Msgr. Pope

Msgr. Pope on Obama’s Use of the Golden Rule

Of all the things in Obama’s performance interview where he came out of the closet and ended his farcical opposition to gay marriage, his citation of the “golden rule” as one the impetuses behind his “evolution” was most revolting.  Msgr. Charles Pope details why Obama’s usage of the golden rule as a prop was problematic.

It is a common problem today that people often present simplistic portraits of Jesus Christ to support a variety of agendas. And the portraits of Jesus are not only simplistic, they are incomplete (usually intentionally so), and fail to accept that Jesus cannot be reduced to a simple sentence or two.

I would argue this is what the President is doing here. As if to say, “Jesus, was basically a nice and affirming person, who spoke of Love,  and so beautifully and taught us to do unto to others as we would have them do to us. “Surely,” the thinking goes, “this Jesus would affirm and rejoice over two Gay people getting “married.”” It is as if this were all Jesus was or said, “Love…Do unto others”. Never mind that he had some pretty high standards when it came to sexuality (Matt 5:27-30; Matt 15:19; Mk 10:11; Rev 22:15; Rev 21:8) Never mind that he told his apostles he had other things to teach them and would send his Holy Spirit, and never mind that His Holy Spirit inspired the Epistles writers like Paul to speak clearly in the ancient Biblical tradition about the sinfulness of homosexual activity, fornication, and adultery [2]  “Never mind all that,” says the modern world, and our President, “I chose the Jesus who said only, ‘God is love, and be kind to one another.’”

Msgr. Pope also touches upon something that has always annoyed me, and that is the left’s depiction of the hippy Jesus.

The modern tendency on the left, from which the President speaks has been to reduce Jesus to a rather harmless hippie who went about talking about love and inclusion and healed people. Gone from this harmless and politically correct  Jesus are volumes of verses that help complete the picture: a Messiah who claimed authority in our lives, who spoke quite clearly of sin, yes even sexual sin, and who warned repeatedly of the coming judgment, and the reality not only heaven, but of hell.

But Jesus is not either of these descriptions alone, he is both. Orthodoxy is in the balance, not choosing one or the other or tipping in one direction.

Much more at the link.  Msgr. Pope discusses at length the heresy of picking and choosing the parts of Scripture one adheres to.  Clearly the cafeteria is open, and Catholics aren’t the only ones at the buffet.

When God Says "No"

Msgr. Charles Pope is a Priest in the Archdiocese of Washington.  In addition to his duties as pastor at a parish in southeastern DC, he regularly celebrates High Mass in the Extraordinary Form at St. Mary’s in Chinatown once a month.  He is perhaps the finest homilist I have ever had the privilege of hearing on a regular basis, and he demonstrates why in this blog post from the Archdiocese’s website.  He tackles what may be one of the most difficult subjects that Catholics and indeed people of all faith struggle with: why does God seemingly say no to some of our prayer requests?  He provides a fantastic answer, and in the process gives some guidance on he proper disposition we should have when praying.

1. Sometimes, “No”  is the Best Answer – We often think we know what is best for us. We want to have this job, or we want that person to fall in love and marry us. We want to be delivered from a certain illness or receive a financial blessing. We see these as good outcomes and are sure that God must also see them this way. But God may not, in fact agree with our assessment as to what is best for us. And thus his “No” is really the best answer to our prayers.

For example we may always prefer that God answer our prayer that none of our children be born with any disabilities. But God may see that the experience of disability may be just the thing that we or the child may need in order to be  saved ultimately. St. Paul prayed for deliverance from some sort of physical affliction: Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but he said to me,My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Cor 12:7-10).

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