Lutherans and the Eucharist

Wednesday, November 18, AD 2015

Holy%20Eucharist

 

Father Z explains the differences between how Lutherans and Catholics perceive the Eucharist.  Father Z should know, since he was a Lutheran prior to his conversion to the Faith:

As far as the Eucharist is concerned, Catholics believe that, with the consecration by a validly ordained priest (Lutherans do not believe in sacramental ordination that confers an ontological character – rather, every man is his own priest), bread and wine are changed in their substance into the Body and Blood of Christ even though the outward appearance and characteristic accidents of bread and wine remain for our human senses. After this change of substance, trans-substantiation, Christ is truly present in the Eucharistic species, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. So long as the outward accidents remain and the species are recognizable as, in their accidents, being bread and wine, they are still the Eucharist and Christ is truly present in them, even in very small quantities of the Eucharistic Body and Blood. When the Eucharistic species are destroyed or significantly altered in their outward accidents, they cease being the Eucharist and Christ is no longer present in them. Furthermore, we Catholic believe that the celebration of the Eucharist represents and renews and makes present again both the Last Supper of the Lord during His Passion as well as the Sacrifice of Cross on Calvary. The celebration of the Eucharist is Christ’s atoning, propitiatory Sacrifice, which, though it occurred at one fixed point in time, is renewed and made present again through the actions of the priest, who acts as alter Christus. Mass is the true, real, renewal of the Sacrifice in an unbloody way that once took place in a bloody way, historically, on Calvary. This is done through the actions and words of the ordained priest.

Lutherans believe that anyone can celebrate the “Lord’s Supper” (some few Lutherans call it “Mass”) though some are called by the community to preside in the central role. The Lord’s Supper is not the Sacrifice renewed. Lutherans do not believe that the substance of bread and wine change, transubstantiation. They think that Christ is present together with the bread and wine for as long as Christ is needed to be there, a kind of “consubstantiation”. (Some Lutherans don’t like that term, but I’m not getting into that fight.) That is to say, that for Christ to be present, there must be institution, distribution and reception.  If it is not received, Christ isn’t present.  Once no longer needed there for reception, Christ is no longer present and there is left merely bread and wine. They believe Christ is truly present, when required for reception, but not in an enduring way. Luther used the image an iron that is heated and then it cools again: the iron and the heat are there together and then only the iron is there.  However, some Lutheran churches are starting to reserve their eucharistic species and even to adore what they reserve, even kneeling outside their eucharistic communion services.  An interesting development as they become more “sacramental”.  Furthermore, the Lord’s Supper is a memorial merely. It does not renew the Sacrifice of Calvary or the Last Supper, but rather commemorates them. Lutherans believe in a priesthood of all believers. There is no sacramental priesthood or consecration of the Eucharist or sacramental absolution of sins or conferral of confirmation. Matrimony is not a sacrament, nor is anointing. Lutherans have two sacraments, Baptism and “Eucharist”. Their baptism is valid because water is poured on the skin while the Trinitarian form is pronounced. Their “Eucharist” is not the Eucharist. They do not believe it is a sacrament in the sense we do and there is no valid priesthood to confect it, etc. They do not believe, as Catholics do, that sacraments are outward signs instituted by Christ Himself that confer grace. For Lutherans, they are outward signs of realities that are taking place.

Also, I recall when I was younger that, at the Luther Northwestern Seminary in my native place, they would annually have their Lutheran form of “Mass” in Latin.  Yes, there are/were such things.

Lutherans, in a way, look on their confession of sins as a sacrament. Luther referred to “penance” as a sacrament in the Large Catechism. Some Lutheran prayerbooks have a rite for penance. But they do not believe that the action and words of the one who hears that confession and pronounces words of forgiveness are sacramentally effective, as when the Catholic priest gives absolution.

This isn’t everything that can be said about differences between Catholic and Lutheran beliefs.  Books are written about each aspect I touched on.  But this is a start for those who know very little about them.

However, if you are a true Lutheran, you don’t believe what the Catholic Church believes about Eucharist and Priesthood.  Not believing what we believe, you cannot receive Communion in the Catholic Church.  If you believe what the Catholic Church teaches… then you had better become a Catholic in order to be true to yourself.

I would also say, if you are Catholic but you don’t adhere to Catholic teaching, you are in serious trouble, particularly if you have been properly instructed and you choose against Catholic teachings.

The Second Vatican Council issued a spiritual warning in Lumen gentium 14.  Here it is via the Catechism of the Catholic Church when addressing the issue of salvation outside the Church (846ff):

How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers? Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it(LG 14).

I quoted LG 14 via the CCC to show that what LG 14 contains isn’t obsolete.

If you are not Catholic, but you have come to believe what the Catholic Church teaches, and you refuse to enter the Church by your own will (not because you are afraid, etc.), you are in serious peril for your eternal soul.

If you are Catholic, but you pick and choose what to believe among those teaches that you are bound to accept, you are in serious peril for your eternal soul.

Continue reading...

One Response to Lutherans and the Eucharist

  • Luther’s doctrine that Christ’s body was present “with, in or under the bread,” led to endless controversies, both among his followers and with the other Reformers.

    If both were present simultaneously, this necessarily implied that Christ’s body was “locally” present, along with the bread; something that St Thomas had had the prescience to deny (“Christ’s body is not in this sacrament in the same way as a body is in a place, which by its dimensions is commensurate with the place; but in a special manner which is proper to this sacrament.” (ST IIIa, Q75, A1, ad. 3.))
    Calvin famously retorted that Christ’s natural body is in heaven and not here; some Lutherans countered by arguing that “God’s right hand” is everywhere and that Christ was everywhere present, not only as God, but also as man. They were dubbed “Ubiquists” for their pains by their opponents, who saw (rightly enough, in my opinion) that this was Monophysitism, crumbling into Docetism.

Saint Augustine: The Body and The Blood

Thursday, April 17, AD 2014

BouveretLastSupper

Christ bore Himself in His hands, when He offered His body saying: “this is my body.”

Saint Augustine

 Continuing on with our Lenten series in which Saint Augustine is our guide, go here  , here  ,here  , here, here , here  and here to read the first seven posts in the series, we come to Holy Thursday and the First Mass.  As Catholics, we join in the great mystery of God sacrificing Himself for us at every Mass we witness, just as if we were sitting at the Last Supper watching Christ transforming the bread into His Body and the wine into His Blood.  Saint Augustine explained to new Catholics why bread and wine are placed on Catholic altars:

Continue reading...

2 Responses to Saint Augustine: The Body and The Blood

Knute Rockne & The Eucharist

Monday, January 7, AD 2013

After the college football national championship game, faith filled fans of Notre Dame Football need something positive on which to dwell, so how about a miraculous story surrounding Knute Rockne? Many readers may be aware of legendary Notre Dame Football Coach Knute Rockne’s winning prowess on the football field. However, he was also a budding scientist and man of faith. Before becoming a coach, then promising student Knute Rockne worked with famed Notre Dame Priest and scientist Father Julius Nieuwland who helped invent synthetic rubber and is the only priest in the Inventor’s Hall of Fame. Father Nieuwland CSC believed that a bright future lie ahead for his promising Chemistry student named Rockne. Both Father Nieuwland and the future Notre Dame Coach were immigrants, Father Nieuwland from Belgium and Knute Rockne from Norway. However, the labratory was not to be for Rockne, for it was the college gridiron where he would earn his lore.

While Rockne was surrounded by Catholicism, he was a Norwegian Lutheran. However, it was Coach Rockne’s players that helped convert him to Catholicism. What was it about Catholicism that did it? The Eucharist.  During the early 1920’s when the Four Horseman strode the gridiron in South Bend, Coach Rockne was worried that all of the new found fame might make his players stray from the straight and narrow. The late George Gipp was known to do just that and a slightly older 30something Coach Rockne didn’t want that to happen again, so the coach would often keep a close eye on his players.

One morning Coach Rockne noticed several of his players leaving their dorms in the wee hours of the morning. He followed them to early morning Mass. Before practice that day he asked them about their movements in the wee hours. They informed him that they had early classes and couldn’t get to Mass any other time.  “It’s that important to you,” Coach Rockne asked?”They told him that the Eucharist was just that important.

Coach Rockne then discussed the matter with several priests who gave him books to read about the Faith. In 1923, Knute Rockne was received into the Church, thanks in great part to the personal witness of his own players.

Knute Rockne is hardly alone in being a faithful example of Catholic leadership on the gridiron at Notre Dame. While Coach Gerry Faust will hardly be remembered for his record, no coach stands taller as a faith leader than Coach Faust who would tell anyone who would listen about the Catholic Church and “Our Lady.”  Coach Faust was certainly helpful to me with regard to my first book and went out of his way to help me promote it. Keep in mind he didn’t know me from Adam only from meeting me at a high school football game, talking on the phone and reading the book’s manuscript. He spends many days a year at small Catholic school fundraisers that help those schools keep their doors open.

He is much beloved by his former Notre Dame players as well as those at Archbishop Moeller High School in Cincinnati where Coach Faust garnered his fame. While some have gone on to become college and NFL stars, others have achieved success in many different venues. In the late 1960s, one overachieving young man who played for Coach Faust at Archbishop Moeller High school came from a large working class Catholic family. He would go on to become the current Speaker of the House. Speaker John Boehner and Coach Faust remain in contact to this day and speak highly of of another.

I would be remiss in not mentioning former Coach Lou Holtz who also does his fair share of fundraisers for worthy Catholic charities. He can rattle of the names of every grade school nun who taught him back in East Liverpool, Ohio. Obviously there is so much more I could write, but I go into much more detail about this and many other matters in my book; The Catholic Tide Continues to Turn. I hope this helps paint the picture of Knute Rockne and two other coaches at Notre Dame who were leaders of men and personal examples of faith.

Continue reading...

9 Responses to Knute Rockne & The Eucharist

  • Pingback: On Feasting and Fasting: It's Still Christmastime | Big Pulpit
  • My first experience with Lou Holtz was when he was coaching at the University of Arkansas, and through the years my respect for him as a coach, as a person, and now as a sports commentator has really deepened. What a great credit he is to the sports world.

  • Please spellcheck post, then delete this comment.

  • Pauli is your comment directed at me? I would worry about my own posts before I take on the role of being Der Kommissar of the Language Police.

  • Wonderful article! The Eucharist is the heart of all life!

  • CK thank you for your kind words. It is a pleasure to write about such inspiring, but little known stories. I must confess to having a pet peeve at those who find it necessary to correct posts that seemingly need to correcting. If I sounded a bit harsh in my last post directed at Pauli, it was not my intention. However, it was my intention of bringing to light the problem some have with taking away from the joyous tone of articles such as these.

    I have worked with a number of editors and the funny thing about editors is they disagree and will readily admit that one can agree to disagree over grammar and style. Jesus reminded us that we shouldn’t get worked up over gnats.

    Robert, great comments on Coach Holtz. I am amazed as to how many of these busy men gave of their time to be quoted in my two books, when they didn’t know me from Adam. They only knew I was writing a positive book about the Catholic Church. I will be forever grateful to Coaches Faust and Holtz, as well as a former Catholic basketball coach (University of Detroit now called Detroit Mercy) turned big time college basketball commentator, Dick Vitale. God Bless them all.

  • Great catholic stories from ND but don’t forget Fr. Teddy who along with so many liberals has destoyed the Catholic university system in our country. Love to discuss how he allowed the smoke of satan to flow from the golden dome to all the Catholic universities. What a great man who was the ceo of the infamous Rockefellar Inst. that financially supported hitler, yes i said the H word and all their diabolical acts not to mention planned parenthood,ect let the debate begin!!

  • Increased reverence for the Body of Christ will eventually put an end to the murder of His innocent miracles

  • Pingback: Baptism of the Son of God | St. John

Army Special Forces Medical Sergeant Writes About the Eucharist

Friday, July 13, AD 2012

We are blessed with some inspiring and talented young adults at Ignitum Today; a young mother determined to positively define feminism, an opinionated Victoria Advocate, a couple of teenage writers with Spirit-filled and mature pens, the wise and professional GADEL from Ghana, a mysterious college duo Ink and Quill, a father and mother who just welcomed the birth a daughter with Spina Bifida, a sharp-witted Paul Ryan fan who writes the blog that won Best New Blog at CPAC last year, two Bright Maidens, a husband and wife missionary team in Dominica, a Junior Fellow at First Things, Look! A Black Catholic!, a Canossian Sister, missionary, and nun who dabbles in graphics, music, techstuff, and loves to pray intercessory prayers for you…and the list goes on. That’s only some of the contributors, and I will continue to introduce more of them to The American Catholic audience, they are truly inspiring. We have one major rule – no heresy! – and in spite of what some may think, no, of course we don’t advocate burning heretics, just avoiding heresy as we shine the light of Christ into the world.

I know I’m bragging, but I’m so proud of all of them. Imagine what it’s like to work with such a great group of young adults, and to wake up and read powerful messages like the following on a regular basis. This is from a 27 year old Army Special Forces Medical Sergeant, Ryan Kraeger, a cradle Catholic homeschool graduate stationed on the West Coast. His website is The Man Who Would Be Knight and he blogs here.

But you must read his latest, Hunger and Thirst. Please go read the whole thing, as a commenter said, it will stay with you for the rest of your life. I pray that priests who uphold the teaching of the Church are allowed to remain in service to our armed forces.

And God? God is the Sun! God is the boiling furnace of a thousand times a thousand suns, a blazing inferno (pun intended) of desire for me. God is the Love that exists from all eternity, Love that loved me into existence, Love that loves me into love with the Triune Love.

This is why I go to Communion! Not because I am so in love with God, but because He is eternally in love with me.

As of this writing I am facing the prospect of a very long time in a desert where there are no priests. At first this panicked me, but now I am at peace with it. The God who has worked so hard to bring me to Him (despite my best efforts to the contrary at times) will not abandon me. If it is His will to starve me for a year, or for the rest of my life, then starvation is what is best for me.

What saddens me, though, is the number of people who starve themselves…

Click here to read the rest.

Click here to read the rest.

Continue reading...

4 Responses to Army Special Forces Medical Sergeant Writes About the Eucharist

  • Thank you for sharing this – wonderful insight, especially about those who “starve themselves”. This makes me think about the Good Friday meditations on the last words of Christ, and how priests often preach about social justice in reference to “I thirst”. Would be nice to talk about the dimension of spiritual hunger than the author writes about – how many Catholics (and Christians) willingly starve themselves.

  • “Love that loved me into existence, Love that loves me into love with the Triune Love.

    This is why I go to Communion! Not because I am so in love with God, but because He is eternally in love with me.”
    One Hail Mary

  • Thanks a lot Dr. Trasancos. God bless America. God bless us all. Amen.

Go Margeaux! Victorious in Defense of the Eucharist

Friday, May 25, AD 2012

Margeaux Graham is really a quite reserved young woman, confident, articulate and anticipating the future that lays before her in a nation where women have the opportunity to become influential political leaders. She doesn’t sensationally seek the spotlight, and genuinely desires to adhere to reasonable codes of conduct in a democratic society. She takes sincere pride in her academic achievement. As a Catholic, she also refuses to compromise her obligations. This is her first priority, and now this priority has caused a conflict she must face. At a time in our country, and in our world, when threats to religious freedom plaque the media daily, this young woman’s simple and sincere willingness to challenge long-standing, but very flawed, policies and practices is inspiring.

What if everyone refused to dismiss the Eucharist with such boldness?

A Recap. It all started when Margeaux was selected to attend a prestigious Girls State session by the American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) in Florida. She was chosen as a delegate based on her outstanding scholastic ability and her desire to learn more about how our government works. The session is a 9-day experience where the girls participate in a mock democratic government that fosters civic leadership and stimulates, in the words of the Director, a “desire to protect the privileges and responsibilities of our democratic form of government.” It is a high honor to be chosen for participation.

In preparing for her trip, to her surprise, Margeaux was told that she could not attend Mass on Sunday, and that her only option would be to attend the “non-offensive” non-denominational service offered for all participants. This was motivated at least in part by a concern for safety, understandably. The organizers do not permit the girls to leave the session alone for any reason. So Margeaux’s mother, willing to accommodate this reasonable concern, sought help from a sympathetic member of the local American Legion. She offered to come take her daughter to Mass, or to have someone arrange for a priest to celebrate Mass at the conference site. But — this accommodation was rejected. Margeaux then wrote the letter reprinted in the last article to the President of the state ALA chapter, explaining that she must decline the invitation, and the academic and civic honor extended to her, if it meant that she had to neglect her obligation to attend Mass.

Discussions are still underway and they are praying for a favorable outcome. The intent is not to disparage anyone, only to defend a teen’s right to attend Mass and to develop as a leader in our country. The accommodation being requested in perfectly reasonable, and defensible by the constitutional and civic rights guaranteed to citizens of the Unites States. A young woman should not be discriminated against because she is a faithful Catholic.

In the meantime, Margeaux has responded to the state officer who scolded her and told her God would understand if she skipped Mass. Margeaux is taking a stand, not so much over being accommodated, but at the insult to the Eucharist. This high school junior minces no words and flat out, boldly defends the source and summit of the Christian life. I hope someone at a Catholic university is able to help her with her future endeavors. With the exception of the first sentence, you might consider reading the opening paragraph out loud!

 

Continue reading...

32 Responses to Go Margeaux! Victorious in Defense of the Eucharist

  • Pingback: FRIDAY AFTERNOON EDITION | The Pulpit
  • A truly courageous young lady who should be an example to us all. May God bless her always.

  • This is truly inspiring to see a young person take such pride in the Eucharist, to take pride in Christ our God. I will be praying for you, Margeaux, and your family.

  • You Go Girl. Proud to call you a former student!

  • Excellent response the ALA officer seemed to really insult the faith to an activity which any American high school can do. As though offering gifts to the most high can be substituted with a track meet alone.

  • What an memorable line “You must remember to fire bullets but God decides where they land.

  • What a well written letter. I hope it convicts the ALA Florida officer to advocate for the religious rights of all the girls and to attend Mass with the Catholic girls. Thanks for updating us on this.

  • @Valentin
    That line is one of the best one’s in the movie, it did not hit me till I read your post, how it can apply to our faith even when we are not in a military battle. We pray that Christians from all faith walks will look at Margeaux’s example and make a stand, by firing their bullets against the culture of death. Whether the Christian is Catholic or Protestant we can all begin by not allowing the secular world to take the Lord’s day away from us.

    This movie will inspire people from all walks of life to Stand firm for their beliefs. It is an amazing movie about noble men and women who are will to put their lives on the line to defend their bride, the Church. We need to do everything we can to pack the theaters opening weekend, June 1.

  • oops I meant “lines” not “ones”…shouldn’t be typing before my morning coffee

  • You are an inspiration, Margeaux.

  • So let me see if I get this straight. The organization pays for folks to go to this, and they go free of charge. Hard working people donate money to send these young girls to Girls State, and you lambaste the organization? For not making accommodations?

    Couple of questions, how many have you have ever donated?
    How many of you volunteer your time there?
    Presumably if someone was Rastafarian, you would argue that they also need religious accommodation.
    As allowing her to leave the campus to go elsewhere, presumably you are willing to pay the higher liability insurance, right?
    Agnostics and Atheists should not be required to attend, right?

    You are asking for accommodations for someone who pays nothing to attend a function, and who is under no obligation whatsoever to go. I can’t help but think this is essentially the Catholic view on the health care law in reverse. A private organization being forced to pay extra to make accommodations for someone who doesn’t need to attend in the first place.

  • “Margeaux, Thank you for your letter. It is beautifully written and I admire your strong belief system. I certainly in no way am trying to compare your sacrifice to the others I referenced in my email, though I see where you took it that way. I apologize for that.” She went on to say: “We are a membership based private organization and our members are our voting body. The policies and practices of our program will be discussed at the 91st Annual Convention to determine if a solution can resolve this issue to the satisfaction of everyone.” “and I admire your strong belief system” Atheism is a “belief system”. This is how the Supreme Court and Madalyn Murray O’Hair removed our First Amendment civil rights to acknowledge God in the public square. Religion is a belief in God and man’s response to the gift of Faith from God. Religon is a relationship with God. So is atheism, but by denying God, the atheist actually affirms the existence of God, and that is good for the atheist. It is only when the atheist imposes his choice on the rest of society using our First Amendment civil rights does it become tyranny. Margeaux, get a lawyer. Your “strong belief system” doesn’t mean a hill of beans to the politically correct atheists, and this is who you are dealing with. Get a lawyer to preserve your First Amendment civil rights and ours too.

  • Dear Margeaux,
    May God bless you in your efforts to live a faith-filled life. You are a courageous young woman and all who know you must be proud of your stance, especially the One who knows you best, Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

  • Just a quick question for Mary and Margeaux….since the Cathedral is right across the street (or quite close by) why doesn’t she just simply…walk across the street and go? I’m starting to wonder if perhaps other faithful Catholics who attended did that very thing. Perhaps they simply ignored the Protestant service and went to their own without thinking of mentioning the problem. Maybe it never occurred to them. Again – as I mentioned on my comment on the other post – that is what I would have done. I would have called a cab or walked to Mass without permission.

    I’m not saying that your bringing it up to the leadership of this program is a bad thing. On the contrary, they need to know and make accommodations.

    Could you simply go to the event and ….walk off and go to Mass when you need to go to Mass?

  • Atheism is the most vicious “strongly held belief system” in creation. Firstly, because it denies the creature his acknowledgement of “their Creator” a fundamental truth inscribed in our founding principles by our founding fathers, in the Declaration of Independence and in the Preamble, the reason, for our U. S. Constitution. “The blessings of Liberty” are not endowed by the state. Secondly, because it denies every creature his free will to FREEDOM to choose to follow their vocation, that is, their calling in response to their “Creator” which is what freedom of religion IS, A RESPONSE TO THE GIFT OF FAITH FROM GOD. Atheism has no place in America because it contradicts our founding principles and because citizens are free men. Atheists are free to believe whatever they choose to believe. What they are not free to do is to impose their choice upon any other person, which is what is very subtle happening here.
    Atheism is probably the most disingenuous position to which to ascribe. The creature is given being by the Supreme Sovereign Being (there can be only one Supreme Sovereign Being, as two would preempt each other). Every second of existence enjoyed by the atheist is created for him by “their Creator”, every breath the atheist takes is created for him by “their Creator”. Yet, the human being, who claims atheism as a ”strongly held belief system” looks into the mirror and denies that he is a creature of God.

  • Could you simply go to the event and ….walk off and go to Mass when you need to go to Mass?

    If you have a gander at the site of the American Legion Auxilliary of Florida you find the pdf files which contain the application and the rules of the gathering. It ain’t summer camp. The participants in Florida Girls’ State are required to attend all scheduled events and forbidden to leave the buildings ‘alone or without a staff member present’. I would have to commend Mrs. Graham and her daughter for their patience. I would have been tempted to tell the biddies that run this thing to pound sand. (Memo to John: that is not ‘hate’, it is ‘disdain’).

  • “The participants in Florida Girls’ State are required to attend all scheduled events and forbidden to leave the buildings ‘alone or without a staff member present’.”

    And rightly so. This is not, as you say, “summer camp”, nor is it a pajama party. If it’s to be a serious and demanding event, these minors should be supervised by an adult representative of the program at all times; participants and should not be allowed to indulge in random and chaotic comings-and-goings at whim.

    Far from it.

    I have no problem with strict rules.

    These program sponsors have set strict rules.

    I understand that.

    The Catholic Church has strict rules, too.

    So do Catholic parents have strict rules.

    And young Catholic men and women have strict rules, in communion with the Church.

    And among these rules are that all Catholics between the ages of 7 and 75 are obligated to attend Holy Mass on Sundays and on Holy Days, unless prevented for grave reasons. Grave reasons: you’re in labor; your wife is in labor; you have a 102 degree fever; you’re snowed in; you’re stuck at the airport and can’t leave or you’ll miss your chance to catch the last plane out, etc. A game, a program, a sporting or theatrical event or other optional event, does not rise to the level of “grave” reason, not when there’s a Catholic cathedral right across the street, and the only reason you can’t go, even with a signed letter from your parents giving you permission is that some pompous and officious gorgons have decided to be needlessly tyrannical about it.

    No, I have no problem with strict rules.

    Here’s my problem:

    I have a problem with the ALA shutting out Mom’s and Dad’s wishes concerning their minor child, of the proceedings. That’s needless arrogance. I have a problem with the ALA shutting a participant’s strictly binding religious obligations out of the proceedings. I have a problem with the ALA’s disrespectful and negligent failure to have a plan in place to accomodate the strict requirements of the religious obligations of the various participants who may be attending.

  • I will offer you a hypothesis, Marion:

    The disposition of the organizers is manifest in the ‘strict rules’. They insist on governing the movements of late adolescents as if these youths were in elementary school or in an insane asylum. If that’s what you want, its yours. What you are going to get is a mixture Sandra Bullbleep, Ed.D. and Nurse Ratched.

  • Art Deco. . . or as if they were novices in a very strict convent located in a tough metropolitan neighborhood . . . ?

    Completely OK by me.

    Accomodate religious observances.

  • Art Deco . . . when I was at a six-week summer program at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the program was tough, rigorous, demanding, but there weren’t strict rules; you were expected to produce results, or it was clear that you were the one missing out. As if you weren’t up to the program. We had folks from Australia, Asia, as well as all parts of the U.S. – one or two goofed off, couldn’t keep up and dropped out.

    Their loss.

    The rules were that you couldn’t work while in the program, and had to come to all classes. That was it.

    At the time that our final project was being reviewed,a relative of mine, whose family lived three states away, passed away. I informed Harvard that I would be gone on the day of the final project review for the funeral. They said OK. When I returned, I was given a special “make-up” day for my project, and did well!

  • @Ann Margaret Lewis
    If she would have left the “designated area” she would have been sent home. The event starts on a Friday so it would have only been on the 3rd day of the event. Before any of the real activities would have begun.

  • Hm. Wow. Okay. Praying for a good resolution here.

  • Whether the ALA finally does the right thing and accommodates Margeaux’s appropriate request or not, Margeaux has already won a great victory simply by exposing the ignorance and arrogance of the organizers. A bit of advice to Margeaux: keep all the documention to submit with your college applications. Major universities throughout the country will be fighting to get you to attend their school.

  • Art Deco. . . or as if they were novices in a very strict convent located in a tough metropolitan neighborhood . . . ?

    They were not, Marion, nor is there any point in treating them as if they were under a rule.

    I can see them insisting on the girls attending all scheduled activities, but these youths appear to have been confined to quarters at all other times and the organizers responded obnoxiously and stupidly to a mother and daughter who asked for a perfectly reasonable dispensation.

    I do not know what is going on in the heads of these women, but I have encountered similar behavior. There are people in this world who are not particularly goal-oriented, who have trouble making ordinary risk assessments and time estimates, and who retain a certain juvenile willfulness throughout their life manifest in feeling a sense of injury when people fail to defer to their preferences (even when those preferences are not means to any reasonable end and are inconveniencing a half-dozen others). I would wager that if you looked under the rock you would find people like this seem to collect in school bureaucracies. Got one of these characters in my office.

  • @Not there yet
    When Margeaux decided to make a stand, that is what we were hoping for. She really sacrificed a lot academically by standing up for her rights to attend Mass. But we believe that God has more power than ALA and he will provide. The perfect university for her will be a good solid Catholic University that offers a music major.

  • Pingback: Margeaux’s Stand: Catholic Teen Defends Her Right to Attend Mass | IgnitumToday
  • Art Deco, your speculations are insightful and thought-provoking.

    I am positing, however, that even given legitimate reasons for perfectly competent program designers to run so remarkably tight a ship as these program designers seem to, (for example, a very demanding and jam-packed 6 AM – 10 PM schedule, coupled with an alarmingly tough neighborhood right off campus, necessitating – in their view their insistence that the students attend all events and remain under program supervision at all times), all of which may or may not be true in this case, the main point remains:

    This student wishes to attend the customary and brief Sabbath-day observances at a nearby house of worship of her religious faith; her parent concurs in that wish, and will have given her written permission for her daughter to do so, and will have informed the program of the details of daughter’s whereabouts and method of transportation.

    Among any group of normal, competent, and reasonable adults, even under the circumstances necessitating strict supervision, the wish to attend brief religious services, the parent’s written permission giving all pertinent details, and the pre-arranged transportation to and from campus should have elicited from the program architects their unhesitating assent!

    That it did not do so in this case may speak to any number of failings and shortcomings on the part of the program designers, none of which I have sufficient data to identify, nor is their identification particularly necessary. Because their actions in maintaining a persistent pattern of denying and refusing this student a reasonable accomodation to attend the religious exercises of her faith, obligatory by her faith, with her parent’s permission, arising from whatever conscious or unconscious traits or motives, amounts to an act of religious discrimination and should be actionable under the law.

    Even so, Art Deco, what you have written about some of the characters you have encountered seems more and more, as I think about it, to fit these circumstances.

  • For the record, many years ago, I attended a program at an off-campus residence run by Opus Dei, Catholic personal prelature. It was in a great city, and the residence faced a beautiful main thoroughfare, but the rear of the residence faced a very tough neighborhood, which was quite dangerous. We heard often heard screaming at night in the street out back. So the residence was alarmed and the windows barred, and exterior lights and security cameras were placed everywhere, and we had to be buzzed in at the entrances. And for very good reason. There were very strict rules about where and when the students could go. Understandable

    Even so, I know for certain, that if a student of the Jewish or Muslim faith had been present, and had wanted to arrange to evening services, and to be excused from some program event or other, that these Opus Dei folks would not only have accomodated her, but would have called her parents to get the address of the house of worship they wanted her to attend. They would have been very proactive about accomodating her, and very respectful.

    That’s Opus Dei, who are very strict, and in a tough neighborhood, and very hands-on for good reason. They would have been very accomodating, I know they would.

  • Margeaux for president!

    How comforting it is to see how the atheist actually thinks they have no belief, when not believing in God constitutes a belief in and of itself. It goes to show how limited in understanding the atheist mind is an It is for good reason that the founding fathers did not seek to establish the NO God instead of a free market of beliefs under God, for the establishment of the atheist belief would be the imposition of a thought upon all others. Alas for the atheist, our founding fathers were conscious of the “self evident truths” that the atheist fails to see.

  • God Bless Margeaux Graham! This articulate young Catholic is an inspiration to us all!

  • Yet another example of how the phrase of “God and country” is being thrown cavalierly about as if it actually means something. Add to this “freedom,” “liberty,” “honor,” “hero” and a whole host of other words that used to actually mean something. What Margeaux has shown is that words like these mean nothing without the actions to back them up. The American Legion Auxiliary is missing the entire point: instead of criticizing her, they should have applauded her willingness to stand up for the ideals that they only pay pathetic lip service to.

    Well done, Margeaux! If you continue to live your values, your life will bring you far worthier rewards than the Florida State Girls program.

  • Pingback: Margeaux Tells Her Story: The Catholic Teen That Took a Stand for Religious Freedom | IgnitumToday

Newt Gingrich on His Catholic Faith and the Eucharist

Saturday, December 3, AD 2011

Newt Gingrich was interviewed by Sean Hannity a few days ago where the topic of conversation were his thoughts on his presidential run.  During the course of the conversation the topic of faith came along in which Speaker Gingrich spoke about receiving the Eucharist.

Look for his comments on the Eucharist at the 00:52 exactly.

Continue reading...

5 Responses to Newt Gingrich on His Catholic Faith and the Eucharist

Newt Gingrich: Receiving the Eucharist Brings Me Peace

Wednesday, November 30, AD 2011

Just listened to parts of the Newt Gingrich tonight by Sean Hannity while I was working and Speaker Gingrich said in the most Catholic language imaginable how receiving the Eucharist brings him peace and comfort.

That was an incredible line.  As soon as I can find it on YouTube, I’ll post it, but I may begin budging towards Gingrich based simply on his faith!

Continue reading...

33 Responses to Newt Gingrich: Receiving the Eucharist Brings Me Peace

  • I am glad Newt found faith, but he needs to find many more things before I would willingly support him. This is a pretty good Ron Paul ad, and I am not Ron Paul fan.

  • Sounds likes he is against same sex marriage and has taken actions that follow his convictions. On the other hand, if a state decides to support same sex marriage, then that is their choice even if he disagrees with it.

    Ron Paul is not my guy. He is off his rocker when it comes to foreign policy. Nonetheless, his ad on Newt is good.

  • I watched the same interview with Hannity and had the same response. I have never in my adult life seen such an open expression by a nationally known politician like Newt give such an embrace of the Eucharist as he did tonight. For me, if a person (Catholic) expresses himself/herself by speaking of the gifts of the Eucharist as he did tonight, it gives a good sense as to where he/she would be on most major issues of the day to our nation,party, and religion.

    Looking for more good stuff to come from his candidacy. The interview really woke me up to this guy who I have grown so used to over the last 20 years or so.

  • And Joe Biden says the rosary daily.

    Newt is a scumbag. I wouldn’t say that about any other candidate. Looking at his personal life, you can’t reach any other conclusion.

  • RR,

    Of course you’re going to say that, if all you get your information from the liberal media.

    Your comment really says a lot about you.

  • RR – so funny how far you are from understanding the thrust of this article and comments on this thread. First off, I could care less about what he did or did not do in his past that is already known. Our Lord did not come for the saved, he came for the sinner. I am impressed with Newt’s embace of our faith in the way he is doing. What he states now and his actions now are what should count. Second, your use of that foul term on this site indicates that you are far from bringing any valuable comments to inform anyone here.

    Thanks for the try but a place you might enjoy spending time would be titled soethin like the following …..www.msnbc.com

    Thanks and God Bless.

  • You raise an interesting question about expressions of faith in public life and I’m notsure where I come down on the answer you suggest.

    If there is something wrong with holding a man’s faith against him as he seeks public office, surely the opposite is true too? Yet, can we honestly say that we don’t prefer “our guy” when a candidate expresses himself in a way that taps into the core of our being?

    I think the opposite is true too for I cannot imagine how I could bring myself to vote for one who publicly declared himself to be an atheist. (I’m not alone in this regard and I think this is why candidate Obama worked so hard to establish “Christian” credentials – not because he’s a closet Moslem but because he believes in nothing and couldn’t say so for fear that it would be held as a defect by many.)

    Perhaps, then, the problem is with the underlying idea that faith isn’t a thing to be considered in candidacy. Perhaps it isn’t honest for the candidate to hide his faith or lack of faith and it isn’t honest for voters to pretend that faith isn’t an issue in elections.

    But, if so, how can a republic survive the resulting fracturing? If candidates were to declare themselves on faith matters, surely parties would spring up to allign those interests. What would be the difference, then, between us and, for example, Turkey or Lebanon?

  • It is obvious that Newt has totally forgiven himself for his adulterous behavior and all his political profiteering. How honest he is in his soul with God, only God knows. But from what I can see of him that is public, he is a real snake. Watch out Church–Newt is a user of the first order. God can take care of Himself, but us mortals need to be on guard against this guy. Never enough sex, glamor, money or self-importance. If he gets to be president, he will sit on the throne like a pompous little king. He sure doesn’t have my vote.

  • I know many of you don’t get any news that doesn’t come from Sean Hannity’s mouth so I’ll enlighten you on why thinking conservatives don’t think too highly of Newt.

    “Newt Gingrich will not be the nominee because, despite his daughter’s rebuttals to the horror stories of how Gingrich divorced his first of three wives, Jackie Gingrich told the Washington Post on January 3, 1985, “He walked out in the spring of 1980 and I returned to Georgia. By September, I went into the hospital for my third surgery. The two girls came to see me, and said Daddy is downstairs and could he come up? When he got there, he wanted to discuss the terms of the divorce while I was recovering from the surgery.” Gingrich went on to cheat on the second wife with the third. Regardless of the actual facts or even the spin, he won’t win women.” – Eric Erickson

    Richard Land says evangelical women will not vote for Gingrich under any circumstances.

    “He believes that what he says in public and how he lives don’t have to be connected.” – Marianne Gingrich, Wife #2

    And to top it off, he says he cheated on his wives because he loved his country so much!

    I won’t even get into the flip-flopping on everything from cap-and-trade to the health care mandate. He has a nasty attitude as evidenced by every debate. The exchange with Maria Bartiromo made him look like a fool. He complained about only having 30 seconds to answer so Maria said he can take as much time as he needs to which Newt responded, “that wouldn’t be fair to the others.” Yeah, that’s why it’s 30 seconds, idiot!

    How do you think he’ll work with John Boehner who led the eventually successful effort in the 90’s to force Newt to step down? Boehner, now there’s a Catholic I can get behind.

    I’m even skeptical of the conversion story. How convenient that he found religion while preparing to run for president.

    The moment I discovered he wasn’t even as smart as some made him out to be was when he released his tax reform plan. Few people even know about it because it really can’t be taken seriously. I’m not saying that I don’t take it seriously. I’m saying that NOBODY takes it seriously. He tried to one-up Perry before everyone criticized Perry’s plan. Newt’s plan is Perry’s super-sized.

    Then came the CBS foreign policy debate and I figured out why people think Newt is smart. He knows his history. Every answer he gave was a history lesson. The problem was that he doesn’t know how things currently work. He could only think in historical analogies. He doesn’t have coherent guiding philosophies unless you count political expedience as a guiding philosophy.

    If I had to vote, I can vote for any of the Republican candidates except Cain and Gingrinch. Cain because he doesn’t know anything about public policy and Gingrinch because he’s a horrible person.

  • I have little use for Gingrich as I indicated in this post:

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2011/05/19/gingrich-and-the-fine-art-of-political-suicide/?preview=true&preview_id=30473&preview_nonce=acb56a2ead

    If he obtains the nomination, and that he might just do that is a tribute to the strong antipathy most Republicans, including myself, have for Romney, I will certainly vote for him in his race against Obama. He certainly is far from my ideal of a Republican standard bearer, but compared to Obama, it is an easy vote. I am by no means convinced that Gingrich will get the nomination, since I believe he has a talent for political suicide, but we shall see.

    As for the Paul ad, attack ads by Paul (R. Pluto), are certainly preferable for his campaign than his attempting to defend his usually infantile, and always dangerous, foreign policy positions.

    However, politics is one thing and religion is another. Gingrich has given no evidence that his conversion is not sincere and whole-hearted. I am glad that the Eucharist gives him peace and comfort, and I pray that we all may feel the same.

  • I have many concerns about Newt base on past behavior, but I’m more inclined to believe the eyewitness account of his daughter vs. the second/third/or fourth hand account of someone else.

    He definitely has baggage, but his ideas are very interesting and his ability to reason and articulate are second to none.

  • More than once I have heard Newt described as half genius and half crazy. Normally I would not vote for someone like that but if he is our only alternative to a president who is ALL aggressively liberal, anti-life and anti-Catholic, I may just have to.

  • I know many of you don’t get any news that doesn’t come from Sean Hannity’s mouth

    I think this one sentence pretty much sums up why I ignore most of the things you say.

  • Since we, as Americans, appear to have lost our moral conscience, the Holy Spirit will play a major role in this election. God often uses “characters” throughout history to effect His Plan. Liberal or Conservatives will agree , we all need God to help this world through its current calamities

  • I pray that he has found peace through his conversion.

    But, man–Gingrich’s record is a mess. Personally and professionally.

    This slate is really the best the GOP can do?

    Of the people who have polled more than ten percent during the cycle, I can’t see myself voting for Romney (Every person you need to be), Cain (remarkably inept on anything not brought to you by the number 9), and Paul (isolationism combined with naivete is a crap sandwich) or Bachmann (inexperienced at anything other than backbencher bomb-throwing).

    [Though in Paul’s case, I respect and understand the appeal of his candidacy.]

    I’m close to feeling the same no-go about Gingrich, even conceding his political skills and functioning wonky brain.

    I’m still most inclined toward Perry, though his implosion probably means he’s not viable any more, sad to say.

    “If God wanted us to vote, He’d give us candidates.”

  • I know many of you don’t get any news that doesn’t come from Sean Hannity’s mouth

    I think this one sentence pretty much sums up why I ignore most of the things you say.

    Mea culpa, it was background noise and when I heard him mention the Eucharist I literally fell out of my chair.

    Mea maxima culpa.

  • wow Dale , I often find what I fear most in others , is hidden deep within myself

  • I echo Dale’s sentiments. I like the two Ricks, but combined they aren’t polling into the double digits. I think things will pick up for one or both of them as Cain continues to plummet and more conservatives remember Newt’s foibles. I’ve actually been a Perry guy, but considering Santorum is just about as viable now and he’s the one who I agree with on more issues, I might wind up backing him (though by the time the primary gets to MD, it will be a moot point). Newt is more palatable than the rest of the field, but that’s primarily due to the rest of the field’s weaknesses.

    But we are deviating from the post topic, and I do appreciate Newt’s sentiments. That said, is anyone else uncomfortable with the idea of a twice divorced, re-married man receiving the Eucharist? I know those marriages took place before his crossing the Tiber, but they still count.

  • wow Dale , I often find what I fear most in others , is hidden deep within myself

    Meaning what, precisely?

  • That said, is anyone else uncomfortable with the idea of a twice divorced, re-married man receiving the Eucharist? I know those marriages took place before his crossing the Tiber, but they still count.

    I am.

  • I understand the repentant sinner requires forgiveness. Nonetheless, some damage caused by sin remains. The damage caused by his infidelities is for God and Newt’s family to work through.

    The worrisome part of Newt’s marriages, how they came about, and his infidelities is they are examples of a serious lack of judgment. It shows he possesses an impulsive nature, which might be okay when choosing between chocolate or vanilla ice cream, but not when it comes to maintaining a monogamous relationship, especially in the vows of marriage.

    This impulsive nature is intrinsic to Newt’s personality. It explains what so many have pointed out, his ability to commit political suicide. He says things without fully thinking the ramifications of them. He participates in ideas because they seem advantageous at the moment without thinking what long term messages he is sending. The words or ideas seem like a great affair to be involved in, so he marries himself to it and is faithful until the next opportune moment comes along.

  • He is off his rocker when it comes to foreign policy.

    Yes -because billions of dollars and countless lives later, everyone else is so spot on.

  • If he gets to be president, he will sit on the throne like a pompous little king.

    Not much different from the current occupant.

  • Besides Kyle Miller’s response, it appears that other posters are willing to drag up events in Newt’s life from a “SIN” standpoint and are not willing to forgive and forget bout these acts as it relates to his run for the Presidency. How shallow a position – with all do respect – to have given how we should except the major premise of our faith which is Forgiveness and non-judgment of others.

    To form an opinion of ones abilities as president based on previous actions and what they say today is one thing. However, to flog someone in a public forum like this should tell us that we may have to review the foundation of our faith first before we are to pull lever for or against someone.

    Comments expressed here about someone receiving the Eucharist after a divorce seem to be ill informed comments at that. If the person has asked for gods mercy and has gone through the process (as it appears Newt did) of preparing themselves to receive the Eucharist with a clean soul, it would not matter how many times the person was “divorced”. That is what our faith is about….forgiveness of our sins by our lord..if we truly mean it. If we do not believe this for ourselves and others of our faith….what good is our faith. As St. Paul says…we are still in our sin.

  • Good to see I’m not the only one who dislikes the Gingrinch. As for forgiveness, he didn’t wrong me. I don’t need his forgiveness. I’m not letting a former child molester, however remorseful, near my children and I’m not letting a horrible person, however remorseful, sit in the Oval Office. It’s not like, Newt was a child. He did these things as an adult including as Speaker. You can’t dismiss it as a previous life. You don’t change that much from age 56 to 68.

  • Yes -because billions of dollars and countless lives later, everyone else is so spot on.

    They’re less wrong, which is pretty horrifying to think about.
    I can’t support someone who wants us to abandon those who have been good allies to us, and for us to abandon the commitments we forced on others– Hello, Japan– just because fully legal military actions didn’t turn out so great. That’s totally ignoring that the long-term effects would be horrific for our nation itself.
    It’s like arguing that because cops in LA are sometimes criminal jerks and haven’t managed to remove the gang problem, we should withdraw from LA entirely.
    (If one more person waives his being a military surgeon for a few years, decades ago, as a card to show that he’s automatically right on military matters– or brings up that worthless “he got more military associated donations than everyone else before the candidates were chosen”– of over $200, with less than a hundred total– I may scream. Right up there with folks “informing” me that Obama is all my fault because I’m part of the “youth vote.”)

  • RR – that’s the point. He did not do anything to you for you to forgive him – it’s between he and God. And yes, he is not a child molestar -thank God. By bringing up that subject you show that you are comparing apples and oranges.

    I just hope you reflect on your own private life before posting how big a sinner Newt is. While you are reading this (right now at this very moment) remember God is looking at you….is your soul as clean as you expect of others? I hope so.

  • gregory rogsn, so you would let a repentant former child molester babysit your kids?

  • “I believe in . . . the forgiveness of sins; . . . ”

    Who can say?

    Maybe Speaker Gingrich has trully converted to the Holy Catholic Church.

    Maybe Newt Gingrich has repented of his sins.

    Maybe Gingrich has Confessed for all the sins of his past life.

    Maybe Newt has done penance.

    Maybe he has resolved to amend his life and through good works glorify Almighty God through Christ our Lord.

    Maybe some commenters have lowered bar for detraction to new depths.

  • RR – please know that I will pray for you today as well as the former Speaker of the House. We all need prayer and a true understanding of God’s love and mercy for all we do wrong in our lives. I will also pray I will not judge anyone involved in my life either publicly or privately.

    God Bless.

  • Pingback: Newt Gingrich on His Catholic Faith and the Eucharist | The American Catholic
  • Pingback: Newt Gingrich on His Catholic Faith and the Eucharist « Catholibertarian

A Second Look at Weapons of Mass Destruction

Wednesday, May 19, AD 2010

Last year I posted a column title, Weapons of Mass Destruction.  In it I lampooned many of the abuses that arose out of the Second Vatican Council.

I revisit that post only to shed some light on how the abuses came about referencing Church documents, councils, and prelates.

Holy Communion in the Hand is allowed only as an indult, ie, a concession.  In May 29, 1969 the Congregation for Divine Worship issued a document allowing for, but not to displace the traditional practice of receiving Holy Communion on the tongue.

The correct reception of Holy Communion has always been and still is on the tongue.

Unfortunately this has become the norm which has resulted in the desacrelization of the Eucharist.

Ad Populum, or facing the congregation during Mass was recently allowed in Pope Paul VI’s Missale Romanum in 1969 (fully released in 1970).  Meaning it was not mandatory to face the congregation in all parts of the Mass, but only in certain instances.

Altar Girls, were allowed to serve in Mass by the Congregation for Divine Worship in a letter by Cardinal Ortas on March 15, 1994.

Basically there was a “reinterpretation” of Canon 230 that allowed a loophole for female altar servers.

So each national conference can decide to allow this, which the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops agreed to.  Meaning that each diocese can decide for itself whether or not to allow female altar servers.

It is important to note that the Bishop is in line with apostolic succession and has the final say for liturgical practices in the diocese concerning female altar servers.

Continue reading...

23 Responses to A Second Look at Weapons of Mass Destruction

  • “The consecrated host may be received either on the tongue or in the hand, at the discretion of each communicant.” – GIRM 160

    You have a source for the idea that altar rails are required?

  • Can you prove there is no God?

  • The existence of a altar rail mandate is a matter of faith?

  • I agree with most everything here, but there is one statement that isn’t completely true.

    “The correct reception of Holy Communion has always been and still is on the tongue.”

    St. Cyril of Jerusalem, writing his Catechetical Lectures back in the middle of the 4th century, clearly explains that Holy Communion was to be received on the palm. See paragraph 21 of Catechetical Lecture 23:

    http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/310123.htm

  • “The correct reception of Holy Communion has always been and still is on the tongue.”

    Cyril was obviously a heretic, as was that poseur Leonardo for painting the Eucharist as a meal. Good to know that Moses got it wrong in Exodus for neglecting to mention that the roast lamb also had to be fed on the tongue. The things you learn on AC!

  • Maybe in the 4th century, Christians were holy enough to take communion into their hands.

    Today, it done for the sole reason of egalitarianism, to wipe out hierarchy and distinctions between man and man, and man and God.

    Today, more than in other periods, we ought to kneel and take it on the tongue, as a sign of submission and reverence. That’s my opinion. I don’t want to stand up to God in some defiant gesture, and get handed a communion wafer by some smug eucharistic minister. I don’t want a “community meal”, I want a sacrament.

    “It must be further noted that the relevant legislation “strongly urges and exhorts” us all to receive Communion in the traditional manner, which is officially described as “more reverent.””

    http://www.catholic-pages.com/mass/inhand.asp

    Officially! Take that relativists.

  • Personally I’d like to see everyone follow the same tack as St. Paul did in Romans, with regard to a non-doctrinal issue like eating meat that had possibly been leftover from pagan sacrifices (which Paul made clear was NOT a sin): if you personally think it’s OK, fine, but avoid doing it in front of people who think it’s wrong and will be scandalized by it; if you personally think it’s wrong, try not to pass judgment on the people whom you see doing it.

    Wouldn’t it be great if people who are accustomed to communion in the hand out of habit (like me) started recieving on the tongue simply to show greater respect, while those who already receive on the tongue didn’t assume that those who don’t are being “smug” or “defiant” in their attitude.

    Again, as much as we may dislike communion in the hand/standing up — as of right now, it is still an option permitted by Church law in the U.S. and elsewhere, and one does NOT commit a sin by doing it.

  • After all, aren’t we all our own Pope! Rules, Rules, that is so, so, Catholic!

  • I understand this particular American Catholic to be in the Patriarchate of Rome, not Jerusalem, as also those of us who are participating in the discussion. At any rate, since you think the Jerusalem rite manner of reception of the Eucharist applies in the Roman rite also, do be sure to touch the sacred species to your eyes before consuming it – but don’t lose even the smallest particle! – and then intinct your eyes, ears and nose with the Precious Blood as well as your lips.

    Or do we get to pick and choose among St. Cyril’s instructions also?

  • Ouch.
    I find the lack of charity in these responses (at least in tone) to actually be rather painful.

    I think that it would be a great thing for the laity to receive Holy Communion on the tongue. I only wanted to point out that it hasn’t apparently been done that way throughout the entire Church for all of history, as was stated.

    It seems that the operating assumption here is that all of the laity is educated about the differences between the two methods of receiving and is largely receiving on the palm out of spite toward tradition.

    I was born in the 80’s, and never ran across anybody receiving the host on the tongue until the past few years when I moved and had to change parishes. I didn’t even know that it was an option before that time.

    My experience with people receiving on the tongue here has been a handful of people who make quite a show out of it and make sure that others see them being oh-so-pious, and treat others in a “Holier than Thou” fashion about not receiving in the same way. Talk about a turn-off. I didn’t want to be seen as one of those people.

    This is also the feeling I get from some of these comments above.

    Obviously the laity in general needs to be informed about the different methods of reception, but if their only education comes from a “Hey heretic, be like me or you aren’t holy” approach, why would they have any inclination to move away from what is now the status-quo in many places?

    The people need to be better informed, but it needs to be out of love and charity.

    Honestly, the mean-spiritedness of some of these responses leaves me with no will to participate in discussions here again.

  • Rhen,
    I agree that these conversations are all too often more “chippy” than the need to be. I think one thing that rankles traditionalists (like me) is the way so many liturgical changes were forced in through the back door. Accomodations were made in order to normalize abuses; idiosyncratic preferences give rise to innovations that are encouraged as though licit; and legitimate options intended as accomodations become normalized via agenda driven deceit. It does make folks angry. Examples include the treatment of Latin in the Mass, the use of altar girls, and the disappearance of communion rails and even statues.

  • I can’t help but reflect on the title ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’. Does reception of the Eucharist on the palm instead of on the tongue DESTROY the Mass? I serve as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion and have seen many people come forward with their tongue extended and muttering ‘Amen’ with little visible reverence. I have also seen people come forward to receive the Eucharist in their hand with a respectful bow and a deliberate “Amen”.

    I also know several young women who are altar servers and they sometimes serve with more reverence and precision than the young men. The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston recognizes altar servers who have served for 5+ years. I know several young women who received this honor and they are great examples for other young girls.

    I agree that adherence to liturgical standards as set by the Vatican and by our local Bishop is crucial. Above all the rules, the utmost importance lies in the full, active, conscious participation in the liturgy.

  • Rhen,

    It’s ironic that you lambaste those that find reception of the Eucharist on the tongue as holier than thou.

    When these changes were forced upon the laity it was the rebellious that scandalized the faithful.

    Now you come around and yell “wolf” when you are “scandalized” by those that receive it reverently.

    Contemporary Catholic,

    What you described is relativism.

    Since the introduction of female altar servers the amount of vocations, on average, that the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston has produced is “0”.

    I’m sure those “commendable” female altar servers have done a good job of discouraging male youth from finding role models to pursue the vocation of the priesthood.

  • I think I was rather unclear.

    I am not against reception on the tongue. I generally find it quite reverent.
    I am against those who put themselves on a pedestal by putting on a show every time they go to communion, and put others down directly for not acting in the same way. I recognize that there are abuses like this in many other things, not just reception on the tongue at Communion, and that it is only a portion of people, not everybody who receives Communion on the tongue. Unfortunately I’ve had far too much experience with people like this, and have become a little jaded on the topic.

    I am highly in favor of a deeper reverence at Communion. I have a strong preference for the Extraordinary Form of the Mass because of this, but unfortunately the closest one to me is more than a 2 hour drive.

    I think we could take great steps toward deepening the reverence at Communion without one of the greatest travesties that popped up after Vatican II – the music. It’s tough to feel the deep prayerful-ness of the moment of communion with some folk-y rattling through the church.
    Almost all of the songs written since the second Vatican council illustrate the Eucharist as a meal, which has also served to cheapen it, at least in my experience.

  • Rhen,

    You understand that we have “free will”.

    These people who are ‘holier-than-thou’ may or may not be behaving this way, but they do recognize it is Jesus that they are receiving.

    Mother Teresa was none to happy seeing Jesus being desecrated and trampled upon because pieces of Him would fall from the hand to the floor.

    But to your point, they are not being charitable for behaving as ‘holier-than-thou’.

    It does harm the Church that there aren’t better examples of Christians, but you have Free Will.

    And if you choose to allow this to discourage you it is your choice, not theirs.

  • Rhen,

    You can read whatever motives you like into my post or anyone else’s post. If making up motives for people is how you deal with arguments, that’s your issue to work out.

    Taking communion kneeling and on the tongue is still considered the proper and most reverent form by the Church herself. I suppose Pope Benedict and the rest of the Roman curia are likewise only motivated by some base desire to out-pious all of their liberal critics by making that clear.

    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope_prefers_communion_on_the_tongue_msgr._marini_says/

    The headline says it all: “Pope prefers Communion on the tongue, Msgr. Marini says”

    If it’s good enough for Benedict, it ought to be good enough for me and you.

    At any rate, this whole issue of “making a show” by taking communion one way or another is precisely the sort of thing that results when the Church is divided and politicized by subversive radicals who don’t think that the liturgy is “incluuuuusive” enough, that it isn’t sufficiently relativistic and egalitarian. So you let everyone do their own thing, and in some places people who believe in reverence and piety will continue to kneel and take it on the tongue and be singled out by such forward-thinking visionaries as “holier than thou.”

    I thank God and Pope Benedict that I can attend a TLM, where we have altar rails and EVERYONE kneels because EVERYONE has to show God the proper respect. That’s how it ought to be. And I won’t apologize for it. I don’t care if people think I am being “holier than thou” – the aim of our Christian life is to BECOME HOLY.

    If you don’t feel you have ANY holiness, then even a little in the simple people who want to show the proper reverence to God will look like a great deal, I suppose. And if you feel that way, its a problem YOU have. False humility is a heck of a lot worse in my view then false piety. At least the latter could inspire a person with genuinely pious feelings to stand up (or kneel, as the case may be) at the appropriate time. False humility just conceals a deep aversion to all things truly holy, sometimes even a hatred of them.

  • Tito, in response to
    “Since the introduction of female altar servers the amount of vocations, on average, that the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston has produced is “0?.

    I’m sure those “commendable” female altar servers have done a good job of discouraging male youth from finding role models to pursue the vocation of the priesthood.”

    Have you visited http://www.houstonvocations.com lately? There are 2 men to be ordained to the priesthood in July. Last year we ordained 5. Last weekend there were (I believe) 5 ordained to the transitional diaconate. What do you mean by 0?

  • If the moderator could remove me from this post or relieve me from receiving e-mails about comments, I would appreciate it.

    I either misstated my point or have been misinterpreted.

    I just wanted to point out St. Cyril’s writing, and it was taken that I hate reception on the tongue, which I do not. I essentially agree with everything in this post.

    Not a relativist, not a progressive in any way, and I LOVE our Pope. I hold very fast to the traditions of the Church, but I don’t want to be quick to cut down those who aren’t. It’s a process.
    I have a problem with show-boaters, similar to what was discussed on Patrick Madrid’s EWTN’s Open Line show last week. It’s a personal beef that has bugged me a lot over time; I apologize.

    I also apologize if I was abrasive in any way. I hope that dialogue and teaching (ESPECIALLY between fellow Catholics) can find a more reverent tone. I would hope to be politely corrected on anything I had wrong. I’ve just come to my faith, and I’m learning. Cutting down and labeling me is not instructive,and it isn’t helping me to look objectively at anything that is being said.

    Please remove me from this post, and if possible my comments. They weren’t written as well as they should have been.

  • “Cutting down and labeling me is not instructive”

    As you did to me, or should I say, to “us”, when you said,

    “I find the lack of charity in these responses (at least in tone) to actually be rather painful.”

    And proceeded to compare those comments to the mutterings of self-righteous, holier-than-thou people?

    It is a lack of charity to not state the truth, plainly and clearly, for all to hear.

  • Though let me be more clear than I was: what I said in my last post, after “at any rate” wasn’t really addressed to YOU, Rhen, specifically… I suppose I should have made that clear.

    I switch from addressing an individual to a whole range of arguments without making it clear sometimes. For that I apologize.

  • Contemporary Catholic,

    I wanted to affirm what you wrote.

    The average I am quoting was during Archbishop Fiorenza’s term.

    Cardinal DiNardo has done yeoman’s work in improving those numbers and they will continue to grow!

    Rhen,

    We appreciate your comments and please return to reading and commenting as you have.

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,

    Tito

    P.S. Now the comments are closed.

Saint Justin Martyr and Holy Thursday

Thursday, April 1, AD 2010

On Holy Thursday we commemorate the first Mass, the first miracle of the Eucharist.  None of us having been there, how do we know it occurred?  Faith of course, but faith buttressed by the knowledge that our Faith is supported by historical facts.  We know when Christ lived.  At each Mass we remember that He suffered under Pontius Pilate which allows us to date the Crucifixion and the Last Supper to plus or minus a few years.  We know when Caiaphas was High Priest.  Judaea, the province in which Christ lived, was not some make-believe land but a province of the Roman Empire and we know much about it at the time of Christ.  Above all, we have the Gospels and the Epistles of Saint Paul, documents written while those who saw and heard Christ still lived. 

This of course was only the start of the historical record of Catholicism, the Universal Church.  Each generation produced new writers who give us precious facts of the journey through history of the Faith of Christ.  One of the most important of the early writers about the Church is Saint Justin Martyr.

Justin Martyr was born in Flavia Neapolis, ancient Shechem,  modern day Nablus, in Judaea circa 100 AD.  He was brought up a pagan.  Having enough money to pursue the study of philosophy, he encountered the teachings of Christ, after a long and methodical search for the true philosophy, and became a convert.  Having found the true philosophy, he traveled around the Roman Empire, spreading it, garbed in his philosopher’s gown.  Eventually he settled in Rome.  He wrote eight treatises defending Christianity.  His best known work is his First Apology which he addressed to the Roman Emperor Antonius Pius, one of the best of the emperors, who reigned from 138-161 AD.  This Apology was a plea for the Emperor to stop persecuting the Christians.  In this Apology he gives us many details as to how Catholics worshiped in Rome during the middle of the Second Century.   His description of the Eucharist is a treasure for all Catholics as we attend Holy Thursday Mass today.

Continue reading...

4 Responses to Saint Justin Martyr and Holy Thursday

  • “As Catholics in the Twenty-First Century we are part of a long process of the keeping of the truth handed to the Apostles by Christ on that Thursday night so long ago.”

    Thank you for this post and, in particular, this sentence. It evokes a feeling I had while converting to Catholicism: I felt moved by the fact that this rite was being practiced every day around the world in unbroken succession from that time. Holy Thursday has always been one of my favorite days (nights) on the liturgical calendar for many reasons, this among them.

  • Great article Don.

    I have used that quote from Justin Martyr for a number of years in RCIA classes. It gives candidates a real perspective of the depth of history of the Church, and assists authenticity.
    I also like Clements description of the hierarchy – around 94 AD.
    Jus love the Early Church Fathers.

  • Thank you Don. Justin Martyr reminds us that when people speak of the early Church, whether they realize it or not, they are talking about the Catholic Church.

    J. Christian, Holy Thursday has always moved me too. Just got back from Mass where we sang Tantum Ergo. The Catholic Church we see today is such a small portion of the Catholic Church throughout the ages and in eternity.

  • Pingback: Make Me Ugly, Lord – The Story of St. Brigid of Ireland

Father Zuhlsdorf Rants About Sand in Holy Water Fonts

Tuesday, March 2, AD 2010

The abuse of removing Holy Water from fonts during the season of Lent is a manifestation of the Spirit of Vatican II.  Well meaning priests misinterpreted or altogether made up their own discipline by removing Holy Water.  Father John Zuhlsdorf has followed this up during the course of Lent 2010 with his most recent posting clarifying why Holy Water should never be removed during the season of Lent except for Good Friday and Holy Saturday:

To all the priests out there still… unbelievably still putting sand in holy water fonts during Lent…

KNOCK IT OFF!

And if you go into a church where you see this sort of idiocy… for the love of God, DON’T bless yourself with SAND.

Continue reading...

9 Responses to Father Zuhlsdorf Rants About Sand in Holy Water Fonts

  • Our parish moved the holy water to containers in urns in the aisles and filled the holy water fonts with vinegar.

  • Our “holy” water usually has mossy/seaweed-looking debris floating in it. There’s a penance for you.

  • I think Father’s idea of sneaking fast growing seeds and a little water into the “Holy Sand” is fabulous.

  • Must be a Northern Hemisphere thing.

    Never seen it of even heard of it Downunder.

    Why not a font full of salt? More appropriate than sand. 🙂

  • Don,

    You are very fortunate to be in a parish or diocese that has a low threshold of dissident Catholics.

    You are truly blessed!

    🙂

  • Sand in the holy water fount means rocks in the collection plate. I forget who suggested it , but think its quite brilliant. Also it’s in keeping with the Lenten theme. All the whackado personal symbolism has got to stop. Just contribute less money to buy all that sand.

  • I’ve never seen or heard of sand in the holy water fonts before. I’m glad we’re behind the times when it comes to this particular innovation.

    These days, I wouldn’t be surprised if they started filling the fonts with hand sanitizer. And considering that I have a rare talent for sitting next to the kid who wipes his nose on his hand or the lady with the bad cold who coughs and sneezes all the way through Mass and then wants to hold my hand during the Our Father, well, hey, a little hand sanitizer would be welcome…

  • Hehe, I now appreciate the literal holy-water-fountain (not as bad as it sounds…OK, the little wading-pool it pours into is kinda eyebrow-raising…) at my church.

  • I buried some rubber tarantulas in the sand that was placed in the holy water founts a few years ago. We haven’t seen sand since.

Some 500 Years Ago Like An Abduction In the Night, The Virgin Mary Was Taken From Many Christians

Wednesday, December 9, AD 2009

For many Christians today, the thought that the leaders of the Protestant Reformation believed in the Immaculate Conception of Mary or her bodily Assumption into heaven would seem ludicrous, even more bewildering would be the devotions many of the Reformation’s leaders had for the Blessed Mother. Believe or not it, they did. In this month of December when Catholics celebrate three feast day’s commemorating the Mother of our Lord, perhaps it is time to remind our separated brethren of the truths their founder’s believed.

Sometime ago when I was writing my book, The Tide is Turning Toward  Catholicism,  I showed a friend of mine, who is an Evangelical, a homily about the Virgin Mary delivered in the 1500s. I asked him who gave that homily, “probably some pope,” he exclaimed. No, I said it was Martin Luther. He replied, “Dave I trust in almost everything you say, but I am going to have to call you out on this one. I mean isn’t that what the Reformation was all about, ending superstitions like those about Mary?” His mouth dropped when I showed him the passages. I am sure many of today’s Evangelicals, especially of the Calvinist lineage, would have the same reaction.

Continue reading...

84 Responses to Some 500 Years Ago Like An Abduction In the Night, The Virgin Mary Was Taken From Many Christians

  • “The North is full of tangled things and texts and aching eyes
    And dead is all the innocence of anger and surprise,
    And Christian killeth Christian in a narrow dusty room,
    And Christian dreadeth Christ that hath a newer face of doom,
    And Christian hateth Mary that God kissed in Galilee,”

  • Mr. Hartline,

    Can you provide us with some specific examples of Reformation leaders revering the Blessed Virgin Mary?

  • Aegis, go to the link below in regard to Martin Luther and Mary.

    http://www.davidmacd.com/catholic/martin_luther_on_mary.htm

  • Aegis, I have supplied two links to my article. I hope it helps. Take care!

  • Even more amazing, Christians of that age needed no papal declaration for these aspects of the Blessed Mother.

    As for the vehemence against Rome, yes, it is true that leaders and people chose to distance themselves from Roman practices. It’s not so different today: many Catholic conservatives are deeply distrustful of anything that looks like Protestantism or Anglicanism or even Eastern Orthodoxy. Indeed, being called a Protestant is, in some places, a worse epithet than being called a devil. In a way, it’s amazing some Catholics have stilled adhered to the Lord’s Prayer.

  • “Indeed, being called a Protestant is, in some places, a worse epithet than being called a devil. In a way, it’s amazing some Catholics have stilled adhered to the Lord’s Prayer.”

    Todd, where do you find the energy to construct so many straw men?

  • Todd, an absolutely fascinating post. At first I thought one of the fundamentalists who sometimes peppered my site with derogatory comments had returned. Ironically, you said more about self loathing Catholics in one paragraph than others might take several pages to say. Your site seems to emphasise Ecumenism over all things. Yet, for some unknown reason you take a pot shot at one of the bedrock teachings of your own Church, the Chair of Peter. In that Ecumenical spirit which you mention on your site, I will refer to Dr Charles Stanley’s comment; “what else don’t you believe?”

  • The main take-home point of the Reformation is that there is no longer any source of “infallibility” outside of Scripture. Neither Roman tradition nor the views of the Reformers could be held as infallible. Luther was wrong on many points, Calvin too.

    Modern day Protestants have inherited the concept of sola scriptura more than they’ve remained faithful to the beliefs of the Reformers. Scripture does not demand the veneration of Mary. There is no evidence that the early church as a whole held to the immaculate conception and assumption. These were made dogma fairly recently: immaculate conception (1854); assumption (1950).

  • Todd, are you channeling the founding Protestants in making up stuff?

  • Dennis, the Assumption was celebrated and widely believed in the Early Church long before the Canon of the Bible was finalized by the Church Councils and Pope Damasus in 382 AD.

  • It appears one can present many references to Mary, Mother of Our Lord, and her veneration, yet it continues to amaze me of those who try to diminish her role throughout the Bible and the tenent of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption.

  • Thanks again, Dave, for placing before us bits of history that have been forgotten or deliberately obscured. The purported Reformation was a cultural and historical disaster, with evil men culling out a rump faith without devotions, the saints, the Blessed Mother, or Christmas. What an inadequate legacy to leave to the good, loving sincere Protestants of today who have never been told the truths.

  • Jesus loved his mother and so should we.

  • Dennis –

    You are overlooking the evidence of Marian devotion inherent in the Bible.

    Who is it that told us that the Angel Gabriel greeted Mary as Kecharitomene (full of grace)? Luke. Luke was not one of the original 12 disciples – so from whom did Luke learn that Mary was full of grace? Luke is the author of Acts, and we learn in Acts that he was a student of Paul’s, and traveled with Paul. So, it was Paul who taught Luke this teaching. Now, Paul was not one of the original 12 disciples either. So from whom did Paul learn this? Well, we learn in certain later readings of the New Testament that Paul was taught by the early disciples and by Christ himself.

    It is only logical that when we become baptized, and through baptism become members of Christ’s body, we inherit the parents of Christ. Who were Christ’s parents? Mary and God. Therefore, through baptism, our own parents are Mary and God. This is why we call everyone brother and sister – we are all part of one body and all sharing the same parents.

    For proof of this, Paul goes on in Galatians 4:31 to tell us that we are (through baptism) “children not of the slave woman but of the free born woman. Here he is referencing the slave woman as a woman born into sin, whereas the free born woman is one who was not born in submission to sin and later freed, but one who was free from birth which would only be possible if she were cleansed of original sin prior to her birth.

  • I’m not defending Todd here, but I personally am upset when I see many parishes being “protestantized” in architecture and practice.

  • This brings to mind something I believe Mother Teresa said: I wan’t to love Mary like Jesus does and to love Jesus like Mary does…

    How much more of a connection between two people can you get? It is only with a blind eye that people will neglect that true love….

  • I’ll have to dissent from Dennis’ point: without dogmatic declaration, Eastern Christians have venerated Mary through the Immaculate Conception and the Dormition (Assumption) for centuries–to this day.

    I’m also a doubter on the original line of thinking here. Doctrines or venerations of the Virgin were not foremost in the minds of people of the Reformation period. As is true today, Mary was used as a tool on both sides, either a badge of orthodoxy or a point of differentiation.

    The Reformation is far more complex than just an expression against the veneration of Mary or any of the other saints.

    It was in fact the excesses of the Chair of Peter that put Europe to the tipping point. Not only did Martin Luther continue to venerate Mary to his death, but he continued to see himself as a loyal Christian. Human pride, being what it is, hardened the hearts of people on both sides. The Blessed Mother, like many of those living in the 16th and 17th century, were just innocent bystanders in tussles over greed, scandal, tribalism, privilege, power, and whatnot. A unified Christianity may well have been able to bring all of Asia to Christ in the 1600’s, had it not been for the wasted energies fighting Christian wars.

    There’s a lot to lament in the Reformation, but let’s acknowledge a dollop of blame falls to Rome. Far from beinga pot shot, that’s simple acknowledgement of fault.

  • As much as I thought Todd’s earlier comment was unfairly cartoonish, I have to say I think his last post was spot on. Plenty of blame to go around for the Reformation.

  • Someone mentioned that Jesus loved Mary and so should we. Does Jesus love her more than the next guy? Second, i never met Mary, so how can i love her. Jesus loved his disciples, should i adore them.? Mary is just another personality in the bible. The bible is about Jesus, from fron to back. Some weird religion has made Mary a central figure, even a queen in heaven. That was done to keep peoples eyes off Jesus. Now lets see…HUMMMMM..whos job is it to keep us from Jesus? Could it be….SATAN? The devils pet religion is doing a bang up job.

  • “The devils pet religion is doing a bang up job.”

    I applaud you Wayne. It is almost refreshing to see that ignorant, unashamed anti-Catholic bigotry is still alive and well.

  • Wayne, in addition to the documents written and collected by members of the Catholic Church and known as the New Testament, you might wish to consider the comments of these men who lived a few centuries after Christ regarding Mary. I assume their names will be unfamiliar to you, but a little time using google and you will learn all about them.

    Irenaeus

    “The Virgin Mary, being obedient to his word, received from an angel the glad tidings that she would bear God” (Against Heresies, 5:19:1 [A.D. 189]).

    Hippolytus

    “[T]o all generations they [the prophets] have pictured forth the grandest subjects for contemplation and for action. Thus, too, they preached of the advent of God in the flesh to the world, his advent by the spotless and God-bearing (theotokos) Mary in the way of birth and growth, and the manner of his life and conversation with men, and his manifestation by baptism, and the new birth that was to be to all men, and the regeneration by the laver [of baptism]” (Discourse on the End of the World 1 [A.D. 217]).

    Gregory the Wonderworker

    “For Luke, in the inspired Gospel narratives, delivers a testimony not to Joseph only, but also to Mary, the Mother of God, and gives this account with reference to the very family and house of David” (Four Homilies 1 [A.D. 262]).

    “It is our duty to present to God, like sacrifices, all the festivals and hymnal celebrations; and first of all, [the feast of] the Annunciation to the holy Mother of God, to wit, the salutation made to her by the angel, ‘Hail, full of grace!’” (ibid., 2).

    Peter of Alexandria

    “They came to the church of the most blessed Mother of God, and ever-virgin Mary, which, as we began to say, he had constructed in the western quarter, in a suburb, for a cemetery of the martyrs” (The Genuine Acts of Peter of Alexandria [A.D. 305]).

    “We acknowledge the resurrection of the dead, of which Jesus Christ our Lord became the firstling; he bore a body not in appearance but in truth derived from Mary the Mother of God” (Letter to All Non-Egyptian Bishops 12 [A.D. 324]).

    Methodius

    “While the old man [Simeon] was thus exultant, and rejoicing with exceeding great and holy joy, that which had before been spoken of in a figure by the prophet Isaiah, the holy Mother of God now manifestly fulfilled” (Oration on Simeon and Anna 7 [A.D. 305]).

    “Hail to you forever, you virgin Mother of God, our unceasing joy, for unto you do I again return. . . . Hail, you fount of the Son’s love for man. . . . Wherefore, we pray you, the most excellent among women, who boast in the confidence of your maternal honors, that you would unceasingly keep us in remembrance. O holy Mother of God, remember us, I say, who make our boast in you, and who in august hymns celebrate your memory, which will ever live, and never fade away” (ibid., 14).

    Cyril of Jerusalem

    “The Father bears witness from heaven to his Son. The Holy Spirit bears witness, coming down bodily in the form of a dove. The archangel Gabriel bears witness, bringing the good tidings to Mary. The Virgin Mother of God bears witness” (Catechetical Lectures 10:19 [A.D. 350]).

    Ephraim the Syrian

    “Though still a virgin she carried a child in her womb, and the handmaid and work of his wisdom became the Mother of God” (Songs of Praise 1:20 [A.D. 351]).

    Athanasius

    “The Word begotten of the Father from on high, inexpressibly, inexplicably, incomprehensibly, and eternally, is he that is born in time here below of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God” (The Incarnation of the Word of God 8 [A.D. 365]).

    Epiphanius of Salamis

    “Being perfect at the side of the Father and incarnate among us, not in appearance but in truth, he [the Son] reshaped man to perfection in himself from Mary the Mother of God through the Holy Spirit” (The Man Well-Anchored 75 [A.D. 374]).

    Ambrose of Milan

    “The first thing which kindles ardor in learning is the greatness of the teacher. What is greater than the Mother of God? What more glorious than she whom Glory Itself chose?” (The Virgins 2:2[7] [A.D. 377]).

    Gregory of Nazianz

    “If anyone does not agree that holy Mary is Mother of God, he is at odds with the Godhead” (Letter to Cledonius the Priest 101 [A.D. 382]).

    Jerome

    “As to how a virgin became the Mother of God, he [Rufinus] has full knowledge; as to how he himself was born, he knows nothing” (Against Rufinus 2:10 [A.D. 401]).

    “Do not marvel at the novelty of the thing, if a Virgin gives birth to God” (Commentaries on Isaiah 3:7:15 [A.D. 409]).

    Theodore of Mopsuestia

    “When, therefore, they ask, ‘Is Mary mother of man or Mother of God?’ we answer, ‘Both!’ The one by the very nature of what was done and the other by relation” (The Incarnation 15 [A.D. 405]).

    Cyril of Alexandria

    “I have been amazed that some are utterly in doubt as to whether or not the holy Virgin is able to be called the Mother of God. For if our Lord Jesus Christ is God, how should the holy Virgin who bore him not be the Mother of God?” (Letter to the Monks of Egypt 1 [A.D. 427]).

    “This expression, however, ‘the Word was made flesh’ [John 1:14], can mean nothing else but that he partook of flesh and blood like to us; he made our body his own, and came forth man from a woman, not casting off his existence as God, or his generation of God the Father, but even in taking to himself flesh remaining what he was. This the declaration of the correct faith proclaims everywhere. This was the sentiment of the holy Fathers; therefore they ventured to call the holy Virgin ‘the Mother of God,’ not as if the nature of the Word or his divinity had its beginning from the holy Virgin, but because of her was born that holy body with a rational soul, to which the Word, being personally united, is said to be born according to the flesh” (First Letter to Nestorius [A.D. 430]).

    “And since the holy Virgin corporeally brought forth God made one with flesh according to nature, for this reason we also call her Mother of God, not as if the nature of the Word had the beginning of its existence from the flesh” (Third Letter to Nestorius [A.D. 430]).

    “If anyone will not confess that the Emmanuel is very God, and that therefore the holy Virgin is the Mother of God, inasmuch as in the flesh she bore the Word of God made flesh [John 1:14]: let him be anathema” (ibid.).

    John Cassian

    “Now, you heretic, you say (whoever you are who deny that God was born of the Virgin), that Mary, the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, cannot be called the Mother of God, but the Mother only of Christ and not of God—for no one, you say, gives birth to one older than herself. And concerning this utterly stupid argument . . . let us prove by divine testimonies both that Christ is God and that Mary is the Mother of God” (On the Incarnation of Christ Against Nestorius 2:2 [A.D. 429]).

    “You cannot then help admitting that the grace comes from God. It is God, then, who has given it. But it has been given by our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore the Lord Jesus Christ is God. But if he is God, as he certainly is, then she who bore God is the Mother of God” (ibid., 2:5).

    Council of Ephesus

    “We confess, then, our Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, perfect God and perfect man, of a rational soul and a body, begotten before all ages from the Father in his Godhead, the same in the last days, for us and for our salvation, born of Mary the Virgin according to his humanity, one and the same consubstantial with the Father in Godhead and consubstantial with us in humanity, for a union of two natures took place. Therefore we confess one Christ, one Son, one Lord. According to this understanding of the unconfused union, we confess the holy Virgin to be the Mother of God because God the Word took flesh and became man and from his very conception united to himself the temple he took from her” (Formula of Union [A.D. 431]).

    Vincent of Lerins

    “Nestorius, whose disease is of an opposite kind, while pretending that he holds two distinct substances in Christ, brings in of a sudden two persons, and with unheard-of wickedness would have two sons of God, two Christs,—one, God, the other, man; one, begotten of his Father, the other, born of his mother. For which reason he maintains that Saint Mary ought to be called, not the Mother of God, but the Mother of Christ” (The Notebooks 12[35] [A.D. 434]).

  • Newman overs the topic pretty well in his reply to Pusey’s EIRENICON, republished as NEWMAN ON THE MOTHER OF GOD.

  • The Bible is about Jesus from cover to cover?

    Dude, what “bible” have you been reading?!?!

    The true Bible is about God’s relationship to creation, man in particular, and His revelation of this relationship to man. It is about BOTH God and MAN. Part of that revelation includes revelation about the mother of the Second Person of the Trinity.

    Your “bible” sounds a little abridged.

  • Wayne, tell me you didn’t just quote the Church Lady. Unironically. Please….

    Oh. You *did.*

    Well, that’s…refreshing.

  • “Seperated brethren”…you mean like my Protestant friends who said that they don’t want to talk to me anymore since I got baptised into the Church?

  • It’s sad that so many Protestants like Wayne don’t do a little study of the early church since I think virtually all Protestant denominations recognize up through the Council of Ephesus. I’ve often gotten the impression that many modern Protestants seem to take the Bible and Creeds as things that came down from Heaven fully formed. If they would study the first four centuries and learn what a difficult time was had in sorting out the Canon from the rest of the writings and the making of the Creeds it would be most helpful, I believe.

  • C-Matt doesnt seem to think the scriptures arent all about Christ. He must be a good catholic. Jesus said” search the scriptures, it is they that testify of me”. Dnald R love to quote men, catholic men, and then expect me to believe it as gospel. He takes it as gospel. The bible warns us that in the last times some will teach the doctrines of men as if they were gospel. The carnal man does not understand the things of the spirit, thats why they love the writings of men, because them they understand.Catholic men also wrote that there is no salvation outside the catholic church.Hogwash on top of hogwash.It dont surprise me that people still fall for this kind of stoneage cult religion. But, as my grandma used to say…it takes all kinds

  • “Dnald R love to quote men, catholic men, and then expect me to believe it as gospel. He takes it as gospel.”

    Sola Scriptura in all its primitive glory! Wayne, the New Testament was written by men, Catholic men. The Catholic Church determined what books to include as part of the New Testament, and what books to exclude. How did the “devil’s pet religion” as you so charmingly designate the Catholic Church, have the ability, and, more importantly, the authority to do this?

  • Wayne correct me if I’m wrong, but did the Holy Bible drop down from Heaven written in American English?

    As far as I know the first book of the New Testament was written around 60 A.D. and the last book written probably around 100-110 A.D. What happened during the time of Christ’s Resurrection in 33 A.D. up until 110 A.D.? Did Christians have the Holy Bible during that time?

    Not to mention the fact that the Holy Bible wasn’t even the “Holy Bible” until the 16th century.

    Please explain to me where I am wrong, etc.

  • Hi Tito, befor the new test was all written down, it was word of mouth. But what does that have to do with anything? You must be a catholic, trying to justify a murderous corrupt organization for no other reason than you belong to it.

  • Everyone,

    I don’t want to be guilty of anti-Roman Catholocism. I am a Lutheran, but I have no hostility towards Catholics. I have a few questions, though:

    1. Where in the Bible is the Bodily Assumption of the Virgin taught?

    2. Where in the Bible does it say that we should pray to the Virgin Mary?

    I don’t want to sound judgemental, but it seems to me that any doctrine that directs a person to someone other than God for salvation or justification is blasphemous. (I am not, however, a member of the Catholic Church and do not want to be guilty of misrepresenting her doctrine. Do I have the essential point right: that Roman Catholocism teaches that Mary can be prayed to, asked for help, etc.)?

    Love in Christ,

    Aidan

  • Wayne,

    It (the New Testament) wasn’t word of mouth. Why do you think the books in the Bible were called “letters” and “epistles”?

    It seems you are corrupting facts of history.

    If you did your own independent investigation you would be surprised at what you found.

  • I would like to add that discussion is perfectly acceptable as long as it is done in civility. To all Protestants who are here to “bash” – in other words, defame – individual practitioners of the Catholic religion, you do not do any justice to God, who commands us in 1 Peter to give an answer to all who ask “in meekness and in fear”, NOT in hatred and bigotry. I submit that – as all of us worship the one true God, the Blessed Trinity – we should all treat each other as brothers and sisters and Christ.

  • Adian, if you call pointing out fallacies in a religion as bashing, then close your eyes. Or pointing out fallacies in anything. You wouldnt have likes Jesus much either. He really socked it to them at times. Catholics give jesus lip service but their heart is far from him. The catholic church has taught its faithfull to look elsewhere for grace. i dont blame the individual catholic person. Hail Mary full of grace. She was at one time. But she awaits resurection like most everyone else.But, some folks are suckered into worshiping her. That why the catholic church discourages reading the bible. Cause of all their unscriptural teaching

  • I note Wayne that you have not answered my question, but since you are an ignorant bigot I didn’t expect one, at least one that was intelligent.

  • “1. Where in the Bible is the Bodily Assumption of the Virgin taught?

    2. Where in the Bible does it say that we should pray to the Virgin Mary?”

    As to one Aidan, nowhere. It is an early tradition and belief of the Catholic Church. Catholics do not rely on Sola Scriptura. The Church created the New Testament and not the other way around.

    As to two Aidan, Catholics do not pray to Mary. We ask her to pray for us and to intercede for us with God. The Hail Mary prayer ends “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”

  • I’ve always wondered why Protestants are so quick to denigrate Mary, to insist that she is no different from anybody else. She was chosen to be the mother of Jesus! And she accepted God’s will. That’s why we venerate her!

    As Donald says, we do not pray to her or consider her equal to God. If the Catholic view of Mary seems improper to Protestants, from the Catholic standpoint, the Protestant view of the mother of Jesus seems very disrepectful.

  • As a small child, I think I found Mary especially comforting. The thought of “God watching me” sometimes alarmed me (especially when I had been naughty). The thought of a kind, smiling lady praying for me in Heaven made me feel much better.

  • Where inside the Bible does it say “Bible”?

  • Wayne,

    You haven’t answered nor rebutted any of the questions we posed to you? Why is that?

  • Hi Donald and Tito, i had to go somewhere and just got back. Donald, very few, and i mean very few catholics stick their necks out and say that catholics wrote the new testament.I always thought it was written by people who knew jesus. yes, Paul knew Jesus. Now, in a mad atenpt to make the catholic church holy, you say the catholics wrote it.God used the early fathers of the church to put togeather a bible for us. He uses whom he will. Most people know that the catholic church didnt write the new test.cause it wasnt around.Well since then, the catholic church has shown the world what its about. It took up romes past time of killing christians. Directed from the Holy Office. HAHAHAHA. The catholic church uses holy names for its murderous offices. It even calls this pompus blasphemer Holy Father. And people are buying that.Lets see, what was that name Donald called me? ah yes, ignorant bigot. Well, at least i dont kiss the feet of idols and the rings of child molesters, and you wont catch me bowing down to a statue. but thanks anyway

  • Wayne, still no answer, at least not an intelligent one. You are obviously completely ignorant of early Church history. The Catholic Church is the Church founded by Christ. The New Testament is a product of the Catholic Church just as much as the current catechism is. The historical record is crystal clear. You can deny it all you wish but you are railing against stubborn historical facts. As for the rest of your hate filled screed, it merely testifies again that you are simply an ignorant bigot who knows nothing about the Catholic Church. We Catholics have a term for your chief affliction: invincible ignorance. Until you let go of your bitter hate and your stunning ignorance, you will be far from Christ indeed.

  • Wayne, it must be difficult to write posts by the faint light of a burning cross. I admire your talent in that regard.

  • Waiter! I’d like to send my troll back. He’s not very good.

  • Aidan, thanks for your polite & kinds tone… it’s much appreciated. I’d like to try to respond to a couple of your questions and comments.

    You asked about Mary’s assumption and about praying to her, and about finding both in Sacred Scripture. Most Catholic scholars today — including Pope Benedict — would say that while you cannot find every Catholic doctrine stated *explicitly* in Scripture, you can find all of them at least *implicitly*. Because Scripture is the Word of God, we will never completely exhaust our understanding of it and the way in which it all fits together… we’ve been spending 2000 years already mediating on the truths found therein, progressively growing in our understanding of the truths given definitely by Christ and His Apostles. That’s a general comment.

    You asked about praying to Mary; it’s crucial to understand that the prayers which Catholics direct to Mary are of a completely different kind than those we direct to God… adoration and worship are due to God alone, not to any creature, and so in no way are prayers to Mary those of adoration or worship. Rather, they are prayers seeking her intercession, and as such they are completely biblical: St. Paul directs us to pray for one another and to ask for one another’s prayers, and that’s what we do with Mary: we are asking her to pray for us. Just as it is right and good that I ask for the prayers of other Christian with me here on earth, so too is it right and good for me to ask prayers of those who are already with Jesus in heaven… as Jesus Himself said, God is the God of the living, not of the dead: those who have died in Christ are truly alive in Him now.

    Thoughts?

  • I second Dale’s last comment, btw.

  • Only a person with their head in the sand can think Christ started the catholic church. But Christ did tell us how to spot phonies. He said..” by their fruits shall ye know them” What are the fruits of the catholic church? Pogroms agaisnt Jews, the inquisition, the crusades(most cruel and barbarous), homosexual pedophiles by the truckloads,lesbian nuns wholesale, selling get out of hell tickets(only an ignorant catholic would buy), an army of subversives(jesuits), coverups of crimes by priests. These are just some of the fruits of the wonderfull catholic church. My girlfriend was born catholic and went K thru 12 in catholic school. She says that if anyone says catholics dont worship Mary is a damnned LIAR. Her words exactly. She got out of that snakepit called the catholic church, by the way.

  • Oh sorry, i forgot money laundering and drug running

  • Aidan!
    Thanks for the questions…quick answer…i hope this helps
    Bodily Assumption of Mary: nowhere does it state it explicitly…however we can infer.
    Elijah was assumed into heaven…why not the Mother of God?
    Also, Rev 12 “A great sign was seen in the heavens, a Woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet”
    Seems convincing to me. God bless bro!

  • In addition: Mary was the only person whom an Angel praised during a visit. Usually, in the presence of an Angel, men fall to their knees in fright thinking the Angel is God. however, the Angel praised Mary!
    How beautiful and true and fitting!

  • Can we please ignore Wayne and just pray for him? I know it hurts…but let’s ask for the grace to forgive him.

  • “Can we please ignore Wayne and just pray for him?”

    Good idea, Patrick. As is the idea to pray for the grace to forgive.

  • Dear Adian, Mary was not the mother of god. Mary was the mother of a man. Catholics love to say that the woman in revelations was Mary. they were taught that by their appologetics dept. Keep reading. It says she fled to the wilderness to hide. The catholic Mary is queen of heaven, not some chick hiding from the devil in the wilderness.Keep reading. The woman is he bride of christ. We, the saved, are the bride of christ.The 12 stars are the 12 tribes of Israel.Catholic theology is so shabby, only the blind believe it. Jesus said, “if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch”

  • Pray for me to do what? For me to become catholic? Rite. I cant wait to get on my knees in front of a statue.

  • Chris,

    With regard to this:

    “you cannot find every Catholic doctrine stated *explicitly* in Scripture, you can find all of them at least *implicitly*.”

    I was listening to a Protestant minister on the radio not long ago talk about how the Trinity itself is an implicit doctrine.

    If they can accept that one, I don’t see why ones relating to Mary would be so difficult.

  • Hey Joe, you mean that the catholic church can twist scripture to fit any unbiblical idea they come up with.That protetant preacher you mentioned is more than likely unsaved, as is the case with 99.9% of protestant preachers.The trinity is all over the bible.And no, im not going to do any quotes. You catholic BIG THINKERS can find them for yourself.

  • Agreed, Joe: the implicit nature of something as basic as the Trinity is evident from divergent readings of the NT as found among JWs and Mormons.

    To be fair to Protestants, though, some of our doctrines are *more* implicit than others… the Assumption, for instance, isn’t *as* evident as praying to Mary (although Patrick quickly sketched some of those indications above).

    In any case, it’s definitely not a matter of us holding to beliefs which are completely extra-biblical, let alone contrary to Scripture.

  • I would like to note for anyone “silently” reading this comment thread that the best place to find out what the Catholic Church teaches is in her authoritative teaching documents. The next best place is Catholics who are well-versed in those teaching documents. I wouldn’t recommend placing *too* much value in the practices of those in primary or secondary Catholic schools as indicators of Catholic teaching.

  • “Pograms against Jews”

    On the contrary, the Popes have treated the Jews more fairly than any other government in history (comparatively speaking).

    “The Inquisition”

    All govenrments have arbitrary laws, in those days it was Christianity.
    These days, we have seemingly arbitrary laws that can land you in jail or worse.
    It’s just a matter of government not bearing the sword in vain.

    “The Crusades”

    If it weren’t for the Crusades, first of all, you wouldn’t have Christianity or the Bible other than maybe a modified version in Arabic.
    Plus, the first one had to be done to help halt the progress of the Turks (and to protect the Byzantine Rite).
    The Fourth was an embarassment and had none of the righteousness of the First.
    In the case of the Fourth, I would agree.

    “Homosexual pedophiles”

    This is a greatly trumped up charge.
    It is a propblem, but it isn’t even close to every priest, as your language (and attitude) implies.

    “Lesbian nuns”

    There are lesbian Protestants too.
    Some probably more devout than you.
    ‘Sorry.

    “Get out of hell tickets”

    Indulgences is too complicated to describe, so against the propaganda and caricature treament they have gotten in Protestant “reformation” history books, it can do nothing.
    Bigotry is a flood against the humble trickle or reason.

    “Jesuits”

    The worst Jesuit who ever lived is a better, more respectable man than the most virtuous Protestant martyr.
    Just sayin’…

    “Cover ups”

    Paul said keep litigations against fellow Christians within the Church.

    I’m sorry, I’ve just wasted both of our time writing this reply…

  • Charlie,

    A very good starting point in debunking and countering the baseless charges against the Catholic faith.

  • The worst Jesuit who ever lived is a better, more respectable man than the most virtuous Protestant martyr.

    Well, let’s not get too carried away…

  • “Pray for me to do what? For me to become catholic? Rite.”

    I’d say “learn how to spell,” but let’s not presume to seek the miraculous right away.

    On a related point, it’s time for the poisonous troll to get the hook. The angry Catholic-hating lesbian last week got banned a lot faster. We’ve long since passed the point of diminishing returns with this hateful subliterate. Boot him.

  • THE OTHER DAY I AM TALKING TO A ADVENTISTS PASTOR NATIVE OF HONDURAS AND HE TELLS ME IF I CAN PLEASE INTERPRET REV 13 I SAD TO HIM A TALKS IN A WAY ABOUT A WOMEN WHO PRETENDS TO BE MARRY AND HE SAD NO IT IS MARRY I SAD THE DESCRIPTION THAT IT GIVES IS MARRY BUT YOURE SUPOSE TO DEFENDER AND TAKE HER AWAY FROM THE RESTS OF THE CHAPTER HE DID NOT AGREE WITH ME I WANTED TO HIT HIM OVER THE HEAD WITH MY BIBLE BECAUSE HE ACUSE OF MISTERPRETATING BIBLE AND HE TOLD ME I WAS GOING TO BURN IN HELL FOR TAKING AWAY THINGS FROM THE BIBLE SO I SAD SO YOU AINT GOING TO BURN EVEN DO YOURE STANDING BEFORE GOD CALLING HIS MOTHER A HORE .HE SAD NO BECAUSE THAT IS EXACTLY WHO MARRY IS IN THE BIBLE I SAD BUT IF YOU WERE STANDING AT THE DOOR OF THE HOUSE OF JESUS YOU WOULD TELL HIM THAT HE SAD YES.

  • “The worst Jesuit…”

    Well let’s not get too carried away…

    Yes, you’re right, but it is a total nincompoop, a historical charlatan, an ignoramus, a liar, and a bogoted fool who knows about Jesuit history like the missions to India, the ferocious persecution in Japan, and the way their charitable work with Native Americans was cut off because of some paranoid hater threatening the Pope to abolish their Order; not to mention the wonderful kinds of men who were part of it (St. Francis Xavier, St. Ignatius Loyola): and yet condemns the Jesuits.
    Now they have truly been Christians, if anyone has.

  • If you’re referring to Wayne, Charlie, you’ll find me in broad agreement… he’s merely regurgitating the worst anti-Catholic propaganda out there.

    I’d propose that time spent attacking the Catholic Church is better spent in prayer, becoming more familiar with the Jesus whom Catholics supposedly don’t know.

  • Oh, sorry, Chris 🙂
    Should have been more clear.

  • Everyone,

    Thank you for your answers to my questions. I apologize for mis-representing the Hail Mary prayer. Chris, you asked for my thoughts. I do believe in Sola Scriptura, so I do not accept tradition as equal with Scripture. But, by the same token, I do not believe that faith in the bodily Assumption of Mary into heaven is a doctrine that will damn a person, so I don’t like to dispute it too much. 🙂 As for praying to Mary, I do confess that it seems a dangerous doctrine. If one believes it as you do, then it causes no harm. But there are many who would twist it in their hearts and believe that they are praying to Mary for salvation. Many midevil doctors of theology fell into this error. I still disagree with both doctrines, but I thank you for illuminating them for me, and I still believe that Catholocism is a Christian religion.

    Wayne, it is true that Mary was not the mother of the Holy Trinity. But she WAS, in a very real sense, the mother of God the Son in His incarnation on earth. This (if I am not mistaken) is the Catholic teaching; not that she was the mother of God in heaven, but His mother on earth.

    I would like to point out, though, that while the Trinity IS implicitly spelled out in the New Testament, Scriptural support for it is far more concrete than, say, the intercession of the saints or the Assumption of Mary. But again, I believe that so long as a person throws themself at the feet of God the Holy Trinity and pleads His mercy rather than their works for salvation, that person is saved regardless of what other doctrines he may hold. The danger that Protestants see in these doctrines is: 1. We believe Sola Scriptura, and this does not allow them, and 2. Some unstable people might take them too far and worship Mary or the saints. But, while I must be clear in voicing my disagreement of these teachings, I must also say that I do not doubt the personal salvation of any who believe them, nor will I disagree in any manner but one of kindness and love.

    Wayne, you seem to be under the illusion that Protestantism is a united Church. It is not. Even on such elementary matters as Baptism, Communion, and the Election Protestants are divided. Does it follow, then, that only those people who accept EVERY doctrine of the Bible are saved? True, those who do not have all of biblical doctrine are missing out, so to speak, and God might, on Judgement Day, have something to say about it, but that is not for us to decide. And it is not for us to point to an individual and say, “You are not a Christian”. We do not know peoples’ hearts. We do not know if they truly believe or do not believe. There are Christians in every denomination of visible Christendom, and even in some denominations that are overtly anti-christian (i.e. Jehovah’s Witnesses and the LDS Church). You have every right to voice your disagreement, but please do so in a loving and respectful way. If you are not speaking the truth in love to either bring people to Christ or strengthen peoples’ faith in Him, then you are violating His very specific commands. Do not be like the Pharisees and think yourself preferred by God over someone else because you hold a specific doctrine or repudiate a certain teaching.

    I pray that God blesses everyone on this forum.

    Love in Christ,

    Aidan

  • P.S. Interpretations as to whom the woman of Revelation is differ. Some believe her to be Mary, some the Church, some the twelve tribes of Israel. I personally do not take a stance. I agree with Wayne, however, in saying that the saved are the bride of Christ.

  • Aidan I hope you will continue to visit and participate in the comboxes. You are just the type of questioner we like to have visit us.

  • Everyone,

    I know I’ve written a lot already, but a further reading of the forum prompted more comments.

    Wayne, you say that I would not have liked Jesus very much. Please do not insinuate that I have not devoted my heart and soul to my Lord and Savior. I have. I love Him with all of my being. But I am not Him. You are not Him. We must speak the truth, and we must do it directly, but we are not sinless and so cannot do all of the things that Christ did. And besides, am I not being clear as to my position? I have voiced my disagreement with the doctrines of Mary and others in Roman Catholocism. But I have done it (I hope and pray) with gentleness and respect and love (if I have not, please correct me that I might repent and ask the forgiveness of those on the forum). And look at what has happened. Though we disagree and though we have not met each other, the Catholic members of this forum and I have formed bonds of respect and honor towards each other. That is what we are supposed to do with all people, especially brothers and sisters in Christ. That is what Paul had in mind when he pled for unity in the church. Doctrinal unity, certainly, but above all unity of love and purpose. I remind you of St. John’s admonition in his first epistle that those who hate a brother or sister are not Christ’s. I am in no position to judge you, I simply ask that you pray about it.

    Donna, you say that you always thought of God as angry and Mary as smiling upon you. I confess that this view is precisely the kind of thing that Protestants fear regarding doctrines of Mary. For God is a loving God and is perfectly willing at all times to hear us, save us, protect us, dry out tears, pick us up when we fall, not because of our righteousness, but because of His love. So long as we repent and believe, He will wipe our guilt an d shame away. “Cast your cares upon the LORD, and he will sustain you” (Psalm 55:22). I know that you know that already, and I do not wish to sound condescending or rude, but I felt like the Lord was tugging at me to affirm His love for you and all here.

    Another question: I was under the impression that the idea of the Roman bishop being the universal bishop was not formulated until the sixth or seventh century. Didn’t Jerome say that the title of ecumenical bishop was offered the Pope, but that he refused? Wasn’t Pope Gregory the first to exercise the authority of universal bishop? Curious as to your thoughts. My knowledge of the early Church Fathers is by no means absolute.

    Love in Christ,

    Aidan Clevinger

  • Thank you Mr. McClarey. I appreciate that more than you know.

  • Aidan: Well, that comment I made about Mary was certainly not meant to illustrate any profound theological insight. It was my recollection of how I viewed Mary when I was a child. I think many Catholics develop that emotional attachment to Mary, which is why it hurts on a gut level to see her treated with a lack of respect.

    I know that God is love. But the concept of God, a being that sees and knows all, can be overwhelming, particularly for a small child. Mary is there to affirm and reassure us that God is love and mercy, that He will forgive us. Not that Mary will forgive us – we know only God forgives sins. Asking her to pray for me was a great comfort as a child. But I did not believe, nor was I ever taught that she was a “goddess” or equal to God.

    I’m afraid I don’t have the theological sophistication of most of the posters here so I’m fumbling a bit while their reasoning is much clearer. But it’s a good thing to be asked why, exactly, do you believe as you do. So thanks, Aidan, as you have given me food for thought.

  • Aidan, first of all thank you for engaging us in such a wonderful, faith filled dialogue. I hope you continue to read and comment. As for your question on the rise of popes and papal authority. The Early Church had always recognized the authority of the Successor of Saint Peter. As early as 96 AD, the Church in Corinth wrote to Pope Clement on a theological controversy that had broken out in their city.

    This is particularly telling since they could have easily written to Saint John who was nearby. However, they wrote to Rome. Obviously being a pope was dangerous business, since once the Roman authorities found out who it was, they did their best to kill them. Almost all of the popes of the first two centuries died martyrs. There was a saying in the Early Church, I believe St Augustine used it as well when referring to controversies. He and others would simply say, “Rome has spoken,” which meant the matter was settled. Obviously, this didn’t completely stop heretics like Arius, but they knew they would incur the wrath of the faithful for their open rebellion.

    I realize this may not be taught in many Protestant seminaries or universities (liberal Catholic ones too.) However, rest assured Pope Gregory was not the first to exert his authority.

  • Everyone,

    Thanks again for your answers to all my questions. I can never promise complete agreement, but I can at least gain a greater understanding of the Catholic religion.

    Mr. Hartline, you reference St. Clement’s letter to the Corinthians, and say that they could have written to John. Wasn’t John the pastor of Ephesus? And at the time of the writing of 1 Clement, wasn’t he imprisoned/exiled on Patmos? I could most certainly be wrong about that, but I had always thought that at the time of Clement’s letter to the Corinthians John had been banished from Rome.

    I do not wish to seem as if I don’t trust your word, but I like to research things myself as well as hear informed people. Could you provide source documents in which the Roman bishop exercised ecumenical authority before Pope Gregory?

    Lastly, what is the biblical groundwork for the teaching of the Pope? I know Matthew 16:18-19, but beyond that I’m afraid I’m unfamiliar with the arguments for papal supremacy.

    Thanks again for everyone’s answers. God bless you all!

    Love in Christ,

    Aidan

  • Aidan,

    Here’s a good start.

    The Jews have always had the tradition of a final authority on matters of faith (in this instance, Judaism).

    This is called the “Seat of Moses”. Which is a Jewish saying for explaining that the word is final on this particular matter.

    Some examples from the Holy Bible are from the Holy Gospel of Saint Matthew 23:1-3…

    1 Then said Jesus to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; 3 so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice.

    “So practice and observe what they tell you.” Here Jesus is telling his followers to listen to the authority of Judaism and “practice and observe”.

    As you should know that the Holy Spirit guides the Church (or in your instance, how you interpret the Bible). Hence the Holy Spirit guides the “Seat of Peter”, which is the successor of the “Seat of Moses”.

    This is a continuation of the authority, or ex cathedra, from the seat, of Peter.

    We see this in the Old Testament in Numbers 7:89…

    89 And when Moses went into the tent of meeting to speak with the LORD, he heard the voice speaking to him from above the mercy seat that was upon the ark of the testimony, from between the two cherubim; and it spoke to him.

    Again in Leviticus ex cathedra is invoked in 16:2…

    2 and the LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron your brother not to come at all times into the holy place within the veil, before the mercy seat which is upon the ark, lest he die; for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat.

    This final authority was promulgated by God Himself telling Moses in Exodus 25:17-22…

    17 Then you shall make a mercy seat of pure gold; two cubits and a half shall be its length, and a cubit and a half its breadth. 18 And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work shall you make them, on the two ends of the mercy seat. 19 Make one cherub on the one end, and one cherub on the other end; of one piece with the mercy seat shall you make the cherubim on its two ends. 20 The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, their faces one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubim be. 21 And you shall put the mercy seat on the top of the ark; and in the ark you shall put the testimony that I shall give you. 22 There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are upon the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you of all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel.

    Notice the description being used by God?

    The seat is built upon the Ark, which contains the Word of God, ie, the Ten Commandments.

    “I will speak with you of all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel.”

    Speak with you. Him, God, The Holy Spirit speaks through men of authority, ex cathedra, ie, the Seat of Peter, ie, the Pope.

    Right smack in the Holy Bible.

    Note: Ex Cathedra is roughly translated “from the seat” or “from the chair” of Moses/Peter.

    The term “mercy seat” means chair or seat, it’s a vulgar German translation.

    Hope this helps.

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,

    Tito

  • Its only if you believe that the pope has authority. Or that the Holy Spirit guides the catholic church.

  • Thats only if you believe that authority is with the supposed seat of Peter. Mormons say they have the authority. So what do we do now? I say Jesus is the only authority

  • Wayne,

    Read the Holy Gospel of Saint Matthew 16:19…

    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.”

    Or do you not believe what the Holy Bible says?

  • Tito,

    Thank you for the time and care that you took to answer. I offer my comments here:

    Tito, your research is very detailed and opened me up to Scriptural truths I was not formerly aware of. But the Bible does not ascribe this seat to St. Peter. Other than Christ’s reference to the Pharisees possessing the seat of Moses, I believe the only other reference to the Ark of the Covenant is in Revelation, where it is in Heaven with God.

    Isn’t this same authority given to Peter (I understand that the Greek word for “you” is singular in Matthew 16:19) later given to all the Apostles (John 20:21-23) and to all believers (Matthew 18:19-20)? Why, if Peter was the ecumenical bishop, did Paul not seek ordination from him (Galatians 1:16-17) and oppose him when he erred (Galatians 2:11-21)? And why did he say that that “all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas [Peter]”) (1 Corinthians 3:21-22).

    On Matthew 16:18-19; isn’t Christ elsewhere called the “rock”, and doesn’t Ephesians 2:20 say that the Church is build upon Christ and the apostles and prophets? According to this interpretation, the “rock” that Christ shall build His Church on is Peter’s confession of faith, not Peter himself.

    I have the quotation from Jerome: “If the question is concerning authority, the world is greater than the city. Wherever there has been a bishop, whether at Rome, or Eugubium, or Constantinople, or Rhegium, or Alexandria, he is of the same dignity and priesthood”

    Furthermore: “Gregory, writing to the patriarch at Alexandria, forbids that he be called universal bishop. And in the Records he says that in the Council of Chalcedon the primacy was offered to the
    bishop of Rome, but was not accepted.” (Quoted from Philip Melancthon’s Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope”)

    I again thank all here for their respect and attention to my questions, and I pray that God would be glorified through our discussions.

    Love in Christ,

    Aidan

  • Aidan,

    On Matthew 16:18-19; isn’t Christ elsewhere called the “rock”, and doesn’t Ephesians 2:20 say that the Church is build upon Christ and the apostles and prophets? According to this interpretation, the “rock” that Christ shall build His Church on is Peter’s confession of faith, not Peter himself.

    That is the crux of the issue between Catholics and Protestants.

    Protestants believe Jesus was referring to Peter’s faith, while Catholics know that it was referencing Peter and the Church.

    The problem arises in the old Greek. Which is a translation of Aramaic. In Aramaic it is clear that Jesus was speaking of Peter and the Church. But in old Greek it is a bit confusing because of the use of the word Kephas. Which can mean either a small rock or a large rock.

    In this case, in reading of the context of the passage, it is clear that, just as in Aramaic, that Jesus is referring to the Church. Not Peter’s faith.

    Only in English (maybe German and Dutch) do you see that Peter and Rock are distinct. But in any Latin language it is the same word, Peter for Petra and Rock for Petra. Spanish, Peter for Pedro and Rock for Piedra. See the similarities?

    As far as your other questions I will get back to you tomorrow on them.

    Ironically, I have Bible Study to lead tonight (I couldn’t find someone else to do it) so have a good evening!

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,

    Tito

  • Aidan,

    One last thing before I go and return tomorrow…

    With the destruction of Jerusalem, which included the Temple, the seat of Moses was superseded by the Seat of Peter.

    Read the Holy Gospel of Saint Matthew 16:19…

    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.”

    This is clearly a direct command from Jesus, the Son of God, telling Peter that he has given him authority to ‘bind’ and ‘loose’, meaning that it will be ‘bound’ and ‘loosed’ in Heaven as well. At minimum this reads as implicit authority, if not explicit authority (to remove debate on nuance).

    It only goes to Reason that Jesus was establishing a visible Church on earth with final authority.

    I’ll address the rest of your concerns and questions tomorrow, if our readers and/or my colleagues don’t get to it first!

    In Christ,

    Tito

  • Aidan, again it is a pleasure to have this congenial discussion with you. I for one hope it continues. I believe you wondered about my assertion concerning the letter to Pope Clement from Corinth. I believe St John had not yet been exiled, he still lived in Ephesus and Corinth is most certainly closer to Ephesus than Rome. However, the church in Corinth wanted a final answer and they knew that even though St John was an Apostle, he was still outranked by the hand picked Successor to Saint Peter in this case Pope Clement. Keep in mind that (Acts 1:20-26)the succession of Apostles was determined (May Another take his office) which is taken from the 69th Psalm. I believe the original version of the King James Bible even had the verse from Acts translated as “May another take his bishopric.”

    As far as the rock translation goes, it was never questioned until the time of the Reformation. Some Evangelicals had said that Jesus couldn’t be referring to Peter because in Hebrew rock is feminine. However, Jesus spoke Aramaic to his Apostles, not Hebrew or Greek. Judas was probably the only one who understood Hebrew or Greek.

    I say the following as charitably as I know how Aidan. However, it is difficult for many of us to understand how someone (like the Reformation leaders) can come 1,517 years (and often longer) after the fact and claim they know the true translation. It would as if in 3293 AD someone would come forth to say the American Revolution was not as we had been taught. Recently, I heard an Evangelical Preacher on the radio saying Catholics were getting all excited because an angel who appeared to Mary. The preacher said “So what angels have appeared to a lot of people.” True angels have appeared to a lot of people but never with the verse “Hail Full of Grace,” (the Greek “kecharitomene”) which is an extraordinary greeting never found in any other place in the Bible. Usally angels cause people to tremble, in this case it was angel who was being reverant.

    One more thing, as much as Martin Luther disagreed with the Church or some matters on others like the Eucharist and the Blessed Virgin Mary, his dissent was minor if at all. As a matter of fact I believe he said that if anyone didn’t believe in the Eucharist they weren’t Christian and a Crusade should be taken up against them. I do believe he was very ruthless to the point of torture or death to anyone he caught from the “Protestant” side who did not believe in the Eucharist, which I believe is why Munzer started his uprising against Luther and the civil authorities who supported him. Again, Aidan thank you for this wonderful dialogue. Please continue to post. God Bless!

  • Pingback: The Pope Of Christian Unity, Pope Benedict XVI Is In The UK « The American Catholic

Magnificent

Monday, October 26, AD 2009

The song is called Magnificent by the musical group U2.  It was a minor hit in both the United Kingdom and the United States in A.D. 2009 (and a major hit in Greece).

Some entrepreneurial YouTuber recreated the music video and turned it into a pretty decent contemporary ‘Christian’ music video.  The music video now celebrates the Triune God, the Eucharist, of course the love of God all coupled within a strong Pro-Life message.  There’s even a guest appearance of His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI!

(Biretta Tip: Meg)

Continue reading...

8 Responses to Magnificent

  • Thanks Tito, that was awesome.

    I suspect a couple of scenes from Godzone.

    The budding tree fern – known as pikopiko – from which the ensignia, the koru, is designed – the ensignia on Air New Zealand aircraft, amonst other things.
    And secondly, the huge tree. I think it is a photo of our two thousand year old kauri tree – known to the maori as Tanemahuta – the “god” – or old man , of the forest, situated in the Waiapu forest in Northland, NZ. This tree was just a seedling when Christ was born.
    Thanks.

  • Don the Kiwi,

    Thanks for explaining some of those scenes from the music video.

    You live in a beautiful country.

    By the way the name of the Waiapu forest is very similar to Hawaiian. Are Maori of Polynesian descent? I grew up in Hawaii and I recognize the word structure of many of the Maori words and they are strikingly similar to Hawaiian!

  • Isn’t Bono, U2’s lead singer, Catholic?

    I have caught him several times wearing a rosary around his neck during a concert or other public performance.

  • Hi Tito.

    Yes, Maori are Polynesian. They call themselves “Te Maori” which simply means “the people”.
    Go to Wikipedia or google, insert “Polynesian Triangle”. This is a vast area of the Pacific, drawing lines from NZ in the Sth. west, to Hawaii in the North, and Easter Island in the Sth.East. Maori populated all these islands, and those in between – Tonga, Saomoa,Cook Is., Tahiti etc. They were amazing navigators. NZ was settled by maori from around the 8th century AD, in large ocean going canoes – two lashed together forming catamarans – the bulk of them arrived in 12th and 13th centuries.
    e.g. the Takatimu canoe – or “waka” the maori word – which landed here at Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty, left Takatimu beach on the island of Rarotonga in the Cook Islands, probably in the 12th.century. A young maori guy who worked for me, his tribe have in their verbal history the canoe leaving Takatimu beach. About ten years ago he went over to Rarotonga – the people there (who also call themselves “Te Maori”) recounted virtually the same story in their verbal history. He met all his relatives. Maori have a strong family association – they know their family history – or “whakapapa” – very well ; the old ones teach it to the young ones still. Maori culture is very strong and has undergone a revival over the past 50 years, to the extent that now, we use the maori language in some of our prayers at Mass – especially the Sign of the Cross.
    I was in Hawaii in 2002 – spent a week on Oahu, mainly in Honolulu. I also noticed the similarity in the languages. Its interesting, that before Europeans “discovered” the Pacific, a maori from NZ could have gone to Tahiti (whence Hawaii was populated) or Hawaii, and would have been understood. (provided they didn’t eat him first 😉

  • Not sure about the accuracy, but I read somewhere this summer that “Magnificent” is based on the Magnificat…sure can make the heart swell the same way!

  • I was wondering if it was a play on words done by the songwriter regarding Magnificat and Magnificent.

  • It was a minor hit in both the United Kingdom and the United States in A.D. 2009 (and a major hit in Greece).

    Your tone here suggests that you are now approaching blogging as a sort of time capsule, speaking to aliens from the future. Why?

  • Michael,

    Illegal or legal aliens?

Corpus Christi

Sunday, June 14, AD 2009

A fitting video for the Feast of Corpus Christi.

Back in the 1970s, when there was a lot of liturgical innovation going on, Dorothy Day invited a young priest to celebrate mass at the Catholic Worker. He decided to do something that he thought was relevant and hip. He asked Dorothy if she had a coffee cup he could borrow. She found one in the kitchen and brought it to him. And, he took that cup and used it as the chalice to celebrate mass.

When it was over, Dorothy picked up the cup, found a small gardening tool, and went to the backyard. She knelt down, dug a hole, kissed the coffee cup, and buried it in the earth.

With that simple gesture, Dorothy Day showed that she understood something that so many of us today don’t: she knew that Christ was truly present in something as ordinary as a ceramic cup. And that it could never be just a coffee cup again.

She understood the power and reality of His presence in the blessed sacrament. …

(Read the rest of Deacon Greg Kandra’s Homily for June 14th, 2009: Corpus Christi / The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ).

Continue reading...

2 Responses to Corpus Christi