Thursday, March 13, 2014

Pope Francis' First Year Shines Light On Some Serious Catholic Issues

One year ago today Pope Francis took the walk of a life time down the Sistine road and without a Toto.


Of all the first year reviews of Pope Francis, the one that resonated most strongly with my own thinking is that of Paul Vallely in the UK Guardian.  Like Vallely, I think Pope Francis is an enigma.  While I give him huge marks for changing the tenor of the papacy from Imperial Roman Pope to populist Bishop of Rome, for initiating reforms in the structure and financial practices of the Vatican, and for opening doors to real synodality and collegiality, there are other areas, mostly involving Church discipline and doctrine, in which Francis is like a chameleon...or the Vatican Press Office with all it's clarifications makes it seem as if Francis is a chameleon.  I've found it fascinating that Catholic conservatives and Catholic progressives appear to be using Francis like a Catholic Rorshach test of some sort.  One side maintains he's a revolution the other claims Francis is walking the exact same path as his two predecessors.  Francis does nothing to clarify the fog.  Vallely makes this point in the following observations:

There is a carefully cultivated ambiguity about the man who is the 266th successor to St Peter. And it is producing a war of words between conservatives and liberals, inside and outside the Catholic church, with each trying to claim the pontiff for their side in a religious culture war. The stakes are high. This is a pope who has attracted almost seven million visitors to papal events in the 12 months since he took office – triple the number who turned out to see Benedict XVI the year before.

A glance at his Wikipedia page reveals one side of the battleline. It has clearly been written primarily by religious conservatives. Its entries seek predominantly to accentuate the religious orthodoxy of the man who was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Throughout his papacy, it insists, Pope Francis has been a vocal opponent of abortion. He has asserted that he is a "son of the church" and, therefore, loyal to existing doctrine. He has maintained that divorced and remarried Catholics may not receive holy communion (a totemic issue in the traditionalist v progressive divide). The reason he does not sing Gregorian chant during mass is because he had part of one lung removed as a young man.

The casual reader would be advised to take all that as a large dose of spin. Francis's opposition to abortion has hardly been vocal; indeed, he has proclaimed that the church has hitherto "obsessed" too much about it. There is an artful inscrutability to what he means by "a son of the church"; it is a statement about the past, not the future. He has repeatedly hinted that he wants to end the policy of banning divorced and remarried Catholics from communion. He does not chant in Latin because he feels traditional styles of worship do not connect with ordinary people in the wider non-European world.

But what about the other side of the argument? Liberal Catholics, like the new pope's many enthusiasts in the secular world, look to the first non-European bishop of Rome for 1,200 years and see something altogether different. He is "a miracle of humility in an age of vanity", to quote Elton John. He has shown his readiness to break with tradition by washing the feet of women and Muslims. He has told atheists they can get to heaven so long as they "obey their conscience". Most onlookers are attracted by his demand for "a poor church, for the poor" and his letter scolding the rich and powerful at Davos for neglecting the "frail, weak and vulnerable".

The world was taken aback when the head of a church whose key document on the pastoral care of gay Christians is called Homosexualitatis Problema asked: "Who am I to judge?" Yet he has shown no such reticence in adjudging the shortcomings of the medieval monarchy that is the Vatican, describing its courtly Curia (officials) as the "leprosy of the papacy".

All of which, conservatives counter, is a wish-fulfilment Fantasy Francis. It mistakes style for substance and ignores the fact that the new pope's actual teaching demonstrates what the prominent US conservative George Weigel, a biographer and confidante of John Paul II, has called a "seamless continuity" with the German and Polish popes who preceded him. (Yes indeed, Francis the Catholic Rorschach test.)

In spite of all the spinning being done by both sides, Catholics have learned some things in this first year of Francis.  One thing I've learned is that there are at least four different Roman Catholic Churches.  There is the Latin American version, the Anglo/Euro version, the African version, and the Oriental version and some of these versions are very very different in their world view.  When I looked at the results of the Univision poll which tested the views of Catholics on sex and family issues in 12 different countries I was seriously shocked at how far apart Africa was from the rest of the global Church, especially the Anglo/Euro Church.  I shouldn't have been surprised because the Anglican Church has been dealing with that split for decades. Catholicism's first chance to hash this split out will come in October at the Bishops Synod on the family.  We'll find out if Francis is any better at dealing with this chasm than the Anglican Primate Rowan Williams because the Catholic results show this split is not the result of progressive Anglican theology, it's about different world views, most of them having to do with women and gender expectations.

This brings me to the second thing I've learned this past year.  Neither the Church nor Pope Francis has any idea of what to do with the problem of women in the Church.  At least Francis recognized it's a problem, but his notions about the Marian and Petrine Churches do not address the problem much less solve it.  I understand that Francis is taking his concepts from Von Balthasar who had a great deal of influence on JPII.  I suppose it's a nice concept if one wants to keep men in total control because it places the feminine as the heart of the Church with the masculine as the head of the Church...a nice complimentary situation which really appealed to JPII. Really,  what woman could possibly be offended by being given the role of Mary in the scheme of things?   Perhaps a woman who understands that in this particular scheme of things Mary is mythologized perfection and mere mortal women are neither perfect nor myths.  I've often wondered why women have to emulate perfection but men get to emulate Peter who isn't exactly anyone's concept of perfect, but I digress.  This idea of Von Balthasar's only flies if you accept the underlying assumption that women somehow embody empathy, relationship, and nurturing and men don't, won't or can't without sacrificing their masculinity on the altar of celibacy.  I don't happen to buy any of it, but then I also happen to believe the clerical priesthood is the root and branch of all the Church's current scandal.  Which brings me to the third thing I learned this year.

Pope Francis is a priest before he is anything else.  I've written that before.  His defense of the Church over clerical abuse must stem from how much of a victim he feels as a Catholic priest in today's climate. One wonders why he has empathy for every other form of human misery, but not victims of his own clerical class.  He better get over it because there is more to come. He can speak all he wants about the cancer of clericalism but that cancer doesn't go away because someone calls it cancer.  Cancers have to be cut out, not left in place to become the next miracle for the next saint from the Vatican saint factory.  Clerical abuse stands as the most salient indictment of the whole Catholic clerical system and how abusive it is to the laity, to fellow priests, and to Jesus Himself.  Francis can not let this one go.  If he lives long enough to call another Vatican synod it should be on the priesthood because family aside, if change doesn't come to the priesthood even the Church in Africa is going to lose it's Catholic identity due to lack of sacramental access.  Without meaningful change there is no doubt clerical sexual abuse will continue... and bishops will keep hiding it, especially in countries which do not have Anglo reporting requirements.

131 comments:

  1. Well spoken, Colleen, and very helpful. My favorite takeaway from this post :

    "Mary is mythologized perfection and mere
    mortal women are neither perfect nor myths. I've often wondered why
    women have to emulate perfection but men get to emulate Peter who isn't
    exactly anyone's concept of perfect, but I digress."
    Thanks for all the research and synthesis you do- again, very helpful in making sense beyond all the polarized press that is out there.

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  2. Men are not called in their vocations to emulate Peter, they are called in their vocations to emulate Jesus.
    Pedantic corrections out of the way, the main thing to stress, to all ideological parties and styles, is that Pope Francis and no other pope will erase Church doctrine - because they cannot. So just as rad traddies hoping for vernacular Mass to be declared invalid hope in vain, vainly too do heterodox liberals hope for approval of abortion or remarriage of divorcees or member of the same sex or the ordination of women as priests.

    We are called to be faithful to the Church and Her priests, not to remake it in our own image.

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  3. Colleen, thank you. This is powerful analysis. I agree with you that Francis is influenced by (or wants to maintain that he's influenced by) von Balthasar when it comes to looking at the place of women in the church.


    And I agree that this is not the route for him to take if he wants real dialogue with real women.


    I also appreciate your pointing out that Francis's response to the abuse crisis is predetermined by his identification with his own clerical caste. And that he has to get over this, if he expects to be heard seriously.

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  4. "...if he expects to be heard seriously."
    By who? By Catholics, do you mean?

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  5. Why would it be important to determine whether the pope should be heard seriously by Catholics as distinct from the rest of the world, Invictus?

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  6. Because the legitimacy of what you are suggesting depends on it.

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  7. By victims first and foremost, and yes, rank and file Catholics have also been victimized by the clerical abuse scandal....to the tune of billions of dollars and millions of frustrated Catholics disengaging from the Church in one way or another.

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  8. I am called to be Faithful to the Gospel, not priests.

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  9. To the Gospel, rather than to the Church?

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  10. Statements of the type "the Pope must X if he expects to be taken seriously" have a validity which hinges on who we allude to.

    Catholics themselves ought to take the words of the Pope seriously regardless of anything, so not valid. OTOH, if we are referring to a generally secular society, or atheists, Sikhs, or some other demographic with no implicit Catholic responsibilities, such statements may be reasonable.

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  11. Yes. The original followers of Jesus, including the Apostles, fully understood they were to be faithful to His teachings. His teachings. Even after Pentecost.

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  12. The teachings of Christ are not dependent on the language of the Mass or the concepts we are taught about this that and the other thing. They are dependent on understanding love is the creative and defining force in the evolution of sentient beings. Love is an energy, it carries with it knowledge and information just like light. It is the essence of God. Love evolves those it impacts. Even cats. Cardinal Ratzinger knew and experienced that.

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  13. BaptizedBabyBoomerMarch 15, 2014 at 3:18 AM

    " I've found it fascinating that Catholic conservatives and Catholic progressives appear to be using Francis like a Catholic Rorshach test of some sort. One side maintains he's a revolution the other claims Francis is walking the exact same path as his two predecessors. Francis does nothing to clarify the fog."



    I think that Catholic progressives have been in the desert so long that what Pope Francis has had to say and the few things he's done to make some changes make him appear as something better than he truly is. People who have walked in the desert a long time with no water start seeing mirages is the kind of affect he's had on some progressives, imho.


    I agree with you, Colleen, that Pope Francis needs to address the clerical abuse situation and quit seeing himself as a victim. He needs to understand fully the victims.


    The conservatives believe they are the rock of the entire Faith, which is just delusional. They've been wandering around in a different kind of desert of sorts and are well beyond the seeing mirages stage, to seeing absolutely nothing. It is difficult, if not impossible, to have a vision for the Church when one has no vision left and that is what the conservatives have in their mindset of cement teachings.

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  14. Well Done. He is, after all, a product of the System.

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  15. The Tride-Trad group in the church seems to be connected to thoughts of what leaders of the past believed. We are finite beings with finite thoughts. We know very little of the Great Mind of God.

    The idea of "Anathema" puts a right and wrong solution of disagreements in the forefront. The problem is that in most disagreements both sides are both right and wrong at the same time. "Anathema" tends to separate the thoughts of humanity as it does people. It fails to honor true and honest disagreement. It fails the concept in ONENESS of a people or an organization.

    When one believes HE has the absolute truth, he or she is suffering from self delusion. Unfortunately, faithfulness to Christ and the Gospels and faithfulness to Church leadership is not at all the same when the leadership has been very bad indeed. It is the responsibility of the People of God to ever grow and develop with the new concepts inspired by the Spirit in every member who will listen. The real question is why have not the members of those who call themselves the magisterium (magichysterium) really listened to what the spirit is telling the People of God in each generation... This is the sign of failed church leadership.... It is the sign of the failure of so many of our Bishops..

    Until the leadership begin to realize a tri-partate magisterium of: 1) There are the men and women in each time span using there talents- Theologians (and even spiritualist of all sorts, scientists included) discover more of truth (a tiny spec of the mind of God) in each and every generation. 2) the Bishops whose only job is to shepherd the ideas of truthful discovery and living the love of Christ, but certainly it is not the job of these men who initiate "Anathema" when they feel weak and unable to tolerate other points of view. They must be in the service of not the manipulators of the Faithful. 3) Finally and certainly not last are the laity who must accept and live by what the theologians are discovering. When the laity can not do this, then any past teaching must be abandoned. A strong leadership would understand and make use of new ideas as the learn from institutional and yes personal mistakes. A strong leadership would not fear using both genders as equals in leadership roles. They can not afford to leave out 50% of the membership.....

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  16. A synod on the clergy managed by the laity with a few clerics invited to 'audit' would certainly be Karmic. I can certainly imagine the discussions would be enlightening.

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  17. Yes? I don't think that makes sense. Perhaps you could explain a bit more what you mean?

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  18. One might have to ask that question (in any day and age), but it certainly does amount to the same thing. The Council of Trent is perfectly legitimate and rightly defines authentic Christian teaching, for 'trads', 'charismatics' and 'liberals' alike.

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  19. The Apostles followed Jesus' teachings even to the point that His teaching about spreading His message and baptizing all nations took precedence over the Jewish law mandating circumcision for Gentiles.

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  20. Apparently the Church herself has serious differences between teaching and practice.

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  21. And here lies the problem Invictus, with humans small, finite and collective minds, we really can not know much of the mind of God and it is always necessary for us to update with the aid of the Holy Spirit. When you have a group looking for right vs wrong in every discussion, only do you get firm rules based on total misconception of the Mind of a Great God. We are called by Christ first and foremost to Love God and Neighbor and this includes mercy. Any facade of absolutes only goes against love and mercy and is not at all Christ-like.

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  22. Looking at that picture, I do not see one woman. There are many issues that Pope Francis should address. I hope he has the time and the fortitude to make the changes that will allow the church to survive.

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  23. Christ taught absolutes, with absolute love, and absolute mercy. As does His Church.

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  24. That is still fidelity to the Church, though.

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  25. I think he's a very skilled manager of the status quo. He's given that status quo a better name and he is stirring up hope for better. But he's still silent and without a move on the abuse scandal front and he is clueless about women.

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  26. I finally got my hands on a copy of a book written by the architect of the new mass, Annibale Bugnini. Bugnini was unmasked as a Freemason some time ago and was essentially banished to Iran, but not before he'd had his way.

    The book, La Riforma Liturgica (1948-1975) is pretty massive, and it's written in Italian, which is different enough from Latin to make reading this quite a chore. I am particularly fascinated by Bugnini's own admission within, in which he states that his goal in designing the Novus Ordo Missae was "to create a worship service that any Hindu, Buddhist, or Protestant could attend and feel perfectly at home."

    He identifies items that had to be altered, under-emphasized, or eliminated from the Mass to accomplish this goal, chief of which were the use of Latin.

    For example, he explains that in order to undermine the concept of the Mass as a sacrifice, something that people of other faiths found troublesome, his new mass would all but eliminate the word sacrifice altogether, and that the concept of the Eucharist as a memorial meal, (and he writes quite plainly, "the Protestant belief,") would be emphasized.

    I'm not finished yet, but when I contrast Bugnini's own words with the predictions and warnings of Pope St. Pius X, Cardinal Ottovianni, and others, it looks as though Bugnini simply lied through his teeth when accused of doing these things until after the "reforms" had been made, and then set out in this book to admit what he'd been doing all along.

    50 years after the Council and I'll wager that most catholics will defend and revel in a "worship service that any Hindu, Buddhist, or Protestant could attend and feel perfectly at home." True Catholic unity is not comprised of such a pantheistic display. Continuity of belief and expression, and Universality of Catholic doctrine are the hallmarks of such unity.

    RDP likes to cite, quite often, the notion that none of us poor humans with our limited intellect can "know the great mind of God." I'm not sure if this is supposed to be some sort of profound statement, but it is quite a false one. Not that any of us can know the whole mind of God; He is limitless and we aren't. But God revealed everything we need to know about Him. We know His mind on a great number of things. We know what He considers meritorious conduct, sinful conduct, what He tells us to do and what we are to believe. His teachings are summed up as Divine Revelation, and it is all too clear, from what God Himself has revealed, that Hindu, Buddhist and Protestant beliefs, especially regarding our worship of Him, are not at all what He desires and are not salvific in any way shape or form, and that no silly imaginative wish to interpret syncretism as a new revelation of "the Spirit" is anything but anti-Catholic; the farthest thing possible from what the Holy Ghost would be saying to anyone during any age.

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  27. If Christ was fully man, did the human part of Him ever make mistakes? Certainly all humans who write about morals and understanding of the Mind of God make many mistakes. So is true of the fathers at any Council.

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  28. "But God revealed everything we need to know about Him. We know His mind on a great number of things. " Yet the Holy Spirit is in each who will listen to reveal another spec of information. What makes you think that anyone can know " exactly" what God know in a divine revelation. It is not clear that other religions including Hindu and Buddhist and Protestants don't know as much as we Catholics know about the Great Mind of God. We do know that the Holy Spirit reveals more of truth to all who will listen and that includes theologians, scientists, philosophers of ALL faiths.



    To bad the Trad-Tri's think that they have all the correct moral solutions and laws. They only delude themselves in their own arrogance.

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  29. Your last sentence is only something a Protestant, or a Catholic of weak faith, could say. Jesus assured us thar His Church would be protected in matters of faith and morals.

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  30. I'm sure you believe what you say, but it is untrue. More, it has no origin in Christianity. More, it is very old-fashioned.

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  31. Err. Mgardener. I'm fairly sure that photo is of the College of Cardinals...

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  32. There is no such thing as absolute love, unless it is what we get from our moms at a very early age. No one is going to feed us,care for us, and clean up our every mess. Christ taught love but no where does He mention it to be absolute.

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  33. I dare say with over 22 years of Catholic education, most of my thought originates from my Christianity. Perhaps what I say seems untrue to you. My way of thinking is for the modern and the "old fashioned." It is the importance of thinking for ones self.

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  34. Perhaps God gave you the power to decide who has weak faith. Morals are beliefs of men. More important that men learn to live and grow in a good ethical life.

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  35. "Yet the Holy Spirit is in each who will listen to reveal another spec of information."

    And who determines what new specs of information are from the Holy Spirit and which are nothing but purely human fancy? What makes you think that anyone can know exactly what God knows in a divine revelation."

    In all seriousness, and with no desire to offend - believe me - I find it strange to have to answer such a question for someone with 22 years of Catholic education. We can know exactly what God has revealed based upon what exactly He has revealed. For example, here is one revelation:

    "I am the Lord thy God; thou shalt not have strange gods before Me."
    "I am the first, and I am the last, and besides me there is no God" (Is. 44:6).

    It is quite clear that God has revealed to all men that He is God, and that there are no other gods. Is it arragonce to profess that we can know this with absolute certainty? No - it is a conviction bourne of Faith.

    Do the Hindus believe in God? They profess a belief in a myriad cornucopia of "gods and goddesses." Annapurna is the hindu goddess of food and cooking. Ganesha is the elephant-headed god. Matangi is the "dark one." Brahma is the creator, Vishnu the preserver, and Shiva the destroyer. And the pagan list of false gods and idols goes on and on and on. And apparently, they are to be as comfortable as Catholics while attending the Novus Ordo Missae.

    The Holy Spirit pours forth graces to all that will receive them. Only God knows who His graces will be wasted upon, and so it is doubtful that He would waste them. One grace the Holy Spirit would pour forth is the grace of conversion. Conversion of hearts (for sinners who already belong to the Church) and a conversion to the Church for those outside of it.

    Syncretism, the notion that all religions worship the same god so that various religious beliefs can be amalgamated into a larger religion (and necessarily one of which God would approve) is a condemned heresy. You call it tolerance - I agree; tolerance of error. There is a big difference between understanding the beliefs and customs of other religions and integrating them into your own religion. Divine Revelation tells us this is wrong; that your concept of tolerance is wrong:

    "I wonder that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ, unto another gospel. Which is not another, only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. As we said before, so now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ."

    Was St. Paul being arrogant? Or maybe the better question is this: What is more arrogant; humbly accepting the Faith of Jesus Christ as it was handed down from Apostolic times, or pleasing men by perverting the Gospel and fashioning for ourselves a new syncretic religion that God will just have to accept and bless if He desires us to deign to spend our eternity with Him?

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  36. Did you know there are over 100 very similar sayings attributed to Jesus in the Gospel that are also attributed to the sayings of Buddha and Buddha's sayings were written way before the New Testament?


    Anyone who seriously has studied the spiritual giants can't help but see they are saying very similar things about human conduct. Even Roman Catholicism does not go so far as to say the other traditions have no truths. In the end we will all recognize we are one living sentient unity.

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  37. Just to interject a short thing here. Bugnini was also acting under JPII's philosophy. JPII wanted a certain amount of syncretism because he felt strongly it would further the Church's efforts in Africa where the Church on the ground was combining indigenous and Catholic symbolism in the Mass to make it relevant to the African culture. I agreed whole heartedly with this effort principally because God is not a product of European Catholic culture and neither is European Catholic culture a signature act of God.

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  38. You mean, "love God with your whole heart, your whole soul, your whole body and your whole strength", and "love your neighbor as yourself" aren't, to some degree, a mandate by Jesus to love absolutely?

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  39. BaptizedBabyBoomerMarch 17, 2014 at 8:56 PM

    In truth, one need not have fidelity to the Church, especially to the crooks in the Church who are lawmakers rather than Priests, who are called Priest and don't act like Priests of Jesus Christ & act more like Priests of Satan who live like the snakes that St. Patrick drove out, like Princes who kept slaves and act like, pick a name…. and they are not Saints either. I have no fidelity to the Vatican men, nor should one preach that Jesus had any law to follow criminals or psychotic men who hated women, who throughout history have dumbed down the message of Jesus, denied science, denied ideas, denied thought and persecuted those who knew better than the aristocracy in the Church. Those in the aristocracy in the Church turned the message of Jesus into a mechanism of control, persecution, manipulation, and stole from people the true message. I have no fidelity to hypocrites and Jesus agrees with me and so do the Communion of Saints, of which it is doubtful that most of the Popes, Cardinals & Bishops are amongst.

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  40. Hmmm. Well, Bugnini began his "reforms" in 1948, thirty years before Karol Wojtyla assumed the papacy.
    Assimilation of cultures is still a far different thing than syncretism, which really has no place in our religion, at least not in the Mass.

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  41. Sorry, many catholics did not take JP II, or Benedict seriously throughout the banking shenanigans and the crisis in which the Bishops (even the ones in Rome) enabled sex abuse. Nor should they take leaders seriously that are obfuscating so many facts to protect there own power and clerical system.

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  42. Once again Mr. Smarticus you seem to play with definitions that are really not common usage.

    syn·cre·tism [sing-kri-tiz-uhm, sin-] Show IPA
    noun

    1) the attempted reconciliation or union of different or opposing principles, practices, or parties, as in philosophy or religion. ( I remember when ecumenismwas a nice word!!)

    2) Grammar . the merging, as by historical change in a language, of two or more categories in a specified environment into one, as, in nonstandard English, the use of was with both singular and plural subjects, while in standard English was is used with singular subjects (except for you in the second person singular) and were with plural subjects.

    The common usage of the word is not at all a defined heresy. This simple google search was more what I have in mind:

    Syncretism, multiculturalism and the discourse of tolerance
    P Van der Veer - Syncretism/anti-syncretism: The politics of …, 1994 - books.google.com

    The term 'syncretism'is often used in anthropology and history as if it were a transparent,
    descriptive term, referring to the 'borrowing, affirmation, or integration of concepts, symbols,
    or practices of one religious tradition into another by a process of selection ...

    Cited by 172 Related articles All 2 versions Cite Save

    [BOOK] Syncretism/anti-syncretism: the politics of religious synthesis

    R Shaw, C Stewart - 1994 - books.google.com

    ... or as a means of establishing a national identity in a multicultural state ... a dimension of nationalist

    discourse in modern Greece Charles Stewart Syncretic inventions:'Indianness ... of Turkish migrants

    and Islam in Germany Lale Yalçim-Heckmann Syncretism, multiculturalism and the ...

    Cited by 278 Related articles All 4 versions Cite Save More

    jhu.edu [PDF]

    Syncretism and its synonyms: reflections on cultural mixture

    C Stewart - Diacritics, 1999 - muse.jhu.edu

    ... All that need be accepted is that syncretism involves the combination of elements from two or
    more different …

    So Mr. Smarticus you define something as purely wrong without taking into consideration that there are many more meanings to the word than the way you use it. Is that smart?

    “And who determines what new specs of information are from the Holy Spirit and which are nothing but purely human fancy? What makes you think that anyone can know exactly what God knows in a divine revelation.”

    Truth must face the passage of time. The church once taught the centrality of man and that the earth was the center of the universe. This truth could not stand the course of time. It may have been a good thought and even an inspired one but it could not stand with the invention of telescopes and the scientific method to say nothing of the space program. So while true professional scientist and theologians know that they are not infallible and their thoughts and discoveries may or may not hold up in the future, all they can do is use their God Given Talents to discover more bits of truth. When people begin to over define truth, there is no more than an authoritarian mind set present as we can know very little of the Mind that created this lovely earth and the hundred of billions of galaxies in it. We can know only little of the physical properties that propel this universe, and even less than about the great Other.

    The real ethical change brought by Christ was that of love of Neighbor and even enemies. This means Mercy. The other great commandment was love of God. All the rest is contained in these two commandments.

    So there are the tri-trads that attempt to over define and condemn others who do not listen to the arrogance of omniscient beliefs. So they go around in their megalomania pronouncing anathema and condemning others.

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  43. "Assimilation of cultures is still a far different thing than syncretism, which really has no place in our religion, at least not in the Mass." So say the Tri-trads.

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  44. Yes, we finite beings come the closest to absolute love when we are still in the Uterus. Mom loves us, feeds us, gives us a place to live and cleans all our messes. The only other time we see it is in our creator. We as finite beings have no mandate from Jesus to do the impossible.!!!!

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  45. This is sad, then, and those Catholics were in the wrong. We are called to love and support the Church, as we are called to honour our mother and father, as we are called to follow Jesus Himself.

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  46. The Church accepts that others may have accessed parts of our truth, but not that those truths are anything other than Catholic truths. We do not preach indifferentism. The Church is the pillar and ground of truth.

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  47. Justify your protestant statement as you like, it remains a protestant statement.

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  48. Loving and supporting the Church is very different from enabling crime and corruption.

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  49. They are God's truths, and He can parcel them out however God wants. Catholicism doesn't have the patent on the truths of God.

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  50. Not too mention to take this position about any version of the Mass has to ignore the fact Latin itself was an adaptation from the original language used by Paul and Jesus, and that in the long history of the Church, many decisions were made precisely to co opt pagan symbols and feasts.

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  51. That was mgardener's point. Put yourself in an imaginary world for a minute....one in which you were brought up as a male in a Church that did not allow for your presence in it's ritual, governance, or teaching structures. That picture would then be one of all women dressed in red and send you a very different message than it would me.

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  52. Yes it is a sad state of affairs that call on The People of God to understand that they can not trust their own leadership. A recent poll in England showed a 0% confidence in the Catholic Bishops there. This is the result of very poor leadership.

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  53. It has come to the point that all The Ethical People of God must protest such very poor leadership. Perhaps they are even doing something about it.

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  54. Perhaps in your mind Invictus to protest serious questions of moral leadership and dogma is anti catholic or protestant; perhaps in your mind obfuscation is part of being catholic. Should it be a Mark of the Catholic Chruch?

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  55. I know. That was my point. Not one woman among them.
    Woman have NO say in the church. I have to believe that if there were some women in authority, that the sex abuse crisis would have been of shorter duration.
    How can the church clean up this mess when the people who allowed it are in charge of supposedly cleaning it up?
    How can they ignore half the church?

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  56. And do you think that "absolute love" includes child abuse?
    Really. The church is in crisis. Most of my friends including deacons, stay in the church by ignoring the church and following Christ.

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  57. That is ridiculous.

    Firstly, the Church has infallibly defined the male priesthood, so to question that is to question Jesus himself. Priestesses are the preserve of false religions.
    Secondly, there are women in the schools system, and sexual abuse of children continues at an equal or higher rate than that in the Church. Clearly, gender is not the factor you believe it to be.

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  58. "So love and support the Church, and be faithful to her teachings, and do not promote crimes or corruptions.There is no contradiction!" Unless of course a person looks through the narrow glasses of believing that the leadership or the institutional church IS in fact THE church. When leaders misbehave weather it be by making doctrine that is purely political attempting to not go against questionable infallible teaching or by enabling crime, then there is a big contradiction that leads to a great sadness in the People of God.

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  59. This type of infallible definition would not be possible until the 1870's when Pius IX declared himself infallible after Vatican I would not. He lost the vote, dismissed the council so that most of his detractors had left then recalled the council with those that were close by and got what he wanted. So no the teaching of an infallible masculine roll in the church is in of itself contradictory. History shows the evidence of ordained women. So does Protestantism, and the old Catholics. The idea that men can make such statements is pure arrogant megalomania.

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  60. History shown no such thing, and it has been defined absolutely.
    Argue, and you argue into the wind.

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  61. BaptizedBabyBoomerMarch 18, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    No wonder that there have been so many splits and divides from the RCC. There has been way too much to protest thanks to the hierarchy's ridiculous notion of infallibility, and/or no longer allowing priests to marry, relegating women to 2nd class citizenship in the Church & teaching the world to follow such a bigoted view of women, and the wicked harboring of pedophiles in the Priesthood that you love so much, the ignorance & selfishness of being against birth control & condoms, of the Bishops not elected by the People of God living like Princes, denying Communion to people whose marriages fell apart and giving Communion to pedophile priests and their enablers too. Such hypocrisy and bs.


    That priesthood that you support has given the People of God plenty of reasons to protest. If that makes me a Protestant in your eyes, Invictus, then so be it. The truth is, you can't take away my Baptism as a Catholic no matter what way you might try to spin it into existence. You don't have the authority and neither does your Church hierarchy. You can't take it away.


    I protest as much as anyone who knows the history of the RCC & doesn't make excuses for the recklessness of their misguiding the faithful on many issues and fronts. You put the male priesthood as it is defined today above all else & take it as infallible and unchangeable. The Church has made many changes it should not have made, such as not allowing priests to marry anymore and this is sorely needed if the men in the Church are ever going to mature & understand a real family, as well as women becoming Deacons and Priests as well. If the Church persists in strangling the Holy Spirit and closing the door on reform, it will just die off like any other branch on a tree that is no longer getting the nutrients it needs from the roots of the tree. Your unloving priesthood is a branch that will fall.

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  62. Don't feel isolated at all, and as a member of the People of God, I do not reject truth but of course I do question what a poor leadership teaches as truth, as I question what outdated science or theology tells us. Any good and loving member of Christ's People would find an ethical necessity to question so much cultism coming from the Institutional church.

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  63. No more arguments Invictus. I find the wind very weak indeed. All bark and no reality.

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  64. Cultism? Institutional church?

    I'm afraid I just don't recognise what you're talking about here. It sounds very strange indeed, and pretty anti-Catholic.

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  65. ^angry, bitter, destructive protestantism^

    Your voice is not one of love.

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  66. I stated specifically that we can't know all of God's mind; only those things which He has revealed. (The question begs asking, "why would He reveal things if He didn't intend for us to understand them completely?”)

    God left the Holy Spirt to be with us to help us understand more in every generation….. Some who believe they know the fullness of what God tells man are only deluding themselves.

    I have already addressed all your examples by telling you that God could give us fullness of understanding in any generation, but we finite beings continue to struggle to learn more. Those who believe that they know perfect truth that everyone must believe as they are simply arrogant catholics or any other religion.

    Tri-trads see to have difficulties understanding others valid arguments because they are convinced that they alone know revealed truth. So that some can not make the logical connections when it comes to questioning the heart and soul of their beliefs, they are simply unable to proceed and begin to denigrate those that see thinks in a very different light. The sky would not appear blue at midnight.

    No it does not suppress me that some t cults in the church would never admit that the church taught taught that the earth was the center of the physical universe. Yet John Paul II publicly admitted the error because he had no choice. There are those that deny what the church taught about slavery as well. They deny that they taught stupid things when it is obvious that what was taught was not correct. People who are able to learn by listening to the Holy Spirit are able to admit their own mistakes. We are all finite and we belong to a finite institution that makes mistakes. We can only grow and keep credibility when we learn from our own mistakes.

    A central problem with the church leadership and its feelings that they can be infallible is that dogmatic decrees by any council or pope are simply the beliefs or manipulations of the leadership depending on the knowledge and facts available at the time they are pronounced. Finite men must continue to grow and develop in understanding as more facts and knowledge become available. We are not infinite creatures with any ability to know so much as is often stated in cultish dogma.

    “In fact, Copernicus, who is credited with postulating the heliocentric theory, was a member of the Catholic Clergy, having received minor orders. He never once ran afoul of the Church for it.” IN FACT Copernicus would not give permission for his work to be published until his last week of life because of his fear of RCC leadership. Catholic authoritarianism is nothing new.

    Your future diatribe about scientists goes to show that we all, scientists, theologians and bishops make mistakes. But the Bishops are the ones who refuse to admit to them. What a pity. One exception was that sometimes Popes have been forced by current events to admit to the mistake. In the light of science and the space Program JP II, did just that.

    Thanks for all your recommended readings sir. I have been a scientist all my life even teaching it at both Catholic and State Universities. Once again there is a tendency for people who are part of cults like tri-trads to never stop arguing. They use history and science falsely to try to prove their points. There are many examples but a potent and bad one was the scientists who testified supporting the tobacco industry and today those that try to obfuscate climate change.



    Don't have time to reply more as work calls, and it is a futile exercise to convince cultish belief that there is more to learn.

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  67. Neither is yours a voice of love. It is a voice of unmediated obedience.

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  68. ?????? Can understand that you don't understand what I am talking about but to degrade the messenger is a very dirty old tactic.

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  69. Invictus, again you degrade the messenger. Is that loving??

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  70. Look, I really don't want to offend you, but your understanding of history is just plain wrong. It is seemingly torn from the virtual pages of what has been called the Black Legend, a collection of debunked fallacious myths that sprang up at various times from the 1700's and later.

    First of all, Albert Widmanstadt presented Copernicus's theory directly to Pope Clement VII in 1533, roughly 15 years before he (Copernicus) died. The pope was thrilled by it, and urged its publication. That's a fact. You may find record of the occurrence along with the Pope's gift, a Greek codex in the State library of Munich.

    Cardinal Schonberg, Archbishop of Capua, at the bidding of the Pope in 1536, asked Copernicus to publish his discovery, or at least to have a copy made at the cardinal's expense. Copernicus was indeed wary of publishing his theory, but not as you assert because he was afraid of RCC leadership. It was because he feared the reception it would receive from his contemporaries and the Lutherans in Germany, as Luther's acolyte, Melanchthon, who had already been made aware of the theory, had made a negative public statement in response to it. Recall if you will Copernicus's close proximity at the time to the University of Wittenberg.

    When he finally did publish it, after constant urging from Cardinal Schonberg, it was a year before his death, not a week, and he dedicated his work to Pope Paul III. You may find the words of his dedication easily on the Internet.

    Now those are just a few facts concerning the matter, each one verifiable and absolutely true. Are you better than the bishops who you say can't admit their mistakes? And who is being arrogant here? If you're going to posit something from history, don't you think you should check the facts first?

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  71. It seems to me that you trid-trads will indeed attempt to misplace truth and claim that Copernicus was fearful of the Lutherans when in fact he like Galileo was fearful of the RCC leadership. It is a certainty that JP II did apologize for the mis-treatment of these men and their theories and the false doctrine.


    So as a story once was told in mass when I was a lad, a lady was worried about her pot roast burning as the sermon was way too long so she signaled her husband an usher and gave him a note. Rather than to stop and read the note, her husband genuflected and delivered the not to the priest on the alter as he was speaking. It said and you might note, "go home and turn off the gas." Your ideas of truth of the history of this scientific event seem much like the truth used by scientists that supported the cigarette lobby. I have no doubt that you have been reading a revisionist history. rdp46MDPhD

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  72. Yes. It does. It is the pillar and ground of truth.
    It and it alone.

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  73. Love the Church and you are loving Jesus. Reject the Church, and you are rejecting Jesus.

    You should not take such pride in your disloyalty.

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  74. Please, Sir, all critique is not hatred. In fact when truthful as I try to make mine, it could be used to make things better. Yes Invictus, I reject the rigidity of the tri-trad cult.

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  75. It is not the asking of questions that is the problem, it is your beliefs.

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  76. Once more your arguments show who you are by degrading the messenger and calling him a lier. I have read previously much of your material. You see I am aware, as I was aware of the bad science in the tobacco lobbies, of revisionist history about the events of both Copernicus and Galileo. You just can not let it rest. You are prepared to go to the mat over anything that you do not agree with. Once again that is not very smart.You project on to others your cultish inability or wish to understand, and People with sense and historical knowledge of these events are called liars. This is how the inquisition worked. Many midwives who had more knowledge than the clergy were burned at the stake as liars and witches. You attempt to murder others minds when you can not get them to agree with your revisionist history and your perfect doctrine. Perhaps you could spend your time reading all he facts rather than to depend on any horses orifice.

    For your information from the Encyclopedia of Scientific History

    “ Copernicus' publication On the Revolution of the Celestial Spheres was not published until after he died in order for him to avoid being persecuted by the Church. Often called the Copernican Revolution, this actually was not much of a revolution. The book was published in Latin, so the general public was not able to read it. Academics could, but few learned people were willing to face the Church and risk death. It wasn't even until 73 years after it was published, 1616, did the Church consider it important enough to place on its Index of Prohibited Books.

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  77. Yes, I would expect them to be a problem for a cultish belief system.

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  78. Incorrect. You reject the teachings of Holy Mother Church.

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  79. Yes, I reject some of the teachings, as you Invictus define them, as cultish and simply very questionable.

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  80. In Catholicism, there is no shame in obedience. Of you cannot stomach obedience to the Church, what would you call your calls for priestesses and contraception...would you call it being "faithful to the Gospel", I wonder?

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  81. Yes, I am proud to critique dogma that is just plain stupid particularly when it is used to control others..

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  82. But it is about cultism and the tri-trads, and the impossibility of any finite being to understand perfect truth. The tri-trad delusion is that they know absolute truth.

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  83. Yet finite men ar incapable of absolutes. Christ did not teach men and women to do anything that they are incapable of doing. It is rather cultish thought to believe in absolutes......

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  84. No I do not agree with some dogma as some of the cultish Institutional church and you seem to define them. I am sure you are as much a cafeteria catholic as I when it comes to some of the teachings of John XXIII and the second Vatican council. I know you will define the issues in your own terms and tell me you are in agreement with ALL the teaching. You seem to agree with every thing no matter how stupid, how much questioned, and lacking of the People of God's support. So lets not argue, we both inherit this religions traditions. I see them very different than you. I am not sure weather it was you or Smarticus who said I would disagree with you (him) that the sky was blue, and my answer was yes most assuredly so at midnight unless you are seeing the solar lights then of course, it still is usually not blue. So, I will not argue with you more about me not believing in the teaching of the RCC. There are many that need critique because science, philosophy and even good theology see it very different. Many of the answers are truly “Blowing in the Wind.” We await the next generations contribution as the Holy spirit will not abandon them either.. I only hope that the leadership will now listen to Her as she speaks to all The People of God. What greater sin is there than not listening to the Holy Spirit as she whispers more understanding to each generation and each ethical person of ALL religions, status, sex and sexual orientation?

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  85. So I looked up the name of your source: the Encyclopedia of Scientific History. Strange that there doesn't appear to be any such title, at least not in book form. So, I thought perhaps it may be an online encyclopedia, but I can't find a web site by that name either.

    Of course, every other online encyclopedia supports the historic facts that I presented, and not your... story.

    In fact, I really find it hard to believe that you actually have a source because the information you provided does not sound like any scholarly source at all. First, it's complete hogwash as every other known reputable source says you're full of bull.

    2nd, this sentence: "The book was published in Latin, so the general public was not able to read it."

    That really stands out because everyone knows that Latin was not just the language of the Church of that time - it was the language of the sciences. Of course it was written in Latin - as was every other book of mathematics, astronomy, etc., etc. We're to assume that the editors of such a renowned encyclopedia as you referenced felt it necessary to point out the obvious, but at the same time, within the same sentence, make the claim that the general public couldn't read it "because it was written in Latin? The general population that couldn't read Latin, couldn't read most other languages either. The last two sentences are so ridiculously sophomoric that no one would believe they come from a credible source. This sentence: "Academics could, but few learned people were willing to face the Church and risk death" is so out of place that the supposed author would have the article returned by his 8th grade English teacher, not to say anything of a publisher responsible for editing things for a living. The last sentence, " It wasn't even until 73 years after it was published, 1616, did the Church consider it important enough to place on its Index of Prohibited Books" is once again too terrible for anyone to believe it comes from a credible source. If it did, it would read, "Not until 1616, seventy-three years after..."

    It is painfully obvious that one of two things has happened. 1.) There is no source by the name you provided and you simply made everything up, or 2.) your source is someone's website - someone with zero credibility who posted the kind of non-historic B.S. that you find so attractive that you thought you could get away with using it. Either way, the attempt was puerile to an extreme. Try these sources and notice how they ALL say exactly what I've stated:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copernicus

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/copernicus/

    http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Nicolaus_Copernicus

    http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/136591/Nicolaus-Copernicus
    (you might have to pay to read this one),

    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04352b.htm
    Of course, you could read the other sources I posted too,

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  86. The Church having the authority to teach is scriptural. The Church having the sole claim on truth in matters of faith and morals is traditional, not scriptural.


    One difference we seem to have Invictus is you consider the Church to be the teaching magisterium, at least that's how it comes across in your comments. Dennis and I consider the Church to be the entire people of God. Very different propostions.

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  87. Smartuckus this comment will be deleted because it's a personal attack. I get frustration, but personal attacks are the stuff of tap rooms and bars, and I will not tolerate them on the blog.

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  88. This borders on heresy. The 'Church' and Jesus are not equivalent and they are not one and the same.

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  89. The Church is - de facto - incapable of heresy, as it is the source and authority by which truth is defined and confirmed."

    Truth is not defined like in Euclidian Geometry, the shortest distance between 2 points is a straight line. We live on a globe. When the church attempts to permanently define dogma as infallible it is not at all by authority but is an authoritarian decision. There is a big difference!

    The Church in fact makes many mistakes in definition because it is a human institution and is subject to human mistakes.


    Thanks for your parental call to authoritarianism that you want me to change not for your sake but for my own. This is a real problem in the RCC. Many who have been called heretics have later been declared saints, all because the leaders in the church eventually did discover their mistakes. How ever, it is the mark of a cult that can not admit to its own mistakes and so many leaders in todays church are members of cults like Opus Dei that refuses to admit their own mistakes.

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  90. Tri-trads--- Tridentine traditionalist

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  91. Don't see where the idea of obedience to leaders, or contraception has anything to do with the Gospel.


    The BC pill was invented in the 1950's and christ was indeed not obedient to the authorities of his time.

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  92. I do not submit to your cultish brand of obedience to an authoritarian structure not at all based in authoritativeness. In fact the authoritative theologians were often call not catholic by Ratzinger. This is mind murder and worse for those men carrier murder.

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  93. To love the corrupt leaders of the institutional church whose magisterium is more a political document than actual authoritative information has nothing to do with loving Jesus.

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  94. In the English language, cults are meant to define organizations who attempt to use brainwashing on their members. They are usually secretive and sworn not to criticize their leaders. eg OPUS DEI and the tri-trads.

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  95. "the entire people of God". So, protestants, too? Or only dissident Catholics? What about Muslims, neoPagans, or Hindus? You'll have to be clearer.

    The Church is that in which authority is vested. This is why the teachings of the Church have been so well preserved from the earliest days, in contrast with those of other religions of sects which have split themselves from the Catholic tree.

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  96. Luke 10:16. Heed the Church, and you heed Jesus. Despise the Church, and you despise Jesus. He gave us the Church, and vouchsafed it from error, so we must take it seriously.

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  97. Overlooking your bizarre reference to Opus Dei...

    ...if you wish you pretend that saints have disputed the authority of the Church, in to bolster you in your own disobedience, that is your liberty. However you can't expect any normal mainstream Catholic to agree with your position.

    It is simple rejection of God's plan for us.

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  98. The Church was established by Jesus, not by pharisees and sadducees.
    When the Church opposes (say) contraception, it is with good reason and with legitimate spiritual authority. If you cannot bend your will to serve as you are called to, then pray, and try harder.

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  99. Er. Trads and Opus Dei aren't relevant to any of this, so perhaps just stop going on about them? All this "cults!" "tri-trads!" nonsense is an unnecessary distraction.

    It's about the Church, its authoritative and binding teachings, and your refusal to commit to following them.

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  100. Do you honestly think Jesus was referencing a contrived hierarchy 2000 years later? I certainly don't, at least not in the aggregate. I surely have met men who teach with Jesus' authority, but that is an individual issue, not a collective. Can you entertain the difference?

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  101. You clearly do not understand Catholic ecclesiology. "Contrived hierarchy"?
    If you opened your heart to understanding better the greatness of the gift God has left us in the Church, you would go voluntarily to the gibbet before speaking so contemptuously of it! Pillar and ground of truth, remember.

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  102. Pretending that I have degraded you in some way doesn't excuse you from responding to my points.

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  103. "It is simple rejection of God's plan for us."
    Noted, so say you, Invictus. Were you born in 1988?

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  104. “When the Church opposes (say) contraception, it is with good reason and with legitimate spiritual authority.”

    In a world suffering from overpopulation of humans and killing off many other animals entire species; and a world in which natural resources are now being stretched to endanger the planet very survival; in a world of climate change that endangers us in the next few generation, the decision against BC is not at all a good one.

    For the church to claim that BC pills cause abortions is preposterous. The primary mechanism of the BC is to suppress ovulation. A secondary effect of some pills is to make the endometrium less likely to accept implantation. Most fertilized ova do not implant in a woman taking no hormones, and if this is an abortion then mother nature or God himself would have to be considered the greatest abortionist of all time.

    The decision to prohibit the BC pill is not authoritative and therefore one would need to consider the church’s reasoning for making it. The reason seems to be that it was taught by a pope prior to the invention of the pill that all BC was wrong. The People of God now see the error as 75-90 % of all practicing catholics use BC. The church somehow believes that the concept of infallibility is more important than recognizing its own mistakes. This shows a thinking person that it is the Catholic concept of infallibility that is wrong and the church has no authority to believe itself without error. In fact the type of reasoning is pure authoritarianism and any thinking person should and most will reject it out right.

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  105. "non serviam", I will continue to critique horrible leadership. I have no vow of obedience to men who are not authoritative or at times even ethical in their leadership! So, yes you got it right.



    But this does not make me less spiritual, or less Christ-like or even less catholic. In fact it makes me a little more of these things.

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  106. My birthday isn't relevant; your rejection of Catholicism is.

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  107. You say I hate the church. In fact I don't. I hate misinformation given by anyone especially by authoritarian figures.

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  108. Some 25%+ Catholic women will have an abortion, but that doesn't mean the Church is in error to teach against it.
    Some 65%+ Catholic men will have an extramarital affair, but that doesn't mean the Church is in error to teach against it.

    The Church is there to teach the truth, that is the purpose for which it was instituted. All contraception has been wrong, and all contraception will remain wrong. Ditto all abortion. Ditto all attempt to ordain women to the priesthood.

    Likewise, the door to forgiveness will never be barred to anyone, ever. God's loving gift to us in the sacrifice of the Mass will continue to pour out for us, always. True doctrine will continue to be preserved for us, forever.

    Public opinion neither undermines our rules, nor erodes our gifts.

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  109. But from your comments, you paint every Church doctrine you personally do not like as coming from "authoritarian figures", "cults", "tri-trads".

    Daft. Pick'n'mix, as they say.

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  110. I critique bad leadership too.
    What you do, though, is critique the very authority of the Church to lead. And that is clearly not compatible with the faith.

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  111. Dear Sir: To critique poor leadership is not a rejection of an institution. The Church is really the People of God not those who would lead us with authoritarian methods. Those who refuse to critique their leaders out of obedience are lead by the smaller cults inside the institution. So yes Mr. Inivictus likely born in 88, perhaps you are really part of the problem with Catholicism and you are not presenting any solutions only asking for obedience to those who lead us with poor ethical standards.

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  112. The Church is the Church, not your "People of God" dissidents.
    Until you actually believe in Catholicism, I'm not sure you're ideally placed to decide who is and is not a "part of the problem".

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  113. Yes, the Church does belong to the People of God. My tradition is certainly Catholic-- Baptism, Penance, Confirmation, Matrimony and over 22 years of exclusively Catholic Education. I, as a long term member of this institution who certainly has not pledge obedience to an authoritarian of any sort, do have the right to critique and give my opinions. I don't decide, but it is my opinion cultish members like yourself who call for obedience to less than ethical leadership are indeed a big part of the problem.

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  114. So, you are your own Pope, reinterpreting scripture and tradition according to your own private revelation, and then - in acts of astonishing hubris - correcting and chastising the Church when those two pictures do not match.
    i.e. protestantism

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  115. No I am not a Pope, however, we have had many very poor popes. I do use my own God given talents to think for myself. Yes our church has gone off on an authoritarian binge and it does need the critique of its People of God. The Good sense of the People will not submit to obedience to poor leadership. Those that follow authoritarian leadership everywhere and anywhere have a cultish mindset just as do the members of Opus Dei and a few other RC cults. You the People of God by attempting to manipulate shame and guilt. The leadership of this Church have plenty of problems and plenty of their own guilt. Instead of facing it the attempt to obfuscate.

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  116. Just because you are protestant does not make me a member of Opus Dei. Nothing I have represented here is anything other than mainstream, orthodox, Christianity. No bells, no whistles.

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  117. The Church has authority. That does not make it authoritarian.
    Would you be happier if the Church did not have authority?

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  118. Some 80 t0 90% of priest will break their vows of celibacy. Not more than 50% are celibate at one time. These are the figures found by Sipe in his studies of the Priesthood. Yes, all are sinners. But the leadership is no less a sinner when they teach that the Birth Control pill causes abortions, or that we should not protect our planet by working on over population. Yes, all of the People of God are sinners. It is a poor leadership cornered in its tiny wish for Infallibility that seems to be very corrupt, and not at all leading.

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  119. "What you do, though, is critique the very authority of the Church to lead."



    When these leaders attempt to lead out of a know it all mind set and do not seek authoritative truth from their own theologian or scientist as it is discovered in each generation, they have lost their ability and authority to lead properly. Yes, I critique the improper leadership of these mere mortals. All I ask is that they admit and learn from their mistakes, but fear of loosing authority is too great in these finite men, and their own fear causes what they fear the most ----Loss of Authority. The People of God do not and will not believe this type of leadership.

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  120. The Cult of Opus Dei has become very strong in the church. The Tri-Trads believe many false things about the need for the use of Latin and often fail to use metaphor believing instead of a dogmatic history. Teachings are not authoritative when they are proven questionable or wrong by many others. The idea that an authoritarian government can make authoritative decisions is ludicrous..

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  121. My dislike for a few church teachings stems from the fact that the leadership is pinned in the corner of refusing to admit mistakes even when they are apparent.

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  122. Those teachings have also been altered, but that's a different issue.

    I would certainly say for me that the People of God is all of humanity living and dead. We are all God's children. Some of us have been raised in one particular branch of the family. Doesn't make us better or more worthy of God's love. It just makes us more comfortable.

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  123. Personally I would really appreciate it if the Church accepted it's authority only so far as certain Sacraments and the Creed, and left the rest up for debate and the Holy Spirit.

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  124. No, you've presented orthodox Catholicism, not mainstream, orthodox, Christianity. There is a difference.

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  125. The BC teaching is based almost exclusively on the operation of the male sexual organ. It's underlying logic is flawed. The Church is asking us to accept a teaching based on flawed logic and very incomplete science because Paul VI said so. Sorry, I don't accept God wanted male sexuality to determine female sexual responsibility.



    But then I also object to being forced to pay for male ED drugs in my health insurance plan.

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  126. I would not voluntarily go to the gibbet over the hierarchy. That's really kind of funny actually.

    You have to be a seminarian. seriously.

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  127. Because he can. It's only 'an ostensibly Catholic blog'.

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