must find ways to promote inclusion while remaining faithful to the truth Christ teaches us. So how do we fraternally correct people within and outside the Church who are preaching ideas contrary to Church teaching or spreading theological errors? It is important to navigate these conversations with charity and humility. Here are some practical tips to help you defend the truth in love.

Practical Takeaways:

  1. Lead with facts and not with emotions. Our emotions can often complicate the effectiveness of crucial conversations. Always lead conversations using facts and giving the other individual the opportunity to confirm the facts before jumping to conclusions. We recommend the book: Crucial Conversation When  Stakes are High

  2. Lead with humility. Misunderstandings and miscommunication are common when it comes to discussing theological errors. Enter the conversation with humility, ready to listen.

  3. Build catechetical foundations before pointing out errors. Clarifying the basic building blocks of moral teachings or theology  is key before tackling a more complicated issue.

  4. Emphasize that precision in teaching theology and the moral teachings of the Church is necessary because the salvation of souls are at stake.

  5. Maximize charity to minimize errors. We must always correct others with love and encouragement. We cannot become doctrinal police who harshly dismiss others simply because they may be incorrect. Hold people accountable the way that you would like to be held accountable. 


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Meet Your Hosts


Michael “Gomer” Gormley

Michael spent 17 years in full-time parish ministry and is now the Mission Evangelist for That Man Is You!, a men’s apostolate for Paradisus Dei. Michael is a frequent speaker at conferences, retreats, and parish missions all over the US and Canada.

He is the founder and creative director of, and hosts three Catholic podcasts: Every Knee Shall Bow, Catching Foxes, and Becoming God.

He is married to his college sweetheart, Shannon, and has four beautiful and hilarious children: Kateri, Cecilia, Noah, and Thomas.


David “Dave” VanVickle

Dave VanVickle

Dave VanVickle fell in love with the Lord at the age of fourteen and has since dedicated his life to bringing others into a radical relationship with Christ.

He is a speaker and retreat leader who focuses on proclaiming the universal call to holiness, authentic Catholic spirituality, spiritual warfare and deliverance. Additionally, Dave has over ten years of experience assisting Priests with their ministries of exorcism and deliverance.

Dave married his late wife Amber in 2010. He now resides in Pittsburgh with his five children: Sam, Max, Judah, Josie and Louisa.

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