Lego Luther

Sunday, February 15, AD 2015

9 Responses to Lego Luther

  • My Christian Reformed minister high-school buddy posted about this and I kidded him that now Playmobil needs to do the Father Martin version with a tonsure and Augustinian habit.

  • “To give the old heresiarch his due, I do think that Luther would be horrified by this trivialization of the great issues at stake at the time of the so-called Reformation.”
    I would apply to Luther Miss Anscombe assessment of David Hume:-
    “I will now return to Hume. The features of Hume’s philosophy which I have mentioned, like many other features of it, would incline me to think that Hume was a mere – brilliant – sophist; and his procedures are certainly sophistical. But I am forced, not to reverse, but to add to, this judgment by a peculiarity of Hume’s philosophizing: namely that although he reaches his conclusions – with which he is in love – by sophistical methods, his considerations constantly open up very deep and important problems. It is often the case that in the act of exhibiting the sophistry one finds oneself noticing matters which deserve a lot of exploring: the obvious stands in need of investigations as a result of the points that Hume pretends to have made. In this, he is unlike, say, Butler. It was already well known that conscience could dictate vile actions; for Butler to have written disregarding this does not open up any new topics for us. But with Hume it is otherwise: hence he is a very profound and great philosopher, in spite of his sophistry. “

  • “My Christian Reformed minister high-school buddy posted about this and I kidded him that now Playmobil needs to do the Father Martin version with a tonsure and Augustinian habit.”

    Then the two could have grudge matches in endless sandboxes!

  • I think they should make figures of all these great Church Fathers:

    http://theoldadam.com/2011/06/24/long-before-luther/

    …ones that Luther parroted and who said great things long before Luther

  • Perhaps, this will cause people to ponder the true meaning of what happened.

  • Whore-e-leggo-enna is coming out in the Spring. A play mate for the great reformer. Cat box might fit better than sand box.

  • Maybe more so for Pope Leo X

    (read up on him)

  • Steve Martin.

    Thank you. The refresher I just read brings to mind a bull in a China shop.
    Pope Leo X could very well make up the Lego tootsie rolls in the litter box.

  • Time is running out for bishops to prepare their flocks for 2017.

Quotes Suitable For Framing: Martin Luther

Saturday, August 23, AD 2014

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Hattip to Holly Scheer at The Federalist.

 

 

When men write about war, then, and say that it is a great plague, that is all true; but they should also see how great the plague is that it prevents. If people were good, and glad to keep peace, war would be the greatest plague on earth; but what are you going to do with the fact that people will not keep peace, but rob, steal, kill, outrage women and children, and take away property and honor?”

 

Well, even that great heresiarch Martin Luther couldn’t get everything wrong.  Of course in regard to war, like much else, he merely lifted just war concepts from Catholicism for his new religion.  His quote is interesting however, because it does underline a problem with how many elites in the West, including elites in the Catholic Church, look at war.  War is viewed by these elites as something to be avoided at all cost.  Lip service is sometimes paid to confronting aggression, but endless excuses are brought up to avoid doing so at all, or doing so effectively.

 

Why this is the case is usually because it is thought that we can pick and choose our wars and we should always choose to avoid wars.  Most Western nations since World War II, if they have fought a war at all, have fought it far away from their shores.  The illusion has grown up in the minds of many Western elites that wars can simply be walked away from without consequences.  Of course, this is a self-serving falsehood.  After Congress, for example, cut off funding for the US military in South Vietnam in 1973, it was the South Vietnamese people who endured Communist rule, with a million of them being tossed into re-education camps, hundreds of thousands summarily executed, and a million boat people risking their lives on the high seas to escape.  Refusing to fight is rarely a cost free exercise, it merely means, for contemporary Westerners, that some people we do not know over seas will pay the price.  Acting in this manner is usually dressed up in glowing terms of being anti-war, pacifist and non-violent.  Perhaps this is a true description for the motivation of some, but I think for most it is simply a deeply cynical assessment that it is not my neck on the line or the necks of anyone that I love.

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19 Responses to Quotes Suitable For Framing: Martin Luther

  • Luther knew what dwells in the hearts of men. And it ain’t pretty. Even within our own hearts.

    Of course, as a Lutheran, I’d say that he got it right, much more than he got it wrong. But he wasn’t alone in his staunch defense of the gospel. Many Church Fathers, long before Luther, knew that it was Christ’s work for the sinners, and that work alone, that justifies the ungodly…people like us.
    But it was the timing of Luther and the Medici Pope Leo X, that brought necessary reform to a head.

    That aside, we must never relent in the battle with Islam. It is a scourge and the devil’s counterpunch to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Thanks.

  • Oops.

    I meant to include these 21 quotes of Catholic Church Fathers, long before Luther:

    http://theoldadam.com/2011/06/24/long-before-luther/

    They are worth a perusal.

  • Here is another town on the verge of being executed by ISIS and it’s Shiite and apparently neither a Shiite government nor nearby Shiite Iran can manage to drop them more guns and food or better still strafe the beseigers.

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/23/world/meast/iraq-violence/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

  • 60,000 KIA and 150,000 WIA in Vietnam – not to mention the great, lasting cultural wound as it’s legacy. Kind of a big deal.

    What’s unfortunate is it took such a great loss of life, suffering, and the injustice of a draft for us to swallow our pride and realize that it Vietnam was an unending quagmire and it was in the best interest of Americans and America to go home.

    This chest thumping needs to stop. Don’t rationalize this unending, nationalist, paternalistic desire to rule the world with our faith.

  • “What’s unfortunate is it took such a great loss of life, suffering, and the injustice of a draft for us to swallow our pride and realize that it Vietnam was an unending quagmire and it was in the best interest of Americans and America to go home.”

    Of course that is a complete misreading of the history. In the 1972 Year of the Rat offensive US airpower alone aided the South Vietnamese in fighting off the North Vietnamese offensive. Congress cut off funds when victory was in our grasp and the people of South Vietnam abandoned to their fate. Of course, judging from your comment, the South Vietnamese were of no consequence as far as you were concerned.

  • And we couldn’t bomb certain enemy air bases and anti air craft batteries of the enemy according to President Johnson…nor could we bomb Hanoi of Haiphong. One of my relatives was over there and wrote back to other relatives not to come over because one hand was being tied behind our backs by the president:

    ” Though Rolling Thunder attacked strategic targets such as electric plants and fuel storage facilities, the limited number of these targets and restrictions against bombing near Hanoi, Haiphong, and the Chinese border made interdiction its prime focus. Throughout the campaign, American pilots clamored to “go downtown” (bomb Hanoi), but President Johnson, who approved and sometimes picked the targets, constantly turned down these requests. He believed the threat of more intensive destruction implicit in limited, incremental bombing would have a greater impact on Hanoi’s willingness to negotiate than an all‐out terror offensive. He also believed that this gradualist approach would stave off possible Chinese intervention.

    For pilots, the most frustrating aspect of the bombing restrictions was that most North Vietnamese fighter bases and surface‐to‐air missile (SAM) batteries fell within restricted areas. To cope with these defenses, the services developed elaborate “strike packages” consisting of fighter‐bombers, fighter escorts, electronic warfare aircraft, search and rescue planes, and airborne command and control aircraft. Yet North Vietnamese air defenses claimed over 900 American aircraft during Rolling Thunder. Most of these aircraft were downed by simple 23–100 mm antiaircraft artillery. The North used high‐altitude SAMs to compel American aircraft to fly low, thereby bringing them within range of their guns. Russian‐built MiGs were used sparingly, generally making just one pass before retreating home. These “guerilla” tactics yielded meager results: only seventy‐six planes shot down during the war, or about 7 percent of U.S. fixed‐wing losses over the North. On the other hand, such caution made the U.S. kill ratio just 2.5 to 1 from 1965 to 1973; consequently only five Americans qualified as aces (with five or more “kills”).

    Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/u-s-air-operations-in-the-vietnam-war#ixzz3BIyTtV38

  • Donald McClarey: “Of course, judging from your comment, the South Vietnamese were of no consequence as far as you were concerned.”
    .
    I read that, too.

  • If we fought Hitler and Tojo the way we fought Ho, Hitler’s grandson would be ruling the Third Reich, which would run from GB to Siberia, from the Arctic Circle to the Indian Ocean. The Japanese would control the rest of Asia and Australia, possibly the west coast US.
    .

    The Vietnam thing ties in to the PC rewrite of American History post.
    .

    The Vietnam lies (based on US VC sympathizer and Comintern propaganda) were being written as the war was fought.
    .

    Right! We knew the1970 mining of Haiphong harbor worked b/c the US subversives went ballistic. The Spring 1972 NVA offensive was a disaster for the NVA/VC, as ARVN and US air power murdered the mass murderers when they came in the open. Also, The Christmas 1972 bombing in two weeks proved LBJ wrong. NV broke the 1973 Paris Peace Accords and the US did nothing. If in 1975 the post-impeachment VietCongress had sent (they 24/7 airlift resupplied Isr in the 1973 Yom KIppur War) any military supplies, the ARVN with US air power would have again killed the NVA in May 1975.
    .

    But, the gravest lie was told by Conkite (burning in Hell) when he lied about the immense NVA/VC defeat in Tet 1968.

  • Europe would not have remained Christian if it wasn’t for Christians fighting & defeating the Muslims 500 years ago. (The Pope released his own army)
    READ the following 2 EXCELLENT books on this subject matter by Roger Crowley:
    “1453: The Holy War for Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the West”
    and
    NYTimes Bestseller: “Empires of the Sea: The Siege of Malta, the Battle of Lepanto, and the Contest for the Center of the World”

  • The Pope still has an army. It’s called the Swiss Guard. He makes his pacifist statements as he, personally, is well protected by it. I’m still trying to figure out how IS is supposed to be stopped without dropping bombs.

  • mommy3 wrote, “Europe would not have remained Christian if it wasn’t for Christians fighting & defeating the Muslims 500 years ago.”

    In 1690, a group of London Quakers obtained permission to establish a trading post or “factory,” as it was called. Having conducted negotiations with the Grand Vizier, Fazıl Mustafa Köprülü, he submitted their petition to the Sultan Anmed II Halife, in which they uncompromisingly declared declared their Christian principles: “All bloody principles and practices we do utterly deny, with all outward wars, and strife, and fightings with outward weapons, for any end, or under any pretence whatsoever, and this is our testimony to the whole world.”

    The Sultan wrote a hatt-ı hümayun or handwritten rescript on the Vizier’s petition, giving them his protection, together with settlement and trading rights throughout the Ottoman dominions. Six years later, they obtained a firman from Sultan Mustafa II Halife, allowing them to establish a second factory at Alexandria in Egypt.

    Later, they obtained similar privileges from the Mughal Emperors of India.

    they continued to enjoy these rights until the outbreak of WWI.

  • I should have said the first factory was at Constantinople (present-day Istanbul)

  • I am sure the Royal Navy ruling the roost in the Mediterranean, and John Company, and then the British Raj, doing the same in India, had a wee bit to do with the Quakers being able to profit securely from trade in the East. The Quakers have been fortunate that they almost all live in powerful nations where they never suffer the consequences of their embrace of pacifism, due to the willingness of others to do their fighting for them.

    Benjamin Franklin noted this irony and told this story of William Penn:

    “The honorable and learned Mr. Logan, who had always been of that sect . . . told me the following anecdote of his old master, William Penn, respecting defense. It was war-time, and their ship was chas’d by an armed vessel, suppos’d to be an enemy. Their captain prepar’d for defense; but told William Penn and his company of Quakers, that he did not expect their assistance, and they might retire into the cabin, which they did, except James Logan, who chose to stay upon deck, and was quarter’d to a gun. The suppos’d enemy prov’d a friend, so there was no fighting; but when [Logan] went down to communicate the intelligence, William Penn rebuk’d him severely for staying upon deck, and undertaking to assist in defending the vessel, contrary to the principles of Friends, especially as it had not been required by the captain. This reproof, being before all the company, piqu’d [Mr. Logan], who answer’d, “I being thy servant, why did thee not order me to come down? But thee was willing enough that I should stay and help to fight the ship when thee thought there was danger.””

  • “I being thy servant, why did thee not order me to come down? But thee was willing enough that I should stay and help to fight the ship when thee thought there was danger.””
    Smart answer and a saver. Thank you Donald McClarey. I would have loved history more at school if I had known there was so much wisdom there. Better late than never.

  • T. Shaw: Hitler had every intention to enslave the U.S. Britain was only his stepping stone. Hitler’s was world domination and I often wonder what Hitler and Tojo would have done when they met.

  • The question of whether the US could have “won” the Vietnam War is a strawman argument.

    Meddling with politics and then fighting proxy wars in the Third World is hardly charitable, no matter how you church it up.

    Lets not confuse cases of legitimate defense with white flag operations, political wag-the-dog, “conservative” social engineering, and the interests of the military industrial complex.

  • “The question of whether the US could have “won” the Vietnam War is a strawman argument”

    You obviously know little about strawman arguments. You, erroneously, said we were in an endless quagmire and I provided facts, to which you did not respond, that indicated otherwise. You also fail to make any comments about what happened to the South Vietnamese people after Congress cut off funding for US military operations, supporting my contention that you couldn’t care less about what happened to them.

  • Donald R McClarey wrote, “Perhaps the nuclear 9-11 I foresee in the not too distant future on some Western city…”
    I certainly accept that that is a real possibility. At the same time, I would lay any odds that that city will not be Lisbon or Prague, Lima or Caracas.
    Now, why do you suppose that is?

Lying About Luther

Tuesday, April 8, AD 2014

 

Martin Luther

 “If we punish thieves with the yoke, highwaymen  with the sword, and heretics with fire, why do we not rather assault these  monsters of perdition, these cardinals, these popes, and the whole swarm of the  Roman Sodom, who corrupt youth and the Church of God? Why do we not rather  assault them with arms and wash our hands in their blood?

Martin Luther, June 25, 1520

 

One of the really terrible things about ecumenicalism as it is commonly practiced is the usual deep air of mendacity about it.  Case in point:

 

 

Over the past 50 years, especially with the impetus provided by the Second Vatican Council, those divisions between Catholics and Lutherans have begun to heal and the pace of concrete efforts toward restoring unity has quickened, retired Archbishop Alfred C. Hughes of New Orleans told a recent ecumenical gathering at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Kenner.

“The international and national dialogues between Lutherans and Catholics in the last 50 years have yielded significant truth,” Archbishop Hughes said, prompting Catholics “to revisit the person and motivation of Martin Luther” in advance of the 500th anniversary in 2017 of the publication of Luther’s theses.

“His genuine desire to promote renewal in the church cannot be denied,” Archbishop Hughes said. “The personal struggle that marked his life was severely complicated by the way in which authorities in Rome, during the papacy of Pope Leo X, treated him. A helpful place to begin is to note the need for both faith and repentance.”

Bishop Michael Rinehart, head of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, said there was “a spirit of ecumenical hospitality right now that we need to enjoy while it is happening.”

“Luther did not want to leave,” Bishop Rinehart said at the March 25 gathering. “He was bold, he was blunt, he was vulgar and mistakes were made, but he really didn’t want schism. He wanted to reform the church he loved.”

Go here to read the putrid rest.  Where to begin?  As early as 1520 Martin Luther was preaching that the Pope was the anti-Christ:

“We here are of the conviction that the papacy is the seat of the true and real Antichrist…personally I declare that I owe the Pope no other obedience than that to Antichrist”

 

Here are some of the milder things said by Herr Doktor Luther in regard to those Catholics who followed the Pope instead of Pope Luther:

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40 Responses to Lying About Luther

  • It is typical of modern Catholic education, especially in the English speaking world, that most Catholics know little or nothing about the so-called “reformers”, many of whom were more reprehensible that Pope Alexander. Borgia had nothing on Henry Tudor.

    Luther was an anti-Semite and a crazy man. I say this as my best friend is a (non-observant) Lutheran. His father was a Lutheran pastor. His mother played the organ at their church. My great grandfather Gustav Anderson was born in Sweden, grew up in Denmark, married my Catholic great-grandmother and stayed Lutheran all his life. His funeral service in Charleroi, Pennsylvania was attended entirely by Catholics.

    Ecumenism should have begun with Eastern Orthodoxy, not Protestantism. The Orthodox have a sacramental priesthood and the Holy Sacraments (Mysteries).

  • Rehabilitate the thugs and demonize their prey!

    I have experienced that for many years. It is simply
    the way things are and it is not about to change,
    as most who profess orthodoxy, for the most part,
    do not care to support true reform. We all are
    comfortable with our particular dalliances. For the
    Orthodox among their favorites is adultery and
    “wink and nod” penitential marriages. Balderdash!

    It is a monumental struggle to remain Catholic.
    Many times I have wanted to “chuck it all” but
    there is no place else to go. ALL else are one type
    of adultery or another. I am not at all surprised at
    how many are losing their faith, thinking, perhaps
    that this will improve things. I do not think those
    who leave for another “lover” will end up doing
    what in the long run works for real good. But, I
    certainly can relate to sufficient discontent and
    solidly grounded alarm enough to continue to
    face, on an almost daily basis, my own desire to
    walk away from Catholicism. I just know that,
    should I, I would have to reject God, entirely,
    which, at least yet, I am not prepared to do.

  • On Nov. 25, 1521, Luther wrote to the Augustinian monks in Wittenberg: “With how much pain and labor did I scarcely justify my conscience that I alone should proceed against the Pope, hold him for Antichrist, and the bishops for his Apostles. How often did my heart punish me and reproach me with this strong argument: “Art thou alone wise? Could all the others err and have erred for a long time? How if thou errest and leadest into error so many people who would all be damned forever?” “When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it; for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow. It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay” (Eccles.5: 4-5).

    Luther broke all his vows.

  • Fundamentally, Luther’s theology removed the accountability for sin. As a result, sin and evil flourished. The same sad results invariably followed his doctrines wherever they have taken root. In Switzerland, France, Sweden, Denmark, Britain, and in the United States, there has been a general decline in public morality and virtue. A simple review of the histories of each nation will amply corroborate this assertion. And an examination of the daily news media will suffice to show the rampant decline of morality in the United States.
    Atheistic materialism is not only condoned by the political leadership but is broadcast on network television, screened in Hollywood movies and is created on Madison Avenue.
    The majority of our current political leadership, duly elected by the will of the American people, have supported and defended the wanton destruction of over fifty-one million innocent victims on the altar of abortion. U.S. foreign aid to third-world countries is usually predicated on the sterilization of the populace.
    Deviant sexuality is flaunted in gay-pride parades and pornography is sold openly. The state and federal prison populations are overflowing and the criminal justice system is overloaded.
    Abortion, usury, divorce, drug abuse, child abuse, gang-warfare, drive-by shootings, murder, theft, white-collar crime, racial and religious hatred, euthanasia, etc., are all indications of the failure of the Protestant gospel — the “reformed” gospel that presupposes everyone will go to heaven, no matter what choices he or she makes, as long as a verbal declaration of allegiance to Christ has been made; the gospel that Christians can make individual evil choices yet retain a proper moral orientation.

  • Karl you are doing the right thing to stay with His Church. God bless you and reward your perseverance.

  • I saw it when I was stationed in West Germany in the early 1970’s. One berg was Catholic: big Catholic church. One a few miles away was protestant: big heretic house.

    I had thought he was co-opted. I was wrong.

    I am not a historian. My belief is that the reformation added to various dynastic/hegmonic motives and increased the profusions of bloodshed and warfare. Not saying they wouldn’t have fought it out without the religious strife motive.

    I think the local magnates and princes jumped on Lutherism as a motivator/excuse for civil wars against the HRE. Same same England vs. Spain in the Low Countries. Afcter Luther many wars were both dynastic/hegemonic/political and religious.

  • As we all say, so many times, ideas have consequences. Apparently the Lutheran states have progressed down the road of logical consequence of their thinking.
    .
    The Church protected and carried forward the ancient Scripture, canonizing it and in this way protecting it from editing. These Scriptures, known and used by Jesus and His apostles, were not so esteemed by Luther that he could accept them as Authoritative. He not only asserted himself over the papacy, but also over the Scrpture. To suit himself.

  • The first civil war inaugurated under Luther’s system occurred in 1525-26. The war had grown out of the revolutionary principles embraced by the Reformers and was headed by Protestant preachers. They pillaged, ravaged, massacred and burned everything that fell into their hands.
    .
    In 1528, the Lutherans, under Philip of Hesse, took up arms to subjugate the Catholic princes who had opposed them. Actual hostilities were temporarily postponed by the payment of a large sum of money to Philip by Catholic rulers.
    .
    After the Diet of Augsburg in 1531, the Protestants formed the League of Schmalkalden and formally resolved to go to war in order to support and extend their doctrines. In Switzerland, the Protestant provinces under the leadership of Zwingli attacked the Catholic provinces with utmost ferocity. It was in one of these bloody battles that Zwingli, a so-called follower of the Prince of Peace, fell with sword in hand in the act of slaughtering his fellow countrymen.
    .
    Although Luther in the beginning declared no means but persuasion should be used in the propagation of his teachings, from this time on, he gave his support and authority to military coercion. In 1545, one year before his death, Luther again incited his partisans to take up arms against the Pope and all that presumed to follow the Catholic faith.
    .
    In Switzerland, the fruits of the Reformation were even more radical and thorough than among the Germans. Like the German reform, dissension, civil unrest, rape, violence and bloodshed also characterized its progress. Both also were indebted to the support of the civil authorities. The Reformation arrived with the thirteen Swiss provinces united in peace. But its arrival sowed dissension among them and plunged them into a fierce and protracted civil war, which threatened to destroy personal liberty. The consequences of this attempt to subvert the national faith were disastrous. The harmony of the Swiss republic was destroyed. The conditions of anarchy and civil war lasted for twenty years.
    .
    Catholics were not the only ones who felt intolerance in Switzerland. Protestants were also persecuted if they had the misfortune to believe either more or less than their more enlightened brethren. It was necessary to conform to whatever what was considered orthodoxy at the time. The Anabaptists, in particular, were hunted down with ferocity, which is almost inconceivable today. The favorite mode of punishing them, especially at Berne, was by drowning. This manner of execution was considered the most appropriate because it was only baptizing them in their own way! Another common method of punishment was perpetual imprisonment with only bread and water for food.
    .
    As the Reformation spread from country to country through Europe and Scandinavia, the same brutalities were sanctioned and committed. The Protestant leagues of the sixteenth century were nothing more than warlike organizations instituted and perpetuated for the purpose of spreading the doctrines of the Reformation by arms. Everything was accomplished under the pretext of religion, while the spirit of the entire affair was in direct opposition to the merciful teachings of the Prince of Peace. It was in this spirit Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Karlstadt and others urged their followers to take up arms and pursue all who were in opposition to them with fire and sword.

  • T Shaw wrote, “I think the local magnates and princes jumped on Lutheranism as a motivator/excuse for civil wars against the HRE”

    Another very powerful motive was the great wealth of the religious houses, which the Reformers declared should be dissolved. At the time, the religious orders across Europe enjoyed rather more than a quarter, but less than a third of total rental incomes. Rulers sold or granted them away to titulars or lords of erection and, needless to say, once such a huge transfer of wealth had taken place, the purchasers and their innumerable dependants had a vested interest in preserving the Reformation settlement.

    One of the most striking examples is Albert Frederic of Brandenburg, the Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights. He converted to Lutheranism in 1525 and converted the order’s lands into a personal duchy under the Polish Crown. The King of Poland, Sigismund the Old was his uncle. This established the fortunes of the House of Hohenzollern, when East Prussia (Ducal Prussia) was united with the Electorate of Brandenburg. As late as 1815, they were still secularising church lands and acquired the Electoral Archbishoprics of Mainz, Trier and Cologne in the Rhineland.

  • St. Robert Bellarmine; “The Protestant revolt is a punishment from God because of the sins of priests.”

    St. John Eudes; “The most sure sign that God is thoroughly angry with His people, is when He allows them to fall into the hands of a corrupt clergy.”

    Pope St. Pius V; “All the evils of the world are due to lukewarm Catholics.”

    Answer? Prayers. Too often from well intended philosophical Catholics do I read “prayer isn’t enough.” Baloney! They, all of us, need to increase our efforts in prayer.

    St. Therese, the lil’ flower said: “Prayer moves the hearts far better than words ever can. I know it by experience. Prayer is an Invincible Weapon!”

    Lukewarm Catholicism from Bishops is a sign of the times. Pray for strong leadership for our Holy Church.

  • Martin Luther abandoned the Real Presence of Jesus Christ coming down to us on the altar at Mass. The priest, acting “in persona Christi” repeating Jesus Christ’s words anew at the Consecration of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ is bringing the living and real presence of Christ to us, here and now, in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. In the Sacrament of Penance, again the priest acts “in persona Christi” saying the words of Christ, for real, here and now.
    .
    Martin Luther abandoned the Holy Church and the Sacraments and went looking for God on his own and failed miserably. Luther’s salvation through faith alone, without works, is an example of his loss of the truth of man and God. Man freely accepts the gift of Faith from God and this acceptance is the works of man, and act of man’s free will, an act of religion, and act of freedom of religion. Faith and works are needed to have salvation. God will not force any one to heaven. The devil is a good example of free will abused.
    .
    It might be said that Luther’s half truth, the definition of a heresy, has impacted our freedom of religion. Luther, having missed the point of man, himself included, accepting his faith from God and having a loving relationship with God, and that this act of free will, man choosing to serve and love God is an expression, an act of religion between God and man’s soul, often ignored and rejected in the secular and government affairs.
    .
    Government constituted by and through man’s soul is swallowing humanity whole by rejecting the existence of man’s soul. Look behind the smoke and mirrors and see that government is comprised of men with souls. The soul denied makes of man a beast of burden without a human soul, a race of slaves. The soul, denied makes of the human being, a demon, lower than the animals; animals that are innocent and do not have reason with a rational, immortal human soul. This is what becomes of atheism. This is where Luther’s rejection of the Holy Church and the Sacraments is bringing us.

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  • Luther didn’t start out trying to form his own church. He just didn’t see the consequences of pulling on a thread. As Chesterton would say, the faith is a romance, a perfect balance in the truth, surrounded by all of history’s grotesquities that started with the smallest error. You can’t tweak the balance between faith and works without overturning the altar, even if you had no intention to do so. It’s impossible for man to attain that perfection of balance known as the Deposit of Faith, but fortunately we have the Holy Spirit to do it for us.

    So I can sort of understand the desire to bridge the gap between the Church and Luther. But it’s a different exercise than “baptizing” Aristotle. Aristotle didn’t rebel against baptism. Luther wasn’t in need of baptism, but confession.

  • Pinky: I like your name. “Aristotle didn’t rebel against baptism. Luther wasn’t in need of baptism, but confession. ”
    .
    Luther was in need of acknowledging and accepting the priest “in persona Christi”, the ordained priest “in person Christi” and as “alter Christi.” Whatever the Pope has done is forgivable in Confession. The Pope’s job, and the Bishops’ job, the priests job is the bringing the Sacraments of Holy Eucharist and Penance to the Church. Martin Luther separated himself from the church by not living that truth. What does it prosper a man to gain the whole world and lose his immortal soul? Of course, Luther may have repented before his death.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour: “Another very powerful motive was the great wealth of the religious houses, which the Reformers declared should be dissolved.”
    .
    Everything the church has, the church holds in trust for all future generations. It is the authority of the Church who identifies the virtues of charity and generosity in giving to the poor, but the gift is of all persons, present and future generations, for this is their trust and possession. The truth and the wealth of the Catholic Church belong to all generations now and forever. The Church has forever, the Church Triumphant, the Church Militant and the Church Suffering in purgatory, the Church gives of these gifts to the needy. The state is finite and so you see the corruption.

  • I learned a lot of history from this post and people’s comments here. Vobis gratias.

  • It is typical of modern Catholic education, especially in the English speaking world, that most Catholics know little or nothing about the so-called “reformers”…
     
    Penguins Fan

    Very true. In my humble and abecedarian opinion, any bishop who hasn’t already begun preparing all the priests, deacons, catechists, and apologists in his diocese to spread the truth about Luther’s apostasy and the Protestant break with Christendom is already late. 2017, the 500th year since Luther posted his 95 theses is less than 3 years away. The secular media, atheists, and Protestants are already prepping the battlespace. There is no excuse for our bishops to be taken by surprise.

    Fundamentally, Luther’s theology removed the accountability for sin. As a result, sin and evil flourished.
     
    Victor R. Claveau, MJ

    Yes, and this should be explained from every Catholic pulpit. Or ambo. Or the space in front of the altar where wireless-microphone-toting priests of the orders of Phil Donahue and Oprah Winfrey prefer to homilize.

    I think the local magnates and princes jumped on Lutherism as a motivator/excuse for civil wars against the HRE. Same same England vs. Spain in the Low Countries.
     
    T. shaw

    Very much so. Lutheranism was an excuse to loot houses of God and for the State to co-opt the Church and fuse her to itself, undoing a millenium of work by the Church to separate the two in obedience to Christ’s teaching to render unto Caesar what is Ceasar and unto God what is God’s.
     
    Monasteries and churches were great benefactors of the poor. They not only fed the poorest but also provided paid work that upheld the dignity of the able poor. They did the work that today’s Welfare State politicians claim to do. Looting churches and monasteries then taking church lands took away–to use the modern parlance–the social safety net of the poor. This was devastating to the poor and led to the deaths of many; the Little Ice Age was well under way at the time.
     
    Luther spread heresies that harmed both religious and secular life. The moral and social damage he did to what was once Christendom continues to reverberate throughout the world today.
     
    Catholic ignorance of history has allowed Protestants to get away with twisting history in many ways, including claiming that it was brave Protestants who pried apart Church and State while those meanie Catholics were always scheming to fuse them together.

  • I can’t let this go without mentioning the Kulturkampf. When Germany became a unified country, the Prussian Lutheran Protestant Kaiser slammed law after law discriminating against German Catholics. This has to be the reason why my mother’s German ancestors – the Deckers – left Frankfurt for the United States in the second half of the 19th century. The schmuck Kaiser had these words for Poles (Germany helped carve up Poland in the late 18th century) – “They are a bunch of dogs who should just die.” The Kulturkampf reached into occupied Greater Poland, restricting the use of the Polish language, severely restricting the rights of Poles and of Catholic worship.

    I read a column written by a priest a short time ago that was about Luther. I wish I had it now. Luther, before he left the Catholic Church, was a man obsessed about sin. It was Luther who wrote that man is a “dungheap”.

    I find it ironic that Luther created the notion of “sola scriptura” but he changed Scripture to fit his own preconceived ideas. Luther removed books from the Bible as well…then called it the sole source of Christian faith.

    The Catholic Church has never taught that man is a dungheap. Fallen, yes, but mankind is not animal crap.

    Luther was a megalomaniac. Luther showed the way for Henry Tudor to seize the lands that were held by the Catholic monasteries.

    The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and the Lutheran Church Wisconsin Synod still profess the tenet that the Pope is the Antichrist. Almost 500 years after Luther went heretic, after seeing the labors of Henry Tudor, Napoleon, Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Castro, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein…..and these “ecclesial communities” LCMS and LCWS still profess the Pope to be the antichrist.

    Forget ’em. Protestantism is a spent force. Protestantism caved to artificial birth control and later almost each and every silly leftist piece of drivel to come down the pike.

    The Lutherans of today had nothing to do with Luther’s deeds or words, but they follow a man who really didn’t reform anything.

  • This is an excerpt from one of my books.

    Luther, Melanchthon and Calvin

    Were an impartial biographer to sum up the characteristic traits of the three prominent innovators of the sixteenth century, Luther, Melanchthon, and Calvin, he would present to us three widely different characters. In Luther he would portray a man of fine native talents, and of good natural instincts, feelings, and tendencies, a fair scholar, but of strong passions, great ambition, and love of admiration, and a brain and nervous system in the highest degree excitable and sensitive. He would trace his modest and blameless career as a monk of the convent of Erfurt, and commend him for his unaffected piety and devotion to his duties. He would follow him to his new and strange arena of controversy and strife, analyze his ferocious and obscene tirades against friend and foe. He would hold him up to the gaze of the world as a habitual believer in and seer of fantastic visions, ghosts, and fiends, a contender with Satan as well as with lessor adversaries. He was a vow breaker, a vindictive and unscrupulous opponent, and an instigator of civil wars and bloodshed. A candid biographer of this era would deplore the obvious transformation, which occurred in Luther’s mind and express sympathy for his relatives and friends. If he were reliable, he would be compelled to depict Luther’s years as an Augustinian monk as relatively peaceful. During these years, he was reasonably mentally sound, content and healthy. Contrast this period with Martin Luther the Reformer. A period of abnormal and perverted intellectual and moral traits, which distressed him during the entire period of his continually changing innovations.
    .
    He would represent Melanchthon as a noble, warm-hearted, and pious Christian, a ripe scholar, an ardent friend, but an enthusiastic, credulous, visionary, fond of novelty, and so constituted as to be readily blown about by every wind of doctrine, and dominated by wicked and designing men.
    .
    In Calvin he would present us with a perfect type of cold-hearted selfishness, cruelty, cunning, and ranting hypocrisy. He would make known to us his thrilling powers of eloquence, his high classical attainments, his polished diction, and his snake-like fascination over his rapt audiences. At the same time be would tell us of his terrible blasphemies against his Maker, and of his atrocious Puritan doctrines. He would bring before us a man who had the impious temerity to declare God the author and creator of all the sins, crimes, and evils of the world, and that men are merely passive and impotent instruments in His hands.” He would place before us a heart of stone-cold, unsympathetic, impassible, Satanic. He would not depict Calvin as an insane man, but as one consummately talented, selfish, heartless, and unscrupulous. He would display to us a perfect type of the Puritan. The theological tenets of this man have exercised a dominant influence over nearly all of the Protestant sects of the world down to the present time.
    These are the characterizations of the men who took it upon themselves to destroy the Catholic Church.

  • If you do any research on the Protestant Revolt in England under Henry VIII and his Protestant successors you will find how devastating this was for the peasants.
    Before the “Reformation” there were monasteries on the average of every eight miles throughout England. The traveler or poor could always find shelter for the night, food for their bellies, and a kind word to lift their spirits and save their immortal souls.
    .
    These monasteries were bequeathed farms, and large tracts of lands, which were then divided and rented to the poor as sharecroppers, with the purpose of them eventually owning the land.
    .
    Crime was rare as there was no need to steal when one could find respite at a monastery.
    .
    Henry VIII and his minions, and later Cromwell destroyed this system.
    .
    “Good Queen Bess”
    .
    On May 5th 1570, in a Bull entitled Regnans In Excelsis, Pope Pius V declared “Elizabeth, the pretended Queen of England and the servant of crime” to be a heretic, and aider and a protector of heretics and releasing all her subjects from any allegiance to her.
    During the years 1577 and 1603, Good Queen Bess, Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603), had put to death 183 of her Catholic subjects. Of these, 123 were priests, one was a friar not yet ordained and 59 were lay folk, three of them women.

  • As a former Lutheran, I’m disgusted at the way some of our clergy are white washing Luther. These men should know better! However the whitewash they’re doing doesn’t begin to equal the one that the Lutherans have been doing since 1517. The average Lutheran will never hear the truth about Luther from his pastor or any Lutheran publication. I only started to learn the truth when I saw a story about an Anglo-Catholic group (in a Lutheran newspaper!) They had books on church history that I ordered. The stuff they had on the Reformation was devastating. The Luther of pious myth wasn’t the real Luther. The real Luther was a madman! I quit the sect of Marty, and a year later, I was attending Catholic services, and later became a Catholic.

  • Stephen,
    Most people know very little about Martin Luther, and how and why he was so successful. The overwhelming majority of contemporary books written about Luther glorify him.
    .
    For those interested in learning more about Luther I would like to recommend the following:
    .
    Fr. Hartmann Grisar, the foremost biographer of Luther, published a six-volume work in 1913, and a one volume abridgement was published in 1930 by B. Herder Company and in 1950 by The Newman Press.
    .
    Msgr. Patrick F. O’Hare wrote “The Facts about Luther” in 1916, and was published by TAN Books in 1987. I believe this is still in print.
    .
    Another recommendation on Luther is Marcy, E. E., Christianity and its Conflicts. New York: D. Appleton and Company. 1867.
    .
    A couple of good books on the Protestant Reformation are:

    Cobbett, William. A History of the Protestant Reformation in England and Ireland. New York: Benziger Brothers. 1930.
    .
    Daniel Rops, Henri. Protestant Reformation. New York: E. P. Dutton, & C0. Inc. 1961.
    .

  • Luther, Melanchthon and Calvin

    So what’s your take on Zwingli?

  • Philip wrote, “St. Robert Bellarmine; “The Protestant revolt is a punishment from God because of the sins of priests.” St. John Eudes; “The most sure sign that God is thoroughly angry with His people, is when He allows them to fall into the hands of a corrupt clergy.” Pope St. Pius V; “All the evils of the world are due to lukewarm Catholics.”
    No doubt there was much t hat called for reform. The history of the first Protestant martyr in Scotland, the Lutheran Patrick Hamilton, is instructive. He was born in 1504, the second son of Sir Patrick Hamilton of Kincavil and Catherine Stewart, daughter of Alexander, Duke of Albany, second son of King James II. As a younger son, some provision had to be found for him, so, in 1517, at the age of 14, he was appointed Abbot of Fearn Abbey, a house of Premonstratensian canons regular in Ross-shire, once known as “the Lamp of the North” and which he never visited. In any event, most of the canons were non-resident, drawing an annuity from the revenues of the house. This gives some impression of the state of the Scottish Church at the time and of the religious orders, in particular. King David’s four great border abbeys, Kelso, Jedburgh, Melrose and Dryburgh were in ruins; their abbots were lay Titulars and the monks non-resident.
    Much of the income of the religious house came from the parishes. Of the 924 parishes, all except 262 had been annexed permanently, by grant of the patrons, to abbacies and other religious institutions, which came in place of the rector and, as such, drew the teind or tithes; while the spiritual duty was performed either by a member of the establishment or a stipendiary substitute or curate, paid a salary or, at times, by a vicar, having right to vicarage teind.
    Hamilton’s income as abbot enabled him to pursue his studies at the Universities of Paris, where he encountered Luther’s teaching and at St Andrews. At St Andrew’s, he studied under John Mair, who, in Paris, had taught both John Calvin and St Ignatius Loyola.
    Hamilton was tried and burned in 1528. In the event, it was Calvin’s doctrines, rather than Luther’s that prevailed in Scotland.

  • Ernst,
    Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531), the Swiss Reformer, was quite different from Luther. Luther had been a monk and a priest; Zwingli, a mercenary solider and political activist. Luther was a biblical theologian by training; Zwingli was a Christian humanist. Luther stressed justification by grace through faith and the persistence of sin in the believer’s life, even after justification; Zwingli, though never denying justification by grace through faith, stressed moral and social transformation. Luther was pessimistic about Christianizing the state; Zwingli sought to fuse Church and State in Zurich.

    The major dividing line between Luther and Zwingli, however, concerned the sacraments. Zwingli drew from his military experience to explain the sacraments. He argued that the Latin term sacramentum meant “oath.” From this he concluded that the sacraments (he counted only Baptism and the Eucharist as sacraments) are signs or pledges–oaths–of God’s faithfulness to his people. Later, Zwingli began explaining the oath-nature of the sacraments in terms of God’s people’s pledge of fidelity to the community of the Church. In neither case, though, did Zwingli understand the sacraments as efficacious signs or as really communicating what they signify. They were at best signs of our association and identification with the Church. It was the Word of God proclaimed that was the source of the Christian life; the sacraments merely provided an opportunity publicly to demonstrate one’s faith.

    Nowhere is the difference between Luther and Zwingli regarding the sacraments clearer than in their views of the Eucharist. While Luther denied transubstantiation, he nevertheless affirmed a form of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Zwingli rejected such a notion. For him, the Eucharist was a mere memorial of Jesus’ death, a ritual sign Jesus left his Church by which to remember his act of self-surrender. The bread and wine of the Eucharist did not change in their being; at best, they changed in their significance because of the context in which they were received.

    Luther and Zwingli disagreed vehemently regarding Jesus’ words at the Last Supper. Luther understood “This is my body” to refer to the Real Presence. For Luther, “is” meant “is,” so that when Christ had said “This is my body,” he meant to affirm that something had happened to the Eucharistic elements. Zwingli, on the other hand, understood “This is my body” to mean “This signifies my body.” He didn’t believe anything happened, other than a change of meaning in the minds of the congregants.

    The disagreement between Luther and Zwingli represented a first major division among the various wings of the Reformation. Calvin would later disagree with both Luther and Zwingli on the nature of the sacraments, especially the Eucharist. But for Luther, it meant backing away somewhat from his idea that the Bible was perspicuous to the average reader. Scripture, it seemed, was plain to every man–provided he was a trained exegete and agreed with Luther.

    Disagreement over the Eucharist posed a major problem for the Reformers, so much so that notables such as Luther, Zwingli, Bucer, Melanchthon and Oeclampadius met at Marburg in 1529 to iron out their differences. But the factions could not reach final agreement and the division among them resulted in substantial political setbacks, as the Catholic Emperor Charles V was able to exploit the differences among the Reformers.

    In the end, Zwingli’s contribution to the Reformation was cut short, as was his life. He was killed at the Battle of Kappel (1531), with the army of Zurich’s defeat due in large measure to German Lutheranism’s refusal to support it. And that, partly the result of the disagreement between Luther and Zwingli at Marburg.

  • Christ, Luther and Zwingli in one painting
    .
    Christ is present in the Holy Sacrament of the altar. There have been numerous heretical teachers who have denied the Catholic doctrine of Our Lord’s presence in the Holy Eucharist and have given various interpretations to his words: “This is My body; this is My blood.” Consequently the Council of Trent declared that Christ is truly, really, and actually present in the Blessed Sacrament. He is present in the Holy Sacrament truly, consequently, not as it were in an image. He is, moreover, really present and not merely so in a spiritual sense. Finally, He is actually present and not only by the actions of his grace. An artist once conceived the idea of refuting those erroneous doctrines by means of his brush. He painted a picture wherein Christ was portrayed seated at the Last Supper and on the same canvas were Luther and Zwingli. Beneath the picture he inscribed these words: Christ says: “This is My body.” Luther says: “This will become my body.” Zwingli says: “This symbolizes my body.” Which of the three is right? This brief description is more convincing than a multitude of arguments.

  • Luther saw the seeds of the Reformation he initiated grow to fruition and he was appalled. He wrote:
    .
    “Our evangelists are now sevenfold more wicked than they were before the Reformation. In proportion as we hear the gospel, we steal, lie, cheat, gorge, swill, and commit every crime. If one devil has been driven out of us, seven worse ones have taken their place, to judge of the conduct of princes, lords, nobles, burgesses, and peasants – their utterly shameless acts, and their disregard for God and his menaces. Under the papacy, men were charitable, and gave freely; but now under the gospel, all alms giving is at an end, everyone fleeces his neighbor, and each seeks to have all for himself. And the longer the gospel is preached, the deeper do men sink in avarice, pride, and ostentation. The peasants, through the influences of the gospel, have become utterly beyond restraint, and they think they may do what they please. They no longer fear neither hell or purgatory, but content themselves with saying, “I believe, therefore I shall be saved” and they become proud, stiff-necked mammonists, and accursed misers, sucking up the very substance of the country and the people.”
    .
    There can only be one truth. The teachings of the Catholic Church never change. Every Reformer then and now believes that he is right and all others before him were wrong. You had Lutherans and Calvinists, Baptists and Anabaptists, Episcopalians and Presbyterians, all contending among themselves, each declaring the other in error. In actuality, all were in error to one degree or another.

  • I would recommend reading “From Conflict to Communion” where the Lutherans apologized for Luther’s calling of the pope the antichrist: “The awareness of the dark sides of Luther and the Reformation has prompted a critical and self-critical attitude of Lutheran theologians towards Luther and the Wittenberg Reformation. Even though they agree in part with Luther’s criticism of the papacy, nevertheless Lutherans today reject Luther’s identification of the pope with the Antichrist (229)”.

    Although I think the entire document is important, it’s good to read at least paragraphs 231 – 233, which puts a lot of the pain of our divisions in perspective: “When Catholics and Lutherans remember together the theological controversies and the events of the sixteenth century from this perspective [sins against Christ’s prayer for unity], they must consider the circumstances of the sixteenth century. Lutherans and Catholics cannot be blamed for everything that transpired since some events in the sixteenth century were beyond their control.”

    Sound bites are nice to get the blood boiling, but the details of what’s actually being said help serve to clear up a lot of this animosity. Let’s take a breath and actually read the documents that the bishop cited when recently speaking.

  • St Thomas More said of the Lutherans that “they love not to fast, unless it be breakfast and eat fast and drink fast…”

  • Penguins fan,
    Actually, there is no evidence that Martin Luther ever specifically said that the soul of a forgiven man is like a “snow-covered dung heap.”
    .
    However, in his “Disputation Concerning Justification” (1536) Luther states:
    .
    I said before that our righteousness is dung in the sight of God. Now if God chooses to adorn dung, he can do so (Luther’s Works, Vol. 34, page 184).
    .
    In that same document Luther adds:
    .
    All the justified could glory in their works, if they would attribute glory to God with respect to themselves. In this manner they would not be dung, but ornaments (Luther’s Works, Vol. 34, page 178).
    .
    The picture is similar to your quotation but not an exact match. Although I cannot say with certainty that Luther spoke the words you quote, I can suggest that they do catch the sentiment Luther frequently proclaimed.

  • Mr. Claveau,

    You are far more educated in this matter than I am. I remember readng a quote about Luther calling man – not necessarily the soul of a forviven person – a “dungheap”, without remembering the exact quote or the circumstances. I know that with Luther’s notion of faith alone, he dismissed the Sacrament of Penance.

    Columbus’ discovery of the New World, the missionary work of the Franciscans and the Jesuits, and especially Our Lady of Guadalupe brought millions more into the Catholic Church than Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Knox and Henry Tudor brought out.

    I do not intend to be mean to Lutherans of today, although the LCMS and other Lutherans who still hold to the Pope being the Antichrist are not worth bothering with.

  • PBS within the last year aired a series on Luther. I did not watch it. If any one has,
    I would be interested to know their opinion in light of the discussions above.

  • Penguins fan,
    For info on Luther’s teaching on the Sacrament of penance go to:
    http://vivacatholic.wordpress.com/2008/08/24/luther-on-sacrament-of-penance/
    .
    Certainly, the Church has brought many millions to the saving grace of Christ since the Protestant Revolt. Yet, I can’t help but think of the millions of souls lost because of the influence of the Protestant innovators of the 16th century.
    .
    The prominent idea of all the Reformers was the overthrow of the Catholic Church. To accomplish this, every evil passion was invoked, the truths of Christianity were set aside and warlike organizations were established. The question was not, What is truth? But what does the Catholic Church teach? And all the power of the Reformers was arrayed against the latter. This purely biased idea has dominated all the crusades of the Protestants down to the present time. Although the immediate result of the Reformation was the dividing of Christendom into innumerable sects each hating the other, the hatred of Catholicism was common to all. In the midst of their fiercest struggles, they could always pause for the moment and combine their forces to strike a blow against the ancient Church. On this one point—hatred of Catholicism—the sects have always been together.
    .
    .Jesus calls us to perfection (Matt. 5:48), which is almost impossible to achieve without the grace of the Sacraments instituted by Christ.
    .
    Catholicism is a Faith to be lived; not simply a set of rules that can be followed or set aside by capricious whim. Catholicism emphasizes individual sanctity, i.e., that we are called to image Christ in all things. Catholic moral theology asks the question: How do I live in a way consistent with all the truths of the Faith? The educated Catholic realizes that it is necessary to see moral norms as truths, not rules. The gospel of Christ calls us to nothing less than Christian perfection (Matt. 5:48). A perfection, which is impossible to attain without the efficacious grace of the sacraments instituted by Christ and perpetuated by his Church. Christ must live in us! When the true gospel message is rejected or diluted the results will always be disastrous.
    .
    The greatest evil is the idea that all I have to do to be saved is to “accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.”

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  • Mr. Claveau,

    As you know, some of the souls of Europe were lost due to political pressure – as in the entire nation of Sweden converted to Luther’s church on command of the King.

    Scotland turned against the Catholic Church at various levels. Mr. Patterson-Symour knows much more than I do about this. I have countless relatives in Scotland – McLuckies – and one of them is an Anglican pastor.

    The German people as a whole never embraced Luther. Bavaria remains Catholic to this day, more so than the rest of the country. I believe the Reformation never made it into the Habsburg empire in a major way. I wrote about the Kulturkampf earlier.

    The Jesuits entered Poland in the 16th and 17th centuries and reverted a Catholic nation that had allegedly turned half Protestant.

    With the exception of the evangelicals, Protestantism is today a spent force. Protestantism embraced the culture of the day and put itself at the service of the King/government.

    Martin Luther is one of the most spectacular failures in history. More people should know this and I wonder how many Lutherans of today are aware of what he said, wrote and did. Not many, I am sure. Academia never lets us forget the trumped up Spanish Inquisition (most of the horrors of this was English propaganda) or the Borgia Pope, but the crimes of Henry Tudor and his daughter Bess against Catholics goes largely unknown and untaught, even in Catholic circles. The English suppression of Ireland for centuries was a result of the Reformation.

  • Penquins fan,
    Thank you for your input. I am curious as to why you say the Protestantism is today a spent force.

  • Penguin Fan, thank you for your comment about the Spanish Inquisition. I only recently learned about the fallacies from a Cuban born friend. Very sad about the English being forced to leave the Church, although there were and are still recusant families there. Young Henry VIII was named by the pope “Defender for the Faith” for his arguments against Luther’s statements. Ironically through the centuries the British kings and queens have used DF next to their names. During King Edward’s and his sister Elizabeth’s reigns many Catholics were martyred. I have always felt that those two should have the prefix “Bloody” rather than their legitimate sister Mary.

  • Mr. Claveau,

    I say Protestantism – especially the so called mainline Protestant churches, such as the Lutheran Church, the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church and possibly the Methodist Church have been losing members, have struggled to attract clergy, have very little or nothing to say about the culture wars of the West and seem to be more interested in accepting “conventional wisdom” no matter how it violates Christ’s Gospel.

  • Penguins fan,
    I am in full agreement with your statement. Each of the groups you mentioned supports artificial contraception and abortion, in one way or another.
    .
    Please keep in mind that technically these groups are denominations, not churches. Jesus established only one Church.
    .
    One day a Protestant woman came into my Catholic store to ask questions about Church doctrine.
    .
    I had been an instrument of the Holy Spirit in bringing her husband’s uncle into the Church. As he was known to be very anti-Catholic at the time, his nephew was quite surprised. The uncle brought the nephew in to see me and he was quite taken with my explanations and justifications for Catholic teaching. He, in turn, told his wife about me and she came in to talk.
    .
    During our conversation she mentioned that she was new to the area and was having difficulty finding a church she liked. I remarked, “Yes, I can fully understand the difficulty in finding a church that teaches what you want to hear.
    She spontaneously said, “Yes.”
    I went on, “Wouldn’t it be better if you found a Church that teaches the truth of the Gospel message, rather than what you and others would like to hear.” My comment stopped in her tracks. To make a long story short, the following Easter, the entire family came into the Church.
    .
    Protestantism is comfortable. If you don’t like what you hear, keep looking eventually you will either find what you want or you can start your own store front church.
    .
    It takes intellectual integrity to search for the truth and takes the Sanctifying Grace of the sacraments to live that truth.

  • Mr. Claveau,

    In the interests of brevity, I called the Protestant sects by the names they use for themselves. I believe the official Catholic terminology is “Ecclesiastical communities”. Even that is a misnomer. as the Latin word for church comes from the Greek “Ekkliesia”. I may have spelled the Greek term wrong. I do know the Spanish word for church, iglesia. its similarity to the Greek is not a coincidence.

    The Church that has done the greatest missionary work, the Church that fought Islam to any sort of positive conclusion, the Church that struggled against Communism the hardest – is the Catholic Church.

    Because of where I live – a Pittsburgh suburb – I am familiar with the Byzantine Catholic Church, the Ukrainian Catholic Church and the Maronite Catholic Church. I have attended the Holy Quorbono of the Syro Malabar Catholic Church in Broward County, Florida (Ft. Lauderdale). There is a Syro Malabar mission here.
    It is interesting to see the similarities in their Liturgies to the traditional Latin Mass.
    There are also lots of Orthodox here, too. I frequent the byzcath.org message board as a lurker, and it is interesting to read the defenses of Orthodoxy where it differs from the Catholic Church.

    The Eastern Catholic Churches have a tradition of a married clergy, and I am cool with that. The Churches of the Byzantine tradition administer Baptism, Communism and Chrismation at the same time (infancy). I’m cool with that, too.
    Yet, the noise from some Orthodox defending the use of birth control and remarriage after divorce are to me the same blatherings that come from certain segments of Protestantism.

    I have paid attention to the public statements made by the Moscow Patriarchate. Far too often, the Russian Orthodox Church has allowed itself to be a tool of the state, as have Protestant “ecclesiastical communities”.

Here I Stand And Insult, I Can Do No Other

Thursday, March 8, AD 2012

 

The 16th Century was the golden age of the insult.  Shakespeare is replete with eloquent examples of villification including my personal favorite:

The devil damn thee black, thou cream-faced loon! Where got’st thou that goose look? 

One of the grandmasters of the art of the insult was Martin Luther, Doctor of Theology and heresiarch of heresiarchs.   In the age of miracles we live in, someone has at last invented the Martin Luther Insult Generator.  Now you, at your fingertips, can see the vituperation that flowed freely from the pen of the “pope” of Wittenberg.  Go here to view it.  Some sample insults:

In lying fashion you ignore what even children know!  (Somebody bring in a kid, quick!)

You reek of nothing but Lucian, and you breathe out on me the vast drunken folly of Epicurus!  (Ah for the halcyon days when first-rate insults required knowledge of ancient philosophy!)

You are worthy only to be mocked by the words of error!  (Oh, I think that words of miscommunication could also mock me on some blog days.)

You should rightly be called lawyers for asses!  (Ouch!)

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5 Responses to Here I Stand And Insult, I Can Do No Other

  • I always think that the Shakespeare insult generator is worth a visit – http://www.mainstrike.com/mstservices/handy/insult.html (among others) – a few samples:

    Thou warped dread-bolted baggage!
    Thou unmuzzled half-faced barnacle!
    Thou beslubbering rough-hewn mammet!
    Thou warped ill-nurtured clack-dish!

    etc.

    –Jonathan Watson

  • More and Erasmus have some pretty choice insults, too. This is More on an Englishman with French affectations:

    He pays the servant nothing — like a Frenchman.
    He clothes him in worn rags–in the French way.
    He feeds him little, that little poor–as the French do.
    He works him hard–like the French.
    He beats him often–like a Frenchman.
    At gatherings, on the street, in the market, in public, he quarrels with him and abuses him in the French manner.

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  • OK, here are three that could be HHS cost free bp regulators:

    If you who are assembled in a council are so frivolous and irresponsible as to waste time and money on unnecessary questions, when it is the business of a council to deal only with the important and necessary matters, we should not only refuse to obey you, but consider you insane or criminals. – council could be read as a certain fed. gov. branch

    We leave you to your own devices, for nothing properly suits you except hypocrisy, flattery, and lies. – testifier subj. of Jesuitical 13 post

    The reward of such flattery is what your crass stupidity deserves. Therefore, we shall turn from you, a sevenfold stupid and blasphemous wise person. – or, for the above, and also, for e. branch HHS promoters (cino’s)

At The Dawn of 2011, Despite Bumps In the Road Catholic Orthodoxy Marches Onward

Monday, December 6, AD 2010

It seems every time a kerfuffle pops up in the Catholic Church, many in engage in hand wringing and doom and gloom scenarios. The latest occurred with Pope Benedict XVI’s remarks on condoms, which were wildly taken out of context in his interview with Peter Seewald turned book Light of the World. Following these remarks, some of us have probably been peppered with questions from family and friends as to what this means, and if the Church has changed her teachings in the arena of birth control. Those of us who have welcomed the new orthodoxy taking place within in the Church during the last ten or twenty years, probably have wished this latest kerfuffle had never taken place. However, this in no way shape of form means the orthodoxy movement has stalled. Oddly, I received some gleeful e-mails from some who surprisingly seemed ecstatic to point out that my book; The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism couldn’t possibly be correct. Hopefully, this article will point out that Catholic orthodoxy is alive, well and here to stay.

Church liberals who had long pilloried Pope Benedict XVI even before he was a cardinal, a simple university professor in the famed German town of Tubingen, seemed perplexed on how to treat the latest uproar. Some felt that he was moving in the right (or in their case left direction.) However, the more cynical among them knew that the Holy Father hadn’t changed a thing. They in turn left posts at the National Catholic Reporter decrying the German pontiff’s lack of pastoral ministry. Though I don’t know which saint said it, I am sure someone who was canonized uttered something along these lines; “God please save your Church from these overly pastoral pastors.”

The Holy Father was merely engaging in an abstract theological conversation much like a bunch of guys at a sports bar might conjecture what would happen if modern team x played historical team y for a mythical championship. Yet, the mainstream media along with some in the Catholic media went into a frenzy. The Holy Father was changing nothing in the Church’s teachings concerning birth control. The fault lie with those in the Vatican’s Public Relations Department in making sure the ubiquitous editor Giovanni Vian didn’t somehow put the Holy Father’s abstract scenarios into an excerpt for the L’Osservatore Romano. The comedy of errors in the Vatican could make one’s hair fallout.

Yet, I remember the words of a priest who once spent a considerable amount of time at the Holy See. He told me that the amount of miracles and jaw dropping examples of God’s Grace, that he personally witnessed behind the Vatican’s walls, still amazes him to this day. However, on the flip side the amount of sinister almost demonic style attacks amazes him to this day as well. The evil one knows where his primary target is located and he does his best to cause mayhem.

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4 Responses to At The Dawn of 2011, Despite Bumps In the Road Catholic Orthodoxy Marches Onward

  • You mention as an undesirable example 40,000 Protestant churches and name a few. They are distinguished from one another by their differing beliefs and practices. In the Roman Catholic Church, you find two factions, “us” and “them”, the liberals.
    It is illuminating to identify the large number of distinguishable groups within the Roman Catholic Church today, marked by their differences in beliefs and practices although not yet assigned formal names. Each considers itself the truly faithful. The concept of unity spoken of by the Pope and others seems to have little to do with the Catholic church as a list of clearly different, faithful Catholic factions would show. 450 years ago looks rather similar in some ways.

  • There is a linguistic confusion which conflates the Church with Catholics. Jack B. writes of “the large number of distinguishable groups within the Roman Catholic Church today, marked by their differences in beliefs and practices although not yet assigned formal names”.

    There are many more than a large number: there are groups whose distinguishing characteristics is that they – that we – are all sinners. We may grumble about Rome and the Vatican and those clerics who are continuously interfering in our cosy lives. Looking at the Church is much like looking at a family. Would it be a family were there not regular disagreements? “Differences in beliefs and practices” are like the weeds that have ever encumbered the growth of the Church – the chaff, the tares. They will be with us until the end as Our Lord told us. We just have to live with it.

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Two Momentous But Little Remembered Dates In Western & Church History

Tuesday, October 12, AD 2010

Recently two momentous events in Western and Church History passed with hardly a mention. Actually, these events may be better known in the Muslim world than the Christian world; the Islamic army’s desecration of St. Peter’s in Rome, along with St John Lateran and other churches in 846, and the stunning defeat of the Islamic military onslaught by Charles  the Hammer Martel at Tours, France in 732. Though these two events occurred over 100 years apart, they do point out that until the Ottoman-Turkish Islamic defeat in 1683 at the gates of Vienna; Europe was facing a never ending threat from radical Islam. Yet how is it that according to the mainstream media it was the fault of Christians, and specifically Catholics? In my last article, I wrote of the naval Battle of Lepanto in 1571 and the land at the Gates of Vienna in 1683. Some wondered why I didn’t right about Charles the Hammer Martel and some of the earlier Islamic incursions into Europe. Now is a good time to delve into that subject. (For more on Charles the Hammer Martel and the Battle of Tours please read this excellent article by my colleague Donald McClarey.)

Ask most practicing Catholics, Evangelicals and mainline Protestants who Charles the Hammer Martel was and you would probably get blank stares. Perhaps a few young people might be under the false impression that he is some sort of up and coming professional wrestler. However, you would probably stand a better chance of having someone in the Islamic world tell you about Charles the Hammer Martel. The same might be true for the sack of Rome in 846 by Muslim forces who disembarked at Ostia (the Tiber port) and marched right into Rome desecrating holy sites like St Peter’s and St John Lateran and leaving the Eternal City with their plunder. Many in the western world might be surprised why they have never heard this and why those who reside in the Islamic world are better informed of these events than in the Western World. Let us peer back into time to see what we can learn about the past and what it might mean for the future.

It is said that God can make the best out of the worst. As Charles Martel grew older and realized that his mother was simply a consort of his regal father, Charles must have realized that he could have been abandoned to poverty, or worse yet aborted (if that had happened Christianity might have been confined to Ireland!) Charles must have developed a thick skin and a courageous spirit that enabled him not to run at the first sign of trouble. Europe was in a state of near panic by 730 as the well seasoned professional Islamic Army had laid waste to much of the Middle East and North Africa leaving the homes of those past saints like Augustine in ruins. Europe was in the Dark Ages, armies were merely feudal in their makeup, a far cry from the type of regimented units needed to stop the largest invading armies Europe had seen since the days when Rome ruled the world.

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The Pope Of Christian Unity, Pope Benedict XVI Is In The UK

Thursday, September 16, AD 2010

Many in the mainstream media have failed to see the obvious concerning Pope Benedict XVI’s trip to the United Kingdom, the truth of the Catholic Church has won out. The Pope of Christian Unity (as he is often called by the blogging Father Z) is reaching out to serious minded Christians. The Holy Father is asking them to unite as they once were under the leadership of the Successor of Saint Peter. Now I realize Pope John Paul II went to the UK, but the Anglican Church is in a far more dilapidated condition than it was then.  In addition, I am aware that many in the United Kingdom, and Western Europe for that matter, have little to do with religious matters, but the same could be said in the early days of the Roman Empire. Against all odds, three centuries later Catholicism would be the dominant faith.  It can happen again.

The Holy Father is about to beatify John Cardinal Henry Newman. He was a towering figure in the 19th century state run Anglican Church. He came to the Catholic Church and gave us this memorable quote; To go deep into history is to cease to be Protestant. I am not bringing this up in the spirit of triumphalism but in the spirit of truth. Christ promised us that the gates of hell would not prevail against the Church, and though it has been through many rough patches (we are currently in one) the truth is winning out. (Matthew 16:15-20.)

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13 Responses to The Pope Of Christian Unity, Pope Benedict XVI Is In The UK

  • Just a small point Dave.

    The pope is going to beatify John Henry Newman – not canonise him. 🙂

  • God bless the Holy Father and good Queen Elizabeth.

  • Thanks Don, I didn’t realize that I got ahead of myself and had Pope Benedict making him a saint!

  • Poor Europe being led by hateful,intolerant,godless fools who know nothing about religion.They have turned away from God and have built and worship their golden calf of secularism.They revolve their lives around perishable things of the world while their enemies grow within their borders.They promote a culture of death through abortion and gay rights which produces no life while the Muslims continue to multiply…the liberal left that espouse diversity,tolerance and promote sin will be the first to taste the fruits of persecution that they have sown and nurtured by setting themselves up against God.Open your eyes Europe..turn back to God and stop living sel centered lives where everything is based on passing pleasures.

  • Be sober in spirit and the truth will be made clear. Pope John II once referred to Queen Elizabeth II as the queen of Israel. There is an ancient truth here that supercedes “the truth of the Catholic Church” (as you refer to it). Jesus was fully aware of this truth Matthew 10:6. The real house of rebellion is not the “Protestant” house, it is the house of Israel herself. The Catholic Church would do well to be honest about what she already knows, and submit to the Lords will concerning the lost sheep, being careful not to impose her own agenda over them.

  • Excellent article…@John your comments ring so true. But we all aren’t without recourse. This article is one of hope: the promise that is sure to come and triumph: victory by preservering love and sacrifice. We also have recourse in prayer before the Eucharist in adoration and benediction, recourse in prayer through Mass
    in Communion, and recourse in prayer through the Rosary and Liturgy of the Hours. This staves off the tide if error, quiets the crashing sea foam of sin through its reparation and its remission, and facilitate the conversion of those souls obstinate in sin. I suggest you knights and prayer warriors put your man-on and gear-up to battle by the above means. Of course by all means go to confession (on a regular basis) like all good soliders before entering the battle. For it is good to be here while the mouthpiece of our Lord, the Pope, implement his prophetic strategies and embattlements among priests, with universal authority, among the faithful.
    Roll on, Good Pope, God’s Representative, Roll on!

  • @Chris I would have to disagree. The Queen of Israel is the Spouse of Christ, the Mother Church he founded. The queen in judaic culture has always been the mother of the king…not the wife of the king! Queen Mother of the Catholic Church is the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus. As for truth: the Church, the mystical body of Christ, and her Groom are one in the same as for Truth. However, we, as members of this same Mystical Body, have much to suffer and gain in our response and to living this Truth.

  • Winkyb.. Thank you for your response and your desire to follow Him. I was relaying what was reportedly said by Pope John Paul II when he visited England several decades ago… We agree on this. The spouse of Christ are His people the Church. What we do not agree on is the exclusivity of the Roman Catholic Church in that role. For one thing, without past decent by His people, God’s word would be quite different than it is today. Witness the politically correct changes in the New Catholic bible, hymns…etc. Done seeming incredulous to the warnings of Revelation 22:18-19. To be blunt, I’ve seen American Catholicism turn more young people away from Christ than I can number. When 70,000 nuns give congress the out they needed to turn their back on the Hyde Amendment and the innocent lives it protected, you can begin to see why the young have turned away (not to mention the more obvious issues). As a non-catholic, I went to mass for 30 years. I have known priests who confided to me their doubts about faith as they faced death, and priests who left the church altogether. All of it a shame, because Christ came to give us abundant life free from fear and doubt. Please be sober in Spirit, we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Why not strengthen your Anglican brothers and sisters rather than cannibalize their membership and destroy them in their weakness.
    Yours in Christ ~Chris

  • @Chris your rhetoric keeps redefining the truths and traditions of the Faith of Christ, the Apostolic, True Vine, which evangelized the Anglo-Saxons and founded the Catholic Church in England. Your country still celebrates to this day as St. Ninian. The Archbishop of Canterbury also acknowledges the reality of this True, Apostolic Vine and also its respective title of the Peter and Chair, the Pope, Benedict XVI as The Servant of Servants. The ArchBishop of Canterbury also acknowledges the Apostolic See of Pope and Saint: St Gregory the Great and his influences on the Catholic Church of England. The ArchBishop of Canterbury also incensed, knelt, and prayed before England’s titled Defender of the Faith and king, St. Edward the Confessor whose feast day is stlill celebrated on the litugical calendars of the Catholic Church and Anglican. Chris you keep taking things out of context and redefining them e.g. “The spouse of Christ [are His people-error] (is-truth) the Church. I recommend that you speak the truth. The Archbishop of Canterbury today at Vespers in the present of the Pope, Anglican hierarchy, and media does not even refer to the State Church of England as Catholic but rather as Christain. There is no such thing as American Catholicism: there is only One, True, Holy, and Apostolic catholic church. In America the Latin Rite is practice but there are rites such as Maronite Rite, Byzantine Rite, etc all of one faith and still in union with the Apostolic Chair of Peter. No one is disputing the state church of England abdication from the Church in Rome with its self appointed Head as British Monarch no one disputing that the Queen Elizabeth and Archbishop of Canterbury both references itself as Christian entity despite its historical catholic roots and heritage. No one is disputing that this abdication was vilolently solicited by the king’s demand for adultery and divorce as evident by writ and auguments displayed in the Lambeth
    museum. No one is disputing the martydom of England’s innocent catholic citizens and chanchellor in defense of this state church. And as evident by the invitation of the Queen and acceptance of the Pope that there is a great love and a great moment in between these two kingdoms and among christain brethren 1500 years ago which I will enjoy very much with every replay on the telly for what I see is a joyous occassion despite history. I will say it would be even more joyful if the entire Anglican church reconcile to its true roots and true faith under it Roman Latin Rite for England’s kinship is clear to even those with a blind eye. Lastly, we, Christ’s True Church are not cannibalistic but we do love a bit too much: enemies and friends alike. But how can you do otherwised with Jesus’ arms so much suffered nailed to the Cross to remain opened to all. Cheer up ‘ole boy… today is a great day!
    do hug fr

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  • God Bless our good Pope

  • It is heartwarming to see Pope Benedict reach out to those that want NOTHING to do with the Catholic Church. May God bless his witness.

  • @Nancy, correction: The pope didn’t crash the party he was invited by the prime minister and received by the queen. Your view contradicts the 65,000-100,000 in attendance to Mass, the 125,000 lining the streets to view the pope in his pope mobile…and the attendance/host of the archbishop of Canterbury, Anglican bishops and priests and British hierarchy vying to greet and
    shake his hand. Not to mention worldwide media coverage…look like everyone wanted something to do with the pope…you even bother yourself…about the pope…with an unrealistic comment.

At Marian Apparition Locations, Great Trials & Tribulations Often Occur Before & After

Monday, August 23, AD 2010

Marian apparitions have always been a sign of God’s love. It truly is one of His greatest graces, which physically shows us the Blessed Mother along with her love, words of encouragement and warnings about the world in which we live. Sometimes the Church Militant heeds her call, but sadly often it doesn’t. This article will only cover a handful of Church approved apparitions (this can be a little tricky, more on this later,) but what it will show is that often the Blessed Mother appears in lands that have experienced great suffering with often more suffering to follow. Her message to bring the world closer to her Son and live according to Jesus’ teachings is one of God’s greatest graces, something that is often met with violent, evil attacks. The miraculous events surrounding her appearances often take place in the presense of great vistas; a window of sorts into God’s loving handiwork. The said could be said about Jesus at The Transfiguration and the Sermon on the Mount.

Something to keep in mind before we begin; during the early days of the Church investigative bodies were the last thing the Church was worried about at a time when the Church was trying to literally stay alive during an array of persecutions. Following the Protestant Reformation, a more detailed structure emerged for investigating appartions. They often took a long time to investigate in order to prevent any hoaxes. Most reported modern day apparitions are not approved. In the 20th Century only 8 of the 300+ reported apparitions were approved. This link from the University of Dayton, a Marianist institution, which houses the largest collection of Marian Apparitions, might be a helpful.

The year was 1300. Though parts of Spain remained under Islamic control, a liberated area, near the Guadalupe River would reveal an amazing find. A cow herder named Gil Cordero would be told by the Blessed Mother to dig, and there he would find holy treasure. Though laughed at by his fellow villagers, his faithful dig yielded a secret burial vault that would house many relics including that of a lifelike carving of the Blessed Mother. It was said to be carved by St Luke and transported to Spain in the sixth century by Bishop Leander, a relative of Pope Gregory the Great.

The vault had been placed there as Islamic armies were making their way to Spain.  The lifelike carving, which still exists today, was said to have been processed through the streets of Rome around the year 590 AD, at the direction of Pope Gregory the Great. He had been given the famous carving while he was Papal Legate in Constantinople.

The famous pontiff had ordered this procession during a terrible plague and famine that had engulfed the city, some one hundred and fifty years after the Roman Empire had collapsed.  As the procession ended, the assembled crowd saw the Archangel St Michael sheathing his sword, signifying that the famine and plague were over. (One can still see the statue of the Archangel St Michael atop the Castel Sant Angelo which commemorates this momentous event.)  The carved statue of the Blessed Mother was then sent to Spain where it remains today, seemingly unscathed after spending years underground during the Muslim conquest.

Years later a young Italian navigator named Christopher Columbus would come to pray at this now famous shrine. He was at the end of his financial rope in seeking backing for a “new way to India.” Soon after his prayer, he was granted an audience with King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella and the rest is history. Few know about this religious side of Columbus. Even fewer know that when he first caught sight of what would be known as the Americas, he had minutes before ordered his crew to pray the Rosary. In gratitude, he named one of the islands he discovered for the site at which his prayers were answered back in Spain, the isle now known as Guadeloupe.

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41 Responses to At Marian Apparition Locations, Great Trials & Tribulations Often Occur Before & After

  • Thanks for that excellent post David.
    I had not heard of those earlier apparitions of Our Lady, so that’s very informative.

    God Bless your work.

  • Guadalupe, Mexico, near present day Mexico City. Though the modern day mainstream media may glorify the Mayans and especially their doomsday prediction of 2012, living under their thumb often resulted in death; ritual human sacrifice was very common in Mexico and the neighboring countries to her south.

    Are you perhaps confusing the Mayans and the Aztecs? Both practiced human sacrifice, but the Aztecs were more concentrated around Mexico City; the Mayans were more to the south and the Yucatan peninsula (as well as further south of Mexico itself).

  • No C Matt I am not confusing the two. Both civilizations power bases were essentially destroyed by the time the Blessed Mother appeared at Tepeyac Hill. True the Aztec power base was in the north, however, their influence was not greater than the Mayan people. In the south of Mexico even though the Mayan Culture’s power base was dead their descendants still numbered more than the Aztecs. At the peak of the Mayan Civilization, their numbers were over 20,000,000.

  • Nice article, but I’m surprised you didn’t mention Medjugorje, especially given how profoundly connected Kibeho is to Medjugorje. I assure you that Medjugorje is the real deal, and one of the most important Marian apparitions in history. The fruits of Medjugorje are worldwide, the conversions are in the millions, and if you take a look at the medical testing done on the visionaries by some of the world’s top doctors and scientists, you will be very surprised. Of course, the devil HATES Medjugorje and has done everything he can to plant the seeds of confusion among God’s children. But look around you and you will see that we’re in battle! God bless you.

  • Dave,

    This is the best article I have of yours yet!

    Wow.

    In the church in Zeitoun where Mary appeared, that church has a high concentration of saint’s relics. In addition the apocryphal story states that Jesus, Mary, & Joseph, stayed in or near Zeitoun during their time in Egypt.

    These two facts alone can help explain why the Blessed Virgin graced her presence there.

  • Sean, I would think that Medjugorje wasn’t mentioned because it is not an approved apparition.

  • Yes, Mary, nor is it unapproved. What the world needs now, more than ever, is the message of peace and reconciliation that is flowing from Medjugorje. I’ve been to Kibeho, and I’ve been to Medjugorje many times, and they are the same message. The Kibeho visionary Alphonsine actually went to Medjugorje in the nineties, and the priests at the Kibeho shrine believe the two apparitions are linked. I just would have liked to see Dave mention Medjugorje, even with a caveat of it still being under investigation, because it has, after all, become one of the most visited Marian shrines in history.

  • Sean, the author mentioned in the beginning of the article that he would only deal with approved apparitions. Medjugorje is not approved. Your reaction and defensive stance makes it seem more like a cult with cult-followers. There are many reasons as to why Medjugorje can be seen as unauthentic, which I won’t go into here. Perhaps its popularity is just a sign of the evil times that we live in and the weak-faithed.

  • I concur with Sean. But I think it is out of prudence that Medjugorje should be treated in a future article. Dave, I’ll be waiting on this one.

  • I concur with Katherine. There are many reasons as to why Medjugorje can be viewed with skepticism and may not be authentic. Peace and reconciliation not rooted in truth has no foundation. The last thing the world needs right now is any false concept of peace and reconciliation possibly rooted in and further promoting a worldwide ‘Dictatorship of Relativism.’

  • Medjugorje is not an approved apparition…

  • The apparitions at Cuapa, Nicaragua, May 8 to October 13th, 1980, fully demonstrate that when apparitions like those that took place then occur, trouble is ahead. The country had just gone through a bloody uprising against an entrenched dictator, and 50,000 casualties.
    When the apparitions took place, the so-called “Contra War” was getting underway, and before it was over a decade later, another 50,000 had died. The purported messages of the Most Holy Virgen were of much comfort to Nicaraguans throughout, and a continuing sign of the merciful presence of God. I was there then.

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  • kATHERINE:
    Though Medjugorje is as yet not been approved I, for one, can truly say, without a doubt, that I know Our Lady is appearing there. I was there in 1987. One only has to go there to understand that truth. I would stake my life on it. Her presence is so apparent that no one leaves that place without believing it. Of course, I know that we need to wait for total church approval. It was also said, concerning these apparitions, that when they totally end that decision will be made. Pope John Paul II, said, in many interviews, that if he were not Pope he would have already been in Medjugorje.That is not hearsay, it is documented.He met many times with some of the visionaries.Anything that you think could be used against these apparitions is most probably wrong information that you have heard.

  • I don’t know about the legitimacy of that medjugorje apparition. I do know about the negative comments and rebellion by its followers when a statement by the commission possibly restricting or rejecting begin to rumor. There were no presence of humility or obedience rather defiance and arrogance displayed. More than fruits will need to be considered for legitimacy. There is no spirit of poverty surrounding the visionaries like at Fatima…we must wait til the church makes a decision. I am concerned about one message that says don’t pray for others nut pray for yourself…that’s not like Mary our Mother who say forget your brother when you come before God in prayer! It is neither here nor there that you bet your life on medjugorje nor does your belief or disbelief assures its legitmaticy…only the church can do such…

  • Like Anita, I know what I have experience in Medjugorje is sincere and pure. Our Lady has given me to her son, Jesus through his presence in the Blessed Sacrament. I have come to know God’s love through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I have seen, heard and know the fruits of Medjugorje. It is all about Jesus and being Roman Catholic who loves our Holy Father in Rome.
    For those who believe, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not believe, no explanation is possible. God bless everyone!

  • I have seen Marija and Ivan in person and I can say that they are as human as anybody else, but yet very humble and prayerful. My understanding is that the visionaries have been obedient to the Church. My family and I have been to Medjugorje and stayed there for 5 days, and though I have not seen any startling natural phenomena except for the water that constantly flows from the knee of the Resurrected Jesus (at the time, I thought it was moisture on the bronze statue forming every day), I always have believed in the apparition there, yes, even long before we visited the place, back in the late 80s when I first heard about it.

  • Excellent article. Only one comment: Christopher Columbus was from Spain

  • The saddest part about the Medjugorje episode is that so many Catholics, who should know better, are ignoring it. It reminds me of how many Jews, who should have known better, ignored both John the Baptist and Jesus.

    Medjugorje is the most important apparition of Blessed Mary in history, and I will say flat out so as to be unambigous, it is heralding the Second Coming of Jesus.

    For those who don’t listen to their Mother and turn back to God now, it will be too late, as Blessed Mary herself says. She said those waiting for the sign – for many it will be too late. She means that the sign is a ways off yet, and so before then many will die of natural deaths etc. w/o having converted or turned back to God because they were waiting for the sign. It is very possible that Jesus will return BEFORE the Church rules on Medjugorje and many will not be ready.

    But alas, I also believe when the warnings come, many will convert and the Church will urge them to do so too – the Church will finally approve the apparition, but it will be too late for those who have not converted between 1981 and then.

    Sad, really. God bless you.

  • “The saddest part about the Medjugorje episode is that so many Catholics, who should know better, are ignoring it. It reminds me of how many Jews, who should have known better, ignored both John the Baptist and Jesus…”

    Seriously? You’re going to compare the rejection of the Messiah (God incarnate, whose coming was essential for salvation) by His own chosen people to skepticism over an unapproved apparition, belief in which (regardless of whether the Church ever decides to speak to its authenticity or lack thereof) is NOT essential to the faith?

    It’s the over-the-top certitude of such statements with regard to Medjugorje in the face of the Church’s caution that (1) causes many to remain skeptical and (2) makes me glad that assent to private revelation is not essential for one to be a faithful Catholic.

  • Jay, maybe you don’t “need” Medjugorje because your faith is already so strong and you are on the right path. That’s awesome for you, and I commend your devotion. But, as I’m sure you know, you are the minority in this world. There are so many lost and faithless people out there (I, myself, was one of them) and Our Lady is trying to reach them through Medjugorje. I’m certain that if you ever go there, you would agree with me. Just as Jesus himself said that He came not for the righteous but for the sinners, Our Lady has come to lead the nonbelievers and the lukewarm to her Son. What happens in Medjugorje? It’s not some crazy place where fanatics are running around looking for miracles. On the contrary, it is a shrine filled with people praying, confessing and worshipping God through the Sacraments. It is a place of conversion. You can FEEL it when you’re there. I’ve traveled to approved apparition sites all over the world, but no where is there such a sense of peace and holiness as there is in Medjugorje. Again, it sounds like your faith is strong enough that you don’t need Medjugorje, but I urge you, and everyone who shares your viewpoint, to be patient and not persuade anyone from going there to see for themselves. It could be the difference between life and death for that person, eternally speaking of course.

    Have a look at this video of an apparition:

    http://www.medjugorjevideo.com/mirjanavisionary.html

    I challenge anyone to show me someone — an actress, perhaps — who can cry on command while staring up at thin air, without any wavering of the focal point of her pupils for five minutes straight, and who can turn her voicebox on and off inexplicably (scientifically impossible), and whose brain waves go to such a heightened sense of awareness in a split second (during the apparition) that doctors have never seen it before.

    Medjugorje is 100% real. I’m no fanatic and I don’t believe many things, but this I’m certain of, and one must only go there with an open mind to see God’s work in action. I am incredibly thankful to Our Lady for leading me and my entire family to the Catholic Church. My wife (also a convert after going to Medjugorje) and I are raising our little children in a strong Catholic setting, something that would have been inconceivable to us before Medjugorje ever came into our lives. Our story is no exception. There are millions of us out there. WE NEEDED MEDJUGORJE, and thank God no one told me not to go before I did that first time. God bless you all.

  • Sean, you forgot to mention about the Adoration of the Holy Eucharist from sunset till late evening. Aside from long lines of Confession and full-packed Masses, this devotion to the Blessed Sacrament is one undeniable proof that God is Present among His people in Medjugorje. Who else will know the sure way to lead us to Christ? Who, but the one who nursed Him and lulled Him to sleep while yet He was a baby, and who was there at the foot of the Cross during the last moments of His life?

    All these are tangible manifestations of God’s love for us, while yet we have time. Let’s help bring conversion of everyone to the LORD! Our Lady is here to help us. According to St Louis de Monfort, Mama Mary is the surest way to Jesus. She’s bidding everyone of us to come and go to Him!

  • It’s not about whether I “need” Medjugorje for my faith to be strong or not. I’m as much a weak and sinful person as any other Catholic. But the depth of no one’s faith should be made dependent on whether or not they assent to any private revelation.

    I make no judgments about the authenticity of Medjugorje, other than to note (1) that the Church has not yet spoken on it and (2) that statements like those Bob made comparing skepticism over Medjugorje to the rejection of Christ as the Messiah are WAY over the top.

    I have great respect for many who do believe in the authenticity of Medjugorje. In fact, one of the priests I most admire – the Dominican priest who brought me into the Church and who just so happens to be the Prior Provinical of the Dominican Province of St. Joseph – has been to Medjugorge on a number of occasions. That fact, alone, is enough for me to give some credence to its authenticity.

    But I’ll wait for the Church before giving full assent.

  • Sean,

    You said, “because it has, after all, become one of the most visited Marian shrines in history.” Sorry to disappoint you, but I can’t allow you to mislead anyone reading these comments. You are sadly misinformed or purposely being misleading. Medjugorje is NOT A MARIAN SHRINE, the Catholic Church has not currently raised the status of any Church in Medjugorje to ‘Shrine’.

    Anita,

    You said, ‘Pope John Paul II, said, in many interviews, that if he were not Pope he would have already been in Medjugorje.’ Did JPII say that, or did someone else say he said that? Please produce the article showing the direct quote. Let me also remind you it is a well known fact that Pope John Paul II, of blessed memory, was a stalwart supporter of Fr. Marcial Maciel, the disgraced, recently deceased founder of the Legionaries of Christ religious order and its lay arm, Regnum Christi.

    For anyone truly interested in discerning the ‘fruits’ of Medugujorje, I recommend the following links. In the meantime, LETS BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!!

    http://medjugorjedocuments.blogspot.com/2010/02/ecclesial-disciplinary-actions-against.html

    http://www.rickross.com/groups/caritas.html

    http://unitypublishing.com/Apparitions/MedjugorjeIndex.html

    http://www.cbismo.com/index.php?menuID=98

  • A few points before this thread winds down. I will be happy to write about Medjugorje once the Church takes an official stand on it. In the meantime, perhaps the prudent thing to do is for those who hope the Church rules favorably on the apparition is to politely say “for your discernment.” I believe this is the approach Michael Brown uses. The evil one loves drama and disunity in the Church. I think we can all agree that whatever we believe, we don’t need to give the evil one any new ammunition. We should trust the Holy Spirit.

    In addition, I believe someone corrected me by saying Christopher Columbus was a Spaniard, no he was an Italian born In Genoa. Finally, what the disgraced Father Maciel has to do with Pope John Paul’s view on Medjugorje is immaterial to this thread. Father Maciel was an evil deceiver who fooled many, so we can’t condemn all those who might have liked the Father Maciel they thought they knew.

  • Dave,

    Please understand, my reference to Father Maciel was not a condemnation of anyone. The purpose of the reference was to highlight how easily we can be deceived and the illogic of using an uncomfirmed JPII quote as evidence of authenticity, an idea I stole from Patrick Madrid:

    http://patrickmadrid.blogspot.com/2010/04/medjugorje-and-maciel-effect.html

  • No problem Dismas. God Bless, take care and have a nice weekend!

  • Dave,
    You’re right in saying that Medj supporters should include “for your discernment”. That would help diffuse things. It would also help diffuse the inflated rhetoric if Medj opposers would also not pull out the “Cult Card” every time the topic comes up. Can we agree?

  • Great article.
    You may want to research the first apparition of the Blessed Mother in the last millenium.Our Lady appeared the last saturday of April 1001.
    The structure of the present church was approved by St. Pio and Pope John Paul II visited there both before and after his election.
    The shrine is outside of Foggia in so. Italy and is the site of many pilgrimages.
    Your article is very eye-opening and very necessary in our “morality deprived” depraved society.

  • Joseph Forina, sounds like something I will have to research. GB, I certainly agree with your post!

  • Dismas, to me and to many other people, Medjugorje is a shrine. Please note that I didn’t capitalize the word shrine. You capitalized it, out of context, and then claimed I was being misleading (or misinformed). Please look up the definition of the word ‘shrine’ and I think you might reconsider your harsh words towards me.

    Please understand that Medjugorje changed my life incredibly, and I’ve seen it change the lives of so many others, so I am passionate about it. I wish everyone could go there to see for themselves.

    Those links you presented from Unity Pub. are not even journalism. They are tabloidism. They’ve been proven wrong many times. Would you like to be judged by the same measure as the people who penned those articles (ie, Unity Publishing)? The one about Caritas is about a group that claims to be related to Medjugorje, but please note that they have no official connection to the parish and should be judged on their own.

    As for documents about what John Paul II said about Medjugorje, please see the book “Medjugorje and the Church” by Denis Nolan, which contains photocopies of actual signed letters written by John Paul to some Polish friends, in which he expresses his belief in Medjugorje. Those letters are available for anyone to see. The book also contains letters from Mother Teresa which indicate her belief in Medjugorje, as well as quotes from numerous priests, bishops, cardinals and clergy — all stating their belief in Medjugorje. If nothing else, it’s an interesting read.

    I will end with this: don’t be so quick to condemn Medjugorje without knowing enough first-hand about it. Be a first-hand witness if you choose to talk about it. Only then will you know.

    God bless you all. Oh yes, this post is for your discernment.

  • Sean,

    I appreciate you considering the evidence I presented and bringing the conversation back into the realm of the rational. I ask for your prayers.

    I have no doubt that Medjugorje has changed your life incredibly and many others as well, that is not the issue of most importance here.

    The fact of the matter, regarding Medjugorje, is the Catholic Church by the local Bishop of Mostar has declared it Non constat de supernaturalitate. The Commission prepared a draft “Declaration” in which were listed the “unacceptable assertions” and “bizarre declarations”, attributed to the curious phenomenon. The Commission also stated that further investigations were not necessary nor the delaying of the official judgement of the Church. The bishop duly informed the Bishops’ Conference and the Holy See, and he then informed the public during his homily in Medjugorje in 1987.[19]

    For the sake of converstion lets throw out the Unity Publishing evidence as well as the Caritas Articles. Let’s soley focus on the Official Bishop of Mostar documents which I notice you conveniently avoid? http://www.cbismo.com/index.php?menuID=98

    Based on these findings and statements of a Bishop in good standing in the Catholic Church and faithful to the Magisterium, anyone in opposition to his statements and teaching is in grave spiritual danger. Anyone enticing or tempting anyone else to disobedience to the Bishop of Mostar’s statements not only puts themselves in grave spiritual danger but is now responsible for the demise of others as well.

    Pax et Bonum

  • Sean,

    I neglected to respond to your Shrine argument. A Shrine defined within the confines of the Catholic Church is:

    In the Roman Catholic Code of Canon law, canons 1230 and 1231 read: “The term shrine means a church or other sacred place which, with the approval of the local Ordinary, is by reason of special devotion frequented by the faithful as pilgrims. For a shrine to be described as national, the approval of the Episcopal Conference is necessary. For it to be described as international, the approval of the Holy See is required.”[11]

    I have to point out to you that neither the local Ordinary or an Episopal Conference has raised any church in Medjugorje to the status of Shrine.

    I apologize that you found my words harsh, however they are truth. Once again I have to point out the grave spiritual dangers of pride, ego and disobediance that allows anyone to put themselves outside or above the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, the safe Barque of Peter.

  • Again, you capitalize the word shrine, thus taking my comment out of context.

    Still, I’m confident that I’m on the right side of things here. This may be of interest to you:

    Cardinal Franjo Kuharic, Archbishop of Zagreb, a member of the Bishop’s conference that studied Medjugorje, said: “After three years of studies by the Commission, we, the bishops, have accepted Medjugorje as a Shrine, as a sanctuary. This means that we have nothing against the veneration of the Mother of God in accordance with the teaching of the Church and our faith… This is why we leave this question to further studies of the Church. The Church is not in haste.”

    So, if this cardinal, a member of the Bishop’s Conference, calls Medjugorje a Shrine, then why can’t I?

    Here’s more on that:

    http://www.medjugorje.org/tenyrzadar.htm

    You accuse me of pride and ego, and yet in the preceding sentence you classify your words as “truth.” Maybe you should write a letter to the cardinal who called Medjugorje a Shrine and give him the “truth.”

  • Thank you for bringing this article to my attention. I advise you give this article further discernment and reflection. In response to your question: ‘So, if this cardinal, a member of the Bishop’s Conference, calls Medjugorje a Shrine, then why can’t I?’ If not solely for the sake of prudence and caution, then because both local Bishops of Mostar; Bishop Zanic and his successor Bishop Peric are not in agreement with the Conference of Yugoslavia and have the support of the Holy See. Please see the excerpt from your article refuting the findings of the Conference of Yugoslavia:

    Nevertheless, Mgr Pavao Žanic, Bishop of Mostar, interprets the Declaration of Zadar as a negation of the supernaturality of the events of Medjugorje, and as a document forbidding pilgrimages. The Ordinary of Mostar continues to uphold this position: “The Ordinary has on several occasions warned that the supernatural character of the apparitions cannot be spoken about nor announced publicly in churches, as it was not possible to state that Our Lady is appearing. This is why official pilgrimages to Medjugorje are not allowed”, writes Mgr Ratko Peric, successor of Mgr Pavao Žanic. (See Prijestolje Mudrosti, Mostar 1995, p. 282) And he continues: “Neither the diocesan bishop, as head of the local diocese and Church of Mostar-Duvno, nor any other competent person, have until now declared the parish Church St James of Medjugorje as a Marian shrine, nor confirmed the “cult” of Our Lady based on the supposed apparitions. On the contrary, because of its contestability, he has on many occasions prohibited to speak on the altar or in the church about supernatural “apparitions and revelations”, and to organize official pilgrimages in the name of parishes, dioceses, and generally in the name of the Church. These and similar warnings were published also by our former Bishops´ Conference and by the Holy See itself. Anyone acting in an opposite manner, is acting expressly against the official position of the Church, which, after 14 years of supposed apparitions and developed commercial propaganda, are still valid in the Church”. (Ibid, p. 285-286)

  • I urge you, go see for yourself, and in the meantime, don’t squelch the fruits that continue to flow from Medjugorje.

    This will probably be my last post here because I’m off to La Salette and Medjugorje. All the best and God bless. Please pray that I have a safe journey, and I will in turn pray for everyone here. God bless.

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Margaritaville Christianity; God's Way Or Our Way?

Wednesday, July 28, AD 2010

As Europe emerged from the Dark Ages, a growing populace happy for good news and grateful for these positive turn of events in their lives openly and without apology made the Catholic faith the center of their lives. They believed in the Word of God, even if they couldn’t read or write. They hung on to every word of those who could read. Even during the workday, if at all possible those working in the fields would briefly slip into town to see the priest raise the Host during the Consecration at Mass. Though their lives were full of toil and often misery (they weren’t allowed the liberty of attending daily Mass) the people of this era used any opportunity they could to make religion a part of their daily life.

Fast forward a thousand years and we can certainly see that daily life has shifted some 180 degrees. Many of the elite often snicker or poke fun at those who are serious about their faith. Even those who are considered serious in their faith pursuit, often hide the true extent of their faith, for fear of being called a holy roller.

The secular talking heads tell us that we should be more like the modern world we are trying to help and change. Religion should be more like the popular culture they tell us. We should try to glean words of wisdom from thinkers like Voltaire, Marx, Freud and Alinsky and entertainers like Madonna, Lady Gaga or even Jimmy Buffet. Yet, have these secular talking heads ever taken their own advice? Have these leftists ever thought, “why was Pope John Paul II, Ronald Reagan or Margaret Thatcher so popular? What could we learned from them? “ (For more on this read my column, If You Like What The Political Left Has Done To Politics, Look At What The Religious Left Has Done To Religion (Left It In Tatters) along with my article, The Construct of Rebellion.

Some might say wasn’t Jesus somewhat of a cultural outcast, like modern day pop culture figures? Well Jesus certainly enjoyed some fun; otherwise he wouldn’t have been at the wedding feast performing his first miracle by turning water into wine no less. However, he was hardly the type of person that endorsed the “its Five o Clock somewhere lifestyle.” He forgave the woman caught in adultery, but told her to “sin no more.” Incidentally, she probably had more clothes on than some who show up at church on Sunday. However, that’s another story.

Our educated world makes excuses for the behavior of those pop stars like Lady Gaga who make edgy and sacrilegious videos and show up in public (at the New York Yankees club house) clad only in undergarments. Those illiterate peoples that lived in Europe one thousand years ago were smart enough to know that despite the corruption they knew existed in the Church, they were far better off listening to the Teachings of the Church than the whims of the world in which they lived. They and their forbearers had witnessed violent feudal warlords that had plunged Europe into centuries of horrific darkness; a darkness that we face today if we listen to the sirens of militant secularism who want us to return to the dying days of Rome.

We often forget it was in those dying days of Rome that many of the elites longed for the days of their elders, when Christianity was outlawed and orgies were commonplace at homes of the movers and shakers of Roman high society, and violent spectacles took place at the coliseum. Today their descendants are gaga over the likes of Lady Gaga, and treat abortion as if it were some sort of coming of age ritual.

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20 Responses to Margaritaville Christianity; God's Way Or Our Way?

  • It’s odd you pick Margaritaville for the title of this post. As you may recall, the lyrics are a not so subtle progression of the singer realizing/admitting that his woes are due to his own fault. A confession, at least, if not a full repentance. That is closer to Christianity than many of the other things you (rightly) point out.

  • If anything, Margaritaville strikes me more as a purgatory than heaven.

  • Matt, the reason I selected Margaritaville as the title was due to the e-mail I received from the woman I mentioned in the article. There really is no disrespect intended to Jimmy Buffett, only to those who look at the mythical Margaritaville as some sort heavenly location. As I indicated in the article, I enjoy Jimmy Buffett’s music and not only have some of his cd’s, but even some albums and dare I say 8 tracks! I agree with you that the lyrics to Margaritaville, as well as others like Son of A Sailor and Come Monday are more introspective than some might otherwise assume.

  • 8 tracks!! Do you still have the equipment to play them?

  • Too bad the pastor likened heaven to Maragaritaville. Although there is plenty of material in the Bible and Church history itself to work with, if he had to use Margaritaville, seems he could have done a much better job focusing on its introspection. But then, I assume this pastor of a mega-church probably does not believe in Purgatory, which would have been a more appropriate comparison.

    I am personally not a big fan of trying to use contemporary pop culture to illuminate Church teaching (particularly since most of pop culture is garbage) but I suppose it can be done with the rare gems that are around and by someone who truly understands what he is doing.

  • My old stereo, complete with 8 Trak died years ago, but I do have a friend that has an operable 8 Trak player (sort of!)

    As for the entertainment based mega churches, I do believe it is the last stopping off point for Catholics & Evangelicals on their way to total isolation from recognizable faith practices. While we have lost too many Catholics to these churches, Evangelicals are in even worse shape as many of their flock have left serious churches for entertainment based mega churches, never to return to an open practice of their faith. One only need look at small towns in rural America where beautiful old mainline churches seemed weathered and beaten, because many left them after their theology and social views took a sharp left turn in the 1970s. The next stop for these folks was often the non denominational church, followed by the entertainment based mega church. When all the bells and whistles were exhausted, many went home.

    Joel Osteen and even Rick Warren have had to make special financial appeals. This reminds me of an e-mail I received shortly after my book, “The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism came out.” Someone e-mailed me as to how exciting Joel Osteen’s services were, and then went on to poke fun at the “boring Catholic Mass,” or so they thought. The e-mailer concluded, “we have fireworks after our service, do you?” I was tempted to say, “not even at gunpoint.” However, I thought that perhaps some liberal Catholic parish might have done this so I held off.

  • This is funny – a few years ago I walked into a liberal Catholic church and was greeted by a huge picture of what looked like to me as Jesus the beach bum. I dubbed it “Jesus of Margaritaville.”

  • Wow Jane that’s wild. My view about liberal Catholic churches is once you think you have seen it all, something like this pops up. Once on vacation, I remember hearing a priest give a homily in which I wasn’t sure if he was talking about Jesus or Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead. However, judging from his tie dye vestements, maybe he thought they were one in the same.

    For the longest time the liberal establishment shunned the mega churches for they perceived them to be part of conservative America. However, following the news that some of the same mega churches that went heavily for GW Bush in 2004 went for Barack Obama in 2008. Now it seems these mega churches aren’t all bad to the discerning liberal in mainstream media or his liberal Catholic follower.

  • Great article. I get frustrated when I read in the news about “Catholics” who want to change our faith and interpret the gospels to their own liking. I think it comes down to obedience. These “teens” have never grown up. You can’t tell them what to think, how to dress, who their friends should be, etc. Plus they are just lying to themselves about the good they are doing when actually they are causing great harm.

  • This morning three young girls in tee-shirts and short shorts took up the offeratory. But normally it seems it is the older men who mostly wear shorts to church. And here in the mountains, you would not think you would find attire more suited to the beach but you do.

    Yes, I have had the sad experience of a world traveler pastor who with his men friends went to Hawaii beaches, Las Vegas, etc. He decorated the church with a bunch of hanging fabric and told us how Jesus ate and drank Hiw way through the Gospels and how we are to enjoy life ‘abuntandly’. He dog has been at the altar and jumped in the baptismal pond during a baptism once. Everyone seems to find it amusing as well as the sometimes off color jokes. One finds mroe reverence and a non=denom entertainment church sometimes.

    Considering the lack of catechesis for 40 years and the ‘liberal’ (unfaithful) bishops who stay in power until either age or the civil authorities remove them, it is something that a remnant remains. But then our church WILL last until the end of time, irregardless of what we sinners do.

  • Very interesting article and comments. I have spent the better part of the last 15 years writing letters to priests, bishops, “Catholic” newspapers, etc., and in general making myself persona non grata to those in my home parish and diocese in New York. Be that as it may, I certainly didn’t write to become popular or well-liked, merely to beg them to consider that they may be failing those of us on the other side of the altar, and how hungry we were for something more than they were offering. What should one do in these instances? I remember that we are called to humility, to refrain from judging others, but when we sit week after week, listening to wishy-washy homilies, never hearing enough about the fact that we are sinners, struggling, or authentic Catholic teaching, seeing EM’s step into the sanctuary in shorts, sloppy pedal pushers, tee shirts, short skirts, skimpy tops, etc., and young people in skirts that barely covers their buttocks, or short shorts, taking up the collection, etc., and you just sit there thinking “what is wrong with people”. Well, here’s what’s wrong….as was mentioned previously, a whole generation of Catholics who were not properly catechized, who are now raising children, who, through no fault of their own, don’t get it. How do you undo years of weak-kneed, spineless bishops, (not all but some) who were more concerned with the bottom line, their standing in the community at large, etc., then to be shepherds to their flocks? How to undo this? It has taken every ounce of self-control I could muster to keep silent, when I sit a row behind a female EM, with a husband couple of young children with her, as she chews gum all throughout Mass, only to get up onto the altar to give us Communion, and she in tight “walking shorts”, and sleeveless tops….I should not have to be distracted from my prayer by this, nor feel the urge to say something to her about her manner of dress or her gum chewing….that should come from the pastor, but needless to say the pastor at this particular church in the diocese of Raleigh, NC, is more concerned with being well-liked and thinking what a great parish he’s got and how wonderful he is, and singing his homily every Christmas at midnight Mass, projecting every baptism, at every Mass, onto the ceiling of the Church, and parading each baby held in the air, up and down the aisles; its all about bells and whistles, and so not about the state of our souls, or a deepening of our spirituality. At 60 years of age, I have almost given up hope, I attend Mass, but look for nothing from it besides the Eucharist, and fullfilment of my obligation, and I watch my grown children, who were raised to love the faith, with reverence and respect, wonder what in the world is going on here, what has happened to the Catholic church. I realize more than ever, we are pretty much out here on our own, and we should learn not to depend upon anyone other than Christ himself.

  • David, the article is a bit long….the problem range from having the cake and eating it too…to Catholics having an identity crisis…they want to identify with the world and its spirit, they don’want to abandon self and self-interest, they do not want to acknowledge their faults and
    sinfulness, they don’t want to imitate Christ nor do they want to imitate Mary the Mother of God. Once all the interior spirituality is suck out of the soul they are left with this empty hull, a graceless void, that will now be filled with the errors of modernisms…dead, dried branches separated from the vine…good for nothings other than to burn. What is the remedy: renewal of theit baptismal vow through consecration to Mary, returning to sacraments of confession for starter…limit your worship at institutions with the 4 legitimate marks of Christ’s True Church: One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic…and upholds the pillars of Faith via: Holy Scripture, the Magesterium, and Oral Tradition. These duplicious, heretics hide behind the rubrics of the Catholic Church do so much harm.

  • Interesting post. I left the Roman Catholic Church for the Byzantine Catholic Church because of the abuses in the liturgy. After suffering liturgical dances, heretical (and unsingable) hymns, invented eucharistic prayers, sermons on the need for “vacations”, extraordinary ministers of communion handing out the Eucharist like mere crackers (without reverence or knowledge of what they were doing) I couldn’t take it anymore. The Lord led me to the local Byzantine Rite Church — I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.
    I was raised in the Latin Rite, but the Novus Ordo is pure torture to me now. Give me a Tridentine Liturgy or the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom/St Basil any day over the watered down liturgy of the Novus Ordo. It’s no wonder that so many Catholics have left the Church in the last 40 years. We’ve been wandering in the desert for that long. I only hope the Latin Rite will reform itself and go back to the Tridentine mass. There was (and is) nothing like it for worshiping the immutable, omnipotent God.

  • These souls move from one pleasure to the next and pay heed to whomever tickles their ears. Suffering and sacrifice has no value, consider something to avoid at all costs, and an annoyance and an inconvenience. This darkness makes them foolish and blind for if they encounter a faithful soul’s correction their either mock, flee, ignore, or take offense…and always always always attack the church, its priests, its Pope and its Teachings, and Scandalize the souls of the faithful first, the innocent second, and the ignorant last…they are the poison arrows and darts hurl at the Church from within. To often the impact of these individuals are minimized to sighs and complaints while casualties of souls occurs because of them. They have trully loss their Catholicity…its a wonderment why do they stay…

  • I’ve worshipped with the Byzantine Mass very, very beautiful…what stuck me most is the humilty of responses and acknowledgement of one sinfulness and repeated prayers for mercy and forgiveness from God…the entire Mass is sung…I will stay with the Latin Rite but my second love is the Byzantine…I hear a Maronite rite will be coming to my city soon…I hope to experience that Mass soon…it is wonderful the beauty of the different rites in union with the Pope and these poor soul forgo this beauty to attend non-denominational gyms.

  • The mention of the Sisters of St. Mary in Ann Arbor brings to mind the recent salutatorian speech in Latin, which wowed the crowd, by a Harvard grad who will be joining the convent. Perhaps Lady Gaga draws a bigger response, but we all know where the path that is wide and easy leads to.

  • Mr. Hartline,

    I admittedly only skimmed your article due to its length. However, I have to heartily and emphatically disagree with you about something you said in the last paragraph ‘There’s nothing wrong with having a cold one or listening to Jimmy Buffet’. The second part of this sentence is where I take issue. I too rather enjoyed Jimmy Buffet. But not too long ago, I made a conscious effort to throw away every last tape and CD of his I owned into the trash. The reason? Buffet promotes rampant promiscuity, lewdness, and drunkeness in many of his songs. As I’m sure you’ll agree, this is completely antithetical to our Catholic faith and morality. It may be ‘fun’ music, of which I listened to it for many years, but it ultimately debases the dignity of women and the beauty of sexual intimacy as God intended between husband and wife. God bless you.

  • Great article and comments! Dave, I used to read The Catholic Report almost every day and I loved your writings there! You might remember that I’m the blind guy who works in Christian radio and we used to correspond occasionally. I know you have good reasons for discontinuing The Catholic Report, but I hope that God will lead you to bring it back someday.

    As usual, your comments are right on target and I agree completely. That’s why I love priests like Father John Corapi. I wish there were more priests like him at our parishes. I would love for Father Corapi to speak at the National Prayer Breakfast or a similar event. Unfortunately, we had to endure Obama’s liberal secular rants and Secretary of State Clinton really made my blood boil when she spoke! Can all of you imagine what it would be like if Father Corapi spoke at one of these events? The way he and others like him preach the truth would make a lot of people squirm but more importantly, it might lead to some conversions.

  • Victor, so good to read your comments. I remember you well. I pray for you and all of the fine folks who were apart of the Catholic Report. Life keeps me busy with faith, family, employment and writing articles. The fact that the so many people are upset at the Church shows that the Church is doing what is necessary. We stumbled for a while, but as with other times in Church History the stumbles are often followed with great bursts of faithful evangelization.

  • I agree with the poster who threw out his buffett cd’s. He is an ex-Catholic and often ridicules the church and specifically altar boys. His music is a scourge that has taken millions down the wrong path in life. He even idiotically blamed bush for the recent gulf oil spill.

The Coming Open Rebellion Against God

Tuesday, February 9, AD 2010

The title of this article almost sounds surreal. At first one could be forgiven for thinking it was some sort of low budget End Times movie seen on some local cable access channel. However, the information contained within this article is real, fortunately, as believers and specifically those of us who are Catholic we know that Jesus promised that His Church would not fall despite the attempts of those working for the evil one. God is the truth and God is love, but the mere fact that He is both has caused many rebellions against him literally from day one. Sadly, those who often claim to be the smartest act the most childish, by at first claiming God doesn’t exist and then claiming if He does exist, He doesn’t make sense at least to them. This article will look at this behavior from the world’s earliest moments, but will mainly focus on what has happened in the last few years, right up until this very moment.

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61 Responses to The Coming Open Rebellion Against God

The Construct of Rebellion

Monday, January 11, AD 2010

In 2010 the Catholic Church in particular and Christianity in general are under attack because age old truths are being abandoned for the Dictatorship of Relativism. One might ask; how did we get here? It didn’t happen overnight; as a matter of fact many of those doing the rebelling actually think they are doing us all a favor.  Centuries and millennium evolved into a construct of rebellion where self appointed leaders who thought knew better than the Church and society itself tried to change all that was sacred and holy into something, they but most importantly their friends in the intelligentsia, could accept. Too many cooks in the kitchen can be bad for your acquired culinary tastes, but when truth is watered down it is something entirely different and far more serious. In this instance, we are talking about souls, not taste buds.  If this is so then how could the thesis of my book, The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism be true? The answer is simple because the world is getting closer and closer to the precipice. Some may chose to jump but thankfully more will chose to come back from ledge into the world of reality and when they do they will see the many positive developments happening in the Church. One’s own mortality has a way of causing self preservation.

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55 Responses to The Construct of Rebellion

  • Well said, Dave. Thank God for Mary’s heel crushing the head of the serpent that is rebellion, or the whole place would have turned into one boring, childish, real-life version of “Wayne’s World.” It’s no wonder so many folks despise her as she has done what they ought to be doing.

  • What is the evidence for The Porsche?

  • My compliments for a well argued post. I am unaware of the O’Brien site or books, but I cannot disagree with any of your assessment nor your conclusions. I have been making a similar argument via my Canadian blog (http://www.frtimmoyle.blogspot.com) trying to point out the logical contradiction of modern day relativism – a contradiction that exists because moderns no longer possess a knowledge or sense of the role of the church in times past. I offer the following taken from one of my posts written when the European court ordered the removal of the crucifix from Italian classrooms:


    Where I freely admit that the governing authority of any school should be able to either choose or not to present this symbol of Christian/Catholic faith, it is entirely another thing to deny the right to express their faith/convictions/belief in the public square. The principle that is expressed as “separation of church and state” also implicitly includes the freedom to express those values that we believe are the path which leads to the betterment of all humanity.??Read the story, and ask yourself whether the secular argument that leads to this European suppression of the freedom of speech of believers is any different from the agenda that marks the direction of North American society today.??This story is proof positive of the price of failing to argue in defence of the principles which are the accumulated human reasoning that stretches back to the earliest days of recorded history. Whether the moral principles of our modern civilization evolved as the refinement of simply human wisdom, or whether it is a still imperfect vision of God’s will, they have brought Western civilization to the point where we are today. The “rights” that are now so suddenly being tossed aside in the last twenty-five years are the foundations upon which the right itself is rooted. The poisoned fruit of the civilizational tree now endangers the root from which it sprang. ??Freedom of expression of faith in the public square must be respected; it is the essential corollary of the freedoms of thought and speech. I pray that leaders of our faith, our Bishops, would look to the European (or Québécois for that matter) social experiment and heed the need to “teach”, in every forum possible, the wisdom and teaching of our Church: to educate those raised in the “sex, drugs and rock and roll” generation (the first generation of essentially uncatechized “C & E” Catholics (i.e., “Christmas and Easter”) who now have moved into society’s corridors of power) of the wisdom of these first principles before they use the levers of power to shape the debate. ??Freedom of life… Freedom of belief… Freedom of speech: these are the Bishops’ menu of first principles to defend in full. Let’s pray that they fashion sumptuous salad of arguments, no matter how appealing the dessert table secularism seems to offer. ??Society needs strong bones to grow and prosper. We eat of the poisoned fruit at our own peril.

    Fr. Tim

  • Excellent commentary, Fr. Tim, which very much reflects why us California voters are now being put on trial for having the temerity to vote for changing the Constitution to limit marriage to one man and one woman.

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  • Lest one begin to think that this is all new, I quote St. Basil to the western bishops in the 4th Century:

    “The dogmas of the Fathers are despised; apostolic traditions are set to nought; the discoveries of innovators hold sway in the churches; men have learned to be speculatists instead of theologians… The aged sorrow comparing what is with what was; more pitiable the young as not knowing what they are deprived of”. [Ep.90]

  • Thank you Dave for letting history teach us, at least some will repeat the errors and call for a “king” to rule and guide or other idols instead of our Lord and Savior. Your recent Times article was excellent also.

  • Dave, you’ll be thrilled to know that Spirit Daily posted this today in its second most prominent spot.

  • Thank you for writing this. Thank you for mentioning the Blessed Mother crushing the devils head.I attend morning mass and pray the daily rosary for conversions and repentence(for many years) and within the last month have had 3 people say they want to come back to the church and I have been taking them to Sunday mass with me. One has already talked with the priest.The other I am taking to a Catholic healing service. The 3rd is actually an unchurched person who accepts what I am teaching him and wants to talk to the parish priest. When the Blessed Mother said she will give graces of conversion and repentance when you say the rosary, she means it. Thank you.

  • Great article !! Truer words were never spoken. We need to hear more of the truth to stir all Catholics
    into reality and into standing up for the Church and our rights.

  • There are 3 essentials ingredients in the Church that keep any soul on the correct road. The Eucharist. Confession and the Rosary. Stay faithful to these and you and your household will be saved. The world is passing away and we are passing through it to something that we can not even begin to understand. Show mercy to all those who are in darkness.

  • As a simple un-educated mother of seven I read the whole article Construct of Rebellion, and thought it was most informative and full of truth.
    However, what it was lacking was the matter of placing some blame on the church itself for the departing of so many Catholics from their true faith during the 2000 years of excistance.
    I asked should the church not have been more alert and listened to the complaints from the faithful on some liturgical customs and for the lack of education in the full deep meaning of scripture and the bible, also the lack of explaination the dogmatic reasons for truth?
    Even the fathers of the church were weak at times and had to also endure the evil one.
    Now we have at least been assured through the workings of the wonderful Popes we have had with John Paul and Benedict that the church will always remain. Both of them have used the media and every other medium to prove that the Catholic church is the only true one to embrace all of the world’s people.

  • as one person commented I echo: Confession, Mass, the Eelfucharist….and let the world blow its up and fall into hell…..or let it REPENT FAST.

    sanctuaryhouse.tumblr.com…….. CALL IT UP…

  • In Worcester, Massachusetts, a Diocese is coming unglued because it embraced dissent and New Age occultism. Visit: http://lasalettejourney.blogspot.com

  • I am wondering which diocese in Worcester Roger is talking about.Eileen George gives monthly

  • teachings there and she is veryorthodox andoutstanding catholic

  • The same diocese which hosts a “Commission for Women” which has New Age links. The same diocese where numerous children have been sexually abused. The same diocese where a Holy Cross professor (and ex priest) promotes homosexuality and is “married” to another man. I could go on but you wouldn’t accept the facts.

  • How does Eileen George feel about the College of the Holy Cross sponsoring Planned Parenthood on its campus? How about the Newman Center at Fitchburg State College promoting homosexuality as a simple variant of normal sexuality as well as homosexual “marriage”? Is she concerned that the Diocesan Commission for Women has links to Joyce Rupp? Read what Donna Steichen and other orthodox Catholics have had to say about Rupp.

    With all due respect for Eileen George, the Diocese of Worcester is losing many of the faithful (75 of 120 parishes are in economic crisis by the Diocese’s own admission) for a reason.

  • Holy Cross has engaged in homosexual agitprop:
    http://hccns.org/articles/news/081115_homosexual-promotion.htm

    Sorry Martha, Eileen George’s presence in the Worcester Diocese doesn’t justify that.

  • While I agree with your basic outline, there are two things that bother me with what you wrote: 1) The many grammatical and typing errors. Sorry, but when people have a good idea and they’re trying to communicate it, it helps to do so with correct punctuation and without typos.

    2) Whether or not people believe what Michael Brown wrote in his book or posts on his site is no indication of their adherence to the truth or lack thereof and no one should take it as such. Mr. Brown may be a Pulitzer-nominated journalist, but that doesn’t mean everything he writes is of the same quality as his work on Love Canal. Mr. Brown is not the sum total of the Catholic Faith. That comes to us from the apostles and their successors.

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  • Thomas, while you may claim to be an excellent grammarian, you might want to brush up on your reading skills. Where did I say or insinuate that Michael Brown is the sum total of the Catholic faith?

  • “Sadly, the construct of rebellion is prevalent in all areas, even among some faithful Catholics.” A construct of rebellion implies that there’s something authoritative against which one can rebel. One cannot rebel against one who does not have authority and Michael Brown does not have authority.

  • “…self appointed leaders who thought [they] knew better than the Church…” It’s the authority of the Church that’s being rebelled against. Not Michael Brown.

    Thomas, are you simply here in an attempt to wear down the author of this article?

  • No, John, I’m not. I made two observations about what I consider to be an otherwise well-constructed argument – grammar and saying that not liking Michael Brown’s book is part of the construct of rebellion.

  • No Thomas, you wrote: “A construct of rebellion implies that there’s something authoritative against which one can rebel. One cannot rebel against one who does not have authority and Michael Brown does not have authority.”

    No one said that Michael Brown is the authority being rebelled against. Instead, the author of the article wrote about, “..self appointed leaders who thought [they] knew better than the Church..” That’s the Church. Not Michael Brown.

    You are engaging in dishonesty.

  • On the contrary, John. The author writes (with my edits): “However, the pull of being accepted by the world is tough even for self-professed, orthodox-minded Catholics. For example, the secular scholarly world rolls its eyes and snickers at modern day miracles and apparitions. One of the most popular Catholic websites, Spirit Daily, is one such site that makes mention of both. However, mention you read this site and you are bound to be looked at with suspicion even in the world of orthodox-minded Catholicism…It would seem that for some, the fear of being lumped in with those who see the Blessed Mother in every scrap of burnt toast or every dilapidated barn door holds far more sway than believing that the Blessed Mother has appeared in human history to bring attention to her Son, the Savior of us all. Sadly, the construct of rebellion is prevalent in all areas, even among some faithful Catholics.”

    Hence my statement that in order to rebel, one must have something authoritative against which to rebel. Just because people don’t like what Michael Brown writes — no matter how well researched it is — doesn’t mean they’re part of the construct of rebellion. I certainly accept that Mary appears in the world and that God works miracles. I don’t necessarily like Michael Brown’s approach.

  • This kind of dialogue appears to be feeding the egos of the individuals. Are we working for our own glory or God’s. I think the best road to travel is the one of Humilty and Love. Why not focus on ourselves individually and see where we are on the road of repentance and reconciliation.

    Better still why don’t we focus on Christian Unity and do positive things, – let us do the will of the Father and not our own, let us take this opportunity to love one another and at least celebrate Easter on the same date every year. At least the rest of the world will see that we are united on the essence of our faith; the death and resurection of Jesus Christ.
    It is only through unity that we will have :
    Peace, Love and Reconciliation
    Mary Joanne
    onedate.org

  • I don’t appreciate your unfair criticism Mary. I was merely attempting to defend what the author wrote. Hiw words are being twisted. There is no peace without truth Mary. It is the truth which sets us free (John 8:32), not falsehood.

  • The author wrote, “…It would seem that for some, the fear of being lumped in with those who see the Blessed Mother in every scrap of burnt toast or every dilapidated barn door holds far more sway than believing that the Blessed Mother has appeared in human history to bring attention to her Son, the Savior of us all. Sadly, the construct of rebellion is prevalent in all areas, even among some faithful Catholics…”

    What the author is saying is that because some rebel against the Church’s authority, they even reject or disregard Our Lady’s appearances to mankind. Our Lady always leads people to Jesus her Son and His Church. The author is not saying. or suggesting in any way, that Michael Brown is some sort of ersatz Magisterium of the Church or Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

    To suggest otherwise is to engage in dishonesty.

  • Thomas, you are demonstrating the pedantic nature of the “lawyerly” arguments for Relativism. Argue all the brush strokes away and soon the painting itself will no longer exist for you.

  • “Just because people don’t like what Michael Brown writes — no matter how well researched it is — doesn’t mean they’re part of the construct of rebellion. I certainly accept that Mary appears in the world and that God works miracles. I don’t necessarily like Michael Brown’s approach.”

    I agree. I read Spirit Daily, probably more than I should, and I always come away from the site with confusion, not peace.

    What has always bothered me about Michael Brown is his very heavy reliance on non-Church approved apparitions, particularly the “1990 prophecy”. It’s clear to me that he believes all of them, even those which have not received Church approval. I certainly believe Mary has and still does appear in the world, but there are so many alleged apparitions, and many of them contradict each other.

    I certainly don’t believe they should all be thrown out, but they need to be examined. Michael Brown is always going on about today’s Church “throwing out the mystical”, but I don’t believe that’s a fair claim. Why is it so “bad” to discern these apparitions, and if something about one doesn’t make sense, discard it? Why did God give us intellects if He doesn’t want us to use them?

    Michael Brown may be well-intentioned, but the net result of reading his site is confusion.

  • Elizabeth writes “What has always bothered me about Michael Brown is his very heavy reliance on non-Church approved apparitions, particularly the “1990 prophecy”. It’s clear to me that he believes all of them, even those which have not received Church approval.”

    Elizabeth, calumny is a sin. I would refer you to what the Catechism of the Catholic Church has to say in that regard. Mr. Brown has said – repeatedly – that we MUST accept the Church’s final decision on ANY apparition site. And this includes Medjugorje. For you to imply that Mr. Brown is someow failing to discern the authenticity of an apparition site or that he does not accept the Church’s ultimate authority is preposterous.

    Gaudium et Spes (specifically No. 28) forbids judging a person’s interior dispositions. I suggest you meditate very carefully on that teaching.

  • In Fides et Ratio, No. 16, Pope John Paul II teaches us that, “The world and all that happens within it, including history and the fate of peoples, are realities to be observed, analysed and assessed with all the resources of reason, but without faith ever being foreign to the process. Faith intervenes not to abolish reason’s autonomy nor to reduce its scope for action, but solely to bring the human being to understand that in these events it is the God of Israel who acts. Thus the world and the events of history cannot be understood in depth without professing faith in the God who is at work in them. Faith sharpens the inner eye, opening the mind to discover in the flux of events the workings of Providence. Here the words of the Book of Proverbs are pertinent: “The human mind plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps” (16:9). This is to say that with the light of reason human beings can know which path to take, but they can follow that path to its end, quickly and unhindered, only if with a rightly tuned spirit they search for it within the horizon of faith. Therefore, reason and faith cannot be separated without diminishing the capacity of men and women to know themselves, the world and God in an appropriate way.”

    Faith and reason are described by His Holiness in this important Encyclical Letter as two lungs. Imagine how difficult it is to breathe properly with only one lung!

    Michael Brown is all for discernment of private revelation. But, along with St. Paul, he believes that we shouldn’t despise prophecy. Understand the difference?

  • peter santos: You accuse Elizabeth of sin because she expresses concerns about a Catholic writer and speaker. You accuse her of “judging a person’s interior dispositions”, and then lecture her on how she should meditate on Church documents.

    Elizabeth states that, in her opinion, Michael Brown relies heavily on non-Church approved apparitions, particularly the “1990 prophecy”. This is not judging Mr. Brown’s “interior dispositions”, but simply stating fact. On Spirit Daily, Mr. Brown mentions the “1990 prophecy” VERY frequently, and is quick to defend Medjugorje. Yes, he does state clearly that we should accept the final decisions of the Church on these matters. But, that does not negate what Elizabeth wrote.

    It seems to me that because you disagree with Elizabeth YOU assume evil motives on HER part. She says nothing in her post that would constitute the “sin” you claim she has committed. YOU are the one who has accused someone of sin because of a post. Elizabeth makes no such accusation.

    As an aside, I follow Spirit Daily and have for about 4 years now. I enjoy reading both the links and Mr. Brown’s own articles. Much discernment is needed in digesting these writings, clearly, as Mr. Brown’s opinions do not constitute official Church teaching. Stating that plain fact is NOT a sin, Peter.

  • For Elizabeth to assert that Michael Brown believes all apparitions or private revelation, “even those which have not received Church approval,” is calumnious. It’s a lie. He has written against certain private revelations which were obviously false. The rest he commends to the Church.

    Calumny is, objectively speaking, sinful. It may even constitute grave sin. It offends against both charity and truth. It is a violation of justice.

  • For Elizabeth (and anyone else who falsely accuses Michael Brown of accepting all apparitions), I submit the following words of Mr. Brown himself from 2005:

    Discerning Apparitions A Difficult Process

    [Q & A by Michael H. Brown]

    In the past twenty years there has been an explosion of alleged apparitions, locutions, stigmatics, and healers. Which are real and which are not?

    I would never attempt such a list, because I don’t have the authority to do so. We simply go by what the Church has decided, unless there is not yet a decision, in which case we try to exercise discernment.

    How do you tell if an apparition is real?

    This is one of the hardest questions in the world to answer. The process of what we call “discernment” is intensely complex. It’s also very personal. There is no formula. Some apparitions miss certain criteria and yet bear signs of authenticity while others seem to fill most standards but have problems at their very root. In the end, only through prayer and fasting can we get a true inkling. It is the spirit — not the mind — that discerns.

    You mean a “gut feeling”?

    No. I mean a feeling in the depths of the spirit after a period of fasting. When we fast, we are more sensitive to evil. We are more likely to know if it is present. This is very important.

    But aren’t there some tips to discernment?

    In the Bible it says that “by their fruits you will know them,” and so this is certainly one major facet. But we have to be careful about what we consider “fruits.” I have seen many cases in which people adhering to what turned out to be a deceptive circumstance had a great first impression, or even found the visit a major step in their return to the faith, to their conversion. God can take good from evil. He can draw with crooked lines. It is for that reason that we must be careful in speaking negatively about a circumstance, even if there are indications of problems; we don’t want to discourage those who have had good experiences.

    Are there often problems?

    Most claims of apparitions, visions, or locutions are a mix — in other words, there are parts that seem inspired, parts that come from the person’s subconscious, and parts that may be from a source that is deceptive or demonic. All of us are in touch with God and those who feel they have a special “line” of communication may in some cases have such a special gift, although too frequently this leads to ego, and ego leads to a person putting his or her own spin on what they think they have been “told.” This is very common, and why so many predictions do not materialize: The prophecy was not a direct communication but filtered through the ideas, preconceptions, and feelings of a person. It is the demonic component that of course concerns us the most. A demonic influence can cause not only spiritual trickery but also deep discouragement, division, and illness.

    Is divisiveness a standard of discernment?

    Certainly, it’s one. Now, remember that even with the authentic apparitions like Fatima or Lourdes or Medjugorje, which the Pope discerned as worthy of devotion (in recently publicized private letters), there is resistance. There is spiritual warfare. And that can lead to division. There will be some division. But that division usually is far outweighed by good fruits such as conversion. If division is the main effect, or if there is constant, lasting rancor, and a lack of peace, then there is a problem with the apparitions. We can also say to watch out for pride among the seers, attempts at self-promotion, and the spawning of a cult-like following. Cults in the bad sense of that term are a bad fruit (there are also holy cults, when proclaimed as such by Rome). Those who begin to exclude others because they don’t believe in a certain apparition are not in tune with the Holy Spirit, Who tells us through the Church that we don’t have to accept a private revelation. Meanwhile, we must watch for prophecies that are too gloomy and dark, that give messages of tremendous specificity, that ramble on at great length, and that contain messages threatening people who don’t believe in the particular revelation. There are some messages that have denounced anyone who won’t help purvey a private revelation. As soon as I see that, I know there is deception.

    What about those that mention the anti-christ?

    We have to weigh these with special caution. In my discernment there is truth to the coming of a personage of evil, and certainly major events, but we have to be cautious about believing that the coming scenario will exactly fit the scenarios spawned by those who have speculated on specific end-times schedules. Are we in the end times? We are at the end of an era. It is a very, very important time. It is not the end of the world. What is about to happen will fit the general prophetic pulse we have heard now for nearly 25 years (since the onset of Medjugorje, which caused an explosion in private revelation), but it will occur in ways we don’t specifically anticipate and that make sense (the feeling of, “oh, yeah, of course”) only in retrospect.

    What percent of seers are authentic?

    It’s impossible to say. What we can say is that very, very few are corporeal apparitions at the level of a Lourdes or Fatima. “Corporeal” is to see the Blessed Mother as a full-bodied, multi-dimensional apparition similar to the way we see another person: with eyes wide open. Some who claim this are imagining it, are projecting a “vision,” and a vision can be authentic, but it is not at the level of an apparition.

    How prevalent is actual demonism in alleged revelations?

    It is not uncommon. That is one way to put it. This is the fast lane of mysticism, which is one reason the Church is cautious. I might add that I am always perplexed by why a local bishop usually uses the term, “no evidence of the supernatural,” to dismiss a troublesome apparition. Often, there is plenty of evidence of the supernatural, but it’s supernaturality that is coming from the wrong source. At the same time, and overall, private revelation is of great benefit and as in Jesus’ time, among the Pharisees and Sadducees, it is sorely neglected by the official Church.

    Is the U.S. Church more closed and skeptical toward apparitions and phenomena like weeping statues than other nations?

    Yes, due to our scientific bent, much more skeptical.

    Why do you believe in Medjugorje?

    I have been there I think seven times, and I didn’t believe in it the first few hours I was there. I thought it was collective hysteria. Then I started to see phenomena myself — a lot of it — and tremendous, tremendous fruit, whereby virtually everyone who was going there was experiencing a deepening of faith or outright conversion unlike any other religious encounter with which I was familiar, just really profound and in most cases lasting. I had never seen people touched on such a massive scale. Dozens of millions have been affected in a way that can be compared only with older sites such as Lourdes or with trips to the Holy Land. Medjugorje leaves a feeling of peace and well-being and conversion.

    Whereas a false apparition?

    Another way of discerning a false apparition or a false anything is that it tends to drain you. It takes your energy. This is a hidden means of discernment: it takes more than it gives. It is temporary. This is often a good way to evaluate any situation, although like everything else in this field, there are exceptions (no foolproof means of discernment). We are very open to mysticism — it is crucial to our time and to any time — but we urge folks not to become involved in new such claims unless they are fasting and staying close to the New Testament. Daily reading of the Bible puts us in the correct frame of mind and is probably the best way to discern an apparition.

    06/27/05

    As for his acceptance of Medjugorje, there is nothing against faith there. A decision has not been made regarding that alleged apparition site. Mr. Brown has already said that he will ACCEPT THE CHURCH’S DECISION.

    Elizabeth is engaging in calumny. She should make this right.

  • I don’t understand where you’re coming from. How can you be so bold as to assume I’m in a state of mortal sin? Isn’t that up to God to judge? Not you?

    What exactly IS the “1990 prophecy”? Has it undergone Church scrutiny? Has it been submitted to any Church authorities for discernment and/or approval? I have been reading Spirit Daily for about 5 or 6 years. This is what I meant by an unapproved private revelation. There is no source and no mention of it ever being submitted to the Church.

    Medjugorje is different. It hasn’t been formally approved by the Church, but the Church is more than aware of it, so to speak. Not so with the 1990 prophecy.

    There is good on his site (his articles on Maria Esperanza, but much that leaves me, and others I’m sure, scratching their heads. There is a lot of stuff from his “mailbag” that makes me wonder. How much of this is real, and how much of it is coming from people’s overwrought imaginations? He needs to be more careful when presenting these viewpoints and some sites he links to. It’s all very confusing and doesn’t help the average person on their spiritual journey. That is all.

  • Elizabeth, Peter never said you are in “a state of mortal sin.” Your dishonesty is showing again. He wrote, “Calumny is, objectively speaking, sinful. It may even constitute grave sin. It offends against both charity and truth. It is a violation of justice.”

    You falsely accused Mr. Brown of accepting ALL private revelation, “even those which have not received Church approval.” This is – objectively speaking – calumnious. But rather than acknowledging that your post was false and unjust, you now assume a defensive posture and accuse Peter of judging your soul.

    When will your dishonesty cease? You are behaving very poorly.

  • I know what I wrote. I don’t appreciate Elizabeth’s false accusation against me.

  • This is the time I will ever read or visit this site. I’ve been accused of being a poor reader, of trying to wear down an author after a mere two posts, being dishonest, being egotistical, twisting words which were clearly written, and of being a relativist. Elizabeth comes along and gives her opinion that Michael Brown relies too heavily on Marian apparitions and personal revelation and she’s accused of calumny. There is no engagement of ideas here, only personal animus. The impression one is left with is that if one does not agree with everything written at this site, then that one is necessarily part of the construct of rebellion. Not exactly the best impression to leave with anyone.

  • Sorry, meant to say “This is the last time I will ever read or visit this site.”

  • Thomas, you’re not here to participate in a “dialogue.” Like Elizabeth, you’re here to level false accusations. Read Peter’s post of Michael Brown’s article from 2005. He does not accept all private revelation uncritically. Nor has anyone (including himself) held up Mr. Brown as “the authority” on all private revelation.

    As Christians, let us refrain from such falsehoods.

  • I will never cease to be amazed how the internet has the capacity to take a solid, well formed argument for the faith, and transform it into this demonstration of the classic “my father can beat up your father” form of analysis (or in this case, “my Mary can beat up your Mary” such as this thread has morphed into.

    Will wonders ever cease.

    Yes indeed, a great illustration of how the the internet is a wonderful tool for the faith… or is it that the internet is the place to witness the faith of tools?

  • Apparently Fr. Moyle has no problem with calumny. Maybe he should brush up on his Catechism. If this thread has “morphed” into something unproductive, it is because of unfair allegations and misinterpretations.

    Asinine comment Father. With all due respect for your priestly office. Asinine.

  • “Detraction and calumny destroy the reputation and honor of one’s neighbor. Honor is the social witness given to human dignity, and everyone enjoys a natural right to the honor of his name and reputation and to respect. Thus, detraction and calumny offend against the virtues of justice and charity.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2479).

    I would exhort those who visit this thread to read Michael Brown’s 2005 article on discerning private revelation and hold Elizabeth’s false accusations up to the light of truth.

  • I agree with you Peter. Where was Father Tim when Elizabeth was leveling a false accusation against Michael Brown? He chides you for exposing Elizabeth’s false accusation against Michael Brown and showing it for what it is and describes it as a “my father can beat up your father form of analysis.”

    Father is a disappointment.

  • I am closing this thread.

    In the future please stay on the topic at hand.

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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.

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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!

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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!

The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism Because The Pope of Christian Unity (Pope Benedict XVI) Is Gathering the Scattered Flocks Left Behind by Those Who Thought They Knew Better Than The Church

Sunday, November 22, AD 2009

The Catholic Church has always had a bull’s-eye attached to it, and in truth many of us wouldn’t want it any other way, for when we are almost universally loved, as has happened a few times in the last 40 years we have become “of the world,” instead of suffering for the world.”  Lately, during the pontificates of Pope John Paul II and now Pope Benedict XVI dark forces have gathered at the gates of truth attacking the Church for a variety of long held beliefs.  These beliefs can range from the theological to the social. However, following the US Election of 2008 a tidal wave seems to have inundated the Church from the mainstream media, the political realm and even the entertainment world. The Church’s 2,000 year old teachings and beliefs have been attacked in the United States and Western Europe from elected officials, the mainstream media and well known entertainment celebrities. Some of the faithful have become discouraged and questioned me as to how the thesis of my book, The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism, could possibly be true in light of this news.

The truth of the matter is that against this troubling backdrop the Church continues to grow around the world, especially in African and Asia but even in North America, where much of the onslaught against the Church has emanated. Seminaries and Mother Houses often have no room for those pursuing a vocation and those young African and Asian men and women are often sent to the US or Europe to explore their vocation. Even in the US and pockets of Europe seminaries are experiencing a mini boom. One seminary rector told me that in the 40+ plus years of being affiliated with the Church, he has never seen a longer sustained period of top notch orthodox minded young men coming in and being ordained as he has seen in the last 10 years. Perhaps this is why the powers that be are so angry.

It seemed the US midterm Election of 2006 emboldened the cause of those militant liberals and secularists who have contempt for much of what orthodox minded Catholicism holds dear. Following the results of the Election of 2008, many pundits proclaimed the results as a sea change for America. Agnostics and atheists gleefully announced that a world where religion and especially conservative or orthodox minded Catholicism held sway was being replaced by a humanist brand of religion where age old teachings were replaced by the ideas of “enlightened” religious leaders, agnostic thinkers, and pop culture celebrities. It seemed this new brand of liberal thinker was less idealistic than their 1960s peers and displayed an anger and hostility that was a far cry from the utopian idealism displayed some 40 years ago. Yet, beneath the surface and below the radar screens of many news organizations, lies the hope of the Catholic faithful who hold on to the ideas  imparted by Christ, His Apostles, Popes, Bishops, Priests, Women Religious, Saints and holy laymen and laywomen throughout the centuries.

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6 Responses to The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism Because The Pope of Christian Unity (Pope Benedict XVI) Is Gathering the Scattered Flocks Left Behind by Those Who Thought They Knew Better Than The Church

  • I appreciate your message of hope.

    Your title is way, way too long!

  • The Church, the holy bishops and priests, the laiety, and the Holy Father certainly have Satan running scared!

  • I have been told by some evangelicals that there belief that eventually all orthodox christians will be under the care and protection of the Catholic Church. Even though there is disagreement among them. I tend to agree with there reasoning and from the signs we are seeing. I pray that the holy spirit comes to all those that need the help to come home.

  • As usual Dave, you tell like it is. Although some did not like Bishop Tobin’s public response to Patrick Kennedy, who found out quickly that his ilk will no longer be tolerated in his actions against the tenets of the Church, I belive more and more Bishops have come to the realization, that speaking out after conferring with these so called “catholics” has strenghtened the laity. Take care and God Bless.

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  • Splendid column as usual, Dave. No doubt the damage wrought by Luther will be repaired and unity restored, thanks to the secularists whose relentless assault have recently spurred the Christians to draw a line in the sand with the Manhattan Declaration to show that they will not render to Caesar what is God’s.