Should Catholic Hospitals Remain Tax Exempt?

Friday, March 19, AD 2010

On the heels of the Catholic Health Association’s endorsement of Obamacare comes another precedent-setting decision affecting Catholic hospitals and other institutions.

The Illinois Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a Catholic hospital in downstate Urbana is not entitled to exemption from local property taxes because, among other things, it failed to devote enough of its resources to charity care of patients:

Provena Covenant Medical Center, one of six hospitals in the Provena Health system, had fought for six years to regain the tax exemption stripped from it in 2003 by a local tax board. Since then the hospital has been paying more than $1 million per year in local property taxes. The case was being watched by Catholic hospitals around the nation because of its precedent setting potential, and the Catholic Health Association intervened in the case.

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7 Responses to Should Catholic Hospitals Remain Tax Exempt?

  • Here is a link to the text of the decision courtesy of Illinipundit.

  • Part of me wishes to say chickens meet roost. You want government to run the show in regard to health care? This is a taste of what you can expect, you bloody fools!

    However, I do believe this is an appallingly bad decision from a public policy standpoint. I do not want government micro-managing charities. I especially do not want judges attempting to do it, since they have no expertise outside of the law. I do think that too many non-profits differ little from their for profit brethren, but my concern in that area is outweighed by my fear of government intervention doing long term damage to all charities in this country.

    A great and timely post Elaine.

  • I think you might reduce if not eliminate finicky controversies of this nature if you replaced property and general sales taxes with simple personal income levies as a means of state and local finance. An incorporated entity might still be held responsible for collecting Pigouvian excises, paying tolls and fees for select services (e.g. water provision), and paying excises for their purchases of supplies (of gasoline, for example). Taxes on the net profits of corporations could be limited to those which have a body of owners to which to pay dividends, which would commonly exempt philanthropies.

  • Just recenty we had a chaplin for Ministry for Prisoners to help prepare them for life in the outside world. I was told that they cannot speak about the Gospel to their clients because they recieve money from the Faith Based Initiatives fund.

    This plus the problem of our “Catholic” Colleges and Universities speak loud and clear to me that taking Government money is the Devil’s bargin. But evidently the Hierarchy does not agree.


  • I don’t think that the “Catholicity” problem of our colleges and universities can fairly be laid at the doorstep of government funding. Most such funding actually goes directly to students or is earmarked for specific research, and this funding does not include problematic strings. Catholic primary and high schools also have similar “Catholicity” issues even though they typically receive no government funding at all. This is not to say that government funding does not create risks and problems in some environments, but I think the case against it is more murky and contextual than clearcut.

    As far as tax exemptions go, I do think the public policy of extending such exemptions to non-profit organizations is sensible to the extent such organizations provide servics that reduce the burdens that otherwise fall on government. In such cases, the exemption is not only in the interest of the non-profit, but also in the interest of government.

    But as Faustina suggests non-targeting general funding of a charitable organization by the government does present some legitimate challenges for faith-based charities. The United States Supreme Court has said that faith-based organizations may not use “direct” government support to support “inherently religious” activities. Basically, this means a grantee may not use any part of a direct federal grant to fund religious worship, instruction, or proselytization. Instead, organizations may use government money only to support the non-religious social services that they provide. Therefore, faith-based organizations that receive direct governmental funds must normally take steps to separate, in time or location, their inherently religious activities from the government-funded services that they offer. Such organizations should also carefully account for their use of all government money. This does not mean a charitable organization can’t have religious activities. It simply means it can’t use taxpayer dollars to fund them. Some faith-based organizations set up separate charitable organizations (so-called “501(c)(3) corporations”) to keep programs that receive government money separate from those that engage in inherently religious activities. Whether these encumbrances are inappropriately burdensome on a Catholic non-profits mission depends on the nature of that mission, but in some cases they would be.

  • I guess that is a mistaken impression about the colleges; I remember reading some where about the Land o’Lakes resolution declaring their independence from the Magisterium. They opted to become like secular schools wit lay governance and government grants. Maybe the idea was that the board started to cater to the thinking of politicians who push that grant money.

    The other example I can think of is a person who use to work for the Archdiocese of ….. She said their was nothing Catholic about the local Catholic Charities. This corroborates what I have heard from some other urban Catholics in another city that “on the street” people go to the Catholic church for social services but go elsewhere for the Gospel…

  • That would go along with what I’ve been hearing in a course I’ve been taking. Personal conversion is not important as personal orthodoxy is not important. What is important is right action or orthopraxis. When there is orthopraxis then there will be orthodoxy. Of course orthopraxis gets defined as greater govt. social programs.

Dads Need To Make a Comeback

Thursday, March 18, AD 2010

As my daughters get closer and closer to the age of temptation and exploitation- I am ready now to stand up to the dominant culture of casual sex- I don’t know when it was that Dads abandoned their daughters to the so-called sexual revolution- but I’m the Dad now and the girls-as-sex-objects mainstream culture is the Enemy- I’m not abandoning my girls -not now, not ever.

I will be posting more such helpful videos which I am using in my high school religion classes- we must get the word out through the teen ranks. Our young people are being tossed to the wolves into a mass media culture that celebrates porn/womanizers/pimps as comic figures/cougars and other soul-numbing influences. In my own lifetime, I’ve seen the damage done from the Playboy to Penthouse to Hustler to Anything Goes Internet Porn downward spiral.  I am looking to start a movement of Dads to begin protesting outside the ubiquitous strip clubs- to claim some public space where real men educate the public about the real dignity of women. If we don’t want our daughters to grow up to be  perceived as mere sex objects, then we need to evangelize the Culture.

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2 Responses to Dads Need To Make a Comeback

Overpopulation Myth

Thursday, March 18, AD 2010

And you, be fruitful and multiply, bring forth abundantly on the earth and multiply in it.

— Book of Genesis 9:7

Lo, sons are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the sons of one’s youth.  Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

— Book of Psalms 127 [126]:3-5

Biretta tip Rusty Tisdale via Google Buzz.

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16 Responses to Overpopulation Myth

  • 90% of all humans inhabit 3% of all the land on the earth..

    Say this everytime someone dares to say we are “overpopulating” the earth.

    I suspect these statements are usually by people living in a huge and crowded city, who never see the rest of the State, let alone the rest of the nation or world.

  • I believe they are called New Yorkers.

  • Perspective,

    We are overpopulating the Earth.

    If you want to hit me with the statistic that the entire world’s population can fit into Rhode Island, that’s fine. Because the problem is that only a small percentage of Earth’s total land mass is suitable for living. Plus you have a limited supply of resources like water and fossil fuels, which are nonrenewable. In fact, if everyone on Earth led a typical American lifestyle, we would only be able to sustain 1-2 billion people. To sustain 6 billion would require all of us switching to a vegan diet. Even if we did that, the global population is projected to reach 9 billion…

    If you have any other arguments, please post.

  • And you know, I hate to say it but any information from here on the topic of overpopulation has to be carefully evaluated since the website is very biased (being Catholic and all). Please try to look at things from the other perspective too. I myself researched extensively on the issue and found that most overpopulation deniers were either Catholic, or had shallow arguments easily combated by scientific data.

    Oh, and I do want to add that population control does not have to involve forced abortions/sterilizations…

  • Azelais, go google birth dearth, do some reading on the subject, and then come back when you have something other than bigotry and ignorance to contribute.

  • Plus you have a limited supply of resources like water and fossil fuels, which are nonrenewable.

    Um, I’m pretty sure that water is a renewable resource. I mean, it literally falls from the sky.

  • @Donald R. McClarey: Falling fertility rates are mostly only present in industrialized countries (though the U.S. is not one of them with a perfect replacement rate of 2.1). The key point, however, is that the fertility rates of third world countries are rising much faster than the dropping fertility rates of developed countries. Obviously, this equates a net increase in world population.

    Perhaps it is you who needs to “do some reading on the subject” and “come back when you have something other than bigotry and ignorance to contribute”. 🙂

    @Blackadder: I meant that fossil fuels are nonrenewable resources, not water. My apologies for the misleading sentence, which should probably be revised to “Plus you have a limited supply of resources like water, and nonrenewable fossil fuels.”

  • Still haven’t done that reading have you Azelais? Fertility rates are plunging around the globe. For example Iran’s fertility rate is currently 1.7. Keep trying Azelais.

  • Still haven’t done that reading, have you Donald?

    1. For every country with a dropping fertility rate, there is a country with an even faster rising rate. That’s why the UN projects the world’s population to *continue rising* to 9 billion in 2050. According to the CIA World Factbook, Mali, Niger, Uganda, Somalia, Burundi, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, Ethiopia, etc. all had fertility rates of over 6 in 2009!

    2. Even if fertility rates were declining, that’s a good thing (for now and the near future). China is an example of a country whose population might decline in the future (thanks to their one-child policy). This would only prove beneficial to them, as the country is too crowded at the moment.

    So overall, the world is already overpopulated. This is why we are seeing resource wars in poor countries fighting over water and food. As I stated before, if everyone were to live an American lifestyle (which I suppose is the ultimate goal- a high standard of living for everyone), we could only sustain 1-2 billion people. The UN Development Program reports that the 20% of the world’s highest-income earning countries account for 86% of total private consumption expenditures, and the poorest 20% a minuscule 1.3%.

    Keep on trying Donald. 🙂

  • Azelais,

    1. No, the reason why the population is expected to continue rising is not because “For every country with a dropping fertility rate, there is a country with an even faster rising rate.” It’s because the fertility rate is a measure of how fast people are being born — it doesn’t take into account how long they live. Given that the world population has been rising for the last 100 years, even if every country on earth instantly went to a 2.0 fertility rate, the population would continue rising for another 50 years or so before leveling off. Further, the fact that the countries you listed has fertility rates over 6 in 2009 does not mean that their rates are rising, it just means they are high. The total fertility rate for the world as a whole has fallen from 5 to 2.5 over the last 50 years:

    2. You can theorize that countries are “too crowded” and would thus do better if they had fewer people, but that doesn’t change the fact that having far more old people than workers is generally very unhealthy for a society.

    Also, your math on the claim that the world can only support 1-2 billion people with an American lifestyle rests on the assumption that the amount of wealth/resources in the world is fixed. This is, however, generally false.

  • “China is an example of a country whose population might decline in the future (thanks to their one-child policy). This would only prove beneficial to them, as the country is too crowded at the moment.”

    What a truly bizarre comment. China is an immense country and is definitely not too crowded. Additionally being crowded and economic performance have little to do with each other as Taiwan, Singapore and the Netherlands amply demonstrate.

    Additionally the one child policy is producing a demographic imbalance in China with far too many males for the available females. That spells looming disaster for any society.

    Keep trying Azelais. The law of averages indicates that eventually you make a comment that is not risible.

  • @DarwinCatholic: You’re right that I shouldn’t have said “rising” fertility rate. What I meant was that for every country with a replacement rate below 2.1, there is a country with a rate above it, sometimes way above it. Like you stated yourself, the population is supposed to continue rising for another 50 years.

    This is a problem because who’s to say that we can sustain 9 billion people? Yes, natural resources are not necessarily fixed, but that doesn’t guarantee that there will be enough for the future. We can’t count on technology to create resources out of thin air- food production is increasing, but not as fast as the population is increasing. Even if we could take a technological optimist point of view, we have to face the very real possibility that a large expansion of agriculture would have a terrible effect on the environment. Further deforestation, species extinction, and pollution from pesticides as farming intensifies are just a few consequences. Additionally, fresh water supplies, on which agriculture depends, are running low worldwide. This water crisis is only expected to worsen as population increases. Finally, fossil fuels simply aren’t renewable at all.

    As for the comment regarding a disproportionate number of old people to workers, we actually see low life expectancy in countries with the fastest population growth. Bottom line is that when a country’s population reaches its limit, natural controls are triggered. They will be the usual- epidemics, wars, famines, etc. – but do we really want to wait for that fate?

    @Donald R. McClarey: It goes without saying that China is “immense”, both in land mass and population. The fact that you claim that they are “definitely not too crowded” causes me to ask whether you have ever visited the country personally. I have been there a few times, and my mother was born and raised in that country. She agrees that it is a very crowded place!

    You point out Taiwan, Singapore, and the Netherlands as countries with a high population density but good economic performance. However, those are all small countries whose cases are the exception, not the norm. They are able to provide for a high standard of living because they “borrow” resources from other countries. In other words, they import massive amounts of resources from other countries because they are not able to produce those amounts in their own country. So in reality, they have a “borrowed” standard of living.

    Concerning the demographic imbalance, enforcing a ban against sex-selective abortions could normalize the sex ratio in the future. This is an option that should be considered, in light of the various benefits of the one-child policy.

  • “They are able to provide for a high standard of living because they “borrow” resources from other countries. In other words, they import massive amounts of resources from other countries because they are not able to produce those amounts in their own country. So in reality, they have a “borrowed” standard of living.”

    Now we get to the heart of your misunderstanding of populations and prosperity. The populations of Taiwan, Singapore and the Netherlands “borrow” nothing. They are successes because the economic politicies and the political systems they have in place allow their populations to buy what they need. Economic and political systems are the decisive factor in human prosperity and not population density.

    As to China, there are huge areas for population expansion within China’s borders. The Chinese have not done so because physical crowding is not the problem in China and never has been. China’s curse has always been governments that have misused the natural intelligence and hardworking cultural qualities of the Chinese. This is seen quite graphically in the fact that Chinese populations in the Chinese diaspora are invariable wealthier than the host populations.

  • Of course those countries don’t literally borrow their standard of living. They buy the products, like you said. But again, the fact that they are all small countries further proves that not everyone in the world could model after them. So while I agree that they do have excellent economic policies and political systems that allow them to buy what they need (and more, to be honest), it would be unfair to claim that those are the ONLY factors in human prosperity. When I replied to DarwinCatholic’s comment, I pointed out that the Earth has a very limited supply of certain resources. That amount is not enough for every country to prosper like Taiwan, Singapore, and the Netherlands, even if they all had the same economic and political systems. So if we cut down to the bare necessities for living- food, water, and shelter- we inevitably conclude that the world’s population cannot continue to multiply.

    As to China, there are definitely not “huge areas for population expansion”. Half of China’s territory is considered uninhabitable, and desertification is on the rise. The government-implemented one-child policy contributed greatly to the country’s economic growth and reduced unemployment caused from surplus labor. It also benefited the individual by causing improved health care, among other things.

  • I find in reading those sites that say that population problems are a myth that their evidence is very sparse and inconclusive. Recently I read Book 1 of the free e-book series “In Search of Utopia” (, it blasts their lack of evidence relative to their calling overpopulation a myth. The book, actually the last half of the book, takes on the skeptics in global warming, overpopulation, lack of fresh water, lack of food, and other areas where people deny the evidence. I strongly suggest that anyone wanting to see the whole picture read the book, at least the last half.
    That ancient 2.2 or 2.1 fertility level is shown to be in error because we are living longer.

  • Projections are NOT scientific Azelias! This is the problem with pseudo-scientific lay people, they assume they can project numbers (which were only gathered during a tiny time fram and therefore are not a suitably large sample to be reliable in the real world) out infinitely and view the speculation as fact. The real world is not a controlled laboratory experiment. You are assuming the only varaible is rate of reproduction. This is ludicrous. Besides–human behavior changes based on circumstances! This is why condoms can lead to increased pregnancy and STD’s. People who use birth control have usually begin to have more sex…ALOT more! If a condom protects you 99% of the 100 times you have sex thats 1 pregnancy (still not good odds-especially with AIDS!) But if the user has sex 1,000,000 times that is 10,000 pregnancies or STD’s. The projections are virtually IRRELEVANT because behavior changes. Then again Progressives tend to deny free will and self-control, but the truth is the truth even if nobody believes it!

One Response to A Clarification from Father Brian Harrison on the Matter of Torture

Our German Shepherd Under Attack

Saturday, March 13, AD 2010

The mainstream media and even some conservative sites such as Lucianne are spreading defamatory statements that are misleading and false about Pope Benedict XVI.

What started this brouhaha?

Richard Owen of the newspaper site called the Times of London.

The headline reads “Pope knew priest was paedophile but allowed him to continue with ministry“.

The article then states otherwise, but if Richard Owen didn’t write the headline to his story, he should request it to be changed immediately.  It is apparent that someone at the Times hates the Church and is pushing their anti-Catholic agenda with this misleading headline.

It doesn’t help that a self-identified expert on Catholicism, blogger Ruth Gledhill, adds insult to injury with an off-base column blasting of the hierarchy and structure of Holy Mother Church:

The Pope is pretty unassailable. He is not elected, he is a monarch, and the centralisation that has taken place under the last two Popes has cemented that power. Pope Benedict XVI has also indicated in his three encyclicals the depths of his own integrity and intellectual rigour.

How much knowledge on the Catholic Church does one need to be called an “expert” on it?  How to spell ‘Catholic’?

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43 Responses to Our German Shepherd Under Attack

  • If there is anything real that has come out of this scandal it’s that the media has completely clouded the issue to the point of rendereing any truth impossible to discern.

    We should acknowledge that there is no such thing as unbiased journalism. ‘Fair and balanced’ is a joke and nothing more than a tagline. It should be plainly obvious to any one with a few brain cells that religion- particularly of the Christian sort- is seen as something gravely misunderstood, irrelevant and to be discarded by any means.

    So who knows what is real anymore?

  • “Damned lie” covers it.

  • “Lie, lie bravely: something will always remain. Fling mud: some of it will stick.” Voltaire

  • Darwin,

    I have that link up already under “calls Ruth Gledhill out”.

  • I asked why I was banned from Lucianne, and Lucianne herself responded:

    You were blocked for no other reason than personally attacking this site’s editorial integrity.

    The ‘attack’ she is referring to is me pointing out the anti-Catholic bigotry on her website.


  • Lie hard, liberats!

    Do you think they’d be so exercised if the Pope had had the pedophile water-boarded.

    It seesm a Pope just can’t win with liberals.

    Now, if he’d just come to see the light on abortion and gay privileges . . .

    Mac, that’s not mud they’re flinging.

  • if this is a true statement from the link DarwinCatholic posted : “Then-Cardinal Ratzinger was involved in the decision to remove the priest from his parish assignment…”

    it would seem to me that the cardinal was aware of wrongdoings by this priest, and should have acted accordingly by turning him in to the police.

    i would have to know if this was a true statement though.

  • It’s become increasingly more difficult to discern the true from the false in the media today, especially the new media. But, to speculate what’s true I suspect this media frenzy was most likely created from within the Vatican itself. From within its own fifth column. Most likely the Jesuits.

  • Psalm 109 warns of the severe consequences for calumny ,(and how much more such would be esp. against a Father aunthority !) – how children of calumniators would be vagarant beggars and so on ; may be antichrist is trying to prepare a whole lot more people , esp. in Europe , to come under its power through the debt of such unrepentant sin .

    At the time when Holy Father was even indirectly dealing with this complex area, not much was known of prognosis for cure of these persons ( we know better now !) and hope and mercy in dealing with the culprit, in imitation of our Lord dealing with Judas who was warned repeatedly , was possibly seen as more appropriate !(Only those who dealt with the sitaution could possibly know how much Godly wisdom was used !)

    There are many priests who now a days have to suffer through loss of respect, unneeded fears etc ; due to these incidents ; now , they know that Holy Father , sufering with them , would esp. obtain the freedom in The Spirit for them too, uniting his sufferings , with our Lord’s – esp. from judas and thus help them too , not to fall under the enemy’s tool of hatred !

    These attacks are possibly incited by the same powers who are against life itself and wanting to divert attention from the satanic hold on many parents who have chosen to use their bodies as murder chambers – the most severe form of abuse !
    Prayers of the suffering Holy father wold be used by God , to bring victory there too – helping many to turn to our Lord, to plead for mercy !

    May prayers of our bl.Mother and of St.Benedict drive out malice and spirit of calumny from may hearts and bring in the dominion of The Holy Spirit !

  • We need to pray for our Pope because he is comming under attack.There are horrific attackers of anything Catholic out there and we, as good Catholics, must continue our prayer efforts till Christ returns; we are all under attack because we are the one true Church. There is no more abuse in our Church than in any other so-called church. It is simply that we are the one true Church and that is a problem for the others who are not one true Church. And, many of the accusations against our priests are not even real; it’s just open season at this time.

  • Liberals are just plain horrible human beings; they are barely human. They represent everything awful in the world. They are truly of the world, which is basically evil.They have no respect for life but value murder. They love socialism and death. They simply know not what they do.

  • A question for the sake of conversation: is there a proper direction for our anger? Is there any element of the story that should illicit genuine frustration with the church?

  • Dam the Devil to HELL he has come in to our Catholic Church to try to destroy it with his LIES & EVIL ways. But he will not ever prevail over it !!

  • The media could be wrong, but I believe in the wisdom of the Holy Father and whatever decision he made was the right one.
    Clergy has to learn to take full responsibility for their actions and fear the judgment of God not of humans. If each consacrated priest did that , we would not have this overwelmimgly disgraceful problem we have today. The reason why we still have this problem is because priests have forgotten that some day they will account for it in the presence of God. Jesus said.” If you give scandal to even one of these little children, the punishment of Sadoma and Gomorra will be nothing compare to theirs.”
    Why don’t they preach this any more from the pulpit? Instead they talk about the silliest things that only distract catholics and leave them totally umprepared to resist the tamptations of the world including tamptations caused by priests themselves. It is a disgrace!!! Let’s do somehting concrete about it!!! A sincere confession followed by a repented and contrite heart
    Thank you

  • What a tragedy! For Satan to attack the Holy Father this way, by means of deceptive media propaganda means his reign of terror is nearing it’s end… Hold strong in faith.. We already know the outcome…

    GOD WINS!!

    Mother Mary, this is your beloved shepherd, your beloved Bishop who leads the entire faithful flock of Christ, your child…. He is under attack Mother..
    Protect him..
    Cover him dear mother with your mantle of love..
    Safeguard him against his enemies,
    against the enemies of the Church,
    against the deceptions of the biased media,
    O Holy Mother of God, look not upon our sinfulness,
    but upon our desire to live your messages,
    and intercede before thy Son on our behalf,
    that Our Holy Father and Our Church be safeguarded
    against heresy, lies, deception, malicious accusations, and evil persecution, Amen…

    ST. Michael the ArchAngel, defend us in this day of battle
    be our defense and our protection against the wickedness of the devil
    God rebuke him! We humbly pray..
    And do thou O prince of the heavenly Host
    by the power of God, cast back into Hell
    Satan, and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world today
    seeking the ruin of souls, Amen…

  • Talk about over-reaction. The Pope is a man. The Pope is servant to all. The secular press is right: If he knew of crimes and hid them, he was wrong, period. If he didn’t know of them, fine, let him not hide behind his office. Frankly, I’m tired of bishops and “Popes” hiding behind “secrecy” and “dignity of their offices.” Cardinal Law, for instance, should be in prison, not the Arch-Priest of a Basillica in Rome…What a joke. If you Papists can’t see that Christ would have been ALWAYS AND COMPLETELY HONEST AND ABOVE BOARD, then you’re not even Catholic at all…I say, let the Pope speak!

  • We will continue to pray for our Pope Benedict, and the increasingly virulent attacks upon him. He is a holy man, totally deserving of our prayerful support.

  • John Lillis, you are entirely missing the point.. Articles are appearing in various news mediums making the false claim “The Pope Knew”

    This is extreme biased reporting at it’s finest! And it only serves to destroy faith just as the horrendous crimes that have actually occurred over the years have…

    No doubt horrible atrocities have occurred within our Church. No one here is arguing that nor sticking up for any priest who has in fact committed such a crime.. The point is, the media “greatly influences”… and when the media reports inaccurately in the manner that it is doing now it can be extremely damaging.. This type of reporting is not by accident.. It’s planned.. That means there is an agenda behind why it reports this way..

    The agenda is obvious- destroy the entire Church… No priests- no Eucharist.. No Eucharist- no true presence of Jesus…

    And just as utterly appalling as it is to learn “in truth” about horrendous crimes committed over the years, it is just as utterly appalling to have an innocent man falsely accused.. There has been absolutely no evidence that suggests Our Beloved Holy Father is guilty of anything…

  • Of course John, that might be a nice sentiment and it might come to pass… But it’s fair to assume that he is counseled otherwise, for even a sincere and truthful statement would be twisted and used to inflict more damage. There are those that will not be satisfied until they are the ones steering the Church.

    No one here is claiming that the pope (or any pope for that matter) is immune to sin or wrongdoing or a mistake. I agree, there is nothing to fear in knowing the truth. But it is also naive to not acknowledge the media bias and spiritual warfare at play here.

    Truth has a way of finding it’s way out into the open. Whether ‘the people’ are mature and educated enough to accept it is another question entirely…

  • The Holy Father was elected by the” Holy Spirit”-and I will quote from the Holy Bible from Jeremiah ch. 15 V19 where it says, the following. “They will come back to you,but you must not go back to them. I will make you a bronze wall fortified against these people. They will fight against you,but they will not overcome you because I am with you,to save you and deliver you-it is Yahweh who speaks, I mean to deliver you from the hands of the wicked and redeem you from the cluches of the violent. Stand up for the Pope as we listen to what God is saying to us today in His Holy Word.

  • Remember St. John Bosco’s dream of Two Pillars, it’s happening now but the Holy Father survive because he steered the ship between the Sacred Host & the Immaculate Virgin Mary, he won, enemies flees. ( ). As what our Lord Jesus Christ said when He established His Church: …and gates of hell will not prevail against it ( Catholic Church ). And what Mama Mary keep on saying: Pray, pray, pray.

  • L.G.,

    Please don’t generalize.

    Be specific in your comments and abstain from the very same attacks that those like Richard Owen does.


    Please abstain from calumny. Your comment has been removed due to the nature of the attack on the Lucianne herself.

  • Question: Is the Pope that will be forced to go into hiding (as often prophesied)?

  • Why is it so difficult for us(any of us/all of us) to simply say, I was wrong. I am sorry. ? We were wrong. We are sorry. This was the policy. This is the way we handled this particular situation. It was wrong. We are sorry.? We will make reparation. We will act justly now by the grace of God. Why is it so hard to say, even now that the pattern is in the light?

  • TIesOnline is on a hunt for the Papacy to destroy the CHurch with false News. Now if TimesOnline is really a real true resource why dont the investigate PLanet PArentHood. Read This


    Planned Parenthood Distributes Graphic Sex Guide at Girl Scouts UN Meeting


    By Terrence McKeegan, J.D.

    NEW YORK, NY, March 12, 2010 (C-FAM) – The World Association of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides hosted a no-adults-welcome panel at the United Nations this week where Planned Parenthood was allowed to distribute a brochure entitled “Healthy, Happy and Hot.” The event was part of the annual United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) which concludes this week.

    The brochure, aimed at young people living with HIV, contains explicit and graphic details on sex, as well as the promotion of casual sex in many forms. The brochure claims, “Many people think sex is just about vaginal or anal intercourse… But, there are lots of different ways to have sex and lots of different types of sex. There is no right or wrong way to have sex. Just have fun, explore and be yourself!”

    The brochure goes on to encourage young people to “Improve your sex life by getting to know your own body. Play with yourself! Masturbation is a great way to find out more about your body and what you find sexually stimulating. Mix things up by using different kinds of touch from very soft to hard. Talk about or act out your fantasies. Talk dirty to them.”

    The brochure also tells students that national laws requiring HIV-positive people to reveal their status to their partner(s) “violate the rights of people living with HIV” and calls for advocacy to “change laws that violate your rights.” It explains, “There are many reasons that people do not share their HIV status. … They may worry that people will find out something else they have kept secret, like they are using injecting drugs, having sex outside of a marriage or having sex with people of the same gender.”

    The Girl Scouts, along with the YMCA have been co-moderating a young women’s caucus that included an “Intergenerational Conversation” side event on “universal access” and “reproductive health.” One recent Girl Scout project “aims at securing the right of women, men and adolescents aged between ten and twenty-five, to better reproductive and sexual health.”

    Also at CSW last week, the heads of various powerful UN agencies, including the UN Population Fund, UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), UN Children’s Fund and the World Health Organization released a “UN Joint Statement” under the name of the “UN Adolescent Girls Task Force,” which calls for their agencies to promote and support programs “that empower … adolescent girls, particularly those aged 10 to 14 years.” One of the chief priorities for empowerment is ensuring access to “life-skills based sexuality education, HIV prevention, and sexual and reproductive health.”

    The New York Times recently reported that the UN Population Fund had co-sponsored a very controversial curriculum with UNESCO, that included teaching children as young as five to be sexually active and training adolescents to advocate for abortion.

    Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women of America told C-Fam’s Friday Fax, “Governments and NGOs should be aware of Planned Parenthood’s insidious plan to work with UN agencies and girls’ organizations in order to profit from encouraging kids to be sexually active.”

    This article reprinted with permission from

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  • Ben,

    The policy here is and has been in the light for some time. This story, considering its from 1980 is nothing new. Its not as if we are talking about a case that happened last year, indicating that the policy is STILL ongoing.

    Plus, the more details that have come to light, the more it looks like Cardinal Ratzinger had an indirect and minor role in the case, even to the point where it has recently been revealed that the priest in question was in the Diocese of Essen, not Munich.

  • Read Leo XIII’s encyclical on Masonry and you will discover what’s really going on here, and from where the roots of the homsexuality in the Church came from. Read “The permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita” and you will discover more. Read about Bella Dodd, an American Communist Party official, who converted to catholicism and testified before the House Committee Un-American Activities Committee in the 50’s. It’s in the Cong. Record! She alone helped send over 1000 communist youth into seminaries. Many of them rose to become “bishops.” These demonics began the ushering in of the homosexuals into the seminaries. BTW-it is NOT pedophila,since most of these perverts prayed on teenagers, not children! We catholics MUST become extremely familiar with the message of Fatima!! It is NOT a matter of the past…It continues NOW!! Find out about the Five First Saturday Devotions to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the undone Consecration of Russia, and you will see what is going on in the world…..

  • The USCCB decides to NOT support Obamacare because of abortion and the next day the Pope is being attacked in the MSM. Coincidence? NOT!

    Note to conservatives: don’t be a a tool for the Left.

  • i don’t see how people can make a connection between wanting justice for those victims of pedophilia and attacking the church. the catholic church is the one true church and the pope is the infallible leader of the one true church…. and if he runs a red light he should be given a ticket, and if he has harbored pedophiles he needs to go to jail. im sure he can write just as many encyclicles from behind bars, and i will be one of the first to read them and learn from them.

    don’t confuse the two issues.


  • Satan is at work big time.

    St. Michael Archangel defend us (The pope, bishops, priests,and the entire Catholic Church) who are in the battle against Satan’s attack.
    May Jesus be Praised forever. Amen

  • I don’t believe that Our beloved Pope would do anything of this sort. We need to pray for him more than ever and pray for the persecutors to open their to see the truth.

  • A cheap piece of reportage peppered with inaccuracies. I had thought bettter of Ruth Gledhill and The Times.
    I now recommend all Catholics to reject this paper and but The Daily Telegraph.

  • I agree with Mr. Richard Collins. I’m especially disappointed with Miss Ruth Gledhill because she knows better.

    Stop reading the Times would really help to send them the message of our dissatisfaction.

  • One sure sign of the hate and fear of people is the way they attack. They try to undermine what they do not understand. The Pope is loved and respected by many more than hate him and will continue to be so. Those who would try to take him down are doing more harm to themselves than to him or the church. Yes, it is true that the more you repeat a lie, the more people will believe it, but it still remains a lie. There is no getting around that. However, because it can never be completely irradicated, it is one of the unforgivable sins – calumny!! So do so at your own peril!

  • I love my Shepherd, the Vicar of Christ, Pope Benedict XVI. Just as they wanted to kill Jesus and they persecuted Him, so will they persecute priests, bishops and the Pope because they are Christ in the Church. Without them, we could not have the Eucharist. Jesus told us that we will be persecuted as He was. I pray for these sometimes misguided, sometimes hateful people. May God convert their hearts.

  • Other John and Posters Say: I am missing the point –that the media is destroying an innocent man… What a joke…I said IF he knew, let him say it…Period…And by the way: I am the media and been in it almost twenty years…I’ve stuck up for God/Church in Fox newsrooms, fought incestuous mafia in so-called Catholic radio, destroyed Bishop’s running family planning clinics in diocesan owned buildings. I’m married to one woman, am raising seven children, go to confession at least once per month, go to Mass more than just Sundays, fight liturgical abuses and DON’T NEED papists sobbing over the media saying that Joseph knew about this priest. If he was the Archbishop, he knew, period. If he didn’t “know,” my God, what was he doing? I think you’ll find that he comes clean and says something profound, like, I’m sorry for what happened…etc.

    God help us if we can’t figure out that even Peter denied Christ before the cock crowed….

  • This attempt to smear the image of Pope Benedict,XVI is outrageous to say the least as he was regarded as too tough on moral principles while he served faithfully under Pope John Paul,II who kept him on as guardian of the Papacy in his powerful office as Prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the Faith. He was often referred to by those feared him as the rottweiler who guarded the Church against heresies.

  • Suzanne: Surgery for unidentified brain mass. Jesus, guide the doctors so that they are able to remove the entire mass. Pray that the biopsy shows no cancer.

  • “Loyal Catholics” like Anne Rice spread anti Pope propaganda at her Facebook. I feel sorry for Non Catholics but I feel anger towards catholics who accuses the Pope being the protector of pedophile priests.

  • Pingback: British Government Shows Prejudice Towards Papal Visit « The American Catholic

From Sweat-shop Workers to Business Owners

Friday, March 12, AD 2010

The Oregonian features an article on how Chinese workers who spent years working in factories for American brands like Nike and Columbia Sportswear have become a major source of business startups and wealth in China’s rural interior.

WUHU, China — Years after activists accused Nike and other Western brands of running Third World sweatshops, the issue has taken a surprising turn.

The path of discovery winds from coastal factory floors far into China’s interior, past women knee-deep in streams pounding laundry. It continues down a dusty village lane to a startling sight: arrays of gleaming three-story houses with balconies, balustrades and even Greek columns rising from rice paddies.

It turns out that factory workers — not the activists labeled “preachy” by one expert, and not the Nike executives so wounded by criticism — get the last laugh. Villagers who “went out,” as Chinese say, for what critics described as dead-end manufacturing jobs are sending money back and returning with savings, building houses and starting businesses.

Workers who stitched shoes for Nike Inc. and apparel for Columbia Sportswear Co., both based near Beaverton, are fueling a wave of prosperity in rural China. The boom has a solid feel, with villagers paying cash for houses.

“No one would take out a mortgage to build a house,” said Wang Jianguo, 37, who returned after a factory injury in a distant province to the area near Wuhu, west of Shanghai. “You wouldn’t feel secure living in a house you didn’t own.”

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Eucharistic Adoration at Angelicvm

Thursday, March 11, AD 2010

The Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, commonly known as the Angelicum, is the Dominican university of Rome and one of the major pontifical universities of the City. Staffed and administered by members of the Order of Preachers, it serves as a focus for the Dominican theological and philosophical tradition among the Roman pontifical universities [1].

Video courtesy Rome Reports.


[1] Courtesy Wikipedia.

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A Video of Padre Pio Celebrating Mass

Wednesday, March 10, AD 2010

One of my most favorite saints, Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, or simply Padre Pio, is in this YouTube video I found where he is consecrating the Host.

Saint Pio of Pietrelcina (May 25, 1887 – September 23, 1968), also known as Padre Pio, was a Capuchin priest from Italy. He was born Francesco Forgione, and given the name Pius when he joined the Capuchins, shortened to Pio; he was popularly known as Padre Pio after his ordination to the priesthood.


Biretta tip to Taylor Marshall of Canterbury Tales.

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Married Priests From the First Centuries Practiced Celibacy

Monday, March 8, AD 2010

The practice of celibacy in the priesthood is apparent in the years following Jesus’ resurrection.  Single priests and priests who were married abstained from sex, of course with approval from their wives. Just as Jesus chose celibacy giving up a family in order to give himself to mankind, priests are called by God to imitate Jesus. In fact, the priest is able to better serve all people because he is more available.

Monsignor Angelo Amato of the Prefect of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints states:

“Jesus was chaste, virgin, celibate and he defended it. His virginity distanced him from others, but it’s what made him able to show, compassion and forgiveness to others.”

Thus priests are called by God to imitate Jesus in this discipline.

By the end of the fourth century Pope Saint Siricius pushed for a celibate priesthood in order to maintain continuity with earlier centuries.  Later this became a discipline* in order to carry out the tradition of celibacy, thus priests could not marry in the Catholic Church.

Video courtesy Rome Reports.


* The Eastern Orthodox still allow their priests to marry, but they must be so before entering the seminary and are not allowed to become bishops.

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19 Responses to Married Priests From the First Centuries Practiced Celibacy

  • Tito,

    While there is good, valid arguments for a purely celibate priesthood, the case that the early church had such a priesthood is simply not there. In fact, there is evidence of married priests, even in the West, way into the Middle Ages. In fact, there were married Bishops in the East well beyond the fourth century and it was clearly the case until that point.

    There is valid theological, historical grounds to support married priests (quite obviously). Moreover, I would carefully assess evidence of married priests commonly practicing celibacy within their marriage in the first century. The notion of priest is not as developed in that century as one would find in later time periods.

  • Eric,

    According to the Pontifical University it is true.

    That or I guess doctors in Church history are incorrect.

    It would be cool if you provided references to books or links, since I am a history buff and never turn down a good recommendation to a history book!


  • Tito,

    I have never formally read a book focused precisely on the question of a celibate priesthood. However in all of my study of Catholic theology and history, I have not ever encountered anything to the degree of which you have asserted nor any existing historical evidence that would substantiate it.

    In the first century, the Eucharist was celebrated in house-churches typically over a common meal. There was not a very rigorous developed theology of the sacrament of the priesthood nor was there any universal mandate or encouragement of celibacy. St. Paul suggests it, encourages it, but he did not see it as something to be required. So while it might have surely existed, I don’t think that is the same thing as saying it was “widely practiced” (depending on what you mean by that) nor was it required. Indeed, the local church was under the leadership of an “elder” or usually a council of them. The terms Bishop, Presbyter, and Deacon were not definitively defined in such a way that we can easily describe the essential ministry and function of each in the same way we can today.

    Sts. Timothy and Titus celebrated by the Church as Bishops were hardly territorial monarchial bishops set over a fixed diocese. They functioned more like “emissiaries” or “ambassadors” whom were sent by St. Paul to Christian churches throughout the region for the purposes of teaching and maintenance.

    There seems to be very little evidence, if any, from documents that can be dated prior to the second century that the marriage status or even continence was a great concern amongst Christians and those providing ministry in the first century. Indeed, in the beginning, these men were Jews and worked from a Jewish mentality where celibacy was not at all the mainstream norm, though there are clearly Jewish traditions of which celibacy is esteemed, e.g. the Essenes. The greatest indicator is that Christ Himself who began and instituted the priestly ministry, from a Catholic sacramental perspective, chose a number of married men for such a position and there is no New Testament era evidence that the Apostles were specifically celibate within their marriages; we can only speculate and that scarcely amounts to hard evidence. Indeed, the Apostles themselves selected a great number of married men to succeed them.

    I do not think any reasonable historian would dispute that in the first centuries of Christianity married priests quite a norm, if not the norm itself. There is however evidence that continence within marriage was advocated and that is valid. However it is not clear that this was strictly enforced or how universal were such strictures. It is clear local synods were mandating celibacy for clergyman in certain regions in the West, but these were not practices affirmed as universally obligatory at ecumenical councils.

    The Council of Elvira held in the Roman province of Hispania Baetica, for example, enjoined celibacy on bishops, priests, and deacons. This was obviously local. A number of scholars hold a tradition of clerical continence, obviously, whereby married priests were expected to abstain from sexual relations with their wives. This tendency was more characteristic of the West than in the East. There is a tradition that is in practice today that married priests are not to engage in sexual relations on days where they celebrate Mass (this is the common practice of married Eastern Catholic and Orthodox priests). Now clearly there became a tradition against already ordained clergyman marrying, but there are still cases of married Bishops up until about the time of Gregorian reforms (heck, the East had women deaconesses up until about the 9th century).

    After a number of centuries, though celibacy was common and widespread in the West it was not necessarily mandatory. It was made the official discipline of the Latin Rite at the Second Lateran Council in 1139 A.D.

    Either way, the issue remains non-dogmatic.

  • Eric,

    First there is no sacrament of the priesthood.

    Second there was no mandate, it happened organically. Not everywhere, but in many places that we have historical evidence of this. Which eventually influenced those to make it a discipline. And I did not say it was required.

    There is also no evidence that the apostles were not celibate as well. In case I’m mistaken, Saint Peter refrained from sex after the death of Jesus (I could be wrong here, but I’m pulling back all the way to my CCE days).

    Never have I mentioned the word dogma as well, I always used the word discipline.

    In essence you’re arguing for argument sake and you misinterpreted the Rome Report as definitive for all early century priests which I can understand.

  • Tito,

    I obviously simply misunderstood you.

    Point: The priesthood because of the priestly ministry, technically speaking, includes deacons and bishops. Either way, it is obvious I was talking about holy orders.

  • Mr. Edwards,

    You write: “The Eastern Orthodox still allow their priests to marry, but they must be so before entering the seminary.”

    According to a Byzantine Catholic priest, Eastern Christian seminarians are most often single and they get married just prior to ordination. In fact, as I understand it, the wedding often takes place the day before the ordination.

  • Eric,

    My bad.

    I figured you were talking about Holy Orders.

  • John R.P. Russell,

    I’ll take your word for it.

    I’m mostly familiar with the Russian Orthodox Church and that was what I was basing my statement on.

    Now when you say Byzantine Catholic, you mean Eastern Catholics right? Not Eastern Orthodox.

  • There are several recent books which treat the topic of celibacy in the early Church, exhaustively [and exhaustingly] – Fr. Cocini, Stefan Heid, Cardinal Stickler.

    That St. Peter was married does not affect the matter. Many priests were married BEFORE being ordained. This is the case in the Orthodox Church. A priest may not marry after being ordained. To do so would invalidate his marriage vows.

    The idiotic and illogical Fr. Kung blames the sex scandals on celibacy. How could this be? The scandals are males on males.

  • The standard practice, at least in the Antiochan Orthodox Church, ( and most likely for the Greek and Russian), is that a seminarian can graduate with his MDiv. degree, become ordained as a deacon, and then, as it were “shop around” for a wife, becoming married before ordination as a priest.
    That is what I saw at one Antiochan parish.

  • I am not an expert in this area by any means, but married priests were quite common in Ireland well into the 12th century. St. Patrick’s grandfather was a priest and his father was a deacon. (St. Patrick was originally from Wales, so that was apparently the practice there, as well.)
    Since it did not become required in the Latin Rite until the 12th century, it should be pointed out that we have had married priests longer than priests have been required to be celibate. There are, of course, also a small number of Catholic priests today who are married, having been married and served as Anglican or Presbyterian ministers prior to converting to Catholicism and entering the priesthood.

  • I think he was a Romano-Briton, the ancestors of the Welsh.

  • “Byzantine Catholic, you mean Eastern Catholics right?”

    He did. The East that is not in communion with Rome scarcely, if ever, uses the term “Catholic” to describe itself. Theologically and liturgically, perhaps (they recite the term in the Nicene Creed), but surely not formally as a label. But Byzantine Catholic refers to a particular rite, or theological, liturgical tradition in the Catholic Church.

    Just for the nickel knowledge, there are 22 churches following the tradition of Eastern Christianity in communion with the Bishop of Rome.

    If you look at the Byzantine rite, there are several churches in that tradition.

  • Correct me if I’m wrong but if “married priests” were to practice celibacy that would be one heck of an identity crisis since, in fact, to be celibate is to be unmarried.

  • VJ,

    They got married first. Then they became priests. Later they chose to be celibate.

  • Veritatis Jorge is correct: the definition of celibate precludes being married.

    But the issue is merely a terminological one: priests in the apostolic and post-apostolic era who were married practiced not celibacy but *continency*, i.e. they abstained from sex with their wives… forever.

    Cf. Conchini’s _The Apostolic Origins of Priestly Celibacy_.

  • Chris,

    That is very interesting!

    Learn something new every day.

    VJ is correct after all.


    I get to expand my vocabulary as well. 😉

  • Evagrius,

    As an Antiochian Orthodox priest, I believe that we are not in the habit of ordaining deacons and then letting them marry. We do however ordain married men to the diaconate and priesthood. I am a married priest. However, it is common practice to allow those in “minor orders” such as subdeacons to marry, although this would seem to be technically agains the canons which seem to require the same discipline from both minor and major orders.

    peace and good,
    Fr. Joseph

Obama Seems Unable to Face Up to Americas Problems

Monday, March 8, AD 2010

Simon Heffer of London’s Daily Telegraph wrote this timely piece on President Obama’s inability to govern America.  Here are some snippets [emphases mine]:

It is a universal political truth that administrations do not begin to fragment when things are going well: it only happens when they go badly, and those who think they know better begin to attack those who manifestly do not. The descent of Barack Obama’s regime, characterised now by factionalism in the Democratic Party and talk of his being set to emulate Jimmy Carter as a one-term president [We can only hope], has been swift and precipitate. It was just 16 months ago that weeping men and women celebrated his victory over John McCain in the American presidential election. If they weep now, a year and six weeks into his rule, it is for different reasons.

“Obama’s big problem,” a senior Democrat told me, “is that four times as many people watch Fox News as watch CNN.” The Fox network is a remarkable cultural phenomenon which almost shocks those of us from a country where a technical rule of impartiality is applied in the broadcast media [Like the BBC is a bastion of impartiality my left foot]. With little rest, it pours out rage 24 hours a day: its message is of the construction of the socialist state, the hijacking of America by “progressives” who now dominate institutions, the indoctrination of children, the undermining of religion and the expropriation of public money for these nefarious projects. The public loves it, and it is manifestly stirring up political activism against Mr Obama, and also against those in the Republican Party who are not deemed conservatives. However, it is arguable whether the now-reorganising Right is half as effective in its assault on the President as some of Mr Obama’s own party are.

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An Exhibition for the Rebuilding of L’Aquila

Sunday, March 7, AD 2010

Here is a snippet: The age of these works of art, isn’t the reason they’re deteriorated. Even though they go back a couple centuries, until a year ago, they were still intact. But on April 6th 2009, the ground shook in the Italian city of L’Aquila.

This exhibition doesn’t aim to show the artistic value of the paintings or sculptures rather it’s a metaphor for the damaging consequences of the earthquake.


Video courtesy of Rome Reports.

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27 Responses to My Thoughts on the Guitar Mass

  • Guitar Mass. Ah the unspeakable horrors that simple phrase contains!

  • If they made use of instrumental pieces by Segovia at various points, that would not be offensive. Why not ditch the organ and just have plainchant?

  • Of course, there is no place in the documents of Vatican II where they specify that the organ should be replaced with the guitar. There is also no place where they specify the organ is the only acceptable liturgical instrument.

    In fact, quite the opposite is the case.

    112. The musical tradition of the universal Church is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art. The main reason for this pre-eminence is that, as sacred song united to the words, it forms a necessary or integral part of the solemn liturgy.

    Holy Scripture, indeed, has bestowed praise upon sacred song [42], and the same may be said of the fathers of the Church and of the Roman pontiffs who in recent times, led by St. Pius X, have explained more precisely the ministerial function supplied by sacred music in the service of the Lord.

    Therefore sacred music is to be considered the more holy in proportion as it is more closely connected with the liturgical action, whether it adds delight to prayer, fosters unity of minds, or confers greater solemnity upon the sacred rites. But the Church approves of all forms of true art having the needed qualities, and admits them into divine worship.

    The argument is or has been made by liturgical reformers that this is grounds for the legitimacy of guitars and other instruments. And by the manifest practice of Benedict XVI, guitars and other instruments are licit for use in the Holy Mass if they are incorporated in a solemn, dignified and reverent manner that is consistent with the Traditional Beauty of the Mass.

    I say this as someone who greatly prefers traditional styles of liturgical music; modern music is too busy, too self-centered, and too indulgent. Often times the words of liturgical music promote misunderstandings or at worst even bits of heresy.

    I lament the death of beauty and the sense of the numinous that used to be the Catholic Church’s bread and butter. But this is not an excuse to suggest everything that happened in liturgical reforms is somehow illicit. Following Father Corapi and many others, we should not reject the reforms of Vatican II but embrace what they actually are as recorded in the documents that were actually written, for these documents profess the true “Spirit of Vatican II”, which is nothing but the Catholic spirit of repentance and reform writ large.

  • Zach,
    I think you misunderstand. The statement that “I have still failed to find anything in the documents of the Second Vatican Council where it said to replace the organ with the guitar” is simply in response to the common assertion that the introduction of guitar masses was required by Vatican II. I don’t think anyone is even suggesting that guitar masses are illicit; just that the music is almost always insipid and fails the test you quote above. Yes, there are people who like the music, just as there are people who to this day don’t get why Bluto violently interrupted the Riddle Song.

  • Personally, I think Michael Iafrate would have been justified in socking Belushi in the nose.

  • Hi Mike,

    Fair enough, I didn’t see in this post the assertion that “the introduction of guitar masses was required by Vatican II”. I also didn’t know anyone thought this. What a silly idea!

  • I never used to hate guitar music, or guitars, until I turned Catholic back in 2000 and endured the happy-clappy-crappy guitar masses with the uber-banal schlock “music” that seriously infests too many Catholic masses in Mahoneyland. (Far more offensive are the schlockmeister guitar cantors who also shake rattles during the “Gloria” or elsewhere in the Mass, or plink background noise during the consecration as if they think their semi-skilled “guitar stylings” somehow add something worthwhile. to the Sacrifice of our Lord Made Present.) Too many masses I suffered through down there had the musical trashiness of that Animal House scene. Thank God there were Byzantine Catholic parishes down there where I could worship without being musically tortured. I wish had discovered THAT option sooner!

    I totally cheer the Belushi character. In fact, back when I still lived in LA before moving to a city where I can now attend the Glorious Mass of the Ages every week, I used to spend much of Mass fantasizing piling ALL the guitars in the world in a huge heap then watching as a herd of bull elephants in rut galloped over them, reducing all to a smoking pile of splinters. Somewhere in the fantasy was the additional one that all plans and diagrams for making new guitars would also be destroyed.

  • Bravo Alice!

  • Alice Ramirez: Could not have said it better.

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

  • As a traveler who has attended masses in a variety of locations, it is interesting to me when I see the multi-varied approaches. I am not sure I have seen the situation that Alice describes. Mostly, I see a singular guitar that is played quietly as background music to the piano/organ/keyboard and the vocalists.
    Is the “guitar mass” something more?
    If it is, then I would have to definitely have to agree with the chorus here that denounces said guitar masses, especially if accompanied by clapping and other carousing.
    If it is my experience, then I am not sure of the issue.
    I would, however, hope that each church would announce a standard mass in addition to the guitar mass.
    My two cents…. 🙂
    TheWriter @

  • Gary,

    Nothing in the Second Vatican Council mandated the imposition of guitars in the Mass.

    For more information click here:

  • Guess you wouldn’t like the fact that I’ve played banjo in church, eh, Tito?

  • You are from West Virginia after all.


  • I thought banjo masses were great when I was thirteen.

  • Phillip, how many “banjo masses” have you attended? I’m from West Virginia and have attended zero “banjo masses.” When I played banjo at mass (which was once) it was in Toronto.

  • Hmm.

    I have yet to endure a guitar mass of a type comparable to the strumming doofus above. I have however witnessed many “contemporary music” masses with praise-band style accompaniment.

    My reaction to what I heard was, in essence: Why do Catholics have such a hard time putting together an ensemble of skillful players, singers, sound engineers, writers, and arrangers? Why must every parish ensemble have so many hacks and weak links?

    Too Many Hacks

    For that is really what I heard: A lack of skill. In some cases I heard one or two talented individuals, but they were undermined by the poor quality surrounding them. If it wasn’t that the other musicians in the ensemble were low on talent or practice, then it was the selection of music or poor sound reinforcement or both.

    Now the best worship leaders and worship bands and sound technicians and writers and arrangers among Evangelicals can, in fact, produce music worthy of a Mass. They don’t always: Sometimes they’re pretty atrocious, too. But the best ones — the type you find at the Evangelical churches known for having excellent music — can do it, and in fact do achieve it on a regular basis.

    But apparently the Catholic roster at even a very large and well-funded parish, such as the one where I attend Mass, is one or two persons deep when it comes to this skill set.

    This, I think, is one source of all the complaints from Catholics, and their predisposition to write off the entire genre of instrumentation as unfit for liturgical use. They think to themselves, “I’ve heard what a contemporary ensemble sounds like, and it’s rubbish.” What they’ve heard is rubbish: But it’s rubbish because it was mostly bad songs with mostly bad melodies and mostly bad chart, poorly arranged, played by beginner-level or intermediate-level musicians after insufficient rehearsal, and sung by mostly unskilled or unsuitable singers, badly miked, through a bad sound system, inexpertly mixed by some zero-experience kid or other, selected on the basis that he was the only one who volunteered for the job.

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose…

    Now pipe organs were, to be perfectly precise, the original analog synthesizers. Organ music was the original synthesizer music, and its introduction a few hundred years back scandalized traditionalists. Those of us with an appreciation of good pipe organ music can look back on that time and wonder why the traditionalists of that era regarded it to be such a wild and unsuitable innovation.

    But the traditionalists’ arguments would have been greatly strengthened had the introduction of most Catholics to this kind of church music involved a player of low caliber on an instrument of low caliber played through low-quality pipes in a church building unsuited to the instrument. (Keep in mind many historic churches and cathedrals were build around a pipe organ; that is, the architectural layout was engineered specifically to make the organ sound good.)

    That is entirely comparable to what Catholic parishes are dealing with now. (If the excellence of Catholic worship music begins to increase, then I suppose in another few hundred years our descendants wonder what the traditionalists of our era were going on about.)

    The Numbers Game

    And then there is the problem of numbers and the mobility of Protestants between churches. Let us say that in a given parish’s geographical area, there are five hundred musicians capable of playing at the skill level needed…and there are twenty churches attempting contemporary-instrumentation music, one of which is the Catholic church.

    Now if one or two of those churches have particularly talented bandleaders, their quality of music will begin to go up. As a result of this, other musicians will want to attend that church: Not necessarily to play in the worship band, but because they have the ears of a skilled musician and it hurts their ears to sit in the pews at a church where the music is bad.

    Now amongst Protestant evangelicals folks really may attend a particular church for this reason and no other — in their view the theological differences between denominations are just the fruitless debates of navel-gazing theologians, so you might as well go to church at a place where your soul is, or at least your ears are, being fed. So once a few churches begin to have good music, their pews fill with skilled musicians, giving them a “deep bullpen” from which to draw…and the music keeps getting better and better.

    But notice that this process doesn’t touch the Catholic church. A Catholic musician can’t go elsewhere, and none of the Protestant musicians are likely to show up at the Catholic church unless they’re reading the Church Fathers and considering converting. The result? The “bullpen” for a given parish is as deep as whichever Catholics are within convenient driving distance of the building.

    The Textual Issue

    I think there may also be another problem, and perhaps an insoluble one: Some of the musical parts of the Mass involve particular texts: The Gloria, the Kyrie, and so on.

    For these texts the Latin is generally well-metered and each line has the same number of syllables and the same pattern of stresses; it was written with the possibility of being set to music in mind. But the English translation of these texts is done for exactness without regard for syllable count, regular stress patterns, or any other attributes which govern lyrical suitability. And of course the grammar of Latin involves regular endings for words based on gender or tense or on whether a word is the subject or the object: Rhymes fall into place with the ease of a ripe apple falling from a tree. Not so in the English language, let alone text translated into English from other languages!

    Now don’t get me wrong: I don’t want people taking liberties with the words of the Mass: I want the real deal. I am just observing that it is difficult to set these parts of the Mass to music for the reasons stated above. Frankly it might be better to opt for the Latin text in those cases: It might lend itself more easily to musical arrangement.

    In The End

    In the end, I don’t know whether the Catholic Church will ever do contemporary-instrumentation worship music well, and if she doesn’t, perhaps she’s better off sticking to what she’s good at.

    But it’s a shame, because it lends false credibility to the notion that certain instruments are unsuited to worship of God. This is false: But certain things played on those instruments can be unsuitable, and certain ways of playing them can be unsuitable (most notably, playing them poorly).

    I hope instead that some movement for excellence in this area will begin to build in the Church, as it did with that crazy newfangled sci-fi sounding pipe organ centuries ago. I hope that centuries hence, the life of the Church will be thus enriched, as it was by the pipe organ.

    Of course, in the end, all instruments and voices will be stilled, and three things will remain: Faith, Hope, and Love, and we know which is greatest. But until then, there is room for the use of lesser gifts, and of those talents of which God makes us the stewards.

    Provided we use them well.

    A postscript: You may have noticed that throughout this post I have leaned on the terms which focus on instrumentation, such as “contemporary-instrumentation worship.” I do that because I am focusing on the appropriateness of electric guitar, folk acoustic guitar, synthesizer, and drums in worship music. I avoided the term “praise and worship music” because while all the music which falls under that heading uses the instruments listed above, not all of it is suitable for mass even when played well. This is part of what I meant about what passes for contemporary instrumentation music in parishes which attempt it: They select some truly awful numbers which probably embarrass even the Protestants who wrote them, and present this to the parishoners as “praise and worship music.”

  • RC,

    With due respect,

    The following statements of yours:

    “Now the best worship leaders and worship bands and sound technicians and writers and arrangers among Evangelicals can, in fact, produce music worthy of a Mass.”

    “the notion that certain instruments are unsuited to worship of God. This is false…”

    Are… questionable.

    The first statement, because I don’t see why an Evangelical with technical skill would understand what the Mass really is, or what sort of music is worthy of it.

    The second, because it actually has been set down in encyclicals what instruments are and are not acceptable at Mass. Of course no one cares to follow those instructions.

    My hope is that Benedict’s “reform of the reform” will put a stop to liturgical abuse, including musical abuse, and bring about the widespread reinstatement of Gregorian and polyphonic chant.

    I absolutely reject, and the Church has historically rejected, even a hint of musical relativism, the argument that one form is as good as any other provided that the “content” is somehow sacred. Forms can be profane in themselves, regardless of whether or not the words refer to saints or the most vulgar sex acts.

    To God, we are to offer up only the best. The historical distinction between sacred and profane music ought to be restored in full. I don’t object to a “Christian band” or whatever playing at a youth group meeting or some other event. But it has absolutely no place in Mass.

  • Joe! Happy to see you. (Okay, to read you.)

    The bit in the encyclical (with which you answer the second of the two statements you’re debating) is something I’d read before, and I think I have not misunderstood the purpose and intent of it.

    But you’re correct to call me out on it, because I was thinking in the back of my head “the notion that the instruments I have in mind are unsuited to worship of God is false” but what came out of my fingers was “the notion that certain instruments are unsuited to worship of God…is false.”

    Not the same thing, and I should have been more careful! For certain instruments are so utterly inflexible in their sonic palette that they simply can’t generate the kind of sound needed at Mass. The harmonica, the kazoo: Instruments, to be sure, and instruments with a part to play in the soundscape of life, but, for Mass, c’mon.

    So, you got me. I said that wrong. I hold that what I was thinking was correct…but I botched it; I didn’t say what I was thinking with sufficient precision.

    So to say what I should have said: “The instruments of a praise band are capable of being played in such a way as to evoke the majesty, the sense of the numinous, the joy (quiet or exultant) called for at Mass; they are however also capable of being played with the style of a honky-tonk band; to play them in the latter fashion at Mass is execrable, but the instruments themselves are not intrinsically unsuited.”


    Before you answer that by saying, “Better, but I still have a problem with it…,” let me anticipate one possible objection: You might say, “Better, but there’s a difference between an instrument being capable of the right kind of sounds, and an instrument easily and naturally producing the right kinds of sounds.”

    Which is a reasonable objection, but not an insurmountable one. Consider the electric guitar: One can play horribly unsuitable stuff with this instrument, or wondrously suitable. But the same is true with the violin, especially when traveling under its alternative identity, as the fiddle. Trumpets have been used in worship since the psalms were written: But not, one hopes, using the stylistic flourishes that Maynard Ferguson adopted when playing the theme song to Hawaii Five-0, such as the “rip off release.”

    In short, these are issues which are surmountable through the use of well-written arrangements played by skilled musicians: Tell ’em what to play, and they won’t get creative and start popping and slapping their fretted electric bass when you turn your back. (And another benefit to the use of well-written charts is that it weeds out the less-trained musicians. Old joke: “Q: How do you make the guitar player in a high-school band be quiet? A: Put sheet music in front of him.”

    Regarding the other statement you questioned:

    I said, “Now the best worship leaders and worship bands and sound technicians and writers and arrangers among Evangelicals can, in fact, produce music worthy of a Mass.”

    You replied, “…I don’t see why an Evangelical with technical skill would understand what the Mass really is, or what sort of music is worthy of it.”

    Well, he probably wouldn’t, until he was in the Church!

    But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t already made that kind of music, in Evangelical worship services or elsewhere, at moments when his artist’s soul and/or the Holy Spirit directed him that something special and awe-inspiring is called for at this moment.

    My point was not that an Evangelical, comfortable in his utter unfamiliarity with the origins of the Bible or the Church Fathers or the doctrines which defined the Christian faith for the first three quarters of its history, already knew what was suited to a Mass when he probably has never attended one, unless he had a Catholic friend or family member who either got married or died.

    My point was that a sliver of the music produced by these talented musicians does rise to the level and character required at Mass, even though they themselves have never thought about it that way: They were just trying to produce really excellent, well-thought-out music with a particular character to it.

    As for Benedict’s reform of the reform, I’m all for it. And if that seems contrary to what I’ve written above, remember that I’m calling for excellence here. If the contemporary instrumentation can’t be used excellently, then it shouldn’t be used! (But I hold — have indeed witnessed — that it can, so naturally I hope that it will.)

  • RC,

    I wonder if there might be a possible conflation here of music that might not necessarily be offensive to God, and music that belongs at Mass.

    Lets take the guitar, electric or acoustic, or the trumpet. Now, I don’t deny the possibility that one can make music on these instruments that is not offensive to God and perhaps even worthy of Him.

    I’m still not sure if that rises to the level required to be worthy of the specific occasion of the Mass. Trumpets are loud. Guitars are romantic. Neither is appropriate to the occasion of the Mass, which is a sacrifice. So I would say these instruments are not capable of producing sounds suitable for the Mass.

    Mass is one, perhaps two hours out of the week. I see no good reason to insist that the traditional music be replaced.

    It would be better for no one to go to Mass ever again than to sully it with profanity, musical, visual or otherwise, so that people did show up. You can quote me on that. There are appropriate venues for profane or vulgar music, so no one ought to feel denied or discriminated against.

    On a tangent that has nothing to do with anything you’ve proposed, I must say:

    Sometimes the reason for musical innovation is subversive – to use the objective power of music to change hearts and minds on critical issues. The music industry knows nothing that the ancients and the Church have always known – that music does have power, it does and alter moods and thought patterns, that it is not mindless entertainment devoid of any psychological effects.

    That is why the Papacy has always taken liturgical music extremely seriously.

  • “a sliver of the music produced by these talented musicians does rise to the level and character required at Mass”

    Eh… maybe a sliver.

  • maybe a sliver

    Now that’s a bit too optimistic for me, but a clock can be right twice a day.

  • Joe:

    Fair enough; I think our experiences differ too widely for me to argue you to a different opinion on this (or you either, Tito!). And of course I wouldn’t want to argue you to a different aesthetic sense, only on the capacity of certain instruments to deliver the appropriate results.

    So really the only thing in your (Joe’s) last note I’ll challenge — no, challenge is the wrong word. The only thing that made me go, “Whaa?” with a befuddled look and a cocked eyebrow, was this: “Guitars are romantic.” Romantic?

    Hmm. Okay, let me break this down. There are four basic kinds: Nylon-strung acoustic, steel-strung acoustic, hollow-body electric, and solid-body electric. All require amplification to be audible unless the church is a tiny one (Mass at my parish regularly has, I estimate, eight hundred in attendance). The least flexible is the nylon-strung, or classical. It sounds either (a.) almost just like a harp, (b.) Spanish, in the flamenco or true classical style a la Segovia, or (c.) 70’s singer-songwriter-esque, which I suppose comes across as “romantic.”

    Next comes the steel strung-acoustic, which sounds (a.-c.) like any of the nylon-strung options, (d.) like a harpsichord, arpeggiating with a high-end sparkle if a plectrum is used, (e.) like a richer rolling piano left-hand figure if played fingerstyle, as exhibited in some Irish music and Irish influenced tunes, and (f.) like the Indigo Girls, which is least appropriate.

    After that comes the hollow-body electric, which is best at the “jazzbox” sound, and beyond that can offer every sound that the solid-body electric can offer, but usually in an inferior way because it was designed to offer the jazzbox sound. All other sounds involve compromise.

    That leaves us with the solid-body electric, which sounds like…everything. Like a piano, like a single violin, like a cello, like a string quartet, like a harp, like a harpsichord. There is no instrument so flexible save an actual synthesizer. Buzzsaw distortion would be horribly unfit for Mass, but roll off the high end and use volume swells, and suddenly you have the sound of a cello, but with more control. Clean up the sound and turn on the echo/reverb, and the piano itself cannot roll high-octave arpeggios with such a combination of crystalline sparkle and quiet resonance, like wind chimes. And, sure, one could also make the thing sound like, oh, I don’t know, Keith Richards. But one can also make the church piano sound like Scott Joplin.

    Well. That’s enough. Time to dress and go to Mass. All this won’t change what I hear today, sadly. On with reform, to a godly end!

    (Postscript: I notice you say that trumpets are merely “loud.” I wonder if the size of the parish influences our respective judgments? As I said before, my parish has several hundred folks in even its 7AM Sunday Mass. But that’s not uncommon in the Atlanta area, where churches tend to have large numbers of congregants. I guess your parishes smaller?)

  • what is wrong with traditional catholic music for mass? what is wrong with latin chant? why doesnt the choir stay in the choir loft? that noisy guitar music makes me sick.

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  • I never cease to be amused by all the anal retentive, pharisaical prudes who, in their quest to “elevate” worhsip, do nothing more than reduce the discussion to the same banal patter you’d find at a wine tasting club.
    Jesus’ most harsh conndemnations were reserved for religious purists who effected religion without redemption…or rather, style over substance.
    The organ was banned from Christian worship for centuries because it was a pagan instrument viewed as being profane. The only reason it came into favor was that a bishop at some point was given an expensive one as a gift and decided he liked it.
    What we call “classical” music was widely condemned just a few hundred years ago as being profane and common.
    Stringed instruments have a far longer and more well-established role in our salvation history and liturgy than any other kind, perhaps except some wind and percussion instruments.
    I personally enjoy the organ when its played well, just as I enjoy guitar or ensemble when played well. Which instrument prevails is based entirely on how best to help people respond in thanks and praise to the pashcal mystery. There are some songs I love and would never play on guitar (Lift High The Cross), but there are many that the organ is too much for.
    The bottom line is that it does come down to skill and cultural relevance, and this is made clear in Church teaching, both worldwide and by the various bishops’ conferences.
    However, I had to laugh when I read “Sing to the Lord” the American Bishops’ document… it encouraged the use of the organ for “evangelization.” This is where the rubber meets the road. The aformentioned naval gazing prudes would be hard-pressed to drag their pipe organs out onto street corners among the poor and Godless who need to hear the Gospel.
    Christ himself tells us that the surest path to hell is to imitate the pharisees. Catholics are in greatest danger of this because we have such a well developed structure in our religion, theology, and liturgy. After nearly 35 years of being a Catholic liturgical musician (guitar) and with a Masters in Theology/Liturgy, I find pharisaism to be strongest in liturgical circles. It is the perfect place to be self-centered and in control but devoid of faith.

  • Tony,

    Thank you for your charitable and insightful comments.

    //sarcasm off.

  • Anytime! Thanks for your substantial, insightful reply!!// sarcasm off.

Its Official, CDF to Investigate Medjugorje

Friday, March 5, AD 2010

Pope Benedict has appointed Cardinal Ruini to head a commission of inquiry under the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to investigate the alleged apparitions in Medjugorje.

This has been a long time coming and should be comprehensive and decisive.

It has been said that the late Pope John Paul II wanted to believe in the Marian apparitions while Pope Benedict has withheld judgment with reservation. We know Pope Benedict has visited Medjugorje incognito in the past.

Medjugorje has been controversial from the very beginning and it will be interesting to see what the CDF has to say.


Thank you Rome Reports for the video.

Continue reading...

69 Responses to Its Official, CDF to Investigate Medjugorje

  • I predict a Medj-revolt and schism in the near future…

  • Henry,

    From what I understand, Medjugorje has had a long history of disobedience to the local ordinary. Sadly one of my favorite orders, the Franciscans, have been in constant tension with the diocese since the area was no longer a missionary territory centuries before.

    I hope it doesn’t come to schism, assuming that if the CDF declares the apparitions as non-supernatural.

  • Yes, of course I pray it doesn’t go to schism either. But since I don’t believe Medjugorje, and believe earlier work against it is sufficient, I don’t think we will see anything new beyond further explanation for why it is false. And as you said, disobedience is big here — evidence of the bad fruit, and what will lead to further disobedience. Sadly.

    And I agree with another thing you said — Franciscans are a favorite of mine.

  • earlier work against it is sufficient

    The seers themselves, in the earliest days of the alleged Marian apparitions, have been their own worse enemy.

  • Official? This ‘news’ is just a rehash of the story that has been circulating for months. Yes, there is a commission already underway, but not to decide on the validity of the apparitions, only to rubber-stamp International shrine status for Medjugorje later this year. So don’t be fooled into thinking the Holy See is ready to decide one way or another on the claimed apparitions. It’s immediate focus is to protect and ring-fence the tree that is producing good fruit. Rome is in no hurry to reject or accept the claims of apparitions.

  • Pilgrim,

    There has been speculation but nothing official until now.

    Besides, how can the CDF rubber-stamp something that hasn’t had an official inquiry until now?

    God can make a straight line out of a crooked line.

    IMHO, in the beginning Medjugorje has had too many inconsistencies regarding the seers.

    It’ll be interesting to see what comes of this inquiry.

  • CDF is looking into it because of theological questions — what do you think the CDF does, Pilgrim? Others would deal with shrine status — but as Tito said, it can only get such a status if their is affirmation of the vision. There is not.

  • Tito

    To me, it is not just the inconsistency, but the spirit of rebellion which is telling. As St John of the Cross points out — if someone is unwilling to be silent and go through a proper investigation, you can dismiss it.

  • Henry,

    I agree.

    I’ve read some of Saint Theresa of Avila and have been meaning to get to Saint John of the Cross. Is there a book that you could recommend that is “easy” to read.

    I struggle to get through some of Saint Theresa’s writing, so I’m weary of reading something too heavy on theology while missing out on the mysticism of Saint John of the Cross.

    As far as obedience, I struggle with that and can understand when an individual struggles with that as well, but when it’s more than one individual I am of mind that something is being hidden that one doesn’t want to get out.

  • Tito,

    I recommend getting his collected writings. Start maybe with his letters in the back (where he discusses direction and spiritual discernment), then start with his Sayings of Light and Love.

    As for books on him — I think a good one is actually one which will surprise people: Christianity Looks East: Comparing The Spiritualities Of John Of The Cross And Buddhaghosa. Even though it is inter-religious in scope, I thought it did a good job giving a summary of the thought of St John of the Cross (and using it to contrast with a Buddhist thinker).

    A more difficult work is St Edith Stein’s Science of the Cross.

    Nonetheless, I think just reading from St John of the Cross directly is the best.

  • Henry said: “Others would deal with shrine status”

    Like who?

    Henry said: “ — but as Tito said, it can only get such a status if their is affirmation of the vision.”

    Not true. There are two issues here: Shrine status and the validity of the apparitions. Shrine status is not dependent on claims of apparitions. Check Canon Law. This commission will reach a conclusion on shrine status.

    Shrine status will not be an endorsement for the claims of apparitions.

  • “Shrine status is not dependent on claims of apparitions. Check Canon Law. ”

    That may be true, at least on paper, but can anyone name a single instance in which shrine status was granted to the site of an unapproved or disapproved apparition?

    I cannot for one minute imagine that shrine status would ever be granted to a site like Necedah, Bayside, Cold Spring, etc. even if it were legally possible to do so. The possibility that Medjugorje might be fraudulent — not simply “not proven supernatural” — seems to me to be strong enough to not take any chances when it comes to shrine status.

  • Elaine, it is not a case of taking chances but a matter of recognising and protecting the tree that produces fruit. That is why the Holy See is giving consideration to shrine status.

    In 2006 Rome commissioned the Bosnia Herzegovina bishops’ conference to give study and consideration to shrine status for Medjugorje. After two years it returned the commission back to the Holy See unable to come to any decision.

    So now Rome itself is undertaking the study and has had representatives in Medjugorje during the past year making reports on this matter.

    This commission will decide on shrine status appertaining to Medjugorje.

  • “It is not a case of taking chances but a matter of recognizing and protecting the tree that produces fruit.”

    Well, even unapproved apparitions have produced “good” fruit in the form of conversions, confessions, vocations, etc. God can bring good out of any situation. However, that doesn’t change the final status of the apparition or revelation.

    My original question remains: has there ever actually been an instance in which shrine status was granted to the site of an apparition that was NOT approved or found to be worthy of belief? I know it is legally possible, but what I want to know is whether it has actually happened.

    I believe there have been apparitions or other phenomena of uncertain authenticity (e.g. weeping or bleeding statues) at sites that were ALREADY shrines at the time the event occurred. But I have never heard of an instance in which shrine status was granted after the fact to a doubtful or inconclusive apparition site. If I’m wrong feel free to correct me.

  • Elaine, the Yugoslavia bishops’ conference stated in 1993:

    “We bishops, after a three-year-long commission study accept Medjugorje as a holy place, as a shrine. This means that we have nothing against it if someone venerates the Mother of God in a manner also in agreement with the teaching and belief of the Church…”

    This is shrine status at national level.

    However, with the breakup of Yugoslavia and its bishops’ conference there is a legitimate question as to the status of Medjugorje as a shrine. This is why in 2006 the Holy See commissioned the Bosnia Herzegovina bishops’ conference to give study and consider shrine status for Medjugorje at national level.

    The B&H bc failed to produce an outcome and handed back the commission to Rome. Now we have a new commission in Rome which will give consideration instead and this will be at International level. Had the B&H bc given or rejected shrine status then Rome would not be now giving consideration.

  • pilgrim,

    That is a blatant lie.

    They never stated in print or verbally anything such.

    There was “speculation”, but nothing else.

    Immediately thereafter the new bishop of the area covering Medjugorje declared them not supernatural.

  • Hi folks,

    I have been on the critical side, against authenticity of the phenomena of Medjugorje, but must point out that Rome Reports is an independent news source, that gets it’s news like the rest of us. The original source of the information is “Panorama”.

    Hence, Rome Reports is reporting what is in Italian media.

    It will be official when the Holy See, the BiH Bishop’s Conference, or Diocese of Mostar makes a formal announcement.

    Bishop Peric called to Rome
    On that note, you may be interested to learn that Croatian press is reporting that Bishop Peric has been called to Rome.

    Read more in my updated post on this issue.

    Ongoing Medjugorje commission discussion; Bishop Peric called to Rome

  • I should add, that Catholic Answers Live is going to be discussing Medjugorje on March 24th.

    See the calendar here (you’ll be able to listen to archived video for March 24, 2010 once it has aired).

    Here is a list of radio stations carrying it and you can listen live online.

  • Diane,

    Thanks for the information! 🙂

  • Tito said: “That is a blatant lie. They never stated in print or verbally anything such.”

    The declaration was made by Cardinal Franjo Kuharic and was published in Glas Koncila on August 15, 1993, the Catholic newspaper of Archdiocese of Zagreb.

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  • Pilgrim certainly cannot provide us a document or a letter with protocol number establishing Medjugorje as a shrine, and certainly cannot tell us the date on which the “shrine” was dedicated, and by whom.

  • Tominellay… Can you provide letters with protocol numbers for the shrines of Lourdes, Fatima and Knock?

  • Perhaps, if I looked, which I won’t. Those places aren’t part of this discussion.
    You claim Medjugorje was proclaimed a shrine by the Yugoslav Bishops’ Conference, quoting Cdl. Kuharic in 1993, Glas Koncila. By 1993, that bishops’ conference was out of business. Kuharic of Croatia cannot create a shrine in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

  • Tominellay… the last bishops’ conference of Yugoslavia was held in 1993, the same year the declaration was made. The bishops’ conference of Bosnia & Herzegovinia was not established until 1995, two years after Cardinal Kuharic made his statement

  • Pilgrim,

    You have failed to provide any evidence of what you claim.

    I went to the pro-Medjugorje websites and they site exactly the opposite. It is mere speculation.

    Stop with your misleading information.

  • Tito, relax… wait and see.

  • Pilgrim,

    You claimed there is a statement and now you don’t.

    The smoke of Satan in all its decrepitude.

  • Slovenia and Croatia seceded from Yugoslavia in 1991, and Bosnia-Herzegovina seceded from Yugoslavia in 1992.

  • Tominellay… The Croatia bishops’ conference was formed in 1993 and the Bosnia & Herzegovina bishops’ conference was formed in 1995. Annexing as a nation is not the same as annexing as a bishops’ conference.

    Speaking about annexing, you may be interested in the following item which has surfaced this week in light of the Mostar bishop’s visit to Rome on Sunday.

    Reported by Croatia media sources is the news that the Vatican has already arrived at a solution that recognises the importance of Medjugorje to the Church and that the tree bearing good fruit in abundance is to be protected.

    Currently the bishop of the Mostar-Duvno diocese is in Rome and on the table for discussion is the annexing of his diocese which will see the parish of Medjugorje come under a new bishop. Apparently a decision was reached some time ago and an announcement is expected before the 30th anniversary of the apparitions on June 25.

    Next step shrine status?

  • Pilgrim,

    Again, no links no evidence.

  • Tito… be patient. If there is an “official” announcement before June 25, you will not have to wait too long, just a couple of months.

  • Pilgrim,

    You make many claims yet fail to provide evidence for it. You make bold statements yet fail to provide references or links. You know lying is a sin.

  • Pilgrim,

    You provide this quote:

    Reported by Croatia media sources is the news that the Vatican has already arrived at a solution that recognises the importance of Medjugorje to the Church and that the tree bearing good fruit in abundance is to be protected.

    Where is the link or the reference to a newspaper?

    You are lying through your teeth again.

  • Tito… Two accusations of lying and one of misleading… Perhaps it’s time you read the blog comments policy.

  • Pilgrim,

    I’m stating facts.

  • I beg to differ, Tito. You are not stating facts when you accuse me of lying through my teeth. Please read the comment policy on this blog and adhere to it.

  • Tito… I sincerely hope you give time to reading this. Thank you.

    We would like American Catholic be a place where Catholics from various perspectives (and anyone of good will) may constructively discuss the issues that unite and divide us. The subjects we cover produce strong feelings, and we want to make sure all disagreement is handled charitably. Please always assume the good intentions of the other person, especially when you disagree, and avoid personal attacks. All ISPs are recorded and disruptive commentators will be regretfully blocked.

    Comment Code of Conduct

    I will express myself with civility, courtesy, and respect for everyone, especially toward those with whom I disagree—even if I feel disrespected by them. (Romans 12:17-21)

    I will express my disagreements with others’ ideas without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)

    I will not exaggerate others’ beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)

  • Pilgrim,

    You are making wild claims that bishops have proclaimed Medjugorje a “shrine”, yet you fail to provide any reference or link.

    This is getting silly with your obstinate behavior.

  • Tito… The reference I made was to Cardinal Kuharic and I did provide a source for his quote.

  • Cardinal Kuharic seems to have recognized immediately his poor choice in the word “shrine”, for he adds, “That means we have nothing against it if…”

    Mr. Gallagher/bluecross/pilgrim, your kind of storytelling works on the Medjugorje fan web sites you frequent, but people who aren’t already “hooked” look more critically at evidence.

  • Tominellay, taking six words out of context from the statement and attempting to imply a different meaning is not, in my opinion, critically looking at evidence, as you put it; Here is the full paragraph:

    We bishops, after a three-year-long commission study accept Medjugorje as a holy place, as a shrine. This means that we have nothing against it if someone venerates the Mother of God in a manner also in agreement with the teaching and belief of the Church.”

    And the statement made by the cardinal is supported and expressed in this Canon 1234 §1:

    At shrines the means of salvation are to be supplied more abundantly to the faithful by the diligent proclamation of the word of God, the suitable promotion of liturgical life especially through the celebration of the Eucharist and of penance, and the cultivation of approved forms of popular piety.”

    Tominellay, as to your reference to storytelling please allow me to draw your attention also to this blog’s Code of Conduct, especially the paragraph that says: I will express my disagreements with others’ ideas without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)

    I accept and respect your choice to hold a different view on Medjugorje to myself, but I don’t have to accept the personal remarks. Hope you can understand and accept my objection with charity.

  • Pilgrim,

    I have not found any statement thereof.

    What I have found are on pro-Medjugorje websites paraphrasing what you are “claiming” as speculation and not fact.

  • Tito said: “I have not found any statement thereof.”

    What statement are you referring to, Tito? Is it the statement made by Cardinal Kuharic? If so, then I have already given the original source for this – Glas Koncila in Zagreb,

  • Pilgrim,

    I have not found any such statement online.

    Anywhere. Not on Google search nor Bing search.

    Therefore you made it up.

  • Tito… in an earlier post you say you had found references. Now you say you haven’t.

    Yet you state that the references you had found are paraphrasing. How can you say this when you say you have not found “any such statement”?

    Or… to say that the statements are paraphrased when you have found nothing to compare them with to illustrate that the statements are paraphrased?

    I have given you the statement and the source. Try making contact with Glas Koncila, the Catholic newspaper.

    Try and accept also that the internet is not the sole source for reference and that just because you can’t find what you are looking for doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.

    And slow down on the false accusations. I did not “make it up” as you state.

    Finally, allow me to remind you once again about this blog’s code of conduct for posters, especially this point: “I will always extend the benefit of the doubt.”

  • Pilgrim,

    Reread what I said and come back to me.

  • Tito said, “Reread what I said and come back to me.”


  • Pilgrim,

    The conversation ends here.

    You are no longer allowed to post anything else unless it is supported by evidence.

    You have made this thread a mockery of this website.

  • Everyone,

    This thread is not closed.

    Only the conversation between Pilgrim and I.

  • Tito… does that mean I can converse with others?

  • Pilgrim,

    Yes, absolutely.

    I also want to that you are right about civility. I will treat you with Christian brotherly love the next time we engage in debate.

  • I think all the statements we quote should be taken in context, which is why I have pointed out that Cardinal Kuharic qualifies his use of the word “shrine”.
    The original Glas Koncila article, which I have seen, but which I can no longer locate, is only a sentence or two longer than the direct quotation. We aren’t informed what question was asked, or what other questions were asked; it is not stated that these were prepared remarks, or part of an announcement. If this were a prepared statement, there would likely be no qualifier. If the statement was an off-the-cuff answer to a question in an impromptu interview, it would seem not to be a statement on behalf of a conference of bishops. So, then, what is the context of this quote?

    Consider the phrase “after a three-year-long commission study”. When was that? I suspect he meant the 1987-1990 commission that resulted in the Zadar Declaration. That declaration did NOT include the word “shrine”. It follows, then, that Kuharic would correct himself for using the word “shrine” in this 1993 comment. If there was another commission between 1990 and 1993 that determined Medjugorje was a shrine, that fact has been completely secret. No, I think it’s reasonable to presume Kuharic meant the 1987-1990 commission, and there is no evidence that a national shrine was created or dedicated.

    It is also true that NO ONE ELSE has claimed that the Zadar Declaration gave Medjugorje the status of a shrine, and no one besides Kuharic in this statement of 1993 has made reference to Medjugorje being made a shrine or a national shrine as a result of the 1987-2000 commission (or any succeeding commission) study.
    Cardinal Kuharic simply misspoke, and corrected himself with the qualifying phrase “This means that we have nothing against it if…”

    There are the 1996 letters from the CDF’s Bertone to Bishops Taverdet and Aubry that concern the status of Medjugorje, with no mention of any “shrine” or “national shrine” status.

    There is a communique from Vatican spokesman Navarro-Valls from the same year, that concerns Medjugorje, with no mention of its status as a shrine.

    I think that Cardinal Kuharic erred in his choice of words that day in 1993.

    Here are some inconsistencies in pilgrim’s comments on this thread:

    a. (Mar 05 at 4:44) that there is a commission underway…only to rubber-stamp International shrine status for Medjugorje later this year. If this is an opinion, present it as opinion; if it’s a fact, substantiate.

    b. (Mar 06 at 3:55) that Rome commissioned the B-H bishops’ conference to give study and consideration to shrine status for Medjugorje. If this opinion or fact? And if Kuharic already had made M a shrine, what is there to consider?

    c.1. (Mar 06 at 5:53) that Cardinal Kuharic’s answer to a reporter’s question as quoted in Glas Koncila was in fact an act of a episcopal conference conferring “national shrine” status on Medjugorje. (No one else thinks so.) c.2. that the breakup of Yugoslavia now makes this “shrine’s” status questionable. So, Medjugorje is or is not a shrine? Opinion or verifiable fact?

    d. (Mar 09 at 12:39) “Reported by Croatian mediaources…” No link, no named source, no deal. If it’s not verifiable, it’s just a story.

  • Thank you, Tito. I appreciate your understanding.

  • Tominellay… The headline to this thread reads: “It’s official. CDF to investigate Medjugorje”

    Now we both know that no “official” announcement has been made, yet when comments are made on this story, no-one except myself has stated that this story is not an official announcement.

    But when I present an announcement re shrine status, I am accused of telling lies and stories and not having any evidence to support my posts.

    Perhaps you may wish to consider why you apply a different standard of criticism to my posts and not the original post to this thread?

    With regard to the claim of the original post, I could ask the same question you put to me, or perhaps you could ask it yourself: “If it’s a fact substantiate it.” Of course, you can’t do this until the Holy See actually does “officially” make an announcement.

    When you can do this, then perhaps I shall give consideration to your request to provide what you call “verifiable fact”.

  • pilgrim said: “…no-one except myself has stated that this story is not an official announcement.”

    I should have added… “with the exception of Diane.” Apologies for the oversight.

  • …correcting my comment above at Mar 11, 2:35 –

    par. 3: “1987-2000” s/b “1987-1990”
    paragraph 4: the year of Bertone-to-Taverdet letter was 1996; Bertone-to-Aubry letter was 1998

  • I just noticed that “pilgrim” made the same announcement in Feb. 2009. “Pilgrim said…

    Word is that it won’t be too long before Medjugorje is given International Shrine status by the Holy See.
    1:48 PM, February 27, 2009” !!!

  • The sad thing is that there are many people like Pilgrim who believe all of this. There needs to be some more pastoral outreach on the nature of apparitions, to help people realize their limitations and why we should not put our trust in those which have not been approved. Moreover, pastoral work needs to be done to help remind people the authority of the bishop over their diocese, especially in matters like apparitions.

  • Dear Henry, let me assure you that there is no sadness in my heart because of my belief in the so-called Medjugorje phenomenon – only joy. And you cannot deny me this because it is my own experience and not yours.

    For sure, you are entitled to your opinion and belief, but your sadness on my behalf is misplaced. You have no need to be sad because of my renewed faith. Why even the angels in heaven rejoice because of my ‘conversion’. Returning to God is not a sad thing but a reason to celebrate and praise God.

    As for ‘limitations’, who of us can determine the mystery of the God’s mercy?

  • In the last line of my previous post I should have written:

    “As for ‘limitations’, who of us can determine the mystery of the Father’s mercy?”

    My sorrow is for the sibling of the prodigal son who begrudged the mercy and generosity shown by his Father to his ‘lost’ brother – as witnessed in today’s Sunday gospel reading. But I can certainly relate to the youngest brother’s joy and cause for the Father to celebrate.

  • Pilgrim

    That you misrepresent the situation with the apparition itself indicates quite a bit of the spiritual rot within this apparition. That you are unable to tell the truth about it, and promote it far beyond what is allowed shows the rot of prelest. Get thee to a priest.

  • As I said, Henry, you are entitled to view and opinion, but it still doesn’t take away my joy and faith, renewed through the Medjugorje phenomenon and the grace I received there to change my life.

    In the words of Peter and James, I will continue to speak of all that I have seen and heard, despite any opposition to my witness. And as Paul said in today’s second reading: “We are all called to be ambassadors for Christ.”

    Not sure what you mean when you write, “Get thee to a priest”, or by your charge of “misrepresenting the situation with the apparition itself”.

  • Thank you Henry, I saw these news stories earlier today.

  • Well, it is just something we both agree on, so I thought it important to share in the solidarity we can have here!

Traditionalism vs. Classical Liberalism on Liberties

Friday, March 5, AD 2010

One of the continuing trends of agrument, in the insular intellectual cage match which is the political Catholic blogsphere, is whether classical liberalism (of the sort seen in the Scottish Enlightenment and among the founders of the US) is an individualist ideology which is unacceptable from a Catholic point of view.

Something which it strikes me as reasonable to consider in this regard is that classical liberalism, with it’s definition of individual rights, was in many ways a reaction to new trends in Monarchy. The 1600s and 1700s had seen the restraints which tradition, the Church and simple lack of communication and resources had traditionally placed monarchies fade away. Through much of Europe, monarchies became more centralized and absolute, less traditional. In Britain, this (combined with economic and religious tensions) let to the English Civil War, and by the early 1700s English monarchy had been successfully limited and existed essentially at the sufference of Parliament and the liberties of the unwritten English constitution. On the continent, however, the drive towards absolutism continued.

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6 Responses to Traditionalism vs. Classical Liberalism on Liberties

  • Good post Darwin, and you are right.

    The rights of Englishmen that were asserted by the American colonists dated back to the Magna Carta, if not further, before even the Norman Conquest. And Jefferson did not “copy” John Locke in writing the Declaration, as so many seem to think. He may well have been influenced by Catholic political thought!

  • Diane Moczar’s summary of the medieval political order:

    “Authority from above, democracy from below”.

    You had the communal governance of open-field villages, chartered boroughs, merchant republics, provincial estates & estates-general and a considerable body of customary law. Within the Church, you had the general chapters of religious orders. Conciliar, deliberative, and elective institutions were not a modern innovation, and the Church co-existed with them for centuries.

  • It is interesting to note how much the civic republicanism of the Romans impacted the American founding. We don’t discuss this much by comparison to the French enlightenment and the British thinkers.

    Razib Khan recently had an enlightening post related to this in the context of the American founding:

    I’ve always thought American colonists could be generalized by three strands: Enlightenment thought, moralistic therapeutic diesm (the South used to be paganistic by comparison to the Protestant orthodox North!), and Roman civic republicanism.

  • That is a pretty interesting take on it, Darwin.

  • Johnathan,

    Have you been reading and stealing my ideas!?


    I’ve been saying pretty much the exact same thing, only I’ve put it down as liberalism, classical republicanism, and Christianity – so as not to weigh down the terms too much. But essentially we agree.

  • I agree that “classical liberalism, with it’s definition of individual rights, was in many ways a reaction to new trends in Monarchy.”

    But I don’t think that’s so much the issue. Rather, it’s that the overarching conceptual framework of the natural law was lost in liberalism’s project. Even in the case of those scholars who take issue with classical liberalism’s philosophy of rights tout courte (e.g. Rowland), the broader issue remains the either absent or denuded concept of natural law.

What Will ObamaCare Look Like

Friday, March 5, AD 2010

[4 updates at the bottom of this post as of 8:08am CST]

If ObamaCare somehow passes through Congress and signed by President Obama, what can Americans look forward to?

Well the Republican Party’s very own potential presidential candidate Mitt Romney did just that as governor of Massachusetts, passing universal health coverage for the entire state.

The results are mixed at best, and scary at worst.

Here are some highlights from the op-ed titled Romneycare model a dud in the Boston Herald by Michael Graham where Massachusetts is “already glowing in the radioactive haze of Romneycare, aka “ObamaCare: The Beta Version.” [emphases mine]:

Shouldn’t Obama have been bragging yesterday about bringing the benefits of Bay State reform to all of America?

As we prepare to wander into this coming nuclear winter of hyper-partisan politics – one in which we’re almost certain to see widespread political fatalities among congressional Democrats – I have to ask: If bringing Massachusetts-style “universal coverage” to America is worth this terrible price, why doesn’t Obama at least mention us once in awhile?

Maybe he thinks of us as the Manhattan Project of medical insurance reform. Too top secret to discuss. More likely, it has something to do with the nightmare results of this government-run debacle. Here are a few “highlights” of the current status of the Obamacare experiment in Massachusetts:

It’s exploding the budget: Our “universal” health insurance scheme is already $47 million over budget [imagine it in trillions for American tax-payers] for 2010. Romneycare will cost taxpayers more than $900 million next year alone.

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11 Responses to What Will ObamaCare Look Like

  • Clearly, the program only failed because it wasn’t properly funded. The rich need to pay their share to ensure everybody has access to health care. Your opposition to health care reform is really a manifestation of your deep-seeded hatred of the poor and fear of those who are not like you. It is shameful for you to use abortion as a smokescreen for your racism.

    //There. Just saved a few folks some time this morning.

  • Steve,

    That is a failure of imagination.

    All problems cannot be solved by throwing more money at it.

    Massachusetts is a model of what will happen to America.

  • Steve, you do deadpan humor better than I do it! You parodied the arguments of the Left to perfection. Well done!

  • Steve,

    I’m enjoying my sucker-pie right now.

    Good one!


  • Yes, but Steve forgot to mention fascism. A fatal flaw in any real argument

  • I don;t know enough about Mass to comment.

    However, if public options are doomed to fail, how come they seem to do OK in Canada and Europe and have done for decades?

  • RuariJM,

    Canada and Europe have been subsidized by American military power for the past fifty years. If those ungrateful countries had to spend money on their own military, they wouldn’t have enough money for universal health care. The only our country could afford to ensure health care for all is to do what those countries do – gut our military spending and shut down the one trillion dollar budget.

    Yeah, right! Who else is going to stop Western Civilization from succumbing to the jihadists, if not the American military?

    // I jest. 🙂

  • “universal” health insurance scheme is already $47 million over budget

    Thanks to greater-than-expected enrollment. It’s a good thing.

    Romneycare will cost taxpayers more than $900 million next year alone.

    So what’s an acceptable price tag? The VA budget is $57 billion. Is that too much?

    Besides, most of the $900 million was already being spent to reimburse hospitals for treating the uninsured. The shortfall is $100 million.

    The choice is between insuring the uninsured, reimbursing hospitals for treating the uninsured, making hospitals suffer the losses from treating the uninsured, or allowing hospitals to turn away the uninsured. Pick one.

    Average Massachusetts premiums are the highest in the nation and rising. We also spend 27 percent more on health care services, per capita, than the national average.

    It was probably already the highest before the reform. I do know for a fact that since the reform, the rate of increase has declined both compared to the past and compared to other states. This is consistent with the CBO report which predicts lower costs offset by higher premiums for more comprehensive plans (a net increase in premiums but a decrease in cost). The Massachusetts plan apparently lowered costs more than it increased the price of premiums.

    In Massachusetts, ObamaCare 1.0 is such a mess our governor is talking about imposing draconian price controls.

    The federal government will deal with a larger deficit the way it always does, borrowing. If the federal government was going to impose price controls, it would’ve done so already to save money on Medicare/Medicaid which dwarfs ObamaCare.

    uninsured Bay State residents has gone from around 6 percent to around 3 percent.

    That’s hundreds of thousands of people. That’s great news! A federal program will help millions!

    In conclusion, the Massachusetts plan doesn’t defy logic and works largely as it’s expected to work. Nobody expected it to be free.

    If you oppose ObamaCare, offer an alternative. The way I see it if you take out the public option and include the Stupak Amendment, you have an acceptable plan. Sure, HSA’s would be preferable but if that’s not an option, insurance is still better than nothing.

  • In all seriousness, the rich have no greater right to health care than the poor. The rich are rich not for their own sake, but for the sake of the poor. To those whom much is given, much will be expected.

    Now, having said that, I do not approve of national taxes and national health care schemes. State taxes and state health care schemes . . . I’d have to think about.

  • RuariJM,

    That would explain why the premiere of Newfoundland decided to have surgery in the US and not Canada.

    As well as many more Canadians crossing our border for superior and sorely needed doctors visits.

    Remember, dead patients don’t complain while waiting in line for a transplant.

    That’s why you don’t hear much of them complaining, but there are complaints and it is ugly.

  • I hope Republicans will run attractive candidates for every open House and Senate seat who promise to repeal it. If this Obama/Piglosi/Reid abomination can be crammed down our throats via the nuclear option, why can’t it be repealed via nuclear option once all the Marxist-Alinskyite dirt bags have been voted out of Congress this November? By the grace of God there will be enough of a conservative flip to override ObaMao’s veto.

Anglican Church in America Asks Entry Into Catholic Church

Wednesday, March 3, AD 2010

Breaking news as the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church in America has formally requested to enter the Catholic Church. All 99 parishes and cathedrals!

Here is the complete text [emphases mine]:

Orlando, FL – 1 pm EST – Bp. George Langberg

Released by the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church in America, Traditional Anglican Communion 3 March 2010

We, the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church in America of the Traditional Anglican Communion have met in Orlando, Florida, together with our Primate and the Reverend Christopher Phillips of the “Anglican Use” Parish of Our Lady of the Atonement (San Antonio, Texas) and others.

At this meeting, the decision was made formally to request the implementation of the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus in the United States of America by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Reverend Mark Siegel, the Dean of the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Orlando, Florida, expressed his desire and excitement in this historic move by a large Anglican body in more or less the following words.

‘I can’t say anything more than what the ACA announcement says, but we are all excited with this first step.’

Deo gratias!


Biretta tip: Notes on the Culture Wars.

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403 Responses to Anglican Church in America Asks Entry Into Catholic Church

  • really? no, I mean really?

  • Yes.

    Got off the phone with the Dean of the Cathedral of the Incarnation, Diocese of the East Coast ACA, and he said its true.

    But I can’t get any details until their bishop returns.

    It’s on their website, I confirmed it, it’s true!

  • Friends we are at the beginning of something big. The Anglican Church in America has about 100 parishes and 5200 members. Here is a link to their dioceses.
    Click on the dioceses and there are lists of the churches in each diocese.

    With this step being taken watch for lots of other Anglican and Episcopalian groups to plunge into the Tiber. Pope Benedict is a genius!

  • Wow! Praise God!

  • This is huge indeed.

    Of course, patience is needed.

    We need a personal ordinariate to be established first, secondly and Ordinary to head the Ordinariate.

    This my be jumping ahead, but what will this personal ordinariate be called?

    I propose the American Ordinariate of the Catholic Church!

  • Though it is Wikipedia, people should look carefully at what the ACA is about:

    It is really a recent creation, and it has been looking for communion — under its own expectations — with Rome since at least 2007. In other words, this is not a new story – and more importantly, they might not really be ready. Then again they might — but if so, will require lots of humility.

  • The ACA asking for entry is a new story.

    You may be referencing their “desire” to join.

  • What spendid news! On a recent visit in London, I met Canon Stuart Wilson, who when he converted from the Church of England brought his whole congregation with him.
    Armiger Jagoe,editor of The Joyful Catholic

  • Let us pray for the continued conversion of the entire Christian Community, although in a spirit of humility. A spirit of gloating would be a very great sin in deed.

  • Martin Luther would be soooooo Happy!

  • Wonderful, what a good thing!!!

  • About a year ago, my chapter of Lay Dominicans was asked to pray a 40 day novena (oxymoron?) for something, but we couldn’t be told what it was. It turned out that this whole thing was what we had been praying for.

    As someone who entered into full communion in 1994 and left the Episcopal priesthood to do so, I am made very happy by the Constitution and by this news.

  • Does this mean current Latin-rite Catholics will be able to meet the weekly Mass obligation by going to one of these churches?

  • Holy freekin’ CRUD you’re joshin’ me!


  • “Then again they might — but if so, will require lots of humility.”
    Whom makest thou thyself? You don’t sound all that humble.

  • anonymous – yes, once they are regularized. Right now, no.

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  • YEAH! Welcome home!
    I’m seeing a father running to meet his prodigal son…

  • Hunni,

    A spirit of gloating would be a very great sin in deed.

    Yes it would be and we should be cautious in our exuberance, but it shouldn’t take anything away from the joy many of us feel on both sides the Tiber!

  • Our local Anglican Church has been slowly coming in to full communion with the Catholic Church for about 2 years now. I am thrilled to see their church as a whole come over, I hope other denominations follow there lead.

  • Praise God, I think this is great and let us all pray that other denominations will see that this is what we Chritstians need to do in this time of great Religious fanatical devide in the world, is to join togehter and unify as one church praising one God.

  • this has happened because the key to the kingdom of heaven is given to catholic church. gates of hell never prevails against catholic church. whatever st.perter and his successor do will be admitted in heaven. Catholic church build by jesus not by man.


  • Let us praise the Lord! Welcome back brothers and sisters to the Holy Catholic Church.

    Natalio A. Yaria
    Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • So all of the Anglicans in America will be Catholic if this is agreed upon? Awesome.

  • Also, this is only American Anglicans right? not, British?

  • This is wonderful, the answer to many prayers. From one who could not wait and has already joined, I say welcome home.


  • This isn’t the entire Anglican church in America, just the bit of it that disagrees, as we do, with the ‘ordination’ of actively homosexual bishops. It is becoming more and more clear to those in the Anglican church who claim a common heritage with Rome (as some have done, not understanding that to reject Peter is to reject that heritage)that they need the authority that was only given to Peter and his successors: the mainstream (middle of the road) Anglican church is letting in practices that are not compatible with the Tradition St Paul urged us to be true to: “that which I received and in turn passed on to you”.

  • Claudio, the only way you could know what Jesus said, is from Catholic Tradition. In other words no Tradition no Christianity. We are really happy to have our brothers and sisters come home, you are also welcomed.

  • Any church in the US which is “Anglican Use” is a Roman Catholic parish (right now, just a few). Going to mass there is the same as going to a mass at any other Roman Catholic parish, or a liturgy in union with Rome.

    To enter the Church, the people in these parishes will have to do what everyone else does: study what the Church teaches (the Catechism), assent to it, and practice their faith.

    Praise God, who does not leave us orphans but always provides a way for us to know and follow the Truth. And, welcome, brothers and sisters in Christ! Many graces await you!!


  • What would be wrong with a total second christian reformation? If all claim to of one faith why not prove it!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Arturo,

    You’re a friendly reminder that in-your-face anti-Catholicism is still alive and well in the blogosphere.

    You probably should visit a dissident Catholic blog where you would feel most welcome.

  • Heh, Tito- I only barely scanned the caplock king there, initially thought he was (like my Elf) waiting for the Queen to convert. Makes more sense than what the closer reading put out….

  • “What man is amid the brute creation, such is the Church among the schools of the world.” Ven. John Cardinal Newman

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  • as a convert of two years, who was raised Episcopalian. i am not surprised at all.

    My childhood church has changed out of all recognition… and many of the Anglicans feel the same.

  • Benedictus!

  • Looks like one of Don’s Predictions for 2010 is already shaping up:

    “Pope Benedict’s Anglican Initiative will prove amazingly successful with ever increasing numbers of Anglicans and Episcopalians swimming the Tiber to participate.”

  • It was an easy enough prediction Elaine considering the pent up frustration of so many Anglicans and Episcopalians as to what has happened to their church. I think it has made them ready to join a church which does not take its marching orders from the zeitgeist of the moment.

  • Indeed! Martin Luther would be very happy.. And sad at the same time that it isn’t the church bearing his name isn’t the first to seek such Organic Unity!

  • Welcome…..The sheep are coming home…may God bless them….

  • Malcome said the the only way to know what Jesus said it thru catholic tradition. So, whats wrong with opening the bible? Oh, i forgot. The catholic church doesnt like for people to read the bible.

  • Wayne…stop drinking the kool aid… The catholic Church wrote The Bible. Wise up and read the early Chruch documents…

  • Wait, we’re not supposed to read the Bible?

    Dang, that WOULD make Mass short!

  • Foxfier you hit the nail on the head. Wonder how many have no clue what you are referencing.

  • I have a question, not a comment! What is your permissions policy regarding re-printing your material? I am especially interested in the ff: Anglican Church in America Asks Entry Into Catholic Church. I would like to re-print the article as it is in a Blog post. We will fully abide w/ your requirements for full attribution whatever they are! We are a prayer website w/ members from the twinned Catholic parishes of St. James the Less (La Crescenta) & Holy Redeemer (Montrose) in Southern California. Pls say Yes! We are hoping (& praying even harder)!

  • Connie,

    Just as long as you attribute it to us with a link, we’re ok with it be re-printed!

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,


  • Robert Sledzs, re-evaluate your statement that the catholic church wrote the bible. The early fathers were led by God to make copies. Bless them.The gospels were written by hebrews. Not by any catholic church which wasnt around at that time.

  • “The gospels were written by hebrews. Not by any catholic church which wasnt around at that time.”

    Saint Luke would have been stunned to realize that he is a Hebrew! The Catholic Church wayne was founded by Christ. The term Catholic Church was first used in 110AD by Saint Ignatius of Antioch, who was a disciple of Saint John. He used the term to emphasize the universal nature of the Church. (Universal is what the term catholic means.) He was the third Bishop of Antioch and received his consecration from the hands of the Apostles themselves. Learn a little history before you seek to be a troll on a Catholic website.

  • Hi Donald, actally, im not a troll. What i say can be verified either by scripture or history books.I put things in persective and it rubs people the wrong way. Especially if it means that what they believe is false. When i was first saved(born again) i still believed in evolution. I didnt fall to pieces when i found out i was wrong. I was delighted that a false idea was lifted off me. The new testament was written by people who lived thru it. Catholic folks like to believe that the catholic church wrote the bible. Not all,some aware catholic know that the church just compiles the works into one book.That was great. From then on the vatican spiraled down a dark path. Say, does anyone here know how the vatican aquired all its vast land holdings and its wealth? You all seem to be experts on all things catholic.

  • Of course you are a troll wayne, and an ignorant one. I gave you facts that you are unable to respond to so you merely restate that Catholics did not write the Bible.

  • Wayne,

    You’re reading a Bible written by Catholics.

    You think a stork dropped the King James Bible out of thin air?

  • Wayne seems to follow with the Donation of Constantine legend… lol.

  • Tito I have to agree with wayne in this sense. Catholics did not write the old testament. However all of the new testament was written by catholics and the the assembly of the works which makes up the bible was done by the catholic church and then luther chose to revamp the version which has become know as the king james version

  • Terry,

    I know.

    When I say Catholics wrote the Bible, I meant the New Testament. In addition they also put together the Bible.

    Typing too fast for my own good.

  • Catholics wrote the bible? Was Paul and Luke and John catholic? No. There wasnt even a catholic church. Really, im not so concerned about that. Its peoples salvation im worried about. But i do wonder where anyone cmae up with catholics writing the bible. We know who the authors were. But if you feel better thinking they belonged to catholic church, no harm is done. The harm is when you dont read it and or believe it. Donald says im ignorant. Besides claiming catholics didnt write the bible, what else did i ever say that is false or unverifiable?

  • Terry, what changes did Luther make to the bible?

  • Once again wayne you are making a statement without any facts to back it up. I have given you evidence that the term Catholic Church was first used by a disciple of Saint John and that he was consecrated as the third bishop of Antioch by the Apostles. In response you merely restate your conclusion that the Apostles were not Catholic. If you are going to take part in a combox discussion on this blog you need to cite facts to support a conclusion.

    In regard to Luther he rejected these books of the Old Testament that were part of the Christian Bible up to his time: Tobias, Baruch, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiastes, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, 7 Chapters of the Book of Esther and 66 verses of the third chapter of Daniel.

  • For those who may not be aware- the Anglican movement to Rome is not limited to just the United States.

    “Anglicans to be brought back to “full visible unity” with the Catholic Church”- ( [Tuesday Oct. 20, 2009]

    “First group of ‘Traditionalist” Anglicans in Britain votes to enter Catholic Church”- ( [Friday Nov. 6, 2009]

    “Australia’s Traditional Anglicans vote to convert to Catholicism” (Telegraph.Co.UK.) [Feb.16,2010]

    Also, comments by Wayne and those of his ilk are learned, and unfortunately are part of a Sunday service. Many are students of Loraine Boettner’s work-[anti-Catholic books,tracts,etc.]

    Catholic’s are not accustomed to attack- it
    may be a good time to read, “Catholicism & Fundamentalism”, Karl Keating, Ignatius Press. It has been in print since, I believe, 1988.

  • Donald, the disciples were humble and did not esteem any man more holy than the next. This is how Jesus taught them. The catholic church with its pecking order of holymen has nothing in common with the work of the dieciples. Further, im not concerned who termed the word cathloic. Does that mean that church is Gods church because of the name? Thats funny. I dont see where jesus or Peter for that matter ever refering to a name for followers of Jesus.Hey Don, theres a rival down the street from your catholic church, its call The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I had one of thier members tell me that thier church was Gods becouse of thier name. So what do we do now? Wait a min,the Jehovas Withness are Gods church, look at thier name.Donald, all joking aside. People who recieve Christ and are born again dont belong to a religion, neither would we join one once saved. Its just me and the Lord. We dont need no stinkin religion. Did i come close to answering your question? Can you answer my question? How did the vatican aquire all its land and wealth during the middle ages?

  • wayne, I’ll take your latest stream of consciousness comment as an admission that you know bupkis about the history of the Church or history in general.

  • Brother terrance, any facts i give out are just that, cold fact of history, easily verifiable. But you cant get an unbiasrd history from catholic history books. Listen to this true story Terrance; a while back, yrs ago, i took my girlfriends boy to the local library for some school project or another. While standing next to a bookshelf i saw a book titled The Inquisition. I started thumbing thru to get to the gory parts. None. Its said that during the inquisition, people were just asked questions and let go. No one was hurt. Hince the name inquisition.I couldnt believe this was a serious work. I went to the front to see who wrote it. No author, just printed by the Catholic Press,1950. Ive been to Catholic and seen more unbelieveable distortions. If you want reliable history, go to college textbooks and other non religious publications.

  • I don’t know who “Brother terrance” is, but the next time you have the urge to read about the Spanish Inquisition you might try reading Henry Kamen’s study on it which is the most up to date account.

    You truly do not have a clue about history do you wayne?

  • Wayne he left out a few books.

  • Pingback: Anglican Church in America asks to come into the Catholic Church « Cooperating with Grace
  • wayne, a little history assignment for you if you really want to learn about the history of the Church. Tell me which Catholic wrote this:

    “And this food is called among us Eucharist, of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, “This do ye in remembrance of Me, this is My body;” and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, “This is My blood;” and gave it to them alone. Which the wicked devils have imitated in the mysteries of Mithras, commanding the same thing to be done. For, that bread and a cup of water are placed with certain incantations in the mystic rites of one who is being initiated, you either know or can learn.”

  • Wayne i’m also curious as to how factual you think the da vinci code is?

  • Wayne my name is Terrence, not terrance. Out of respect it would be nice to at least get the spelling of my name correct, and use a capital T.

    You are fast and loose with words. You claim any facts you give are just that. Cold fact (facts) of history. Funny, but you never “reference” any of these cold, hard, facts, that are easily verifiable?

    You write in riddles and you lead one to believe you think this way. You have managed to expose yourself as someone who has little to no understanding of the history of the Roman Empire, before Christ, and after his birth to present day.

    Am I to understand you do not believe that a great majority of Anglicans are leaving to be part of the Roman Catholic Church? Afterall, this is what this article is about. The Anglicans I quoted from – Catholic site, and a secular news source, do not seem valid enough for you. You can find these stories in any major newspaper throughout the U.S., Canada, England, Australia. Here is another one for you Wayne: the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church are also reuniting after splitting
    July 16, 1054. That is where such “insignificant” places like Antioch, Alexandria, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey today) happened to be located in the early Church. This of course was before the birth of Martin Luther Nov. 10, 1483, the German Catholic Monk.

    Wayne this may help enlighten you about how Martin Luther viewed the world. “Much scholary debate has concentrated on Luthers’s writings about Jews. His statements that Jews’ homes should be destroyed, their synagogues burned, money confiscated and liberty curtailed were revived and used in propganda by the Nazis in 1933-45. As a result of this and his revolutionary theological views, his legacy remains controversal. In 1983, the Luthern Church-Missouri Synod, denouced Luther’s “hostile attitude” toward the Jews. In 1994, the Church Council of the Evangelical Luthern Church in Ameriica announced: “As did many of Luther’s own companions in the sisteenth century, we reject this violent invective, and yet more do we express our help and abiding sorrow over its tragic effects on subsequent generations.” (Declaration of the Evangelical Luthern Church in America to the Jewish Community, April 18, 1994) (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)

  • Ill deal with one at a time. Terrance, my shift key doesnt work half the time. Some letter dont come out capital. Terry, Da Vinci code is a novel, nothing more. Donald, historical facts are facts. Do i have to mention books to you? Im pretty good with roman history. An overview of sorts.I would have to refer to books for dates and some names and what not. Donald, who cares what man wrote that paragraph? Jesus said; Let God be true and every man a liar. Let me make this clear to everyone; im not interested in what men say, or what some church org says about itself. Of course they will talk wonderfull about themselves, when in fact they are full of dead mens bones.Inquisition history; ive seen it with my own eyes and touched it with my hands, so there is no need to try to buffalow me there. Ive been to the torture chambers all thru europe. Ive seen the devices that the vatican used on people. The first one i went into, i had to run out cause i was about to throw up. Guided by the Holy Spirit, who are they kidding? I think i know why no one answered my question as to how the catholic church got rich. As to why the anglicals and the russian orthodox want to join the roman church, well, my grandma used to tell me; Wayne, it takes all kinds. The unsaved are capable of doing anything and everything.Come on some brave soul, answer my question, please, with sugar on top.

  • Wayne,

    Where inside the Bible is the word Bible?

    Where inside the Bible are the words “sola scriptura”.

    The apostles were just men, why don’t you discount them.

    And back to Donald’s point, why haven’t you addressed his evidence?

    I bet you even deny chapter 6 of the Holy Gospel of Saint John!

  • Almost forgot. Dont look at me for what Luther said. The only thing i admire about him is that he stood up to the vatican and blasted them for selling salvation. Which they still do.Amazing people still fall for that. P.T. Barnum used to say; A sucker is born every minute.

  • Hi Bro Tito. I went to the site Bro Donald put there for me. What evidence of Dons are you refering to. His msgs are pretty big. I read the reviews to the amazon book on inquisition.The author is following catholic lines, deny deny deny. These torture chambers are so numerous that if only 100 people died in each them, the numbers would be big. Thats not counting the ones that werent killed in the, the ones burned alive outside. i still get sick thinking of it. Why anglicans want to team up with an org like this,…beyond me

  • I’ve been looking into converting and I found the responses to Wayne very helpful in providing me with more information I need. Thank you all and God bless!

  • wayne, Henry Kamen is one of the foremost living historians of Spanish history.

    I can understand that you prefer your bigotry to historical facts, but that isn’t acceptable on this blog. If you are going to make a historical statement that the Apostles were not Catholic, you have to defend it with historical evidence. And I note you still have not told me which Catholic wrote the statement I quoted above about the Eucharist. Lazy and bigoted are a poor way to go through life wayne.

  • Regarding the supposed great wealth of the Vatican, it is not the hierarchy of the Church which owns property; it is the Church as a whole, meaning approximately 1.5 billion people around the world. Take the value of all Church property and divide it by 1.5 billion and you will see how “wealthy” we really are. Any entity with that many members and a 2000 year history would of necessity have accumulated something. There must be places for its members to gather for worship, education and social purposes. The great works of art are there to inspire anyone who wishes to gaze upon them. Unlike museums, our church buildings do not charge admission and do not profit from the beauty they contain.

    If the Church were to sell it all today to feed the poor, their hunger would be abated for but a brief time and then they would be hungry again and the Church left with no places to worship or beautiful art to inspire and no resources to help the needy.

    Jesus, Himself, said that the poor would be with us always. Furthermore, the Catholic Church is the single greatest provider of charitable goods and services to people of all faiths throughout the world. We Catholics feed more hungry people, build more homes for the homeless and provide more medical services without expecting anything in return than all the other Christian churches combined. “Help carry one another’s burdens; in that way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Gal 6: 2 and “If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and no food for the day, and you say to them, ‘Good-bye and good luck! Keep warm and well fed,’ but do not meet their bodily needs, what good is that? So it is with the faith that does nothing in practice. It is thoroughly lifeless.” James 2: 15-17 “You must perceive that a person is justified by his works and not by faith alone.” James 2:24

    So we Catholics take our faith very seriously and live it through our works. The “wealth” of the Church provides resources to do as the Bible instructs us to do for our fellow man and for coming together to worship God.

    Regarding Bible reading, the Mass is filled with scripture, so to say we don’t read the Bible simply demonstrates ignorance. Anyone who goes to Mass every Sunday will have gone through the entire Bible (Old and New Testaments) every three years. Those who attend daily Mass go through the Bible yearly. And, yes, for those non-Catholics out there who don’t know any better, we do read the Bible on our own and we do have Bible studies outside of the Mass. No, we don’t tend to be experts at quoting chapter and verse, but where in the Bible does it tell us that is important?

    P.S. Wayne still is misspelling Terrence’s name. There is no “a”.

  • Hi Jennifer, Terrence, no a. Of course some catholics read the bible. What i said was that the catholic policy is for people not to get into the bible. Ive had catholic after catholic tell me thier priest discourages reading by themselves. Yes in mass the say a few verses.Jennifer , thanks for trying to answer my question.Even though didnt answer the question i still commend you. The others dont want to open that can of worms. The question was HOW the catholic church became so wealthy.By the way, my best friend was in rome a few months ago. They charge for the vatican tour now. I dont remember them charging me, but that was long time ago. Terrence, with an e, you say i deny the news stories of anglicans wanting in with the catholic church. No i dont.I believe the reports. Like i say, the unsaved will do anything.Luthers stand on the jews; he was a catholic monk. Luther just talked, the church did the walk. They put to death many jews thru europe.TerrEnce, i dont know who wrote that paragraph you put up? It could have been my mother. How would i know. Is that your only way of discrediting me? People here just say im ignorant, but they stop short of denying the inquisition killed bible believers and jews by the thousands. The only charge that sticks is that im sort of ignorant of what the catholic church teaches, but i have been closing that gap fast.I know lots of what it teaches. TITO, the word bible isnt in the bible. There was no bible back then. Sola scriptura wasnt mentioned by that term either. That just a ploy used by the church to justify its off the wall teachings.And i dont deny John chap 6 or any part of bible. I would beg to differ on your spin on it which would be, if youre catholic, would be catholic spin.Any religion can take the same verse and say it means thier religion is the best.You see folks, im here to say that its not religion that saves you, its your one on one with Jesus. You go to him one quiet time and ask him to show himself.

  • WAYNE, Can I just ask you something? Like, this is a Catholic website you’re on. I’m taking an educated guess and saying you’re not Catholic and don’t agree with Catholicism, so why are you on this website? Is it to change the minds of the Catholics here? From all the arguing taking place here, I don’t think that’s gonna happen so why not just stop trying. I only ask because I’m subscribed to emails from this site and every day I’ve been getting the emails of arguments and I don’t enjoy it. LOL. I only subscribed because I was curious about what people thought of the Anglican church making this decision and nobody is even talking about that anymore, now all I see is argument.

  • Shacoria, would you like me to go away? And take my message to ask Jesus to be born again so you can enter heaven? Why dont you like that message?

  • Wayne,

    Why are you afraid to answer any of our questions?

  • I must appologise for something. Ive given the idea im just attacking catholicism. Im suggesting that no organised religion will save you. JWs, mormons, seventh days, baptist,assemblies of God, you name them. If i came here exposing the false practices of Jehovas Witness you all would agree with me. Thats why youre not in that church cause you dont believe in them.Earlier i posed a question; How did the catholic church get so rich. No one wants to answer, for good reason.Here goes the answer; Innocent III came up withthe Decreta Vergenti 1199. This document , of his own doing, sanctioned the vatican to kill or and torture people who didnt agree with catholicism AND confiscate their property.Most of the time the vatican made sure these heretics lived on choice land and all grouped togeather. Next in the crosshairs were the Cathars, a people who shunned the excessive and unbiblical ways of the catholic church. You know, men in fancy robes and idols all around, a continuation of roman pagan idolatry. So,the vatican had its loyal troops decimate these docil people and took their land. This senario is repeated over and over again.Its a matter of history for anyone who wants to search.That how the church got rich. Theft and murder.

  • Tito my brother, please repeat the questions you want me to try to answer. Im not God, so lots of questions i have no answer for, but ill give my honest opinion.

  • WAYNE, I just want the arguing to stop. Let’s get back to the topic at hand. Let’s say what we feel about the “Anglican Church In America Asks Entry Into Catholic Church” because that’s what this is about.

  • fair enough Shacoria. I think the Anglican org is running low on cash. They think by joining the big boys they can keep thier cushy jobs. Hey, getting a paycheck regularly. Thats what im about also.Everybody needs an income.

  • I wish to thank, Jennifer- (thoughtful attempt to satisfy Wayne’s relentless harping about the Vatican’s acquired wealth over it’s 2,000 year history- also her message regarding how Catholics live the “SCRIPTURE” [the book Wayne claims we do not read] providing food, clothing, shelter, to all nations, regardless of race, creed, or color.) To Donald R.- (who must be exhausted-no matter what logic he attemped with Wayne, it was just pushed aside.) To Shacoria- who would like the arguing to just “stop”. It seems Wayne delibertly, and in a vicious manner,caused many of us to become angry and miss the whole intent of this article- “Anglicans coming home”, after Henry VIII’s seperation in 1534.
    It is encouraging to see how many of you took the time to express your yourselves in a positive manner,defending the faith we love. Something, sadly
    Wayne refuses to accept, nor attempt to understand.

  • Thank you Terrence! wayne has a bad case of invincible ignorance. I pray that he will ultimately receive the grace to be cured from his affliction.

  • Hello ,
    The Eucharistic paragraphs were written by…..?
    Did I miss the name?
    They are beautiful!

    The WAY is the Catholic Church with Jesus Christ The KING as our Bridegroom!
    Thanks, Tom

  • Donald, the historical facts are sad and i guess im vicious for reminding people of them. The message is Christ and him crucified and risen. People here say i should come to the truth. Is the truth on my knees in front of a statue? And you call me ignorant?

  • “Donald, the historical facts are sad and i guess im vicious for reminding people of them”

    wayne, you have not stated any historical facts in this entire thread. You are ignorant of the history of the Church, and you are too lazy to learn the facts.

  • Terrence, thanks for the acknowledgement. Wayne, again you fail to get the point. You are obviously determined to hate and condemn the Church. I won’t try again to explain 2000 years of accumulated wealth by a 1.5 billion member entity since you will look only for dark episodes in Church history and completely discount anything possitive.

    Again, we don’t just “read a few verses” at Mass. Parishes provide bulletins that include a list of readings for the daily Masses so that those Catholics unable to attend Mass every day may look them up in their own Bibles and read them on their own time. Catholics everywhere are encouraged by the Church to read from Holy Scripture daily and are not limited to the official readings of the Mass.

    Your repeated assertions that the Church’s policy discourages independent bible reading is simply wrong. You have been misinformed and you have had multiple practicing Catholics here tell you that we read the Bible, and not in defiance of an oppressive hierarchy, and yet you obstinately persist in spouting falsehood. The average practicing Catholic of my age who attends Mass regularly has read it 15 to 20 times and more devout ones such as me have read it 30 or more times.

    Think about it. If you are wrong on this one thing about which you are so adamant, what else may you be wrong about?

    About being saved, “whoever believes and is baptized will be saved” Mk 16: 16. Faith is necessary for salvation but faith ALONE is not sufficient. “None of those who cry out, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of God but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven” Mt 7: 21-22 Also, one can lose one’s salvation. “Consider the kindness and the severity of God — severity toward those who fell, kindness toward you, provided you remain in his kindness; if you do not, you too will be cut off.” Rom 11: 22.

    You say you spurn all organized religion/churches but value the Bible. Well that is contradictory. “Would you show contempt for the church of God?” 1Cor 11:22 “We should not absent ourselves from the assembly, as some do, but encourage one another” Heb 10: 25

    On that note, I invite you to go to Mass at a Catholic Church near you. Go with an open mind and heart. Listen to the prayers which come directly from scripture and to the readings. Notice that we are not in the habit of citing chapter and verse but that we do include a great deal of scripture in our service. Even our Eucharistic prayer includes a great deal of OT and NT passages if you are sharp enough to detect them. Go to Mass but do not partake of Holy Communion since you do not yet have a true understanding of its significance and are not IN Communion with the Catholic Church. After you have attended several Catholic Masses, perhaps you will be better able to communicate with people like us with some genuine knowledge.

    Peace be with you.

  • Tito,

    Thanks so much for your prompt reply! (And even more for your positive, very-Christian & generous response to our reprint permission request!) Of course, we will abide by your attribution requirement of leaving a link intact w/ the reprinted material. More powerful blessings to you & your organization!

    BTW, can i take this as the general policy I can apply to other materials from your site that we wish to reprint?

    GBU all the time,
    Connie I. Ko

  • Connie I. Ko,


    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,


  • What is interesting is how you all prattle on about historical facts and the true church but seem to forget the 11th century dustup. If you wanted true reunion you should join the Orthodox Church and then endeavor to bring Rome back into the fold. It’s actually the closest thing to historic and pure Christianity that you can get. Don’t need any kind of fun stipulations to be married, etc.

  • Pardon me while I guffaw. All the Orthodox need to do is to live up to the agreement that they made at the Council of Florence in 1439 and all is forgiven.

  • Shacoria

    Thanks for steering the conversation back to the original topic. This is a favorite trick of the evil one…. steering us off target, especially with fallacious arguments. While we should evangelize non Catholics, we also need to know when someone is only interested in arguing and keeping us off the original topic which is our great joy of reunification.

  • You know Wayne, I do believe in evolution…both the scientific kind (What a wonderful God to have created such a magnificant plan) and the evolution of the Church.The human race continues to evolve both physically and spiritually and we continue to add to our understanding of God. and His plan.
    The Church has travelled through the Ages with us humans and likewise has grown and changed as the centuries passed.We now understand how babies are concieved , how germs make us sick and that the earth revolves around the sun. We have changed our forms of government from monarchies to democracies in many places.So as the Middle Ages recede into history we recognize that at one time the Vatican was a monarchy as were most of the world’s governments. The Church has acknowledged her participation in the Inquisition to her shame (of which I’ve been aware all of my long life) and . There are many errors in the Churh’s history but the Churh is made up of sinful human beings and our God is a merciful God. So the Church acted like a medieval kingdom and acquired armies aamd wealth along with her neighbors.Much of that welth has been lavished on the world’s poor and suffering. But art like The Pieta , ancient writings , gold and silver lavished upon the Church by grateful belivers is beyond value. The Church has preserved much through wars plagues and invasions. I guess if you add it all up the Church has done much more good in the world than evil But that’s only what I think.

  • Wayne keeps harping on the inquistion and as catholics we are aware of this wart and all other warts, and as alice pointed out these were do to human weakness. Remember, however, that through all the bad times the Dogma of our faith has never been changed from the beginning. Why, because it is Christ’s church and as he said He will be with it until the end of the world.

  • Terry, you should see some of the dogma.99.99% of people have no idea what the church fathers came up with. You would be amazed. But its not shocking cause the ideas were widespread and still are, like negro inferiority. Its in the Canons. But never mind that. My comp was not moving until now so sorry for the delay in responding.Finally someone admits the reign of terror called inquisition. By the way, the office in charge if the killings, the Holy Office, is still there.The point im making by bringing it up is to make you thing that…Hmmmmm…maybe the holy spirit isnt guiding this church after all.Thats ALL im getting at. Im suggesting that possibly the catholic church isnt a vehicle for salvation. Or any other religion.Corint 11;32 talks about assembling. The saints assembled to bolster each other. How in the heck can you turn that around to mean that the catholic church is gods church? You guys take any scripture, any one at all and turn it into the catholic church.People, get your head out of that ritual ridden religion and ask Jesus himself to show you Himself.I see Donald is still claiming i know nothing, but i noticed he never takes any example of history i mention and says its false. Hes the ‘shoot the messenger’ type. You good people ever stop and think, Hmmmmm..Jesus said that the road to salvation is narrow and FEW that be thereon.Broad is the path to destruction and many be thereon.Any of you bible scholars ever toss that one around? When Jesus says few he means Few, and when he says Many , he means MANY.Yes buddy. In relation to the topic on hand,the anglicans joining up with the vatican, what does that bring to mind? A few devout catholics in here have reminded me on how many catholics there are in the world and now there will be more. One, i forgot, a female, said” lets evangelize people”. in other words, lets make more catholic converts.Well folks, that just fullfills Jesus words. The path to salvation is narrow.It wont accomodate billions. So, whats going to happen to all these billion catholics? For that matter, any group or religion? For that matter everyone.Ill let you in on a secret. Many are called but few are chosen. I rarely come across born again people in blogs or out in public. They are so few its not funny.Oh, i know a number of them. God lets us find each other. We are strangers in a strange land.

  • The Church built Western civilization:

    As for this “narrow” stuff, um… do you not understand that what is meant is that most people won’t choose salvation – not that they can’t?

    Any Catholic can become a saint.

  • Joe, any human can become a saint. The definition of a saint is someone who is saved and born again, which mean the same thing.Dear jennifer, i attended mass a number of times when i was young on Xmas eve. My parents didnt go. i asked my across the street neighbors to take me cause i thought it was the rite thing to do on Xmas eve. My family was , what you call protestant. But i always wanted to do more on Xmas than eat chips and dip and caviar. I had a hunger for Jesus.I didnt know it at the time.But ive been to mass jennifer.Its hollow as a bell.When Jesus healed people, did he do some repeated sermon or wave some gold trinket around? Jennifer, i have an assignment for you. Find out what the official colors of the catholic church are. Or the Vatican colors, which ever.Joe, its not that i dont understand what narrow is, Jesus said the path is narrow, argue with Him

  • Gold and silvery white are the primary colors symbolizing the keys to the Kingdom given to St. Peter. see Matthew 16:19. Why do you ask?

    I still recommend you attend some Masses. Youth often grow impatient with all the readings and homily in the Mass. Even many Catholics don’t develop a real love for the Mass until adulthood. You cannot depend upon memories of a few Christmas Masses from your youth. Especially since you likely had no understanding of what was happening.

    Also, I think your instincts were right when you said “i always wanted to do more on Xmas than eat chips and dip and caviar. I had a hunger for Jesus.” I understand that hunger is what drove you to go to Mass in the first place. Well it is that hunger that brings us Catholics back again and again. Our deep love of the Lord draws us to Him in the Sacraments.

    Do I have a personal relationship with Jesus? ABSOLUTELY!!! Have I been born again? MOST CERTAINLY!
    I don’t understand why other Christians think that Catholic Christians are not “born again” and don’t have personal relationships with Jesus. It is just another example of people passing judgement on others out of ignorance. If you really want to get to know us rather than just wanting to change us or win an argument against us you might begin to see the truth.

  • Hi Jennifer.Do you have a best friend or a brother or a sister? can you tell me one of thier names?

  • I almost forgot. Jennifer, purple and scarlet are official colors. here is an excerpt from catholic answers……It is appropriate for Catholic clerics to wear purple and scarlet, if for no other reason because they have been liturgical colors of the true religion since ancient Israel.

  • Dear Jennifer, dont count on me joining the catholic religion. I just cant get into the statues and the holymen with big robes and the icons and gold cups and what not.

  • Wayne,

    No one here is going to join you in your anti-Catholic bigotry and sectarian Protestantism, so, why don’t you go find something better to do?

  • Brother Joe, have you noticed that i ask folks here to go to Jesus and ask him for salvation? Is this what you calll anti-catholic? You have spoken well my brother. because the cathoilc church doesnt want you to go to Jesus. They want you to go to Mary and all sorts of dead people. Joe, get on your knees and pray to dead people all you have my blessing.Joe , this is my something better to do, warn my brothers and sisters.You seem to Hate the message of Jesus saves. cause you love the message of idols get on your rusty knees and pray to those idols

  • Joe is symtomatic of the catholic problem. 99.99% of faithfull catholics dont know what is going on behind the curtians.Most of my childhood friends were catholic and i looked up to them.They didnt do drugs and they did chores like yardwork and pool cleaning.Most of us had pools.Look behing the curtains. have any of you bible scholars heard of the black pope? Dont take my word for any of it…search it on internet, then get back with….BLACK POPE

  • “Joe is symtomatic of the catholic problem.”

    I don’t think I could have asked for a nicer compliment. Thank you 🙂

    And, I’ll be sure to throw in some extra prayers to “dead people” on your behalf. You can thank me later.

  • let me be honest. Joe hates me because if im rite, all his family who have passed away have no salvation. That hurts.The best he can do now is save himself, and that is thru Jesus himself, not thru gold cups or statues or icons. Are you bible scholars aware that when jesus whipped the money changers and what not out of the temple, that most of them were selling religious items? Jesus hates religious items. Catholic loves religious items.Hence, anti christ behaviour.

  • Bro Joe, i dont want to see you unsaved in the last day.You have to ask Jesus for the answer in some quiet time you have. mAYBE BEFOR BED.Dont listen to me. Ask Jesus to show you the way.

  • Joe is most likely a wonderfull person who loves God. As are most catholics. i was unsaved also. I was congregationalist. It meant nothing.But in the judgement, those who claim god god wont enter heaven because Jesus didnt know them.Gold trinkets and incense wont get you a personal relation with Christ.

  • I’m at least glad to see that, however unsaved we Catholics may be, we have better spelling, grammar and capitalization abilities.

  • Wayne I have been away for the past few days-you have posted 24X in the past 7 days- I see you still hate the Catholic Church; your “space bar” is still acting-up, and you continue to berate everyone who makes a comment you do not agree with.

    Here is where we are tonight, at least you and me. You read the bible. (given to you by the Catholic Church, that took 400 years to compile, and another 1000 years before it went to the printing press). You deny that. You have been saved. And according to you there is no universal “Katholikos”,(gk)Church.

    When I pray the Rosary in front of the abortion clinic next week, I will say an “Ave Maria”, for your
    salvation. And on my Chotki beads, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God have mercy on me, a sinner”, for myself.

    God bless Jennifer, Joe, Donald, Terry and all my Roman Catholic friends.

  • Wayne, I have several best friends, two sisters and a brother. Don’t see the need to share their names with you. They are all friends in Christ and most of them are also Catholic.

  • Wayne, You are mistaken about the official colors of the Vatican. They are yellow and white as I stated. What you refer to are LITURGICAL colors and there are several more than just scarlet and purple. Liturgical colors are quite different than the official Vatican colors which you would know if you had any understanding of the Catholic faith and liturgy.

  • Wayne, Catholics are not required to get into statues and icons – they are mere symbols. I’m not sure what you mean by the holy men with big robes – if you are referring to Bishops etc. there is no assumption that they are holy and we know that they are only human just as Christ’s first disciples were flawed. Many abandoned Him and went back to their old ways when he told them His flesh is food indeed and His blood is drink indeed. Of the twelve that remained, one betrayed Him, one denied Him and all but one abandoned Him during His passion. Even after His resurection, one persisted in disbelieving until He was provided with physical proof. Why should we expect their predecessors to be any better than the men hand picked by our Lord?
    You have a great deal of misconceptions about the Church.

  • Wayne, I find great joy that the ACA has asked to join the Catholic Church and I also praise God when he fills someone like you with so many questions about our faith. Perhaps in your efforts to get to the bottom of things you will actually discover the Truth (Jesus Christ) and come into full communion with Him in His one holy Catholic and Apostolic Church against which the gaits of hell will not prevail, not ever, past, present or future.

    Jesus said the God of Abraham, Isaac and Moses is God of the living, not the dead, so we know that those who have died and gone to heaven are alive and we do not worship them but ask them to pray for us just as we ask people around us who we think may have a special relationship with Jesus to pray for us. That is what is meant by the communion of saints in the Apostles Creed which most Christions proclaim – not just Catholics.

    Peace be with you.

  • Terrence, God bless you also and may the Holy Spirit guide you and provide you with all the Graces He can bestow as you pray at the abortion mill. I am a prayer partner for a couple ladies who pray at the mills. Can’t go in person because I am disabled, unable to drive, and am dependent on others for transportation – also at high risk of having a seizure if exposed to the elements for very long. So I offer my suffering up in union with Christ’s suffering on behalf of those who pray or counsel at the sidewalk, the men and women who are contemplating abortion, and for all the so-called doctors and nurses who provide those murderous services. God can turn even the most hardened of hearts.

    I think the fact that the Catholic Church is vertually the only one that has never wavered in its position on the evils of abortion and contraception is one of the reasons other Christians are softening towards us and coming home to the only faith that holds the fullness of truth, not just selected fragments.

  • let me be honest. Joe hates me

    If you actually believe that, you’ve got a greatly inflated notion of the effect you may have. His last post is good advice if you have no intent to listen as well as talk.

    He DISAGREES with you because you are wrong, and may be annoyed that you will not engage rationally or work with facts–or he may have shrugged and forgotten all about you.

    He did probably care more than most, since he seems to have done more than scan your wave of posts.

    Jennifer… you’re nuts, and a better person than I.

  • Jennifer and others, my aim is not to pick on your religion.Though its a easy one to find fault with. My aim is to exhort you to go straight to the source< Jesus, for salvation instead of depending on any organization. The reason for the history reminders were to make you think about if the catholic church can actually save you or even does it have the ability to dish god out. No man or org has god in a can and can serve him at will. Just do me a favor, think about it for a while. Jennifer, keep on with your battle againt the baby killers.


  • It seems I heard that there has already been some applications to the vatican. Can anyone verify this or have I been dreaming?

  • I need to know much about the church historically and current affairs.

  • Raphael when you see wayne’s post just ignore it. He hasn’t a clue what the catholic church is about. There are books I am sure will give you pure history of the church. If you are interested in theological history from the first few centuries you would have to read the Fathers and Doctors of the Church. To get a feel for the overall faith and to get basics on the attitude of current affairs get the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

  • Benedict XVI moved to receive members of the Anglican Communion into the church without even speaking of it to the Archbishop of Canterbury beforehand. He also repeated the questionable assertion that Anglican orders are invalid.Benedict is a genius? None of this seems wise to me.

    In addition, the hierarchy worldwide, as well as Benedict have so completely and dishonorably managed the sex abuse scandal, that I cannot understand where I fit in the church. The usual tactic was followed: stonewall and all will pass. Everything has to come out. Now! Or there will be no healing over the long-term.

    Everyone needs to come to Rome? What prideful deceit!

  • Thomas,

    He was approached by Anglicans wanting nothing to do with Canterbury.

    As far as Anglican orders being invalid, that was said by an earlier pope (and was correct).

    With your ‘sex’ scandal comments, that means your really not looking to engage in dialogue, just vitriol.

  • …the “poaching” thing, AGAIN?!?

    How come it always ends up applied to Catholics, I wonder, but never…oh…any Catholic converted out? Ooh, can’t use that as a hammer, never mind.

  • You’re not convincing anyone. You’re not angering anyone. No one here is impressed by your blustering ignorance. I’m not sure what your intention or goal was in posting, but all you’re doing is making a public global record of your idiocy. It’s rather sad.

  • Wayne,

    Ditto Chris M.

    You’ll regret what you posted if you ever bother to do any research.

  • Ok Tito my friend, fair enough. Ill do research. In the meantime, disprove anything i said. I dont mean documentation, just tell me what statement,phrase or word i said was incorrect. I get this same stuff on other sites.They just say im wrong or ignorant, usually both. Tell me what you disagree with. Thanks for your time

  • Wayne- you spend time picking fights with poor logic because your unicorn has a flat and the elves aren’t calling back.

    Disprove anything I just said.

  • “Wayne- you spend time picking fights with poor logic because your unicorn has a flat and the elves aren’t calling back.”

    Brilliant Foxfier! I am going to steal that gem for future use.

  • wayne,

    As a fellow Christian, I apologize for the “idiocy” comment. It was mean and uncalled for. I appreciate your intent to do some research.. BUT.. if you’re researching with a hermeneutic of suspicion (IOW, you already KNOW you’re right and you’re just looking for ammo), it won’t do anyone any good since you’ll only see what you want to see. Try reading to see what we believe from OUR point of view, instead of one colored by your own particular beliefs and experiences.

  • Donald-
    just a pet peeve. (one in a huge flock I can’t seem to cull)

    Someone making claims should provide evidence, not demand others do it for them.

  • Well, you guys are batting %100. I made 3 accusations about catholic church and not one of you has the hutzspa to say any one is wrong. Images…the catholic churches and websites are full of them.When god came down on the mount when the israelis left egypt, he didnt show any likeness of himself lest the people make am image to venerate it.Which he doesnt want at all. Tell me im wrong.The priesthood is a homosexual fraternaty….some one tell me im wrong.Ok there are a few straight priest, thats given. Idols, arent the catholic churches filled with statues from small to big? Someone tell me im wrong. Calling me names wont clear those idols out of your church.

  • some one tell me im wrong

    You’re wrong.


  • Im happy now. Thanks Fox

  • Here is my point. We all want salvation. The way to do it is ask Christ himself to reveal himself to you. Dont waste valuable time expecting others to do it for you.

  • Wayne,

    You need to back up your accusations with evidence.

  • Tito, give you evidence? My friend, are you handicapped? Can you see? Just asking. Just walk into a catholic church and look around. You will see statues applenty.Iconic pictures also. By the tons.Im i wrong? My girlfriend is catholic. From new jersey. She fills me in on what i dont know. She hates the catholic church now. Then there is this monsterance(good name) that the wizard(priest) turns a wafer into the actual body of christ.Ive seen peole on their knees praying and singing to that golden trinket on EWTN. Go ahead, say it aint so.ou are asking me if the catholic church has statues? Any one in here can answer that. Shabby way to go about this my friend Tito. If you are embarrased of your religion, find a good bible believing church in your area. I can help you if you live in the USA

  • “monsterance”

    The term is monstrance, you idiot. It is used to hold the body of Christ.

    Tito, I think that far too much time has been wasted on this dim witted bigot. It is your thread, but I think he should be banned. He is unable to argue effectively, expresses himself clumsily and is so ill-informed as to be comic. Aside from unintentional humor, he has nothing to offer other than raw hate.

  • Begging the question: you take as given that icons and statues are idols.

    Appeal to authority, or possibly hearsay: your girlfriend was Catholic and now hates the Church.

    Argument by definition: you define Transubstantiation as invalid, and define the Body of Christ as a mere “wafer.”

    You are incorrect about EWTN showing people worshiping a “golden trinket.” I’m going to guess you mean Eucharistic Adoration, since you mention a monstrance. (That is the holder, not the “wafer.”)

    Jesus said: this is my body, this is my blood. Do this in memory of me.

    It is His body.

    Argue with Him.

  • Mike I liked your comment however I would like to see him go looking to prove he’s right because I would bet he can’t. A couple of pretty well known names tried just that and became a couple of very staunch catholics, I’m thinking of John Henry Neumann and Scott Hahn. They are the tip of the iceberg.

    Wayne You are so far off on our comments it is unbelievable. You can’t seem to get it into your head that the root of the church is the faith, not people.

    As Christ told the apostles I will be with you until the end of time. So keep ranting, and when you are through you will be gone and the Catholic Church will still be here. May the Holy Spirit come on you and show you the way to the truth.

  • Wayne,

    Until you begin to offer evidence your comments will not be approved for viewing.

  • Wayne:
    I assume you are a card carrying Protestant? In the age of the internet I’m surprised that you are so ignorant. You should spend time doing some serious research regarding the things you have been saying about the Catholic Church. Your answers are from the 1800s and 1900s when information about anything and everything was not readily availiable to the serious researcher.
    Have you ever wondered why the Supreme Court now has five Catholics and possibly three Jewish Justices? It’s not even the brain power. It’s the ability to use natural law and common sense. You are sound as if you have no ability to think logically. By the way statues are just beautiful remembers of great people that have long past our way. Washington DC has tons of statutes. Get over it. Many of them are beautiful works of art and a great monument to our civilization.

  • Touche Tito Edwards,It may help to tell our blogging Catholic hater he is in good company with every 20th century athiest and so-called progressive secular in his boring vitriol against the Catholic church, this Catholic hating is so new york times. A reminder that it was the Catholic & Orthodox church before the sad split that canonized the present Christian Bible. statues in a Catholic church are JUST THAT statues, and as pointed out reminders of those great men & women that went before us, as are Ikons in Orthodoxy. Tito you have infinitely more patience than I have towards Catholic haters, my language would have been a hell of a lot more colourful, Mea Culpa

  • Im not a catholic hater. I am an historian. I remind or teach history. Its your idea that i hate. But what has the CC done over the yrs? Kill bible believers and so forth. Call me names but the Cc history remains the same.

  • Wayne,

    If you know history why do you continue to lie.

  • Brother Tito, glad to talk to you. Why dont you tell me what you think is a lie? Then i can document it.You just say i lie without saying what im lieing about. Im open to being corrected. Thanks for talking to me.

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  • The facts remain the same:
    Roman Catholicism represents a radical departure from original/authentic Christianity. I’m not supposing Christianity doesn’t ‘develop’ or progress through time and assume new forms. But Catholicism under Rome has actually altered the essence of Christianity.
    From reading teh New Testament, no one would ever get a sense of Mary that is understood at Rome. In fact, scripture is such that it doesn’t permit the evolution of such an idea. Neither would one assume a devotion to Mary based on a faithful and informed reading of the N.T.
    Abstention from marriage and certain foods as commanded by church leaders is a departure from apostolic orthodoxy. The Greek church seems to recognize this at least in relation to marriage for priests.
    The Roman chruch was the only major church available for much of European history, and it was tolerated and even enjoyed. But when it developed beyond certain scriptural parameters and grew corrupt, other churches formed. Apostolic continuity depends on the maintenance of Christianity under the leadership of the church. If the leaders have succession but are in possession of alien beliefs, there is no real succession. The leaders and sacraments may be in place, but the religion has basically altered, and it is a sham. The most important thing here is to correctly understand the essence of Christianity and the church. If people understand that, I think they can then grasp much else. But it is like a gestalt switch.

  • So, you’re deciding that the organized Christianity that has been around since before there was a collected NT is a radical departure, based on your own reading of the NT.

    The same NT that, by the way, has Jesus doing his first big public miracle…because his mom said to….

    How about some citations with exactly where it’s departed and why you think things are impossible or obvious?

  • Yes, God’s people played a role in scripture and its canonization. That is most certainly true.
    However, I am not basing anything on my own ‘take’ or ‘read.’
    Mary was his mother and things of course played themselves out on a human plane too–we acknowledge that and are glad–God incarnated himself and dwelt with us. He becdame like one of us.
    The Roman church didn’t significantly depart at once. It took time and depending on who you read through the centuries will probably determine where you place the final ‘departure.’
    But to say a profound break with Christianity ocurred by 1300-1500 AD is certainly not unreasonable.
    This will depend on what parts of Europe, what aspects of Roman Catholicism we cite, etc.
    Things like this don’t get pinned down precisely. But like the flu, you know it when it’s there.
    Hope that helps.

  • You said that reading the NT made it clear the Church had departed from the “original” and “authentic” Christianity.

    You still haven’t offered the citations and reasoning.

    Barring any sort of rational support, you’re in the “I don’t like it so I’m grasping” camp.

    Shoot, you specifically call out our treatment of Mary, going so far as to say: scripture is such that it doesn’t permit the evolution of such an idea.

    You claimed it; support it.

  • “But to say a profound break with Christianity ocurred by 1300-1500 AD is certainly not unreasonable.”

    Not reasonable and ahistoric. The essential dogmas of the Catholic Church were well established by the end of the Fifth Century, including Marian devotion. The Catholic Church that you claim is a radical departure from Christianity is the original Christian Church. All other Christian sects and denominations are breakaways from the Catholic Church, or breakaways from breakaways.

  • Sal,

    Where are the citations from the NT you claim?

    You’re making up information out of thin air.

  • Concerning Marian devotion:
    1. Some of scripture demonstrates Mary’s influence upon Jesus.
    2. Other aspects of the N.T. highlight the relativity of things in light of the fulfillment–e.g. here are my mother, brother and sisters–those who do my will.
    e.g. Blessed is she who gave you suck: nay, rather….

    What’s really fundamental here is not which verses we highlight, but the overall tenor or gist if you get what I mean.

    As for the year 500, I don’t really think so.
    Patristic writings use Mary as symbol and there is talk of Eve, sin and newness, etc. This is in keeping with the patristic / greco approach of the use of analogous thought. As Chirst was the new Adam, so let’s have one for Mary/ Eve. THAT SHOULD NOT BE VIEWED ANACHRONISTICALLY (READING BACK INTO HISTORY A LATER DEVELOPMENT THAT WAS MORE MEDIEVAL).
    Hope that helps.

  • Sal-
    you claimed that the scripture would not allow it.

    Support your claim with evidence, not more claims.

    All you are doing is hand-waving.

  • OK then. I take it you want the simple answer. Concerning Marian devotion:
    1. God Father, Son and Holy Ghost requires our full devotion.
    2. Devotion to any saint who’s gone on to glory will sidetrack us; that is idolatry and we are warned of it at the conclusion of the epistle to Jude.
    3. Apparitions have become a part of Marian devotion.
    Attempted communication with a saint who’s gone on can result in contact with an unlean spirit. (If we or an angel from heaven, as Paul says, should proclaim to you a gospel other than what you’ve received, let them be cursed.
    Does that address it satisfactorily?

  • You made the claim scripture is such that it doesn’t permit the evolution of such an idea; you still have not supported that claim, let alone the rest of it.

    Support your claim– you have yet to cite a single specific writing.

  • OK then. Scripture delineates Mary—by the end of the BIblical narrative we have an idea of her. That idea is completely out of harmony with what evolved through Roman Catholic tradition. So the N.T. gives us this story and through it we learn of her role. Then the Roman church describes her another way, affording to her a different character, new attributes and a place in the cult of worship. The Roman church takes i.t upon itself to do all of this. Of course it happens gradually, but that’s the issue–it sort of comes in through the back door.
    Scripture also doesn’t permit devotion to angels or those who’ve gone on to glory. E.G. Paul warns readers not to get caught up in the worship of angels. Saints who go to be with the Lord are now absent from us E.G. to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Do you need more verses?

  • “As for the year 500, I don’t really think so.”

    I know you don’t think so and you are wrong. Popular devotion to Mary long predated the Council of Ephesus in 431. Here are a few quotations from early Church Fathers regarding the Blessed Virgin:

  • Sal,

    Point to me in the Bible where the Catholic Church put what Mary said as “gospel”?

    Do you even know how Sacred Scripture was put together?

  • Some of those quotations are aptly spoken. Others are idolotrous. But these things didn’t crystallize into dogma until very much later.

  • Some Marian dogma wasn’t actually pronounced officially until the nineteenth century.

  • That’s why I don’t consider teh Roman church as having had a Marian DEVOTION by 500 AD.

  • Sal, you have still not supported your claim with the actual writings.

    Is it really this difficult? Why do you keep trying to change the topic?

  • By actual writings do you mean scripture? or the quotations at the website?

  • “Some of those quotations are aptly spoken. Others are idolotrous.”

    And that is your problem. The Christian Church from the earliest times is the Catholic Church. Marian devotion is not something that came about in the Middle Ages, but is something that existed from the earliest times, just like belief in the real presence, confession as a sacrament, etc. Blessed Cardinal Newman said that to be deep into history is to cease to be Protestant. Hold whatever beliefs you wish, but it is intellectually dishonest to attempt to separate the Catholic Church from the early Church. The two are one and the same.

  • I say again:
    give your specific sources.

    Over and over again, you offer different versions of “I think scripture means” without even offering chapter and verse of what you claim as source.

    Again, as I have from my first reply to you:
    How about some citations with exactly where it’s departed and why you think things are impossible or obvious?
    You still haven’t offered the citations and reasoning.

  • Sirs:

    I am an historian–I hold a degree in European history. Of course, we don’t want to be guilty of beoing ahistoric-I understand where the cardinal was coming from. That’s why I don’t say the Roman church departed from Christianity at once everywhere. In fact, I hold out the hope that it will be renewed and restored–even if that means people exiting it and beginning anew. Unity in the Spirit and organizational uniformity are two different things. I’m not claiming that the Catholic church was never Christian or that it can’t some day be so again. All I’m saying is that officially it departed by a certain point along the historical timeline.



  • Sal, you made claims, claims about readings from a single text.

    Prove it. Stop trying to hand-wave it away, stop trying to shift the conversation, stop trying to shift the burden of evidence.

    We even narrowed it down so you can focus, laser-like, on a single subtopic: scripture is such that it doesn’t permit the evolution of such an idea, that idea being how the modern Church treats Mary.

  • First John concludes with this exhortation: keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts—another translation has it as keep away from idols (I paraphrase).

    Romans 1:25 says: they traded the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served created things rather than the creator who is forever praised.

  • Of course it can be reversed–where would one get the assumption that one could innovate concerning Mary? After all, the thought never crossed MY mind.
    Do you see what I’m saying here?

  • Sal,

    The burden of proof is upon you to prove your theory.

    (18) And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. (19) I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

    –Holy Gospel of Saint Matthew 16:18-19

    I have to go meet up with a friend, but I’ll be back in three hours and see if you can provide any evidence at all, historical or scriptural.

  • Argument and citation, Sal.

    Throwing out a paraphrase and a single out of context verse is not even a decent citation, let alone an argument, and is far from strong enough for the statements you offered when you started.

    Romans 1:25 (context)
    25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

    1 John 5:13-21
    13I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 14This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
    16If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that. 17All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.

    18We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him. 19We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. 20We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

    21Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.

  • Sir, it’s really very simple I think. I’m not one of those Protestants who wants always to begin and end with scriptural verses as if the whole debate were in relation to a scientifically precise or logical puzzle. I’m supposing, and I believe rightly, that to evolve a sense or definition of Mary beyond scripture is unwarranted (and that to elevate her to a place of status beyond that to which the Christian story itself has placed her is to commit error). Once again, I think it’s really about what the Bible has to way, but not necessarily in some precise or literal way. When we read the gospels a certain idea about Mary ought to emerge in peoples’ minds. We all ought to share a basic conception of her and that conception, regardless of faith tradition, goes something like this: Mary walked with God. She faithfully waited upon the Lord and when He spoke she listened and responded with obedience. Hence God chose her as a vessel through which Christ was born into the world. Now Mary, because she was holy–a child of God–is with him in heaven. And of course, this is in itself totallyt awesome. But scripture has here given us a portrait of Mary which must reign us in, so to speak. We are not at liberty to devise a radically new conception of her. Neither are we free to create a cult of devotion around her. The story itself has bound us you see–unless of course one wishes to rewrite the story.

  • Sir, it’s really very simple I think.

    That is probably the root of the problem: you made a claim of evidence, when it is really just an “I think.”

    You stated that it was not permitted by scripture.

    Now, you say that it’s not in “some precise or literal way.”

    Again, I ask:
    can you give evidence and argument, as you claimed, from the New Testament?

  • Now concerning Peter, the keys, the church, etc., all of this is used as a figure of speech. God wants to communicate to his followers that Peter in his weakness is strong; though he appears timid, God mightily works in him. Christ has Peter say what Christ already knows is in his heart–Jesus is the Christ–the Messiah–the Anointed One. And if he is, we can go nowhere else. Regardless of what others say, Peter at this moment acknowledges his Lord. And it is upon that Rock (not Peter alone who has been considered but a pebble, but Peter plus his confession: that Rock) that CHrist will build his church. And his church will not be overcome–it’s victorious in the Christ of God.
    Now the keys given are a sign of the authority which belongs to the church–the church is the pillar and ground of the truth and what is decided there, if it be God’s will, is then ratified in heaven.

  • My use of “I think” was in an effort to sound polite.
    I’m sorry if that was misunderstood.

  • And my quote of it was a simple rhetorical device to politely point out that you have still not supported your claims with anything but more claims.

    You say you have a degree in history; would your professors have really let you get away with this personal experience as proof? Hand-waving away any need for evidence? Broad and grandiose statements, rather than reason and the actual sources?

  • When blogging it just simply isn’t practical. And I don’t have books at hand.
    However, if you’ve read everything I’ve written, it’s all based upon written sources–we’re not talking about personal experience here, at least as far as I can tell.

  • The evidence I have may not have been presented in the form you would prefer, but it is there. Go back through the dialogue and you’ll be able to glean lots of evidence.

  • And I don’t have books at hand.

    The site I linked has a huge number of Bible versions.

    You made claims about the New Testament. There’s the books. Go for it.

    . Go back through the dialogue and you’ll be able to glean lots of evidence.

    If it is there, why do you not glean it yourself, organize it and post?

    When blogging it just simply isn’t practical.

    It’s incredibly easy; here is a page that explains how to do links, here is code for formating the text. (A list usable of HTML tags is below the comment box, as well.)
    You can also simply cite Bible verses and version.

  • I’ve already given you food for thought. I’d like you to digest some of it in Christian love.

    If you haven’t already caught the gist of what I’m saying by now, the issue may have to do with one of the following:
    1. Differing paradigms—and here I include how people understand the role of tradition and the nature of the chruch and such things.
    2. Style of argumentation–what I’m noticing is that you seek to communicate and search for evicdence in a certain way.
    a. literal approach (perhaps similar to the way in which fundamentalists debate) and I’m outside that trajectory somewhat.
    b. use of sources cited on the spot and reasoning greatly on the level of particulars. I’m not Thomistic. I think Aquinas’ approach is highly problematic. To wish always to think in Aristotelian cateogories—I’m goin g to be honest with you—it’snot really the Christian apologetic. Neither is a platonistic approach. To let the Bible simply inform our thinking is probably the best way to go and I think I’ve been assuming that’s the way to debate. And I think you’ve been assuming it’s not. That may be part of the issue too.
    What do you think?

  • I’ve already given you food for thought.

    No, you made claims and failed to support them.

    When challenged, you tried to change the topic, shift the conversation, shift the burden of evidence, use an appeal to authority to bolster your standing and then tried to claim you had already given enough information.

    This is not food for thought, this is standard operating procedure for those who are not accustomed to having to support their claims with anything but bluster.

    There is also a rather thick ribbon of attempts to appeal to emotion or ad hominems. (Implying that offering quotes to support a claim is something “those” Protestants do, frequent urging to ‘read closely’ or again, etc)

    You have made claims.
    Support them.

  • OK—in 2 Corinthians Chapter 11 verses 3 and 4 it reads: But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted just as Eve was deceived by the cujnign ways of the serpent. You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different jesus than the one we preah, or a different kind of spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed.

    Now, things don’t usually occur in exactly the same way. But a similar theme was underway here in the early church. Defection can and does come from within the ranks. Things change. People change. Ideas change. Organizational structure changes. Paul wrote to churches that were dynamically changing. Some were orthodox in some ways. Some were quite unorthodox in some ways. Some were beset with problems and in danger of death. A church can go through the stages we do–it begins, grows, sickens and dies. The universal church of course continues.

  • Another example–check out Revelation Chaps. 1-3 where John addresses the seven churches of Asia Minor. Each is held to the standard. The last one (Laodicea) is not lively–its lampstand removed. A church, such as the church at Rome, can die. So can a local Baptist church.

  • But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve 4 by his cunning, your thoughts may be corrupted from a sincere (and pure) commitment to Christ.
    For if someone comes and preaches another Jesus 5 than the one we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it well enough.
    6 For I think that I am not in any way inferior to these “superapostles.”
    Even if I am untrained in speaking, I am not so in knowledge; in every way we have made this plain to you in all things. 7

    Ironic you should quote this, as you are showing up and trying to tell us other than what they passed down.

    You do not make an argument for any of the claims you made, either Roman Catholicism represents a radical departure from original/authentic Christianity. or that our respect for Mary is not possible, due to the New Testament.

  • More examples: 2 Timothy Chap. 3 verses 14-16 read: But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true for you know you can trust those who taught you. You have been taught the holy Scriptures form childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that tcomes by trusting in Christ Jesus.l All Scriptre is inspired by God iand is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. IT CORRECTS US WHEN WE ARE WRONG ADN TEACHES US TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT. (So it is a kind of measuring rod, if you will).

  • Revelation chapters 1-3?

    As evidence that “a Church can die”?

    This is not “another” example, this is grasping at straws.

  • Here is a further example: 2 Timothy Chapter 4 verses 3-4 read; For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whativer their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths.


  • All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
    so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

    Still, you do not make your argument.

    Organize your quotes and argument and post an argument and citation that actually supports even one of your claims.

  • Paul warns his listeneres and readers–the warning is in favor of a conservative tendancy—resist radical innovation.

  • Like, say, some guy on a message board that claims that his reading of scripture is true and the Church is radically altered into a form that is not in keeping with the New Testament, yet either cannot or will not organize and cite anything to support his claims?

  • There will come a time when people will condemn marriage and the eating of certain foods.

    The Chruch of Rome has done both those things.

    I’m not saying it was a dirrect prophecy pertaining jsut to tthat. But when Paul or someone states something like that, you can bet it will be a problem in at least one place somehwere down the road.

  • Now you’re not even trying. Ancient, lame, and doesn’t match up with your prior claims.


    You wish to be very rigorous and logical. We’re not dealing with a scientific treatise here. Neither is it a mathematical equation. We’re discussing matters of faith.

    Now I’ve given you something very substantial whcih you’ve chosen to write off:
    Paul prophecied people would come along and forbid marriage and the eating of certain foods. He warned his listeners and readers of this.


    There marriage pronouncement still holds for clergy.

    I’m not sure as to the rules concerning food at this point.

    When Paul brings something like that up, it means it’s going to happen at least once in the future and that people need to tend toward conservatism–resisting serious innovation.

    When a church introduces things that are fundamentally new, it can cease to be a church in the proper sense. I’ve givben you several verses where the Bible expresses this point: A church can cease to be a church because people from within its own ranks introduced new teaching. The church will in that case have sickened and died.

  • Paul was a former tax collector, if he said such a thing then as likely as not he was predicting the rise of global statism, opposed to authentic Christian ministry, such as we are witnessing in our own lifetimes, i.e. the promotion of so-called “homosexual marriage,” that is no more than a thinly-veiled attempt to eviscerate monogamous marriage as it has been known throughout civilized history, and the prohibition by civil authorities against individuals consuming whatever foods or substances that they choose, something that would have been strongly authoritarian even under Roman pagan imperialist standards.

  • Not playing by my own rules?

    I did not state “rules,” I am simply asking, as I have for several hours, that you give citation and a coherent argument for the radical claims you have made.

    You consistently fail to do this, no matter what help I offer.

    Your attempts to bully and manipulate are as pathetic as they are obvious, and you simply cannot manage to stick to a subject, nor can you grasp that you saying “I stated” is not proof.

    You made factual claims, and you keep trying to back them up with your own authority, and seem to be getting frustrated when that is not accepted.

    You eventually threw up a handful of verses that were slightly related, grabbed an old anti-Catholic saw. (which is extensively debunked at the link, chapter and verse)

    When that didn’t work, you threw a fit and tried to claim cheating.

    Make your argument, and support it.

  • Linus–I think you are thinking of one of the other apostles.

    Foxfier–I’ve already made many arguments and have supported them too.

    A rigorously logical approach will not get at the core of the issue. It’s not mathematics and it’s not even science. A Spirit-guided and prayerful reading of scripture is in order. What we should be after, as I see it, is the morphology or grammar of things. When you see the broader shape of Christianity, the incidentals will fall into place.


  • No one can pull one over on Foxfier 🙂

    Hands down the best debater here at TAC.

  • Now I shall retire. I’m in need of some nourishment and a good night’s rest.

    The Lord bless all of you!
    Praise to God!

  • Bravo Foxfier! If you ever wanted to go over to the Dark Side and become an attorney, you would be formidable in cross examination!

  • *blush*

    Just tired of folks dancing around going “I can, I can… I did, didn’t you see it, you fool?!”

  • If sal is a history teacher, I’m super sorry for her students.
    If what she has posted here is her sum knowledge of debating the Truth of the Catholic Church, the kids she teaches will be loaded up with subjective interpretations of what is written by any historian.

    Like what the revisionists are teaching in Japan WRT the attack on Pearl Harbour. And of course, the Crusades were a cowardly and unprovoked attack on the peace loving, Jew and Christian friendly Muslims of that time.

  • Someone has not paid attention to the comments. Christianity can not be decided through logical debate. It is a matter of faith–and faith will beget understanding. As Anselm stated: I believe because it is absurd.

  • As Spengler remarked, Anselm was able to say that because the West was in its “springtime.” But at a later point Aquinas would have us tied up in syllogisms. And that is what I’m trying to argue against. If you are strictly bound by logic, Christianity will make no sense whatsoever. Even Jesuitical theory acknowledges that a point exists where one must ‘make the leap.’

  • 1) “Credo quia absurdum”– “I believe because it is absurd”– is a famous misquote of Tertullian’s credibile est, quia ineptum est .

    2) Anselm is associated with the notion that God is “that than which nothing greater can be thought”.

    Anselm was famous for apply reason to faith.

  • What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?

  • To claim the authority of the scriptures, you have to actually use them, Sal. Not flail around and talk about you, you, you.

  • Judaism was a faith-based religion. People believed in God–they placed their hope and trust in him. He seemed hidden as much as he seemed revealed. Jesus claimed he was his son which made further demands upon faith–what reason could make sense of that?

  • The scriptures are authoritative; why have you still not used them to prove your claims?

  • When Isaac was called upon to sacrifice his son through whom his progeny would come–and thereby the promises–reason was of little if any value. Of course Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead as we learn in Hebrews, but that in itself really amounted to faith. For God to give life to the dead and to do so at that time in God’s plan was a remarkably faith-inspired idea—one that a person would not arrive at through logic.

  • Well, yes they are authoritative—I’m glad we agree on that!

    I guess if you wish to prove a claim in relation to Mary it would be this: Where in the authoritative N.T. do we find a devotion to her, the ever-virgin status, the assumption, etc.?

    So the burden, I believe, would be on one to explain how the ideas arose and became dogmatized.

  • Also, given St. Augustine’s insight which we generally term original sin, how could Mary be sinless? Applying logic, and here goes because you wanted this, each parent before here would have to hae been without sin going back to aDAM AND eVE. You see what I mean?

  • Where in the Bible do you get this sola scriptura notion that it must be in the NT? Do you not understand that “authoritative” means true and accurate, not “the only possible source”?

    The Church was established by the Bible; it is on you to support your claim that she has, as you originally claimed, radically changed.

  • Stop trying to change the subject, Sal.

  • If a church begets notions that are not already in the canon, and the canon is closed, and no one assumes it’s ongoing, and then there are these novel notions——tell me, is one to assume they are a continuation of Christian thought?
    I think not.
    If the notions are novel, and Paul was forever warning his congregants of that potential, then Christianity is being altered.


  • “Christianity can not be decided through logical debate.”

    So is that your premise or your conclusion?

  • You jump from “the Bible is authoritative” to all of that.

    You’re trying to change the subject, again.


    Like the one that you are promoting, since you have thus far been unable to support your claims.

  • Because it seems to me that you have a premise (a false one, but a premise still), from which you draw a conclusion.

    It seems to me you’re making a logical argument.

    All Fox is doing is asking you to support your premise with facts. She’s not even asking for a logical argument. She’s asking for facts.

    If you don’t even know the difference between a fact and a syllogism, then it’s no wonder no one can make any sense of you.

  • Sal-
    Yeah, I guess you might be right. I’m more of a James man myself, and certainly no expert on the Bible. It was a stretch for me to try and answer your claims, given your total lack of scriptural reference or even proper grammar. I’ll stand back and let others beat their head against the brick wall for now.

  • You have established an apologetic approach that is logically-based, I think. And you wish for the argument to proceed along those lines.

    What I am saying is that I am not an advocate of Acquinas and I don’t see matters of the faith in light of logig.

    The otehr issue concerns the quotation of verses. I can not quote a verse in support of something else, at least not usually. That verse is set in a context of its own.

    Regarding premises, yes there is one’s premise concerning tradition and when followed out to its conclusion, it yields separate ones obviously.

  • So your premise is probably the following: The church yields tradition and that tradition becomes authoritative over time given certain qualifications.

    Mine is the following: The church has tradition (more in the form of baggage) and tradition is more or less ooptional, sometimes desirable and at other times undesirable.

    We need periodically to clean house, so to speak. Semper reformanda.

  • You have established an apologetic approach that is logically-based, I think.

    I haven’t established anything in this conversation.

    All I have done is asked you to support your statements, using the Bible.

    You have still failed to do this, and keep trying to change the subject, throwing out random verses, well known slanders, radical misquotes and out of context quotes.

    Support your claims– that the Church is radically different and that Marian devotions are absolutely impossible developments from the text of scripture– with the New Testament.

  • I should clarify: asked you to support your statements about the contents of the Bible with actual statements from the Bible.

    I’m not even limiting you to the New Testament.

  • So following your format, the conclusions of the two premises would be

    yours: tradition can potentially be on a par with scripture.

    mine: tradition is always subservient to scripture and must be constantly measured against it.
    The upshot here is that tradition is never authoritative, normative, or binding for God’s people. It is always discardable and in fact must be discarded when it becomes a hindrance, e.g. something that conflicts witih the overall tenor of God’s written story–not necessarily a single verse of it.

    Hope that helps.

  • So we’re not looking at quotes here. We’re dealing with God’s overall story–the larger narrative of his plan with humanity. From Genesis to Revelation we get a sense of the characters, i.e. Mary.

    Mary is in the tradition of a number of excellent faith heroes. She listens for God’s word and responds with obedience. The song speaks of her as the O.T. songs speak of faith giants–Hail, etc. etc. Blessed art thou among women————-in other words she is chosen and special and God works in and through her.

    Now having said that, she is not without sin, she is not–as far as I can tell based on the context of Jesus’ discussion with people in the N.T.—ever-virigin, she is not assumed up like Enoch who is just taken.
    She is not there for a Rosary to develop around her–the symbolism of the Rose does not apply to her on the basis of what we learn in Scripture.

    She is a woman of sorrows and faith, of great joy and pain, and she is ranked with such as were like her.

    But, and there is a big but here, she is not one that scripture anticipated a devotion to.

  • You still have not backed up your claims, Sal.

    You said:
    Roman Catholicism represents a radical departure from original/authentic Christianity. I’m not supposing Christianity doesn’t ‘develop’ or progress through time and assume new forms. But Catholicism under Rome has actually altered the essence of Christianity.

    Show the radical departure.
    Offer the scriptures that place the Church outside of true Christianity.

    From reading teh New Testament, no one would ever get a sense of Mary that is understood at Rome. In fact, scripture is such that it doesn’t permit the evolution of such an idea. Neither would one assume a devotion to Mary based on a faithful and informed reading of the N.T.

    Supply the scripture that will not permit the evolution of the idea of Mary as she is understood in Rome.
    Offer actual readings which would ban such a development.

  • The symbolism of the Rose emerges from later Western culture. Around 1100 or so you had what was called the cult of romance and the rose was big. The rose became a tool in the church’s arsenel. It was baptized as it were–given new meaning and eventually applied to Mary.

    Mary was actaully in all probability arranged to be with Joseph through family. So the rose is very much out of place there.

    Because it was ‘sanctified’ the rose finds a place in high literature, including Dante’s paradiso and one can even detect it in cathedral architecture.

    But that is of course all medieval—definitely not a part of the Jewish world of Mary’s day.

  • New Testament, chapter and verse, Sal.

    Your attempts to change the topic will not work.

    You made big claims, and it’s really obvious to all of us here that you are either unwilling or unable to justify them.

  • In case I have not done so already, I want to get across the idea that we can not rely on verses or quote minor passages–at least not most of the time.

    Each verse is enmeshed in surrounding verses and so on until, working your way outward by degrees, where back at the whole bible again. And this leads me to my point. I’m sorry if it seems circular, but the Bible IS the word of God.

    Now as such, we must read it from cover to cover and take the story on faith.

    If you wish to work from a verse or two it won’t make sense. That verse was never meant to function on its own. It hasn’t got sufficient meaning by itself. It takes on a ‘full’ sense within the larger context, eventually the whole Bible.

    Now I understand the Fundamentalists like to work the other way–but I don’t approve. Meet me on terms of the Bible, not on Fundamentalist terms. I’m not a Fundamentalist and I don’t think you are either.

  • In case I have not done so already, I want to get across the idea that we can not rely on verses or quote minor passages–at least not most of the time.

    Your initial statement about a faithful reading of scripture is counter to this new claim.

    Support your initial claim about the NT, Sal.

    If you cannot support your statement, you shouldn’t make it, and since you did, you should say “I cannot support my claim from Scripture.”

  • Like I said, way back when:
    Barring any sort of rational support, you’re in the “I don’t like it so I’m grasping” camp.

  • So the Bible presents us with a story—a story of God, people, and what happens throughout their interaction. From reading the story we get a sense of our place within it. As N. T. Wright commented, we are called upon to improvise. Now I would like to add that this improvisation does not constitute license for introducing something essenially new.

    This kind of matter is not like adding two and two.

    We’re dealing with how people understand tradition.

    My claim is that any tradition that becomes authoritative and / or conflicts with what the Bible has already stated is a tradition that needs to be scrapped.

  • The N. T. reveals that Jesus’ had earthly siblings.
    Hence, Mary could not be ever-virgin.

    There now is a concrete proof of what you have been fishing for.

    The Bible states outrightly that no one is without sin.

    Mary was therefore sinful.

  • You have made a big deal that the scriptures are authoritative.

    Respect their authority and cite them, Sal.

    We get the idea, you think you’re right. What a shock. Support your claims.

    You’re quick enough to make new claims, yet are unwilling to defend what you say you believe….

  • The N. T. reveals that Jesus’ had earthly siblings.

    Wrong, but at least it’s specific.

    There now is a concrete proof of what you have been fishing for.

    No, that is a claim. You’ve offered lots of vague yet sweeping claims.

    If you have a history degree as claimed, you should be able to tell the difference. You should be able to make a claim, support it with evidence, and offer sources for that evidence with great ease.

    I’ve given you two different sites with Bibles and the tools to put in the hyperlinks.

    You cannot even manage to cite chapter and verse.

  • For heaven’s sake, even Jesus quoted Scripture to make his points.

    The truth is really ever so simple. All of his teachings, all of his points, all of his ways – simplicity incarnate.

    It is the heretics who complicate things, who invent hidden or alternate meanings, because the simple truths are too hard to digest.

    Jesus established the Catholic Church when he gave the keys of heaven and an unfailing faith to St. Peter. He who hears Jesus, hears the Church. He gave the apostles and their successors the power to bind and to loose, and promised that He would be with them until the end of time. It is upon these very simple and clear promises of Christ that the Church has the authority to proclaim and clarify the truths revealed in Scripture, with the aid of the Holy Spirit.

    Why don’t you read the Gospels some time.




  • So I’m citing an exact quote–it’s in what you call the magnificat. Check it out.

    Thanks and peace to you.

  • In Mary’s song, Mary rejoices in God her savior (kind of like when we call on Jesus). He was her savior and redeemer. She was a part of Israel and in Adam–so therefore in need of the redemption that came through Christ. She looked forward to teh promises with anticipation, thanksgiving and praise!


  • Sal
    you are not citing scripture, nor are you making your case.

    Stop trying to change the subject, and just offer support and an argument from scripture for either of your original two claims.

  • Marian devotion in all of its aspects grew up over centuries–it usually emerged from the bottom. Then it gradually gained acceptance among the elite. It was accelerated by the need to evangelize and gain support. It also found acceptance due to its similarities to many of the goddess cults of pagan Europe. Marian devotion has about it the pomp and glitz of the Orient, and probably can be traced to the same place of origin from which there arrived such cults as the Mater Dolorosa, etc.

  • Mary’s song, Luke, chap. 1 verse 47 and it reads:
    How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
    Holy Bible–New Living Translation, C.2007

    Mary looked to God as her personal savior.

    That is plainly noticable.

  • Getting closer to a decent argument, but that still doesn’t support your claim that the New Testament makes modern Marian devotions unthinkable as a progression from the scriptures.

    Even though it’s an improvement, it’s still rather vague, as well as not having any citations– Biblical or otherwise.

    This article on the history of Marian devotion is a good example of how you could form your argument.

    Hey, if you get it all organized and linked, you can even put it up to enlighten others! Google offers free sites.

  • To follow up in case it has not already been deduced, a person in need of a Savior is one who has sin.

  • I’ll work on that all tomorrow. But you’ve not responded to the argument I posed.

  • So Mary had sin. She was not immaculate.

    Jesus had half-brothers. Mary was not always virgin.

    I think James was one of Jesus’ half-brothers.

  • In context, from after Elizabeth’s greeting to the visiting Mary:
    And Mary said: 16 “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
    my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
    For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.
    The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

    That Mary was a believer is far from a shock.

    It’s rather the reason she agreed to carry our Lord, and has nothing to do with the Immaculate Conception.

    But you’ve not responded to the argument I posed.

    You have not made an argument from scripture, as you repeatedly claimed you could. You’ve barely even quoted the Bible, and when you have, it’s been disjointed, out of context and without a framework to match it up with your claims.

    I will not build you an argument and then tear it down myself.

  • More claims, without support, Sal.

    Look at this and this if you need help to figure out how to format a citation in to your claims; those are two different formats for citing scripture in support of a claim, and then forming the result into an argument.

  • The cult of Mary is practiced because of the definition the church at Rome affords to tradition.

    Paul implies a much more static notion of tradition when he states, “hold on to the traditions you’ve been given,” and “don’t be moved by this or that apparantly new thing,” and so on.

    So new traditions (those succeeding the canon) must be carefully viewed to see if they are in harmony with scripoture. If they aren’t, they need to be scrapped.

  • The symbolism of the sacred heart and the rose have been wrongly applied to Mary. They do not match up with anything concerning Mary in scripture.

    1. The sacred heart is nowhere found there.
    2. The rose had to do with romantic love.

    The symbols surrounding her cultic statue relate to the woman clothed in the sun standing on the moon, etc. in Revelation who can just as easily be translated as Israel/the Chruch.

    Yet, the official statue (the one that’s duplicated for the Roman Catholic altar and that yields little variety from one to another) has Mary appearing as the lady in John’s vision.

    Can you asnwer why that is?

  • Each time I’ve visited a church under Rome I’ve seen that statue–she’s usually wearing a blue gown that covers her head–sometimes she has a crown atop her head. Then there are the stars around her head, the terrestrial or heavenly ball beneath her feet, the serpent somewhere in there, etc.

    And I’m thinking, but this is one of John’s vision in Revelation. Why do they morph Mary and the lady in the vision?

  • Revelation chapter 12 verses 1-6 reads:

    Then I witnessed in heaven an event of great significance. I saw a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon beneath her feet, and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant, and she cried ou because of her labor pains and agony of giving birth. Then I witnessed in heaven anothe significant event. I saw a large red dragon with seven heads and ten horns, with seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept away one-third of the stars in the sky, and he thre them to the earth. He stood in front of the woman sas she was about to give bith , ready to devour her baby as soon as it was born. She gave birht to a son whowas to rule all nations with an iron rod. And her child was snatched away from the dragon and was caught up to god and to his throne. And th woman fled into the wilderness, where God had prepared a place to care for her for 1260 days.

    So the lady in the vision is Israel or God’s people. Then we have a son. That is Jesus.

    If we maintain the lady is Mary then we have a probloem. Are you prepared to say the dragon is a person, etc.? Then the whole book of Revelation just becomes rediculous.

    So in the cult of Mary, the church at Rome has morphed her into the lady in Revelation.

  • Sal, perhaps I missed this in an earlier post. However, do you belong to a religious body and what might that church be? If I may add a couple of points. Jesus never called Mary “mother” because it was understood that she was the world’s mother. Early Christian artwork often depcited images of the Blessed Mother, some even referring to verses like Revelation 12 (even before the Canon was compiled.) In addition, Marian devotion not only took place among the peasant class, but among the learned class, including the Early Church Fathers. This is why in places like the Middle East and North Africa, the Feast of the Assumption was the most celebrated holy day after Chrsitmas and Easter, even before Christianity was legalized (in those places which were under Rome’s rule.)

    As for papal authority, in 96 AD the Church in Corinth sent a letter to Pope Clement asking for his opinion on an ecclesiastical matter, all the while St John was living on Patmos, not far from them. They appealed to Rome because, even though he was under constant threat of death and many popes were killed, that is where the Successor of St Peter resided. There existed a popular phrase in the Early Church, “Rome has spoken.” I believe St Augustine often used this phrase in reference to disputes that broke out among various heresies. I would also like to call to your attention to another matter. Many who argue that Peter is not the Rock, forget that Jesus was speaking to Peter in Aramaic and not Hebrew, so all of this nonsense about pebbles and feminine case for this or that does not apply. Finally, if you don’t believe in papal authority how do you reconcile Pope St Damasus approving the Canon of the Bible in 382 AD. Take care!

  • Well thanks for the response. But what does it all have to do with what I’ve been stating throughout the dialogue? It still doesn’t answer anything I’ve raised,with the exception of the rock/stone/pebble reference. And I’m not sure I see what you mean. Peter was notorious for vacillating before and after he made his confession. His stature in and of himself was certainly not much. So what we’re dealing with, I believe, is his confession:

    Jesus Christ is the head, foundation, and chief cornerstone of his church. That he was the Christ is what we believe. God’s church is made up of God’s followers. So the rock as it’s been interpreted is just that. To see in it the origin of literal succession would be anachronistic.

    Further, Peter went to the Jews whereas Paul went to the Gentiles. I’m not saying it was completely black and white but their missionary impulses were in two different directions with Paul being the Apostle to the Gentiles—and Rome was a gentile city.

  • Yes, Rome, bishops (popes), and decisions are all in there. We know it, but as things developed there was the damoclean sword–one that cut both ways.

    E.g. Constantine’s political maneuver. Yes, it was good in some ways and bad in others. And the situation at Rome was like that too for the first 500 years. Some very good things emerged. Some bad. Some indifferent.

    The most basic idea I wish to get across though, is that there is a point (say about 1300-1500 AD), where the church under Rome got so complicated it was time to clean house.

    That doesn’t mean it wasn’t a good and functioning church for a long time or that it didn’t faithfully witness in many ways throughout its past.

    It just means it hit a point of decadence and decline–it overreached and grew corrupt, and beliefs and practices grew distorted.

  • So what we’ve got by 1500 AD is a situation where people are looking to get out. They’re looking to start over again, not because of an ahistoric stance.

    They know the church began at Pentecost and continues until Christ returns. They simply wish to faithully continue in that, and to do so in a way that is marked by integrity.

    The way to do that is to organize and obtain resources and to move forward. That’s what they did.

    The church has always continued. There is no break in it. The unity and coninuity of God’s church is visible to all who will see it. God’s people constitute that unity, and it is of course more tangible in administrative form. But if there is a “changing of the guards,” that does not mean the church got interrupted.

    So they sought generally to arrange things as they probably were no later than 500 AD.

  • Sal with all due respect, I think much of this comes down to pride and obediance. Sadly, you and those of a similar mindest, have too little of the former and too much of the latter. Unfortunately it seems some Christians fall into one of two errors; Christianity had gone wrong until 1517 when Martin Luther got it right, or somehow there was a secret group of true Christians unbeknownst to the real world who carried on the truth. Whatever the case, it seems more than a little ridiculous that the Catholic Church’s view of Peter and Mary was somehow corrected by someone centuries later.

    Do you realize how ridiculous this sounds? What if in the year 3293 a group of historians came forward and said that most of what we knew about the American Revolution was incorrect. Fortunately, we have 1517 years later found out the real significance behind people like Sam Adams and George Washington. In addition, we have uncovered the truth about events and battles, such as the Boston Tea Party, Boston Massacre, Bunker Hill and Yorktown. Sincere historians would either laugh, cry or shake their heads in disbelief. This is how Catholics feel when Johnny Come Latelys try to lecture us on the Bible (which the Catholic Church gave the world via the inspiration provided by the Holy Spirit) and the role of the Apostles and Saints. I am not attempting to be rude, but I just don’t know how else to sincerely state these facts without pointing to the obvious. Again, thank you for engaging in this discussion.

  • I can see where you would think all of that. I comploetely follow your line of reasoning. I can sympathize with that point of view.

    I do, however, disagree with it because there is a lot more to it than that.

    Scripture is comprised and transmitted by the church, which ought in turn to live in light of it. So there would have been a process of formation that the church underwent. As that occurred, the church itself would make adjustments or “grow into itself.” Then the church is free to formulate traditions that reflect all of that.

    The church is not free to alter the essence of things.

    People CAN alter the essence ofthings.

    When that occurrs, others try to renew the essence. Some do so from within. Others do so outside the existing framework.

    The church continues.

  • You STILL have no support from the scriptures, Sal.

    Why is it so difficult for you to manage to show what you claim is so clear?

  • You can’t even manage to give secular sources for your claims, just claims on claims.

    That’s the kind of BS that you can get away with if you’re giving a lecture, a wishy-washy sermon or writing a newspaper article, but there’s no excuse for such actions on the internet.

  • I’ve already supplied scriptural passages. Someone has not been reading the prior comments in the dialogue.


  • True, you have supplied some scripture– it’s just thrown out, rather than used as support of your two, big, initial claims. Some of it is even counter to your claims.

    I have pointed that out, I have pointed out several factual errors, and I have put up with your attempts to change the subject and let your claims stand as if they were anything beyond just you saying something.

    So we have incorrect information, ignorant claims, unsupported claims, misquotes, contradictory scripture and constant appeals to authority and rather constant ad hominem attacks.

    You attack Mary; I offer not one but two Biblically sourced links; you respond with factual errors and unsupported claims.

    This is not dialog, this is you trying to put forward your notions with no support but your own claims.

    Someone has not been paying attention, unless you’re just another troll; a neutral party will see this and notice your failures.

  • I forgot to add: you also mis-characterize what you argue against. A classic tactic in dishonest rhetoric.

  • I’m sorry if it seems that way. I don’t know what a troll is, unless you mean those small figurines people bring wiht them to bingo for good luck.

    I wanted to get across that the church under Rome developed beyond scripture–it was wrongly innovative.
    Examples here would include ‘the New Mary’ among other things.

    Again, while something may not go against a particular verse or passage, it may still go against the general tenor of God’s word. And that is perhaps somewhat more of a vague matter–Yes, I understand that. People may see the big picture differently. But that is why I think it’s important to be spirit- guided, spirit-driven, and and prayerful in our reading. That of course is what we allneed, including myself. I don’t want to miss truth eirther. I appreciate your deep concern regarding truth. Now I ask you to consider examining the role to which your churhc has assigned tradition. Because fundamentally, that’s where most of this discussion will ultimately get resolved.

    Praise God and peace to you!

  • I wanted to get across that the church under Rome developed beyond scripture

    You have failed in anything but conveying that you believe it to be so, and cannot organize support from those same scriptures.

    You should really not make grandiose claims that you are unwilling or unable to support, and you really should not try yelling louder, changing the subject, offering false quotes, falsely characterizing the other side, claiming you already proved something when all you did was claim it and making “sly” personal attacks.

    Again, while something may not go against a particular verse or passage, it may still go against the general tenor of God’s word

    FINALLY! We get down to brass tacks– and, curses, I was right.

    All the rest is just noise on the line. -.- And here I thought we might’ve lucked on to someone who was interested in genuine dialog.

  • Make it simple, Sal.

    Cite the teaching of the Church that you feel goes beyond Scripture.

    Then cite the passage from Scripture.

  • OK–that sounds good!

    1. (I’ve already given it but here goes) In Mary’s Song, Mary rejoices in God her savior. In order to have a savior, one must be in need of salvation. Yes?
    But the church at Rome teaches that Mary was without sin.

    2. Jesus had half-brothers, e.g. James. Yes? But the church at Rome teaches that Mary remained a virgin.

    3. Paul warns continually against innovation–in several passages—I’m sure you know of them since you’re very informed and intelligent.

    But verses and passages don’t have the force that God’s overall story does. So I feel that we should look more to the drift of the Word–and here is where complications with tradition arise. For example, the new Mary of Roman tradition runs counter to the sense of her in the gospels, etc.

  • Here is one more point to ponder: The Bible teaches that no one is without sin. Once again, Roman tradition has ascribed to Mary a sinless status.

    St. Augustine helped to express this sin thing–we sometimes refer to it as original sin.
    Now Mary was the product of normal conception. FOr Mary to be sinless, her parents would ahve to have been sinless and so on back to Adam and Eve.

  • I don’t think Sal has very good reading comprehension, Joe.

    You Mickey Mouse it as:
    cite the teaching, cite the scripture.

    He then goes and just says the same thing over again, no citation offered at all.

    For bonus, he doesn’t seem to understand what the Church teaches about Mary, either, even though I gave him two links that explain it.

    But, if we go charging off about the various inaccuracies, he carries on as if he’d made a decent argument, shown his work, cited scripture, etc.

  • Sorry, I didn’t cite: For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

  • I’ll await your responses concerning Mary’s supposed sinless and virgin status.

  • Sal, I am quite suprised that someone who claims to be so well versed in Holy Scripture and Christian History would miss the obvious. In the Jewish world, cousins were often referred to as “brothers.” As for those like St Augustine and the Early Church Fathers, they were the ones who had great devotions to the Blessed Mother. Perhaps this link, which includes both Sacred Scripture & Sacred Tradition will help you with this matter. Take care!

  • Sal, when you get done with the previous link, here’s another one for you to ponder. Take care!

  • Yes, well given the cousin/brother usage, I’ll suggest that it’s up for debate; it can go either way.

    I quoted Augustine of Hippo because I read his city of God and enjoyed it–and I know he’s held in high esteem among Catholics.

    But really, the Patristics and people in their climate did have a vested interest in promoting ideas of virginity, etc. Don’t you think? There was so much platonism and orientalism in the air. I’m not saying Mary couln’t possibly have been a life-long virgin, but we have to remember what was in vogue in vogue–beginning really with the gnosticism the church had to wrestle with as early as Paul’s day.

  • Mr. Madrid feels that because the Bible DOESN’T mention a thing, the opposite of that thing can therefore easily be thought to be true.

    I disagree.

    Mr. Madrid comments that the church sees Mary as the fulfillment of three types.

    I disagree.

    Mary can be seen as a fulfillment of something based on a person’s style of thinking. Things can easily get blended together in one’s mind.

    I would separate them. For example, Eve, Mary, and the figure in Rev. 12 are, as I see it, unlinked. The only way in which they are linked are in the sense that they constitute different parts of the same story–God’s story.

    I appreciate Mr. Madrid wanting to articulate a defense for something. I don’t agree, however, with the defense itself.

  • I’ll await your responses concerning Mary’s supposed sinless and virgin status.

    I’m still waiting for you to, as Joe so simply put it, cite the teaching, cite the scripture.

    No broad claims, no generic notions, just plain, simple “this is what the Church teaches (source), this is why it’s wrong (source.)”

    Since you’ve been HANDED three different sources for the Church’s Marian teaching, it should be easy to go “here, quote from teaching, yet, in Book, chapter, verses.”

  • Sal,

    I think you are making an error in logic – and I know how much you hate logic, but bear with me.

    Mary IS saved by Jesus; she is made sinless by God so she can give birth to him. Without that, I think we may presume, she would not have been born without sin. So, Jesus saves Mary as well.

    That seems rather clear and simple to me. Mary is the new ark. The old ark contained the word of God (the Ten Commandments); the new ark contains the word made flesh (Jesus). The old ark was ordered by God to be made of incorruptible wood (setim wood); the new ark was also made incorruptible by the Immaculate Conception.

    There is also the angelic salutation: Hail Mary, full of grace!

  • Yes, I disagree with the position on the three type-fulfillments quoted by Mr. Madrid. Insights will arise when reading scripture (hopefully.) One may think they see a type. Such things should not become official, authoritative or dogmatized.

    The early writers concluded certain types. Those are written in stone. We are not at liberty to create new ones as official teaching.

    One person thinks Mary is the new Eve.

    Another thinks she is the new Ark or the cosmos restored.

    It’s OK to have inights or even just helpful ideas.

    But we musn’t construct doctrine or dogma on the basis of such things. It’s not safe.

    I see a lot of muddled thinking pertaining to Mary. Things are not being carefully distiniguished.

    The promise to Eve in the fall-context is one thing.

    Mary as a carrier is another.

    The woman and the dragon something else.

    The cosmos gets restored, yes, but that’s another tyhing.

    The church at Rome has lumped together things that should rather be differentiated.

    Are there ties? Yes. Are there perhaps similarities? Yes. Should they be blended together so that at the conclustion Mary is inflated and ready to burst with all that’s been subsumed in her?

    I offer an emphatic no.

  • The old ark containing the word of God: Deuteronomy 10:1-2

    The old ark made of incorruptible setim wood: Exodus 25:10

    The new ark, incorruptible (full of grace) containing the word made flesh: Luke 1:28-31

  • Sal,

    When the successor of Peter teaches on faith and morals, he is protected from error by the Holy Spirit per Luke 22:32. The Immaculate Conception is a defined dogma; it cannot, and is not, an error.

    To hold the full and true faith means to hold faith in the promises of Christ regarding His Church.

  • So that’s the real issue here, anyway: the office of the Papacy, its legitimacy, its reality. If one accepts that, one must accept the Immaculate Conception.

    Of course I think it makes perfect sense even without that.

  • Oh, and by the way – Mary as the “new Eve” and Mary as the ark are not contradictory ideas. So that’s another false argument.

    Logic helps.

  • Joe,

    One person may see the church as the fulfillment of the ark. Another may see it as Christ.
    Still antoher may say both are its fulfillment.
    My point is that scripture reading involves this personal element. People guided by the Spirit should conclude the same truth, of course. But not everyone gets there in the same way–I have no problem with people seeing Mary in a certain light as long as it doesn’t conflict with the story that’s already set down on paper.

    Luke 22:32 — Jesus wants Peter to be strong. There is work to be done. And Peter needs to strengthen and encourage the others.

    Now I will not jump from there to a head bishop at Rome. That is just too much of a leap. I thinki it’s unreasonable.

  • Once again, to find in Mary the fulfillment of all these types will render her larger than real life. Mr. Madrid speaks of her as representing the renewal of the cosmos. That is probably why we see stars, clouds, and worlds accompanying her pictorially. It’s out of proportion to her Jewish localized and really quite earthy setting. She was a peasant girl. The cult of Mary has depicted her as something divine.

  • It is like morphing a shepherd boy into an Oriental despot.

  • Sal,

    In the very same passage he gives Peter the authority to “confirm thy brethren” ONCE he is converted – for right after this Jesus predicts his thrice denial of Him. Peter’s tenure as pope begins after the resurrection.

    Even you recognize – any sane person would have to – that Jesus set Peter above the other apostles. But it was only for Peter, the rock upon which Jesus built his Church, that he prayed for so that his faith would not fail. Not St. Paul, not St. John, not St. Thomas or anyone else, but St. Peter alone.

    Taken with the several other passages in which Jesus clearly singles out Peter for leadership, particularly John 21:15-17, any honest person has to conclude that Peter was established as the head of Christ’s Church, and that in that capacity his faith would not fail.

    This isn’t about what “one person sees” and what “another person sees.” There’s only one person who can and will see the full truth, and that is the successor of Peter, whose faith cannot fail. That is what Christ taught. It’s a shame you don’t find that to be “reasonable”, but really, if you can accept that God became man, died, and rose from the dead, I don’t see why you can’t accept this as well.

    It’s picking and choosing otherwise.

  • Isn’t that playing connect the dots, though? I just don’t see–I mean really see–what you’re seeing about Peter and a possible pope.

    Well–the Jews were Jesus’ sheep–they were to first go to the lost sheep–and Peter was the apostle to the Jews–and Jesus said to him “feed my sheep”.

    So perhaps that helps you to put it in context.

    Peter has a mission for the lambs (read–the lost sheep of israel)

    Remember, it was Paul who went to the broader world and Rome!

    Hope this helps.

  • Sal,

    The concept of the Holy Trinity is also, to put it in your crude phrase, “connecting the dots.” Nowhere is it explicitly stated that God is three persons in one divine being. But it is clearly present in Scripture.

    You yourself are making things up now. Where does Jesus say “the Jews are my sheep”? He gave the apostles the task of converting ALL nations, not just the Jews. It wasn’t just Paul who went to the broader world – St. Thomas was in India and he may have even made it to the Americas (some speculate, but still, India is pretty far).

    Nowhere does it explicitly say that Peter is exclusive to the Jews. Just because someone is for various reasons more suited to a task doesn’t