Catholic Answers: Were you raised Catholic?
Karlo: It’s funny, I get asked this question all the time when I speak. People think I am a convert because my speaking style is similar to Tim Staples’s. But unlike Tim, I am not a convert. My mother was a devout Catholic and provided many opportunities for me to experience God’s love, such as youth group and retreat settings. Her witness to daily prayer and ease in conversing about the Lord still remains with me to this day.
CA: What would you like to accomplish as a Catholic Answers apologist?
Karlo: In the words of St. Paul, “I become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some” (1 Cor. 9:22). Whether my audience is adults, young adults, youth, or the second-grade First Communion class, and no matter what their education level is, I want folks to know that Catholicism is true and that it possesses the fullness of truth and life that Jesus came to give.
CA: You talk funny sometimes. Do you think you can accomplish your goals with that Cajun accent of yours?
Karlo: Meh, da good book says, “I can do all tings in Jesus that stretens me” (Phil. 4:13). No prob’m chere!
CA: What apologetic topics do you like to focus on?
Karlo: While there is always a need to be conversant in the Protestant-Catholic dialogue, there is a growing need to face the challenges of modern secularism, which prides itself in being skeptical about—and outright denying—truth, God, and Jesus. Such secularism seems to be taking a toll on young Christians, since according to recent studies, they are giving up God and Christianity in droves. Unfortunately, they are often presented with a shallow form of Christianity and thus don’t see it as a viable option for an intelligent human being. As I learned when I worked with Fr. Robert Spitzer and the Magis Center a few years back, there is a need for intellectual evangelization to go with the New Evangelization.
CA: What do you think is unique in what you offer Catholic Answers?
Karlo: I think I can bring a personal element to the apologetic endeavor that people long for. As my friend Jon Sorensen says, “You want the person you’re speaking with to think, ‘That’s a guy I would want to have a beer with.’” Being from Southern Louisiana, I know a thing or two about being the kind of guy you want to have a beer with. I would also like to think I am a team player and can excel in whatever area Catholic Answers needs me to excel in, whether it’s speaking, writing, radio, Q&A, video, or now television. I pray every day that I can be a well-rounded apologist in order to benefit the kingdom, my family, and Catholic Answers.
CA: Who is your favorite apologist and why?
Karlo: I think I have to go with St. Thomas Aquinas. The clarity with which he explained things is second to no one. He also rises above the rest when it comes to his ability to be conversant in both theology and philosophy. And his methods of articulation in both fields provide the Christian with the tools necessary to engage an unbelieving culture. Furthermore, he is valuable to Catholic apologists today because he answered so many questions that are still on the mind of modern man, as seen in his classic works the Summa Theologiae and the Summa contra Gentiles. As Pope John XXII said of Aquinas, “A man can derive more profit in a year from his books than from spending his whole life studying the doctrines of others.”