At another point in the interview, Schmitz responded to the argument that a woman has a right to abortion because it’s her body.
“But there’s also another human being involved in this,” he said. “That human being also has the right to bodily autonomy. That’s why they call it the right-to-life movement.”
Marchese asked Schmitz about his approach to engaging with people on more difficult teachings concerning issues such as abortion, homosexuality, and gay marriage.
Schmitz said that, first of all, he listens.
“With the big questions — and those are big ones — rather than say, ‘Here’s the answer,’ I’ll ask, ‘OK, where are you at with this?’” he said.
He said that he considers any conversation a win if he gets across the message that “God cares for you.”
In difficult situations where a woman might seek an abortion, or someone says he or she is attracted to members of the same sex, Schmitz pointed to the importance of the “Christian message.”
“You are good. You matter. God knows your name, and he’s entered into the brokenness so that you don’t have to be there alone,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be the thing that defines your life.”
God’s unconditional love for each person, as he or she is, changes hearts, he said.
“If I say he can love me now, it’s not just a matter of a feeling of this affection. It’s letting that love change me,” Schmitz said. “When I say that, I’m not saying those desires are gone or that I’m no longer pregnant. What I’m saying is, OK, if God has my permission to love me as I am right now, that means I don’t have to walk in shame. That means I’m not walking alone.”
He concluded: “When it comes to the big issues, the question is still the same, and the answer needs to be given: Does God have your permission to love you as you are right now? Yes or no?”
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Katie Yoder is a correspondent in CNA's Washington, D.C. bureau. She covers pro-life issues, the U.S. Catholic bishops, public policy, and Congress. She previously worked for Townhall.com, National Review, and the Media Research Center.