Who Do We Say That He Is?

Thursday, September 8, AD 2016

 

My bride and I are teaching a CCD class of fifth and sixth graders.  The kids are a joy:  inquisitive and bright.  One of the topics last evening was the Trinity.  When we came to Jesus we described him as the Son of God.  One of our students later asked if Mary was the only human conceived without sin, what about Jesus.  I replied that Jesus was also conceived without sin, but that we could never encompass Jesus just among humans since he was both God and Man.  My bride then quoted Scripture:  “A Man like us in all things but sin.”  The great question for all of us remains that one posed by Jesus twenty centuries ago:  “Who do you say that I am?”  Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently in defense of the Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith, at his blog, Midwest Conservative Journal, attacks one of the most common mistaken answers to that question by contemporary leftists:

 

You know what would be awesome, asks New York Times über-douche columnist Nick Kristof.  If Christians didn’t have to believe a bunch of stupid rules and stuff:

One puzzle of the world is that religions often don’t resemble their founders.

I now officially have a bad feeling about this.

Jesus never mentioned gays or abortion but focused on the sick and the poor, yet some Christian leaders have prospered by demonizing gays.

Whoa, whoa, whoa.  Slow WAY down there, cowboy.  “Demonizing gays?”  Really?  You really want to go there, Nick?  News flash.  For 2,000 years, Christians taught that homosexual activity was a sin.  There, I said it.  And if you think that telling someone that his alcoholism is destroying himself and his family or suggesting that maybe he might want to think about not doing his best friend’s really hot and quite underage daughter on a regular basis is “demonizing,” then yeah, guilty as charged, Nick.

It’s what actual Christians are supposed to do.

By the way, Nick, if you’re interested, here’s a partial list of other stuff that Jesus “never mentioned.”  Genocide, overdue library books, racism, recycling, fracking, using fossil fuels, running with scissors, Mohammed, nuclear war,  jaywalking, preventing global warming, preventing global cooling, preventing global lukewarming, the “human right” of men who claim that they’re women to use women’s rest rooms, Donald Trump, “Islamophobia,” Whole Foods’ criminally-excessive mark-up, why anyone anywhere thought Seinfeld was funny, gender pay equity, Hillary Clinton, the inanity of Twitter, the fact that über-airhead Maureen Dowd still has a New York Times column, “homophobia,” the fact that St. Louis doesn’t have an AHL team while Chicago, Toronto and San Jose do, suicide bombings, political corruption, “transphobia,” the University of Oregon’s football uniforms, driving while intoxicated, blogging while intoxicated, putting free tampons in men’s bathrooms, the NFL, etc.

Do you see where I’m going with this, Nick?  Of all the weak arguments in the leftist Christian arsenal, the “Jesus never said anything about it” dodge is pretty much the single weakest arrow in their quiver.  But Nick’s not worried.  Because he’s got some serious Christian firepower backing him up.

“Our religions often stand for the very opposite of what their founders stood for,” notes Brian D. McLaren, a former pastor, in a provocative and powerful new book, “The Great Spiritual Migration.”

“No wonder more and more of us who are Christians by birth, by choice, or both find ourselves shaking our heads and asking, ‘What happened to Christianity?’” McLaren writes. “We feel as if our founder has been kidnapped and held hostage by extremists. His captors parade him in front of cameras to say, under duress, things he obviously doesn’t believe. As their blank-faced puppet, he often comes across as anti-poor, anti-environment, anti-gay, anti-intellectual, anti-immigrant and anti-science. That’s not the Jesus we met in the Gospels!”

McLaren is as much of a Christian as Oprah Winfrey.  Nick’s piece just gets dumber and dumber so I’m going to bail out now.  But I’ll leave you with the fact that while there are a lot of sins that Jesus never directly mentioned, there were quite a few sins that He did mention.  And none of that latter group of sins, Nick, will sit well with Millennials.

Take adultery.  According to Jesus, adultery is not just bumping uglies with that hot woman you’re not married to.  If you see a woman in the grocery store, say, and you think, “Boy, what I wouldn’t give to be able to hit that” then congratulations.  You’re officially an adulterer.

Murder is bad?  So is being angry with someone.

Just can’t keep your eyes off this really hot divorced chick one pew over?  Not such a hot idea.

And then there’s this.

But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man.  For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.

That’s the real Jesus, Nick.  Not the one that people like you and Bri-Bri invented to deaden your consciences.

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18 Responses to Who Do We Say That He Is?

  • Sad, but the old deceiver never seems to run out of minions to do his work for him.
    Worse yet, is that many a loon will buy into this haggis and sell it as prime rib.

    On this Nativity of Mary, let us smile and thank God that he has chosen a little Jewish girl to thwart the proud activities of Lucifer and his followers. In the end, the little Mary will crush and defeat the pompous devil and his colleagues. In the end, She is victorious!

  • Yeah, Philip? Going to have to call you on the haggis blast, buddy. I happen to like haggis. 🙂

  • CJ.

    Oops….. I should of said tripe.

  • Yes, I always love it when secularists try to lecture Christians on the ‘real’ Jesus, which is inevitably a confused blend of half-baked History channel specials, sappy greeting cards, and whatever prejudices and ideas they’ve been told they ought to hold this week.

  • God grant that I may never have to read a book that a NYT writer calls “provocative and powerful”.

  • Camille Paglia is a left-leaning intellectual who possesses a bracing honesty all
    too rare among her ilk. While I often disagree with a number of things she has
    to say, I feel she nailed it in her assessment of the New York Times: “Anyone
    who still thinks the Times is ‘America’s paper of record’ hasn’t been paying
    attention for the last twenty years”– and she said that over fifteen years ago.

    Mr. Johnson’s takedown of Kristof’s bilge is right on target. The Times should be
    embarrassed it printed such twaddle. It’s just sad.

  • …”Could Christians migrate from defining their faith as a system of beliefs to expressing it as a loving way of life?”

    That would be a migration away from religious bureaucracy and back to the moral vision of the founder…

    Says who? The Founder seemed to be interested in both. He was willing to lose followers over both doctrine and charity. He spent a lot of time with the crowd, but talked differently to the Twelve. Even among the Apostles there were three who were of obviously higher rank, and one of those was preeminent. The Founder would have lived to a ripe old age if He’d kept quiet about the doctrine of the Incarnation. He made it clear that love was the nature of God, which is a doctrinal position, and without that position, the charity within a religion inevitably falters.

  • My term for the times, the New York Slimes, is more apropro as time goes on. The Slimes and the Compost, the East Coast Left Wing Tag Team, are garbage journalism. The people who believe everything they read in them are comfortable in their cocoons of ideology, because they can’t face the truth.

  • Who do we say that He is, indeed. When your student asked about Mary being the only human conceived without sin, I believe your answer was too vague. Mary is the only human person conceived without sin. I tell my students (or anyone else who asks) that Jesus never was, is not now, and never will be a human person. Jesus is a Divine Person, and there is nothing at all human about Jesus’ personage. Your students are bright. Teach them the nuts and bolts of the dogma of the Hypostatic Union, which is the terror of Modernists. Once your students learn that Jesus the Person is Divine, and Divine only, not only will many other things fall into place for them, but they will also be more unlikely to be hoodwinked by some loonytune Jesuit telling them that Jesus was a naughty boy at the finding in the temple, or that the real miracle, was that everyone “shared” at the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. Jesus. True God and True Man, but the Person of Jesus is Divine, and Divine only.

  • James.

    Adam and Eve were human.
    Prior to their fall they too we’re conceived without original sin….. just saying. ?

  • Were Adam and Eve conceived?

  • What is conception?

    Did God conceive an idea, man from dust spirit from breath life from nothing? Woman from rib if man? Is that not a type of conception yet not in the context of man/woman conception? I ask humbled, because I don’t know. Adam and Eve were spotless humans conceived from God’s heart and breath. They knew not sin. Not, of course, until they bought the lie.

    Immaculately conceived, our first parents?

    Why not?

  • I tell my students (or anyone else who asks) that Jesus never was, is not now, and never will be a human person. Jesus is a Divine Person, and there is nothing at all human about Jesus’ personage.

    Hypostatic Union anyone?

  • Or maybe I’m not understanding James’ use of “personage,” since that “nothing at all human about Jesus'” reads Docetist and/or <a href=http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01615b.htm<Apollanarian to me. Also monophysite.

  • There is nothing Docetist in my statement. I have read the dogma of the Hypostatic Union, and I believe it. A simple question that I will ask Ernst, and that I request the readers of this blog to ask at their parish churches of pewsitting Catholics. Five words. “Is Jesus a human person?”

  • Having a human intellect, will and rational soul as well as a human body. Alike us in all things except sin.
    .
    I wasn’t trying to pick a fight. It just happens that I’ve been rereading this book and, well, you triggered me, as all the smart kids are wont to say.
    .
    Also, respectfully, I think that’s the wrong way to phrase the question. Answer yes, and you risk denying or diminishing his divinity. Answer no, and you risk doing the same to his humanity. So it seems the better way to put the question is: “Does Jesus’s divinity take anything away from his humanity?”
    .
    And it wouldn’t surprise me if we need to more clearly define the terms of my rephrase if we want to avoid misunderstanding.

  • Ernst, in reading your earlier post, I got no vibe that you were trying to pick a fight, and I appreciate that, and neither am I. In your most recent post at 10:40 pm on the 11th, I completely disagree with your saying that is the wrong way to phrase the question. “Answer yes, and you risk denying or diminishing his divinity. Answer no, and you risk doing the same to his humanity.” I say that if you answer yes, yo are denying the dogma of the Hypostatic Union. Answer no, and you are answering correctly to the question. There is no diminishing of Jesus’ divinity or his humanity, in stating the truth, which is that Jesus is a divine person. The Hypostatic Union should be studied well and long by all Catholics, for in doing so, they can deepen their faith and understanding in in both Jesus’ divinity, and his humanity. I like to refer back to the article on the Incarnation at Catholic Encyclopedia on New Advent. It is a pretty fair refresher. I don’t much venture to the dark side, anymore, but when I used to associate with liberals, whether they were Catholic or not, they would vehemently deny to a man (or woman) any sort of divinity in connection with Jesus, be it his nature, or the very person of Jesus. That is to be expected. But what I find rather sad, is the frequency that I encounter among what I believe to be rather orthodox Catholics, who just cannot bring themselves to say that Jesus is a divine person. I know from experience (and yes, part of that is personal) that once a Catholic dives in and learns the person of Jesus and his natures and all that entails, then that Catholic has donned an armor shield with which to withstand the slings and arrows that are sure to come his way. A pleasure to converse with you

Gangster Government

Tuesday, July 5, AD 2016

 

Hillary-Clinton-Above-the-Law

Hillary-Clinton-Above-the-Law

 

Christopher Johnson at Midwest Conservative Journal says it all:

From the United States Code, Title 18, section 793(f):

Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

There’s nothing in there about whether or not Hillary “intended” to break the law, Jimmy boy.

Today, the FBI sold out the Rule of Law in America. After describing clear evidence of extensive mishandling of classified national security information, FBI Director James Comey announced that the FBI will not recommend indicting former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. This is naked crony government, ugly and exposed. Comey’s decision will go down as one of the government’s worst assaults on truth in its War on Honesty.

Today’s press conference was, in many respects, an exercise in legal and cognitive dissonance. Comey acknowledged Clinton sent and received Top Secret emails that “any reasonable person” understands not to discuss on an unclassified system.

Red flags? Excuse me, sir—that’s a crime.

Comey also acknowledged her email system was housed on unclassified personal servers that lacked full time security systems. Indeed, nations and groups hostile to the U.S. could have hacked the system. Comey acknowledged “hostile actors” hacked individuals corresponding with Clinton on her unauthorized system. She also used her unsecured personal system outside of the U.S.—in places where sophisticated adversaries could hack her communications.

Comey called this careless. Sir, it is reprehensible. It is reckless disregard of American security.

Then he said he would not recommend indictment.

This is beyond outrage. Everyone who has carried a Top Secret clearance and had access to Top Secret information knows that Clinton has criminally violated the laws protecting classified information. These laws serve a purpose. Protecting security secrets is essential to protecting America.

I am certain [Comey] expects an angry reaction, and he should also expect sustained anger. Public trust in the federal government is near an all-time low, and Comey’s decision is a heavy blow. Elitists should prepare for sustained disrespect of laws they favor. A large slice of the American population, fed up with crony government and crony capitalism, will begin experimenting with civil disobedience. As a former community organizer, President Obama is no position to object.

You know that Hillary Clinton has taken a torpedo amidships when the KINDEST POSSIBLE spin anyone can put on this travesty of justice is that Hillary is too bonecrushingly stupid to even be allowed on a White House tour, never mind being elected to the presidency of the most powerful country in the world as even the Washington Post’s Chris Cilizza admits.

Here’s the good news for Hillary Clinton: The FBI has recommended that no charges be brought following its investigation of the former secretary of state’s private email server.

Here’s the bad news: Just about everything else.

FBI Director James B. Comey dismantled large portions of Clinton’s long-told story about her private server and what she sent or received on it during a stirring 15-minute news conference, after which he took no questions. While Comey exonerated Clinton, legally speaking, he provided huge amounts of fodder that could badly hamstring her in the court of public opinion.

Most importantly, Comey said the FBI found 110 emails on Clinton’s server that were classified at the time they were sent or received. That stands in direct contradiction to Clinton’s repeated insistence she never sent or received any classified emails. And it even stands in contrast to her amended statement that she never knowingly sent or received any classified information.

And while OJ Simpson was cleared of murdering his wife and Ronald Goldman, it did not ultimately matter much what a California court wrongly decided since from that moment, Simpson’s life was effectively over.

That said, campaigns aren’t governed by the ultimate legality of what Clinton did or didn’t do. So, while dodging an indictment is a good thing — she isn’t under criminal investigation and remains a candidate — it’s a far different thing from being cleared (or even close to it) in the court of public opinion.

For a candidate already badly struggling on questions of whether she is honest and trustworthy enough to hold the office to which she aspires, Comey’s comments are devastating. Watching them, I could close my eyes and imagine them spliced into a bevy of 30-second ads — all of which end with the FBI director rebuking Clinton as “extremely careless.”

So where are we?

(1) None of this should shock or surprise anyone since The Single Most Lawless Presidential Administration In The History Of This Country, The Nixon Administration Included corrupts everything it touches and everyone connected with it.  But the Federal Bureau of Investigation has taken a hit from which it may take a generation to recover.  And that hit was entirely self-inflicted.

(2) Remember when people asked, “Do you really want someone like Donald Trump anywhere near this country’s nuclear launch codes?”  Considering everything that’s transpired, any country that would allow Hillary Clinton near those codes has a national death wish.

(3) Hillary Clinton might be the stupidest person who has ever lived.  Or she might the most arrogant (but there’s no reason why she can’t be both).  Either way, electing her to the most powerful office in this land would signal open season on her and on rest of the left’s political enemies.  And probably the downfall of the republic.

(4) Because if the American people are mentally challenged enough to elect the Va-Jay-Jay, it’s not too hard to imagine many state legislatures suddenly taking a, for lack of a better term, “Jacksonian” view of the “rule of law.”

Let’s say that the State of Missouri elects a conservative Republican governor this fall and keeps its Republican-dominated General Assembly.  Let’s also say that the legislature passes and the new governor signs a measure which not only forbids “gay marriage” and legally invalidates all that have been performed in the state but allows anyone in a public or private capacity to opt out of direct or even indirect participation in a “gay marriage” without any possible legal sanction of any kind.

YOU CAN’T DO THAT, shrieks the left.  THE SUPREME COURT SAYS YOU CAN’T!!

Maybe so, replies Missouri.  But the Supreme Court has made its decision.  Now let the Supreme Court enforce it.  Because “the rule of law” either applies to everyone or it applies to no one at all.

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20 Responses to Gangster Government

  • The FBI has definitely had its “John Roberts” moment. I had a discussion with family this weekend about how I now understand what life was like for the average Israelite under the reign of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel.

  • I respectfully disagree, Arminius. John Roberts did not misrepresent the applicability of a law, he only misrepresented the intent of Congress as seen in its debates. In effect all he did was call out their “this is not a tax” lie and say “oh yes it is”.

    This is far worse.

  • Comey was under some coercion I think, under this “Chicago style” administration. Maybe even a threat against someone he knows- He followed the letter of the coercion but he did the right thing in spilling All the beans.

  • The same Left that would shriek about hypothetical Missouri is the same Left that, in conflict with federal laws, lured multiple states into legalizing marijuana and so-called sanctuary cities decades ago

  • Hillary puts the “UP” in corruption.
    A way to climb to the top.
    It’s not about how you got their…it’s about getting there. Fake it till you make it Hillary.
    Earning respect and buying respect are opposites. She will shrivel up and blow away like a potato bug who’s crawled out from under a nasty rotten log and basks in the brilliant light of the SON.

  • As soon as I saw the headline, I felt physically ill.

    This is very bad.

    We have no country if we have not the Rule of Law. It is what we are. It is ALL we are. THAT is what soldiers fight and die for.

    Director Comey is accomplice to the crime now, He sold out his country.

    This defeat is as great as any loss on the field of battle n time of war. We fight to defend our country and our way of life. These people are destroying us from within.

  • I came to the same conclusion as Anzlyne. Mr. Comey folded under pressure, but he still wanted to make sure that the truth at least saw the light of day. He did as much damage as he dared to do.
    .
    Obviously this is speculation on my part, but he seems to want to make sure that everyone knows that he came to the wrong conclusion about bringing charges against Hilary. He is willing to smear his own reputation with (more than?) half the country.
    .
    If Anzlyne and I have it right … that’s some pretty powerful pressure point that was used.

  • Nicholas, I agree with you. I think that is reasonable and likely correct.

    I repeat, however, THAT is what soldiers fight and die for. Sometimes on a lonely rock at 12,000′ in Afghanistan. Sometimes in an air conditioned room, at a mahogany table, seated on 2″ plush carpet.

    At some point, someone will need to take the stand of Thomas More. I pray, God, I am able when my time comes.

  • Absolutely, Brian. I’m sure that Mr. Comey knew going into the job that there are high risks associated with being Director of the FBI. He took the job knowing those risks.
    .
    So if, in fact, there was a threat, I don’t believe it related to his personal safety.
    .
    I also don’t think he declined to bring charges to stay in the good graces of the Washington elite. I don’t think his laundry list of evidence pointing to criminal activity will get him any invitations to Martha’s Vineyard … except maybe to be shown as a leashed pet.

  • Nicholas, I just saw TAC’s Clinton v. Comey link.

    Yes, that is devastating to her. He did not, to his great credit hold anything back in the Catalogue of Errors.

    Perhaps, he sees this as a political struggle at its core; as an existential threat to the nation, it must be resolved politically first. Perhaps that IS how we return to our pride of place as a Nation of Laws, not men. Perhaps it is to be settled on the debate stage, and not in a Court before a solitary judge. Perhaps he is subtly handing the baton to the opposition candidate. Perhaps.

    IF Trump can wage that battle effectively, with the ammunition provided by Director Comey, he most CERTAINLY will have my vote.

  • Another thought about Director Comey’s words and actions:
    he effectively put everything, including his list contradicting her claims, on the table right Now —He made definitive statements, not to be dragged out until the election. They wanted to put the lid on it but he plainly expresses the judgements that they could have continued blurring for a long time.

  • Re Clinton v Comey Reason TV video. Comey should not be vilified. He laid out her crimes for all the world to hear and see and passed the ball to Obama’s DOJ.
    If Reason TV will give the Trump campaign permission to use excerpts of the video, the resulting 30 second spots will be devastating.
    Best use is after the Dem convention nominates Hillary, not before.

  • That said in my comments above regarding the campaign, what about the yeoman or analyst who inadvertently left out classified material and who had no intent to disseminate it? Hammered…depending on the classification levels of material…, demoted or dismissed, fined and/or jailed. Doesn’t Comey’s judgement re intent set a dangerous precedent for punishment of security violators?

  • “Perhaps, he sees this as a political struggle at its core; as an existential threat to the nation, it must be resolved politically first. ”
    Brian, you have a point there. A lot of people in our society are very legalistic: pass the right law, pass the right constitutional amendment, enforce them, and all will be well. Politically that only works if most people are willing to put law above politics, as they eventually did during Watergate.
    During both the Clinton impeachment and the 2000 Florida recount too many people put politics above the law. Perhaps Comey foresaw the same outcome here.

  • Comey may have made the better decision but on the prospects rather than the merits. Remember the OJ trial? Clinton’s legal defense team would certainly load a jury with sympathetic members. It would be due process much modified by affirmative action. Election Day will be the penultimate trial for Hillary, and Judgment Day the ultimate trial for us all.

  • Election day will be the penultimate trial for Hillary, and Judgement day the ultimate trial for us all.”

    With that…….. crickets chirping.

  • “Election day will be the penultimate trial for Hillary, and Judgement day the ultimate trial for us all.”- William P. Walsh.

    With that…….. crickets chirping.

    Good post Mr Walsh.

  • There is no reason to give Comey any credit. He could have resigned; he did not.

  • “There is no reason to give Comey any credit. He could have resigned; he did not.”

    There certainly is reason to give Comey credit. His presentation against Clinton was devastating. He did not need to say a word of it. If he had decided to recommend indictment of Clinton, he could not have said a syllable of it for fear of his remarks being viewed as prejudicial to the case. Due to Comey Clinton’s dodging the indictment bullet may well be a Pyrrhic victory for her.

  • “There certainly is reason to give Comey credit. His presentation against Clinton was devastating. He did not need to say a word of it. If he had decided to recommend indictment of Clinton, he could not have said a syllable of it for fear of his remarks being viewed as prejudicial to the case. Due to Comey Clinton’s dodging the indictment bullet may well be a Pyrrhic victory for her.”

    He was never going to decide to indict Clinton at any point. That is clearly seen by the fact that he did not have Clinton under oath for questioning. Nor did he even have a transcript made of her interview with the FBI. What a joke!! And he continues to work to shore up the false narrative that Clinton should have not had charges brought against her. Any truth he is sharing is most likely shared for the simple reason of self protection. He doesn’t want to go down with anyone else at a later point in time. This is the Obama Admin we are talking about here. It seems to me that he went through as few of the sham motions as was necessary for appearances on this deal.

Rebels and Conformists

Monday, March 2, AD 2015

Conformism

 

 

Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently for the Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith, brings us this story that highlights one of the problems that the Church has these days with precious snowflakes who think they are heroic rebels:

 

 

Northwestern University student Kathleen Ferraro was RAISED CATHOLIC!! and thinks that it’s extremely important for all of you people to understand that fact:

My name is Kathleen and I am a little Catholic schoolgirl. I wore a sweater vest and knee-highs and a skirt that could be no more than two inches above my knees. Rogue nuns wandered the halls of my high school. We “left room for Jesus” at school dances, all of which were supervised by a resident priest. I come from a devoutly Roman Catholic family from a primarily Catholic community largely dominated by Catholic institutions, schools, values and beliefs.

Yet young Katie doesn’t consider herself Catholic any more.

And yet against all odds, I don’t fit into Catholicism. My Catholic upbringing and education seemed the perfect formula for a perfect Catholic. Nonetheless, I’ve developed values and beliefs that significantly diverge from this foundation.

Gee.  Wonder what those might be.

Whenever I think about this question, I always resort to my list-making ways, crafting an inventory of the reasons that Catholicism has not worked for me. Old-fashioned values and traditions, hesitation towards accepting the LGBTQ community and inherent political undertones of church leadership leave me feeling conflicted and uneasy. I will never understand why dressing up in a modest J.Crew dress and sitting in the first pew at church trumps participating in a climate march, or why accepting doctrine on faith alone beats independent thinking, questioning and customizing one’s religious life. For me, religion has been more a culture of privilege than of prayer, a competition of piety rather than a humble quest of personal growth and spiritual connection. These are all examples from my experience with religion that motivate me to reject Catholicism, but as I think about it, are these also reasons that Catholicism rejects me?

No, because that’s just stupid.

I believe it is. Speaking only for the Catholic institutions I come from, I do not fit the prototype of what a Catholic is supposed to be–the by the book churchgoer who accepts Catholicism because that is what is true.

Ya think?!!

I am pro-choice, don’t go to church on Sundays, don’t put stock in the Bible or doctrine, challenge traditional ideas of religion and spirituality and care infinitely more about trying to be a kind, humble person than actively worshipping.

In other words, an Episcopalian.

On one hand, this rejection validates my personal beliefs and their deliberate divergence from Catholicism. On the other hand, this rejection leaves me unfulfilled. I find myself an outsider, subject to the Catholic exclusivity that ostracizes other divergent thinkers and doers: the very exclusivity that prompts me to reject Catholicism in the first place. Its a perplexing paradox – my beliefs exclude me and define me as an independent. And because my beliefs disqualify me from active participation, I am consequently excluded from a community that I want to engage with, though not necessarily be a part of. I would say “its not you, its me,” but I think “its not me, its you” is equally appropriate.

Told you.

I’m not saying that my beliefs are right,

You are so.

but I am saying that I want to be heard, not just listened to.

Every Anglican in the world knows that means that we keep yammering until the Roman Catholic Church realizes that it’s wrong and I’m right.

For me, this conversation is not about stylizing religion to suit the tastes of young adults;

HAW, HAW HAW, HAW, HAW, HAW, HAW, HAW, HAW, HAW!!

it’s about aligning all voices with the process of organized religion and earnestly engaging in different conceptualizations of faith.

Whatever that means.  Katie?  I’d like to tell you a little bit about my mom.

Over and over again, I’m amazed at what a visionary my mother was.  Mom was also RAISED CATHOLIC!! but had some sort of major conflict with the Catholic Church in the 40′s, the nature of which she never disclosed to any of us.

I suspect what it might have been but I don’t know for certain so I’m not going to speculate.  But to those of you whose parents are still with you, a word of warning; you find out quite a bit after they shuffle off this mortal coil.

Mom was always a little bit of a rebel.  She was born and raised in New York City and when she was in college at Adelphi, she vocally stood up for the Jews.  She’d married in the late 30′s, early 40′s, somewhere in there, and had a daughter shortly after that.  Her husband was killed during the war and after it, she was a single mom with a little girl to raise and she didn’t have any money coming in.

So Mom found herself a job.  In Montana.  She left New York City and never again entertained the idea of ever going back.

Anyway, Mom’s got this problem with the Roman Catholic Church.  Know what she did about it, Katie?

She left the Catholic Church and joined the Episcopalians.  My mom loved the Episcopal Church until the end of her life.  And as far as I know, she was the only one in her family who ever did anything like that.  Her brother, my Uncle Howard, remained Catholic until the end of his life.

Kid?  The Catholic Church is almost 2,000 years old; you’re not.  Your idea that the Catholic Church needs to conform itself to the bumper stickers beliefs of the Young PeopleTM is too absurd for any intelligent person to even begin to entertain.  So emulate my mother, grow a freaking spine and drop into one of Chicagoland’s many fine Episcopal parishes next Sunday.  You’ll be glad you did.

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28 Responses to Rebels and Conformists

  • Stated briefely, “I’m twenty-two years old and I know everything!”

  • Go where you can hear the gospel…proclaimed in it’s purity…

    …and where the sacraments are administered in accordance with that pure gospel.

    Good luck being able to find that.

  • “I find myself an outsider, subject to the Catholic exclusivity that ostracizes other divergent thinkers and doers:”
    I believe the faith teaches that heaven is an exclusive place, also.

    “Let’s hope and pray that she doesn’t continue with her self-absorption, and her unwillingness to serve (disguised as self-anointed intellegence and wisdom) that she may not spend eternity as a wilful “outsider”
    Lord help the minions of lapsed “Catholics” that are as confused as she.

  • “the State was essential in taking measures against the Church to largely eliminate her influence from society.”

    But we just now have heard from our “on high” communications director who supports the take over of the internet (in violation of subsidiarity) that it is the culture of death and perverted morality “government” that will insure our freedom of religion.
    That line ought to be on SNL.

  • Reminds me of an article I read once about a girl of similar age who grew up pro life then she read an article in the NYTimes and now she’s pro choice. It makes me wonder about her education. Did she engage in the arguments for the cause? Did she learn to have real sympathy for pro choicer and yet still have the courage to say why they are wrong? Probably not. She just didn’t think about it that much. Sounds like this girl’s “Catholicism” was largely about uniforms and school dance rules. I don’t know if I’d lay the blame at her parents or school, but somewhere she wasn’t taught our didn’t listen to the deeper truths of her faith. She’s not able to make a coherent rejection of her childhood faith. I feel bad for her.

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  • Note what’s missing: she never once mentions Jesus, except in the silly little anecdote about the school dances. The questions of whether she believes in Him, and whether the Church was founded by Him, and any thought of Grace or Redemption are completely incidental to the all-important issue of whether or not she feels ‘excluded.’

  • I was exactly that dumb at that age, too. I’m glad there was no Huffington Post back then to record it. And the fact that it was published in HuffPo should tell you everything about conformity: would a similar article about a fallen-away Methodist get the same national platform? There are millions of people leaving mainline Protestantism for Evangelicalism, because they want something stricter and more biblical – do they get articles in HuffPo?

    I did see something more depressing last week, an article in the Daily Beast written by a gay former Jesuit. Google “gay Jesuit daily beast” and, hey, you get what you deserve. The thing about the article was that it reflected the same depth of Catholic understanding as this 22-year-old undergrad. That was mortifying. Gay Jesuits don’t surprise me. I know too well how human beings act when they’re tempted. But the ignorance of what the Church teaches, that shocked me. There’s a way you can go through Catholicism and come out in disagreement with the Church, but for you to take the positions that this former priest was taking, you’d have to have never gone through the process of learning and growing in the Faith at all.

  • “I find myself an outsider, subject to the Catholic exclusivity that ostracizes other divergent thinkers and doers:”

    The notion she’s an outsider at Northwestern for an exposition like the one under review is worth one chuckle.

    She’s not able to make a coherent rejection of her childhood faith. I feel bad for her.
    ==
    As Ava Gardner put it, “Deep down, I’m pretty superficial”. Or, Allan Bloom on the sort of students he’d met at the University of Chicago ca. 1987, “In a word, ‘nice’, which is to say that nothing that’s happened to them has particularly hardened them”.

    The results from investing 20 years in childrearing can be a wretched surprise at times (as both my mother and two or three of my great-grandparents might have told you). However, you look at this woman’s LinkedIn profile, and what you see is familiar. There’s the signal and the noise. I’d lay a low four figure wager that the parents are fairly well-to-do professional-managerial types and the signal was to assure your ‘future’. The rest dissolved into static.

  • When she faces her trial’s and disappointment’s she will be the one cursing her creator. That will be the extent of her “quest for spiritual connection.” How sweet.

  • And I have to give credit where credit is due:
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/02/28/why-i-m-coming-out-as-a-christian.html

    This is the kind of article I was just saying wouldn’t be published. Good for them. The Daily Beast is a weird mess of a site, and I hate to admit that it’s on my once-a-day list, but I’m glad for this.

  • This young woman is an idiot. Perhaps it is not entirely her fault, as we don’t know all of the details of her upbringing. Nevertheless, she is an idiot, as she is an adult and is capable of discovering the truth, but would rather follow the crowd of idiotic young adults who get their news from Twitter, Jon Stewart, etc.

    I was naive at that age. I didn’t know a lot about my faith but I never abandoned it. Even in the 1980s I knew the media was filled with libtard brain dead slugs- as it is now – and they did not sway me.

    Piss-poor Catholic catechesis has driven away countless baptized Catholics. Other Catholics get a bug up their posteriors and blame the entire church for a bad priest, nun, etc. I have several relatives that fit into both of these examples.

  • Penguins Fan: “Nevertheless, she is an idiot, as she is an adult and is capable of discovering the truth, but would rather follow the crowd of idiotic young adults who get their news from Twitter, Jon Stewart, etc.”
    .
    From my own experience, I find that Jon Stewart and especially family members who ridicule, intimidate and consciously demean a religious perspective of life and demand that one abandons real love for God in order to become acceptable and in the “incrowd” inculcate a terror of being ostracized by them, like they are somebody to be feared, but they are cowards like the devil.
    .
    A person must make a GIANT embrace for one’s own freedom and conscious search for truth in the one’s self and the Catholic Church to reverse the fear instilled in the quiet of one’s heart to be who one must be, to pursue one’s Happiness and find one’s destiny; to answer one’s vocation to be(…or not to be.)
    .
    The Holy Spirit of God, the Third Person of the Holy Trinity responds to our plea for TRUTH and guidance. Nothing is lost except our own happiness if refuse to pray for grace.
    .
    One day, the woman will write a book with much joy and comedy about her spiritual search and conquest of the truth as truth is.

  • Mary De Voe corrects her omission: “Nothing is lost except our own happiness if one refuses to pray for grace. – See more at: http://the-american-catholic.com/2015/03/02/rebels-and-conformists/#comment-262018

  • “I find myself an outsider, subject to the Catholic exclusivity that ostracizes other divergent thinkers and doers:”
    .
    People are free to leave the church and when people leave the church, the church is always open to them as they have made a free will choice to reject eternal truth. If a persons holds the Church responsible for people’s leaving, than, it means that these people intended to impose their errors on the church. Heresy does not fulfill our vocation, destiny or happiness.

  • My flippant reply to flippant pro-choicers:

    .
    I’m pro-choice myself: Either choose to not have sex outside of marriage, or choose to live with the consequences.

  • “customizing one’s religious life” says it all. ALL.

  • I tend to pity folks like Miss. Ferrarro more than I blame them– I suspect she
    has no idea what the Catholic Church teaches or what it is she’s rejecting when
    she turns up her nose at her patrimony.
    .
    During my undergrad years I volunteered to teach CCD at my college parish–
    a very affluent, jaded, au courant parish run by an order of priests that
    has since become notorious for its dissidence. Think lots of National Catholic
    Reporters
    in the vestibule. I was aghast at the absolute bone ignorance of
    even the basics of Catholicism that these kids had– and these were kids whose
    parents had sent them to the parish’s elementary school, and were currently
    enrolled in the city’s “Catholic” high school. These were good kids, but they
    were utterly ignorant of the concept of the Real Presence, had never been taught
    about the mystery of the Holy Trinity, and had no idea who Jesus was.
    .
    At one point, I asked the class to raise their hands if they thought Jesus was
    a man, but not God. Half raised their hands. God, but not a man? That got
    most of the rest of the class. Both God and man? One kid raised his hand, out
    of a class of two dozen kids whose parents cared enough to send them to
    CCD. And these were kids who had been in the tender care of the parochial
    school system for close to 12 years.
    .
    I suspect that Miss Ferrarro is rejecting something she’s never actually been
    introduced to. And shame on us all for not passing on the Faith to kids like
    her. We’ve failed her.

  • The American Catholic Educational system turned out girls and guys like her in droves in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. It is only now changing. However, the biggest mystery to her piece is how she could reject something she knows nothing about. As stated above, “I’d lay a low four figure wager” that she couldn’t begin to discuss the scriptural basis for the real presence. That’s the “signal” most Catholic schools used to miss. Instead, kids like her just got the “noise”.

  • “Mary De Voe:” “…I find that Jon Stewart and especially family members who ridicule, intimidate and consciously demean a religious perspective of life and demand that one abandons real love for God in order to become acceptable and in the “incrowd” inculcate a terror of being ostracized by them, like they are somebody to be feared…”

    I would remind all that this evil only works, as the diabolical well knows, because that “terror” is but “pride” the foundation of most sin.
    Humble people, who know and live by God’s truth, are able to resist this–will they like me if I do/don’t–weapon. Catechesis and Sacramental Grace is the cure.

  • I believe the catholic school girl shtick appeals to her. She believes she was raised catholic, no doubt. If she was really raised catholic she would not have left. She is seeking fulfillment and just may find it in the revolutionary group working against the church.

  • I wonder about her (home-schooling.)
    Whay I mean is did her parents believe that buying her a dress and enrolling her in Catholic school was sufficient enough? My guess is yes. They participated as if dropping one off to soccer practice.

    If the parents are not engaged and living their lives in sanctifying grace then the development of any true spiritual life for her would be undermined. I’m not suggesting that this is the complete cause of her ignorance but that it certainly didn’t help her come to her conclusions.

    The most influential church is home.

  • ….say What..not whay…typo 🙁

  • RicK, Don Lord and Philip, my friend: Miss Ferraro sticks to the school girl shtick because it most brings her to the reality that she is a minor child spiritually. As a minor child who ought to have been given the Faith, she was disconnected by others, who, in their pride, laziness, ignorance and all the rest of the capital sins abandoned her soul to the Prince of Darkness. That darkness is terrifying. Looking around and seeing others just as terrified, three generations since Vatican II, lost souls, only confirms one’s terror. Lucifer, the great angel of light possesses the soul, leaving that person bereft of any Faith, Hope and therefore, not exercising their charity in handing on the Faith, the gift of life and love, the fourth generation of lost souls.

  • Bob Tanaka, You beat me to the punch. While extolling climate marches over attending Mass, the poor dear never mentioned praising and worshipping God or the saving graces of the sacraments. A brief synopsis of her attitude might be, “Me, My & I”.

  • . I was aghast at the absolute bone ignorance of
    even the basics of Catholicism that these kids had– and these were kids whose
    parents had sent them to the parish’s elementary school, and were currently
    enrolled in the city’s “Catholic” high school.

    And the horrible thing is, the folks who are responsible for teaching them might think they were teaching them.
    My mom was horrified when she found out that I’d never heard of the catechism before I was an adult– she assumed that we were actually being taught stuff at our CCD and similar classes, including youth group.
    And even that isn’t because she was willfully abandoning her responsibility to teach us– she was told all of her training was wrong because of Vatican II. She was teaching CCD to high school students, and told them sex outside of marriage was wrong in the hearing of the priest. Who then publicly chewed her out as hateful and ignorant, because it was fine if you “really loved” the other person. (She naturally quit teaching, because he’d know, and she’d hate to lead kids astray.)
    I’ve since found out there were shockingly horribly taught folks before that– ever have a theological argument with someone’s grandmother, and the agnostic is defending Catholic teaching from the lady who goes every week?– but without stuff like Jimmy Akin’s blog, I would probably not be Catholic, and would be as miserable as some of the other “raised Catholic” folks I know.
    It’s sad.

  • Foxfier.

    Your dear mom. Trying to do the right thing and hearing the great lie; “Vatican II states it differently.” The pigs who knowingly spread lies to promote their agenda’s will have to pay for their offenses. They may receive Gods mercy however they may have a very very very long wait in Purgatory prior to entrance into His Kingdom.

    Vatican II was certainly highjacked and misinterpreted to foster division and corrode the teachings of the Holy Church. To liberalize as a means to create freedom to sin without consequences.

    God bless your mom and others that ran into similar atrocities.

  • Do you think that catechesis worse now? I know it’s not ideal now, but I worry that we idealize the past. In the modern era of literacy and mass communication, the ignorance is less justifiable, sure. But there have always been places with no priests, or untrained and/or heretical priests. How deep was the understanding of the faith? My suspicion is that the peaks were higher and the valleys were lower – which calls to mind Rev 3:16: “So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.”

Knife Control

Wednesday, September 24, AD 2014

Charlton Heston never played Jesus in a film, to the best of my knowledge, but he famously was Moses and also played John the Baptist in The Greatest Story Ever Told. I so much wanted to hear him say, “You can have this sword when you pry it from my Cold. Dead. Hands!”

Deacon Michael D. Harmon

 

 

Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently for the Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith, takes a verbal axe at Midwest Conservative Journal to the latest bizarre explanation of why Christ was condemned by Pilate:

Premise: a Christian event that happened over 2,000 years ago has been pondered, studied and debated from the moment it occurred until the present day and general agreement about the significance of that event has been reached.  You, on the other hand, with the able assistance of “Christian scholarship,” have come up with a Radically New InterpretationTM of the meaning of that event:

Jesus may have been crucified because his followers were carrying weapons, according to a scholarly analysis of New Testament books.

Dale Martin, a professor of religious studies at Yale University, says that this aspect of stories about Jesus, as told in the gospels, has received too little attention, but could alone explain Jesus’s execution and also show that the man from Nazareth was not the pacifist he’s usually made out to be.

The biblical books of Mark and Luke both state that at least one (and probably two or more) of Jesus’s followers was carrying a sword when Jesus was arrested shortly after the Last Supper, at the time of the Jewish festival of Passover. One disciple, Simon Peter, even used his sword to cut off the ear of one of those arresting Jesus, according to the Gospel of John.

This militant behavior almost certainly wouldn’t have been tolerated by the Romans, led by the prefect Pontius Pilate, Martin tells Newsweek. For example, historical documents show that it was illegal at the time to walk about armed in Rome and in some other Roman cities. Although no legal records survive from Jerusalem, it stands to reason, based on a knowledge of Roman history, that the region’s rulers would have frowned upon the carrying of swords, and especially wouldn’t have tolerated an armed band of Jews roaming the city during Passover, an often turbulent festival, Martin says.

“Just as you could be arrested in Rome for even having a dagger, if Jesus’s followers were armed, that would be reason enough to crucify him,” says Martin, whose analysis was published this month in the Journal for the Study of the New Testament.

Conclusion: you’re not only wrong but you’re dumber than a bag of hammers.

Paula Fredriksen, a historian of ancient Christianity at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, says Martin’s paper has several holes “that you could drive trucks through.”

For one, she doesn’t think it’s legitimate to assume that since carrying arms was illegal in the city of Rome, the same laws necessarily applied in Jerusalem. Control of the city wasn’t too tight, she argues, and the Roman prefect visited only during Passover, to help keep the peace. And during this time it probably would’ve been impossible to police the thousands of Jews that spilled into Jerusalem.

“I can’t even imagine what a mess it was,” she says.

Furthermore, she says, the Greek word used in the Gospels that Martin interprets as sword really means something more akin to knife. And these could be easily concealed, she adds. “Only professionals,” like soldiers, “carried swords,” she says.

While we’re on the subject of weapons, people didn’t carry staffs back then only because they needed help navigating the terrain.  Staffs also offered [limited] protection against wild animals.  Or wild people, whatever the case may have been.

Dear Newsweek or the Daily Beast or the Daily Tina Brown’s Ego or whatever you’re calling yourselves this week.  Stop writing about the Christian religion.  Just stop.  You people have no idea how stupid you’re making yourselves look.

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18 Responses to Knife Control

  • “Jesus may have been crucified because his followers were carrying weapons…”
    – Dumbo’s synopsis.

    If true, then it wouldn’t be a far reach to assume that St. Peter would of been hauled off or possibly executed for lopping off the centurions ear. Hello?

    The reinventing of history is one of the liberals favorite toys. They just can’t help it. They wish to cast doubt and dissuade the public to achieve their goals. Sick little puppies.

  • Yeah, knife control did a good job preventing Julius Caesar’s death, didn’t it? And a host of others, as I recall.

  • Post-modern religious studies: making up stuff about God.

  • Referring to Pontius Pilate as a “Prefect” does not exactly inspire confidence in an historian. Prefect is a military title; Pilate was an Imperial Procurator. That is why St Paul, as a Roman citizen had to be sent to the governor of Syria, a magistrate of the Roman People, typically a proconsul or propraetor.

    Of course, everyone carried knives. The Romans regarded tearing ones food with one’s teeth as, literally, bestial; everything, even bread or fruit had to be cut into bite-size pieces, before popping it into the mouth. “Minuere,” from which our words minutes and seconds derive, originally referred to slicing bread or cake (second is an ellipsis for “secundum minutum” or second slicing or cutting up of the hour).

    On the language point, μάχαιρα can mean a sword or a dirk – the short stabbing broadsword of ancient infantry, channelled and double-edged. The blade was typically a foot or 18″ long. It definitely refers to a weapon.

  • MPS, Wikipedia, that totally true and never wrong source of information, lists a number of types of Roman prefects, including both military and civil roles:

    • Praefectus praetorio: the Praetorian prefect began as the military commander of a general’s guard company in the field, then grew in importance as the Praetorian Guard became a potential kingmaker during the Empire. From the Emperor Diocletian’s tetrarchy (c. 300) they became the administrators of the four Praetorian prefectures, the government level above the (newly created) dioceses and (multiplied) provinces.
    • Praefectus Augustalis, the title of the governor of Egypt, indicating that he governed in the personal name of the august emperor.
    • Praefectus urbi, or praefectus urbanus: city prefect, in charge of the administration of Rome.
    • Praefectus vigilum: commander of the Vigiles.
    • Praefectus aerarii: nobles appointed guardians of the state treasury.
    • Praefectus aerarii militaris: prefect of the military treasury
    • Praefectus annonae: official charged with the supervision of the grain supply to the city of Rome.
    • Praefectus alae: commander of a cavalry unit.
    • Praefectus castrorum: camp commandant.
    • Praefectus cohortis: commander of a cohort (constituent unit of a legion, or analogous unit).
    • Praefectus classis: fleet commander.
    • Praefectus equitatus: cavalry commander.
    • Praefectus equitum: cavalry commander.
    • Praefectus fabrum: officer in charge of fabri, i.e. well-trained engineers and artisans
    • Praefectus legionis: equestrian legionary commander
    • Praefectus legionis agens vice legati: equestrian acting legionary commander.
    • Praefectus orae maritimae: official in charge with the control and defense of an important sector of sea coast
    • Praefectus socium (sociorum): Roman officer appointed to a command function in an ala sociorum (unit recruited among the socii, Italic peoples of a privileged status within the empire).
    • Praefectus Laetorum (Germanic auxiliary troop, notably in Gaul)
    • Praefectus Sarmatarum gentilium (auxiliary troop from the steppes, notably in Italy)

    In reference to Pontius Pilate, the infallible Wikipedia states:
    “The title used by the governors of the region varied over the period of the New Testament. When Samaria, Judea proper and Idumea were first amalgamated into the Roman Judaea Province (which some modern historians spell Iudaea), from AD 6 to the outbreak of the First Jewish Revolt in 66, officials of the Equestrian order (the lower rank of governors) governed. They held the Roman title of prefect until Herod Agrippa I was named King of the Jews in 41 by Claudius. After Herod Agrippa’s death in 44, when Iudaea reverted to direct Roman rule, the governor held the title procurator. When applied to governors, this term procurator, otherwise used for financial officers, connotes no difference in rank or function from the title known as “prefect”. Contemporary archaeological finds and documents such as the Pilate Inscription from Caesarea attest to the governor’s more accurate official title only for the years 6 through 41: prefect. The logical conclusion is that texts that identify Pilate as procurator are more likely following Tacitus or are unaware of the pre-44 practice…The procurators’ and prefects’ primary functions were military, but as representatives of the empire they were responsible for the collection of imperial taxes”

  • The Pilate stone discovered in 1961 settled the fact that Pilate’s title was prefect:

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

    In practical terms when ruling a province prefects and procurators in the time of Pilate had precisely the same powers. After 44 AD the prefects of Judaea were known as procurators after the death of Herod Agrippa and the imposition of direct Roman rule. If it is confusing to us, I suspect it was confusing also to the Jews who probably used both titles.

  • I agree Don. The Gospel writers at the time were undoubtedly not fans of Roman governance nor legal connoisseurs, so they just ran with the title in use at the time of composition.

  • Goodness, I thought I’d have to rethink my knowledge of Roman history– I was pretty sure it wasn’t possible to ban knives, sometimes that’s the only thing folks ate with, and I was going to have to try to find the sources that I’d read that said everyone had swords when traveling, because you’d get robbed if you didn’t. The Good Samaritan story wasn’t outlandish in its setup.

  • It’s true, weapons were officially banned from the city of Rome. Only the lictors were allowed to carry weapons, and they functioned as bodyguards for the city’s officials.
    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lictor
    and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucius_Junius_Brutus#Brutus_in_literature_and_art

  • Only the Pomerium which was only a portion of the city of Rome. The Senators who stabbed Caesar to death did so outside the area of the Pomerium.

  • Ah, I didn’t know that. Thank you.

  • TomD
    The lictors were the equivalent of macers. They carried the fasces, an axe tied up in a bundle of rods before magistrates possessing imperium. It was the symbol of his authority to beat and behead Roman citizens. The king had been preceded by 12 lictors and, when the Republic was established, Brutus ordered that the two consuls should be preceded by 12 lictors on alternate days, so that the citizens should not be overawed by more lictors than under the kings. The fasces were lowered before assemblies of the Roman People, as the magistrates’ powers were suspended in their presence.
    The axe was not borne within the pomerium; the reason is disputed. Some say it is a reference to the Valerian-Hortensian laws that gave a right of appeal to the people (provocation) in capital cases.

  • The original Pomerium was the furrow ploughed by Romulus, when laying out his new city. The plough was lifted to indicate the sites of the three gates. According to Livy, Remus jumped over the furrow in derision and Romulus slew him for this act of sacrilege.
    It was repeatedly extended, both in Republican and Imperial times
    http://tinyurl.com/yllnqyv
    Magistrates could take the auspices only within the pomerium and these preceded assemblies of the people and certain other official acts.
    According to Mommsen’s theory, the ban on weapons in certain sacred sites was part of a wider ban on iron objects. The Flamen Dialis, the priest of Juppiter, was forbidden to touch iron and sacrificial knives were always of stone or bronze.

  • It’s so strange. I think these liberals spend more time thinking about Jesus than I do. I should be ashamed of myself.

  • “The reinventing of history is one of the liberals favorite toys.” Scholarship be blessed.

  • Most professions, pre-computer, required the carrying of weapons.

  • According to Mommsen’s theory, the ban on weapons in certain sacred sites was part of a wider ban on iron objects. The Flamen Dialis, the priest of Juppiter, was forbidden to touch iron and sacrificial knives were always of stone or bronze.

    Sounds like an origin for the “cold iron” being nasty for fae thing. Cool.

  • It’s all about fame and money. Revisionist history and controversial theories unsupported by facts are written by authors who hope for 15 minutes of fame and maybe a book deal or a speaking tour. Editors include such articles hoping to sell more issues of their magazines and newspapers and boost their declining readership.

How To Write For the National Catholic Reporter

Wednesday, September 17, AD 2014

 

 

National Catholic Fishwrap

 

 

Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic, demonstrates yet again why I long ago designated him Defender of the Faith:

 

A continuing series

Thank you for your interest in writing for the National Catholic Reporter.  Although we welcome your submissions at any time, we hope that these occasional posts help you to become exactly the sort of writer NCR is looking for.  The following piece by Robert McClory illustrates two key abilities every great NCR writer needs to learn how to perform well.  The first of these is how to:

Play dumber than a bag of hammers – Commenting on a recent column by Cardinal Francis George of the Archdiocese of Chicago in which George said this:

Now, George says, “society has brought social and legislative approval to all types of sexual relationships that used to be considered ‘sinful.’ Since the biblical vision of what it means to be human tells us that not every friendship or love can be expressed in sexual relations, the church’s teaching on these issues is now evidence of intolerance for what the civil law upholds and even imposes. What was once a request to live and let live has now become a demand for approval. The ‘ruling class,’ those who shape public opinion in politics, in education, in communications, in entertainment, is using the civil law to impose its own form of morality on everyone.”

McClory responds:

I don’t understand what George is saying. If many states pass, for example, approval of gay marriage, aren’t Catholics free to oppose it in keeping with official church teaching, just as they are free to oppose the sale of contraceptives in drug stores? If the government requires insurance policies to cover the purchase of contraceptives, are not Catholics free to object, as George has done for months? But I don’t see how any of this amounts to a “ruling class” imposing “its own form of morality on everyone.”

The simple fact of that matter is that, unless he is too stupid to be allowed outside without supervision, McClory knows perfectly well what George means.  But McClory has to pretend that he doesn’t; otherwise, he must explain why being governmentally coerced into committing a sin is fine as long as you’re free to feel bad about it as well as why being governmentally coerced into sin isn’t “imposing morality.”

The second ability any good NCR writer needs to know particularly well is how to:

Duck the questionCardinal George continues.

“It means that those who choose to live by the Catholic faith,” [George] says, “will not be welcomed as political candidates to national office, will not sit on editorial boards of major newspapers, will not be at home on most university faculties, will not have successful careers as actors and entertainers. Nor will their children, who will also be suspect. Since all public institutions, no matter who owns or operates them, will be agents of the government and conform their activities to the demands of the official religion, the practice of medicine and law will become more difficult for faithful Catholics. It already means in some States that those who run businesses must conform their activities to the official religion or be fined, as Christians and Jews are fined for their religion in countries governed by Sharia law.”

One assumes that McClory knows that George’s last sentence has already happened several times since several private businesses have been driven into bankruptcy by the legal assaults of homosexuals.  One also assumes that McClory remembers the Chick-Fil-A controversy of a while back in which the homosexual community as well as several prominent politicians publicly execrated Chick-Fil-A and wished for its destruction simply because its CEO opposed the concept of homosexual “marriage.”

Assuming that McClory knows all this, how does he respond?  Like any great National Catholic Reporter writer would.

I hope some of George’s clearer-thinking colleagues would gather around their partner and urge him to consider a more positive, optimistic future for Catholicism. Is not the Holy Spirit still among us?

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6 Responses to How To Write For the National Catholic Reporter

Pope Francis and “Father” Bergoglio

Thursday, April 24, AD 2014

images3X63JCRX

 

Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently in defense of the Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith, over at his Midwest Conservative Journal  takes a look at the cold call imbroglio:

A new Roman Catholic Doctrinal FirestormTM has recently erupted:

Did Pope Francis tell a divorced and remarried woman that it was okay to take Communion even though her parish priest denied her the host?

That’s the latest kerfuffle created by the “cold-call” pope who on Monday, the day after Easter, called an Argentine woman who had written to him about whether she should receive communion at Mass even though she was divorced and remarried.

“There are priests who are more papist than the pope,” the pope himself reportedly told Jacquelina Lisbona.

Kudos to CNN, which UPDATES the story with reporting from three continents (literally): CNN has a Vatican spokesman confirming that the call did indeed take place, but the Rev. Thomas Rosica provided no details.

“It’s between the Pope and the woman,” said Rosica, a consultant for the Vatican press office.

“To draw any conclusions about this particular situation, that the Pope may be setting an agenda, is incorrect,” Rosica told the network. “The Pope is first and foremost an esteemed pastor, and dealing with a human situation is always complex.”

That’s good to keep in mind, though if the contents of the pope’s conversation with Lisbona are true, then this is a big deal, at least in terms of the example Francis is setting rather than the doctrine that he is not changing.

Here’s the woman’s account of the phone call.

“The phone rang and my husband answered. It was Fr. Bergoglio calling. The father asked to speak to me and my husband asked: ‘Who’s calling?’, to which the voice replied ‘Fr. Bergoglio.’ I asked him if it was really him, the pope, and he said it was and that he was calling in response to my letter dated September.

“Then he told me there are some priests who are more papist that the pope. He was completely normal with me on the phone and I tried to speak to him with the utmost respect. Now I am overwhelmed by the enormous effect this story has had and I feel moved by the fact that I spoke to Francis. I told him I would write to him again when I take Communion again.”

Was this call actually made?  It seems to have been.

Yes, the pope called Jacquelina Lisbona. The real question regards the content of the conversation. If indeed he said those things this would be a big deal because she is still in what the church would call an “irregular” marriage. Her husband is divorced, and they have not been married in the church.

In any case, Francis once again has set an example for the rest of the hierarchy even without changing church law, and it’s in keeping with the pope’s character — Francis has frequently shown little patience with priests who are “little monsters” (his words) who cite “small-minded” rules rather than ministering mercy to people.

Damian Thompson has posts on this story up here and here.  This site’s Catholic readership can hash this out in the comments (in fact, I hope you guys do) but I am, for the most part, going to adhere to MCJ policy about controversial Roman Catholic news stories, hold off for a few days and wait to see how this thing plays out.

But somebody is going to have to remind Francis of the difference between a parish priest and the leader of a great Christian church as well as the reigning sovereign of the world’s oldest, continuous monarchy.  Parish priests have a certain rhetorical latitude that popes do not, indeed cannot, have.

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53 Responses to Pope Francis and “Father” Bergoglio

  • Every other week seems to bring a story indicating the man is unsuitable for the office he holds. The conclave made what appears to have been a tragic error.

  • Cardinal Wojtyła, when he heard of the death of John Paul I, reportedly went to the Blessed Sacrament and prayed about the meaning of this short reign. I think we too have to go the the Blessed Sacrament to try to understand what the Holy Spirit is doing through (in spite of?) Pope Francis.

    My initial take is that the Spirit is using this Pope to prune the vine. What Francis says can be squared with Catholic teaching but, given society, it is frequently misinterpreted and used to lead many away from Christ. That is not what Francis intends I’m sure. But it may very well be what God intends.

  • An interesting take, Philip.

    His treatment of fellow priests disturbs me. What about telling someone who is, in fact, not able to receive communion, that doing so is sinful, is “papist” or monstrous? Sure, there has been far too much coverup in the Church to protect fellow clergy BUT we aren’t talking about a priest who did something wrong: quite the opposite, really.

    If we are going to have men answer their calling, it cannot be that the whole world is against them, including their pope.

  • My maniac opinion: Divorce is not only a sin of adultery. It can be a sin against charity and forgiveness. One or both spouses could not forgive and that broke up the marriage. We never hear anyhing like this anymore: One of the Spiritual Works sin “Forgive all injuries.”

    Of course, if the woman and the pope think being happy in the here-and-now is more vital than being happy in the hereafter, the “more Catholic” among us may as well be spitting in the ocean.

  • It seems clear that the call was made which seems foolish to begin with. Whether the Pope said what the lady reports is not clear.

    What is clear is that Francis continues to do “his thing” regardless of consequences. This certainly is not humble. Also, as was said to me in residency, this Pope seems refractory to learning. So be it. That makes him a fool and God will do with fools as He wills.

  • Hearsay. Do not annulments have to be written on paper? Without written response, is this authentic?

  • His treatment of fellow priests disturbs me

    You could have said that about his predecessor once-removed on occasion, especially re the priests who had carefully explained to their lady parishioners why the assumptions of lay girl culture were invalid re the liturgy who were then told one fine day that it would ‘enrich’ the liturgy for them to be assisted by young girls who could never be ordained.

  • Who has the authority to suspend his phone privileges? A month into his papacy and I thought him to be the most provincial pontiff of my memory; his every act seems to justify my initial assessment.

  • ‘ ” There are priests who are more papist than the pope,” the pope himself reportedly told Jacquelina Lisbona. ‘

    Pope Francis is making it easy for most priests to fall into this category—increasingly so every day. Now, if only he could be a pope.

    Rabbi Abraham Skorka of Buenos Aires, a good friend of Bergoglio, calls him “a revolutionary.” It is hard to be both pope and revolutionary at once.

    As the Church moves almost inevitably in the direction of internal schism under this reincarnation of Bergoglio’s mentor and revolutionary model, Card. Carlo Maria Martini, I do wonder if the Pontiff-Revolutionary will ever come to be more temperate in his comments, realizing it is easier to cook a live frog by slowly increasing the heat, rather than lighting up the Weber full-blast.

    So, each day, inexorably, he is clearly showing more and more people where he appears to be going. The SSPX and other fractious groups already realized it in the 1st 12 months. More and more people, like Christopher Johnson, are forced to realize it each day. This isnt going to be pretty.

  • Steve, it isn’t so much like a weber gas grill being set to full blast as it is like a reactor about to go prompt critical when reactivity exceeds the effective delayed neutron precursor fraction. Startup rate becomes infinite. That is never a good thing and that is what this man seems to be doing to the Church. He is liberal. He cannot help himself for what he is, but God gives us the leaders we need. Maybe a reactivity excursion is exactly what God intends. It does have a way (albeit destructive) of blowing away the chaff.

  • PS, in the example about what is left behind glows for quite a long time. One never knows what God intends.

  • Interesting analogy Paul. I personally feel that, if this report has any substantive truth to it, that Pope Francis is about to become a very self conflicted individual. He is, probably for the first time in years, attending the School of Hard Knocks that most of us know very well. He is not going to stop being a liberal, but he is likely to become more unhappy if he cannot be more careful with his impulsive generosity. I take the Vatican’s refusal to release more details as a reflection of this view.

  • Oops, last sentence Paul: such impulsive generosity may be the chaff to which you refer.

  • Is this Pope Francis’ idea of Divine Mercy?

    Are his inspirations fueling the actions that are contradictory to church teaching, and if so are there ANY limitations to these inspirations?

    In my opinion this is THE question.

    If suddenly he is moved by the (s)pirit to eradicate centuries old tradition and teaching, then Mr. McCleary’s last sentence may be great advice; “…talk to Pope Emeritus about how sweet life in retirement can be for a Pope.”

  • Just more material for Eye of the Tiber.
    🙁

  • Isn’t it a delight to be led by an exhibitionist? For my part, I’m just about at the end of my rope.

    Oddly enough, Belloc leapt to mind today.

    “We sit by and watch the Barbarian, we tolerate him; in the long stretches of peace we are not afraid. We are tickled by his irreverence, his comic inversion of our old certitudes and our fixed creeds refreshes us; we laugh. But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond: and on these faces there is no smile.”

  • Dale Price, Dr Jerry Pournelle often quotes that piece from Belloc.

  • I said it before. I never wanted a pope from Latin America. He is not qualified for the job. he says and does what he wants, almost as if to get back at the cardinals who elected him to be pope.

    We shall survive Jorge Bergoglio as the Holy Father. The Church survived Borgia, not without great harm being done in the process.

  • Mr. Price,

    I have been at the end of my rope since 1989 when my wife’s insurrection started then moved to adultery, all with the open public support of the Catholic Church everywhere she and her lover have
    slept together, since. Buck up. It gets worse and worse and worse. All we have is Jesus Christ. We must follow him. It is about time that monsters like Francis have stepped out from the closet to show us who the real leaders of the Catholic Church have become and have been for a long, long time.

    As furious as I am at this man, I am glad he is “out”. Men like him are who I have seen behind the scenes for decades.

  • Belloc also leapt to my mind today — again:

    “The Catholic Church is an institute run with such knavish imbecility that, were the hand of God not upon Her, She would perish within a fortnight.”

  • It should be obvious, especially to a faithful Catholic, that both a modicum of charity and common sense would demand not commenting in the manner we see here until we have the necessary facts. And from what I can see, we are not even close to having them in this case.

  • Fr. Frank:
    “Belloc also leapt to my mind today — again:
    “The Catholic Church is an institute run with such knavish imbecility that, were the hand of God not upon Her, She would perish within a fortnight.””
    Blessed Belloc.
    .
    Karl: “As furious as I am at this man, I am glad he is “out”. Men like him are who I have seen behind the scenes for decades.”

    .
    Identify the man’s error and correct him. Prayers.

  • So which persona is the clown, Father Bergoglio or Pope Francis?

  • I’m with Greg on this one. We don’t know what PF said. Perhaps we think the phone thing not a good idea, but we still don’t know the content. A statement from PF about the content seems appropriate or at least desirable.

  • A call and conversation between the Pope and the woman did take place. That we know. Apparently there was some discussion concerning her (alone?) ability/permission to receive Holy Communion. The statement that a divorced person [note: simply divorced] is able to receive Holy Communion with not issues etc also sounds right. But that is is far as I can figure out what actually took place [it is like historical research lol]

    Now, enters the husband, who is the one who has been divorced and is now remarried. We have no idea about his background and faith life [his “wife” was the one who wrote the Pope; seems like he could have cared less] Now he explodes on Facebook more bragging than anything else that the Pope called. Almost everything is coming through his lips/fingers. Like the atheist Italian editor who as an octagenarian recalled the words of the Pope from his memory (with all of his ‘theological astuteness and sensitivity as an atheist) this man puts forward his version of the pope’s call. Almost everything is coming filtered through him. How accurate is this? And we are going to rest our ‘positions’ concerning Pope Francis’ direction in Church teaching on this evidence?

    Now, I won’t argue that a phone call by any cleric (never mind a pope) on such a complex issue as marriage and divorce is nothing but ‘warning, warning’ written all over it. No argument over this at all. However if we are honest with ourselves, we will just have to sit back and wait, and see if more reliable information comes forth. No matter what happened, even if the pope did indeed say stuff even close to what the husband said he did, his level of authority on that phone call was no more than that of a parish priest (at the most).

    In short, the sky is not falling.

  • We sure as Hell know what the Pope didn’t say–he didn’t offer an unconditional defense of the Church’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage.

    Otherwise, Lombardi and Rosica would have worked that into the press release yesterday. They didn’t. They offered a Glomar response instead.

    Look, gentlemen, I appreciate your efforts to be charitable here, but the truth is, we have a *lot* of facts here. What we don’t have are any *good* facts on behalf of the Pope.

    Charity also must be extended to the couple in question. Throw in longstanding legal practice (the “excited utterance” concept found in the rules of evidence which began in the Church) suggest that the Pope did precisely what the couple say he did. Then there’s the little matter of the Pope swooning over Kasper’s proposal to let objectively adulterous remarrieds receive communion.

    We have a bushel of facts. None of them are exculpatory, alas, but that can’t change how bad this really is.

  • People perceive what they wish to perceive in many many cases-if not most. Isn’t that the whole point of blogs?

  • Why did Pope Francis call? Certainly not to not condone her situation.

  • Sad. The personal respect I have for the pope is low, and I am sad about the looming loss of respect around the world for the office, which will shortly see the office not as the vicar of the Eternal Christ, specially protected to discern and teach the Timeless and Eternal Truth, but a social political management position…. whose leadership may not reflect a lean on the Holy Spirit but on the spirit of the age.
    Yes I’ve read papal history yes I know we will survive, but survive in what condition… battered and bruised.
    The attack here is so huge. Not just what is suggested by this reported phone call, and our fear that it is true, based on his statement about Kasper and other imbroglios. This is huge because the issue is NOT restricted to teaching about marriage and family, but also to the meaning of reception of the Eucharist, admission to the Eucharist, esp. plain if we remember the early Church’s dismissal of the catechumens, clearly demanding that those who would receive would be those who BELIEVE with the Church. We know that breaking one commandment is breaking them all—breaking that trust. And that little phrase sums up my anguish about this pope, Breaking Trust.

  • Perhaps in his humble generosity he just can’t judge if two lesbians should bring their child to receive the Sacrament of Initiation in the Church. Or if people sacramentally married to two spouses should feel free to receive the Eucharist.
    As a matter of fact why have any restrictions at all– doesn’t God love everybody- surely there is universal salvation.
    The mysterious tension between justice and mercy is constant on this mortal coil, Grace canNot be cheap. That would be reminiscent of the slithering one at the foot of the Tree of knowledge of good and evil– surely God would want you to have this apple…
    .
    St Paul to the Corinthians
    11:27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord. 28Examine yourselves, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29For all who eat and drink* without discerning the body,* eat and drink judgement against themselves. 30For this reason many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.* 31But if we judged ourselves, we would not be judged. 32But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined* so that we may not be condemned along with the world.

  • Why did Pope Francis call?” Mary De Voe.
    When I was rearing my kids , one would do something and I would ask with intensity and exasperation. “why did you do that!?” And they could only look at me with “big eyes” and no answer because there Was No reason or reasoning behind it.
    Botolph I agree with you that we tend to see what we are disposed to see. I pray for the grace to see and recognize and submit to the truth.

  • I guess I should not be surprised, given the conservative slant of this site,about the appalling lack of Christian charity, but I am. It is like none of the responders have gotten the message of love and forgiveness that is central to the Gospel.

  • How charitable of you to point out Mr. Hurley when others, in your estimation, are deficient in love and forgiveness.

  • What a glorious day in which the Church recognizes what God has already done through Jesus Christ in the Spirit: we have two new saints! Saint Pope John XXIII and Saint Pope John Paul II. Gloria tibi Domine!

    I was fascinated, btw, at what Cardinal Burke had to say in an interview this weekend, concerning all the broo hah hah concerning this phone call. It is worth a listen, brothers and sisters.

    Again, a Blessed Divine Mercy Sunday!

  • Did Robert Hurley say that he should not be surprised that conservatives are lacking in charity?
    \
    He should have known better! He already knew conservatives were uncharitable!

  • Thank you Botolph You might be referring to this

    http://angelqueen.org/2014/04/26/cardinal-burke-discusses-john-paul-iis-lasting-impact/

    Cardinal Burke always does good for my soul. I will try to follow his example.

  • I’m trying to remember. Wasn’t there once an Ecumenical Council where the laity rose up against what was perceived as false teaching by the bishops? Clearly there also once was such a rising against cardinals who delayed for a year the election of a new pope.

  • The “lack of charity” commenters always remind me of the parable of the Pharisee in the Synagogue, thanking God he is not like those other sinners. The irony is they so often like to label everyone not precisely like them as Pharisees.

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  • Dale Price: “We sure as Hell know what the Pope didn’t say–he didn’t offer an unconditional defense of the Church’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage..”
    Amen. Couldnt have said it better.

    As for the choice comment on deficient-charity-types (“given the conservative slant of this site,about the appalling lack of Christian charity), I recall what one teacher observed of Christ in the Gospels: Jesus uses the word for “mercy” or its cognates (ἐλέους, [eleous, such as Kyrie eleison] or its derivatives, depending on how you count them, about 50x’s in the 4 Gospels, because after all, His is a Gospel of forgiveness and mercy. But Jesus also uses the words for judgment (κρίμα,”krima”, a judgment implying a condemnation, or κρίσις, ‘krisis”) well over 100 x’s, as many as 130 in my counting.

    Now what about Hell, that thing we dont talk about any more? Depending on how you count the word for hel, a place of consequence for evil actions (i.e. hades. or the Hebrew equivalent “gehenna”, or “everlasting fire”, & other similar equivalents), it is used about 30x’s or so in the NT. It is NEVER used by evil and misogynist and patriarchal St. Paul.

    But the largest number of references of a place of final punishment—19x’s is by Christ. Oh, and the Beloved Disciple has numerous references to a place of punishment in the Book of Revelation.

    My point is: the true Gospel message is one of mercy, tempered with sharp warnings of punishment—a lot like Our Lady of Fatima’s message to the 3 children, BTW. So, it seems to me there is more charity in truthfulness than in lying to people about the demanding moral code of the NT. “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.” (Mt. 7:13). Yes, it should keep one up nights thinking about it, rather than rubbing people’s bellies and telling them to go to sleep.

  • Dale Price: “We sure as Hell know what the Pope didn’t say–he didn’t offer an unconditional defense of the Church’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage..” –

    How do you know Dale? Were you privy to the conversation?

  • “How do you know Dale? Were you privy to the conversation? ”

    Because the Vatican said no such thing, that’s why. And the couple privy to the conversation said the exact opposite.

    This is not that hard. In fact, it’s really easy.

  • It is deeply, deeply annoying to have demands for “charitable interpretation” in the face of *ALL* of the evidence to the contrary. I guess the Lisbonas are foul, fetid liars and the Pope is just the hapless victim of their cunning plan to trap him?

    The problem, Greg, is that there aren’t any facts which indicate that Christ’s teaching was defended and plenty to the contrary. That’s frustrating for you–and me, believe it or not. The fact that you choose not to draw any conclusions in the face of this dispiriting evidence does not make you morally superior.

  • “Because the Vatican said no such thing, that’s why. And the couple privy to the conversation said the exact opposite. This is not that hard. In fact, it’s really easy – ”

    So, because the Holy See makes no comment one way or the other, that means we know what the Pope didn’t say? As far, as the Lisbonas are concerned, I am not drawing any conclusions there either. All we have is what the husband said on Facebook. Again, where’s this “evidence” you speak of, Dale? The pope just unequivocally upheld the indissolubility of marriage during an address to South African Swiss bishops. So, if what do in fact know is an indication of anything, it would argue against the position you are staking.

    No, I am not claiming any moral superiority. I’m just using enough common sense not to draw conclusions when is not sufficient evidence to do so.

  • Well, Greg M. if this is so, that PF is really clear and solid on the indissolubility of marriage of a sudden now, why did he organize a synod for next November to examine the issue of marriage and divorced Catholics? Why would you open up a topic for free debate with the obvious expectation that the teaching is going to be changed, without implicitly committing to that expected change? Why would PF choose as his keynote speaker none other than Card. Kasper, at the February episcopal convocation, Kasper, who has a noted history of opposition to the traditional Catholic teaching on marriage? Why, indeed.

    If PF now really wants to give one of his classic contradictory messages (such as his solidly attributed statement about “being obsessed with abortion, gay marriage and contraception” [Sept 19, 2013] and then on other occasions defending the opposite), this weather-vane leadership at the very least portrays a Pontiff-Revolutionary who hasnt thought things through and doesnt have a grasp intellectually of what he sees ahead and where he is taking the Church. He lacks a clear and specific focus (look at the jaw-dropping almost phantasmagoric confusion of ideas replete in Evangelii Gaudium, 80+ pages of intellectual spaghetti), a “I’m-going-to-do no. 1, this; no.2, that; and no 3…”
    There’s one thing he is clear on– he hates traditional Catholics. But that is a good thing, today.

  • No, I am not claiming any moral superiority. I’m just using enough common sense not to draw conclusions when is not sufficient evidence to do so.

    If only Bergolgio were an American Bishop, then Mr. Mockeridge wouldn’t be so easy. In fact he’d be here writing comments about how TAC isn’t taking a sufficiently hard enough stance. Ultramontanism for the win, Alex!

  • Paul:

    When Pope Francis starts to slander states with Obama like race baiting for enacting morally legitimate laws to protect themselves from from the dangers of cartel run illegal immigration or begins to equate opposition to illegal immigration with violating religious liberty, you can I will be the first person to go after him. Now if only Mr Zummo can muster up enough intellectual honesty to accurately represent my views before attacking then we might be able to have a real debate.

  • Mr Phoenix:

    If you actually read what Pope Francis said, you will see that he doesn’t say we are “being obsessed with abortion, gay marriage and contraception”. Here is the statement in its entirety :

    “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.

    “The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. ”

    You will note that he doesn’t use the word “obsessed” in relation to abortion gay marriage and contraception, but with “the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. ”

    Nor does the Pope say that we should not talk about these things or lower our voices, but he says: “But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear…”

    As far as his “hatred” for Traditional Catholics is concerned, yeah he hates them so much, he says:

    “By way of the celebration of the sacred Mysteries according to the extraordinary form of the Roman rite and the orientations of the Constitution on the Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium, as well as by passing on the apostolic faith as it is presented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, may they contribute, in fidelity to the living Tradition of the Church, to a better comprehension and implementation of the Second Vatican Council.”

    http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Blog/2996/francis_and_traditionalist_catholics.aspx

    You know there is a statement in that interview of September 2013 that does bother me: “Let us think of when slavery was accepted or the death penalty was allowed without any problem.” I have thought that Church leaders, including the Pope taking sides on the issue of the death penalty has been harmful to the Church. Again Paul Zummo, you know I have said this on many occasions. So, your accusing me of Ulatramonitism is a flat out lie.

    By the way, the fact that TAC is more concerned about what Pope Francis said or may have said than the scandalous actions noted above of the USCCB and several individual bishops, when the former are innocuous by comparison, to put it mildly, betrays a rather unflattering truth.

  • Paul, you can read more of my “Ultramonitism” where I take issue with the rather silly assertions of your Catholic Stand colleague Gary Zimak tha”[t]he vast majority of attacks are coming from individuals who love Christ and His Church. What’s unusual is that their love is being expressed in anger, disrespect and language that is dangerously close to heresy.” here:

    http://catholicstand.com/defense-pope-francis/#disqus_thread

  • Steve Phoenix wrote, “why did he organize a synod for next November to examine the issue of marriage and divorced Catholics?”

    The Synod is to discuss the whole issue of the family (of which “the issue of… divorce Catholics is a part)

  • What’s the evidence? Here you go.

    http://dprice.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-bactrians-vertebrae-begin-to-crack.html

    http://dprice.blogspot.com/2014/04/men-occasionally-stumble-over-truth-but.html

    And let me develop it further–the Vatican essentially admitted the phone call took place as those horrible frauds reported it to the press. Because basically, you are refusing to account for the myriad press accounts, which agree on the particulars. I haven’t heard the Lisbonas threatening to sue, and libel is easier to prove outside our shores.

    So, here’s the Vatican’s statement in toto:

    [br]”Several telephone calls have taken place in the context of Pope Francis’ personal pastoral relationships.
    Since they do not in any way form part of the Pope’s public activities, no information or comments are to be expected from the Holy See Press Office.
    That which has been communicated in relation to this matter, outside the scope of personal relationships, and the consequent media amplification, cannot be confirmed as reliable, and is a source of misunderstanding and confusion.
    Therefore, consequences relating to the teaching of the Church are not to be inferred from these occurrences.” [/br]

    First of all, it’s directed at unspecified phone call*s*. He’s also called an advocate of the “Slow Food” movement to express solidarity, for example.

    [br]So, it’s conveniently evasive. Also, it talks about “amplification”–which hardly suggests falsehood–just a sad note at how much of a kerfuffle it’s been blown up to. Again, deft evasion. Also evasive is the money line “cannot be confirmed as reliable.” Which amplifications? Which doesn’t give anyone bent on tarring the media reports as inaccurate much to work with. [/br]

    But the killer is the plea to not infer “consequences relating to the teaching of the Church” from the call(s). There wouldn’t *be* consequences if he had simply told the Lisbonas that he wanted to assure them of his solidarity and accompaniment as he reaffirmed the indissolubility of marriage.

  • And Mr MPS and Mr Greg M, why did P choose Card. Kasper, a well known dissident on the indissolubility of marriage, as key–note speaker for the February cardinals’ convocation? I didn’t hear your PF-defense on that malaprop. (Interesting.) I think your work must be exhausting.

  • Makes me increasingly believe that the Orthodox are right.

Christ and History

Monday, March 31, AD 2014

 

 

You will find that a good many  Christian political writers think that Christianity began going wrong in  departing from the doctrine of its founder at a very early stage. Now this idea  must be used by us to encourage once again the conception of a “historical  Jesus” to be found by clearing away later “accretions and perversions,” and then  to be contrasted with the whole Christian tradition. In the last generation we  promoted the construction of such a “historical Jesus” on liberal and  humanitarian lines. We are now putting forward a new “historical Jesus” on  Marxian, catastrophic and revolutionary lines. The advantages of these  constructions, which we intend to change every thirty years or so, are manifold.  In the first place they all tend to direct man’s devotion to something which  does not exist. Because each “historical Jesus” is unhistorical, the documents  say what they say and they cannot be added to. Each new “historical Jesus” has  to be got out of them by suppression at one point and exaggeration at another  point. And by that sort of guessing (brilliant is the adjective we teach  humans to apply to it) on which no one would risk ten shillings in ordinary  life, but which is enough to produce a crop of new Napoleons, new Shakespeares,  and new Swifts in every publisher’s autumn list. . . . The “historical Jesus,”  then, however dangerous he may seem to be to us at some particular point, is  always to be encouraged.

CS Lewis, Screwtape Letters

 

 

 

 

Bart Ehrman, the New Testament scholar who transitioned from teenage evangelical, to liberal Christian, to agnostic, desperately wants to remake Christ in his own faithless image and therefore is popular with atheists and agnostics.  He has a very old act, as the argument that he makes, that the Resurrection never happened and that Christ was but a man, has been made by anti-Christians since the Crucifixion.    He puts old wine into a shiny new wineskin.  He isn’t really very good at it,  as Stephen Colbert, of all people, demonstrated several years ago.  Go here to Creative Minority Report to view that.

Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently for the Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith, turns his attention to Ehrman:

 

All sorts and conditions of men turn up at this site from time to time.  Protestant, Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christians regularly comment here, disagree with one another’s theology now and then but do it, for the most part, respectfully.

That’s because of most of you, not me.  You guys set the tone for this joint a long time ago.  But if I do see what I consider to be disrespect in the comments, which happens, I’ll quietly edit the comment or remove it entirely.  And if things get too intense in a comment thread, which sometimes happens, I won’t hesitate to shut that thread down.

I honestly wouldn’t mind seeing atheists comment here a lot more often than they do.  I’m not talking about some douchebag whose default position is, “Christians are brain-dead morons” or who claims to collapse on his or her fainting couch at the mere sight of a Bible verse, a Christian Cross or any other Christian image.

I refer to that rare breed of atheist who doesn’t believe there’s a God but is comfortable with the fact that some people disagree and who doesn’t feel the need to insult or belittle religious believers.  I can respect and even be friends with a person like that.

What I can’t and, indeed, refuse to respect are those atheists who still pretend to be Christians but who think that they’ve finally discovered What Actually Happened Two Thousand Years Ago And What It All Means.  Guys like Bart Ehrman, say:

Jesus was a lower-class preacher from Galilee, who, in good apocalyptic fashion, proclaimed that the end of history as he knew it was going to come to a crashing end, within his own generation. God was soon to intervene in the course of worldly affairs to overthrow the forces of evil and set up a utopian kingdom on earth. And he would be the king.

Insert “but” here.

It didn’t happen. Instead of being involved with the destruction of God’s enemies, Jesus was unceremoniously crushed by them: arrested, tried, humiliated, tortured, and publicly executed.

Which is why Jesus’ influence ended right then and there and is also why absolutely no one anywhere, with the exception of obscure Middle Eastern scholars, has any idea who Jesus of Nazareth was.  But for this bizarre reason, that’s not what actually happened.  Stop Bart if you’ve heard this one.

The followers of Jesus came to think he had been raised because some of them (probably not all of them) had visions of him afterwards. Both Christian and non-Christian historians can agree that it was visions of Jesus that made some of Jesus’ followers convinced that he was no longer dead. Christians would say that the disciples had these visions because Jesus really appeared to them. Non-Christians would say that (several of ) the disciples had hallucinations. Hallucinations happen all the time. Especially of deceased loved ones (your grandmother who turns up in your bedroom) and of significant religious figures (the Blessed Virgin Mary, who appears regularly in extraordinarily well-documented events). Jesus was both a lost loved one and an important religious leader. As bereaved, heartbroken, and guilt-ridden followers, the disciples were prime candidates for such visionary experiences.

Once the disciples claimed Jesus was alive again but was (obviously) no longer here with them, they came to think that he had been taken up to heaven (where else could he be?). In ancient Greek, Roman, and Jewish thinking, a person exalted to the heavenly realm was divinized – himself made divine. That’s what the earliest Christians thought about Jesus. After that a set of evolutionary forces took over, in which the followers of Jesus began saying more and more exalted things about him – that he had been made the son of God at his resurrection; no, it was at his baptism; no, it was at his birth; no, it was before he came into the world; no – he had never been made the son of God, he had always been the Son of God; in fact, he had always been God; more than that, he had created the world; and yet more, he was an eternal being equal with God Almighty.

That Kierkegaard quote’s on the top of this page for a reason.  That an alleged “scholar” can seriously advance a view so fundamentally unscholarly, so absolutely unsupported by anything remotely resembling actual evidence, convinces me that a great deal of “Christian scholarship” is, as the Great Dane observed, as monumental an intellectual scam as the world has ever known.

Where to begin?  Say what you want about him but Mohammed’s followers thought he was a prophet of God.  No doubt, the Buddha’s disciples intensely revered him.  Yet none of the followers of these two men, or any other great religious leader in world history, for that matter, ever invented a resurrection from the dead for their particular “prophet” and made that “resurrection” the basis of their religion.

Only the Christians did.

It seems to me that if you and all your associates somehow convince yourselves that you’ve seen the risen Jesus when you haven’t, you are, at some point, going to come down from your mass hallucinations.  At which point, you can either admit to yourself that you were wrong or continue with the charade and maybe get yourselves executed at an early age for something that you know deep down is a lie.

And did any of you happen to notice who Ehrman leaves out here?  I’ll give you a few hints.  A devout Jew, he was not only not connected to the Apostles and Christ’s early believers in any way, he was, by his own admission, actively hostile to the new movement, imprisoning many of Christ’s followers and having others killed.

He received authorization to travel to Damascus in order to do more of this sort of thing.  On the way there, he claimed that he saw a vision of the risen Christ, a claim from which he refused to back down to the end of his days, and began to preach Christ and Him crucified almost immediately.  When they heard of it, the Apostles and most of the disciples initially and quite understandably didn’t trust him.

The man’s claim compelled him to plant Christian churches all over the eastern Mediterranean and to write letters to many of these churches, encouraging and/or upbraiding their members as the need arose.  And this man’s claim about what he saw on that road to Damascus ended up prematurely costing him his Earthly life.

I’m pretty sure that the guy had a short name.  Don’t hold me to this but I think that it began with a P.  It’s right on the tip of my tongue.

I don’t know about you, Ehrman, but I can’t make myself die for an illusion.

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13 Responses to Christ and History

  • It has frequently struck me that those engaged in the quest of the historical Jesus lack an elementary sense of chronology.

    In the cathedral at Lyons, one can see a list of the bishops of that see. The third is St Irenaeus. He was born in Izmir in Turkey in 130 and died in 202. In 200, in point of time, he stood to the Crucifixion, as we today stand to Keble’s famous Assize Sermon that marked the beginning of the Oxford Movement. Bl John Henry Newman was present when that sermon was preached and I, who am not yet seventy, spoke in the 1950s to two old people in Birmingham, who remembered Newman.

    There is a close parallel in the case of St Irenaeus. As a boy in Izmir (then known as Smyrna) he had seen and heard the local bishop, St Polycarp (69-155) Now, both Irenaeus and Polycarp himself have left an account of how Polycarp was present, when Polycarp’s bishop, St Ignatius of Antioch “talked with John and with others, who had seen the Lord.”

    Impressive as this is, it cannot have been unique; there must have been any number of people in the first half of the 2nd century who remembered the apostles. Justin Martyr (100-165) would have grown up among such people in Syria and Palestine. Again, many at the end of the century would have remembered those first hearers of the apostolic teaching, witnesses scattered all around the Mediterranean sea. Now, this was the age that received and accounted as canonical the four gospels and no others; yes, there was early doubt in the West about John, just as there was early doubt about Revelation in the East, but it was settled in this period.

    The surviving testimony of the faith of the Nicene Church is abundant and beyond serious question; the evidence from the previous century, which was one of persecution is sparse in comparison, but the testimony of St. Irenaeus, St. Hippolytus, St. Cyprian, St. Gregory Thaumaturgus, St. Dionysius of Alexandria, and St. Methodius is all one way, in confirming a tradition from Ignatius to Nicea. Heretics, like Sabellius and Arius are individuals, representing no tradition (and contradicting each other) There is but one continuous tradition and it has no rivals.

    No less important, at this moment, Cardinal Barbarin sits in the chair of Irenaeus In Lyons, the last of an unbroken line of witnesses to the apostolic tradition “by saints proclaimed, by saints believed,” in that ancient and august see.

  • “It has frequently struck me that those engaged in the quest of the historical Jesus lack an elementary sense of chronology.”

    Exactly.

  • Ages ago in Analog I read a mock lecture by a future historian about a newly discovered cache of records of WW2. The story is obviously an apocryphal morality tale; the crimes describes are too horrendous to be believed; the very names show the power of religion (Church-hill), beauty (Rose-field) and industry (Man of steel) over a monster with a meaningless name.

    I only learnt about text criticism and its application to Scripture later and much of it strikes me as about the same level as the spoof in a SciFi pulp.

  • “Post-moderns” recognize that history is malleable and that truth is whatever people will believe.

  • “I only learnt about text criticism and its application to Scripture later and much of it strikes me as about the same level as the spoof in a SciFi pulp.”

    Indeed.

  • The Hypostatic Union, that Jesus is true God and true man is denied by the “historical Jesus”. Heresy is a half truth, the other half of which is used as a cudgel to oppress the Catholic church. If the “historical Jesus” is not God, none of us is saved.

  • “In ancient Greek, Roman, and Jewish thinking, a person exalted to the heavenly realm was divinized – himself made divine.”

    Jewish? JEWISH? Enoch was considered divine? Elijah? The Messiah wasn’t even considered divine by the Jews. The idea that a person could be divinized was blasphemy. (Actually, it was blasphemy to the Greeks too. Go around claiming it and you’ll find a bird pecking out your liver for eternity.) (For that matter, the Romans would consider it blasphemy. The emperors typically claimed divine ancestry, as did the Pharaohs and the Emperors of Japan. No one claims to become a god who doesn’t claim to already be partly divine.) (But that’s off the point. A Jew would never, ever claim that his rabbi became divine.)

  • “The idea that a person could be divinized was blasphemy”

    Which is why the Jews sought to stone Jesus when He said before Abraham was, I AM. To the Jews the idea that a Man could be God would have been considered the very essence of blasphemy. To the Greeks the idea that a dead Jewish carpenter was a God would have been an absurdity. To the Romans the idea that a man crucified by a Roman Procurator as a rebel against Rome could be divine would have seemed utter treason. All of these reactions are quite common in anti-Christian tracts during the rise of Christianity in the ancient world.

  • Thomas Collins

    As Mgr Ronald Knox said, “I do not so much mind the Germans applying the same critical methods to St. Mark which they apply to Homer; but I do object to their applying the same uncritical methods to St. Mark which they apply to Homer. And here steps in a very pestilent psychological influence. The lecturer who combats Kirchhoff, or exposes Ferrero, can do so without any imputation of narrow- mindedness. He has, in this instance, clearly no axe to grind. But if he be a Christian, and a fortiori if he be a clergyman, he is afraid of the imputation of narrow- mindedness if he takes up the same attitude towards Harnack or Spitta. When Mr. Cornford writes about Thucydides, Oxford historians cheerfully dispose of him in half a lecture, but when he writes about Christianity, Oxford theologians see cause for much searching of hearts and wagging of heads. But is there any reason for this difference, except that we are all in such craven fear of being thought illiberal?”

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  • “The idea that a person could be divinized was blasphemy”
    .
    To be “divinized” according to Zeus or Jupiter, made-up gods as the Caesars were is not the same as to be called into sonship with the true God. The Jews carried the prophecies about the Son of God, the coming Messiah.

  • In ancient… Jewish thinking, a person exalted to the heavenly realm was divinized – himself made divine.
    –Bart Ehrman

    I entirely missed the divinization of Enoch and Elijah in the Hebrew Scriptures. Where did Bart Ehrman find that–is he also a Muslim who claims the Jews and Christians altered the Scriptures?

Pivotal Experiments

Sunday, February 9, AD 2014

Christopher Johnson at Midwest Conservative Journal, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently for the Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith, takes a look at how NBC refers to Communism, an ideology that has a murder total of one hundred million and counting:

 

Last evening, NBC opened its Olympic coverage from Russia with the following montage:

The towering presence, the empire that ascended to affirm a colossal footprint. The revolution that birthed one of modern history’s pivotal experiments. But if politics has long shaped our sense of who they are, it’s passion that endures. As a more reliable right to their collective heart. What they build in aspirations lifted by imagination. What they craft, through the wonder of every last detail. How magical the fusion of sound and movement can be. How much a glass of distilled perfection and an overflowing table can matter. Discover the Russian people through these indelible signatures. Discover what we share with them through the games that open here tonight.

Watch the video.  As the highlighted words above are spoken, take careful note of the image that appears on the screen.  And then thank God that Germany isn’t scheduled to host an Olympics any time soon.

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15 Responses to Pivotal Experiments

  • Nihilism Broadcasting Corporation.
    News and information you can trust….almost.

  • I would argue that calling the Bolshevik Revolution a “pivotal experiment” is NOT the same as saying that the experiment was a success or that it was a great idea. Sounds more like damning with faint praise to me. Calling something important, influential or critical is not necessarily a compliment (e.g., Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, a distinction earned by Adolf Hitler and, I believe, Ayatollah Khomeni).

    Note also the next phrase: “If politics has long shaped our sense of who they are, it’s passion that endures, as a more reliable right to their collective heart.” In other words, Communism didn’t represent the whole of Russian culture or national spirit — and I agree. Yes, maybe NBC is sucking up to Putin more than they ought to but it’s the Olympics, so what did you expect?

  • From NBC Elaine I expect absolutely anything, and thus I was not surprised by their attempt to glide over the waking nightmare that was the Soviet Union.

  • Nuts Broadcasting Communism?
    The audience expressions at 2:21 in Springtime are priceless.

  • Suz: “Nuts Broadcasting Communism” . not “?”

  • They also had a big hammer/sickle. Imagine the liberal pomp and circumstances if at 1972 Munich they ran out a big, black swastika, or a knight’s cross?
    .

    This is my dull my life. After Mass yesterday, I was watching the cable NBC Sports. The so-called reporter was interviewing the coach of the Ruskie hockey team who was a starter on the 1980 Soviet (Army) hockey team that lost to the USA. The dude didn’t mention that half the team was walking point in Afdhanistan the week after they lost.

    It’s just that they’re taking a break from their 24/7 tongue-bathing of Obama.
    .

    The truth is out there. It’s not with ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, et al.
    .

    Anyhow, NBC couldn’t comment on the pivotal horse-stuff and stay in Sochi . . . But, I can.
    .

    “In 1932-33, the Ukraine, formerly the breadbasket of Russia, was turned into a desolate wasteland during the ‘Holodomor.’ Malcolm Muggerage wrote in his book, War on the Peasants, ‘On one side, millions of starving peasants, their bellies often swollen from lack of food; on the other, soldiers, members of the GPU (secret police) carrying out the instructions of the dictatorship of the proletariat. They had gone over the country like a swarm of locusts and taken away everything edible, they had shot or exiled thousands of peasants, sometimes whole villages, they had reduced some of the most fertile land in the world to a melancholy desert.’ More than 7 million people died so that their farms could be collectivized by Moscow.”

  • T. Shaw.

    Q: Is this the same utopian model that the elite Lib’s wish on AmeriKia?

    My gut feeling is that it is!

  • I thought it was fine. I basically agree with Elaine, that it handled the elephant in the room as well as they could. What stood out to me was the frequent religious imagery.

  • Phillip:

    The death of the middle class; weak economic growth; low paying jobs; death panels; unemployment is “liberating”; . . .

    We are living the lib, utopian nightmare.

  • Sounds like more was expected. I agree, the treatment seemed rather neutral, which is what we’d expect for an Olympic broadcast. Now maybe when the Bolshevik history tribunal is aired we’ll see some sparks!

  • Thank You T. Shaw

  • Thanks for sugarcoating it T. Shaw.
    Famine gulags and cheap vodka…can’t wait! 🙁

  • I dunno, T Shaw. I’m thinking that the coverage of the 1972 Munich Olympics must have included some stock footage from the 1936 games, and some kind of vague references.

  • The ’72 Munich Olympics were, of course, overshadowed by the (Palestinian) terrorist massacre of Israeli athletes. That story was handled with calm and dignity by the late, great sportscaster Jim McKay.

    I was only 8 years old during those Games and so don’t remember watching that story directly. I do, however, remember reading an interview with McKay years later in Sports Illustrated in which he said that all during the hostage crisis, the one thing he kept in mind was that the parents of one of the Israeli athletes lived in Ohio, and he would be the one who would have to tell them whether their son was alive or dead. I have a hard time imagining today’s talking heads having that much compassion or empathy for their viewers.

  • Yeah, Elaine, I was looking around for coverage of the 1972 games to back up my theory, but the only things I could find were about the terrorist attack.

    It really is depressing how many times we’ve failed at creating a non-political international sporting event. I guess some people see a stage and can’t imagine not being on it.

The Great I Am

Sunday, January 19, AD 2014

GK Chesterton once opined that “When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.”  Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently for the Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith, gives us a perfect example:

The other day, Bob Wright, Georgia’s Episcopal pointy hat, opened a speech before some “interfaith” complete waste of time or other in this fashion:

Good afternoon. Greetings to you in the name of Yahweh the Almighty, in the name of Allah the beneficent and merciful. Greetings to you in the name of the Eternal One who gave the Buddha his great enlightenment, and in the name of the Hindus’ Supreme Being that orders the cosmos.

I guess I could thoroughly document all the ways that that’s not only wrong but actually kind of insulting to many more people than Christians.  But do you know how to tell when you’re just about finished with the Episcopalians?  When you read something like that and the only reaction you can come up with is to say to yourself, “Whatever, Bob.  And why do you hate Zoroastrians, bigot?”

Go here to read the comments.  The mindset of Mr. Wright infests many who call themselves Christians today, even within the Church.  It is hard for me to convey not only how mistaken this is, but how truly evil it is.  Christ and the Jews who did not follow Him gave us an example of what I mean:

[57] The Jews therefore said to him: Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? [58] Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say to you, before Abraham was made, I am. [59] They took up stones therefore to cast at him. But Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple.

John 8: 57-59

Jesus in this passage stated that He is God, the great I AM that revealed Himself to Moses.  The Jews who did not believe Him were ready to stone Him for this blasphemy.

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34 Responses to The Great I Am

  • Our God has a human face.
    The “Episcopal’s pointy hat” made me laugh so hard that my sides hurt.

  • Reminds me of the disregard shown by the people depicted in the first reading for Friday’s Mass. (I Samuel 8: 4 – 22)

    Samuel was getting old and the people wanted him to appoint a king to judge them. He prayed to the Lord, who answered him and, then, he delivered the message to the people. The Lord said to grant their request, “It is not you they reject, they are rejecting me as their king.” At the end of the message of the Lord to the people was a warning. “When this takes place, you will complain against the king whom you have chosen, but on that day the Lord will not answer you.”

    The happenings described in that message can be very well said about the enormity of current events and developments among the people.

  • per Pat, “It is not you they reject, they are rejecting me as their king.” Dare we hope that people will reject Obama as their king? 🙂

  • The absolute cacophony of lies and unbelief is deafening. Christian religious leaders no longer know who God is. Pat’s point is well taken– we are collectively rejecting what we do know of God, revealed, and drifting into some ideas of our own.

    … we’ve talked about part of this problem recently on TAC: about the confusion of Allah with God the Father. And confusion is understandable, after all, we have tried so hard to be nice and not triumphal about the great treasure of our religion. Be self effacing and demure about it.
    Our pope thought it important, with his limited time, to tell the world that God isn’t Catholic. (no accompanying catechesis) Why, some may wonder, be Catholic ? God Himself is not Catholic. The Almighty is way beyond that…probably He includes the whole pantheon of gods mentioned. It boggles my mind to much to try to think how God could encompass the non-god of atheism–the am not was not never will be.
    The pope seems to loosen the sense of order in the Church, opens the door to speculation about the authority of the Church to judge sinfulness. (that makes me wonder how a priest would ever know what to forgive and what to retain). And be less traditional (like the connection we have always seen of Christ washing feet of his disciples to the call of priests) (priests are nothing special) could’ve washed women’s feet, after all wouldn’t a loving Jesus do that?
    The church itself seems to have been picking away at the idea of hierarchy (order).. really should anybody actually be in charge? or should it just be what each one, (in good faith mind you) thinks is right? Primacy of Conscience. We should not identify who might be specially honorable priest unless they reach that arbitrary age of 64. Otherwise the people might know who the good shepherds are and go to them.
    The most important thing is to not be too hard on the people who kill innocent babies and sick or old people. Don’t be too strict about the meaning and purpose of sex, the unique gift to cooperate with God himself in generation
    Bishops and priests blur issues daily it seems, Why wouldn’t the world be confused; the Church sure seems to be.

  • The church most certainly is confused. I attended Protestant churches for 4 decades & can only recall hearing the Gospel (the death, burial, & resurrection of Jesus Christ) actually explained from the pulpit ONCE in 40 years!! Part of the comfort of attending mass is repeating what the Gospel is every service. Now I believe and understand the creed. But apparently there are many who are saying it who don’t have a clue what it means or are simply mouthing the words without any form of personal commitment or conversion.

    I know a Catholic family who took their child out of a Catholic girls high school because the unbelief of the nuns from whom she was receiving instruction was destroying the young girl’s faith.

    I attended a Methodist service once–emphasize once–because I knew that a very liberal political speaker would be making a presentation on a given Sunday morning. I had been in public meetings at our state Capitol with this political figure–I was there protesting her attempt to put reproductive health clinics in our public schools where children could get birth control including school bus trips to abortion clinics without their parents’ knowledge or consent. I attended the Methodist service just to hear what that idiot had the nerve to say from the pulpit of a church. Let me tell you–I was SHOCKED. And when the minister prayed it absolutely terrified me because he prayed to gods I had never heard of before–none of which were the God of the Bible. That service was filled with witchcraft. I couldn’t get out of that place fast enough.

    If you want to know how confused people who purport to be Christians truly are just ask them if they believe in absolute truth. Please be sure and take some nerve pills and/or blood pressure medicine or at least be sitting down before you listen to their answers!!!

  • When Christians say that other religious leaders and their “gods” are on a respectably level footing with Jesus, they are saying that his death on the cross and resurrection were not necessary. They stand with Peter at the transfiguration after Jesus told him about his impending death and resurrection: “He took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” (Matt 16:22-23. That kind of inclusiveness is truly evil.

  • You know and I know the Truth.

    There’s no easy way to convince others of what we know confess and believe with All of our hearts. On the contrary our mission is a challenge. When we live an authentic Christian life our mission becomes much easier because we realize the He, Jesus, does all of the hard work. He guides our way and places the correct words in our mouth when we must speak.

    Let’s be constantly reminded of those who have gone before us..the Saints..the Martyrs and have confidence that our God, the one true God, will accomplish his work through us if we are humble and simple.

  • Anzlyne: Thank you and may God bless you for this. The trees have elected a thorn bush to rule over them, both in the White House and in the Vatican. “Our pope thought it important, with his limited time, to tell the world that God isn’t Catholic.” while Georgia’s Episcopal pointy hat, through the courtesy of Christopher Johnson and TAC, tells the world, that God is not human, that God is a thing, like praying to one’s couch: “and in the name of the Hindus’ Supreme Being that orders the cosmos.” The Supreme Sovereign Being is a Trinity of Sovereign Persons WHO order the cosmos, create the rational, immortal, human soul and endow the human being, man, with unalienable rights. No belief and worship of God, no unalienable human rights, for man is created by God to know, to love and to serve God. If man is a soulless thing, like “that” couch, man will be sat upon and discarded.
    Barbara Gordon: You have described what is happening in our culture. Let us remember that it is our sweat and blood, our tax dollars that enable this in our culture, this thorn bush is of our own making.

  • People are so frightened to be not politically correct. My daughter does ballet. And on opening night of the Nutcracker, the director came out & wished everyone, in this order, a Happy Hanukkah, a Happy Kwanzaa, a Happy Ramadan, and a Merry Christmas… really?? First of all, Nutcracker has a gigantic Christmas tree & party on stage for the first half, but I suppose that the politically correct crowd now calls it a holiday tree. Secondly, Ramadan, is in the summer.

  • Very good comments ALL! Missy, for our grade school “Holiday Program” an entire 15 minutes of the “Holiday Program” was a play called “What Would Martha Do?” Concerning the trials and tribulations of Martha Stewart getting ready for the “Holidays”. I thought I would die. As I looked over the crowd literally 99% of the families there were Catholic and should have their children in Parochial School including three of MINE! My son was so embarrassed but due to family conflicts his children are not in the Catholic school. I don’t think there was even “We wish you a Merry Christmas”. I do my own religious education with my grandchildren who go to the public school. We are in such trouble. Pray Pray Pray.

  • Something to take comfort in.

    You, We were born raised and graced to be in this moment. To be present in this struggle for souls. It’s very humbling to me but the Lord saw this time period.
    He had each of you in mind for this era.
    He knew that your talents and acceptance of his Grace would be sufficient and profitable for souls.
    God has great confidence in you!
    Martha Stewart Holiday skits and Coexist bumperstickers. It will continue on and on but no one can take your place in this era of Our Lord. All hell may very well be unleashed on earth but it’s not enough. Poor Satan. Can’t beat the lowliness of a poor Jewish girl who said Yes my Lord…let it be done..for “I am the handmade of the Lord.”

  • What the Episcopal ‘bishop’ did was inexcusable. Again, a sign that the Episcopal Church has taken in the slogan “the culture transforms the Church”.

    However, since Pope Francis’ quote “God is not a Catholic” has been quoted a couple of times I wonder if anyone really asked themselves what he really meant or just assumed we know what he meant. I know I ‘read’ this but do not see it in the same light as some here have. I read it as “Catholics” do not own God. In fact, the word “Church” in Greek is Kyriake, meaning “belonging to God”. We belong to Him; He does not belong to us. See what I mean?

  • One notable gems in the bishop’s address:
    “We realize that each tradition at its core and at its best agrees that the cosmos has a brilliant and benevolent bent and that all creation and every human being has worth and dignity that is non-negotiable.”
    The bishop supports a personhood amendment to Georgia’s constitution and perhaps he wanted to give the mayor something to think about. Also, while he invited atheists to work toward a better government, the bishop never stopped saying that God is real and active in our lives.

  • Instead of focusing on what the Episcopal “bishop” said, I would like to return to Donald’s comment at the end of this post: “Christ is the great I AM and the cavalier way in which Christians treat that great truth is a mortal sin that is eating away at Christianity”

    Jesus is “I AM”, each every time Jesus says “I AM” in John’s Gospel whether it be “Before Abraham was I AM” or one of the seven “I AM” statements: i.e. I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life; I AM the Light of the World; I AM the Bread of Life come down from heaven….; I AM the Good Shepherd; I AM the resurrection and the life, et al. Jesus is identifying Himself as the enfleshed (incarnated) I AM.

    When other New Testament authors and texts speak of the Jesus Christ as “LORD”, they are saying precisely the same thing. He is ‘the LORD’, the “I AM WHO I AM”. He is the fullest revelation of the “I AM”: “Whoever sees Me, see the Father”, Jesus says in John’s Gospel

    We are witnessing the rise of a neo-Arianism today, a denial of any substantial (remember He is consubstantial: homoousios with the Father) unity between the Incarnate Son/Word and the Father. For many Jesus is simply a great moral teacher, an example for us, to be sure, but not LORD and Savior

    As Catholics we need to ‘return to the sources’, in this case our wonderful Nicene-Constantinople Creed. Whether we profess it in the vernacular or Latin we need to return to that text and prayerfully reflect on what each phrase, each word means and to be able to give ‘reason for our faith’ as St Peter put it in his First Letter.

    Islam directly contradicts our confession of faith, that Jesus is “LORD”, the Great “I AM”. If we cannot go deep into what this faith means and what it means for us we will never be able to pass it on to a younger generation or any who come to us from outside the Church.

    However, there is another dimension of the Nicene Faith that does not frequently get mentioned. Who is over the Church?

    See the Arians new exactly what they were doing. In attempting to conform the Christian faith to the Greek Philosophical categories (instead of doing the opposite) the Arians were also secularizing the faith. if Jesus Christ is not the Son of God in the fullest sense of those words, then the Emperor (or whatever other high public office figure you have-such as President) is over the Church and the Faith. There is no real mediator or mediation between God and man; the ‘Emperor” represents God to the people.

    However, if Jesus Christ is truly LORD, homoousios, consubstantial with the Father, than it is the bishop in the image of Christ, who is over the Church (and the Bishop of Rome over the whole Church)

    The neo-Arianism we witness today is a great threat to the Church and her faith.

  • Yikes: typo: knew not ‘new’ sorry lol

  • Botolph: “God is not a Catholic”. Yes. God is Catholic. God cannot be otherwise, but Catholic. If Jesus were not Catholic how could Jesus found and institute the Catholic Church? Inclusivity of atheists, and all the rest, does not impinge on the Catholicity of God. God is Catholic for all people.
    The Real Presence on the altar and the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist are infinitely Catholic.
    If Pope Francis keeps throwing pearls before swine, they will turn on him and tear his to shreds.

  • Mary De Voe,

    And what was God before the Son was incarnate of the Virgin Mary?

  • Opps. What opps. “they will turn on him and tear him to shreds.”

  • Botolph. You gotta be kidding me? Right? “And what was God before the Son was incarnate of the Virgin Mary?”But, I see you are not kidding me. So, I will correct you. “And WHO was God before the incarnate of the Virgin Mary?”
    “I AM WHO I AM” is the name of God. “I AM” the Father and Creator, “I AM”, the Son, the Redeemer, “I AM” the name of the Holy Spirit, the Love between the Father and the Son, the Sanctifier, The Supreme Sovereign Being, existence, love, Three Supreme Sovereign Persons in one God.
    The Sovereign Person of God in Whom all mankind is made (mankind includes all women for women are kind of man) is referred to in all cases as a Sovereign Person “WHO”. Never, Never, Never, “what” or, “that” or “Which”
    Only the Catholic Bible refers to God as “WHO art in heaven” All the other translations reprint “which art in heaven” blasphemy, referring to God as a thing. I could never, never say Botolph, which sits in the chair, or Botolph that is on vacation, or Botolph what usurps God’s sovereignty, for God WHO is in heaven has graciously endowed Botolph with all unalienable rights, free will and intellect.
    Cecil B. DeMille’s film, The Ten Commandments refers to the God of Moses as “that”; “that” God of Moses. If man wishes to respond to his dignity, man must first respect and respond to his God as God is “I AM WHO I AM”.
    Note. Dr. Zeuss’s “The Grinch who stole Christmas” is an excellent study of all the little WHOs in WHOVILLE, Who had not yet achieved their knowses, read (noses). I must be adamant if not polite because man is created to know. to love and to serve God and God is WHO.

  • Mary De Voe,

    Mary I am not denying the Most Blessed Trinity-look at my post concerning neo-Arianism. I am not saying “the Son came into being at the Incarnation”. What I am trying to understand is how you can claim God to be a Catholic when it is we who belong to Him, not He to us.

  • Botolph: You just met my mother in me. You gotta love her.
    Notice in Michelangelo’s Pieta, Mary does not touch the Body of Jesus. There is cloth between Christ’s Body and Mary’s hand. Christ’s arm touches Mary’s hand. In the same way the cope touches the monstrance with the Real Presence.

  • What I am trying to understand is how you can claim God to be a Catholic when it is we who belong to Him, not He to us.
    Anyone who wills to belong to God wills to be Catholic. God wills to belong, and does belong, as our Creator and Redeemer and Sanctifier, to all people. But only the people who will to belong to God can be called Catholic. God is Catholic. It is we, the people, who are not Catholic. Let us stop blaming God for our lack of Faith.

  • Mary De Voe,

    To be honest, I had never noticed the fact that Mary’s hand does not touch the Body of Jesus. I first saw the Pieta at the New York World’s Fair in 1964 (?) might be off a year or two lol I have seen it several times back in its place of honor in Saint Peter’s in Rome-yet never noticed that. I do remember as a youth at the Vatican Pavilion at the NY World’s Fair of being moved to tears at both Michelangelo’s beautiful sculpture and at the “moment’ the sculpture was ‘attempting’ to portray.

    You are correct in your interpretation-that it is just like the priest’s vestment at Benediction prevents his hands from touching the Monstrance containing the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ

  • Catholic means of use and value to all people. Show me a man who does not exist and I will show you a man who does not need a Catholic God.

  • what an idea: anyone thinking they could own God. I wouldn’t think that. But I would claim to be in His family. If I was as as I would be, I would identify with HIm so closely you could see the resemblance.

    Some people would not say God is Catholic because they think Catholic is a human designation like a denomination. But is not. It is His Body. No denomination, nor even a non denomination can say that He belongs to them ( Methodist God, Hindu god, etc) because He doesn’t belong to them. Anyone who belongs to God belong to him through the auspices and works of His Church. Which is Catholic.
    I say God is Catholic, I don’t say He is a Catholic. Makes sense to me.
    Jesus is Christian…its His last name 🙂 Jesus is Christian. That makes God Christian.
    The pope’s comment may be read in different ways and he may be perfectly right: Jesuitical thinking – right and yet wrong.
    Pope’s comment “I believe in God, not in a Catholic God” was made to an atheist. Which probably made no difference at all to the atheist in his choice against God. What was the pope’s point? …did he think the atheist might consider accepting God if He is dissociated with the Church? Aaach… pope, pope, pope–what a representation of the Good News – all good all the time, no difficult teachings, no judgment. Don’t worry about that talk about vomiting the lukewarm or that if you are not with Him you are against Him..
    If Catholic is too hard, pick one of the gods listed by the Episcopalian bishop of this post– or make up your own.

    In the fog of the pope distancing God from His Church, Scalfari asked the pope, “ is there a single vision of the Good? And who decides what it is?”
    Our Catholic Pope answered: “Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is good… That would be enough to make the world a better place.”

  • This comment – If Catholic is too hard, pick one of the gods listed by the Episcopalian bishop of this post– or make up your own. was not meant to be directed to the pope and I wish I hadn’t said it.

  • Botolph: “What I am trying to understand is how you can claim God to be a Catholic when it is we who belong to Him, not He to us.”
    God is espoused to us as a Catholic Bridegroom. God belongs to us as a Catholic Bridegroom because God wills to belong to us. “No one takes my life from me. I lay my life down and I take it up again” “My delight is to be among the sons of men.” Jesus, Himself, called Himself the “Son of Man”. In the Old Testament, there appeared in the furnace a fourth figure WHO looked like a man. In Revelation, God appears as a man seated on the throne. In the mystery of the hypostatic union, Jesus is true God and true man. God is indeed with us. God is Catholic. We, the people, belong to God through creation. God belongs to us through His willing it.
    and as Azlyne says: “I say God is Catholic, I don’t say He is a Catholic.” Thinking on that statement, God is Catholic and God is a Catholic for as Azlyne says Christ’s Church is Catholic. Christ’s Church couldn’t be Catholic if Christ was not a Catholic.
    “Our Catholic Pope answered: “Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is good… That would be enough to make the world a better place.” almost sounds like the heresy that God and the devil are equal but opposite. At least the guy above called God “The Supreme Sovereign Being.” There can be no two Supreme Beings as one would preempt the other. Actually, two Supreme Beings would cancel each other out and then there would be no “Supreme Being”. makes sense?
    Azlyne, I appreciate you thoughts and the fine language you used to express the truths of our Faith.

  • Anzlyne, I appreciate you thoughts and the fine language you used to express the truths of our Faith. Is there any chance you would change your name to Mary. I know how to spell Mary.

  • “….we have to encourage people to move toward what they think is good.”
    Pope Francis-

    I’m still shaking my head.

    If the smoke of Satan had entered in to the Holy Church I am saddened to believe that our Holy Father inhaled some of it. A few days ago a commentator on this site suggested we “buckle up.” Oh boy. Buckle up indeed.
    This is only the beginning of Frankie’s wild ride. Relativism from our Leader.
    Who would of thunk it?

  • Mary De Voe, Anzlyne and Philip,

    As this discussion has progressed I began to realize the ‘source’ of these ‘statements’ from Pope Francis. They are from the pseudo-interview that Pope Francis had with the very liberal atheist Italian editor of the what in Italy wwould be similar to the New York Times. The editor is in his 80’s. While I know some very astute octagenarians, I believe this one is losing it.

    When he had the interview, he had no recording device, no notes, nothing. The interview did take place but what he published as the interview was completely reconstructed from his memory. That is terrible journalist practice at best. It has at this point been completely shunned by any and all who are truly interested in Pope Francis’ view etc, It is no longer considered to be a real interview of Pope Francis.

    I am on my part have two things to say. First, I believe the poor man is actually suffering from early signs of dementia. At Christmas he wrote up a big article saying Pope Francis had done away with sin-which of course is not only not factual but a complete fabrication. I believe that editorial nailed his proverbial journalistic coffin

    Secondly in my first responses with Mary De Voe, while I thought the statement, “God is not a Catholic” odd, even if explainable, I confess I didn’t do my homework and uncover the truth that it was actually the Italian editor’s comment not the Pope’s. I will be very careful from now on.

    Just forget this interview. We will never know what Pope Francis actually ever said. Be not afraid. The words are the words of an italian atheist.

  • In today’s Gospel, St. Mark 2:28 quotes Jesus Christ: “Therefore, the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” Jesus Christ is one of us and a Catholic. God is Catholic.

  • “What I am trying to understand is how you can claim God to be a Catholic when it is we who belong to Him, not He to us.”
    Emmanuel: God with us.

  • “Greetings to you in the name of Yahweh the God who actually exists, in the name of Muhammad’s psychotic hallucination, in the name of the Eternal Death that Buddha preached, and in the name of Hinduism’s cosmic frat boys. Greetings to the fool who says ‘there is no God’.”

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Know Nothings

Thursday, January 9, AD 2014

Know Nothings

 

 

Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels in defense of the Church so frequently that I have named him Defender of the Faith, has a memorable fisk at his blog Midwest Conservative Journal of Jamie Stiehm’s anti-Catholic rant, that I fisked here.  Here is Christopher’s fisk:

 

In a case involving the Little Sisters of the Poor, US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotamayor recently issued a temporary stay against the implementation of that DemocraticPartyCare provision that forces religious entities that consider it to be a grave sin to pay for their employees’ birth control or to facilitate such payment.

I’m not a lawyer but I imagine that Supreme Court justices issue these sorts of stays all the time against quite a few laws for a variety of procedural reasons.  These justices may eventually find that these laws are entirely constitutional while nevertheless insisting that everything be done decently and in good legal order.

But that’s not how Jamie Stiehm saw it in Useless News & World Distort.  According to Stiehm, Sonia Sotamayor is not a leftist “wise Latina” but a Vatican Trojan horse:

Et tu, Justice Sonia Sotomayor? Really, we can’t trust you on women’s health and human rights? The lady from the Bronx just dropped the ball on American women and girls as surely as she did the sparkling ball at midnight on New Year’s Eve in Times Square. Or maybe she’s just a good Catholic girl.

And we’re off.  Get yourselves something good to drink, folks, because this is going to be a wild ride.

The Supreme Court is now best understood as the Extreme Court. One big reason why is that six out of nine Justices are Catholic.

What should Obama do about it?  Declare war on the Papal States or something?

Let’s be forthright about that. (The other three are Jewish.) Sotomayor, appointed by President Obama, is a Catholic who put her religion ahead of her jurisprudence. What a surprise, but that is no small thing.

A hundy says Jamie’s an Episcopalian.  That issue-a-result-I-don’t-like-and-you’ve-put-your-religion-ahead-of-your-jurisprudence take is a dead giveaway.

In a stay order applying to an appeal by a Colorado nunnery, the Little Sisters of the Poor,

Kind of like saying that St. Peter’s is just another Roman parish church but do go on.

Justice Sotomayor undermined the new Affordable Care Act’s sensible policy on contraception. She blocked the most simple of rules – lenient rules – that required the Little Sisters to affirm their religious beliefs against making contraception available to its members. They objected to filling out a one-page form. What could be easier than nuns claiming they don’t believe in contraception?

Might that have something to do with the fact that most people figured out a long time ago that the United States government has absolutely no business whatsofreakingever issuing ANY rules about religious doctrine to any religious groups at all because of that First Amendment doohickey, you simple-minded bucket of spit?

Sotomayor’s blow brings us to confront an uncomfortable reality. More than WASPS, Methodists, Jews, Quakers or Baptists, Catholics often try to impose their beliefs on you, me, public discourse and institutions. Especially if “you” are female.

This explains why capital punishment in this country is rare to non-existent these days and why this country’s had universal health care for decades now.

This is not true of all Catholics – just look at House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

An EWDKIY (an Episcopalian Who Doesn’t Know It Yet).  Then there’s the fact that Sotomayor’s a sex traitor. 

But right now, the climate is so cold when it comes to defending our settled legal ground that Sotomayor’s stay is tantamount to selling out the sisterhood. And sisterhood is not as powerful as it used to be, ladies.

At the rate she’s going, Stiehm should break out “greaser” real soon.

Catholics in high places of power have the most trouble, I’ve noticed, practicing the separation of church and state. The pugnacious Catholic Justice, Antonin Scalia, is the most aggressive offender on the Court, but not the only one. Of course, we can’t know for sure what Sotomayor was thinking, but it seems she has joined the ranks of the five Republican Catholic men on the John Roberts Court in showing a clear religious bias when it comes to women’s rights and liberties. We can no longer be silent about this. Thomas Jefferson, the principal champion of the separation between state and church, was thinking particularly of pernicious Rome in his writings. He deeply distrusted the narrowness of Vatican hegemony.

It says up at the top of the link that Jamie’s “a weekly Creators Syndicate columnist.”  And it’s facts like that one and paragraphs like the previous one that make me wonder about God sometimes.  Why should someone that bonecrushingly stupid have a syndicated column while I have to blow through my father’s inheritance just to pay rent, put food on the table and keep the heat going?

Here’s a historical question for you, Jamie.  Do you know what group basically motivated all of Jefferson’s various proposals for religious liberty, against official church establishment, for the seperation of church and state and all the rest of it? 

I’ll give you a hint; amazingly, it wasn’t the Roman Catholics.  There weren’t that many of them around here back then.  It was the Anglicans, the ancestors of that pseudo-spiritual entity that’s currently run by a woman and that’s suing people out of their meeting houses because of what they believe.  Starts with an E, I think.

The seemingly innocent Little Sisters likely were likely not acting alone in their trouble-making.

DUM-DUM-DUM-DUM-DUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!

Their big brothers, the meddlesome American Roman Catholic Archbishops are bound to be involved. They seek and wield tremendous power and influence in the political sphere.

Yeah, sure they do.  There should be a “Whore of Babylon” along any second now.

Big city mayors know their penchant for control all too well. Their principal target for years on end has been squelching women and girls – even when they should have focused on their own men and boys.

You do realize what you’re implying there, don’t you, Jamie? 

In one stroke with ominous implications, there’s no such thing as Catholic justice or mercy for women on the Supreme Court, not even from a woman. The rock of Rome refuses to budge on women’s reproductive rights and the Supreme Court is getting good and ready to strike down Roe v. Wade, which became the law of the land 40 years ago.

Really?  I’ll take your word for it.  But exactly how a Supreme Court decision can become the “law of the land,” since the Supreme Court doesn’t pass laws but only rules on their constitutionality, completely escapes me.

The Anchoress has a far better evisceration of this idiocy than mine so be sure to check it out.  Thanks to Fuinseoig for the heads-up.

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8 Responses to Know Nothings

  • “This explains why capital punishment in this country is rare to non-existent these days and why this country’s had universal health care for decades now.”
    Reminds me to ask does anyone know where there is a great short list of Catholic contributions to American government

  • While there are no easy answers to politics and economics, Christians can bring Scripture to bear upon these aspects of life. I do believe governments have the right to practice capital punishment. I do not beleive they must do so, however. We are not bound by Old Testament law, obviously, and we certainly wouldn’t want to transfer Old Testamnet law wholesale. We are not under that dispensation, which was assigned to Israel as a nation. But we can glean insihgts from GOd’s laws to discern righ from wrong and to get a sense of what is just. Reflecting upon O. T. law, I consider that universal healthcare and regard for society’s welfare in general is a good thing. But we must decide, in practical and relevant ways, how to implement all of this in our own context.

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  • If it is true that The Supreme Court is getting ready to strike down Roe v. Wade, it is because they recognize the self-evident truth, that we, every son or daughter of a human person, were created before we came forth from the womb, or became “viable”. From the moment of conception, nothing is added to or subtracted from the DNA of the son or daughter residing in their mother’s womb, thus from the moment of our conception, every son or daughter of a human person is wholly human; a human person can only conceive a human person.

  • “I do believe governments have the right to practice capital punishment. I do not beleive they must do so, however.”
    “But when a man kills another after maliciously scheming to do so, you must take him even from my altar (compassion, mercy) and put him to death.” Exodus 21:14 Capital One Homicide. Premeditated murder. The condemned murderer must expire with grief over his crime. The victim’s innocence is impugned. Did the victim deserve to be put to death? The victim’s life is taken from him. The victim’s innocence must be vindicated. The only way to ban capital punishment, the death penalty, for capital one murder is to expunge homicide.

  • “From the moment of conception, nothing is added to or subtracted from the DNA of the son or daughter residing in their mother’s womb, thus from the moment of our conception, every son or daughter of a human person is wholly human; a human person can only conceive a human person.”
    DNA is scientific proof that a newly begotten sovereign person is a member of the human race, an individual substance of a rational nature according to St. Thomas Aquinas. The will to live of the human soul is the state’s right to life. Dead things do not need abortion. The burden of proof that the new person was not a person was never met by Sarah Weddington, the attorney of Roe.
    Nancy D. I really appreciated your calling the new persons sons and daughters.
    Isaiah 43:6-10 “Bring back my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth: everyone who is named as mine, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.
    Lead out the people who are blind though they have eyes, who are deaf though they have ears.
    Let all the nations gather together, let the people assemble!
    Who among them could have revealed this, or foretold to us the earlier things?
    Let them produce witnesses to prove themselves right, that one may hear and say: “It is true!”
    You are my witnesses, says the Lord, my servants whom I have chosen to know and believe in me and understand that it is I.
    Isaiah 50:4c-9a
    “If anyone wishes to oppose me, let us appear together. Who disputes my right? Let that man confront me. See, the Lord God is my help; who will prove me wrong?
    If anyone wishes to oppose me, let us appear together. Who disputes my right? Let that man confront me.” : Habeas Corpus, a person must be confronted by his accuser in a court of law. No trials in absentia. “See, the Lord God is my help; who will prove me wrong?” Two witnesses will establish a judicial fact. One witness is no witness. The Magna Carta and The U.S. Constitution based on Judeo-Christian principles found in Isaiah.

  • Last time I checked (which was some time ago) US News was owned by Morton Zuckerman. He owns Atlantic Monthly also which a few years ago (the last time I was reading it) often ran articles insulting to faithful Catholics. It was clear that there was an agenda then. I suspect there still is.

  • Yes there is an agenda!
    Zuckerman is betraying our Judeo Christian heritage.
    The Know Nothings haven’t learned much in the last 148 years (going by the date on the marker pictured at the top of this post).
    You might call them the “Stubbornly Know Even Less”, refusing to grow and learn despite all the great ecumenical efforts, the communications set forth by people of good will from so many truly earnest religious people. Some people refuse the truth.

PopeWatch: Antje Jackelén

Saturday, November 2, AD 2013

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

Unless a major news story involving the Pope develops, PopeWatch plans in future that Saturday installments of PopeWatch will normally be lighthearted, however this installment is somewhat darkly humored indeed.  Catholics can often rightly feel that there is much amiss in the Church.  Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who often has taken up the cudgels to defend the Church, reminds us in a current post at Midwest Conservative Journal that the problems of Catholics might seem trivial to Christians in various sects:

 

This one’s all yours, partner.  Just keep it clean:

The bookmakers were right. Today it was announced that the Church of Sweden’s new archbishop is Antje Jackelén. But who is the church’s new top leader, who has chosen part of the Muslim prayer call as her motto?

Many have been taken aback by the theological opinions Jackelén revealed during a questioning in Uppsala on October 1. The candidates for the highest position in the Swedish church were asked if they thought Jesus presented a truer picture of God than Muhammed. With her evasive answer Jackelén suddenly emerged as the bishop who couldn’t choose between Jesus and Muhammed. This provoked strong reactions on some editorial pages.

Kyrkans Tidning thought that the bishop’s answer might indicate that Christ is being relegated to the margins of the Church of Sweden and Dagens Nyheter encouraged the candidates to show some theological backbone. The editorial writer at the newspaper Dagen wrote that it is time to accept the idea of a split within the church – between Christians and those who think all religions are equally good. 

The bishop of Lund’s preference for Allah has prompted one of the church’s most preeminent theologians, professor Eva Hamberg, to leave her post as a member of the church’s theological council in protest against bishop Antje Jackelén’s failure to stand behind the Church of Sweden’s profession of faith. As a reaction to what she calls ”the inner secularization of the Church of Sweden”, she has also renounced her position as priest and her membership of the church.

In a number of interviews Hamberg has expressed her disappointment that not even the top leader of the church will clearly profess a Christian faith but wavers between Jesus and Muhammed.

It is not only Jackelén’s motto and her unwillingness to put Jesus ahead of Muhammed that has evoked strong feelings among many committed Christians. During her questioning in Uppsala, the new archbishop also said that the Church of Sweden has more in common with other religions than with other Christian churches, that the Virgin Birth must be understood metaphorically, that hell doesn’t exist and that the Biblical texts should not be taken as truth.

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4 Responses to PopeWatch: Antje Jackelén

  • All I can think of is prayers for professor Eva Hamberg, who has a chance to lead a significant number of people out of the Church of Sweden and to Christ. In an interview after her departure, she gives the impression that she is more of an academic type rather than a bold leader type. I can hope she realizes that other Christians in the Sweden have spoken in her favor and maybe reaches out to them directly. In that same interview, she expressed an intent to join an evangelical or Pentecostal denomination, but that not need be the end of her journey. (In addition to what Christopher Johnson described, professor Hamberg is also concerned that Antje Jackelén is not adhering to the Apostles’ Creed. So, I think there is grounds for genuine hope here.)

    I don’t want to pretend to know more about professor Hamberg than what is in a couple of news items and blog, but she really just might lead Swedes away from secularization and towards orthodox Christian beliefs. Prayers can help.

  • This story chimed in with my own reflections this morning. I had walked to early mass at Saint-Germain-des-Prés and being All Souls Day, the priest requested our charitable prayers for the faithful departed, including, amongst others, “those who lie peacefully here.” After mass I visited a number of the tombs in the church..

    There was René Descartes – his name means “born-again” (Renatus). Strange that we have no English equivalent for that Christian name par excellence. His brain, I recalled, is preserved in the Musée de l’Homme in Paris; the irony would not be lost on the philosopher of dualism.

    I visited the tomb of Chlothar II, King of all the Franks, who died in 629, more than a thousand years before Descartes. Muhammed had three more years to live. Finally the tombs of Childeric II, his wife, Bilichild and their five year old son, Dagobert, all assassinated, whilst hunting in the forest of Livry, one autumn day in 675, all baptized into the same hope as us. I lit a candle.

    Since this church was consecrated in 588, we have had the rise of Islam; the Great Schism; the corruption and disaffection of the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance Papacy; the Protestant revolt and the Wars of Religion; Quietism and Jansenism; the Deists and rationalists; the religious nationalism of Gallicanism and Josephism; the Revolution, the Risorgimento, the Ultramontane reaction; and, this morning, a Catholic priest said mass for the Holy Souls in the church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

  • …prayers for professor Eva Hamberg, who has a chance to lead a significant number of people out of the Church of Sweden and to Christ.

     
     

    Sadly, that would take a miracle on the order of the multiplication of the loaves According to Wikipedia, less than 4% of the Church of Sweden membership attends public worship during an average week; about 2% are regular attendees. I’m not sure if the corresponding figures for Sweden’s Catholics are any better, but they could hardly be much worse.

     

    In fact, the new bishop seems to be a centrist by local standards, given that putatively 30% of CoS members are either atheists or don’t believe in Jesus, and it is Prof. Hamberg who is pushing the envelope. But even if she doesn’t do a full Sigrid Unset, I do wish her well.

  • Sweden’s Catholics were the subject of some of Marcus Grodi’s The Journey Home programs last year, here’s one with Maria Hasselgren, Stockholm’s Diocesan Press Officer.

    If I remember correctly, there are more Catholics in the Diocese of Salt Lake City than in all of Sweden. The nation’s single diocese, the Diocese of Stockholm, was erected in 1953. The number of Catholics there is growing from both conversions by Swedes and arrival of immigrant Catholics, most of the latter are Poles.

Liberal Christianity as a “Religion”

Sunday, August 4, AD 2013

 

 

Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels in defense of Catholicism so frequently that I have named him Defender of the Faith, explains why liberal Protestantism deserves a place on the endangered species list:

Why is mainline Protestantism withering on the vine?  Because as Gertrude Stein once said about Oakland, California, there is no “there” there:

Liberal Protestantism is dying. Rod Dreher says so in a recent column in The American Conservative, and the statistics back him up: for decades, liberal and mainline Protestantism has been on the decline in the US, with some denominations (such as the United Church of Christ) losing adherents so quickly that their future is in peril. Meanwhile, more conservative and evangelical denominations have generally held their own, or even experienced growth (see graph below). But liberal Protestantism in many ways exemplifies the best of what religion could be: it’s tolerant of differences, non-judgmental, open to scientific knowledge. Good stuff, right? So why is it that the open-minded liberal churches are dying out? 

Golly gee willickers, it has to be painful to be this clueless.  “Liberal Protestantism in many ways exemplifies the best of what religion could be,” only to someone who has absolutely no idea what religion actually is.

I guess I’m going to have to try to dumb this down even further and for the sake of brevity, I’m going to stick with the monotheistic religions but these principles apply to all religions.  So here goes not much of anything.

There are people out there who believe that there is a God.  They believe that this God is responsible for existence itself as well as their presence in that existence.

Once they accept that, they’re kind of forced to accept three more concepts.  Even if they never figure out what it is, there’s a reason why they’re here; after all, if you’re talented enough to speak existence into existence, why would Christopher Johnsons ever just sort of randomly turn up?

So if you’re here for a reason, even if you never ever understand what that reason is until you die, if then, does that not imply that the God who deliberately made you exist feels that your existence is important?  And if your existence is important, does that not rather obligate you to try to live the way the God who made you exist wants you to live?

You can’t do that as well as you want to, of course.  God, in His mercy, understands that and has provided vehicles of escape, the most sensible and efficacious being, according to this Christian, that vehicle provided by the Christian religion.  That fellow on the Cross.

Then there are people who don’t believe any of that.

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5 Responses to Liberal Christianity as a “Religion”

  • At the heart of liberal Christianity lies the belief that religion is purely immanent.

    It was precisely this that Maurice Blondel so vigorously attacked: “No, Christianity does not emerge from nature by a subconscious and spontaneous evolution. No, it is not an emanation of the religious conscience of humanity. It proceeds from a positive intervention and a gratuitous and miraculous condescension of God; it is constituted by the historical fact of the Incarnation; it is essentially a supernatural gift, an interior gift of grace that feeds the Christian life, an exterior gift of the teaching and precepts of Christ, which, confided to the apostles, is communicated to us by the Church and her infallible head. To the thesis of efference that draws the dogmas and the virtues of Catholicism from below and, so to speak, from the depths of nature or the guts of humanity, the thesis of afference is radically opposed that affirms the character, specifically supernatural, free and gratuitous of the entire Christian order. And we adhere to this absolutely fundamental truth with our entire soul.”

    But he was alive to the danger of the opposite tendency: “First, the scholastic ideology, which still exclusively dominates, includes the study neither of religious psychology nor of the subjective facts that convey to the conscience the action of the objective realities whose presence in us Revelation indicates; this ideology only considers as legitimate the examination of what objectively informs us about these realities as designated and defined. Moreover, and especially, everything is instinctively resisted that would limit the authoritarianism born of an exclusive extrinsicism. And, without formulating it, the conception is entertained according to which everything in religious life comes from on high and from without. Only the priesthood is active before a purely passive and receptive flock.”

    It was left to Cardinal Henri de Lubac and his colleagues to resolve the tension.

  • Catholicism is like one of those universal constants that physicists can’t explain. If gravity were a billionth stronger, or a billionth weaker, the universe would end. Anything that isn’t Catholicism, no matter how close it is, will eventually collapse in on itself or explode outward in wasted entropy. Protestantism only survives to the extent that it’s similar to Catholicism, but “close” isn’t close enough, even if it takes 500 years longer than most heresies to disperse.

  • A good overview on the subject indeed! This “Liberal Christianity” will die the “fools death” if for no other reason than at its head are ill-advised, ill educated leaders & followers who have little real understanding of what “Faith” really is in their “Cafeteria Christian” world.We are taught in the Scriptures Hebrews 11:1 what faith is. We do these “Brothers & Sisters In Christ” NO justice by letting them continue to hold on to their beliefs that being a real Christian is easy & indeed trouble-free in and of itself! Again Jesus instructed us to council with them in His ways & Word! To fail in this duty will cause all of us to be judged harshly in The Almighty’s sight! Excellent article as well.

  • Did anyone follow all the way back to the original source?
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/scienceonreligion/2013/07/why-is-liberal-protestantism-dying-anyway/

    Check the last paragraph:

    Which is too bad, because the theology of liberal Protestantism is pretty admirable. Openness to the validity of other traditions, respect for doubters and for skeptical thinkers, acceptance of the findings of science, pro-environmentalism – if I had to pick a church off a sheet of paper, I’d choose a liberal denomination like the United Church of Christ or the Episcopalians any day. But their openness and refusal to be exclusive – to demand standards for belonging – is also their downfall. By agreeing not to erect any high threshold for belonging, the liberal Protestant churches make their boundaries so porous that everything of substance leaks out, mingling with the secular culture around them.

    So what if liberal Protestants kept their open-minded, tolerant theology, but started being strict about it – kicking people out for not showing up, or for not volunteering enough? Liberals have historically been wary of authority and its abuses, and so are hesitant about being strict. But strictness matters, if for no other reason because conservatives are so good at it: most of the strict, costly requirements for belonging to Christian churches in American today have to do with believing theologies that contradict science, or see non-Christians as damned. What if liberal Protestantism flexed its muscle, stood up straight, and demanded its own standards of commitment – to service of God and other people, to the dignity of women, and to radical environmental protection? Parishioners would have to make real sacrifices in these areas, or they’d risk exclusion. They couldn’t just talk the talk. By being strict about the important things, could liberal Protestant churches make their followers walk the walk of their faith – and save their denominations in the process?

    Why won’t it work? Because most people get that in their every day lives ANYWAY. So what will separate these churches from the pop culture?

    What I find even funnier is that no one really wants to ask the real question: What is the truth? Not sure many liberal denominations want to answer that question…

  • Nate Winchester

    In his novel, “Loss and Gain,” Chapter XVII, Bl John Henry Newman asks a series of questions; the following seem pertinent, and not only as applied to the English church:

    “4. Does not Scripture speak of it [the Church] as a kingdom?

    5. And a kingdom which was to last to the end?

    6. What is a kingdom? and what is meant when Scripture calls the Church a kingdom?

    7. Is it a visible kingdom, or an invisible?

    23. Is it necessary, or possible, to believe any one but a professed messenger from God?

    …..

    24. Is the English Church, does she claim to be, a messenger from God?

    25. Does she impart the truth, or bid us seek it?

    26. If she leaves us to seek it, do members of the English Church seek it with that earnestness which Scripture enjoins?”

The Left and Race

Wednesday, July 24, AD 2013

 

 

Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently in defense of the Church that I have designated him Defender of the Faith, explains at Midwest Conservative Journal why the Left is so obsessed with race and finding racists, if not under every bed, certainly within every white skin:

Never let it be said that Naughton’s joint serves no useful purpose because I found this there.  If you’re wondering why all the Episcopal Organization reactions to the George Zimmerman verdict read pretty much the same way, some chick named Mia McKenzie explains it all for you, illustrating why national “conversations” about race are worse than worthless because they’ll go somewhere only when white people admit that they’re wrong now, they’ve always been wrong and they always will be wrong:

Racism is, in reality, a huge, systemic, deeply-rooted plague that exists everywhere and affects everything, that degrades and starves and rapes and murders people without losing its breath. It is built on hundreds of years of oppression and genocide. It is in our government, in our entertainment, in our literature, in our corporations, in our language. This entire country was built on it. It is everywhere, and it is insidious and subtle just as often as it is open and obvious.

It is not that crazy dude over there.

I see the appeal to white folks in thinking about racism this way. The “whack job” approach allows people to separate racist thinking and behavior from themselves. It’s that crazy screaming dude over there who’s racist. It’s your drunk uncles. It’s your he-was-so-quiet-and-seemed-so-normal-before-he-walked-into-the-mall-and-started-shooting-people neighbors. All of whom you can shake your heads at with furrowed brows while proclaiming that you’re “not like that.”

But you are.

White people, you need to get this: you are racist. The first step is admitting that you are part of the problem.

I am not going to tell you why or how you are racist. I’m not here for your education.

Whatever, kitten.

A question and a comment.  What is the difference between Miss McKenzie declaring and the Episcopal Organization tacitly agreeing the concept that every Caucasian becomes a “racist” the moment his or her umbilical cord is cut and some old National Socialist concentration camp guard somewhere claiming that we had to gas all those Jewish children because of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion?  And before you mindlessly invoke Godwin’s Law, at least take a run at answering my question.

You and I both know certain facts about certain countries in the world and certain cities in the United States.  But I’m not going  to mention any of them right now for the same reason why, when I drove an orange Pinto several decades back, I refused, much to the consternation of a mentally-challenged friend of mine to put a Confederate flag on my car’s roof (my man was a huge Dukes of Hazard fan back in the day).  I saw no reason to needlessly offend anyone over something that eventually wouldn’t matter anyway.

But keep up this “guilty until proven innocent” line and I’ll stop caring about your feelings and mention these facts that everyone knows.  I own two Confederate flags, a Second and a Third National, that I bought from the Museum of the Confederacy.  I obviously have no pole to raise either of them on but I do have several walls.  If by some miracle, I ever let you in my place, you should happen to see one and wonder why it’s there, I’ll tell you it’s because of my pride in my Southron heritage. 

If you happen to get mad at me, I’ll happen to not give a crap.  Because the result of attitudes like Miss McKenzie’s and the Episocopal Organization’s can never be racial understanding and certainly won’t be increased racial hostility.  It’ll be something far worse for the liberals than either of those two outcmes.

Indifference.

Put simply, the left needs “racism” and needs it desperately.  Take that crutch away and large numbers of leftists are going to be forced to do pretty much the most difficult thing in the entire world.  Look in the mirror.

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5 Responses to The Left and Race

  • It reminds me of “dry drunks”, people who aren’t drinking but haven’t moved past the alcohol. They’re no longer racist, but they can only think about race, and think that everyone else is only thinking about race.

  • Nasty and dishonest/inane attacks, and ugly ridicule are at the heart of liberal arguments.

    And, then they send in the infiltartors . . .

    Instapundit: “Her name is Renee Vaughn. Her employer, the ‘Texas Campaign For The Environment’, has also apologized. Nonetheless, I hope the picture of her standing with a sign reading ‘We’re Racist And Proud’ winds up being tagged to both. . . . Regarding the leftist activist that carried a signing saying that sign at a TX pro-Zimmerman rally. All they have are lies.

  • Cheap grace.

    Denounce an entire race to show your purity– of course all whites are racist, just the good ones are willing to “admit” it for all the rest. *eyeroll*

    If the “racism” is so nebulous that they can’t even give good examples, it’s clearly not the “racism” that was a big deal.

  • We need to think about the consequences of this: if all whites are racists, that absolves white people of the responsibility to try not to be racist–and it makes Klansmen and Nazis the most sincere white men on Earth, and therefore the most authentic. Is that the world we want to live in?

    Never mind the fact that this claim is itself racist. Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Indians, anyone can be a racist–or not. You don’t fight racism by being racist, but by treating people as individuals, not as groups.

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The Left’s Astroturf War Against the Catholic Church

Sunday, June 23, AD 2013

Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently for the Church that I have designated him Defender of the Faith, has a barnburner of a column over at his blog Midwest Conservative Journal:

 

Gay conservative Kevin DuJan lets the cat out of the bag:

John Nolte at Breitbart.com just published a hard-hitting piece that’s worth your very valuable time…exposing Barack Obama’s commitment to the institutional Left’s Alinskyite objective of “dismantling, undermining, and toxifying the Catholic Church”; this article’s one of those that I’ll probably quote from for years to come, because I’ve never seen this articulated so succinctly before.  Dismantle. Undermine. Toxify.  That is precisely what Leftists have been attempting in their decades-long war against the Catholic Church. Kudos to Nolte for precisely encapsulating so much evil into three small words…which I hope you’ll join me in making everyday vocabulary from this point forward.

What John Nolte probably doesn’t know firsthand, though, is that the Left’s weapon of choice against Catholics is normally gays…who serve as a Gaystapo goon squad that is revved up into frenzies of hatred against Christians in general (but Catholics quite specifically).  If you observe the institutional Left’s strategic moves long enough, you’ll see it’s almost always gays who are bused in to block the entrances to cathedrals or churches and scream expletives at parishioners heading into mass; this is, of course, the toxification aspect of the Leftists’ agenda…since they are attempting to make going to Catholic mass so unpleasant an experience for believers that they’ll potentially start staying home, just to avoid being screamed at by obnoxious gays out on the street (most of whom, in the video above at least, are actually members of the Chicago Teachers’ Union…more on that later).

The Left uses the Gaystapo against the Church (with gays screaming “Bigots!”) in much the same way that Democrats trot blacks (led, of course, by the likes of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Henry Gates) in front of cameras to accuse conservative businesses, Republican politicians, or any of the Democrats’ other perceived “enemies” of being “Ray Ciss”. This is stage crafting coordinated by the DNC, with gays and blacks serving as useful idiots and foot solders for the institutional Left.

It’s a long article and there’s lots of video at the link.

Is this what Catholics have to look forward to?  Sure, if this country’s gays are titanically stupid.  For my part, nothing would get me into the Catholic parish directly across the street from where I live faster than hearing that I would be greeted by wild-eyed hordes of marauding gays as I walked in the door.

Of course, the Archdiocese here would probably discourage me from coming quite strongly, what with the fact that as I walked in, I would point and laugh at the assembled homosexuals, perhaps drop an F-bomb or two, physically react to any physical assaults on my person and break out an Anglican apology (I’m sorry if you were offended…) later if anyone called me on it.

You get the idea.

John Nolte, in the Breitbart.com post DuJan linked to above, overstates the case a bit.  Would the left really like to “demystify, undermine and toxify” the Roman Catholic Church?  Undoubtedly.

Why?  Because at the present time, the Roman Catholic Church is the single largest and most influential worldwide organization standing in the way of the leftist agenda.  I certainly don’t mean to suggest that strong opposition to the left does not also exist in Protestantism or Orthodoxy; it most certainly does.  But Protestantism is too fragmented and Orthodoxy still too exotic and foreign to put up the kind of fight that only the Catholics can currently wage.

I’m not making a judgment, I’m simply stating a fact.  Think of it like this; once you take Helm’s Deep, all you have left to do is to quietly wait for the rest of Middle Earth to fall into your hands.

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27 Responses to The Left’s Astroturf War Against the Catholic Church

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  • “Useful idiots” is what Lenin called his mob of revolutionaries. The gays’ final goal is to make the human being property of the state, deny the human, rational, immortal soul and our Creator endowed unalienable rights.The “Our Father” is going to be labeled hate speech and prohibited in spite of: “or prohibit the free exercise thereof.” If every gay was a dictator, he would need slaves or persons to whom to dictate. The sovereign state would no longer exist as the sovereign personhood of the individual human being constitutes government, but without the acknowledgment of the Supreme Sovereign Being, and the sovereignty of the human person, there can be no state. So, the gays think that they will rule…but the devil has other plans for the gays. The man practicing homosexual behavior takes as his bride the asinine sphincter of another man. Equality of sodomy? with what? Fornication is the chief form of devil worship. Even the devil does not want sodomy. Oh brimestone and fire where is your tenderness?

  • Sir Sean Connery is indeed a devout Catholic. See “Darby O’Gill and the Little People”, a Disney movie circa 1959 about leprechauns, especially the added bonus features which are more fun than the movie.

  • “This is stage crafting coordinated by the DNC, with gays and blacks serving as useful idiots and foot solders for the institutional Left.”

    I agree that certain tactics are obnoxious (of course for anyone who believes wholeheartedly in their cause, whatever the issue, there’s no such thing as too obnoxious.) However “useful idiots” implies that these protesters are dupes of something they’re not fully onboard with. Which I kinda doubt is the case.

    Ms. De Voe you complain about speech-policing and then launch into an over-the-top tirade about “gay rule” and hellfire rhetoric…no one is trying to legally prohibit you from saying those things but are you really surprised that certain people take issue with this sentiment

  • so apparently God created adam and steve…well that is what the stupid gay community thinks anyway….they are just sick perverted morons…

  • “The Holy Spirit apparently has a long history of commandeering both the ordinary and the oddball for service as needed, no matter how unexpected it would be.”

    Best news I’ve had in years. Bring it.

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  • at the present time, the Roman Catholic Church is the single largest and most influential worldwide organization standing in the way of the leftist agenda.

    Really? Our nation’s leading proponent of amnesty for the illegals? The world’s most vocal opponent of capital punishment? A church that never met a social spendng program it didn’t like (in the words of one leading conservative)? The Church that funds hundreds of left wing community organizing initiatives? The Church that has long been in the hip pocket of labor unions?

  • Kurt,
    I agree. Note, though, that the USCCB is composed only of U.S. Bishops, so whatever wise or unwise pronouncements they make concern only the Catholic Church in the U.S.

    Cardinal Ratzinger, before he became Pope Benedict XVI, had some interesting things to say about the danger of Bishops Conferences and their ability to stifle the voices of good bishops in “The Ratzinger Report,” a book-length interview by Vittorio Messori, in 1987. Ratzinger, then prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (CDF), said:

    “We must not forget that the episcopal conferences have no theological basis, they do not belong to
    the structure of the Church, as willed by Christ, that cannot be eliminated; they have only a practical, concrete function.

    “No episcopal conference, as such, has a teaching mission; its documents have no weight of their
    own save that of the consent given to them by the individual bishops.”

    Elsewhere, he explained the difference between the College of Bishops, which In union with the Pope to magisterium because collegiality transcends geographical and historical boundaries. In other words, things The Twelve taught at the very beginning hold true for the Church to this day and in the future , all over the world.

    That said, Pope Benedict also had something to say about about the “common good.”
    ” The more we strive to secure a common good corresponding to the real needs of our neighbours, the more effectively we love them. Every Christian is called to practise this charity, in a manner corresponding to his vocation and according to the degree of influence he wields in the pólis. This is the institutional path — we might also call it the political path — of charity, no less excellent and effective than the kind of charity which encounters the neighbour directly, outside the institutional mediation of the pólis.”

  • Marietta —

    But are the bishops anywhere else in the world any different? In most of western Europe, save the Protestant UK and Nordic countries, the expansive social welfare schemes they now have were not enacted by the Socialists but by Catholic politcians with the firm support of the bishops and with priests generally designing the programs of the welfare state. I am referring to Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, Italy and Malta.

  • BTW, check out liberal Catholic Senator Tom Harkin’s hearing at 2:30 ET today on raising the federal minimum wage. His star witness will be the bishop chairing the USCCB’s domestic policy conference.

  • That would be completely pro-abort Senator Tom Harkin, right Kurt? Ignore the Bishops when it comes to killing kids in the womb, and then attempt to use them to drive up unemployment in the middle of the great Obama Recession.

    http://www.ontheissues.org/social/Tom_Harkin_Abortion.htm

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/08/sen-tom-harkin-forcing-catholic-church-to-pay-for-abortions-and-birth-control-is-ok-because-women-have-terrible-menstrual-cramps/

  • “Most of the major ills of the world have been caused by well-meaning people who ignored the principle of individual freedom, except as applied to themselves, and who were obsessed with fanatical zeal to improve the lot of mankind-in-the-mass through some pet formula of their own. The harm done by ordinary criminals, murderers, gangsters, and thieves is negligible in comparison with the agony inflicted upon human beings by the professional do-gooders, who attempt to set themselves up as gods on earth and who would ruthlessly force their views on all others with the abiding assurance that the end justifies the means.” From The Mainspring of Human Progress by Henry Grady Weaver

  • Ergo, . . .

    In 1950, 80% of men were employed, today 65%.
    In 1979, the real, entry-level hourly wage for a HS grad was $15.64, today $11.68.
    In 1960, 72% of adults were married, today 51%.
    In 1950, 78% of households contained a married couple, today 48%.
    One-in-three children live in a home with no father.

  • Yep, Don, that would be him. Guess how much gushing the bishop will be doing towards the Senator this afternoon. I predict a lovefest.

    Amnesty, minimum wage, spend more for food stamps. That our bishops for you.

  • You wish Kurt. Amnesty is not getting out of the House and neither will an increase in the minimum wage. Increasing the food stamp rolls by 70% along with other forms of dependence upon the State will certainly be one of the things the Obama administration will be remembered for when national debt repudiation occurs and our economy goes on life support for a few decades. But not everyone holds the life of the unborn with the callous indifference of the politicians you help elect, even Bishops who know as much about economics as a pig does about penance, or Tom Harkin knows about the sanctity of innocent human life.

  • “Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good
    of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

    -C.S. Lewis

    The classics never die.

  • Amnesty is not getting out of the House and neither will an increase in the minimum wage.

    Can’t have everything. Already got Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, repeal of DADT, Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, some good pro-union NLRB rulings, the Auto/UAW bailout, higher taxes on the rich, kicked big banks out of the federal student loan program, new regulations on credit cards, significant defense cuts, Hate Crimes Act, and some really great appointments. And that’s not counting the secret stuff to steer work to unionized firms.

    All in all, the laity’s church tithes have been used more to help the President than to hurt him. Remember what your friend Deep Throat said, “follow the money”.

  • Doesn’t look like you have the obsolete Voting Rights Act any more.

  • “Can’t have everything. Already got Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, repeal of DADT, Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, some good pro-union NLRB rulings, the Auto/UAW bailout, higher taxes on the rich, kicked big banks out of the federal student loan program, new regulations on credit cards, significant defense cuts, Hate Crimes Act, and some really great appointments. And that’s not counting the secret stuff to steer work to unionized firms.”

    1. Obamacare remains massively unpopular and that is before the onerous provisions kick in which begins next year. Obamacare will do permanent damage to your party Kurt, so perhaps on balance it is a good thing after all.

    2. Dodd-Frank-Fortunately that misbegotten piece of legislation from two of the more corrupt members of Congress is dying on the vine from the ineptitude of the Executive Branch. Massive incompetence, the saving grace of the Obama administration!

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/06/06/dodd-frank-isnt-close-to-implemented/

    3. Repeal of Dadt-Why am I not surprised Kurt that you would hail a development that both weakens the military and is a slap in the face to traditional morality? The main impact of this development is that cowards will no longer have an easy way to get out of their enlistments, which was overwhelmingly the cause of most discharges under Dadt which involved self-informing.

    4. Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009-The main impact of which is to allow members of my profession to bring lawsuits decades after the alleged pay discrimination. As always with most Democrat legislation the true beneficiaries are the lawyers.

    5. Some good pro-union NLRB rulings-Too bad that Obama jeopardized most of them by using recess appointments to the NLRB since he couldn’t get the hacks he wanted approved by the Senate:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/25/us/justices-agree-to-hear-case-on-presidents-recess-appointments.html?_r=0

    6. Kicked big banks out of the federal student loan program-Yep, by making the taxpayers foot the bill of a loan system that is rapidly going into default.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505123_162-57585366/student-loan-defaults-rising-despite-a-way-out/

    By doing this the Obama administration made it highly unlikely that bankruptcy laws will be reformed to allow discharging student loans in bankruptcy as the taxpayer will always be on the hook. The Feds of course have mechanisms that are denied to private student loan lenders including garnishing social security and pensions. It takes a certain type of deranged partisan mindset to view making the student loan system a federal preserve in any way pro-student.

    7. new regulations on credit cards-Which have had little benefit for consumers:

    http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2012/05/22/winners-and-losers-3-years-after-credit-card-act/

    Anyone who thought it was going to be otherwise should have asked themselves why Obama picked the Senator from Mastercard to be his Veep.

    More after I finish my afternoon tour in the law mines.

  • 1. Obamacare remains massively unpopular and that is before the onerous provisions kick in which begins next year. Obamacare will do permanent damage to your party Kurt, so perhaps on balance it is a good thing after all.

    I’ll take my chances. You can guess about the future. For now, it is the law. Upheld by the Roberts Court. 🙂

    . Repeal of Dadt-Why am I not surprised Kurt that you would hail a development that both weakens the military and is a slap in the face to traditional morality? The main impact of this development is that cowards will no longer have an easy way to get out of their enlistments, which was overwhelmingly the cause of most discharges under Dadt which involved self-informing.

    That one you don’t even predict will be repealed. Settled and done.

    4. Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009-The main impact of which is to allow members of my profession to bring lawsuits decades after the alleged pay discrimination. As always with most Democrat legislation the true beneficiaries are the lawyers

    Trial lawyers need jobs too. Settled and done.

    . Kicked big banks out of the federal student loan program-Yep, by making the taxpayers foot the bill of a loan system that is rapidly going into default.

    Settled and done!

    It takes a certain type of deranged partisan mindset to view making the student loan system a federal preserve in any way pro-student.

    So, Democrat degranged partisans are ruling the day. Settled and done!

    7. new regulations on credit cards-Which have had little benefit for consumers:

    Awwwh, but it must create some bureaucrat jobs and mess over the banks.

    Settled and done!

  • From “The Idiot Vote” by Harry Stein:
    “Yet in America today, only one of the dominant political parties–guess which one–is actually dependent on the idiot vote for its very survival.
    Ignoramuses are the Democrats’ core constituency. Can’t name your congressman or a single Supreme Court justice? Have vaguely heard of Gettysburg, but can’t quite place the war? Get your idea of news from People and Us or Comedy Central? You’re a single-issue voter and the single issue is more-more-more and who-cares-how-it-gets-paid-for. The Dems not only want you to vote, they’ll hunt you down, fill out the registration form for you and show up on Election Day to drag you to the polls. And if you can’t make it, they’ll send someone else and say you did. And all the while, proudly cast themselves as defenders of democracy, because the right to vote is, you know, like, sacrosanct.”

  • But think how much the Catholic faith is advanced by calling other people idiots.

  • Can’t resist quoting today’s Gospel here, kurt, as regards ‘advancing’ for the world.
    Matthew 7: 6, 12-14
    ( It’s valuable. We were reminded that God calls us to holiness and must recognize qualities that aren’t. So many ways the Catholic faith is rich beyond imagination in care. )

    “Jesus said to His disciples:
    Do not give what is holy to dogs or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces.
    Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the Law and the Prophets.

    Enter through the narrow gate;
    for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction,
    and those who enter through it are many.

    How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life.
    And those who find it are few.”

  • “But think how much the Catholic faith is advanced by calling other people idiots.”

    About as much as your fit of putrid gloating has done.

  • Mr. Stein nailed it. Please provide facts to refute his essay.

  • AP will no longer use the phrase ‘illegal immigrant, it will use ‘undocumented democrat.’

    Dems push Amnesty in attempt to replace 53,000,000 aborted children. Limbaugh

Sally Quinn, Short Skirts and the Church of Rome

Wednesday, February 27, AD 2013

Sally Quinn at the Washington Post has a column in which she calls for those darn Catholics to cease to be Catholic basically, and begins it all when she recalls the humiliation she felt during her salad days, presumably sometime after dinosaurs ruled the earth, when she was turned away from the Vatican because her skirt was too short.  Unfortunately for her, her column attracted the attention of Christopher Johnson at Midwest Conservative Journal, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently in defense of the Church that I have designated him Defender of the Faith:

Yeah, here’s the thing.  We Protestants obviously don’t have a dog in this hunt, as they say, but lots of us would really appreciate it if you mackeral snappers would pick the damned pace up and elect a new pope yesterday.  Then we wouldn’t have to have read about how Sally Quinn visited the Vatican right around the time that William Howard Taft, AKA ”Fatso,” was US President:

The first time I visited the Vatican as an adult I was in my 20s.  I was so excited. My boyfriend and I dressed up as if it were Easter Sunday. He wore a coat and tie. I wore a long sleeved black dress with pearls and little ballet flats. We were turned away. It seems my skirt was a half inch too short. I was crushed. I felt ashamed and humiliated. I certainly had not set out to offend anyone, much less God.

Two things, Sal.  They’re called “travel guides” and just about everybody publishes them.  So ignorance of the law and all that.  And if I’m wearing a Motörhead T-shirt and I haven’t shaved or bathed in three days, give or take, I don’t have anything to complain about if Vatican border guards tell me, “Not so much, no.”  Quinnsie, on the other hand, went back to the Vatican some time during the Coolidge Administration.

The last time I visited was five years ago, after the child sexual abuse scandal. Not long before, I had spent a weekend at Williamsburg, and I remember thinking that perhaps one day the Vatican would be like that same historic village. There would be actors dressed as priests and nuns and one actor playing the pope in flowing robes waving from the balcony, remembering an institution as it once existed.

And anybody with a brain would be Episcopalian by now.  A few days later, Sally’s little “On Faith” thing ran some advice to the Roman Catholic Church from a Jewish atheist.

[A whole lot of stupid-ass liberal bumper stickers omitted.]

So, Rome?  We’re going to need you to hurry things along, all right?  Really.

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23 Responses to Sally Quinn, Short Skirts and the Church of Rome

  • Off-topic, but for you, Don–50+ unpublished Kipling poems found by American scholar:

    http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/02/27/more-than-50-unpublished-rudyard-kipling-poems-discovered-by-u-s-scholar/

  • Thank you Dale, that makes my day. This indicates the shocking lack of serious scholarly attention to Kipling’s work since his death.

  • That Quinn article is a nearly-perfect match to the Choose Your Pope parody bit from a couple of days ago.

    I just have to give it more attention than it deserves:

    “Every priest who is known to be guilty should be routed out, excommunicated and jailed. Every priest, bishop and cardinal who had any knowledge of these heinous crimes and protected abusers should be excommunicated and prosecuted in the courts.”

    OK, nice idea. But why excommunicated? And how does one go about finding every priest “known to be guilty”? What kind of a standard is that? What does “any knowledge” mean? Suspicions? Confessions? How do you propose to implement this plan?

    “Some 98 percent of sexually experienced Catholics have used birth control even though it is considered a sin by the church. The same percentage of Catholic women have abortions as non-Catholic women.”

    Quinn uses that as proof that the Church needs to change. Why? Why not have every person who’s used birth control or had an abortion routed out and excommunicated? Every priest, bishop, and cardinal who’s known about one as well? Because Quinn doesn’t want people excommunicated for breaking the law, or breaking the Church’s moral code. She wants them excommunicated for breaking her moral code. And where the Church’s moral code doesn’t match hers, she wants the Church to reform.

    “The official explanation is that he has become too frail to perform his duties. I think there is more to it than that. I think that he either doesn’t want to or can’t deal with all that has gone rotten around him.”

    Oh, well, stop the presses. Sally Quinn thinks something different from the official explanation, and we should give Quinn’s thought greater weight than the official explanation because…?

  • The “skirt” incident reveals that the Vatican was unlike the World.

    In the World, men wouldn’t talk with her if she were not showing enough skin.

  • I don’t know if I should post this here or in the Hans Hunt letter thread, but here goes. Hunt put down a recent arrival who wanted to de-Wyoming Wyoming, her new state of residence. Paul Zummo made this comment:”If you are fleeing one area of the country because another area offers dramatically more opportunities, how obtuse do you have to be to vote for the policies that made you need to leave where you are coming from?” This is the exact same thing that’s happening in this column. Quinn wants to show a bit of leg at the Vatican, and she wants abortion and contraception to be acceptable to the Church. But she doesn’t want men to act the way they do in the face of sexual temptation. Sexual revolution for me, but not for thee.

    She didn’t set out to offend anyone, but she did offend people by breaking society’s standards, and she won’t accept responsibility for it. Now the dress length seems trivial. As trivial as the first straw on top of the camel’s broken back.

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  • Someone smart once said (paraphrasing) that the problem of sin is not so much the sin itself, but the arrogance of wanting the cosmic order to bend to the individual will by approving of the sin.

  • Yes, J Christian, exactly.
    There seems to be no shortage of folks who desire to conform their conscience to their actions rather than vice versa. Their logic seems to be:
    I’m a good person.
    I want to do X.
    Therefoere, X is a perfectly good thing to do.
    Those of us who try fecklessly to conform our actions to our conscience are relegated to hypocrite status.

  • Sally Quinn is beyond silly, and the Post is no better than Pravda. That said, I have to tell you that every time a Catholic male blogger or columnist makes snide comments about a woman’s age or appearance, he makes it just about impossible for women like me to keep making a case for the Church to our liberal, secular friends. I could make the most impassioned and reasoned argument defending the Church as the one and ONLY institution that values and protects the dignity of women, and then my listener would read something like this, or some screed about “aging hippie nuns” from Father Z, and we’re back to square one…”will the Church’s war on women never end?”

    Can’t you make a case for Sally Quinn as flat-out ridiculous based only on what she has said and written? If you can’t, then you’re not as good a writer as I though you were.

    This stuff makes me tired. Sigh.

  • Quinn was the one who brought up skirts Claire and her long ago youth. Her former appearance is the only reason why she is writing anything that is published in The Washington Post to be inflicted upon a hapless public. I call ’em like I see ’em.

  • Well, I don’t mind that you brought up skirts…I can see that you weren’t criticizing the length of her skirt. I guess I need to go find her article and read it…based only on what you have posted here, I don’t see where Quinn herself is making reference to her age. I do see where you’ve reprinted lots of snotty allusions to Quinn’s youth in the Coolidge era. Har har.

    The thing is that I’m just tired of Catholic male bloggers (even the ones I really like) jumping on every opportunity to mock wrongheaded women who happen to be unattractive or, God forbid, old. I don’t get why it’s not OK for women to be old. I want to be old myself eventually. I mean, I believe in eternal life, but I’m in no hurry. More importantly, I’m tired of the laziness in this kind of writing. Liberal nuns who want to “move beyond Jesus” (where? to Hell?) need to be criticized for their heresy, not for their wrinkles and grey hair. Pro-abortion women (the handful of them who show up at the March for Life) should be criticized for condoning child slaughter, not for their Birkenstocks and frumpy outfits.

  • “based only on what you have posted here, I don’t see where Quinn herself is making reference to her age.”
    The incident with the skirt occurred in her twenties and struck me as a remarkably petty note to start off a column slamming the Church.

    Criticisms of individuals in my writing are never gratuitous but always done for a point. I view Sally Quinn as perhaps the most vacuous writer published on a regular basis by The Washington Post, and that is saying something, and her personal history explains why she holds this position. Her youthful use of her sex appeal made her career and that is relevant when readers are wondering how such a dope got such a powerful podium to preach to us Catholics.

  • Claire, it looks like it was Johnson who brought up the age thing. (I almost wrote “brought up the skirt”, which is a completely different concept!)

  • Pinky–right, I agree, only Mr. McClarey did reprint it AND added the “presumably sometime after dinosaurs roamed the earth” just to drive it home.

    Mr. McClarey–see, I get that Quinn mentioned her age, but she was talking about her age at the time of the skirt incident. So we all know that she was in her twenties when that happened. What she doesn’t seem to say is exactly how long ago her twenties were. A reader who didn’t know anything about Quinn wouldn’t necessarily know if her twenties took place during the 1990s, the 1930s, or anytime in between. We get that she’s old (gross!) from the super-funny jokes about Taft and Coolidge. It’s fine, though…it’s your blog, so whatever. Maybe you don’t notice that conservative and Catholic male bloggers tend to take potshots at women for perceived lack of attractiveness. Liberal bloggers are far worse, of course, but I expect better from Catholics.

  • “Maybe you don’t notice that conservative and Catholic male bloggers tend to take potshots at women for perceived lack of attractiveness.”

    Some do. I don’t.

  • Right on, Claire! The older and less attractive I become, the less I like this type of comment. Too bad its true that there seem to be so many unattractive Lib women, of all ages. BEING Lib makes them unattractive to any thinking person.

  • A religious woman was the Door Keeper once for St Peter’s Basilica to replace the males, and quit because of abuse she took. forget the year that experiment began and ended quickly.
    . I was amazed at the total lack of respect in the USA before I was injured and could not attend Mass in church, to see so many women coming to church and some men. who were more properly dressed for golf or a BBQ than for communion; while black men and women whom I saw when I went to their church as part of my Consultant for the after school federal programme for that church-neighbourhood were dressed for a presidential visit. Same for the Hispanic Mass goers at our all-Spanish Masses.
    White trashily dressed to fulfil an obligation, most left early after communion. The length of the homily made no difference to their time-pieces. I asked the pastor one day to do his bit with bulletin announcements before Mass and he rejected the idea- within a month or so he did when he saw the nearly empty church at the end of communion. A deeper problem than a dress code.

  • coming from my silly simple little farm girl background, and a long line of old German Lutherans, I must say the length of her skirt was indeed reason to find fault with all the “rules” back in the day. I wish she could live in that lifestyle for awhile. skirt must touch floor when kneeling. No makeup, no pants, no dancing, no card playing, no drinking (lol) god forbid, if you got caught shaving your legs before you were 16, and the only thing we looked forward to was a “funeral” Lutheran of course. Ms Quinn grow up. I know one thing we worked hard, we were respectful, our minds were clean and we took responsibility for our own actions. I thought it was the most horrible lifestyle. I wish we had a little of that back now.

  • I was in Rome a few years back for the ordination of my brother to the Diaconate. I was surprised that St. Peter’s is the only one of the major Basilica’s where they enforce any sort of dress code and even there from what I can see, a half an inch is not going to going to keep anyone out.

  • I just looked at the clock. We don’t have a pope. Weird.

  • Mr. McClarey,

    I’m sure you don’t. I have a tendency to overanalyze and to overreact, sometimes without much charity. I hope I didn’t offend you. I still think this happens pretty frequently but I’ve never seen any evidence of it on your blog, so I should not have assumed that you were trying to be mean in this case.

  • In Independent (Fundamentalist) Baptist churches, women often wear very long skirts practically down to the floor, but it’s not a dress code. It’s merely a part of the subculture. They tend to use very long skirts made with jean material. Weirdly, they can often be accompanied by sneakers.

Competing Religions

Thursday, February 14, AD 2013

Liberalism

Christopher Johnson, the non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently for Mother Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith, points to an editorial of The Washington Post that hopes the next Pope will not be so Catholic:

Roman Catholics?  You have my deepest sympathies.  You guys are going to have a LOT of crap to put up with over the next month and a half:

The hallmark of Pope Benedict’s tenure, for better or for worse, was fierce resistance to those changes. He rejected calls by Catholic progressives for reconsideration of doctrines such as celibacy and the ban on women in the priesthood; at a time when acceptance of the rights of gays and lesbians is rapidly spreading across the world, he was outspoken in condemning homosexuality as “unnatural” and unacceptable. With sectarian tension growing in Europe as well as the Middle East, he eschewed dialogue with Muslims and infuriated many by quoting a condemnation of Islamic theology as “evil and inhuman.”

Some of Pope Benedict’s most important achievements came in response to the backlash triggered by his reactionary acts. Pilloried for having suggested before a tour of AIDS-stricken Africa that the use of condoms “increases the problem,” he later suggested that the use of a condom by an HIV-infected person to avoid infecting a partner could be a positive step. After angering Jews by rehabilitating a bishop known as a Holocaust denier, the pope prayed at Auschwitz and published a book exonerating the Jewish people for the death of Jesus.

Pope Benedict will leave behind a church facing the same debilitating problems that loomed after the death of Pope John Paul II — above all, how to remain relevant to an increasingly secular world and to its own changing membership. This pope’s response was to insist that only uncompromising adherence to past doctrine could preserve the faith. Catholics who seek a different answer will have to hope that a college of cardinals dominated by the pope’s appointees will choose a more progressive successor.

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32 Responses to Competing Religions

  • The accompanying photo reminds me of a quote by William F. Buckley:
    “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”

  • I have to wonder if press bias has as much effect as we think. That editorial is about half opinion, half incorrect information. Reading it is like playing charades, trying to guess the real event from its mis-description. But then I think, they do that with everything. Every single thing that I know about, I can find errors in the coverage of. If I attend something, it’ll get falsely described. I wonder if we all just filter out the nonsense reflexively.

    In czarist Russia, in the Soviet Union, and for all I know in present-day Russia, no one ever believed the official story about anything. By censoring the news, they created a situation where any rumor was assumed to be more truthful than any official account. I’ve heard it argued that in the Soviet era, the whole point was to make a news story as false as possible, not because anyone would believe it, but because it broke people’s spirits to have to pretend to believe the stuff. The more outrageous the falsehood, the more dehumanizing it was to feign assent to it.

    So when I read this WaPo nonsense, part of me is afraid for the souls that think they know the Church based on the press’s reporting of it. But another part of me thinks that no one believes the press any more, about anything.

  • when people die are they going to go to catholic heaven, baptist heaven, methodist heaven ect ect?

    religious institutions are big money making machines, i wonder what our LORD/JESUS thinks about all this?

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  • when people die are they going to go to catholic heaven, baptist heaven, methodist heaven ect ect?

    No. There is only one heaven.

    religious institutions are big money making machines, i wonder what our LORD/JESUS thinks about all this?

    For whom? The flagship Anglican parish in my home town, chock-a-bloc with attorneys and corporation executives, employed a grand total of ten people. It had that many because it operated a day care center on site. That would be the most affluent parish in the most affluent denomination in the metropolitan region. The rector of that parish lived well, but rather less well than most of his parishioners and less well than the real-estate developer who bought the rectory when the vestry decided future rectors should own their own homes. Another parish in that same denomination (just down the road) lived hand to mouth under the inept financial administration of the schoolteachers who made up the majority of its vestry. The rector was over paid, but still earning less than he might have in the engineering career he had abandoned. That particular parish had a rector, a sexton, and a secretary.

    Catholic clergy receive a stipend that was (at that time) about 60% lower than the salaries paid to Anglican clergy. They were also celibates, generally owned no real property and often no consumer durables worth more than a three-figure sum of money.

    Running a small eleemosynary and receiving compensation similar to what a school teacher might receive is not an ascetic life; neither is it a life that would be chosen by someone notably acquisitive.

    You do realize, do you not, that religious congregations have no profits to distribute?

  • “he was outspoken in condemning homosexuality as “unnatural” and unacceptable.”

    What a horribly false mischaracterization! The Church certainly asserts that homosexual attraction is “unnatural” (which it is, how is that a contentious claim?), but she never claims that the orientation itself, distinct from acting upon it, is “unacceptable!”

    The problem is that we live in a world where people are incapable of using logic and reason. There is no nuance, there is no appreciation for subtle differences. It’s almost impossible be taken seriously when this is how the media portrays you.

  • And by the way, Left liberals aren’t the only ones guilty of mischaracterizing what the Pope/Church says.

    Sean Winters had a fantastic article praising Benedict’s papacy, but he also made some incredible insights into American Catholics.

    http://ncronline.org/blogs/distinctly-catholic/why-i-came-love-benedict-xvi

    I realize most of you won’t click through because it’s a piece from the National Catholic Register (I don’t blame you…this is the first half-way redeemable article from them that I’ve ever come across), so I’ll copy and paste the two most relevant paragraphs:

    “This concern for unity was evidenced in other aspects of his teachings. In his encyclical Caritas in Veritate, he was clear that the social justice teachings of the church and the teachings about sexual morality flowed from a single source and, in his mind, were irrevocably bound together. As I mentioned in my article at The New Republic yesterday, the fact that the pope was as devoted to social justice issues as he was to issues of sexual morality has been somewhat opaque in the U.S. because so many of his loudest supporters in the U.S. tended not to mention his commitment to social justice or minimized the radicalness of the demands he made in that regard. Catholic neo-cons dismissed his call for a conversion of Western lifestyles, his commitment to environmental protection, his denunciation of “unregulated financial capitalism” as a threat to world peace, his abiding lament at growing income inequality, and because these neo-con voices claimed to be authoritative and because the mainstream media does not know any better, Benedict’s rigorous critique of modern consumer, capitalist culture was underplayed. Whenever he spoke against gay marriage, however, the headlines of a reactionary pope could be found everywhere.

    The Catholic left, unfortunately, let the Catholic right define the narrative of Benedict’s reign. They, too, neglected the significance of his social teachings to focus on anything he said about sex or gender. More importantly, they failed to really wrestle with his challenge, to see all the issues the church addresses as bound together. Take this morning’s Washington Post. There, George Weigel is quoted as saying, “If you don’t sell full-throttle Catholicism, people are not going to buy it. Everyone knows the whole package is more compelling and interesting than some sort of Catholic hors d’oeuvres that leave you hungry.” This from the man who advised using red and gold pens to mark up Caritas in Veritate, ignoring the parts Weigel thought were not really from the pope’s hand. This from the man who can cite one paragraph, and one paragraph only, from John Paul II’s Centesimus Annus but never once has evidenced his compliance with, nor appreciation for, the call to a conversion of Western lifestyles contained in that same encyclical, nor its restatement of the church’s commitment to the rights of workers, nor those sections that question the very ethical and anthropological foundations of capitalism. I agree with Weigel about the need for “full-throttle Catholicism,” though I find his use of the verb “sell” telling. I just wish Weigel and other Catholic neo-cons actually engaged the full breadth of the church’s teachings instead of trying to distort and minimize those teachings about economic and social justice they disdain.”

  • @JL a small correction, Sean Winters’ article was in the National Catholic Reporter, not the National Catholic Register (which is usually steadfast in supporting Church doctrine)

  • @Kathy

    You’re absolutely right! My apologies. It’s so annoying that those two are so close in name, yet generally so far apart in terms of orthodoxy!

    Nonetheless, I suggest you all give Winters’ piece a chance.

  • Pinky, interesting thought. Of course, we Catholics know that confusion is a tool used by Satan. An individual that can’t trust anything he or she hears is an individual that is isolated and helpless against the devil. He or she is similarly shielded and resistant to Love.

  • JL – I read the article. I had two problems with it. First, it took the pettiness and infighting over messaging far too seriously. If a person tells a story about both sides’ pettiness, he always casts himself as the visionary who can see above it all. “The time for partisanship is over”, et cetera. I don’t think that anyone, even those involved in the trivial “left”/”right” squabbles, think they’re representing the fullness of the Faith.

    Secondly, the bit about Benedict saving the Church from being juridical and neo-scholastic. That didn’t sound genuine. It’s no different from saying “I like him”. It’s always easy to say that the people before the guy you like failed to resonate, because they failed to resonate with you. And there is something about a live person fleshing out an idea that makes it more compelling. But saying the Church wasn’t Christological enough? The Church is always walking the line between being formal and passionate. Each of its members walks that line. But it’s just weird that Winters praises Benedict for his organic hermeneutic at the same time he calls him a break from the past, and at the same time he complains about his heavy-handedness.

  • Art Deco, thank you for your comment. i believe that regardless of the church we attend, our worship is judged by the Lord. We do not earn browny points for aligning ourselves with a particular tradition, nor do we gain merit by associating ourselves with a worshipping community that claims an astonishing pedigree. We are one in the Spirit if we claim Christ as Lord and Savior, and this is the essence of true religion. He that worships him must worship him in Spirit and in truth.

  • @Pinky

    “First, it took the pettiness and infighting over messaging far too seriously.”

    It’s not really about the pettiness and infighting as evils in and of themselves, it’s about the fact that they obfuscate the entirety of Pope Benedict’s teaching. The problem isn’t primarily that “conservative Catholics” and their left-wing counterparts squabble amongst each other, it’s that they both latch on to one aspect of the pope’s teaching (sexual morality), and use it to define the pope and all he has to say in the terms of the American political spectrum. They’re too busy cramming him into pigeonholes that fit their own partisan paradigm to bother hearing out the rest of his message.

    Weigel is such an obvious example of this that it’s like he’s a living caricature. The audacity and presumption needed to go through a papal encyclical and decide what’s “legitimate” and what’s not is simply stunning. I don’t want to judge his intent, but it seems like he’s got a pretty bad case of the “conservative before Catholic” thing going on.

  • JL

    I am rushed today so I will have breaks in taking apart your flawed thinking.

    “In his encyclical Caritas in Veritate, he was clear that the social justice teachings of the church and the teachings about sexual morality flowed from a single source and, in his mind, were irrevocably bound together.”

    No problem there, Catholics agree God is the source of all good. However, the Church teaches that God holds some things to be evil (i.e. abortion, homosexuality). No one can ever condone those. However, in ordering the common good (justice) there are different legitimate solutions which people can licitly disagree with.

    “As I mentioned in my article at The New Republic yesterday, the fact that the pope was as devoted to social justice issues as he was to issues of sexual morality has been somewhat opaque in the U.S. because so many of his loudest supporters in the U.S. tended not to mention his commitment to social justice or minimized the radicalness of the demands he made in that regard. ”

    Conservatives don’t deny those social justice issues, they just disagree with the application of other’s solutions (see above). Rather, they see the preeminent issue as being that of the attack on the most vulnerable of our society – the unborn.

  • Weigel is such an obvious example of this that it’s like he’s a living caricature. The audacity and presumption needed to go through a papal encyclical and decide what’s “legitimate” and what’s not is simply stunning. I don’t want to judge his intent, but it seems like he’s got a pretty bad case of the “conservative before Catholic” thing going on.

    Oh go on. Actual disputes over political economy and social policy in this country involve questions of whether or not to replace extant public insurance schemes with vouchers, what sort of deductibles to put on public and private insurance programs, how to determine re-imbursement rates for physicians, and the balance between public and private insurance in financing medical care. You cannot repair to the social encyclicals to adjudicate these sorts of questions.

  • “You cannot repair to the social encyclicals to adjudicate these sorts of questions.”

    Exactually. Catholic Social Teaching definitively states that the Church does not propose specific solutions. The error of Sean Winters (and by extension JL) is that they believe it does. And they believe that those solutions happen to coincide with their political prejudices.

  • You cannot repair to the social encyclicals to adjudicate these sorts of questions.

    While I pretty much endorse most of what Art has said in response, I will throw in a word of caution. There are no specific guidelines to treat these issues within the magnificent treasure of Church magisterial teachings; however, the Church certainly proscribes certain – for lack of a better term – attitudes. Catholics need to approach economic issues in light of those guidelines.

    To be a little more specific, I’ll go to a non-economic issue. It is manifestly incorrect to assert that Catholics are bound to oppose the death penalty. Church teaching throughout the century has not mandated an absolutist anti-death penalty approach. That said, Catholics who do support the death penalty do have to do more than pay lip service to the many qualifications the Church places on the practice. One cannot simply wave their hands and say that it is a prudential matter. If one has honestly wrestled with what the Church has laid down and can show where support for the death penalty is justified, then one may support the institution with a clear conscience.

    I will grant JL one thing – gasp! Conservative Catholics sometimes do suggest that economic policies are merely prudential matters. In a sense they are, but we can’t breezily dismiss what the Church has taught through the ages. I am certainly not suggesting Art or anyone here has done this, and Winters as usual demagogues and exaggerates the issue in an attempt to salve his own conscience. It’s just a mild note of caution about how we should approach these prudential matters as Catholics.

  • The Church is on firm footing as to goals: help the poor comes to mind. She is on much less firm footing frequently when she comes to means: the long ban against interest for example. Additionally, mistakes of fact remain mistakes of fact whether they are in Church documents or not. Consider this from 2267 of the Catechism:

    “Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm – without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself – the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity “are very rare, if not practically nonexistent.”

    American prisons, and most prisons around the globe, are ongoing refutations of the argument that the State can render prisoners incapable of doing harm.

  • the long ban against interest for example. Additionally, mistakes of fact remain mistakes of fact whether they are in Church documents or not. Consider this from 2267 of the Catechism:

    Interest is the price of credit and in part derived from alternative opportunities. The implications and effects of charging interest are dependent on context. Medieval society (and early modern society – see Stanley Engerman on colonial America) featured rates of economic improvement that were glacial on balance and featured both sudden catastrophes and elongated periods of economic decline as well as advance (the latter 14th century and the early 16th century). In addition to that, the effect of charging interest in a cash poor agricultural society is not the same as in a modern society. Somewhere I have some lecture tapes which delineate the implications of charging interest in that context.

  • I will grant JL one thing – gasp! Conservative Catholics sometimes do suggest that economic policies are merely prudential matters. In a sense they are, but we can’t breezily dismiss what the Church has taught through the ages. I am certainly not suggesting Art or anyone here has done this, and Winters as usual demagogues and exaggerates the issue in an attempt to salve his own conscience. It’s just a mild note of caution about how we should approach these prudential matters as Catholics.

    I am not a close reader of the social encyclicals. As far as I can see, they rule out command economies (however inspired) and rule out most flavors of libertarianism. Getting more specific than that – and making sense of some apparent prescriptions – is a challenge.

  • “She is on much less firm footing frequently when she comes to means”

    True. Which is why, in her wisdom, the Church is stating more and more clearly that it does not have specific solutions. This is why the Church leaves to the laity, following the principles She lays out, to bring order to the world.

    “One cannot simply wave their hands and say that it is a prudential matter.”

    True again. Though one must be cautious. Not every pronouncement of an encyclical, apostolic exhortation etc. is binding on the conscience of a Catholic. This is not to pick or choose. Rather, the Church herself is taking from science, economics, historical understanding etc. to guide her. As understanding in these areas evolve, that guidance will change. The Church does indeed acknowledge this.

    An example I would posit is Climate Change (aka Global Warming.) Is the science on this definitive? If not, then is Church guidance on this open to reflection and correction? I would say that the science is not definitive and that Church reflections on the environment may shift some.

    Another issue, I know JP II in part argued against the death penalty citing that social science showed there was no deterrence effect of it. But that science may in fact have been flawed. In fact some current work shows the death penalty does deter crime. Will this change the Church’s judgment? It should if the change was based on such work.

  • Mobility of capital is desireable in any society, but most especially a cash poor one.

    I agree with Don re 2267. It’s expression of a factual assessment seems ideosyncratic and out of place in a catechism. The extent to which modern society can render violent criminals incapable of further violence requires a prudential assessment. And I point that out even though I’m generally opposed to the death penalty in the US.

  • @Art

    “Oh go on. Actual disputes over political economy and social policy in this country involve questions of whether or not to replace extant public insurance schemes with vouchers, what sort of deductibles to put on public and private insurance programs, how to determine re-imbursement rates for physicians, and the balance between public and private insurance in financing medical care. You cannot repair to the social encyclicals to adjudicate these sorts of questions.”

    Weigel wasn’t having a debate. He was pulling a Jefferson and cutting out what he didn’t like (not inferring that encyclical = scripture so please don’t go there). He consistently uses papal encyclical’s as binding commandments when they serve his purposes, so this amateur exegesis by him was a necessary reaction.

  • “I am rushed today so I will have breaks in taking apart your flawed thinking.”

    Sigh. This place would be far healthier without this unneeded internet combox bravado.

  • What Weigel did with Caritas in Veritate was pretty embarrassing. While there are usually several hands involved in constructing an encyclical, to go source-critical on it said more about Weigel than it did about Benedict.

  • “Sigh. This place would be far healthier without this unneeded internet combox bravado.”

    Back from retreat so I can respond. Thanks for not addressing the points I made. Instead you resort to pseudo-wit.

  • JL,

    Some more unpacking of the, um, internet bravado of Sean Winters.

    “nor its restatement of the church’s commitment to the rights of workers…”

    A commitment that is qualified. This as seen in Abp. Morlino’s prophetic response to the Wisconsin Public Union fiasco.

    “…nor those sections that question the very ethical and anthropological foundations of capitalism.”

    These foundations are not questioned per se. Otherwise JP II and Benedict XVI would not have had their qualified endorsement of Capitalism.

    Enough for tonight. But the reason I do not read Sean Winters much is that I routinely read the National Catholic Reporter. Someone leaves them in the back of Chuch. I take them home and read them before throwing them away. Unfortunately, every issue seems to say the same thing. Women priests, homosexual marriage, etc.

  • @Phillip.

    Of course it’s qualified. The right to life is qualified to. As is the right to liberty. Etc.

    Re: capitalism: http://distributistreview.com/mag/2009/02/what-does-centesimus-annus-really-teach/ I think critical acceptance is a better way to put it than “endorsement.”

    My approval of Winters and NCR went no further than the words that were written on that page.

  • The endorsement is in the wording of Centesimus Annus. Even if distributists disagree.

  • “The endorsement is in the wording of Centesimus Annus.”

    Prove it.

  • And quickly here from CA. I include the whole paragraph to show, as is frequently the case, a qualified endorsement. But an endorsement nonetheless.

    “34. It would appear that, on the level of individual nations and of international relations, the free market is the most efficient instrument for utilizing resources and effectively responding to needs. But this is true only for those needs which are “solvent”, insofar as they are endowed with purchasing power, and for those resources which are “marketable”, insofar as they are capable of obtaining a satisfactory price. But there are many human needs which find no place on the market. It is a strict duty of justice and truth not to allow fundamental human needs to remain unsatisfied, and not to allow those burdened by such needs to perish. It is also necessary to help these needy people to acquire expertise, to enter the circle of exchange, and to develop their skills in order to make the best use of their capacities and resources. Even prior to the logic of a fair exchange of goods and the forms of justice appropriate to it, there exists something which is due to man because he is man, by reason of his lofty dignity. Inseparable from that required “something” is the possibility to survive and, at the same time, to make an active contribution to the common good of humanity.”

The Pope’s Jews

Sunday, February 10, AD 2013

 

Christopher Johnson at The Midwest Conservative is at it again.  He is a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so ofen in defense of the Faith that I have designated him Defender of the Faith.  He enters the lists now on behalf of the most unjustly maligned man of the last century, Pope Pius XII:

or, Whoops There Goes Another Liberal Cliche:

Pius XII has long been vilified as “Hitler’s pope”, accused of failing publicly to condemn the genocide of Europe’s Jews. Now a British author has unearthed extensive material that Vatican insiders believe will restore his reputation, revealing the part that he played in saving lives and opposing nazism. Gordon Thomas,

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.  Who is this guy, some trad Catholic?  Dude, that’s special pleading, that’s not genuine research, you blithering idiot.

a Protestant,

Never mind.

was given access to previously unpublished Vatican documents and tracked down victims, priests and others who had not told their stories before.

The Pope’s Jews, which will be published next month, details how Pius gave his blessing to the establishment of safe houses in the Vatican and Europe’s convents and monasteries. He oversaw a secret operation with code names and fake documents for priests who risked their lives to shelter Jews, some of whom were even made Vatican subjects.

Thomas shows, for example, that priests were instructed to issue baptism certificates to hundreds of Jews hidden in Genoa, Rome and elsewhere in Italy. More than 2,000 Jews in Hungary were given fabricated Vatican documents identifying them as Catholics and a network saved German Jews by bringing them to Rome. The pope appointed a priest with extensive funds with which to provide food, clothing and medicine. More than 4,000 Jews were hidden in convents and monasteries across Italy.

During and immediately after the war, the pope was considered a Jewish saviour. Jewish leaders – such as Jerusalem’s chief rabbi in 1944 – said the people of Israel would never forget what he and his delegates “are doing for our unfortunate brothers and sisters at the most tragic hour”. Jewish newspapers in Britain and America echoed that praise, and Hitler branded him “a Jew lover”.

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14 Responses to The Pope’s Jews

  • “During and immediately after the war, the pope was considered a Jewish saviour. Jewish leaders – such as Jerusalem’s chief rabbi in 1944 – said the people of Israel would never forget what he and his delegates “are doing for our unfortunate brothers and sisters at the most tragic hour”.

    This is very gratifying to read but it makes me wonder why the opposite opinion ever gained traction in the culture. When that play by Hochhuth came out, the lies it contained should have been refuted immediately.

  • GH: It’s not about the war on Pope Pius. It’s about the war on Holy Mother Church, which they hate for the same reasons the devil hates Holy Water.

    Whatever the lying sacs of excrement say says more about them than about Pope Pius XII, of blessed memory, or any other subverted subject they spout.

  • IIRC, the Pope even hid many folks in Castle Gandalfo.

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  • The Pope’s Actions caused the Chief Rabbi of Rome to convert to the Catholic Church. The Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir, praised Pius XII highly for saving over 700,000 Jews , and I believe she named him a Righteous Gentile.

  • As to the Chief Rabbi of Rome Robert he and the Pope were good friends and he was grateful to the Pope for saving Jews. However that was not caused him to convert. Christ spoke to him in a vision. Go to the link below for the fascinating story:

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2102594/posts

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  • “He oversaw a secret operation with code names and fake documents for priests who risked their lives to shelter Jews, some of whom were even made Vatican subjects.

    Thomas shows, for example, that priests were instructed to issue baptism certificates to hundreds of Jews hidden in Genoa, Rome and elsewhere in Italy. More than 2,000 Jews in Hungary were given fabricated Vatican documents identifying them as Catholics …”

    Uh oh. Don’t tell you-know-who that Pius XII is a “liar for Jesus”, just like Lila Rose.

  • True Jay. Pius XII was another “Conman for God” during the War and doubtless has reaped a rich reward from God as a result! The arguments by William Doino and others that Pius never authorized lies or deception to rescue Jews is completely at variance with the historical record.

  • Don’t forget that there was a Soviet disinformation campaign against Pius XII; the KGB and its predecessors were masters of this. There are historians today who still repeat stories of atrocities committed by Ukrainian nationalists which never happened, and the attempt to blame the Katyn massacre on the Germans involved the wholesale manufacture of bogus forensic science evidence. As late as the 1970s their version was still being given credence by the British government.

    Hochhuth could have been a stooge, but more likely was one of Lenin’s “useful idiots”.

  • The Soviet campaign died in the 60s. Long after the demise of the Soviet Union, it seemed that hardly a year passed without some claimed revelation about Pius XII, Hitler’s pope. And who can forget those historians and muckrakers, not all of them disgruntled Catholics, who hinted darkly that the Vatican had a lot of skeletons to hide. But now that the Vatican archives have been catalogued into the war years where are they now? Like many others I too was taken in by the propaganda. Pius could not save his closest brothers and sisters, the priests and nuns who died in the thousands at the hands of the Nazis, all his diplomatic skills could not spare Catholic Poland, yet somehow a word from him was enough to save the Jews. The man endured a living martyrdom, how he must have suffered in those years.

  • Why did people begin to believe the lies about Pius XII about 1965? I’ll tell you why. Because that is when it began to be blazingly clear that the record of ALL the main allies in WWII in the matter of Jewish persecution stank; that Great Britain and the USA had both positively refused to help any persecuted Jews, and, in the full knowledge that Hitler was systematically having them butchered, pretty much said “good luck to it”; that, after the war, the British practically took the place of the Germans as enemies of the Jews, to the point of having Jews thrown into German bamps guarded by German guards, and of systematically supporting and arming the Jews’ enemies in Palestine; and that when President Truman took the elementary step of giving Israel diplomatic recognition, half the Administration was against him. The Soviet Union’s record on matters Jewish, of course, is best left unmentioned. These were countries, the British Empire and the USA, who could perfectly well have let in as many Jews as they wished, countries in fact that lived on immigration; they just did not want them, and they did not want them because they were Jewish. If Hitler killed the lot, well, too bad for them, but really, he’s solved our problem for us. And when the infamy of Britain and America, let alone Russia, in this matter, became clear, there was need of a scapegoat, someone to take the blame, so that we don’t have to dwell on our fathers’ guilt. I have given a larger account of my views here: http://fpb.livejournal.com/565171.html

  • Yes, it is true that during WWII no one of political importance really cared about the Jewish situation and that was in keeping with the zeitgeist. The Zionist movement was rather countercultural, I guess.

  • Jay Anderson: “Uh oh. Don’t tell you-know-who that Pius XII is a “liar for Jesus”, just like Lila Rose.”
    Any law may be broken to save a human life. This is law. The only country willing to take Jews was Haiti and Papa Doc Trujillo would only accept baptized Catholic Jews. Over 800,000 Jews were accepted into Haiti. The baptismal certificates were wishes for the future. Many of the Jews were baptized by desire.