Married Priests From the First Centuries Practiced Celibacy

Monday, March 8, AD 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Video courtesy Rome Reports.

_._

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

Continue reading...

19 Responses to Married Priests From the First Centuries Practiced Celibacy

  • Tito,

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

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

  • Eric,

    According to the Pontifical University it is true.

    That or I guess doctors in Church history are incorrect.

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

    😉

  • Tito,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Either way, the issue remains non-dogmatic.

  • Eric,

    First there is no sacrament of the priesthood.

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

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

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

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

  • Tito,

    I obviously simply misunderstood you.

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

  • Mr. Edwards,

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

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

  • Eric,

    My bad.

    I figured you were talking about Holy Orders.

  • John R.P. Russell,

    I’ll take your word for it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    http://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/catholic_rites_and_churches.htm

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

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

  • VJ,

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

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

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

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

  • Chris,

    That is very interesting!

    Learn something new every day.

    VJ is correct after all.

    “Continency”.

    I get to expand my vocabulary as well. 😉

  • Evagrius,

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

    peace and good,
    Fr. Joseph

Lent 2010; The Tide Continues To Turn Toward Catholic Orthodoxy

Monday, February 22, AD 2010

As we work our way through Lent 2009, we need to rejoice in the turning tide. Though there has been much negative news about the Catholic Church this past decade, much of the negative news had its roots in actions taken during the 1960s and 1970s. Yet, the seeds of the good news planted during the pontificates of Pope John Paul II and now Pope Benedict XVI is just now seeing its shoots and blossoms become visible to the naked eye.

What are the shoots and blossoms?  They can be seen in increasing vocations to the priesthood and religious life, and the strong orthodox nature of these new, young priests. A new crop of Catholic bishops is also boldly showing their orthodoxy, which often befuddles and mystifies the mainstream media and the secular culture in which we live. In addition to this, many in the laity have for years now been writing and blogging about the desperate need for Catholic orthodoxy in a world full of hurt and self absorption. Many ask how can the Church possibly grow when the Church’s active laity, especially the young along with those who serve her in ordained and professed ministries, are so different from the culture in which they live? It is that culture in which they live that causes them to see the wisdom in Christ’s words and the Church He started through the first pope, the Apostle Saint Peter.

There were fewer shoots and blossoms in the 1970s when the seriousness of the Catholicism was questioned after the Church seemed to be trying to be relative, whether it was related or not, thousands of priests and nuns left their vocations. However, starting in 1978 with the election of Pope John Paul II, the tide began to turn. All of the Polish pontiff’s hard work began to be seen in the shoots and blossoms of events like World Youth Day 1993, which was held in Denver. Later in his pontificate thanks to events like World Youth Day, vocations to the priesthood and religious life began to increase.

Continue reading...

5 Responses to Lent 2010; The Tide Continues To Turn Toward Catholic Orthodoxy

  • Amen Dave. The Tide is indeed turning as witnessed by the young men and women who attended the Right to Life in DC The way they handled thenmselves was remarable and edifying. The young orthodox priests are proclaiming the true tenets of the Church in their homiles and many so called “cafeteria catholic” are figgeting in the pews. RCIA teacher are getting back to what Catholism is and not just trying to bring anyone into the Church. More and more orthodox Bishops are taking a stance against those that try to justify their approach to public service aand their faith, as well as those in the academia who are trying to justify their relativism in their teaching and examples.

  • I think you rightly point out that the future of the American Church is being moved by the fact that only conservative young men are becoming priests.

    But I think a clarification needs to be made between orthodox and conservative, between heterodox and liberal, and between traditional and progressive. The meanings of these words seem to change from person to person.

  • Mr. Hartman,
    I see you are blind to the actual facts and are writing about a Catholic Church that is crumbling away. The lack of acknowledgment of wrongdoing at the very head of the Church has caused many to leave. Parishes are closing and there are fewer priests to run them. Catholic schools are closing due to declining enrollment. The vision begun by Pope John XXIII sadly were buried by Paul VI and Pope Benedict’s continued push to the right is continuing to push people further away.
    I think the Church I was raised in and have always been proud to be a member of, has turned it’s back on me and the many children who have been abused and shunned by the Roman Catholic Church.

  • Barbara, at first I thought your post was a tasteless April Fool’s joke. However, I see now that you are serious and I am very sorry that you are either this misinformed or this week. If you want the Church to become the same as the liberal Protestant churches who are in a statistical free fall then, shame on you. If you are week and run at the first sign of trouble, than I will continue to pray for you.

    My childhood parish had the distinction of having one of the highest number of molestors in my entir state, let alone diocese. I remember these molestors well, they were all liberals who wanted to change the Church and not defend it, some of the victims were people I knew.

    Even in the midst of this scandal, more and more young people, who are very orthodox in the Catholic faith, are becoming priests and nuns. In addition, the Church continues to see an increase in the number of converts (as evidenced by the last few years and this year in particular.)

    When Cardinal Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI, he prayed that God would give him the courage not to run when the wolves come. I pray Barbara that you find a backbone and stand up for the Faith when it is under attack by people who solely want to destory the Church by making outrageous accusations against Pope Benedict, without a single shred of evidence to back it up. There are even writers from the liberal America magazine who have said the conduct displayed by the NY Times and others is outrageous. I prayerfully ask you to consider these points.

Ash Wednesday Address by Pope Benedict

Wednesday, February 17, AD 2010

Pope Benedict XVI’s Ash Wednesday Address in English:

Here is the complete text of the Pope’s message:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,today, Ash Wednesday, marks the beginning of the Church’s Lenten journey towards Easter.

Lent reminds us, as Saint Paul exhorts, “not to accept the grace of God in vain” (cf. 2 Cor 6:1), but to recognize that today the Lord calls us to penance and spiritual renewal. This call to conversion is expressed in the two formulae used in the rite of the imposition of ashes. The first formula – “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel” – echoes Jesus’s words at the beginning of his public ministry (cf. Mk 1:15). It reminds us that conversion is meant to be a deep and lasting abandonment of our sinful ways in order to enter into a living relationship with Christ, who alone offers true freedom, happiness and fulfilment.

Continue reading...

4 Responses to One Million Expected To See Shroud of Turin

  • Dear friends,
    I thought you might be interested in a documentary on the Shroud of Turin 
    to premiere on the History Channel on March 30th.
    It is titled “The Real Face of Jesus?”.
    This documentary looks at the Shroud from a unusual angle. 
    Instead of getting bogged down in the authenticity debate, it analyzes some of the unique characteristics found in the Shroud. 
    It is a content-rich, intellectually stimulating blend of science, art, and religion. It focuses on the process of recreating the face of the man in the Shroud from the 3D information encoded in it, and explores the totally unique characteristics of this artifact.
    We co-produced this film and we hope to do our small part in raising the bar for TV productions, which are so sadly shallow these days. The success and future of this kind of production rests entirely in the hands of the audience who tunes in to watch it, so any help in spreading the word will be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,

    Maria

  • The program was done with exceptional detail, logic and comprehensiveness. It covered all the bases — science, religion, computer graphic technology and appropriate skepticism. I’m a firm believer in the Shroud’s authenticity; but I can understand those who do not accept it. As they say, if you have the gift of faith, no artifact such as the Shroud is necessary; if you don’t have the gift of faith, no such artifact is convincing.

  • I am a dedicated catholic, I feel impelled to give my testimony because one needs to witness to the truth where and when necessary. In 1981 I was very privileged to have had a vision of our lord Jesus Christ in a historic church that was dedicated to St.Peter and St.Paul, I saw our Lords face, so sad.And the crown of thorns on his head so clear was this vision i could see the string of thorns encircled many times and the thorns so clear as if one would be pricked by them, I was totally awestruck and as you can imagine this vision took me from being a christian with many question marks to a fervent believer, after the vision i went to my mothers home when i went in to her living room i told my mother of my wonderful vision and was overwhelmed to discover that my mother had a copy of the shroud of Turin on her wall.I immediately said to my mother, this is Jesus Christ, this is who i saw actually as he is. It is him. The holy shroud image is that Of Jesus Christ, I can’t prove it but i would lay my life on this because it is true. I have since 1981 had many other experiences which have also confirmed to me the authenticity of the holy shroud and that it is of our Lord Jesus Christ. One day it will be recognised as true and venerated as the wonderful relic that it is, and i look forward to that day. Yours in Christ … Fred

  • Fred,

    I’m with you.

    I too believe that the Shroud is the real deal!

Cardinal Newman on Fasting

Wednesday, February 17, AD 2010

“And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward an hungered.” Matt. iv. 2.

{1} THE season of humiliation, which precedes Easter, lasts for forty days, in memory of our Lord’s long fast in the wilderness. Accordingly on this day, the first Sunday in Lent, we read the Gospel which gives an account of it; and in the Collect we pray Him, who for our sakes fasted forty days and forty nights, to bless our abstinence to the good of our souls and bodies.

We fast by way of penitence, and in order to subdue the flesh. Our Saviour had no need of fasting for either purpose. His fasting was unlike ours, as in its intensity, so in its object. And yet when we begin to fast, His pattern is set before us; and we continue the time of fasting till, in number of days, we have equalled His.

There is a reason for this;—in truth, we must do nothing except with Him in our eye. As He it is, through whom alone we have the power to do any good {2} thing, so unless we do it for Him it is not good. From Him our obedience comes, towards Him it must look. He says, “Without Me ye can do nothing.” [John xv. 5.] No work is good without grace and without love.

Continue reading...

The Dominican Sisters On The Oprah Winfrey Show

Friday, February 12, AD 2010

The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  They are a new order that arose from Pope John Paul II’s call for a new evangelization.  They are devout and orthodox in our Catholic faith which explains why the average age of a nun is 26 and they are already turning back inquiries since they are packed to capacity in their new convent.

They recently made an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show this past Tuesday, February 9.  I’ve only seen some of the show online and my assumptions were validated.  That being they were knowledgeable about our faith, energetically orthodox, and calm in their disposition.

I strongly advice you to watch all four videos that I have been able to track down of the entire show.  Some of the videos have a few seconds where the digital relay distorts the picture, but the sound is not disturbed.

Part I:  I love hearing the sisters talk about their faith unapologetically, ie, you hear “God called me”, “I am married to Jesus Christ”, etc, etc.  Simply beautiful!

Continue reading...

27 Responses to The Dominican Sisters On The Oprah Winfrey Show

  • I never watch Oprah but was visiting my brother’s family this past week and my sister-in-law had this particular show on. I was struck by Lisa Ling’s comments and was wondering if anyone knows if she is Catholic. It seems as these sisters, had a profouund impact on her.

  • Wait a minute! This is a scandal! They showed up on Oprah! We all know Oprah supported Obama! And according to this article, she supports abortion and homosexuality!

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2000/aug/00081101.html

    So how can they go on her show and make her evil acceptable?

    (Note to reader: this is sarcasm).

  • God can even use the vacuous Oprah show for His own purposes.

  • Doesn’t stop the fact, Donald, that their presence on Oprah helped her make more money, and we know she is pro-abortion… so how come no one is condemning them but praising them for the very things they condemn the USCCB for?!

  • Maybe because Oprah has absolutely nothing to say about the laws written in this country, how the laws are enforced and which judges are picked to enforce the laws. Additionally the nuns weren’t going on the show to honor Oprah, or to express support for her, but to spread their message. Oprah does quite nicely financially without the nuns. The nuns got a nice bit of publicity by going on the show. Making use of a pro-abort entertainer’s show in order to spread the message of Christ strikes me as being in the “cunning as serpents” category.

  • “Maybe because Oprah has absolutely nothing to say about the laws written in this country, how the laws are enforced and which judges are picked to enforce the laws.”

    While others say she is the one who got President Obama elected. And she has major influence over Obama. And she has major influence over her media.

    “Additionally the nuns weren’t going on the show to honor Oprah, or to express support for her, but to spread their message.”

    Same with the USCCB working with non-Catholic groups.

    “Oprah does quite nicely financially without the nuns.”

    So that excuses helping her make more money so she can push more pro-homosexual, pro-abortion themes in her media?

    “Making use of a pro-abort entertainer’s show in order to spread the message of Christ strikes me as being in the ‘cunning as serpents’ category.”

    It’s funny how it is “making use of…” and not “guilt by association” when people like a group.

  • “While others say she is the one who got President Obama elected.”

    Some people also say that Obama is a great President Karlson. Fantasy statements are never to be taken seriously. A lousy economy, Bush fatigue and McCain being a lousy candidate are what got Obama elected in this frame of reality.

    “Same with the USCCB working with non-Catholic groups.”

    It is called shoveling money at pro-abort groups Karlson. Feel free to try again.

    “So that excuses helping her make more money so she can push more pro-homosexual, pro-abortion themes in her media?”

    They didn’t help her make money Karlson by appearing on her show. She would have made precisely the same amount of money whether they appeared or not.

    “It’s funny how it is “making use of…” and not “guilt by association” when people like a group.”

    No it’s called the nuns being smart enough to use Oprah for their purposes. The Bishops are dumb enough to allow their Left-wing staffers at the USCCB to allow Left-wing groups to use the Bishops and the money contributed by unsuspecting Catholics.

  • “It is called shoveling money at pro-abort groups Karlson. Feel free to try again.”

    But God can use pro-aborts, as you just said. And so that’s why it is ok for the nuns to help Oprah get shoveled more money! Sheesh. Consistency. Not with you. Sophistry, that’s all you have.

  • Henry,

    When you try this “I will show how foolish your way of thinking is” tactics, you always end up with the egg on your own face because you don’t bother to actually understand the position of the people you’re trying to ridicule. Either do the work of understanding your opponents or just drop the tactic — you really don’t do yourself any credit with these dogged little “I’ll show you the implications of your thinking” sessions.

  • “But God can use pro-aborts, as you just said. And so that’s why it is ok for the nuns to help Oprah get shoveled more money!”

    Once again Karlson Oprah would have received precisely the same amount of money whether the nuns were on her show or not. The nuns did not place any more coins in her pocket. This is a strawman of yours that is completely unconvincing.

  • So Donald

    Since Oprah would receive the same amount of money either way,it makes it all fine for them to be the ones to help her make it?

  • She would have made exactly the same money Karlson if she had you on or Fifi the dancing beagle. The nuns used Oprah not the other way around.

  • Actually, would she? The fact that this got many who do not normally watch Oprah to watch her means it makes her more money. But the fact is, even if you are correct, you didn’t answer my question. Why should it be fine for them to help her make money, and thereby, cooperate with the evil which will be done with that money they helped her generate?

  • This really is not hard Karlson. Oprah makes precisely the same amount of money no matter who she has on. She is not a struggling host of a show trying to establish an audience. She has a huge audience and advertisers who pay her richly for commercial space on her show. She makes the same money no matter who she has. You will have to come up with some other red herring argument to argue that nuns appearing on Oprah is the same as the USCCB through the CHD funneling funds to pro-abort groups.

  • I agree with the fact that Oprah made no more money than she would have with a dog and pony show.
    I am an RN and I worked for a year in a convent and got to know a large group of the Sisters. I am also Catholic, as a convert in my sixties, before I worked at the Convent! They are usually incredibly quietly happy and work diligently to help others in many ways, the primary way in prayer, By renouncing the world in favor of Jesus when they become Sisters they do not think about money in their own existence. My guess would be that they went on that show to preach the name of Jesus as Savior, and no other reason as the Sisters of the Convent that I love would do! Nearly all of the Sisters I know worked most of their lives in poor areas of the southwest and California teaching school for indigent families children. If you do not know what it means to be a Sister you might do well to not comment about their motives!

  • Marilyn

    I don’t think you get the point of my comments. I am not criticizing the sisters, but applying the kind of logic which is used by some around here to judge the USCCB and show how it would also apply to those who do similar things and yet they applaud.

  • Henry points out the problems in logic when folks are selective in their criticism of association with evil. Oprah ok, but Jenkins not. Nixon ok, but Obama not. The dictatorship of relativism is wearing its tan uniforms on this site.

    If it didn’t sting on some level, you wouldn’t have strung out this thread into the teens. The fact that you have to continually justify it is telling. See if Michael Voris or Ray Arroyo can take your back on this.

    The bloggers here are playing to the home crowd, but they’re not doing their pro-life viewpoints, their conservative bona fides, or Catholicism any favors.

    Personally, I don’t see any problem with the nuns appearing on Oprah. Good for all of them.

  • Karlson makes a nonsense argument and Todd supports it. Business as usual for the usual suspects.

  • Marilyn,

    Disregard the comments by Henry K. and Todd.

    They want to destroy what is good for political points.

  • It’s a tough gig to have to prop up poor arguments, but you guys seem to have a good time doing so. Too bad we can’t take this discussion to Oprah or EWTN. They’re missing all the fun.

  • Todd let us know when you have an actual argument to contribute rather than just a snide attitute.

  • I think we need to say that the Sisters were invited to be on this Show, and it is not their intention to support Oprah.

    I think the best thing to conclude is that the little bit they did in harm is by far outweighed in the good which I no doubt occurred and will occur because of this encounter. I’m not trying to say this as a consequentialist.

    I say this because Oprah is not evil incarnate, she may be missinformed upon a great many subjects, but maybe she and her viewers can be converted. That is always the hope, appearing on a show of hers does not always show support for the views that Oprah has.

    I don’t know if you can link Oprah’s views to the Show in general. Any television program will have views that they support that will be in conflict with the faith. As long as you do not support or even make it known that you don’t support those views when you appear upon the said show I think it violates.

    We must engage culture in any case, show our disapproval and start to change it from the inside out. We are counter cultural and Christ will do the work, but we must engage in the debate and what better place then at the pinnacle of where it is seen. Silence is not an issue!

  • Pingback: Dominican Nuns Taught Oprah to Pray the Rosary « The American Catholic
  • Pingback: Dominican Nuns Taught Oprah to Pray the Rosary « The American Catholic
  • Pingback: From Harvard To Her Religious Calling « The American Catholic
  • I enjoyed watching these videos then unfortunately went to read the comments. The devil has his shills everywhere.

    God bless these wonderful sisters. I hope they touched many in Oprah’s audience who have been spoon fed untold amounts of new age nonsense and whatever else appears on that show.

  • Pingback: From Harvard To Her Religious Calling - Christian Forums

Bishop Sheen on Fatima

Wednesday, February 3, AD 2010

The things that you find on the internet!  Bishop Sheen gives a brilliant exposition of the miracle of Fatima.

Bishop Sheen believed that our Lady of Fatima would lead to the conversion of Islam.  Here are his thoughts on that subject:

Moslemism is the only great post-Christian religion of the world. Because it had its origin in the seventh century under Mohammed, it was possible to unite within it some elements of Christianity and of Judaism.

Moslemism takes the doctrine of the unity of God, His Majesty, and His Creative Power, and uses it as a basis for the repudiation of Christ, the Son of God.

Misunderstanding the notion of the Trinity, Mohammed made Christ a prophet only.

The Catholic Church throughout Northern Africa was virtually destroyed by Moslem power and at the present time (circa 1950), the Moslems are beginning to rise again.

Continue reading...

6 Responses to Bishop Sheen on Fatima

  • Wow – this is a totally new perspective on Christian-Muslim relations. This means that “dialogue” should really focus on Mary. Are there any follow ups on this line of thinking, on groups that took it up in their missionary efforts, even Orthodox groups perhaps?

  • Very interesting. Thanks for posting this.

  • Thanks for this Don.

    Fulton Sheen was definitely a powerful and dramatic orator. I knew of him when I studied with the Redemptorists back in ’58 and ’59 testing a vocation, and knew a little of his assertion concerning the conversion of Islam. But that’s the first time I have seen these videos, and the first time I have read the full text of his talk on Fatima.

    Excellent stuff.

  • Abp. Sheen said this more than 50 years ago. He noted the growth of anti-Christian sentiment and predicted it would increase. That is happening. But there are also reports of Muslims converting, making great sacrifices and facing death as a result.
    When Fulton J. Sheen is canonized, perhaps an additional title could be placed after his name, “Prophet”.

  • Thank you JJO2 and Don. Bishop Sheen had a great gift of communicating in simple direct terms complicated truth. I think this show on Fatima was one of his best efforts.

  • Dear writer and all

    I would like to point out that those whom submit to God’s will are called Muslims and their religion is called Islam. Not moslems, moslemism or Mohammedism, Muslims do not worship Mohammed (Peace be upon him) nor do we believe he is the founder of Islam. The name Islam and Muslims is what God calls us in the Quran, it is not a religion named after a man.

    And regarding why muslims believe Jesus (peace be upon him) is a prophet, and not Son of God or God, is answered in the following link.

    Prophet Jesus and Muhammad (Peace be upon them) in the Holy Quran and Previous Scriptures
    http://theradiantlight.blogspot.com/

    Other useful websites

    Islam
    http://www.islamreligion.com/

    Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him)
    http://www.rasoulallah.net/

    By a German diplomat
    http://teachislam.com/dmdocuments/Muhammad_Aman_Hobohm_Islams_Answer_to_Racial_Problem.pdf

    I hope this provides a better understanding.

    It says in your scripture “blessed are the peacemakers” I hope Jews, Christians and Muslims co-exist peacefuly.

The Nativity

Friday, December 25, AD 2009

The thatch on the roof was as golden,
Though dusty the straw was and old,
The wind had a peal as of trumpets,
Though blowing and barren and cold,
The mother’s hair was a glory
Though loosened and torn,
For under the eaves in the gloaming
A child was born.

Have a myriad children been quickened,
Have a myriad children grown old,
Grown gross and unloved and embittered,
Grown cunning and savage and cold?
God abides in a terrible patience,
Unangered, unworn,
And again for the child that was squandered
A child is born.

What know we of aeons behind us,
Dim dynasties lost long ago,
Huge empires, like dreams unremembered,
Huge cities for ages laid low?
This at least—that with blight and with blessing,
With flower and with thorn,
Love was there, and his cry was among them,
“A child is born.”

Though the darkness be noisy with systems,
Dark fancies that fret and disprove,
Still the plumes stir around us, above us
The wings of the shadow of love:
Oh! Princes and priests, have ye seen it
Grow pale through your scorn;
Huge dawns sleep before us, deep changes,
A child is born.

And the rafters of toil still are gilded
With the dawn of the stars of the heart,
And the wise men draw near in the twilight,
Who are weary of learning and art,
And the face of the tyrant is darkened,
His spirit is torn,
For a new king is enthroned; yea, the sternest,
A child is born.

And the mother still joys for the whispered
First stir of unspeakable things,
Still feels that high moment unfurling
Red glory of Gabriel’s wings.
Still the babe of an hour is a master
Whom angels adorn,
Emmanuel, prophet, anointed,
A child is born.

And thou, that art still in thy cradle,
The sun being crown for thy brow,
Make answer, our flesh, make an answer,
Say, whence art thou come—who art thou?
Art thou come back on earth for our teaching
To train or to warn—?
Hush—how may we know?—knowing only
A child is born.

G. K. Chesterton

Continue reading...

One Response to The Nativity

Pope Benedict XVI Wishes Us All a Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 25, AD 2009

Here is the text of Pope Benedict’s Christmas Eve Homily:

Dear Brothers and Sisters! “A child is born for us, a son is given to us” (Is 9:5). What Isaiah prophesied as he gazed into the future from afar, consoling Israel amid its trials and its darkness, is now proclaimed to the shepherds as a present reality by the Angel, from whom a cloud of light streams forth: “To you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord” (Lk 2:11). The Lord is here. From this moment, God is truly “God with us”. No longer is he the distant God who can in some way be perceived from afar, in creation and in our own consciousness. He has entered the world. He is close to us. The words of the risen Christ to his followers are addressed also to us: “Lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28:20). For you the Saviour is born: through the Gospel and those who proclaim it, God now reminds us of the message that the Angel announced to the shepherds. It is a message that cannot leave us indifferent. If it is true, it changes everything. If it is true, it also affects me. Like the shepherds, then, I too must say: Come on, I want to go to Bethlehem to see the Word that has occurred there. The story of the shepherds is included in the Gospel for a reason. They show us the right way to respond to the message that we too have received. What is it that these first witnesses of God’s incarnation have to tell us?

Continue reading...

A Proclamation

Friday, December 25, AD 2009

The twenty-fifth day of December.

In the five thousand one hundred and ninety-ninth year of the creation of the world from the time when God in the beginning created the heavens and the earth;

the two thousand nine hundred and fifty-seventh year after the flood;

the two thousand and fifteenth year from the birth of Abraham;

the one thousand five hundred and tenth year from Moses
and the going forth of the people of Israel from Egypt;

the one thousand and thirty-second year from David’s being anointed king;

in the sixty-fifth week according to the prophecy of Daniel;

in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad;

the seven hundred and fifty-second year from the foundation of the city of Rome;

the forty second year of the reign of Octavian Augustus;

the whole world being at peace,

in the sixth age of the world,

Jesus Christ the eternal God and Son of the eternal Father,
desiring to sanctify the world by his most merciful coming,
being conceived by the Holy Spirit,
and nine months having passed since his conception, was born in Bethlehem of Judea of the Virgin Mary, being made flesh.

Continue reading...

One Response to A Proclamation

  • This was read at Midnight Mass.

    Being a man of history this really makes my skin turn into chicken skin. To think that the entire scope of history came to pass for this very moment, the birth of the Child Jesus.

    So profound was His birth that He split Time in half!

Advent and Anti-Christ, Part IV

Sunday, December 20, AD 2009

The fourth and final part of my presentation of the four sermons on the Anti-Christ delivered by John Henry Cardinal Newman before his conversion during Advent in 1835.  Part I is here, part II is here and Part III is here.

In this last sermon Newman speaks of the persecution that will attend the reign of the anti-Christ.  In Newman’s day, living memory could recall the savage persecution that the Church endured dring the initial years of the French Revolution.  In our time, we have the blood-stained last century when millions of Christians were martyred for their faith.  It is all too easy to suspect that those terrible persecutions were trial runs for the persecution of the Anti-Christ.  The last century brought to reality these words of Newman:  “Let us then apprehend and realize the idea, thus clearly brought before us, that, sheltered as the Church has been from persecution for 1500 years, yet a persecution awaits it, before the end, fierce and more perilous than any which occurred at its first rise.” Certainly all prior persecutions pale before what Christians experienced in the Terrible Twentieth.

This is an interesting passage from Newman’s sermon:  “Again, another anxious sign at the present time is what appears in the approaching destruction of the Mahometan power. This too may outlive our day; still it tends visibly to annihilation, and as it crumbles, perchance the sands of the world’s life are running out.” I assume that Newman was thinking of the decline of the Ottoman Empire of his day, the sick man of Europe.  Freed from this adversary, perhaps Europe would unite behind one man, reform or revive the Roman Empire, and bring about the conditions for the Anti-Christ.  Small wonder that Hitler was frequently deemed the Anti-Christ during his lifetime.  Of course Hitler was not the Anti-Christ, but perhaps merely one of myriads of anti-Christs who have arisen and fallen in the centuries since the coming of Christ, or perhaps he is a precursor of the Anti-Christ.

Continue reading...

3 Responses to Advent and Anti-Christ, Part IV

  • Actually (if I’m not mistaken), the sermons as they exist now were published as #83 in Tracts For The Times in 1838, but they are a development of a series of sermons preached in 1835.

    Are you familiar with the short postscript Newman wrote for their publication? It’s rather interesting.
    http://www.archive.org/stream/ra599730700newmuoft#page/107/mode/1up

  • Thank you for the info DB. I have corrected my posts to indicate 1835 as the year of delivery. I was unfamiliar with the postscript. Bishop Horsley’s letter quoted in the postscript is stunningly prophetic.

  • The passage of the letter of Bishop Horsley quoted by Newman:

    ‘The Church of God on earth will be greatly reduced, as we may well imagine, in its apparent numbers, in the times of Antichrist, by the open desertion of the powers of the world. This desertion will begin in a professed indifference to any particular form of Christianity, under the pretence of universal toleration; which toleration will proceed from no true spirit of charity and forbearance, but from a design to undermine Christianity, by multiplying and encouraging sectaries. The pretended toleration will go far beyond a just toleration, even as it regards the different sects of Christians. For governments will pretend an indifference to all, and will give a protection in preference to none. All establishments will be laid aside. From the toleration of the most pestilent heresies, they will proceed to the toleration of Mahometanism, Atheism, and at last to a positive persecution of the truth of Christianity. In these times the Temple of God will be reduced almost to the Holy Place, that is, to the small number of real Christians who worship the Father in spirit and in truth, and regulate their doctrine and their worship, and their whole conduct, strictly by the word of God. The merely nominal {108} Christians will all desert the profession of the truth, when the powers of the world desert it. And this tragical event I take to be typified by the order to St. John to measure the Temple and the Altar, and leave the outer court (national Churches) to be trodden under foot by the Gentiles. The property of the clergy will be pillaged, the public worship insulted and vilified by these deserters of the faith they once professed, who are not called apostates because they never were in earnest in their profession. Their profession was nothing more than a compliance with fashion and public authority. In principle they were always, what they now appear to be, Gentiles. When this general desertion of the faith takes place, then will commence the sackcloth ministry of the witnesses … There will be nothing of splendour in the external appearance of their churches; they will have no support from governments, no honours, no emoluments, no immunities, no authority, but that which no earthly power can take away, which they derived from Him, who commissioned them to be His witnesses.’

Pray for the Unemployed this Advent and Christmas

Wednesday, December 16, AD 2009

In my brief life on earth I have not experienced such high unemployment amongst my family and friends this year than ever before.  As each week passes I hear of another friend or acquaintance who has lost his or her job.

This is the worst recession I have seen and I don’t see any signs that it will let up for the next 9-12 months.  So I find it appropriate that a simple request to all our readers to make time this evening prior to going to bed and include those that are unemployed, especially those with families and dependents in your prayers.

With extra time on our hands the unemployed can remain steadfastly busy by working on their faith through prayer and service.  For when work does come around there will not be time for such activities.

The following prayer is a traditional Catholic prayer that I have used from time to time due to the nature of my work of being an independent contractor and one that helps to put life in proper perspective and order:

Dear Lord Jesus Christ,
You wanted all who are weary
To come to You for support.
Lord, I am worn out
By my inability to find work.

Guide my steps to a righteous path;
Give me the patience
To find opportunities with a future.
Calm my worries and fears
As my financial responsibilities mount.
Strengthen my resolve;
Embolden my heart to open doors;
Open my eyes to see life beyond rejections.
Help me believe in me.

Let me realize other ways
To bring about Your kingdom on earth.
Let me grow as a person
That I may be worthy
For Your greater glory.
In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

Amen.

Saint Joseph has been especially helpful for me and I strongly recommend him for those seeking employment:

Dear Saint Joseph, you were yourself once faced with the responsibility of providing the necessities of life for Jesus and Mary. Look down with fatherly compassion upon me in my anxiety over my present inability to support my family. Please help me to find gainful employment very soon, so that this heavy burden of concern will be lifted from my heart and that I am soon able to provide for those whom God has entrusted to my care. Help us to guard against bitterness and discouragement, so that we may emerge from this trial spiritually enriched and with even greater blessings from God.

Amen.

Continue reading...

11 Responses to Pray for the Unemployed this Advent and Christmas

  • Thank you for this post. I’ve been unemployed for six months, and I’m thankful that I have so much support from my family and friends. I often wonder, when job after job falls through for me, whether God is sending those jobs to people who simply need work more than I do. We should trust that God has a perfect plan for us, and that the right work will come at the right time, at the right place. Praise God!

    Saint Joseph, pray for us!

  • St Joseph is a powerful intercessor. Once had to sell our house quick. Old farmhouse that the real estate agent said would have almost no one interested in. Also said we wouldn’t make our asking price. In four days had two offers both above asking price. Accepted the final offer on March 19th.

  • My prayers for all the unemployed. Nate, I hope you will soon find employment in which you can exercise your considerable talents.

    Tito, these are the worst economic times I can recall in my lifetime.

  • Thank you. I’ve been underemployed for over a year and have been doing a perpetual novena to St. Joseph.

    Also, let’s pray for hasty trips to the unemployment line for our elected officials!

  • “Also, let’s pray for hasty trips to the unemployment line for our elected officials!”

    Hear! Hear!

  • I’ll say a prayer for the under- and unemployed too. We had many layoffs at my place of employment 6 months ago but things are stable – for now. My director warned us today that in another 6 months, we may be in for more belt-tightening, so I am grateful to God for having a job now. Heaven knows what 6 months will bring.

  • Nate and Steve, I’m here with ya. Right now I am earning about 1/4 what I earned monthly this time last year. That’s rough. I am also grateful for the immense support of family and friends, and for the talents and disposition that God has given me. Naturally, I am not a happy-go-lucky guy, but as the last several months of underemployment have worn on, God has given me a greater and greater sense of his presence and providence. That awareness has helped me to be confident, and even happy on a deeper-than-what’s-happening-now basis. I mean, I find myself enjoying experimenting with new recipes for rice and beans. Lolol. Believe it or not, I am actually living in the 3rd or 4th most expensive county in the country on an income below the poverty level, without having lost a pound or gone without shoes – although, mine are starting to look pretty ratty. It’s grace. Grace, grace, grace. He has blessed me with such amazing friends and family, and has given me just enough work to keep from having to beg from strangers or impose upon family.

    I have been trying to fill my time productively: resumes and job hunting, building side businesses, charitable work, odd jobs, prayer, watching favorite movies, socializing with friends, blogging, helping out neighbors. A former coworker of mine was downsized, and very quickly secured a new job. At first I was bitter, but then I realized that he probably needs it more than me. For starters, he has very little family in the area. Now, I find myself happy that he has the job rather than me – if it comes down to a cosmic either-him-or-me. God has taught me so many lessons on this sort of extended retreat.

    God is preparing for each of us just the right thing; and even now, we are exactly where he wants us. That is a consoling thought!

  • Nate, Ryan, et al,

    I’m with you guys on this as well. I have to say that the most fruitful time in my life thus far has been being unemployed.

    Right now is the best time to work on our virtues.

    My spiritual growth has developed by leaps and bounds and I am ever thankful for this.

    God does know what is best for us and we can never thank Him enough for these times.

    Patience, prudence, and faith has been the lessons I am learning these past few months and I am ever more grateful for them.

    Have a great Advent everyone!

    P.S. …and pray to send our politicians to the unemployment line, preferably all of them. They’re rich enough as it is anyways. 😉

  • Lol. You know, at first reaction, I thought the repeated prayer against our politician’s employment was a bit mean-spirited. Your last post has got me thinking, Tito.

    They have got a enough money, haven’t they? Moreover, they are, for the most part, entirely unqualified for the positions that they hold. And last of all, unemployment might teach them a thing or two. Their unemployment, moreover, would probably mean a replacement of their increasingly insane and wicked policies.

    So I’m with you – here’s to our politicians’ sanctification. Lololol.

  • This has been the worst year I can remember. My cousin and her husband both lost their jobs at the same time and there’s a 20% unemployment rate in their town. They are probably going to lose the house, the car, the truck and their marriage.

  • Hey Dymphna,

    Yeah, I have a lot of family in Michigan, where unemployment has been high since the 70s and has reached 27% in this past year. One of my uncles just landed a job after two years of unemployment and two brushes with foreclosure. When he called my mom to tell her, he was almost weeping he was so happy to have work again.

    Such times are hard ones in which to seek and find the hand of God at work. That is the concrete challenge that we face; we also need to help each other see the hand of God at work. If we fail to do so, then we will fall into despair of God’s love… we will forget he loves us. It is so hard to see that in such times. We must spend time, much time in prayer, asking not for our will, but for his, which is surely better.

A Stumbling Block to School Administrators

Tuesday, December 15, AD 2009

Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.  As someone who received an undergraduate degree in the teaching of social studies, I am never very surprised when a school administration decides to engage in an act of public stupidity, however, this incident is in a class all by itself.

A second grade student at the Maxham Elementary School in Taunton, People’s Republic of Massachusetts, was sent home from school after drawing a picture of Jesus on the cross.  The student made the drawing in response to a class assignment that the students draw something that reminded them of Christmas.  Apparently the student’s dullard teacher decided that the drawing of the cross was too violent.  The school administration, in a move which hearkens back to the old Soviet Union placing dissidents in psych wards, decreed that not only would the child be sent home, but that he would have to undergo a psych evaluation.

Continue reading...

17 Responses to A Stumbling Block to School Administrators

  • That’s “The Peoples Republic of Taxachusetts.” Otherwise known as “the Pay State.”

  • Well it’s kind of a happy ending.

    He still had to get a psychiatric evaluation and be approved that he was “sane”.

    He did just that and “passed”.

    He then was so traumatized by the entire incident he didn’t want to return to the same school so the father is petitioning (I think he got approval) for his son to transfer.

    This is very scary. For a school administrator to cater to hate-mongering of an innocent depiction of Jesus’ crucifixion makes my blood boil.

  • I would NEVER take my child to a psychologist over this, but I learned my lesson the hard way. When my son (who was then seven) was having trouble in class, the school wouldn’t do anything until we had a complete evaluation to make sure he didn’t have psychological or emotional problems. My husband and I went for OUR evaluation with the school psychologist (“case history” stuff before he was scheduled for a trip) and were so unimpressed with her that we cancelled his eval and went to our pediatrician instead. Our son didn’t even know anything was going on. Then, when things got really ridiculous (I was observing in the classroom and the teacher was incompetent) I threatened to take him out of school and he was moved immediately. His problems were solved. I learned then not to do ANYTHING the school said (not the lesson they intended to teach) but instead to insist on my child’s rights under the law. And they wonder why parents are antagonistic! Could an 8-year-old be traumatized over this incident? You bet, depending on the kid and on how it was handled. The parents should have had a nice, calm, conversation with the principal and the teacher. And then if that didn’t work, they should simply have said that he would be back in class the next day or the school would hear from their lawyer the next day.

    All schools freak out over violence. When my son was eight he used to draw soldiers, bloody knives, spaceships shooting each other, etc. on his papers. The teachers told us that was “unacceptable” and so just told him that the school was silly about things like that, so he would have to draw those things at home. Don’t ALL little boys draw that stuff? Likewise, same year, he got a discipline point for reading an “inappropriate” book in class. When I asked the teacher what it was, she said it was a book about the Battle of Gettysburg and it had photographs of dead soldiers in it. I told her that he got it from the SCHOOL LIBRARY, so she took the discipline point away — but he still couldn’t read the book in class.

    They are all terrified of boys becoming violent. My kids are now in Catholic school, but they can’t bring in toy guns — even neon-colored plastic squirt guns — for skits and things.

  • It seems like there are plenty of news stories everyday of the public schools doing something not terribly intelligent….

    This has especially been on my mind with kids right around the corner. What a faddish wastebasket of wishful thinking many schools are…..read about the Kansas City case (and New Jersey, for that matter, following the court cases of the 80s) for example.

    What folly!
    http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-298es.html

    What is needed is not more money but better moral foundations.

  • This is the logical result of all those “zero tolerance” anti-violence, anti-sexual harassment, and drug abuse policies that became so popular after Columbine.

    Zero tolerance policies forbidding absolutely ANY word, image, object or action that even hints at violence allow school administrators to APPEAR to be doing something about youth violence, without the bother of actually having to get to know students personally, judge each case individually, or risk being accused of racism or discrimination if the child/youth involved happens to be of a protected minority group.

    The result is that little kids get busted for drawing crucifixes, kissing girl classmates on Valentine’s Day, etc. while outside (or even inside), gang violence, suicide, drug abuse, etc. continue unabated.

    The main reason schools are “terrified of boys becoming violent” is because so many of them HAVE NO FATHERS and therefore no idea how to be real men, except by being the kind of macho jerks they see on TV or in movies.

  • Zero tolerance usually means zero brains. It allows administrators to mindlessly follow policy rather than to make real decisions, which of course is what they are supposed to be doing. True profiles in uselessness.

    I agree that public schools usually have no clue as to how to handle boys who act, well, like boys. A perfect example is a timeout. Most of the time a timeout will simply make an energetic boy bored and hostile. Much better to give him a task to accomplish, especially if it is something physical. Of course this is just common sense knowledge of the differences between girls and boys, something that seems to be verboten in public schools, but which is obvious to most parents who have spent time rearing both boys and girls.

  • I’m not a “rogue parent” at my daughters’ virtual school (where my wife is also a teacher). My emails to their former teacher (who was not accommodating my eldest’s disability) are now being quoted regularly at meetings as signs of a parent to watch out for. The latest suggestion was that parents who challenge “school policy” (which is defined as the whim the principal, a Charlestonian elitist who goes way back with Mark Sanford) could be charged with educational neglect.

  • Well … if you believe every dad trying to horn in on America’s reality tv culture …

  • Having dealt with public schools Todd both as an attorney and as a parent, I readily confess that I am more inclined to believe parents over administrators until the opposite is proven.

  • Well … if you believe every dad trying to horn in on America’s reality tv culture …

    Heard that before.

    http://amywelborn.typepad.com/openbook/2005/11/expelled.html

  • What Mr. McClarey said on Paul Zummo’s Cranky Conservative bears repeating: “The forces of open minded tolerance so often are represented by narrow minded bigots.”

    Quite frankly, I’m surprised “Christmas” was even mentioned, much less had an assignment attached to it.

  • “I readily confess that I am more inclined to believe parents over administrators …”

    It would seem there’s a good bit more to the story than was posted here. What’s still standing today is a he-said/they-said tussle that’s more than two weeks old. The news reports I’ve seen is that the drawing was not the one that got the young lad noticed, that there’s a history with the boy and his family, and that nobody was expelled from school. It would seem enough doubt has been thrown into this story to cause prudent observers to withhold judgment. Clearly, Donald shows us why he stayed at the attorneys’ tables and never ascended to the judiciary bench.

    In my long experience in parishes and schools, I often find that two sides in a dispute often are talking past each other and not even in agreement on the point(s) in question. It’s usually adequate enough to make the communication connection and allow diplomacy to smooth kinks in the relationship.

    What Art seems to be getting at is this: one must agree with him not only on the major points, but on every small detail of politics in situations like these. No room for dissent from the jots and tittles of the Catholic blogetariat.

    I would hold it is possible to be right (pointing out a grave moral or administrative error, for example) but to go about it in the wrong way (producing a forged document, or making oneself a threat–even just a perceived one–to a school administration). Prudence would dictate leaving the judgment to the Judge, and taking necessary precautions for one’s own children, or one’s own morality, depending on the circumstances.

  • “Clearly, Donald shows us why he stayed at the attorneys’ tables and never ascended to the judiciary bench.”

    Actually Todd, that is by choice. The legal profession is not one where all attorneys wish to be judges. Some, as in my case, make it very clear to judges who indicate that we would make a good judge that we do not wish to have to wear a black robe on the job.

    The school administration, after coming under intense media scrutiny yesterday, has a different story from the parent. That is as surprising as the sun coming up in the east or bureaucrats dodging responsibility. This incident in June 2008 indicates to me that bozos are in charge of the Taunton school system and that the parent is probably more accurate:

    “This is not the first time in recent years that a Taunton student has been sent home over a drawing. In June 2008, a fifth-grade student was suspended from Mulcahey Middle School for a day after creating a stick figure drawing that appeared to depict him shooting his teacher and a classmate.

    The Mulcahey teacher also contacted the police to take out charges in the 2008 incident.”

    http://www.tauntongazette.com/news/x1903566059/Taunton-second-grader-suspended-over-drawing-of-Jesus

  • I’ve also read that there was a gun incident in that school district not too long ago. Parents themselves insist that schools be hypervigilant when it comes to the safety of their children. A one-day suspension for a blatant act of insubordination to a teacher … I’m sure you saw enough contempt of court citations in your years in the courtroom. Authority figures take authority very seriously.

    According to you, the school administration was a loser no matter what they did. If they were totally wrong, they could confess or clam up or lie. If they had justification for criticizing the lad, they could either remain silent on the matter and let the conservatives spin it, or they could offer a public rebuttal. By your statement, whether they lied or told the truth, your reaction would be the same.

    The caveat emptor in this case: if something sounds too good to be ideologically true, it probably is. Given how this story is unravelling for the father, I’d say there are a number of media and blog outlets with egg on their faces today.

  • What Art seems to be getting at is this: one must agree with him not only on the major points, but on every small detail of politics in situations like these. No room for dissent from the jots and tittles of the Catholic blogetariat.

    News to me.

    I’ve also read that there was a gun incident in that school district not too long ago.

    So we call the cops over some other kid’s droodles.

  • Part of feminizing men is to make all violence bad because boys tend to violence. Ladies, before you get upset with me, there is nothing wrong with the feminine – I love and respect my beautiful bride and the Blessed Virgin Mary – but women should be women and men should be men – equal in dignity yet different.

    Violence is not necessarily bad, or good. It just is. Drawing a picture of Christ crucified is a picture of violence – what could be more violent than Diecide?
    Mel Gibson’s movie was also violent – too violent for some tastes. Was this bad violence? I don’t think so, the worst evil was also the greatest good. There is nothing wrong with depicting Christ crucified, in fact there is everything right with it, as violent as it is. All men should wish to be Christ on His Cross.

    Boys are violent – boys like guns, swords, fights, tanks, knights, cavalry, shields, war games, etc. and that is as it should be. Our job as a society, and by logical extension our school systems, is to direct and temper that violence – not emasculate it.

    Thank God that the generation born in the 1920s was violent. They went overseas and did some violence to the Nazis – and I am pretty sure we’re all happy with how that turned out.

  • “Our job as a society, and by logical extension our school systems, is to direct and temper that violence – not emasculate it.”

    Which is exactly what a society in which vast numbers of young boys are raised without stable father figures fails to do. Even among animals like elephants, the presence of older males keeps fighting among the younger ones from getting out of hand.

    Was the World War II generation really any more “violent” than we are? I’m not so sure. Yes, boys played with guns, collected toy soldiers, and played cops, robbers, cowboys and Indians and other politically incorrect games. However if you take a look at the movies from that era, even the toughest tough guys like Bogart, Cagney, et al. used far less firepower and killed far fewer bad guys in 10 movies than, say, Bruce Willis or Arnold Schwarzenegger did in just one.

    Also, Knight, I think you overlook the fact that there are times when women can or must become “violent” in a “good” sense, particularly when defending their children from harm. Again, even among animals, a mother defending her young from real or percieved threat is often far more dangerous than the male.

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

Pope Benedict Warns Against Marxist Liberation Theology

Monday, December 7, AD 2009

17 Responses to Pope Benedict Warns Against Marxist Liberation Theology

  • Leftist Catholics rightly identify Christ as the savior of human beings, body and soul alike. What they fail to understand is the consequences of Original Sin for the body, and the limitations on human life imposed by sin and finitude. They wrongly think that if everyone on Earth was a Saint, there would be no more suffering. Leftist Catholics think that there are no limits to human progress, which is to say they are very modern.

  • Some Leftist Catholics remind me of the Zealots who thought to bring about the Kingdom of God through the sword. A communist dictatorship though is a funny sort of Kingdom of God.

  • Such words for the “Catholic Left.” Then what is wrong with the “Catholic Right,” I wonder? Or does the “Right” comprise of the Catholics who “get it?”

  • Selective interpretation of the social teaching of the Church… which ultimately stems from liberalism as Leo XIII and Pius XI understood it.

  • In regard to the Catholic Right Eric, I can’t think of a comparable attempt by Catholic conservatives to trojan horse a body of doctrine completely inimical to Catholicism into the Church as has been the ongoing effort of some Catholics on the Left to baptize Marx. The nearest parallel I can think of predates the French Revolution with the unfortunate throne and altar doctrine of many clerics, although at least they could make the argument that the states they sought to wed the Church with were not anti-Catholic. In the case of Marxism, its overwhelming anti-Christian praxis should have innoculated Catholics from it without the necessity of papal intervention, but such was not the case.

  • Tito,

    No. 🙂

  • I think there’s a pretty strong throne and altar doctrine on the Catholic Right today, at least in the U.S., where the throne takes the form of military power.

    A case could also be made for a “‘Shut up, your Excellencies,’ he explained” doctrine, which denigrates the role of the bishops, individually and especially collectively, in developing social policies.

  • I read the Pope’s document carefully.

    Now I’m perplexed:

    1. Exactly what is objectionable in what he said?

    2. Has the Pope not condemned, in this very document, the arms buildup and the disgrace of military solutions? He only appears as a right winger if you’re looking from the vantage point of an extreme left wing ideologue.

    Maybe a few here ought to put down their Che Guevara coffee mugs read it again. The Holy Father is spot on.

    It is simply a fact of history that collectivist movements have enslaved the very people they promised to liberate.

    I am frankly a little more than concerned at the prideful inability of many leftists to acknowledge this fact of history, nay, the desire to whitewash this disgrace from history.

  • Who here is attacking the Pope?

  • MI,

    They participated and got deeply involved with Marxist governments. Dissidents such as Jesuit “Father” Ernesto Cardenal of Nicaragua who was involved with the Communist government then.

  • I’m always amused when people, especially conservatives who decry the tactic in others, appoint themselves the experts of All Things Liberal.

    I don’t think that Acts 4:32 is a bad things for which to strive. Certainly better than cuddling up to Pinochet or Cheney.

  • I’d rather cuddle up to Cheney than Karl Marx or Joseph Stalin any day of the week.

  • The early Christians quickly abandoned common ownership as completely unworkable Todd. Outside of monasteries and convents it has only been revived by Christians for short periods, usually with dire results. The Pilgrims tried it, and almost starved to death. William Bradford, the governor of the colony relates what happened next:

    “All this while no supply was heard of, neither knew they when they might expect any. So they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery. At length, after much debate of things, the Governor (with the advice of the chiefest amongst them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves; in all other things to go on in the general way as before. And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number, for that end, only for present use (but made no division for inheritance) and ranged all boys and youth under some family. This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.

    The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years and that amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanity of that conceit of Plato’s and other ancients applauded by some of later times; that the taking away of property and bringing in community into a commonwealth would make them happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God. For this community (so far as it was) was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For the young men, that were most able and fit for labour and service, did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense. The strong, or man of parts, had no more in division of victuals and clothes than he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought injustice. The aged and graver men to be ranked and equalized in labours and victuals, clothes, etc., with the meaner and younger sort, thought it some indignity and disrespect unto them. And for men’s wives to be commanded to do service for other men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, etc., they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could many husbands well brook it. Upon the point all being to have alike, and all to do alike, they thought themselves in the like condition, and one as good as another; and so, if it did not cut off those relations that God hath set amongst men, yet it did at least much diminish and take off the mutual respects that should be preserved amongst them. And would have been worse if they had been men of another condition. Let none object this is men’s corruption, and nothing to the course itself. I answer, seeing all men have this corruption in them, God in His wisdom saw another course fitter for them.”

  • Michael I.,

    Donald will delete it at his leisure.

    For the time being I’m just amusing myself by reading your comments, thanks!

Advent and Anti-Christ, Part I

Sunday, November 29, AD 2009

Prior to his conversion to Catholicism, John Henry Cardinal Newman, soon to be Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman,  preached in 1835 a series of Advent Sermons on the Anti-Christ.  I have always found them extremely intriguing, and I am going to present them on each of the Sundays in Advent this year.

In this first sermon Newman gives us an overview of the Anti-Christ and the time of his appearance.  We see in this sermon Newman’s total command of history and how he uses this knowledge to draw out the implications of the few mentions of the Anti-Christ in Scripture.  Newman intellectually was always first and foremost a historian of the highest order and he puts this talent to good and instructive use in this sermon.  When Newman converted the Church gained one of the finest intellects of the Nineteenth Century or any century for that matter.  Much of Newman’s work concerned the working out of God’s plan for salvation through human history, and his examination of the Anti-Christ places that mysterious part of revelation into that plan.

“Let no man deceive you by any means:
for that Day shall not come,
except there come a falling away first,
and that man of sin be revealed,
the son of perdition.”

Continue reading...

21 Responses to Advent and Anti-Christ, Part I

  • How prescient Cardinal Newman was.

    Including Mohammad as a proto-Anti-Christ. Many have backed up Newmans assertion that heretical forms of Christianity such as Nestorianism contributed to the rise of Islam.

    Hilaire Belloc I believe (I don’t recall who exactly) called Islam another Christian heresy.

    How right he was!

  • You are right, Tito. Belloc said it in “The Great Heresies.”

  • Evil begets evil. But thanfully, God begets God, and what greater good is there than God?

  • I know we can’t know the timing of these things. I also know they will happen again and again with increasing frequency and severity until the final one; however, it sounds like the good cardical is talking of a conspiracy. Are we listening? Becuase it seems most people freak out and dismiss any time I hint of a conspiracy. Makes you think hmm.

    Could it be a liberal conspiracy? I am not referring to Demomcrat liberals or even Republican liberals, just liberal thought in general. Liberalism has some great aspects. I happen to like much of libertarian (the classical liberal) thought; however, liberal is also plagued with utility, permissiveness, license and radical individualism. Could this be the Devil taking us by the hand and making us his friends in our own undoing?

    Karl Marx certaintly thought so. He developed ideas, ideologies and an ‘economic’ theory that seek to do nothing other than totally destroy Western Civ. aka Rome aka Christendom. The tool he used to present his destructive agenda is Marxism/Communism and it’s newer forms of Critical Theory hidden away in liberalism, both the neo-con and the lefty-loony viriety.

  • Vince C.,

    I like the link in your name!

    I added it to our Catholic resources list.

    Keep up the great witness to our beautiful faith!

  • One point of clarification – John Henry Cardinal Newman is not yet identified as “Blessed” that is supposed to happen next year when the Holy Father visits England. Hopefully his canonization will follow sooner rather than later.

  • Let us pray for the conversion of the Antichrist, so that he, too, might enjoy the Beatific Vision and be an endless hymn of praise of God’s Mercy.

  • Thank you Dontex! I was gettting ahead of myself. It has been a long wait for we Newman devotees! I have amended the post.

  • The antichrist has always been at work ever since he decided to be greater than God. And his work is visible. Look at those that want anything that has to do with Christianity taken out, look at all the sexuality on TV, internet and so on. Look at sexual liberation men giving themselves to men, women to women “Because they gave up the natural order “ now where have I heard those words before; check out the driving force behind religions. Islam says that if one is not converted to Islam they need to be killed. Today the war is over oil, but after the crises is over, what reason will there be to go to war. I remember reading the story of the Jewish holocaust, and in a meeting of high ranking Nazi officials the final resolution was being discussed, and one general asked “ and after we do away with the Jewish people , who will be next “. After the oil war is over whom they will persecute.
    Read the story of Sodomma and Camorra why did God destroy them and see if those same reasons are not prevailing in our society today. Oh yes my dear brothers and sisters the anti-Christ is lose, angry and wild. He knows the day of the Lord is at hand. He also knows what awaits him.
    But fear you not because as the apostle said “IF I AM WIH THE LORD, WHAT EVIL CAN BEGET ME”
    Christ be with you all.

  • No Nick I’m afraid not! To pray for the conversion of the Antichrist would be in vain. He is confirmed in evil! It would be like trying to pray for the conversion of Satan and that you must know is impossible. The prince of Darkness is confirmed in Evil for all eternity.

  • I agree with Gabriel about Satan being confirmed evil for all eternity, though I am not sure if it is applicable to the anti-Christ.

    Satan, being created an angel by God has perfect knowledge. Angels are not human but are something akin to spiritual beings that had perfect intelligence. So when he consciously chose to oppose God it was final since in his own mind he thought better of himself instead of God.

    The anti-Christ will be a man, not an angle, so he (or she) will be imperfect, hence then he may still be able to repent.

    As Saint Theresa of Avila said, she still prays for Judas because we truly don’t know if he asked for forgiveness at the moment of his death.

  • Which antichrist? Nero, Mohammad, Marx, Hitler, or The Anti-Christ?

    I think many antichrists can repent but the final Anti-Christ, I am not so sure. He may be so closely tied to Satan that there is no hope for him. Isn’t he supposed to be slain and then rise again in mockery of Christ? If so, how is that possible unless Satan is completely animating and possesing him? If he is that given over to Satan I don’t think he can return to God, not that God wouldn’t have Mercy, but rather becuase the evil is so consuming that he wouldn’t consider surrender to God anything desireable.

  • Pingback: Advent and Anti-Christ-Part II « The American Catholic
  • The Anti-Christ is Satan only in the form of a human being, just as Christ is God in a human form.
    Satan nor any of the fallen angels will be pardoned or can be pardoned for their sins and crimes, this is way they hate us humans so much cause we have the opportunity to repent they can’t and do not have the opportunity to repent. They knew and saw God as He is in all his glory.
    They literally saw and understood God but decided to go against him, freely and willingly.

  • Excellent point Rafael.

    Because they are angels they have perfect knowledge, hence they would choose not to repent if they were allowed to repent.

    I am not sure on this point, but the angels that followed Lucifer hated humans because God placed them above angels I believe.

  • I suppose it is possible that Anti-Christ is Satan but it is also possible that he is just another poor power-hungry, disobendient human given over to Satan through sin. Either way he is a problem and he loses.

    Tito, we are not above the angels. To my knowledge only one creature is above the angels and she is perfectly human, the Queen of men and angels, our Blessed Virgin Mary. The rest of us are lower than the angels and we are integrated with our bodies and struggle against our flesh. You are correct about the perfect knowledge of angels and their perfect and fixed free wills. Once an angel makes a choice it is eternally fixed. St. Michael will always serve God fully and Satan aka Lucifer will always be disobedient and he knows his time is short.

    I think Satan and the fallen angels (demons) rebelled against God not because He made us higher than angels but precisely becuase He made us lower than angels. I think when God showed them that He was taking human form, a lower form than an angel, their pride was bruised. The virtue opposite the vice of pride is humility. God humbled Himself to become a small, vulnerable, cold, poor, homeless baby. Satan went nuts and a third of heaven was cast out with him.

    Come Lord Jesus!

  • I see no evidence in Scripture that the anti-Christ will be an avatar of Satan.

  • No! I don’t believe the Antichrist is Satan himself. Satan also known as the dragon, the ancient serpent of old! Who gave his power, worldly glory, status to the beast, the Antichrist to make war with the saints and to conquer them and there was given to it (by Satan) power over every tribe and people and tonque and nation.
    And later, the beast or Antichrist was captured along with the false prophet who worked wonders to lead many astray and both were cast alive into the fiery lake of burning brimstone and also those that worshipped the image of the beast.
    Shortly after that St. Michael the archangel seized the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan and cast him into the bottomless pit.
    Since Satan is the prince of this world he can give his power and earthly glory to whom he likes!!!!

  • To read what the church teaches on the Antichrist go to NewAdvent.com click on encyclopedia click A find and click Antichrist.

  • Pingback: Latest Antichrist news – Classic Extreme Metal: Besatt – Triumph Of Antichrist (2007)
  • Pingback: Advent and Anti-Christ-Part IV « The American Catholic

Why I Don't Believe in a Young Earth

Monday, November 23, AD 2009

Some time ago, someone asked me:

Suppose–just for the sake of argument–you were convinced that an honest reading of the Tradition of the Church required you to believe that the initial chapters of Genesis were historical. Would you be able to do it, or do you think that Darwinism is so irrefutable that you would have to abandon or radically redetermine your faith?

I think this is the question that worries a lot of Catholics without a strong scientific background as they watch the evolution/creationist/ID debate on Catholic blogs. Here are these otherwise solid Christians taking common cause with the likes of the Richard Dawkins against their brother Christians. What gives? Are these folks really Christian? Do they care more about science than about faith? Do they only accept Catholicism so long as it agrees with science?

Continue reading...

24 Responses to Why I Don't Believe in a Young Earth

  • IMO it’s quite easy for Catholics to reconcile science and the Bible. My trust and understanding of the Bible relies entirely on the Church. My faith in the Bible comes from Christ and His Church. I accept Genesis as sacred scripture because it’s part of the deposit of Scripture that served God Incarnate, but mostly because the Church Christ established and gave authority to said this is Scripture. If we’re going to accept the Church’s authority on that, it’s equally as important to understand it as the Church understands it.

  • I studed geology and ended up a young-Earther myself. The geologcal evidence for a young earth was too great to ignore. But this hasn’t threatened or altared my Faith. I don’t see science and religion as opposed to each other or as each other’s bed fellows because science is a ***tool*** that is used to understand Creation. It’s one of **many** tools that we use to understand Creation and the meaning of life etc. People keep elevating science far above what it is meant to be and that’s when the trouble starts.

  • Ooops, hit submit to fast. I was going to end with:

    It’s like trying to elevate the tech pub (Science) to the same level of importance and greatness as the actual helicopter (Creation)… (I was a helicopter mechanic in the Navy.)

  • St. Augustine wrestled with this same question when he was a Manichean. The Manicheans taught all sorts of doctrines that are quite familiar in New Age thought today and could easily be revived as a whole, and astrology was a big one. Despite what people mistakenly think today, back then astronomers had pretty good methods of observing and recording the heavens. St. Augustine was no dummy, and he noticed that astrology did not account for either how people’s lives worked out or how the heavenly bodies actually behaved. For a while he hoped that when he finally got to talk to the really smart Manicheans, they would be able to explain why this was so. But when he discovered that they couldn’t, he had to give up the Manicheans because he saw quite rightly that one simply could not be expected to believe what was obviously not true.

    It has always been a great comfort to me that one of the smartest men who ever lived stood up for that obvious principle long, long ago, and became one of the greatest Catholics of all time. He would not expect anyone to remain a Catholic if it required people to believe things about the physical world that are obviously not true. I think that he knew a lot more about how to read and understand the Bible than I do and he did not consider Genesis to be a treatise in natural history. People who do simply do not understand how to read the Bible. They are doing the best they can to reconcile faith and reason, and because they can’t do so with their mistaken way of reading the Bible but they intuitively realize that faith must inform reason, they choose to disregard what reason would otherwise show. The solution is of course to get a better handle on Scripture and reason.

  • Your post kind of put God in a small box.

    After all, isn’t anything possible with God?

  • In all truth it doesn’t matter if the earth is 10,000 years old or 4.5 billion. What difference does it make if the universe is 1.5 million years old or 15 billion? God stated, “I AM WHO AM”. He is now! Not yesterday and not tomorrow. RIGHT NOW! So we can conclude that time is a construct for our benefit and if called to Judgment right now do you think Christ is going to ask you how old you think the earth is?

    Our faith in Christ does not require a scientific understanding. Most Christians throughour history were ignorant and illiterate. Clearly salvation does no hinge on knowledge of the world or the universe. Know Christ – that’s it.

    Now He also made us curious and I beleive this to be true even before the Fall. It is what we are curious about that needs to be corrected, not the curiousity itself. He also gave us dominion over Creation, which we know includes all we can see no matter how many billions of light years afar it is.

    I find it difficult to square the evidence (I am not a scientist) with a 10,000 year old earth. That doesn’t mean we won’t find evidence to the contrary and either way it will not change the most pivotal point in all of histroy, Our Lord’s sacrifice on the Cross.

    I don’t think God would deceive us into thinking the universe is 15 billion years old as some kind of trick. I also don’t think it matters to Him if it is 1.5 million years old or 150 trillion. He is very patient – we are not.

    I alos think that in order for our temporal reality to unfold and be reasonably perceptible by our limited minds it has to be 15 bil years old because our Sun and our location in the Milky Way would not be logically possible in a shorter period of time. Creation itself is a miracle; however, it unfolds in a natural and rational manner for us to understand which is totlaly necessary for us to even notice miracles.

    If God placed us right here in this vast universe suddenly, without context we would have to accept that as a miracle and miracles would then be facts and not mysteries. If miracles are not mysteries then they are not special and if not special then the Incarnation is nothing more spectacular than a lepton.

    Where’s the adventure in that?

  • Tito,

    To say that the earth is 6,000 years old is to make God a liar. Not a good idea.

  • BA,

    I wasn’t saying or agreeing with the young earth theory, more with some of the scientific propositions that were offered.

    God is capable of creating the speed of light at approximately 186,282 miles per second, instantaneously.

  • Good post, Darwin. If you get a chance, check out the blog of David Heddle. He’s a physicist–and a Reformed Christian who takes the same tack. One of his themes is that if the Earth is indeed 10K years old, God is attempting to deceive us through His act of Creation. Which, lest we forget, is a form of revelation itself.

    I think the distinction between the miraculous and the idea the universe is 10000 years old is this:

    (1) the first inverts/suspends/makes an exception for the natural law/order, (2) the second suggests there is no such thing as natural law or a natural order. Or certainly no way to discern the latter.

  • Good post, Darwin. If you get a chance, check out the blog of David Heddle. He’s a physicist–and a Reformed Christian who takes the same tack. One of his themes is that if the Earth is indeed 10K years old, God is attempting to deceive us through His act of Creation. Which, lest we forget, is a form of revelation in and of itself.

    I think the distinction between the miraculous and the idea the universe is 10000 years old is this:

    (1) the first inverts/suspends/makes an exception for the natural law/order, (2) the second suggests there is no such thing as natural law or a natural order. Or certainly no way to discern the latter.

  • Sorry about the double post!

  • Dale,

    No problem.

    I need to read most things twice in order to ingest the information, reminds me of my college days.

  • Tito,

    It is possible that God created the world five minutes ago, complete with fake memories of the past and fake evidence indicating that the world was much older. He could do that, but the question is why He would do so, and whether believing this is consistent with what we know about His nature.

    Similarly, God could have created the world 6,000 years ago, but planted evidence to make it look like the world was much older. He could do that, but it’s hard to see why He would do that, nor is it clear that His doing so would be consistent with what we know about His nature.

  • Tito,

    Perhaps this will help clarify a bit: I certainly don’t mean to say that God _could not have_ created the world ten thousand years ago. God, in his infinite power, could create the world in any way that he chose. Though of course, God being eternal, I think there’s merit to the Augustinian idea that God exists in a single, eternal present. And so from a God’s-eye view, this moment is one with the incarnation, and is one with Adam and Eve’s fall, and is one with both the instant of creation and the end of the world. The stretch of billions of years which to us looks like the long and gradual development of the universe is in God’s mind an instant of ever-flowering creation — and it’s only our view, trapped within the temporal timeline of creation, that makes it look like “God sat around for a few billion years before single celled life even developed”, as some complain.

    So my point is not that God could not have created the world another way than he did, or indeed tha we are definitely right in our current understanding of the physical history of the world (in that I’m sure there are a lot of things we don’t know or are wrong about) but rather that I have a lot of trouble with the idea of that all the indications that the world is ancient (from seeing objects millions of light years away, to geological strata, to continental drift, to radioactive decay, to the apparent history of the other planets, to fossils, to DNA, etc.) are misleading or explained by processes totally different from what we see acting in the world today (and in some cases, incompatible with the physical laws on the universe as we currently observe them.)

    I certainly don’t think our current understanding of the universe is perfect, but I do think that as rational creatures we’re called to use our reason as best we can — and so I don’t think it would be in keeping with our calling as rational creatures made in the image of God to refuse to use our powers of reason and our senses to understand creation as best we can (and accept the conclusions of that study) just as it Augusine’s day it was his calling to understand the world through the best philosophical and scientific insights of his day, and Aquinas in his.

  • Darwin,

    Thanks for that articulate response.

    I don’t have much to offer to this intriguing debate which I have been enjoying reading (and learning a lot).

    But where I stand is that I do believe we are descended from Adam and Eve. Hence why I find it difficult to digest that we are descended from monkeys if we are made in His image. Not rhetorically or symbolically, but literally. We are made in His image.

    Not there isn’t anything wrong with eating bananas and hanging out on tree limbs, but we are special and are God’s most special creation.

    That’s my lens that I use.

    Sometimes a simple understanding can lead to the Truth.

  • Coffee Catholic writes Monday, November 23, 2009
    “I studied geology and ended up a young-Earther myself. The geological evidence for a young earth was too great to ignore”.

    In a nutshell. It is a question of scientific evidence. The Bible has nothing to do with the matter except for the non-scientific question of creation.

    Let geologists present the facts and we can go from there. The meaning of “day” and the order of creation do not affect the geological facts.

  • Darwin’s point was the same point as Pope Benedict in his Regensburg lecture — God has given us reason, which, though limited, is not to be dismissed for something sub-rational. God’s qualities, as revealed through revelation, indicate a God who does not contradict himself; reason of course is used to determine this — but if we say “don’t limit God,” then I guess we can all end up in the nominalist-voluntarist dream of God who is not limited, even by his own self-limitations.

  • Henry beat me to it… I thought of Regensburg as well.

    Tito, we are made in the image of God because we have an intellect, free will, and are made for relationship; God could’ve taken a pre-existing creature an infused these things (parts of a rational soul) at any time.

  • Interesting post, Darwin – and also interesting commenting.

    Chris, your point concerning the fact that the “image of God” is a good one. Are we to understand that being made in the “image of God” is describing a picture of a human? It seems clear to me that the human form as an image cannot be what is referenced in what we read in the Bible. What of people who are born with missing limbs or other deformities? To the outside observer, some of these people may not even appear human, yet we would not say that they lack the “image of God” we describe. Moreover, our bodies can be changed virtually at will by accident or design, yet I would argue that the image God placed in us is left unchanged, for God Himself is the only one with that power.

    For these reasons I have always equated our creation in the “image of God” to be the fact that we are given a soul that is indeed in the image of God.

  • No more they do.

    I guess I’m a bit confused as to what you mean by that in this context, though.

    As a Catholic who thinks that evolution is basically correct in regards to the history of life on Earth, I would say that at some point in history (when I would not presume to say) God infused our ancestors with immortal and rational souls, making them truly “human” in the sense that we mean the term (something which I would say is not reliant on a biological form, but rather on our nature). Not until that infusion of souls into what were, before that, bipedal and rather clever primates, did we become truly persons, truly made in the image of God, etc.

    At whatever point that divine spark entered humanity, we were permanently and irreparably set apart from the rest of the animal world, because we were no longer strictly animal, but rather both animal and rational, both animal and divine.

  • Darwin,

    Thanks for the explanation.

    I’m going to hang out in my neighbors tree house and eat some banana’s now.

  • “Gorillas don’t have souls.”

    Where in the world do you get this kind of nonsense from? By the fact that they are animals, they have souls — indeed they have a specific kind of soul which transcends the souls of plants (according to classical definitions). Catholic teaching has always said this.

  • Animals do not have rational souls. They have a vegetative and a sensitive soul that perish when they do. A good summary of Catholic teaching on this subject is linked below.

    http://en.allexperts.com/q/Catholics-955/soul-2.htm